Peter Tatchell
British activist
Peter Tatchell
Peter Gary Tatchell is an Australian-born British political campaigner best known for his work with LGBT social movements. Tatchell was selected as Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey in 1981, and was then denounced by party leader Michael Foot for supporting extra-parliamentary action against the Thatcher government. The Labour Party subsequently allowed his selection when he ran in the Bermondsey by-election in February 1983.
Peter Tatchell's personal information overview.
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British TV Host Says He Doesn't Eat Ice Cream Because He's Not Gay
Huffington Post - 2 months
British television personality Richard Hammond is facing a backlash after suggesting that he doesn’t eat ice cream... because he’s not gay.  Hammond, who co-hosts Amazon Prime series “The Grand Tour” with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, made the eyebrow-raising remarks on his show’s sixth episode, “Happy Finnish Christmas,” which was released Dec. 23, The Guardian reports.  After Clarkson suggested that drivers “couldn’t enjoy a chocolate Magnum ice-cream” in the interior of a luxury car, Hammond replied, “Sir, I don’t eat ice cream. It’s something to do with being straight.” Watch a snippet of Hammond’s remarks, courtesy of radio producer Ollie Cole, below.  hello & here's the full richard hammond 'ice creams are gay' piece and yeah, it's awful — Ollie Cole (@ProducerOllie) December 26, 2016 After Hammond’s comment, the audience applauded and laughed somewhat nervously, eventually clapping quite loudly, while Clarkson and ...
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Huffington Post article
If Homophobia Was a Winter Olympic Sport, Russia Would Be a Gold Medal Contender
Huffington Post Sports - about 3 years
This Friday, the Winter Olympics open in the Russian resort of Sochi amid great controversy over the Putin regime's homophobic policies, which clearly violate the anti-discrimination Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter. For me, queer freedom knows no borders. Over the last decade or so, amazing positive gains have been won by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Britain. We've gone from being the country with the largest number of homophobic laws in the world in 1999, to having some the best laws on sexual orientation and gender identity today. But I am an internationalist, not a nationalist. We must not give up the fight until every LGBT person on this planet has equal human rights, respect, dignity and opportunity. That's why I am passionately opposed to what is now happening to LGBT people in Russia. L-R Peter Tatchell and Stephen Fry at the recent protest outside the Russian Embassy in London After a brief period of post-communist liberalisat ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Gay Briton facing jail in Uganda over stolen intimate images may be deported
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Bernard Randall was due to stand trial with partner, but believes officials are using visa issue to avoid accusations of homophobia A gay British man facing a possible jail term in Uganda after pictures of him having sex were made public now believes he will be deported back to the UK instead. Bernard Randall, 65, and his Ugandan partner Albert Cheptoyek, 30, were due to stand trial on 4 December. The couple were charged after intimate images were published in an Ugandan newspaper following the theft of a laptop containing private videos during a break-in at Randall's holiday home. But the retired banking computer analyst, originally from Faversham, Kent, says he has learned that Ugandan officials refused an extension to his visa that would have been required for the court case to go ahead. The visa issue has been used by Ugandan authorities "at the highest level", he believes, as a convenient excuse to avoid accusations of homophobia by global campaigners. "The policeman ... said ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Oliver Cross: Why National Treasures do not have to be treasurable
Yorkshire Evening Post - over 3 years
PRIVATE Eye magazine, which does such sterling work in the war against lazy journalism and clichés, has a regular feature which notes how often the press and broadcasters try to make personalities and institutions more interesting by describing them as National Treasures. The Eye’s treasures this week are Gregg’s the bakers, suppliers of fat-filled (and very tempting) pasties to working people who don’t have the time or the money to eat slowly or sensibly, and Morrissey, the bad-tempered extreme vegetarian. The point about National Treasures is that they don’t have to be treasurable. They just need to stay around for a long time without becoming the subject of police historical offences inquiries. This must be depressing for figures like Morrissey and Tony Benn, who (because people generally remain the same age in their own heads) think of themselves as radical and challenging even after the press has decided that they have become so irrelevant that it can be nice to them. This ha ...
