HSBC guilty but walk free, Shaker Aamer innocent but still in Guantanamo.

You get the justice you can afford…

According to the media, the City of London’s reputation has been severely damaged by HSBC’s money laundering scandal. What rubbish. It’s favourable services offered to the drug dealing and terrorist communities is precisely what gives the City its “competitive edge.” However, the City of London’s competitors may be a little more squeamish (or tightly regulated) to profit from such rich pickings.

So what happens to those caught red handed abetting Al Qaeda and drug dealing organisations?  They resign, say sorry and promise not to do it again.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s head of group compliance, David Bagley, was faced with charges that HSBC gave terrorists, drug cartels and criminals access to the U.S. financial system by failing to guard against money laundering. The result; Bagley stated at a Senate hearing that he will step down. He has also been told to release a formal apology.

 

Compare this to how people like Shaker Aamer are treated. Shaker, a completely innocent man cleared for release but, even today, still stuck in  Guantanamo in a nightmare limbo. He had been  extraordinarily rendered from Afganistan, tortured and imprisoned for more than 10 years without trial or access to his family.

You can watch Spectacles new film on Shaker Aamer’s story here and sign the petition here.

You could also compare it to how ‘rioters’ were treated following the London riots in August 2011. Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin,  was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts that had been looted from a city centre store, and Nicholas Robinson was jailed for six months for stealing a case of water worth £3.50.

So when the media talk about restoring the “City’s reputation” what they mean is restoring the cosy myth of decent trustworthy pinstripped chaps simply being better at “invisible exports” than their counterparts in Paris, Amsterdam, New York or Frankfurt. The big mistake, as was the case for Ursula Nevin and Nicolas Robinson, was being caught. The real loss of reputation is among the drug cartels and terrorists. Can they really trust the City of London to keep their operational secrets?

One wonders what the reaction might be if the bank and bankers in question were Islamic, or from say Iran or Gaddaffi’s Libya. Would it be a completely different story…?

Spectacle has made a short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the 10th anniversary of his incarceration. Watch Spectacle’s new video on Shaker Aamer and please sign the petition @ www.freeshaker.com. Get him out of Guantanamo!

Order Spectacle’s DVD Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project pages for more information and videos.

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“Despite the City” saw today’s anti-capitalist protests

Today’s anti-capitalist revolt around the world did not start a couple of weeks ago in Wall Street, but has its roots in the 80s. The fears of “unequal redistribution of wealth”  first emerged and spread when the colonisation of the financial centers began, just when the London City annexed the docklands area. But only now the real protests have grown in power, with St Paul’s Cathedral yard and Brighton park being resolutely occupied in the past weeks.

“Despite the City” witnessed this movement of discontent since its beginnings in the 80s and documented it in a community-led video showing local residents under threat. They are filmed when confronting the planners and property dealers, who broke their promises about the “real” job opportunities. Relocating the world’s biggest banks and companies to the aptly named Isle of Dogs changed the realities of many. For sure!

You can buy this still very relevant documentary on corruption, lies and broken promises on Spectacle’s website.

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