The Spanner Trust exists to try to change the current UK laws which criminalise consenting sexual activity where injury occurs. It is illegal to engage in any consensual activities for sexual pleasure which result in an injury more than "transient or trifling". It also may be against the law to be in charge of an area where those activities take place which is open to the public.
The Spanner Trust also provides assistance to people in the UK who are in trouble because of their creative play. Sadly, that is a steady stream of people. Please help us change current laws and lobby against government proposals to further criminalise fetish communities.
THE LONDON ALTERNATIVE MARKET RAISES £2000
On Sunday 4th March the London Alternative Market celebrated its 1st birthday by making the Spanner Trust the "good cause of the day". Together the event, stallholders and customers raised over £2,000 for the Trust, which is a phenomenal achievement. Our thanks go to everyone present for their generosity.
In particular we'd like to mention Master Cosmic and the London Alternative Market Crew (www.londonalternativemarket.com), Spanking Tools (www.spankingtools.com), Leather Delights (www.leatherdelights.com), Libby Rose (www.libbyrose.co.uk), E-stim systems (www.e-stim.co.uk), Strictly Sensuous (www.strictlysensuous.com), Jacks Floggers (www.jacksfloggers.co.uk), Very Alternative Furniture (www.veryalternativefurniture.co.uk) and Pretty Pervy (www.prettypervy.com).
We apologise to anyone we've missed - it was a huge team effort and we thank you all. Every penny raised goes towards our efforts to change the law or helping people in trouble because of their consensual sexual activities.
HIGH COURT APPEAL
We remain committed to overturning the original Spanner trial ruling (R v Brown and Others) and plan to do this by bringing an application to the UK High Court under the Human Rights Act. For this to happen we need two things: SM players in the UK willing to put their name to the application (although this could be done anonymously and through written submissions not an actual court appearance); and funds to support the cost of the case. If the claimants are eligible for legal aid then that would bring the costs down and enable us to proceed much quicker, so ideally we are looking for SM players who are also claiming benefits.
If you or someone you know if interested in becoming a claimant please contact us by emailing info (at) spannertrust.org
NEW UK LAW PROPOSED TO CRIMINALISE POSSESSION OF EXTREME PORNOGRAPHY
In November 2006 the UK Government used the Queen's Speech to announce their intention to create a new criminal offence making the possession of "violent and extreme pornography" punishable by up to three years' imprisonment. The Bill has not yet been brought before Parliament, but the Spanner Trust is concerned that the current proposals do not distinguish between real or staged acts, or consensual versus non consensual activities. Images of consensual SM scenes may well be caught up in the ban.
On the 5th March 2007 a member of the Home Office said that the Bill will be introduced "in the Spring" but also that "nothing was imminent". As soon as the Bill is introduced we would like as many people as possible to contact their MP, by letter, email or telephone but preferably by going along to see him or her personally in their surgery in their constituency, and urge them to object to the new proposed law. For more information on the campaign against the proposals please visit www.backlash-uk.org.uk
OBITUARY - Paul Wilde
Spanner Trust supporter Paul Wilde passed away in January 2007. He worked tirelessly for the community, both professionally and personally. Through his company, Wilde Ones International, he helped Pride events across the UK. In recent years he became an enthusiastic BDSM player and found himself (like the rest of us) constrained by the outrageous laws of this country. He supported the Trust by making generous personal donations and made premises available to the Trustees for meetings. He died in his sleep aged 51 and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts go to his friends and family.
The following events are supporting the work of the Trust, either by raising money or by inviting Trustees to give a presentation:
Please continue to support the Trust, whether that's via fundraisers (www.spannertrust.org/donations/), as a volunteer or just spreading the word. Anyone can join the mailing list to receive regular updates from the Trust by sending an email to subscribe (at) spannertrust.org and read more about on work on our website: www.spannertrust.org
Thank you again for all your support, it's much appreciated.
Best wishes, Derek Cohen
Spanner Trust Chairman