Hospitals. They don’t always come to you.

The announced closure of A&E at King George by Andrew Lansley’s Independent Reconfiguration Panel reminded me of an eminent Conservative who, if I remember correctly, said something like,

“There was a very good programme the other day that talked about Ilford and the fact there was a hospital in Romford; but many of the sick in Ilford had become static and didn’t know that if they got on a bus for an hour’s journey, they’d be in Romford and could look for the hospital there. My point is we need to recognise that the hospitals don’t always come to you – sometimes you need to go to the hospitals.”

Rousing words – but what do they mean in practice?

A&E attendance last year tended to peak on Mondays in March around lunchtime (yes, after the sustained media bombardment of intoxicated British youth in stiletto platforms falling over and jabbing each other with broken bottles on Friday and Saturday nights, I found that surprising too.)

So taking the first Monday lunchtime (though in November), what is the journey time from the still- beating heart of Barkingside (Fullwell Cross) to Queen’s in distant Romford?

On the 12.30 bus, Journey Planner tells me it will take the promised mere hour – 58 minutes with a change. That’s 39 minutes to Romford Market on the 247, then another 14 on the next bus, though if you made it to the station you might be able to crawl from there. On the way you’ll have plenty of time to take in the sights of Hainault, passing tantalisingly close to King George before dodging left towards Collier Row. Oh, and there seem to be major engineering works near the station that day – and in fact every day until 2013 – which may or may not cause diversions (Journey Planner acting a little whimsical here).

What if you can afford to take a taxi, or even have a friend wih a car? Google Maps gives a choice of three routes between 6.8 and 7.7 miles and all between 19 and 20 minutes – but we know the traffic is extremely variable. BJ Cars quoted me £13, Cab Mania, £58 for a Monday lunchtime ride – I’d imagine the first quote is too low and the second too high.

King George, incidentally, is anything up to 42 minutes on public transport, and 3.9 miles and 13 minutes from Fullwell Cross in a car.

Anyway, I know – the Conservative-led coalition don’t exactly want residents of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, or most parts of Redbridge to die early – they just don’t care much if we do.

Occupy London

Anti-austerity protesters are peacefully and unintentionally occupying St Pauls with the consent of Canon Giles Fraser (canon chancellor of St Pauls and former militant socialist) after the police headed them off from approaching the stock exchange.

The initial statement. It’s not bad, and it’s not good enough. But it’s good it exists.

On #3 of the statement, how do we refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis? Tax protests don’t work. Not paying taxes is for Tea Party types. Now Cantona’s proposal is coming of age with Move Your Money – closing bank accounts in irresponsible banks. But then again how much are we worth anyway? As a population aren’t we in debt to the eyeballs? And isn’t this our crisis as well as the banks’? And if it is, maybe there is no we because the young didn’t get themselves in debt to the eyeballs.

But if there is a we, there’s a lot that can be done through consumption and lifestyle. Buy as little as possible. Make a shared agreement to live as modestly as if we were materially equal. Set out our rations, live by them, and put our money into the Coop with a view to contributing it into a shared fund. We arrange to tax ourselves. We take over the Coop and make it a people’s bank. We work out what we can do to live in dignity and we set up a parallel system with a view to starving the old one out and wooing its functionaries over.

Accounts from Occupy London in The Guardian, the AWL (“It would be wrong to be snooty about a protest movement because all of its members are not fully worked-out Marxists”),

The government’s consultation on squatting contained a question which led SQUASH to surmise that they were going to take a broad view of illegal occupation which included stuff like this. Peaceful protest is a precious right, and it is a good thing to gather in the streets, spend the night, and trade ideas about what lies between where we are now and a world where everybody can be confident about their material future. I wonder if I can persuade anybody to stay there with me.

Hashtags #occupylsx (may be on borrowed time), #occupy (for global protests), and #occupylondon.

Aside, it’s really important to put something between your tent groundsheet and the concrete or you’ll wreck its lining at which stage it’s tempting to throw it away, contravening item #7 of the statement – the bit about caring for the planet. Second aside – they’re allowing booze. That may be a problem. Aggro, alcoholic dyspraxia, damage and mess are bad for protests.

Update: Norm has focus – he’s looking for proposals.

