Pain

Freedom Documents

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 Dec 1948, adopted & proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations – resolution 217 A (111): Whereas the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conciousness of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people. Member states have pledged themselves to achieve the promotion of universal respect for and the observation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to that end, that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national & international, to secure…Article #3 every person has the right to life, liberty and security of person…Article #7 all are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law…Article #9 no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile…Article #12 no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interferences…Article #13 everyone has the right to freedom of movement…Article #16 the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection…Article #17 everyone has the right to own property. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of property…Article #25 everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care. The California Constitution declares “all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are defending life and liberty; possessing and protecting property; pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness and privacy.” But it was the U.S. Constitution that said it first and best “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches & seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.”

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A Letter from my unborn daughter, written summer 2013

My name is Sophia. I am the child that my parents decided not to get pregnant with because it would be too dangerous. No, not because of my Mum’s health. She is healthy enough, quite a bit too old now. The problem isn’t how she is, it is WHAT she is. The simple fact that there is a quiet genocide going on against gypsyTravellers and it was safer for me to not be born. Yes, that’s right. She is an American-Scottish Traveller.
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Mum is an author and a web designer. She occasionally ghostwrites as well, and that’s how I am able to communicate with you. She has agreed, for this one essay, to be the voice for someone who is really angry she can’t be born into a loving, slightly different, family because of municipal hate. Hate that makes it dangerous for me to be born is hate that needs confronting. And I think I am just the girl to do it. It’s more than likely that this letter is the only touch my soul will ever have on this world I want to join so badly. Ice cream. Cake. Puppies. Kittens. Teddy Bears. Dolls. Look, I made Mummy cry. Well, tough titty. She and Da will just have to put up with my euphoric existential longings. You didn’t think babies had such a big vocabulary, did you? Well we do, we just can’t actually speak. Really, it’s more like you can’t understand us.
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All people think there are just one type of gypsies but actually there are two groups and within those two groups even more. So the European agencies just call us gypsyTravellers but that’s a mistake as we are two completely separate people. Nor does either like the other much. Seems to me though if both groups are being destroyed by a much, much bigger group, it would make sense to get together and figure out a plan. But instead, one group blames the other for being exactly what the much bigger group hates.
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And what does the bigger group hate? That we live on wheels. That is what is the danger: that as a newborn, I would live on wheels. That’s it. The City could come take me into custody at any time. My parents’ home, since the day they met, has been on wheels. My mum was living a fully nomadic life nine months before Da came along and emboldened her to take to the National Forests, Parks and Seashores. They have been at it 20 years now. When the new law comes into effect (any day), I doubt if they will take the City of San Francisco up on their offer to store the new RV they just bought. Da finally bit the bullet and told Social Security he was too sick to work and eventually they believed him, so he bought mum – and me???!! – a nice big 1996 Gulfstream, 27’ which is just exactly the limit in the California State Parks. There’s a separate bedroom suite, with hot running water, where it’s big enough and completely private from the rest of the house where a newborn could sleep very comfortably. But noooooooooo, I can’t be born because it is an illegal form of housing, because of a municipal code that says RVs like ours are a CRIME. Ummm, let’s see, it’s only unstable because the police bang on the door at 3 in the morning. Damn it, you tell me who else but the Travellers are afraid to have a child, in America anyway?
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Let’s be clear about the very real reason my parents think that the HATE is bad enough to tell me it is better to be haunted by a dream-child rather than lose a (live) new-born baby to a city that has already lied about them again and again, in court actions, to try unsuccessfully to take my siblings away to a “real house”.
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One of the Court Petitions (Feb 1, 1998 when my sibs were 10, 8, 6 and 18 months) said the reason for requesting an investigation and a legal stay on the right-to-travel, which a petition stated was “necessary due to the family’s nomadic propensities”. Jan – May 2001 there are several social worker reports stating that “there have been no actual CPS concerns or issues since the initial opening of the case.”
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So really it’s not the actually THEM that my parents’ are worried about. It’s the people who call in about us. Oh you didn’t know, being just a spirit-baby, I can see into the neighbors’ houses, and even a bit into their hearts. Nasty black places. They come home from work, see Mum sitting by the window, teacup in hand, typing away, and they see something wrong. It irritates some part of their heart that once thought they too could be as free as they think she is … so they feel like they have to drag her out of their sight, preferably with a police net.
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Both Mum and Da, they know if I were born, as beautiful as I would be, it would rankle the neighbors even more. My Da is mostly concerned for never seeing another social worker darken his door, but in Mum’s heart is the determination to never watch another child be ashamed to step out HER front door, like she has had to watch hers do. Really, they’d actually peek outside the window to see if anyone is walking by so they won’t be stared, or worse, glared at.
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Mum says to herself, better no more babies rather to ever see another kid ashamed to tell his girlfriend that he is a Traveller’s child. Of course, what Mum doesn’t know I will be a girl, and it’s only been my brothers who’ve felt this way. My sister Zowie, she would tell her boyfriends first-date. She’s so beautiful though, it only makes her more exotic to her dates. I know her – she likes them to know for her own reasons. But it still affects her because there’s the raw fact that my nephews, can never be here after dark, much less come to live with us. Because we live on an RV. Police raids.
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THINK about it, they have Traveller blood too. They will naturally want to live this way, but mustn’t. Because the Child Protective Services could take them away. It’s like a twisted, reversed Darwinism. We are literally the last generation who live like this. You know, when I think about everything that I am missing out, because my parents were too afraid (too tired) to have a baby in the midst of such lies, hate and bigotry, it’s him, Salem Knight, and my other nephew, Jaxon, born just a few weeks apart, but all the way out in Florida, how I will miss out on being the ring-leader of a trio of pirates. Everyone knows girls make the best pirates. I just can’t believe I am not gonna make it planet-side.
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