This is an invitation to join me on a peaceful protest to be held on Monday 21st August 2017 at the Martyrs Monument, Calton Hill Burial Ground, Edinburgh.
WHAT THE PROTEST IS ABOUT:
It is a protest for anybody who has had difficulty communicating with high public office in Scotland. For some this may have been with the Scottish Government – but it need not relate to any particular institution.
This protest is for anybody who has felt that those in a genuine position of power may have acted unfairly.
Professor Walter Humes, writing in Scottish Review, 21st September 2015:
“For some time I have been copied into email exchanges concerning how complaints against public bodies are dealt with. I have no personal stake in any of the specific sources of concern (which include patient care in the NHS and responses by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to requests for formal investigations). I do, however, have a long-standing interest in issues of public accountability and am familiar with the various techniques used by bureaucratic organisations to avoid responsibility when things go wrong: these include silence, delay, evasion, buck-passing and attempts to discredit complainants.”
THE FIRST MINISTER’S “INTENTION”:
The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I intend that we will be an open and accessible Government” 26 November 2014
Prof Walter Humes, 21 September 2015:
“Those who hold high office in public bodies are very adept at defending their own interests. They may claim to support openness and transparency but those principles are not always translated into practice. Bureaucratic Scotland often falls short of the democratic ideals which are said to underpin civic life”
WHY GATHER AT THE MARTYRS’ MONUMENT:
This film by me, “The Friends of Liberty“, explains why the Martrys Monument has been chosen for this protest. The location is next to St Andrew’s House, the seat of the Scottish Government. The Martyrs Monument rises higher and has a wider view than St Andrew’s House. The Martyrs Monument was raised through public donations.
WHY the 21st of AUGUST ?:
Reason 1: The foundation stone of the Martyrs’ Monument was laid on this very day, 1844.
Reason 2: on the 21st August 2017 there will be a full solar eclipse (sometime just before 8pm) revealing the power of one orb over another and our shared need for light.
THE PERSONAL STORY MATTERS:
Here is my experience with Scottish Government. I have been, and continue to be, an active advocate for ethical considerations in all aspects of healthcare in NHS Scotland. I am proud of what I have done and of who I am.
So if you have your own story please come along and share it. Together we can make a difference.
Acknowledgement: It was Mrs Chrys Muirhead who suggested the 21st August 2017 as date for this protest. Her enquiring mind had led her to find that this date was both an anniversary of the laying of the Martyrs Monument foundation stone and also the very day, in 2017, when a solar eclipse will occur.