A donation page with a list of immediate needs to keep the protest going in the meantime.

A colleague who was down there yesterday at the general assembly said that the amplification was so bad that Twitter was the only way those at the peripheries could hear  and so cast their vote. Mustn’t rely on personal technologies though, smart phone batteries don’t last -  tapping street lights is very dangerous and more than a bit freeloadery. Electric pedals powering an amp would be better.

The Indymedia-hosted chat is compelling – a groping towards a purpose and plan peppered with requests for information about toilets.

The world has plenty of other delights

This is not by me – I am much too angry with Hugh Fearnley Witless and Marco Pierre Twat to write anything like this – but by Victoria Coren. It is quite good.

“A long time ago, I had a cat called Graham. When I was working, he used to hop on to my desk, put his little paws on my shoulder and lick my ear. God, that was annoying. No wonder I ate him.

I didn’t really. I loved that cat very much. Of course I wouldn’t eat him; I know you were revolted by that idea. Shivering with horror, you think you would never consider eating cat of any kind. (Although, if your school lunches ever had “turkey fritters” on the menu, I’m afraid that ship has sailed, my friend.)

So perhaps you were among those who slammed the celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for suggesting that puppies could be farmed for their meat.

“In principle,” Hugh F-W told the Radio Times, “I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm.”

I love Hugh for banging the welfare drum. He has always argued that we have a moral deal with the animals we eat: a good life in return for the meat. How much better a man he is than Marco Pierre White, who argued the case for battery farming with the amazing words: “I know you have these TV programmes where members of the public get shown around huge chicken farms and start crying. Probably because the film crew squirted onion juice in their eyes. Boohoo. Come on. Grow up.”

White says that poor people can’t afford to be namby-pamby about whether animals have been squashed into fetid, windowless barns and stuffed with antibiotics. Heaven forbid he’d recommend we just eat less meat. Not while he’s got an endorsement deal with Bernard Matthews Farms, anyway.

See if you can guess what it was in this quote, from an interview Marco Pierre White did last year, that made me realise he had an endorsement deal with Bernard Matthews Farms: “I hate food snobs. When people attack modern-day farming, they attack the consumers. Why attack the weekend tradition of the normal family sitting down to a turkey?”

Genius. Worth every penny they’re paying him. Oh, that old tradition. The good old weekly Sunday turkey. I hope you’re keeping it alive in your household. That and Britain’s long-time favourite breakfast: turkey porridge.

Frankly, we should prefer to eat an organic puppy than a battery chicken, for a variety of reasons, possibly not including “the taste”. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never eaten dog. There are some animals I absolutely will not eat. Unless they’re ground up and made into a Turkish sausage, in which case: Sagliginiza! (which is Turkish for “minimum 17% mechanically retrieved meat products”).

But we all know what the problem is with cooking a puppy for dinner. That’s right: it’s too small for two people, too big for one. The answer? Freeze the leftovers, do a curry.

Oh, stop making that letter bomb. The problem with eating puppies is that they’re playful, trusting, lovable and loyal.

But then again, so are pigs. Rabbits are lovely pets yet considered edible. Why should we eat a rabbit, but not a weasel? Perhaps you think a weasel simply doesn’t look like food. And a prawn does?

Hugh’s argument (although he did admit that he personally would eat a dog only if he were “on the point of starvation”) is that we ought to be able to see all animals equally and thus, if well treated, eat them all.

But the truer conclusion to his argument is that we should not eat any of them. The better logic is not: “If you eat a sheep, you could eat a puppy”, but: “If you couldn’t eat a puppy, you shouldn’t eat a sheep.”

Come on, we know we shouldn’t. It’s a bloodbath out there. When they read about our dietary habits 200 years from now, it’ll look like a holocaust. Millions of animals mistreated, slaughtered, sliced up and delivered to our plates in such a way as to look as unlike “a chunk of corpse” as possible. It’s cruel and it’s foul. Imagining it isn’t is part of a bizarre mass self-hypnosis.

You might say it’s “natural” because Primitive Man ate meat (albeit far more rarely than we do). I say: come back to me when you’re happy to shit in a cave.

