Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dear Mr Obama..

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Now that you're President-Elect of the United States, I thought I'd just share a few thoughts with you, mainly about Jon Burge. Now, your celebration party last night just happened to be in Chicago, where I wonder if you know that Jon Burge has been committed for trial for the torture of prisoners in custody when he was a police officer in that city.

From the 70s to the 90s, black African-American men were routinely tortured into making confessions and at the head of that torture ring was Jon Burge. Mr Obama, since so many people are hailing you as the history-making first black president of the United States, will you be doing anything about the fact that so many black African-Americans are on death row in various states of your fine country? And Mr Obama, what do you think of the numbers of children under the age of 18, who have been sent to prison in the United States with a sentence of Life without the prospect of parole?

What do you think about the fact that your country is one of the very few in the civilised world that still has the death penalty? On Tv, they keep playing that soulful blues song, "A Change is Gonna Come," and showing Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his face. They're interviewing black people all over America who are just delirious that a black guy is gonna be president. They're saying that 96% of American black voters voted for you. And I bet they're hoping that you are going to make changes for the many many poor black folks in the USA. Will you, Mr Obama? Or was the "black" ticket your passport to the White House?

You may be a black guy, but I do wonder if that is the only thing you have in common with the man in a housing project, descended from slaves, who hasn't got health insurance and cannot get a hip replacement operation. I do hope not, Mr Obama. For me, it doesn't matter what colour your skin is. What will you do as president for the millions of poor, sick and unemployed people of your country? What will you do for all those black African-Americans sitting in their cells on death row?

Maddie, Joana and criminal investigation - the hidden truth


SOS Madeleine McCann

Conferencia Maddie.jpg

"Maddie, Joana and criminal investigation - The Hidden Truth," is the chosen theme for a conference debate with anthropologist and criminologist Barra da Costa, moderated by Professor Carlos Fernandes of the University of Aveiro.

The conference will take place on November 8th, at 9.30pm, in the small auditorium of the Figueira da Foz Centre for the Arts and Exhibitions.

Very controversial because of his position on the Madeleine McCann case, Barra da Costa, former PJ inspector, is the author of a book that carries the same title as the conference.