Monday, April 28, 2014

Medicine's Dark Secrets

Like a lot of people, I donated to the Indiegogo campaign to fund Medicine’s Dark Secrets, because I thought it was a cool idea and I wanted to see it made. I have no idea if I was supposed to get a freebie or not, but that wasn’t why I donated – I wanted to support an interesting project.

I was sad to see that the project had run into difficulties that caused it to be delayed.

But much more so, I’m sad and upset to see the abuse being given out to Big Baby Productions, and I’m really not prepared to sit by and let it go unchallenged.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I was asked to come in and do some work on the documentary earlier this year. There was a very good reason for this. As I understand it, Lesley-Anne Morrison wrote a script for MDS, based on a combination of Lindsey Fitzharris’ research and her own independent research, which was necessary to provide enough material for the documentary. However, when it came to filming, Lindsey was not prepared to film anything relating to research which was not her own. Why she chose to do so, I don’t know. I’m not here to criticise her in any way and she may well have had good reasons for doing so. Perhaps she simply felt that she was not prepared to read anything she had not personally verified. I honestly don’t know.

Regardless, Lindsey cut large swathes of the script. I can verify that, because I’ve seen the original script and I’ve seen the footage. Initially, I believe she had intended to write the script herself, but ultimately had not had time, which was why it had fallen to Lesley-Anne in the first place.

Whatever the reason, this meant that large portions of the script were not filmed. There were huge gaps in the story, and the narrative that Lesley-Anne had carefully constructed no longer worked. After trying to reconstruct it for some time, she eventually approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming in as a fresh pair of eyes, to look at the footage that had actually been shot and construct a new narrative. I agreed and began looking at it in January. We had reached the stage where we had a new structure but one of the first things I identified was the need to add a narrator – because the story simply did not flow without one. I began watching, cataloguing and making notes on every piece of footage, while the video editor made up rough cuts and selected the best footage from the raw materials.

And then, I got sick. And that set us back for about a month, while I recovered. Sorry about that. My bad.

That delay meant we were going to miss getting a rough cut together for a deadline we needed to hit for the chance to pitch the documentary to networks, so we had to change tack. We focused on getting a couple of trailers ready for the deadline instead. So we started work on that. Then I heard that Lindsey had been in touch and wanted to buy the rights to the footage and the whole project. So we stopped, obviously. There was no point in trying to put together a documentary we weren’t going to make.

Gregg and Lesley-Anne at Big Baby have put years of work into this project. It was Gregg’s idea, after coming across Lindsey’s blog. So far, they’ve earned, to my knowledge, nothing for all that work. They’ve put their own money into it and they’ve used funding to pay other people (not including me, I should clarify, as I agreed to work on a contingency basis – i.e. I’d get paid if and when they did) and cover expenses. So they were prepared to sell the rights and footage at a fair price. What Lindsey was prepared to offer was nothing like what they felt was a fair price for their hundreds of hours of work. She obviously felt it was what she was prepared to pay, but the two figures were miles apart and there was no realistic room for negotiation. So the deal didn’t go through. These things happen.

We were ready to start working again, when I then heard that Lindsey had decided she wanted to pull out completely and retracted permission to use her footage. That meant we’d have to look at a completely different format, without any of the material she appeared in. That was when Lesley-Anne and Gregg came up with the idea of a web series using the excellent footage they have of a variety of fascinating experts talking about the early anatomists and the people who died. And it will be a great series, which anyone interested in the topic will enjoy, I guarantee it. You will see things you’ve never seen before.

But that’s not the main reason I’m writing this. The main reason is this: Big Baby seem to have been turned into some sort of cartoon villains and are getting some ridiculous abuse from people who simply don’t know the story and have jumped to conclusions. Gregg and Lesley-Anne have been and are still working their asses off (to the neglect of other projects) to make MDS happen and are trying to field complaints and abuse while they’re at it due to a situation they did not ask for.

There are no bad guys here, just a project partnership that didn’t work out. Lindsey couldn’t write the script; Lesley-Anne did; Lindsey wouldn’t film the parts she hadn’t researched; the footage was full of narrative holes and that directly led us to here.

