This photo is of Terence MacSwiney, in 1920 Lord Mayor of Cork in Ireland. The featured photograph on the blog front page is also of MacSwiney in October 1920.
The plan was to end this series of posts starting with Being Black and Janet’s email to me I can’t Breathe with a final post Drawing Breath. The series with its promised completely unrealistic but only possible denouement will now run on to one more post – Agorithms are from Mars, Magic from Venus.
One of the most telling comments on any post in this blog since it began in 2012 or so was from Sarah under I Can’t Breathe II . The full comment is worth reading, the punch line is here:
What is the point if the perpetrator of our distress is at home in a blister pack on the bedside table?
A perpetrator who is commonly white – definitely not black. A perpetrator who must be male as everyone is obsessed with his potency, which is viewed with awe and is allowed to sweep aside all other considerations
This was followed up with a comment by Annie after I Can’t Breathe III who noted Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline – a company that began making baby milk:
“Since February, the highest levels of our company have been working to understand and address what happened,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley wrote in a note to employees. “Protecting the woman who came forward and her privacy has been a critical priority throughout this time. This will continue. I respect and admire her courage and strength. I’ve spent many nights lately putting myself in her shoes. More than anything, this simply should not have happened.”
“We are in an age of progress with a female CEO, growing ranks of female leaders, new commitments to diverse representation, and a culture that values speaking up,”
“On a personal level, I am shocked and angry about all of this, but I’m resolute,” Walmsley added. “I want to be clear that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.”
Walmsley added that GSK will rename its Slaoui Center for Vaccines Research in Rockville, Md. See Silverman report in Stat on a senior GSK employee who had abused women.
It would have been wonderful if Witty, the former CEO, and then Walmsley spent the occasional night putting themselves in the shoes of all the people who have committed suicide on their drugs – bupropion, paroxetine and lamotrigine – or the shoes of those whose lives have been destroyed by voracious sexual promiscuity caused by ropinirole marketed for restless legs. Perhaps they figure they’ve evened the risk-benefit balance by wiping out sexual function completely for so many with paroxetine.
As Micky Nardo put it in Sex, Lies and Videotape:
The most obscene version was GSK settling a $3B suit and signing this agreement – then writing a response in a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education that denies admission of guilt [see the only enduring contract…]. The way this China-gate story is going, it doesn’t at this point look like that’s going to be an option. This is just plain old crime, and one that has the Chinese up in arms [as it should].
Being Black asked is there a way to end this lunacy and imagined one of the scenarios facing a black man, arbitrarily picked on by the police as so many are.
The very best therapy for the homicidal thoughts that would result would be to go down to a police station, walk in, tell them you have been left feeling homicidal by what they have done but thanks for this chance to get it off your chest. Almost no-one who knows about these things, black, white, male, female figures that doing something like this is a recipe for anything other than disaster. The system just will not work for a black man.
The most sensible comment I got was there might be mileage to be made from someone going to the police-station and getting themselves videoed and explaining at the door its just too dangerous to go inside and outlining what would be likely to happen before trying to leave and walk home. This might bring some relief.
Would a video like this trigger a useful response – by which I mean help change anything more than marching up and down behind a Black Lives Matter banner?
The system doesn’t work for women either. I’m not in a position to tell if its worse for Black men or for White women.
The trick for both is knowing what to do that might make a difference.
This is the same problem faced by those who are Drug Wrecked – who may be the most unfortunate group.
People with Enduring Sexual Dysfunctions get openly sneered at by healthcare professionals.
Grieving parents seeking to bring some good out of the death of a child at the hands of a drug destroying the mind of their own child, or someone else’s child leading to a manic killing spree, find themselves up against what can only laughingly be called ‘due process’.
They find their obvious truth pitted against a ghostwritten and fraudulent literature that Courts psychotically designate as science. See There is no Sanity Claus.
If any family members ever participated in a clinical trial, they may now realise that in so doing they put their family, friends and communities in a state of legal jeopardy. They did so when they signed a consent form that lets some company claim it has a duty never to show their data to anyone.
When grappling with the English, the Irish invented a few things such as the boycott. A few posts from 2013 put the idea of a Reverse Boycott on the map – see Let’s do the Abbvie again.
