Much-to-do Monday

There’s alot happening today, Monday 22 May 2006.

First up, the [tag]Internet Governance Forum[/tag] advisory group is meeting for the first time in Geneva to thrash out how this new forum is going to work and what will be discussed there when it holds its first meeting in October/November.

Then there is a Town Hall meeting in Oxford this evening by [tag]Pro-Test[/tag] featuring several speakers: Professor Andrew McMichael, Dr Evan Harris, Dr Ken Fleming, Vicky Cowell, Niki Shisler and Laurie Pycroft. The whole issue of animal testing has become a national story with the head of GlaxoSmithKline making a very unusual public statement in support of animal testing last week, and Tony Blair signing up to support it as well.

Tied in with that I believe it is today that the High Court will hold the injunction hearing against [tag]Speak[/tag] et al by the University of Oxford over the ongoing protests. If the university wins it will effectively mean an end to the increasingly unpopular protests. But it will also mean a dangerous precedent for what well-funded organsations are able to do to silence their critics.

Also, if the university loses, there could be a clash on Saturday 3 June when the next Pro-Test march is planned but you can be certain the animal rights groups will want to celebrate their “victory”.

Correction: I’ve just done some research. The High Court hearing is due to *end* today. It started on Thursday. And Speak is clearly concerned because it has planned its next protest – this Saturday – at the Park & Ride out of town. If the injunction goes through, they won’t be entitled to get anywhere near town because a huge percentage of the buildings are owned by the university.

So Speak protest on 27 May which may or may not appear in town. And then a Pro-Test march the Saturday after.

What else? In absolute despair at the hype piled on the [tag]Da Vinci Code[/tag] film, and then shaking my head when I see that it has had massive first week audiences despite being universally panned, I am enacting my own form of protest. I am downloading it off the Net presumably illegally. I will then watch it and consign it to the dustbin. That way I get to see it so I don’t for one second have to suffer god-awful nagging by hype-ridden fools, and I don’t have to contribute any money towards it, thereby encouraging others to swamp people with idiotic press campaigns. I confidently predict that my strong stance will have absolute no effect on anything whatsoever. But if you do want to join me – click here for the bittorrent.

I’m sure there were several other things that were happening today, but I’ve forgotten them. Oh, I have got parts of the blog working properly again and started learning about [tag]WordPress[/tag], and knocked up an automated link process so hopefully I don’t lose lots of links. I still haven’t found the time to stick up all my pictures again though.

That will have to do for now.