In an ideal world, the documentary would be finished now, we’d all be watching it and toasting how cool it is. It’s not an ideal world. Stuff doesn’t always work out the way you expect. But what I can guarantee you is that neither Gregg nor Lesley-Anne are liars, thieves or any of the other nasty, uninformed things I’ve read them being called. They’re a couple of extremely committed, hard-working, honest professionals doing their damnedest to make the best documentary they can. I absolutely stand by both of them, both as professionals and people.

Here’s to seeing MDS online as soon as possible. You’re going to love it.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

How I decided to vote Yes

I believe in representative government.

I believe people should be able to vote for the representative or party whose stated priorities and policies most closely reflect their own.

I believe a party that is elected on a manifesto should have a legal obligation to act in line with that manifesto.

I believe that if politicians lie to the public or Parliament, they should face criminal prosecution.

I don't believe any of those things are unreasonable.

They're also the main reasons I've been convinced to vote Yes in the Independence Referendum.

I was a big supporter of AV. I still am. And, other than Conservatives, who benefit the most from a First Past the Post system, I still cannot fathom why everyone else isn't. Why wouldn't you want a government that actually reflects the priorities of the county's population, unless you know that your priorities are so marginal that they'll never be heard?

The Labour Party's split approach to the concept befuddled me. Why would they want to perpetuate a system which allowed such an unrepresentative party as the Conservatives to periodically take control of the country? I could only see a few explanations: they prefer to swap outright power back and forth with the Conservatives and keep the Lib Dems and the Greens on the margins, rather than regularly sit in coalition with one or both of those parties; or they don't actually believe in the long-term viability of their own policies and believe the country needs an occasional Tory government to do ... something. Make a mess, perhaps, so they can always point and say "at least it's better than it was under them". I really don't know. Somebody should ask them.

The argument that AV would have allowed lunatic fringe parties like the BNP to gain power was always disingenuous. AV required any candidate to receive some form of approval (1st, 2nd or 3rd choice, etc.) from at least 50% of the electorate to win. To suggest that 50% of the electorate of ANY seat in Britain would support the BNP to any degree seems desperately unlikely to me.

In the 2010 General Election, their best performing candidate, based on actual votes and percentage of votes received, was party leader Nick Griffin. He polled 14.8% of the vote in Barking. Even if we make the ludicrously tenuous assumption than every UKIP voter would have given Nick Griffin their second preference, he'd only have managed 17.7% of the vote - leaving him just behind the Conservative candidate on 17.8%. And even in the hypothetical situation where somehow he'd ended up above the Conservative candidate and got every second preference from Conservative voters, the total percentage from Conservative, UKIP and BNP is just 36.5% of the vote.

That's right, in their best performing seat, the best result the BNP could have hoped for under AV was 36.5% of the vote, assuming all right-wing voters gave them a preference. But the No to AV campaign pretended that AV would have somehow increased their chances of being elected.  In fact, it would have been much harder for a fringe party like the BNP to get elected, because they would have needed 50% approval from any electorate.

There was a very good reason the BNP were supportive of the NO to AV campaign. Because the argument that it would benefit them was not only a flawed argument, it was the exact opposite of the truth.

It was a lie.

So, how does that bring me to supporting Independence? Here are some more stats from that 2010 General election:

The percentages of the UK vote won by each of the UK national parties was as follows:

Conservative 36.1%
Labour 29%
Lib Dem 23%
UKIP 3.1%
BNP 1.7%
Green 1%.

Now, if we split those votes along roughly Left / Right lines (without getting into the debate over exactly where New Labour sits on that scale these days, I'm taking Labour, Lib Dem and Green as 'left' and Conservative, UKIP and BNP as 'right'), that's 53% Left and 40.9% Right.

Yes, you read that correctly, the UK voted for a 'Left Wing' government in 2010.

So how did such a Left Wing country end up with a Right Wing government? Because our electoral system is fundamentally flawed and incapable of producing a representative government.

Now, let's do the maths within Scotland from that same election:

Labour 42%
SNP 19.9%
Lib Dem 18.9%
Conservative 16.7%
UKIP 0.7
Green 0.7
BNP 0.4
TUSC/Scottish Socialists 0.2%

Doing the same Left/Right maths (the SNP are substantially left of Labour these days), that's 81.7% Left and 17.8% Right.

