With less than a week before Lauri Love’s appeal against extradition to the United States is heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, campaigners are stepping up the pressure to make sure he receives a trial at home.
Celebrated London-based spoken word artist Potent Whisper has just released “The Rhyming Guide to Lauri Love”, a brilliant nine minute poetic exposition of the background to Lauri Love’s case and his fight against extradition. The piece takes in social attitudes to hackers, the story of Aaron Swartz and the key issues raised by Lauri’s case.
Lauri Love’s British, he’s been investigated here
The UK police said that he was in the clear
Now all of a sudden they want to make him disappear
(Without any evidence)
And they think that we will just… cheer?
I mean, Trump’s over there saying our system isn’t adequate
And Amber Rudd is just lapping it up and having it
It’s like, whatever happened to your Brexit Britain?
Where you decide what happens, where you make the decisions
You rejected Europe and their court’s authority
Now you let America smash your British sovereignty!
Potent Whisper often takes on pressing socio-political issues in his work. His last spoken word video, “Grenfell Britain”, received 400,000 views in its first month and led to the artist being hailed as one of Kensington’s “poet laureates” in Parliament by local MP Emma Dent Coade.
“The Rhyming Guide To Lauri Love” has been released online, in the midst of a vociferous online campaign in support of Love as he fights against extradition and a potential 99 year prison sentence in the US. The #TrialAtHome campaign, with its own dedicated support website at http://laurilove.info/ and supporting online radio broadcasts, has been running twelve-hour twitter campaigns on the three successive Sundays leading up to Love’s appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice, reaching its culmination on Sunday 26 November. On its first Sunday event alone, the campaign produced tweets from 350 contributors across the UK, Europe and the United States, reaching an estimated audience of over a million twitter users.
Lauri Love’s appeal will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 November, in front of the Lord Chief Justice Sir Ian Burnett. Nearly 160 supporters have registered their intention to attend on facebook.
The Rhyming Guide to Lauri Love By Potent Whisper As children, we were told glorious stories Of giants and legends and heroes and glory Stories of dragons and magical powers We’d listen and wish that the stories were ours But all the best stories are ones that are true And some of those children became heroes too So I’ll tell you a story they’ll tell in the future And you could be part of the cast if you choose This is a true story of hackers and rebels Anonymous angels and danger and devils Of kidnap and robbery, dungeons, heroes Modern technology, ones and zeros This is a story you couldn’t make up Of one man versus the USA Gov One man they’re literally trying to abduct This is the story of a man named Love Lauri Love is a man known for hacking Hacking’s a modern day version of magic But when I say “hacker” most people panic They associate hacking with crime and damage People imagine them as password reading Hooded, attacking, bank account thieving, crooked, scamming, anonymous, cheating, sneaking enemy’s generally stealing And in some cases, that’s all true I’ve been a victim, I know it’s the truth These are the things that some hackers do But there’s also good hackers too Hacking is a skill, which can have many uses Depending on the person who chooses to use it It’s like martial arts, in many respects You can use it to attack, or you can use it to defend And there’s a lot of hackers who use their skills for good They know that they can and they feel that they should So they fight for human rights and risk their lives for the cause And one of those hackers was called Aaron Swartz Aaron was a kind and talented man He achieved so much and had even bigger plans He had the whole world in the palm of his hands But Aaron wanted everyone to have what he had One day, Aaron copied some science from an academic archive He believed that education shouldn’t have a set price But Aaron got caught and he was punished by the system With 13 charges and up to 50 years in prison Now, Aaron copied science. No one got harmed at all Why should the state view the case as one that’s chargeable? 50 years in prison for that is almost farcical If Aaron hasn’t killed himself... it might be laughable In 2013 Aaron Swartz hanged himself Only 26 years old, so he was young as well That potential punishment scared him to death 50 years inside didn’t reflect the crime alleged Naturally his family wanted him avenged And hackers around the world then exacted their revenge A group called Anonymous attacked the guilty government They hacked every one their major websites, every one of them The US Army, the Federal Reserve, NASA, the FBI Their pride was hurt America was livid, this wouldn’t be forgiven The Government wanted blood or at least someone prison But they didn’t know who did it, so they chose a name... in Britain... And the US Gov decided Love would be their victim In 2013 at his family address, undercover agents made Love’s arrest They seized his equipment and took him to the station where NCA agents began the investigation But 9 months later, the police had no developments They stopped investigating him, they’d gathered no intelligence It