We have a busy few months coming up, with the following events supporting the Spanner Trust's work:
- Saturday 29th July - KINKFEST3
KINKFEST3 is a huge annual weekend of educational fetish events in London. On Saturday during the day KINKFEST will take over the SeOne club at London Bridge. Spanner Trustees will be there to lead workshops, run a stall and give a speech from mainstage. We'll also be selling raffle tickets for prizes which will be drawn at the London Alternative Market on August 6th. More info about KINKFEST at www.unfettered.co.uk
- Saturday 5th August - LOVETRIX
The Spanner Trust will be running a stall alongside Backlash at this summer fetish festival. We'll be selling raffle tickets for prizes which will be drawn at the London Alternative Market on August 6th here too. More info at www.lovetrix.co.uk
- Sunday 6th August - LONDON ALTERNATIVE MARKET
The L.A. M. is a fetish fair held on the first Sunday of each month, supporting a different community based project each time. They raised £670 for the Spanner Trust at their first event back in March, and we're hoping to repeat that success in August with a raffle and onstage auctions. More info about the L.A.M. at www.londonalternativemarket.com
- Sunday 13th August - CHESTERFIELD CONCLAVE
The CHESTERFIELD CONCLAVE is a gathering of like minded adult individuals encompassing all kinks, sexualities and fetishes. They have invited the Spanner Trust to give a presentation in August. More info at www.informedconsent.co.uk/p/ChesterfieldConclave/
- Saturday 19th August - THE HOIST
THE HOIST is a men-only fetish club in Vauxhall, South London. They will be holding a benefit night to raise money for the Spanner Trust on the third Saturday in August. More info at www.thehoist.co.uk
- Sunday 20th August - JUST ROPE
JUST ROPE hold bi-monthly rope bondage workshops and play parties in London. The events are open to anyone regardless of skill level or sexuality. Each JUST ROPE event has raised money for the Spanner Trust (over £400 so far) and this month is no different. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing support. More info at www.justrope.co.uk
- September - INFERNO
INFERNO is the annual run of the Chicago Hellfire Club in the USA. This year they have chosen the Spanner Trust as the beneficiary of any fundraising at Inferno. One of the Trustees will be going to lead the fundraising, assisted by a number of SM players from the UK who are also there to have fun! Please support them if you are going to Inferno this year.
Please come up and say "hi" if you see us at any events. If you would like to invite us to speak at your club or gathering please email info (at) spannertrust.org
HOME OFFICE PLANS TO CRIMINALISE POSSESSION OF EXTREME PORNOGRAPHY
The Home Office has not yet reported on the responses received to the public consultation, but the Scottish Executive has. Their report puts a spin on the conclusion given at the end of the legal opinion we submitted with the assistance of Backlash, so that it appears to reach the opposite conclusion! We intend to complain about it to the Scottish Executive and ask them to correct the misreporting.
WHY SHOULD YOU SUPPORT THE SPANNER TRUST?
It can be hard to believe sometimes, but it is still illegal to engage in any consensual activities for sexual pleasure in England, Wales or Northern Ireland which result in an injury more than "transient or trifling". (Scotland has a separate legal system where consent is generally a defence but not in all circumstances.)
The phrase "transient or trifling" has not been defined by the courts, but if your consensual activities result in bruises, cuts, welts, burns, grazes, scabs, bloodshot eyes or any other injury for sexual pleasure then you may well have broken the law.
The Spanner Trust was set up to look after the defence fund for the original defendants in the "Spanner" trial (R v. Brown and Others). Over a decade later the Trust is still working to try and change the law and also provide assistance to anyone in the UK in trouble because of their SM activities. Sadly that's a steady stream of people.
Your private consensual kinky activities can lead to you losing your job, having videos and magazines seized by HM Revenue and Customs, your home computer taken by the police, losing custody of your children and of course, arrest and threat of prosecution. And that's still happening to SM players, even in 2006.
The Spanner Trust plans to bring a UK High Court application under the Human Rights Act 1998 to allow consent as a defence where injury occurs during activities for sexual pleasure. For our challenge to succeed we need two things: claimants (people willing to put their name to the application saying that they are at risk of prosecution) and money to help pay for the costs of the case. We are working with a Senior Queen's Counsel who has advised us that if we manage to bring the case to the High Court we stand a good chance of success.
However, we need to be prepared to pay the costs of the case, if necessary, and that could be as much as £250,000.
- If you have money from a fundraiser that you would like to forward to the Trust in pounds, dollars or euros, or you would like to make a private donation, please go to www.spannertrust.org/donations.asp or send a cheque to the Spanner Trust, Norvin House, 45-55 Commercial Street, London E1 6BD, UK.
- If you run a club and would like to hold a fundraiser for the Trust please let us know. There is a list of clubs and businesses which have helped us recently at www.spannertrust.org/supporters.asp
- If you know anyone who would like to receive this letter as an email please ask them to write to subscribe (at) spannertrust.org to be added to the mailing list.
- Finally, if you know anyone in the UK in trouble because of their SM activities please ask them to email info (at) spannertrust.org and we will do our best to help, or put them in touch with a legal professional in their area.
Thank you again for all your support, it's much appreciated.
Best wishes, John Pendal
Spanner Trust Chairman
Click here for September '06 letter