Read that again. 4 out of 5 Scots voted for a 'Left Wing' party.

We are not the same as the rest of the UK. We have a different culture and different values, and those are strongly, passionately Left Wing in nature.

This is why we are not simply part of the UK family. While we may have close relationships with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we have a unique collective social identity which simply is not in line with the whole of the UK. Our government should represent us. Socialism is not a dirty word in Scotland, but it has become one in many parts of England. We would not privatise the NHS or the postal service - and yet that's exactly what Westminster are doing.

We have ONE Conservative MP. One. Yet we are living under the auspices of a Conservative government, for all intents and purposes.

This government does not represent us. It's that simple. I want one that does.

So what about that big lie? The one about the BNP and AV? How is that relevant?

Because there are lots of big lies being told in this campaign too. One of the best is that we'll be abandoning the rest of the UK to Conservative rule if we leave the Union. That's a lie.

Then there's the argument that there are too many unanswered questions about what life will be like in a future Scotland. Of course there are unanswered questions, because that will be decided by the governments we elect in future. But what that statement does is assume that the future in the UK is assured to stay the same. That is at best disingenuous and at worst a total deception. Who foresaw the privatisation of the post office at the beginning of this government? ATOS? The bedroom tax?

Here's a truth about an independent Scotland - none of those things would have happened here if we were independent.

This isn't about specifically deciding everything we do after independence in advance, it's about us having the right and the power to make those decisions for ourselves in the future and not being in thrall to a government elected by people with totally different priorities.

To be absolutely honest, if it had been on the table, I'd have voted for a Devo Max option. But it isn't. And that means I'd rather vote Yes than be forced to keep accepting Conservative governments every time the English electorate chooses one. I seriously fear that those who vote No in the hopes of some further devolution option being offered by Westminster will find that anything other than a close defeat for the Yes campaign will have this government claiming that there is clearly no appetite for Independence OR further devolution in Scotland and leaving their vague promises of jam tomorrow as nothing more than electoral rhetoric.

If we want Scotland run along the lines of our values and priorities, we have to vote Yes in the referendum - whether we win that vote or not, I believe we need a strong showing for Independence in order to hold the government to their dangled promises of more devolution if we do stay in the UK.

And those are the reasons I'll definitely be voting Yes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Own Private Supergroup

My mind wandered off earlier and landed on the topic of creating my very own supergroup. I decided to stick to living and currently active musicians, in the vague hope that it could actually happen one day.

As it turned out, every one I picked for an instrument can actually sing and be the frontman/woman as well, so they could end up being very Beatlesy.

Drums: Has to be Dave Grohl. Coolest man alive(tm) and nicest guy in rock, apparently. Plus, he was in Nirvana AND fronts the Foos, along with sometimes being in QOTSA and Them Crooked Vultures. He is, in fact, my main reason for hoping this could happen - the guy loves to collaborate.

Bass: Speaking of guys who love to collaborate - Jack White. I love the Raconteurs' second album and I can't think of a better bass-led tune than Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.

Lead Guitar: I nearly picked the person I'm putting on rhythm guitar for this, but decided I couldn't really look past Matt Bellamy of Muse. Epic, epic stuff, plus he can sometimes sit in on piano if my pianist fancies standing up to sing.

Piano: Tori Amos. No competition. Nobody makes a piano sing the way she does. Haunting, joyful, sad, explosive - I'm not entirely sure she's human - in a good way.

Rhythm Guitar: A slightly left-field choice, but I think his acoustic style could blend interestingly into the rest of the band and I love his sound - Sam Duckworth of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly fame.

Vocals: Anybody who knows me knows it's Eddie Vedder. Of course it's Eddie Vedder. But I've also opted to add Tanya Donelly of Belly and Throwing Muses as I reckon the two of them could produce something amazing together.

There you go - my own personal supergroup. If any millionaires want to throw me a surprise 40th birthday next year, this would be a REALLY good present.

What's your dream supergroup?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Agnosticism and Me

I've been thinking about writing this blog for a while.

I used to describe myself as an optimistic atheist, because, while I found it impossible to believe in a higher being, I really hoped that I was wrong - as least as far as the fact that I didn't much fancy the idea of ceasing to exist when I die. I hoped, simply, that I would live on in some form. I imagine most people do, really.

