Sun journalists have taken to Twitter to denounce the decision taken by The World Transformed , a political event, to not grant them press passes for our four-day festival of politics, arts and music taking place alongside the Labour party
conference in Liverpool next week.
The World Transformed released a statement explaining that this censorship was an act of solidarity with the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, and a show of support for the boycott of the newspaper observed by community groups
and businesses across Liverpool.
Campaigners from Total Eclipse of the S*n and the Hillsborough Justice Campaign will appear at the festival.
Eight local councils have now decided to overturn a film's BBFC 15 age rating so younger viewers can watch it.
The documentary A Northern Soul was rated 15 by the BBFC for strong language. The BBFC commented:
It includes around 20 uses of strong language and therefore exceeds by some margin anything we have ever permitted at 12A.
The film follows Steve, who struggles to make ends meet as he tries to teach hip-hop to children in Hull schools with his Beats Bus.
So far, licensing committees in Hull, Lambeth, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton, Hackney and Calderdale have downgraded A Northern Soul from a 15 to a 12A.
Phil Bates, licensing manager at Southampton City Council, said he viewed the film differently because it's a documentary rather than a drama. He explained:
We can see why BBFC awarded a 15 rating, although equally we can see why other authorities have also granted it a 12A.
The use of profane language is fairly infrequent, some of it was used at a time of stress but there were occasions when it was used as everyday language. As this is a fly-on-the-wall style film, showing life as it is, rather than a scripted film
where the language is used for effect, we felt the film warranted a 12A.
Director Sean McAllister spoke of the councils' decisions: I think they're responding as human beings. He added that Steve's language was credible and real and culturally embedded within how he speaks. He continued:
The irony is that the motivation for making this film and the heart of why this film should be seen has got the thing censored.
When people actually see it, everyone's saying 'where's the swearing?' They [the BBFC] have done a word count, which is an F count, and they've simply censored it based on that. And they've got to get over that.
When in Mission Impossible people are having their heads blown off and 12As are being granted, the whole thing is hypocritical, backward and needs reassessing. Language not used for effect
The BBFC repeated its mantra that its classification guidelines are the result of a large scale public consultation designed to reflect broad public opinion across the UK. Bit in reality the 'large scale' part of its public consultation asks a
few broad brush questions about whether people generally agree with the BBFC about ratings. The questions do not offer any more nuanced insight into what people think about swearing in the context of everyday parlance of some working
South Yorkshire Police first tweeted a straighforward poster about reporting hate crime:
Hate can be any incident or crime, motivated by prejudice or hostility (or perceived to be so) against a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Hate hurts and nobody should have to tolerate it. Report it
and put a stop to it #HateHurts
A couple of hours later the police outrageously tweeted again suggesting that people should also report non crimes like online insults:
In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop
to it #HateHurtsSY
I wonder if they they then explain to burglary victims that they are too busy to investigate such crimes because they are busy investigating non-crime internet insults.
Jungle Love is a 2012 Philippines drama by Sherad Anthony Sanchez.
Starring Gloria Morales, Mei Bastes and Martin Riffer.
A jungle in an undisclosed Philippine location hosts a middle-aged woman who runs off with a baby, two juveniles lost in sexual games, military cadets leisurely wandering about and a guide with an obscure presence. All consumed with the game of
their own lives until the jungle comes to play.
The film won an Honorable Mention (Feature Film), at the Porn Film Festival Berlin 2013.
Shadows of Fiendish Ancestress and Occasionally Parajanov on Durian Cialis is a 2017 Singapore / Japan / Philippines romance by Tze Chuan Chew.
Starring Raissa Ai, Karla MC Bautista and Paolo Dumlao.
With reference to native historical texts and the mythological and religious depiction of the Holy Whore, Chew constructs a mythology of a hermaphrodite who comes to town to impart a wisdom that proves to be too carnal and untimely. Years in the
making and strung together with documentary-like footage of orgiastic happenings, punctuated with moments of refrain into randomness, the film soon escalates into a schizophrenic psychedelia of multicultural and polymorphous sexuality.
Two films that were set to be showcased at a film festival in Grays have been banned by Thurrock Council.
The Thurrock International Celebration of Film runs from September 6th to 9th at the Thameside Theatre in Grays
The organisers were stunned to hear that council has refused them permission to screen two of the planned films. One of the festival organisers, Hi Ching, explained what has happened. He said: T
Thurrock Council has banned the films Jungle Love and Shadows Of Fiendish Ancestress And Occasionally Parajanov On Durian Cialis (pictured right) from being screened at the TIC Film Festival at Thameside Theatre because an initial assessment
suggests both films would be rated R18 and therefore can only be shown in licensed sex premises.
In both films, sexuality does indeed play a central role, but the BBFC explanatory notes state that the R18 rating is normally intended for works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation of the viewer. These two films do anything
but -- and moreover, a rating of suitable only for 18 years and over was already in place in order to make sure that only adults would be able to see these films.
Both films have been screened at other film festivals around the world. One reviewer summed up that Jungle Love accomplishes the nearly impossible task of turning what could be a lewd and perverted showcase into a mirror of our innate desire to
venture into the unknown, to abandon the clutches of good taste, and to get lost in the limitless jungle where men are but beasts among other beasts.