I’m not a vegetarian, by the way. I used to be. I crumbled because I love the taste of meat. But the truth is, I feel just the same way about smoking. I smoke because I “enjoy it”, yet it’s imbued with a sense of shame and I wish I didn’t.

Perhaps, by the time you read this, I won’t. I’m planning to quit smoking this weekend. I was going to give up in July, but my summer plans went wrong. Time for a new way of thinking and an winter offensive. If I fail, I’ll try again.

What I do understand, and believe is now culturally ingrained on a wide scale, is that there’s nothing good about smoking: it brings nastiness and death and its only defence is a fleeting pleasure that may be illusory anyway.

What has failed yet to take hold, socially, is that the same applies to eating meat.

I’d hate it to be banned, but should we not find our enjoyment a little bit ruined by guilt, just like with cigarettes? That is the road to positive, voluntary rejection. I might start by imagining, every time I take a bite of steak, that it was once a terrier.

A bit joyless, I know. But we’re too old and wise to take thoughtless pleasure in what’s unhealthy and cruel. The world has plenty of other delights to offer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’ll always be mushrooms on toast and PG Wodehouse.”

Hope her Observer co-writers, the grim reapers Jay Rayner and Nigel Slater, read that. Those two are carnage incarnated.

The London Declaration for Global Peace & Resistance against Extremism 2011

Just found a link to this BBC report on the Casuals United blog (who are amusingly and incorrectly trying to take credit).

Back on September 25th “about 12,000 Muslims gathered at Wembley Arena for Islamic group Minhaj-ul-Quran’s Peace for Humanity Conference where a campaign launched to get one million signatories by 2012 for this online declaration of peace.

Apart from the entire absence of environmental concerns in the declaration, and the now standard over-emphasis on the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a cause of world unpeace, this is my kind of declaration. Even if you, like some of my readers to my political right and left, favour hitting things and people to get your stuff done and find his determinedly non-violent stance cramps your style, this declaration should be read (by susceptible non-Muslims, anyway) as an antidote to the anti-Muslim suspicion and consequent stereotyping which hounds these times, and as a light shining ahead to a more together global society. These were the parts I liked best:

7. We reject as mistaken and spurious any assertions made by both Muslims and non-Muslims that the world is currently locked in an inexorable struggle between Islam and the West and we commit ourselves, through positive and mutually respectful engagement and dialogue, to oppose any and all claims of clashes of civilisations or the incompatibility of the values in various regions, states and communities.

9. Whereas we do not overlook the real or perceived grievances that may serve as a causative fuel for terrorist violence, and we call upon all national and local governments to address those grievances with haste and resolve, we commit ourselves to the non-violent resolution of those issues as well as to the removal through education and dialogue of conspiracy theories that seem to blinker some peoples’ worldviews.

15. We declare that there is no difference between an Arab and a Jew, between a Muslim and a Christian, between a Hindu and a Sikh, between a black person and a white person, or between a man and a woman. All humans are equal and must be treated with equal respect, dignity, compassion, equality, solidarity and justice.

16. We unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism (including when sometimes it is disingenuously clothed as anti-Zionism), Islamophobia (including when it is sometimes disingenuously dressed up as patriotism) and all other forms of racism and xenophobia.

19. We call on all governments to protect minorities against all hatred, intimidation and violence, especially from ultra-nationalism or religious intolerance.

The conference’s keynote presentation was given by Minaj ul-Quran founder Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, a classically trained cleric – of Sufi persuasion – from Pakistan now based in Canada. One particular contribution of his was an enormous review of Islam’s pronouncements on terrorism, which led to his issuing a 512 page fatwa proscribing terror and detailing the principles and terms of engagement for just war. To return to where we began (the approving Casuals):

Amid all this fatwa flashing, many Muslims fear divide and rule – and suspect that someone, somewhere will use Dr Tahir ul-Qadri to further that agenda. The scholar sees this as the signs of paranoia brought on by a weakness – and his answer is to expand his organisation’s mission in the UK beyond its 10 mosques and 5,000 members. So will Dr Qadri’s fatwa do some good or end up on the great big pile of similar denouncements? An hour after he delivered his address, the former leader of al-Muhajiroun, a group recently banned for extremism, turned up at the doorstep of a news channel and asked to go on air to counter Dr Qadri. Would he have bothered if the scholar was such an irrelevance in the battle for hearts and minds?”

