“The Empress” by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, 2004-2010.
All rights reserved
As some of you are already aware, I have been posting evidence of censorship on my twitter account. Because this is also occurring to others, it might cross your mind that making a big song-and-dance about what is happening to me is, in some way, egotistical or self-seeking. The only way to be certain, one way or another is to examine my reasoning.
So here are my reasons for saying that censoring me might place society at some sort of risk. I say this because I have found myself in this kind of situation before and the consequences were not pretty.
Those who know me personally, whether neighbours or cyber-friends, are aware I have a criminal conviction for violence. I am not going to go into the details here but suffice it to say that censorship formed a central role in the circumstances leading up to my conviction. My conviction has consequences that will never lapse in this lifetime. My society has laid very strict rules upon my behaviour and if I fail to comply, I can be prosecuted again and would probably receive a very hefty sentence. The public found themselves at risk from me the last time I was censored. As a matter of Public Protection and speaking as a responsible adult, when someone with a criminal conviction like mine finds themselves in the same situation that contributed to their crime, it is right for society to become concerned. This is why I am making a big fuss about what is occurring on twitter.
The reason people know about my conviction is because I tell them – just as I keep telling you. I’ve been told this is a dangerous activity and have, I suspect, been recalled to prison for doing so by the probation service. If, however, I am seeking to redeem myself to the society I live in now then I believe openness and honesty are absolutely vital. If I am to successfully redeem myself, as a responsible adult, I must contribute to the protection of my community by identifying potential threats to public safety. If, within my community, there is someone once regarded as so dangerous only solitary confinement was considered secure enough and who now finds themselves censored in public, then this needs to be reported to the proper authorities as a matter of public protection – even if that person is me. There can be NO exceptions; not in a lawful society.
So, as a part of my desire to contribute to a lawful society, I am reporting myself to my local Police Public Protection officers. This might seem a very dangerous thing to do, especially in the light of my second criminal conviction – my threat to kill a police officer. Yet I find myself having little fear of doing so and here’s why.
The process of redemption is an absolute constant in a sinner’s life. It requires honesty and truthfulness. It requires courage in the face of exclusion, derision and abuse. It requires a very high standard of behaviour and it requires me to be humble in the face of my many failings. The crimes I committed have to be paid for and whilst I may have served my sentence, my commitment to my continuing redemption has to remain unrelenting. If my society believes I need to be censored, then I had better deal with it now just as I dealt with my offences a few years back.
Since my release, my contact with my local police has been minimal and as I get on well with my current neighbours, I doubt if I have given any cause for alarm. When I was on probation it was a different story. What I can be certain of is that I apologised to almost every police officer who dealt with me. Those who didn’t get a face-to-face apology can find my written apology in the files of the police board. In a lawful society, I should have no fear of the police and in my present community, I don’t. The local police have been magnificent with me. Their faults have been so minor as to be totally eclipsed by the magnanimity, kindness, humour, compassion and genuine interest of those I have met. Their capacity to deal with my eccentricities is second to none and, if they think about it, my posting something like this on the net will come as no surprise because I am nothing if not surprising. I’ve surprised a lot of people and shocked even more.
The issue of my twitter censorship may not bother the local police officers who know me but it bothers me because I find myself anxious about my relationship with them. One of the features of both my convictions was that of corruption in public office and it included the local police. All my attempts to resolve matters through established procedures failed as the direct result of unlawful orders being issued to police officers. I knew they were unlawful and the police officer I threatened to kill knew it too. The reason I threatened to kill him was because he didn’t act on that knowledge – I was too far gone, in mental health terms, to be able to see that he may have been prevented from acting. If that is the case, then I repeat the apology I made in open court. As my local police are fully aware, as part of my own redemption, I am not permitted to comply with orders I believe to be unlawful even if I bear a heavy cost for doing so. I would really rather not have to do it again but will, if needs must.
If my twitter censorship is lawful, then I believe an efficient public sector would have informed my local public protection police given the criminal convictions I so openly declare. They should know about it. This post is an insurance policy. If my local police don’t know about it, then I am ensuring that they do as a recovering criminal concerned about public protection. So I’m reporting myself to them. All I am asking them to do is make note of the situation. If they want to do any more than that, that’s none of my business unless they need me to go formal. But here is the reason why I regard this as an insurance policy.
Because I believe that my twitter censorship is unlawful, I’m going to carry on testing and reporting the results. In other words, I am liable to become a public nuisance. Whilst there are those who have no problem with this and encourage me to continue, those who act unlawfully will have to start taking further steps to shut me up… just like they did before. Given my prior experience, I would expect the following to happen. Because I will not be acting unlawfully, by a law I recognise, there will be some other attempt to criminalise me. If this occurs, it will have to be done via orders issued to my local police. If those orders are fundamentally unlawful, then I believe any public official has a duty to refuse to comply with them. If I am legally correct, then this is written into each person’s Contract of Employment, as I’m certain the local Police Federation branch can confirm. The only time public officials are permitted to act unlawfully is if they are gathering evidence of abuse in public office.