might have been a test for them but none of them were negligent They never took it further cos there wasn’t any evidence So Love returned home to continue with his life It was hard but he started to recover from the trauma But one year later the police then decide they’ll arrest him again, on America’s orders Love was told that he faced extradition This means the US wanted to steal him from Britain Bring him to America to face their justice system Where Love would face up to 99 years in prison Now this, for many reasons, is a dangerous situation Dangerous for Love and for us as a nation There’s lot’s of different angles and many implications So I’m gonna break it down cos this deserves consideration Now first of all Why should Love be sentenced in the USA when the crime allegedly took place in the UK? They can use the Treaty, if the crime was committed there But they say it wasn’t, so how is extradition fair? Lauri Love’s British, he’s been investigated here The UK police said that he was in the clear Now all of a sudden they wanna make him disappear (Without any evidence) And they think that we’ll just… cheer? I mean, Trump’s over there saying our system isn’t adequate And Amber Rudd is just lapping it up and having it It’s like, what ever happened to your Brexit Britain? Where you decide what happens, where you make the decisions You rejected Europe and their courts authority But then you let America smash your British sovereignty! It’s like they tell us what to do and we just submit to them Why should Love be tried there? The whole thing’s ridiculous I reject American authority in Britain I believe in British justice for British citizens Their justice is political, ask any American It’s a fact, their judges are chosen by the president Our judiciary is fully independent We don’t deal with politics, our system deals with precedent Now in this case a precedent has already been set By Theresa May, a name you wouldn’t expect She opposes extradition and opts for British judges Whenever it’s clearly in the interest of justice (This is called the ‘Forum Bar’) So the one main question we all have to ask Is whether extradition can be a just demand If Love was sent there would justice really come to pass? Or would justice better function under UK command? Now the first thing to consider is Love’s mental health condition Love has depression and Asperger’s Syndrome Their mental health care wouldn’t be adequate or fair So love would be at high risk if he went to prison there And he would - end up in prison He wouldn’t get bail, he’d go straight to prison The US routinely denies hackers bail So he’d have to fight his case from the confines of jail That means limited phone and internet time Which means a limited ability to fight How would he defend himself without proper access to evidence and everything that’s crucial to his rights? And bare in mind, it wasn’t just one case they threw at him There’s three durastications who are all are pursuing him It could take years for him to win one defence And then he’d have another two, so he’d have to start again It would never end. That’s if he gets the trials We should all be honest, we’re never gonna see them The truth is, he’ll never stand trial in the US And that is for definite, for one of two reasons: 1 - the plea bargain How can I explain this... You know in the movies, when they’re in the courthouse The judge, the jury, the defendant, the full crowd There’s a full trial and you can see the whole show But with a Plea Bargain, this is how it goes: “You’re looking at 100 years in prison. Are you Guilty?” You know you’re not guilty, so you say “I’m not” “Well, we’ll only give you 20 if you say that you’re guilty” So you say you’re guilty cos that difference is a lot! That’s a plea bargain. So then, there’s no trial. The jury’s never sent for You never get the chance to present your defence in court The alleged victim never has to prove your guilt And you go to jail for milk you never spilt Now the other reason Love would never get a trial Is because he’d kill himself before he goes a single mile Love would take his own life before any extradition And I think I’d do the same facing 99 in prison In America, with Asperger’s syndrome Against their government, who runs their legal system Three separate cases in three jurisdictions The whole world is watching, they need your conviction... Love would kill himself. And for what? What was the crime? Was it a crime without a victim? Did Love commit a crime? What evidence was given? Should someone be imprisoned when they haven’t been convicted? Isn’t someone innocent until it’s proved they did it? Let Love defend himself, give the man his day in court In the same country that he lives in, where he was born Then if it turns out that he did what you thought Then of course, he should be punished in accordance with the law Love’s just another normal member of the public He’s never said he shouldn’t be tried in front of judges If anyone implies otherwise they’re talking rubbish What he’s asking for *is* the process of justice This isn’t just about Love, it’s about our system It’s about sovereignty and British jurisdiction It’s about the forum bar and future extraditions It’s about the truth and due process in Britain So if they think they’re gonna break him, they’re mistaken If they wanna come, the whole of Britain will be waiting Hundreds could literally physically blockade him Screw the US government They’re never gonna take him No Love for US Gov. THE END