It sounds as if, if the Casuals and their ilk try to claim Qadri, he will know how to put them in their place.

Why I won’t shop at LUSH

As I commented on Bob’s blog when he commended LUSH for their support of the No-one Is Illegal campaign,

“Lush – yep, a lot of what they sell is really weird and unnecessary and they put a hell of a lot of matter down the drain, but because so much of it is vegan and solid form and so unpackaged, and because of this kind of campaign, I’m mostly cleaned and softened by Lush products. “

Well, for some time since then I have been actively seeking alternatives to LUSH. First it was LUSH’s implicit campaign against Israel while whitewashing its aggressors and embracing Saudi Arabia. That was alienating enough, although so normal these days that I thought I might be able to get over it. Then while shopping in the Liverpool Street Station branch some weeks ago I picked up a leaflet accusing the Basildon authorities of ‘ethnic cleansing’ at Dale Farm.

I think Basildon Council’s treatment of the Dale Farm residents is wrong, even if it’s legally justifiable.  It wasn’t virgin meadow they built on, travellers have terrible difficulty getting planning permission, travellers have a terrible time in Essex – the sites they’re permitted to camp on are short term and they can’t gather in groups of more than, I think, three vehicles. Dale Farm is a close mutually supportive community of the kind you’d think a Conservative government or council would be touting as some kind of paragon. The idea that the community will be broken up horrifies me. I’m still smarting from the C18th Enclosure Acts. But to be a stickler for planning law and greenbelt law is not ethic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing is a legal term. Ethnic cleansing has aims to purify a region for one ethnic group.  Ethnic cleansers use weapons and rape. For LUSH to call Basildon Council’s activity ethnic cleansing was pernicious. I’d already written to them with unsatisfactory effect, and then no effect. Dale Farm was the final straw for me and LUSH. I began to think of them as an ideological purchase, and wonder what kind of movement I was helping to get off the ground.

In this state of disaffection I got to thinking about LUSH’s owner Mark Constantine, this purveyor of very expensive toiletries, many with confectionery fragrances and whimsical names which make me think they are aimed at the young. How do you persuade young people, who are often poor people, to part with so much cash? You’re idealistic but you’re also a for-profit company and you are chasing pounds. You know that society’s idealism resides overwhelmingly in the young. You calculate that if you give the young a little hit of feel-good, a warm feeling in their hearts that their purchase from you has helped to heal the world, then they will feel like they’ve made a selfless donation to charity with the added benefit of receiving a free luxury bath time product, and they’ll be more likely to come back and cough up again.

The other cynical thing LUSH has done for a long time is to put a little sticker with a drawing of a named worker on the back of things that come in pots. It gives you a sense of connection, as if you have done an individual a good turn. And this is kind of warm and treacley – until you remember that it was only in April 2011 that Mark Constantine finally capitulated to the demands of the LUSH workforce to be paid a living wage – and that only in London. All that time he’d been cheaply and sleazily massaging our most moral parts and he wasn’t even paying his workforce a living wage. They had to campaign.

All I want is vegan stuff, ethically made. I don’t want Mark Constantine stereotyping me as somebody with an off-the-shelf portfolio of – in my view – incompatible causes. I mean, I could deal with the causes, if I agreed with them. But I can’t go along with his. (Just a quibble – if you support an organisation which rejects immigration controls, is it coherent to also support the creation of a new state of Palestine which proposes to expel Jews living within it? It may be pragmatic for the Palestinian Authority and Israeli progressives who fear civil war unless the settler movement is defeated – but I can’t see that it’s coherent for a shampoo vendor, so why force it on your customers?).

It’s sad. LUSH creates the most wonderful fragrances on the high street – unless you work there, in which case I speculate you must be breathing in borderline unhealthy amounts of parfum. My sense of smell is so acute that I get as much pleasure as a canine from sniffing interesting scents (though never other dogs behinds). I’ll miss those. I’ll miss the sweet young women at Liverpool Street, I’ll miss swallowing the vodka grapefruit seasalt scrub in the shower. But I’ve had it with LUSH. LUSH creeps me out. They tried so hard to make me feel good than when they failed they had the opposite effect.

