Hannah Dee

Working for the clampdown - the police and the cuts

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These are troubling times for the police. The march against cuts by 30,000 off-duty officers in May took place against a backdrop of widespread revulsion at police involvement in News International's illegal phone hacking operation, a scandal which has already led to the resignation of two of the Metropolitan Police's most senior police officers, Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates.

The Leveson inquiry has revealed the scale of collusion between police officers, government ministers and News International staff, providing ample evidence of police complicity in a deliberate cover-up of illegal hacking. It would generally be considered unusual for the police to wine and dine with suspected criminals. Yet Paul Stephenson met with News International chiefs 18 times in the course of the "failed" investigations into hacking.

Homophobic attacks: A rise in hate?

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Thousands of people gathered at a vigil in Trafalgar Square last month where just weeks earlier Ian Baynham, a gay man, had been battered to death by teenagers.

The attack hadn't taken place in some dark back street but in front of surveillance cameras in the centre of a city that many young people have regarded as the safest place in which to come out.

Battle for Haditha

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Director: Nick Broomfield; Release date: Out now

Before the Iraq war, most people had probably never heard of Haditha - a small Iraqi town now famous for a massacre that has become a symbol for all that is wrong with the war. It took place on 19 November 2005, after a roadside bomb exploded killing a young marine. In the following five hours US troops went on the rampage killing 24 people, including a wheelchair-bound man and a three year old child.

G is for gay liberation

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The modern gay liberation movement was born out of two nights of rioting in June 1969 after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York.

The rioters, once dismissed as "sick" or "perverted" by many, took inspiration from the anti-war and black power movements. Chanting "Gay power", they started a mass movement that changed the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people forever.

Gay liberation has come a long way. In the last decade alone we have seen six legislative changes in favour of gay rights. Attitudes have shifted - a recent poll found 90 percent supportive of gay rights, yet only 20 years ago 70 percent of the British public thought homosexuality was "always or mostly wrong".

Playing for the Moment

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The Bays are one of the most exciting bands in Britain, with an innovative and unique sound. Yet you won't find their music in record shops. Band member Simon Richmond talks to Hannah Dee and Martin Smith.

You have made a choice not to make records. Is that because of a musical ideology?

There are two ways of looking at it, and we kind of like to have it both ways. On the one level it isn't really an ideology. It's what musicians have always done, which is perform and entertain. The recorded music industry is about 100 years old whereas performed music is as old as humanity. The choice to perform and not record is more in tune with what the spirit and essence of making music is all about.

How to Win Hearts and Minds

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Review of 'Pax Britannica: A Hellish Peace', Aquarium Gallery, London

When Peter Kennard was commissioned by Orange for their 'Peace on Earth' show he depicted the Virgin Mary with a globe replacing her face and a CND sign as a halo. Orange refused to use the image, considering it 'unfit for grandparents and small children'. This is hardly surprising. The media have scrupulously avoided any account of the reality of war. That is why this free exhibition of the response to war by over 18 major artists is so important.

Bringing the War Home

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Review of 'Sergeant Musgrave's Dance' by John Arden, Touring

There has recently been an explosion of new and revived productions of anti-war plays. One of the most exciting is John Arden's play Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, which was first performed in 1959 and was inspired by the killing of five people by British soldiers waging a colonial war in Cyprus.

Bitter Phil

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Review of ’The People Next Door‘ by Henry Adams, Theatre Royal, London

When his local mosque was firebombed, Henry Adams responded by writing The People Next Door, a very funny play about the scapegoating of Muslims which has accompanied the post 9/11 ’war on terror‘. It also challenges prejudices around age, race and the unemployed.

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