So, I say this to my local police. If you decide you need evidence of abuses in public office, then please come and get me with whatever the abusers have come up with now. Please ensure all paperwork is complete and up to date – the examination of such documents in court meant I was able to achieve a ‘Not-Guilty’ verdict to the charge of ‘Attempted Murder’. Please understand that I will be acting in my own defence, so you are asked to treat me as both perpetrator and legal representative. You can expect to be working with a friendly defendant and an experienced legal-eagle. You can expect me to think and behave, respectfully, outside the box you find yourselves in. You may be asked to answer questions from my nominated legal colleagues in any or all matters you are being ordered to prosecute. Since I am demonstrably trustworthy and reliable, you will not hold me in custody nor will you seek to curtail my on-line activities. You are welcome to monitor them. You will ensure that the matter is placed in the hands of a competent prosecutor at the CPS and that I am kept fully informed as my recognised legal representative.
As my legal representative, I ask my local police to appoint the most efficient, competent officers to the matter and that each one of them is ordered to report any ‘unofficial’ or ‘off-the-record’ conversations that occur outside the team, regardless of who that person is. Sometimes an investigation finds itself impeded by psychological subversion from someone close to the individual. If the ‘subverted’ are known to be otherwise reliable people, then how they were subverted needs to be examined. Please understand that the intentional dissemination of falsehoods is an attempt to pervert the course of justice. As an aside, I want to say here how grateful I am that my local community has so many competent women in public positions. Even if I never claim on this policy, I’m guessing that one or two of my ‘demands’ may be giving them ideas about what it means to act lawfully.
Speaking as a former shop steward, I have no problem with management when they do their job properly. If, however, they choose to become problematic, I have a tendency to reflect that. When there is collective agreement between public employers, their managers and staff, we are all working for the benefit of the whole. When that benefit is authentically held in public trust, not private corruption, the accrued power for transformative change is extended to the community as a whole. This is not a political matter at all; it begins with a woman’s lawful public concern that, I think, ought to become a community’s legal concern. When these matters are given due professional consideration this might contribute to resolving some of local and national problems. My Law begins with a woman’s law – the International Declaration of Human Rights – as mothered into creation by Eleanor Roosevelt. As a woman who is seeking to demonstrate my social responsibility, my legal basis begins there as a human being. As an Employment Law professional, I recognise a public contract as binding upon those professionals who undertake public duty. I undertake the same responsibility as my chosen public duty along the road of personal redemption. This is what I offer to my community when I undertake my understanding of public duty. It may not be some people’s idea of what public duty is but, well, I make up my own mind on this subject.
Those of us who stand in the line of fire as a public duty – and I have only ever made a nuisance of myself on behalf of and at the request of others – become very skilled at what we do. The excellent relationship I have been allowed to create in reality with my local officials tells me that I am dealing with some very experienced people. The measure is their ability to formally undertake their duty, however difficult, whilst retaining compassion and the capacity to behave in a merciful manner when called upon to do so by their conscience. This is emotional intelligence coupled with behavioural and intellectual respect. I don’t need to prove it because you have already proved it to yourselves.
By putting myself on formal report, at least in my own mind, I can begin to pull my legal case together in such a way that issues of public protection come high on the collective agenda. The last time I had to do this I think I did a fairly good job. I got a free education in psychiatric and criminal justice – seven years of unbroken study counts as a Doctorate of Law in my book.
It is my professional opinion that the censorship I am experiencing on twitter is criminal for the reason that it seeks to pervert the course of lawful justice, insofar as it appears to interfere with accurate public psychiatric and forensic observations of persons in public office. It is fair to presume accuracy because it has resulted in a need to silence me, by person(s) unknown, in an organised manner within a public forum. If my local police haven’t been informed of this, then it is fair to presume that the action is unlawful – I am, after all, a known criminal. In a lawful society, this information ought to have been passed to those whose concern for public protection is as great, if not greater, than mine. If some won’t take responsibility for their actions in this matter, it falls to me to do so as a matter of public interest.
The behaviour I hope to be manifesting by my actions is intended to provide a training model that supplies workable standards and measures of someone capable of shouldering responsibilities in public life. My legal view is that when it is manifestly plain to competent people that an individual is unfit to undertake public responsibility by reason of apparent corruption or incompetence, it is necessary to suspend them from duty whilst the matter is investigated thoroughly. If corruption is proven on a balance of evidence and reasonable suspicion, they must be removed from public office forthwith and with immediate effect because they pose an immediate danger to the community. There are all kinds of existing laws that enable such decisions should they need to be properly enforced on the grounds of mental incapacity to distinguish belief from reality. I don’t understand why they are not being applied already as any action to achieve this can only be deemed legal after the fact. In addition, the evidence is certainly in to show that those who fail to act in accordance with the law are liable to be held legally accountable at a later date.
There is, however, another way of dealing with this entirely. I could, for example, ask my local police whether they see any crime in what I am reporting to them. If they do and it is something they believe to be in the public interest to act upon, then perhaps the same competent prosecutor from the CPS could take a long legal look at what crimes may need investigating here and, with guidance from my legal colleagues, write up my formal complaint accordingly. A legal-eagle sees the whole landscape but may miss important details. I have to be aware of my limitations as well as respect what my community already knows. Since they continue to surprise me with their imagination, I defer to their greater knowledge both respectfully and happily. And as this is a matter of public interest, I will ensure that my Councillor and MP are informed as a matter of courtesy.
My ‘public duty and responsibility’ may be self-appointed but, on balance, I think I prefer living within a community that has someone like me in it. Frankly, I am not willing to live in a world that doesn’t want me here.
That’s my choice. Now you have a choice. Live in a world that seems to think, by hook or by crook, it ought to be sustained long past its sell-by date, or to start living to create a better world by lawfully challenging those who are presently issuing unlawful orders.