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Online support for Lauri Love reaches fever pitch ahead of extradition appeal hearing

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!

“The Rhyming Guide to Lauri Love” can be viewed on Potent Whisper’s facebook page and was produced by the Rainbow Collective.

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 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.

More information on Potent Whisper can be found on his twitter account @PotentOfficial and website

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.