A reverse boycott means as many people as possible writing to companies with names attached and indicating a willingness to come into court and testify that there was no other way to explain this death.
There is no point sending a report on a drug or vaccine to regulators (anyone sending any Covid vaccine reports to CDC or EMA or MHRA – forget it its pointless). The regulator will simply file all reports away in cabinets or on hard drives but will never make a judgement about cause and effect.
As Stephen O’Neill’s case and others documented extraordinarily on AntiDepAware show, there is no point having coroners assess a death that involves a drug at an inquest. They do not routinely note the drugs a person is on at the time of death and are too scared to make the obvious call themselves.
Over a decade ago, some corporate lawyers began telling some company personnel never to make a judgement of cause and effect. But the law hasn’t changed, so instead companies now try to get you to report to regulators like FDA or EMA rather than to them – and, stupidly, we have been falling for this in ever greater numbers. These seemingly enlightened companies know exactly what they are doing when they encourage us to report to regulators rather than to them – avoid the conflict of interest of sending it to us. This is getting us to pour water into sand rather than leading to a determinations of cause and effect that might end up in the drug label.
Illustration: Humira: Half-Truths, © 2013 created by Billiam James .
The Irish also invented the hunger strike. Whether reverse boycotts or hunger strikes, the drug wrecked among us and our families need some very public gestures like these now.
There are countless families like the O’Neill’s where a family member has clearly died a horrific death as a result of an SSRI, doxycycline or one of over 100 other drugs given to her or him a short while before that can cause suicide. See The Death of Stephen O’Neill and The Perfect Killing Machine.
In all cases, there is a doctor who fails to step up to the plate and support the family in forcing regulators and politicians to acknowledge that drugs are poisons out of which good can come if used with great care. Someone who has the guts to say unfortunately in this case there has been a poisoning and I feel obliged to tell my colleagues, other prescribers of poisons like me, they need to know about this. See High Noon and Do not Forsake me Oh my Doctor.
Instead, the efforts of regulators, and politicians, geared to letting companies hide the fact that the blister-pack contains a poison within, can continue unhampered by doctors and coroners. Not surprisingly, an ever increasing number of people are getting poisoned, including more and more young people.
It needs something like a hunger strike.
Terence MacSwiney pictured above, was the Lord Mayor of Cork in 1920, when Ireland were trying to pull away from England. He was sentenced to two years in prison in Brixton, London, for having Irish Republican articles in his possession. He went on hunger-strike. The British State became catatonic. Shamed by world opinion from Australia to South America, with a boycott of British goods by America, the Brits were petrified to let him go and unable to do anything. He died after 74 days on hunger strike, giving rise to a new mantra of Irish nationalism as he did:
It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who can suffer the most who will prevail
MacSwiney’s assumption here is that suffering in silence at home is worthless as the following quote brings out and as the people of Myanmar understand.
I am confident that my death will do more to smash the British Empire than my release
Ireland became a Free State seventeen months after his death.
George Floyd didn’t go out of his way to suffer but owing to his family’s efforts on his behalf and the quick wittedness of 17-year old Darnella who turned on her video camera, perhaps in death he too will prevail.
MacSwiney influenced many people. Among them was Ho Chi Minh, who went on against extraordinary odds to liberate Vietnam.
Another was Gandhi, who liberated India.
Another Hunger Strike made Michelle O’Neill deputy first minister of Northern Ireland – maybe the O’Neill’s need to think about this if Stephen O’Neill’s death is to smash the conspiracy of silence that surrounds the number of deaths from drug wrecks each year which is vastly greater than, multiples of, the numbers of women murdered each year by men.
Or do politicians end up like Lilly CEO Randall Tobias whose wife Marilyn committed suicide four weeks after going on Prozac didn’t stop him continuing to act as the sales front for Prozac. Kathryn Taurel, the wife of Lilly’s subsequent CEO also appears to have committed suicide. (Randall lost a later senior Washington job in the Bush administration for his involvement with an escort service).
It doesn’t have to be a Hunger Strike but we do have to have something that will reach the doctors who are currently failing us to at least as great an extent as the police are failing black people.
It should be win-win because if doctors don’t step up this plate, they are likely to go out of business pretty soon. Any doctor sitting comfortably, who doesn’t spot why they are all but certain to go out business if they keep going on the way they are, should read Shipwreck.