Friday, 16 December 2011
WHY I OCCUPY BY MATTHEW HORNE
I AM REPOSTING THIS, AS I THINK AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE OUGHT TO READ IT
Why I Occupy
My name is Matthew Horne, I come from a small town in the North West called Colne, Lancashire.
I have worked in many fields and they are as follows:
Joiner at Bowden homes – building timber-framed housing in the north-west and Wales.
The military – infantry signaller with the 1st battalion Scots guards for 4 years from the age of 17 ½ – 22. I trooped the colour in 2007, have performed countless guard duties in the name of Queen and country and completed one tour of Iraq; Nov 2007 – June 2008 (Op Tellic 11)
Taught English in Thailand for a year and a half at a private school called Somapa Nussorn. Teaching up to 90 students aged 10-11 in 3 different classes as part of the intensive English program.
Freelance computer technician and website developer, maintainer and owner.
NVQ level 3 in Telecommunications
Celta – Cert 4 TESOL ( English language)
NVQ level 2 – Public services
Key skills level 2 Maths, English, IT
Why I occupy
At Occupy London I work in the Tech Group, ensuring continuation of power, lighting, communications as well as reducing the eco footprint. I also perform active roles in Tranquilly where necessary as well as helping out other working groups where my experience is needed. I also work for my own organisation called Veterans for Peace which is aimed at highlighting the reality of war and providing the public with factual information about what they are supporting and providing help for other veterans to speak and be heard. Promoting peace through non violent action. I am responsible for supporting the website veteransforpeace.org.uk as well as farangrakthailand.com and help spearhead publicity for our organisation as an early co-founder.
St Pauls has provided me with a place to utilise my skills and continue to work irrespective of the fact I don’t get paid. It has also provided a platform with which to speak out about the wars and how the financial system backed by governments and corporations have taken us down the path to war several times in pursuit of profit. There is a lot of injustice that governments, corporations as well as those that fund it need to be held accountable for. 1.4 million Iraqis died, who is responsible for that? It has also helped rebuild my faith in humanity, that all is not lost, and that there are many other like-minded people out there who wish to change the world for the better.
I have provided the camp with huge amounts of input, including restructuring the financial system in which we are using. I have provided my telecoms, electrical and computer skills to further the cause. I help out with the security structure that is in place. I have made public appearances and public speeches to help educate and highlight social injustice instigated by those at the top. I have been implementing my health and safety knowledge, worked on policies and ideas, informed larger audiences with social media, provided security and integrity for valuable equipment.
The removal of tents at St Pauls will not make the problems go away, it is easy to brush something under the carpet, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Until governments, corporations and the financial institutions open up dialogue for real change and end the corruption in which has hijacked our democracy, I believe the camp should stay and removing it will just highlight the ignorance of the above, the state of our democracy, freedom of speech and expression.
Since my return to the UK in March 2011 from Thailand I searched hard to secure work so that my fiancée would be able to return to the UK, I met her in the UK during my service in the army, she was studying at university as PA and business English, we have now been together for 4 years but due to the discriminating process of immigration I am being forced to comply with certain regulations such as the large sum of £810 to the border agency and the cost of the clearance certificate as well as legal costs. I feel that this is unfair as it breaches my right to a family life. I tried very hard to secure work but due to the current economic environment, I have been unable to find anything secure enough to satisfy immigration rules. What is wrong with simply proving our relationship and granting her the right to stay? We have all the evidence, but lack the funding which is no fault of my own.
I tried to join the BT apprenticeship program, but was rejected due to not having GCSE maths even though I have 4 years experience in telecommunications. The 3 hours I spent filling out the form was wasted as it didn’t even reach the eyes of another human being. Out of desperation I sought alternative means of funding by working for myself fixing computers, it made some money but not much. I have had many sleepless nights worrying about how I am going to solve this money related issue, the banks refused to re mortgage my home even though there is plenty of equity. The £7000 which could be released would have solved my problem of getting her over here as it would have satisfied immigration’s demand of supporting ones self. If I were a politician I would have been able to avoid all this process due to status, but as I am just a normal person I am denied my rights.