So I’m shopping now at Greenlands in Greenwich Market, and Spitalfields Organics on Commercial.  Same principles but they don’t treat me like an unworldly but morally self-absorbed cash cow.

See also this.

When global terror leaders are assassinated by their governments

My first experience of extra-judicial killings was my mother’s jubilation at various assassinations of Palestinian terrorists by Israeli squads. Having developed, from a very young age, an instinctive contrarian position with respect to practically anything she said, I reached an early conviction that such killings were always wrong, state sanctioned murder which in its hypocrisy and, often, collateral deaths, cheapened life in general and rendered any claims to justice on the part of the perpetrator quite ludicrous. Why don’t they arrest them, I’d demand. Sometimes you can’t do that, the reply. Why? Why don’t they just swoop down with a huge army, nab them, and put them on a fair trial?  No answers – my questions broke on the rocks of her disinterest. In those days I was showing anti-Israel tendencies which didn’t merit being taken seriously. And in any case, the ones that died were bad men, weren’t they.

These days I’m against violence. That means I sometimes have to be in favour of physically stopping leaders who are hoping to build violent, repressive movements. Ideally, stopping should entail incarceration but I can accept that extra-judicial killing may sometimes be necessary. The US government says it is “prepared to kill U.S. citizens who are believed to be involved in terrorist activities that threaten Americans”. Here is Ilya Somin commenting on the killing of Iraq’s Al Quaeda leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi in 2006:

“In my view, targeting terrorist leaders is not only defensible, but actually more ethical than going after rank and file terrorists or trying to combat terrorism through purely defensive security measures. The rank and file have far less culpability for terrorist attacks than do their leaders, and killing them is less likely to impair terrorist operations. Purely defensive measures, meanwhile, often impose substantial costs on innocent people and may imperil civil liberties. Despite the possibility of collateral damage inflicted on civilians whom the terrorist leaders use as human shields, targeted assassination of terrorist leaders is less likely to harm innocents than most other strategies for combatting terror and more likely to disrupt future terrorist operations.

That does not prove that it should be the only strategy we use, but it does mean that we should reject condemnations of it as somehow immoral.”

The important questions, then, are how is the target uniquely dangerous (why an exception should be made for terrorists), how many lives are thought to be in danger from the target, whether there’s any alternative to killing, who should do it, how many other lives is it acceptable endanger during the operation, whether the likely side effects of assassination outweigh the benefits, and what should subsequently happen to the operative who pulled the trigger or pushed the button, and their accessories.

Then there’s the discussion about whether the extra-judicial killing of the terror inspiration and Al Quaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al Awlaki was any more or less legitimate because he was a US citizen. As Ben Wizner puts it, “If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the President does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state.”

I don’t trust the question. When the US government’s unfortunately-named JSOC assassinated Al Quaeda leader and Awlaki’s rival Osama Bin Laden in May, there was a lot of implicit approval. The American Civil Liberties Union seems to be the Civil Liberties of Americans Union in this respect. So for some it’s OK to have a policy of extra-judicial killings as long as the targets aren’t US citizens. But what sense does it make for a self-interested state to distinguish on state grounds, so that one terrorist leader is a target while another can operate without fearing assassination, when both are non-state enemies posing the same threat to your country’s citizens? Al Quaeda is a global enterprise – consider Awlaki’s jet setting between the US south west and Yemen. These are times of globalised terror operations. It doesn’t make sense to distinguish on state grounds, rather than grounds of threat. And from Awlaki’s point of view, does it make much difference to him if he is killed by US drone or by 3,000 Yemeni troops looking for him in the Shabwa? I doubt it.

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who helped Awlaki’s father bring an ultimately unsuccessful court case (which they don’t boast about on their web site) attempting to get his son’s name removed from the list of targets objects to the US killing him. Citing Guantanamo, Ratner argues that the US gets its terrorist designation wrong too frequently to be trusted. He panics, “Is this the world we want? Where the president of the United States can place an American citizen, or anyone else for that matter, living outside a war zone on a targeted assassination list, and then have him murdered by drone strike.” He also says that Awlaki is innocent until proven guilty. So does the American Civil Liberties Union.