However, after some thought, I decided to change that description to 'agnostic', because I felt it was a better description of my thoughts and feelings on the subject.

But since then I have found something interesting - everybody else seems to have a somewhat low opinion of the idea of being agnostic. A Christian friend of mine once described it to another Christian - who didn't know what it meant - as meaning "They don't know what they believe." Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, basically calls agnostics fence-sitters and argues they should follow the logic to decide that it is at least most likely that atheists are correct.

Both of these annoy me. So I'm going to address them.

First, however, I'm going to say that I have no beef with anyone's religious beliefs and everyone is very much welcome to believe whatever they choose. In fact - that's one of my points - I don't think anyone can "choose" to believe anything. Either you are convinced of something, or you are not. You believe it or you don't. And no religion has ever been able to convince me that they are the one, in all of history, to have got it right. That's it.

Why not? Well, even if I found one of the various books attractive, what does it have to argue that it is more accurate than the other ones? Why the Bible and not the Koran? Why the Old Testament but not the New One? I'm just not convinced. And as for them being attractive, women seem to get a raw deal in the main religions I know about, and that makes them extremely unattractive to me, as someone who firmly believes in equality for everyone - including women and homosexuals.

But that doesn't mean that I don't know what I believe. I know exactly what I believe. I believe that it is impossible to know one way or another what happens after we die and whether or not there is a god or gods until then. And I can live with that. I accept the unknowable and embrace it. Life's mystery. I'm happy to live my life and take the consequences, if there are any, at the end. And if all there is is oblivion - well then I won't be around to be disappointed about it, will I?

On the other hand, Richard Dawkins - whose book I stopped reading halfway through because I found a number of his argument specious and flawed - says I'm a fence-sitter. I should accept that science suggests there is no need for a creator to explain the universe. Well...

You may or may not know that the Big Bang theory - science's biggest theory for the creation of the universe - is fundamentally flawed. I didn't know this until recently myself. Firstly, the universe is too ordered for a normal explosion, which should have sent things flying off in different directions at different speeds. So there is an odd theory of 'inflation' to account for this, whereby "something" caused everything to expand up to a certain point in a perfect sphere - like a balloon - before all exploding and shooting off at exactly the same speed.


Then there's dark matter. For physics as we understand them to work, space doesn't make sense. So science has invented dark matter - which nobody has yet been able to find any way to measure or even confirm it exists - but it must do or else the universe would all collapse.

And then there are the other questions - where did the dust and gas come from in the first place? What was there before that? Nothing? What did that look like? How and why did something come into existence from nothing?

None of these questions have answers, but Dawkins' argument that of course science is still learning is perfectly valid. Yes, one day we may understand all of this. But we don't. Not currently. So why is the "most logical" conclusion that there is no god? He seems to want to assume his own hypothesis on the basis that he thinks science will eventually prove it. Well, the logical conclusion is actually that we don't have enough information to make a decision one way or another. And even if we did understand how it all happened, that doesn't explain why, does it? Does an understandable, traceable explanation of the way the universe developed preclude the idea of a guiding hand behind it all? I don't think so.

So there it is. I am agnostic because I believe, after a lot of thought, that it is the only logical, intelligent solution to the wonders of existence and creation. Simply put, we don't have enough information.

If I'm still around after I die, I'll pop back and let you know who was right.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Why the US should build a mosque at Ground Zero

If you read the title of this blog post and immediately thought "Absolutely not. Over my dead body." then please read on, because you may be exactly the kind of person I want to speak to.

I recently had a debate with a family member about this very topic. Just after Bin Laden was killed, actually. His response was along the lines of: "That's easy for you to say - how would you feel if it was your family they had killed?" Well, that's my point, really: Who are "they?"

Well, "they" were Muslim Extremists. Not Muslims - Muslim Extremists. These are two utterly different things and one of the biggest obstacles to defeating Extremism is the failure by Western Judeo/Christian countries to be able to tell the difference between the two.

Hamas called the death of Bin Laden another casualty of the "War on Islam". In reality, there is no War on Islam. There has been a "War on Terror" (sic). (Let's not get into a debate about the folly of waging war on an emotion, that's another blog post.)