I had a job in Thailand teaching English which I enjoyed but once again political demands of needing a degree to stay permanently meant that I could no longer stay and had to leave or face jail and deportation. Even though I have the capacity to develop in many fields with experience in many working environments; the fact that I lack GCSEs is used against me. The processes of automatic emailing systems which use algorithms to detect patterns of suitability rely on key words in order to determine if someone is acceptable to be employed, overriding the human contact when attempting to gain employment. Also I wish to understand why after the death of 1.4 million Iraqis no one has been charged for these crime against humanity. This is the worst form of racism. Racism was used as a tool to alienate and dehumanize the Iraqi people so that soldiers could justify their actions. Tony Blair walks free while millions suffer due to his actions. Indiscriminate killings go on ignored while those who bankrolled it live in luxury. My personal experience of war and discrimination led me to seek justice and it is something that I will continue to fight for now until death. We live in a world in which money equals power and those who have no money are kicked aside as unproductive, lazy and idle.
I could be very productive but I am denied my rights to a decent job, one that allows me to fulfil my potential and live a decent life. I served my country, but my country does not serve me, it has kicked me aside and refused to help me in any way to do the right thing and grant me permission have my family life. The haunted nights and images of injustice seen in Iraq have left their mark deep in my mind. There is a darker side to our governments, backed by corporations and financial institutions who put aside humanity and compassion because it is seen to yield low profits. Millions live in misery at the hands of these people, including myself. The only way to clear my conscience it to seek the truth and open up this dark chapter of a system built by a ruling class.
The occupy movement has provided a platform in which people can stand and be heard. The countless years of ignorance by our governments shows an out of touch system which has no concept of how the rest of us live. They make decisions on our behalf, but when we object they simply carry on like we are not there. Only when they want our votes do they seek to connect to the public. The Iraq war was heavily opposed by over 90% of the population and yet they used our name to wage an illegal war, damaging the good people of this country and projecting an image around the world that we are a warmongering nation which is simply not true, many here do not hope for war. We send our young soldiers to do the dirty work with strong reasons to believe that corporations are influencing governments’ decisions to declare war in the first place.
Why do we not go to countries that have no resources? Because it is not profitable, then the British people are misinformed and mislead to support what our soldiers are doing, but if only they knew the truth. To add to insult we are marked as heroes. There is nothing heroic about busting down someone’s door and raiding the inhabitants, scaring them to death, dragging the men away to unknown locations, torturing them, knowing they are innocent. There is nothing heroic about bombing someone’s home and killing everyone inside simply based on suspicion.
There is nothing heroic about driving down a road and getting blown up by a road side bomb and losing your legs, and it is certainly not heroic coming home in a box. Soldiers do not sacrifice, they are sacrificed. This is what people need to know. They deserve the truth, the families of those who have lost loved ones deserve to know why their husband, father, wife, daughter or son died and for the real reasons behind the war. It did not take me long to see through the smoke and mirrors to know what was really happening, and it is my duty to protect the British people, and to seek justice for the millions of Iraqis who suffered at our hands.
No amount of years will ever make them forget what we did; we were worse that Saddam and this government knows it, corporations don’t care about it. Halliburton stated themselves, “Good for business, bad for the people”. There were more private security in Iraq than British soldiers, these are mercenaries that kill anything and everything and are not held accountable, like BlackWater, who have yet again changed their name due to the reputation they developed in Iraq; they are an illegal organisation and justice must be done. The lies must stop. Iran is looking like the next target, how many more must die before enough is enough? Who are we to judge others, who are we to go to their land and tell them what to do and what to think? If we continue down this path of declaring war after war, then justice will one day come to us.
I have sacrificed all my comforts and put aside my personal priorities in pursuit of justice which led me to join Veterans for Peace. To sum it up, I have sacrificed everything, because I am not the most important thing in my life.
There is no one word to describe this movement, it is a symbol of freedom, justice, community and humanity.