Quilliam co-founder Maajid Nawaz argues in today’s Observer that the US is abandoning its own values and that this assassination of its own citizen is only the latest stage in a decline involving “arbitrary detention, extraordinary rendition, targeted killings and “enhanced interrogation” – otherwise known as torture”. It would indeed be ominous if Nawaz were correct that “this action carves out the legal pathway for a state to silence not only external but internal dissent by defining the citizen as an “enemy of the state””. But I doubt he is correct. Awlaki wasn’t a dissenter but an inspiration and comfort to several murderous terrorists. Look Stephen Timms MP, attacked by an Awlaki fan during his constituency surgery, in the eye and tell him Awlaki was simply a dissenter. It will sound a bit thin given that he was stabbed in the liver. Awlaki might not have deigned to get his beautiful pious hands dirty, but he was at war with ordinary people like you and me,

Nawaz then throws in several other arguments in quick succession – that we can’t trust states to identify their enemies, that you can’t win through force, that abandoning Awlaki’s human rights will make us forget why we are opposed to Awlaki and his ilk in the first place, and the final complaint that the US is only interested in the Middle East when it comes to its security (not sure this can be borne out). Overall you get the impression that Nawaz is more embarrassed than morally outraged. And I feel for him, since he is trying to put out narratives that disrupt those of terror incubators like Awlaki. His arguments depend on inculcating a sense of pride in the West, and he feels that extrajudicial killings like this one undermine it.

A few things. Targeted assassination is the ultimate in not separating the person from the act. It does entail sacrificing values we espouse. But there is more to life than our moral discomfort with national hypocrisy – literally more to life.  And if it’s all about hypocrisy and disaffection with the west, maybe Nawaz should remind his followers that Awlaki used to buy sex in the US although prostitution is prohibited in Islam and the man set himself up as some kind of religious authority.

Hypocrisy in private life is ordinary, and in preachers, contemptible. In public life, though undesirable and ordinary, it is not contemptible. As Jonathan Wolff has argued in his book Ethics and Public Policy (though not with respect to extra-judicial killings – no idea how he feels about those) beautiful ideals always bend when they have to come out of people’s minds and into the sphere of real-life action – so the right thing to do is to take an active and constant stand against the purist pieties of utopianism (you’ll never find a utopian who isn’t awkwardly astride their double standards) while never giving up on humanitarian ideals, never letting up with scrutinising your government, and always shunning the consciencelessness of state realism that Nawaz fears will become enslaved to a corrupt vision of state interest which picks off dissenters like flies (though I doubt it -Awlaki didn’t just disappear – he was  openly assassinated, we know who did it, and the US is a strong democracy whose citizens – those who are not global terrormongers – have rights protected by their constitution).

So I think it’s important is to desist from the kind of “It’s all about me” patriotic naval gazing which is wrapped up in appearances, cognitive dissonance, and national identity rather than the sanctity of human life. It’s important not to be diverted from the target of the assassination and reasoning back from the unique threat they pose to life. The ends don’t always justify the means, but sometimes they do. Was Awlaki a mortal threat to innocent civilians or wasn’t he? I think the list of murderers he groomed for the act speaks for itself – but were I in a position of power I’d be asking for more than a list on Wikipedia.

So the US government should now account for the death of this deathmonger, and the demands that it do so can only strengthen it.  But to argue that the US is too prone to getting things wrong to be able to assassinate those involved in terror, or to argue that the US isn’t entitled to state secrets, is like saying that the US isn’t entitled to national security.

(And any disorientated commentator who says this post and I are somehow not left wing can suck me. I am as far left as it is good to go ;-) )

Addendum

This morning’s statement by former IRA leader now Irish presidential candidate, Martin McGuinness, that he wouldn’t disagree with anybody who said that the IRA committed murder, raises important comparisons.The UK government had a policy of assassinating IRA terrorists. Operation Flavius in 1988, during which the SAS killed three Belfast-born UK citizens involved in a bomb plot, was not one of them – it was intended as an arrest operation. But the aftermath is of interest – the European Court of Human Rights narrowly ruled that the UK Government had breached Human Rights law: “the Court is not persuaded that the killing of the three terrorists constituted the use of force which was no more than absolutely necessary in defence of persons from unlawful violence within the meaning of Article 2 para. 2 (a) (art. 2-2-a) of the Convention”.