One of the biggest and, I believe, very valid criticisms of the invasions of Afghanistan and, much more so, Iraq, is that they are fueling the recruitment of more terrorists by giving extremists something to point to and say: "See? They hate Islam. They are at War with Islam." And they have.

This is what I'd like to ask: "What more effective way could there be for America to show that they are NOT at war with Islam than to build an Islamic holy building on the site of the worst terrorist atrocity on American soil?"

Seriously. Give me a more symbolic gesture to clearly say: "We do not hate Islam. We do not blame Islam."


Build a mosque at Ground Zero and the terrorist recruiters claiming the US is at war with Islam will have a much harder time. It would be a huge symbolic getsure and a huge victory over terrorist recruitment. It would be a huge step towards peace.

However, there are several problems which will prevent it from happening. First, too many people really do think Muslims are collectively responsible for 9/11. For example:

"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington," former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich said. "We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There is no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

A major American political figure who can't distinguish between followers of a peacful religion and extremist terrorists. (This is a man considering running for President, by the way.) Sadly, his attitude is not atypical.

For the record, Newt, the Nazis DID kill millions of Jews and the Japanse army, under orders from their government, DID kill hundreds at Pearl Harbor. Muslim Extremists killed thousands at 9/11. Not Muslims.

Equating Muslim Extrmists with Muslims is the equivalent of equating the Ku Klux Klan with all Christians. Are you happy with that, Newt? I suspect not.

First, America needs to understand that Islam is not the enemy, just as much as Muslims need to know that America is not at war with Islam. And those two things can only happen if there is a clear lead taken on exactly that front.

Again, though, what better way than to build a mosque at Ground Zero and use the discussion it will inevitably inspire to clearly make those points?

Sadly, it won't happen - certainly not soon. Obama can't do it - not before re-election anway. There are already too many Americans who suspect him of being a Muslim and, sadly, who consider that a problem with him being their President. If he hinted at doing this, he'd drop like a stone in the polls.

The real "War on Terror" should be a matter of waging peace wherever possible.

If we really want to conquer "Terror", first we have to conquer ignorance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What do you believe in?

I've been having a few debates recently regarding the Alternative Vote referendum.

If that first sentence almost put you off reading any more, let me just quickly plead with you to give me a minute to be more interesting.


What do you believe in? What's important to you? What do you want to be important to your government?

These are the questions you should be asked at every election. It should be a simple process: Which party most closely represents the values you hold dear? Then you vote for them.

But currently, there's a good chance you don't. Maybe you vote for one of the two parties you believe, or have been told, can win in your constituency, because you would rather have them than the other lot. Or maybe you don't vote at all, because voting seems to make no difference. And maybe you're tired of all the negative, mud-slinging campaigning and utterly disillusioned with politics.

If any of these things is true for you, or even if you do vote for the party you actually believe in but feel it's a futile effort, then you are exactly the kind of person who should be beating a path to vote for AV next month. Because AV gives you a real voice. It means you don't have to waver about who you SHOULD vote for, you can vote for the party you really, truly support, and then use your alternative vote rankings to show who you would support if you can't have your first choice.

It's a very simple system that the No campaign want to make sound very complicated. You just rank the candidates in order of preference, until you no longer have one. 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, even. Anybody can do that. Anybody can understand that. It's really, really that simple.

Don't be put off by the complicated explanations you'll see of how the votes are counted. As Vince Cable pointed out, it's the same system they use on the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and all these other reality shows. The act (candidate) with the lowest votes is eliminated, and then everybody gets to vote again. Except instead of holding another vote, they simply refer to your ballot and see who you prefer out of who is left. So you only have to vote once, but your vote will be counted for every round, as long as you have ranked one of the remaining candidates. This continues until there is one winner. In America, they call the system "Instant Runoff".

It's that simple.

Don't be put off by the lies you'll hear, either. The No campaign want you to believe that minority party votes will have more power. It's a lie. In each round, every vote counts once. Every vote.

What would this system mean, practically? How will it affect you?

Again, simple.

Your vote will never be wasted again and you never have to vote out of fear for who might win.

