I Protest!

Recently I gave a speech at a conference in Ireland and the topic I chose to cover is “How Ordinary People can have an Impact to Change the System”.  I attended a protest in Ireland years ago and I can say we made an impact that has changed the law, but more importantly, Public Opinion.

I get invited to protests on a regular basis but rarely attend. From what I learned from our protest, I can say that there is a right and a wrong way to protest. Poorly organised protests have little impact and may actually have a reverse effect from what you intended. At a “Protest” in Ireland last year, about 20 people showed up, but nobody brought posters or leaflets to hand out. This is not a criticism of the event, I doubt the folks involved ever felt the need to protest before or had ever attended a protest.

The protest that I attended that had an impact had 30 people involved. Cars would pile up at the start and unload people with posters. The protest was outside the Irish Parliament and it took a year of protesting before an opportunistic politician took notice and jumped on our bandwagon. The end result of our protest was a special report by the government on how many children had died in State “Care”. There was a huge amount of publicity and Public Confidence in the Child Protective System was shattered for many people.

After the report was released on the deaths of 196 children in “Care” in a decade in Ireland, public confidence in the system was so low that the Minister for Children took away (supposedly) responsibility for Child Protection from the Health Service, and formed a “new” agency. In reality the reformation was nothing more than a re-branding because the “new” agency was formed with the same 4,500 people responsible for the current mess. Nevertheless, a significant number of the public were now less-than-confident that this agency could adequately protect children in their “Care”. All done by 30 determined protesters who communicated a mission  and repeated it like a broken record until their mission was accomplished. The full story is in the book. It was started by 2 ordinary people like you and me and yes, you could have an impact.

What I learned from the protest was this;

  • You need a Mission, a message that you want to tell people.
  • It’s going to take time to get people on board so you need to do sustained protests at regular intervals.
  • You need posters, banners, leaflets and people not afraid to talk and debate.
  • You need to do some “Lobbying” of Politicians, especially those in opposition.
  • Without leaving home you can start petitions on Change.org. You can write to politicians, you can meet with local representatives, you can get behind others who want change.
  • You need to build momentum and keep at it until someone takes notice. A wise man once said; “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they debate you, then you win”. Stick with it until you accomplish your mission.

Over the years I have also had blogs and spent much time replying to stories on online publications, this has also had an impact. Someone recently replied that my comment only got a few likes. I pointed out that Hitler had millions of followers but Jesus only had 12. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, don’t attack people and encourage debate. I know these comments have had an impact because many people are quoting me verbatim even if I am not getting credit for saying it. We forget that high profile people are ordinary people too and they read social media. You may feel that you don’t have any power to change things but you have something infinitely more useful, Influence. If you make a reasoned argument, you will draw people into debate. Sure they may laugh at you, but once they debate you, you have won. Everyone of us has the power to influence others. Even just sharing this post might have some influence on someone who has the actual power to change the system. Doing nothing is not an option.



Is it wrong for a Social Worker to lie in court to take children away?

Some people wont believe that this question was actually asked in the Appellate Court in Orange County, California, USA , but as you can see on the video it was. And this has actually happened before in Scotland.

The question also asks if Social Workers are above the Law. Does being a hero and “protecting” the child (from their parents), trump everything else? A lot of Social Workers believe that they are heroes and many have been caught out in their lies. If you read through cases where Fitness-to-Practice-Committees of their Registration Bodies reprimanded or struck-off Social Workers, you see a mindset that many, but not all have. In some cases you see incompetence by otherwise good people, but they cross a line when try to cover up their mistakes.

Immunity from Prosecution

In many countries or states, there are laws to protect people reporting the abuse or neglect of a child, this is called “Protected Immunity” (from prosecution). In many countries there are also laws which mandate that any suspicion of abuse or neglect be reported to authorities, this is called “Mandatory Reporting“.  In some countries or states the laws even protect people who make malicious reports, in others not.

In my own experience in court, I have seen many times where witnesses for the prosecution, in this case, the Child Protection Agencies, have been caught red-handed lying in court, and suffered no punishment for perjury. In some countries, as the cases are held “In Camera”, it would not be possible to report Perjury or Perverting the Course of Justice without the Judges permission, which is almost never granted.

The bottom line is that Yes, Social Workers can lie in Secret Courts. They wouldn’t get away with this in an open court. As the victims of Perjury in the lower courts are prevented from “going public” or saying “anything to anyone” of what occurred in the court, it is virtually impossible for a parent to prosecute or sue anyone who lied in a Secret Court. While Child Protection Lawyers would certainly be allowed to ask this question in the Appeals Court, a parent could not, even if they could afford to progress their case to this level.  In essence, a parent of a child is not allowed to lie, or to prosecute others who lie about them. The bottom line for the child who has been unjustly removed is that they will likely suffer as a result of their incarceration,

I wrote about this in a chapter of my book entitled; “The Seance”, about how Social Workers channel the spirits of “What-ifs” and “Possibles” and “Maybes”. In Secret Courts you cant get Justice, in Open Courts you wouldn’t have people lying because they could be prosecuted for Perjury, and face a Fitness-to-Practice Committee. Does the law protect children or is it set up to protect liars?



Child Protection or Child Abuse?

The most heroic action a person can take is to save a child. There is an instinct in all human beings, and even in animals, to protect children. Child Protection Systems have the task of protecting children, but despite the best intentions of trained professionals, there is hardly a single system in the world that could be said to be working well. The reasons for the failures are many and complex.

In my book “Secret Courts, Child Protection or Child Abuse”, I go into great depth on the working of these systems, what’s going on in the heads of the people involved, and why the system isn’t working. In a book, the writer has the latitude to lead the reader through all aspects of the story so they see the connections and come to conclusions. While nobody can convince a closed mind or someone subjected to deep conditioning that their beliefs are not as they seem, they can at least plant a seed of doubt. I have often said that if I am 1% correct about Child Protection, then we have a very serious problem.

One of the limitations of a book is that it doesn’t allow for debate. Also, by the time a book is written a published, it is already out of date. Things are constantly changing and new developments happen all the time. The purpose of this blog page is to encourage debate, and there will be discourse. As new stories develop we will try to keep you up to date, don’t hesitate to express your opinion or keep us informed of news. There are no stupid question or no opinion not worthy of expressing.

Thank you for purchasing the book. I have no intention of making any money from the book, any profit will be spent on promotion and sending copies to people who have the power to change the dysfunctional Child Protection System. Please help us to educate people by getting as many people to read the book as possible. Share with your friends on social media, donate a copy to your local library and subscribe to this page. Children are dying and being abused by a system intended to protect them. We must work together to change the system, the most heroic action a person can take is to save a child, children are depending on you.

Joe Burns