By banning these two films, Thurrock Council have the dubious honour of joining these two countries and doing exactly what they have done: performing censorship and stifling discussion. Both films require serious discussion about opportunities
and limits of filmic representation of sexuality -- but with its decision, Thurrock Council tried to make such a discussion impossible.
Councillor Deborah Huelin, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said:
Thurrock Council is supporting the film festival taking place at the Thameside by Thurrock International Celebration of Culture (TICC) by providing the Thameside Theatre as a venue.
The film programme includes a number of short and full length films that aim to celebrate diversity. Most of the films have not been given a rating by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) and in such cases responsibility for issuing
ratings for films to be shown in a local area lies with the local authority.
Based on an initial review by the council, it was identified that two of the films could likely be rated R18 if a full assessment were carried out under the guidelines issued by the BBFC. These types of films can only be shown in specially
licensed sex cinemas or supplied by licensed sex shops. The entertainment license for the Thameside Theatre does not allow them to show R18 films which means that these two films cannot form part of the festival.
Shadows Of Fiendish Ancestress And Occasionally Parajanov On Durian Cialis had previously been banned in Singapore in 2017. The picture had been scheduled to have its world premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, part of
the Singapore Media Festival , this week. But it was this week denied a public release certificate by Films Appeal Committee, on the grounds that it could hurt Muslim religious feelings.
A review is to take place into whether misogynistic conduct should be treated as a hate crime, following Labour MP Stella Creasy's call to change the law.
The move was announced during a debate on proposed legislation to criminalise upskirting in England and Wales. On Wednesday, MPs approved the Voyeurism Bill, which would ban the taking of unsolicited pictures under someone's clothing, known as
upskirting, in England and Wales.
'Justice' Minister Lucy Frazer said the Voyeurism Bill was not the right vehicle for seeking such a change in the law but said she sympathised with Creasy's views. She said ministers would fund a review into the coverage and approach of hate
The Law Commission will now review how sex and gender characteristics are treated within existing hate crime laws and whether new offences are needed. This review will include how protected characteristics, including sex and gender
characteristics, should be considered by new or existing hate crime law.
Update: Governments should not be policing thought
The Law Commission will review how sex and gender characteristics are treated within existing hate crime laws and whether new offences are needed.
Index does not believe the UK needs new laws to protect women from abuse and violence.
The UK already has dozens of laws on its books that make criminal the kind of abusive actions that are disproportionately targeted at women: rape, harassment, stalking. Despite this, the most egregious crimes against women frequently go
unpunished. In the case of rape, conviction rates are woeful. A report published in 2017 found that only one in 14 rapes reported in England and Wales ended in a conviction.
Creating new laws that make misogyny a hate crime will do little to change this, as lawyers argued earlier this week . Nor are they likely to help change attitudes. In fact they can do the opposite.
Laws that criminalise speech are deeply problematic. In a free society, thoughts should not be criminal no matter how hateful they are. Yet laws that make hate criminal -- in a well-meaning but misplaced effort to protect minorities and
persecuted groups -- are on the rise.
We should all be worried about this. As the US delegation noted in a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in 2015, hate speech laws are increasingly being abused by those in power to target political opponents or to persecute the very
minority groups such laws are meant to protect.
In addition, they do little to improve tolerance or treatment of such groups: Such laws, including blasphemy laws, tend to reinforce divisions rather than promote societal harmony, the US delegation said. The presence of these laws has little
discernible effect on reducing actual incidences of hate speech. In some cases such laws actually serve to foment violence against members of minority groups accused of expressing unpopular viewpoints.
As if to prove their point, Russia used the same meeting to praise hate speech laws and the need to police hate speech in Ukraine so as not to ignite nationalistic fires.
Tackling hate requires changes in society's attitude. Some of those changes need laws -- such as those we rightly already have to outlaw discrimination in the workplace. Some require major changes in our institutions to the structures and
practices that reinforce inequality. But prohibiting speech, or policing thought, is not the way to do this.
Offsite Comment: Stella Creasy's war on thoughtcrime
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick believes detectives should have access to material from social media companies within minutes. She said UK police forces had faced a very protracted procedure in such cases.
The call comes after a suspect in the murder of Lucy McHugh, 13, was jailed for withholding his Facebook password from police. Last week, Stephen Nicholson was jailed for 14 months having admitted failing to comply with an order under the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act requiring him to disclose a Facebook password.
Detectives investigating her murder say it is taking an inordinate amount of time to access evidence from Facebook.
Angus Crawford, BBC News Correspondent, explained:
Facebook is a US company and so has to abide by US laws on data protection and due process. This means they have no duty to hand any information over to a foreign police force.
Only a request via the US Department of Justice using something called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty will oblige disclosure, but this is cumbersome, expensive and can take months.
A spokeswoman for the social media company said Facebook is working closely with law enforcement and following well-established legal mechanisms. Facebook says it already has a team which works with law enforcement and they have been cooperating
with Hampshire Police on the Lucy McHugh case.
[Of course the police should get instant access to social media when pursuing people guilty of a serious crime. But of course they need to be denied the facility when pursuing innocent people being harassed for a