Because the ranking system allows you to express preferences out of all of the candidates, you can vote for your first choice first, even if you don't believe they can win. After that, if there's a candidate you don't want to win, you can rank as many other candidates as you like, showing your preference for those. As a cartoon I saw recently said, it's like asking for something from the shops, but letting your friend know what else you'd like, just in case they don't have what you really wanted. We do it all the time in life. Everybody does. It's so easy.

You never have to change your vote out of fear again.

And the other beauty of the system is this: The bigger parties in any constituency are going to have to reach out to voters from smaller parties if they want their second or third preference votes. Do you care passionately about Green issues? Vote Green first - then see who else's Green agenda is the best and rank them second. Want to see the UK out of the EU? Vote UKIP first, then rank the other parties on their EU policy. Always wanted to vote Lib Dem, but vote Labour to prevent a Tory victory? Never again. Vote Lib Dem and rank Labour second - or third!

Not only that, but the rise in first preference votes for smaller parties, which should follow in a change to AV, will give the bigger parties a more true picture of the amount of support there really is for smaller parties across the country, meaning they'll know just how important certain issues are to people like you.

The Alternative Vote system is about empowering EVERY voter to have a say in who their local MP is and, by extension, who runs the country. The winner of each election will be the candidate with the most broad support in their constituency.

You may not care about AV right now, but you should. Because whatever you DO care about, AV is going to make it easier to support it. It's going to give you a much more powerful voice in politics and in government.

It will NOT, as has been said, be more likely to install far right parties, like the BNP, in government. Quite the opposite. For that to happen, over 50% of voters in any constituency would have to rank them. They know themselves that's never going to happen. That's why the BNP are in the NO camp.

AV is about making your vote yours. It's about letting YOU vote for what YOU are passionate about.

Please go out and vote for the Alternative Vote system next month.

Let's demand that our politicians ask us, "What do you believe in?" not "What are you afraid of?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm Feeling Good

I received an email today that made me feel pretty damn good about myself. I didn't do much, I just signed an online petition about something that I found atrocious a few months ago.

Look what we accomplished:

"Dear Justin,

A small group of lesbian activists from the poverty-stricken townships of Cape Town walked into South African parliament on Monday and convinced their government to finally start fighting the country’s decades-old scourge of "corrective rape" -- where men rape lesbian women to "turn" them straight. You made that moment possible.

Late last year, these activists called on the world to help them pressure their leaders to take action on corrective rape. We answered their call, and more than 170,000 members from 163 countries joined with them, making this the largest campaign of all time on

Three and a half months later, they succeeded. Teaming up with 23 major South African organizations, they got some of the most powerful officials in the country to agree to bring together various government arms and civil society groups to develop and implement a national action plan to combat corrective rape.

The ministry officials asked for details of specific cases in need of immediate attention, committed to a series of meetings beginning in six weeks, and promised to present concrete proposals to prevent corrective rape by the next meeting.

It’s an astounding victory, far beyond what we ever could have imagined when we set out late last year. Now these activists need your help holding the government accountable for its commitments.

If there was any question about the effect you had, the chief of staff himself confirmed it: At one point in the session he explicitly said, in a pleading voice, "Please don't petition us again."

But that’s exactly what we need to do. The government is making a series of urgent decisions on sexual violence legislation in the next few weeks, and South African activists need your help in pressuring them to follow up their words with tangible action:

Your work led to overwhelming international press coverage of the campaign, taking corrective rape from an unspoken epidemic to a prominent international issue. In the last two weeks alone, the campaign against corrective rape has been covered by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Seattle Times, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, MSNBC, Dan Rather, Forbes, Yahoo! News, Salon, and dozens of global outlets from Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Spain, and even a Finnish tabloid.

An elated Luleki Sizwe Founder Ndumie Funda (pictured to the right, alongside the chief of staff from the Ministry of Justice) called it "an incredible achievement…I humble myself to the 170,000 people from all over the world who made this possible. It was about time this happened."

There is still much to be done, but every member should be proud about what has been accomplished here. In just 100 days, a tiny group of township activists have managed to mobilize more than 170,000 people from 163 countries and engaged the highest levels of government to address their demands. That’s incredible.

Thanks for lending your voice.

- Weldon and the team"

I may have been one of 170,000 people, but because 169,999 other people all did the same as me, we helped make a genuine change and improve the lives of people we've never met.

I love the internet.