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Yorkshire Evening Post article
Gay Briton and Ugandan partner face jail over sex images from stolen laptop
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Men accused of trafficking obscene materials after pictures taken from pilfered computer are published in newspaper A gay British man and his Ugandan partner are facing possible jail terms after images of them having sex were published in one of the east African country's newspapers. Bernard Randall, 65, originally from Faversham in Kent, faces a charge of trafficking obscene material which could carry a two-year prison sentence. His partner, 30-year-old Albert Cheptoyek, faces a more serious charge of gross indecency which could see him put behind bars for up to seven years. Both men are due in court to answer bail on Monday. Randall says the stills of him having sex appeared in a tabloid following the theft of a laptop containing private videos from the apartment where he was staying on holiday. The public exposure has raised fears for his safety. In 2010 a Ugandan paper published the names of 100 homosexuals under the headline: "Hang Them." Months later a prominent gay rights ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Valery Gergiev concert picketed by gay rights supporters
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
London Symphony Orchestra principal conductor targeted over his backing for Putin, who has introduced anti-gay laws in Russia Around 60 people gathered outside the Barbican in London on Thursday night, chanting "Human rights for Russia" and "Stop supporting tyranny" before a concert conducted by Valery Gergiev, the target of a number of recent gay rights protests. They included retired teacher David Sylph and his civil partner Malcolm Wren, who had travelled from York for the London Symphony Orchestra's performance of The Damnation of Faust. "We love the music," said Sylph, a retired teacher. "But we're very unhappy that Valery Gergiev is a friend and supporter of Putin, who has introduced these anti-gay laws in Russia as a result of which gay people are being attacked all over the country. We want him to denounce those laws." Sylph and Wren, an examiner, said they would not applaud Gergiev but would applaud the orchestra, chorus and singers. "We're going to the concert because we ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Peter G Tatchell: G20 Global Speak Out: Love Russia, Hate Homophobia
Huffington Post - over 3 years
G20 world leaders are being pressured to raise violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Russia when they meet in St Petersburg this Thursday. They are being targeted by a Global Speak Out two days beforehand, on Tuesday 3 September. It is being coordinated by the international online activist group All Out and involves same-day protests in 32 cities around world. London is participating with a Love Russia, Hate Homophobia rally outside the Prime Minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, from 5-8pm on Tuesday evening. Participants are being urged to "wear red - the colour of love." They will challenge David Cameron: "What are you doing about the anti-gay law in Russia? We want answers. Tell Putin to drop the law." Cameron says he's against a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia but he hasn't said what he'll do instead. We are asking the Prime Minster to raise Russia's homophobic repression at the G20 summit. We want him to public ...
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Huffington Post article
WordPress pulls interview with anti-gay group Straight Pride UK
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Campaign group for 'heterosexual equal rights' uses US copyright law to issue a takedown notice WordPress has removed an interview with the "homophobic" campaign Straight Pride UK after the group used US copyright law to issue a takedown notice. In an interview posted on his WordPress blog, student Oliver Hotham published an interview with the group described as having a "homophobic agenda" by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, in which they stated that they "admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country's traditional values". Hotham said the information was volunteered by the Straight Pride UK press officer during an email exchange. Straight Pride UK – whose website states "there is nothing right with being homosexual, there is nothing right with being bisexual" - was asked by Hotham for its reaction to anti-gay attacks in Russia and Africa. Hotham says that Nick Steiner, a press officer for the group, said in a document headed 'press rel ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Putin Is 'Czar Of Homophobia,' Say London Protesters
Huffington Post - over 3 years
By Costas Pitas LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Hundreds of people protested in London on Saturday against a Russian anti-gay propaganda law that has attracted international condemnation as the world athletics championships kick off in Moscow. Gathering in the British capital near the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron and the foreign ministry, demonstrators called for the government to push Russia to repeal the laws. "Putin is the 'Czar of Homophobia'," veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote on his website ahead of the protests. "His regime has outlawed the public expression of LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) identity and affection - and prohibited the advocacy of LGBT human rights - in circumstances where a person under 18 might see it." Clutching banners bearing slogans such as "Love Russia. Hate Homophobia" and rainbow flags, protesters called for a chang ...
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Huffington Post article
British gay marriage bill clears crucial hurdle
Fox News - over 3 years
The first gay marriages in England and Wales are set to take place in 2014 after the legislation passed through parliament's upper chamber the House of Lords on Monday. Jubilant gay rights activists cheered outside parliament as the bill cleared unopposed, while gay lawmaker Lord Waheed Ali told colleagues in an emotional speech: "My life and many others will be better today than it was yesterday." The government-backed legislation now passes back to the lower House of Commons for final debates on Tuesday, but they are expected to be little more than a formality. A spokesman for the culture ministry, which is overseeing the legislation, said the bill would probably receive official assent from Queen Elizabeth II, the head of state, on Wednesday or Thursday. "But we are looking at seeing the first gay weddings in the middle of 2014 because there are various issues to sort out, such as its impact on pensions," the spokesman told AFP. Supporters of the bill in the House of Lords wore ...
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Fox News article
Peter G Tatchell: Abu Qatada: Even Terror Suspects Have Human Rights
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The whole point about the principle of universal human rights is that they apply to everyone - even to people that many of us find objectionable, such as the alleged terrorist orchestrator Abu Qatada. Home secretary Theresa May is wrong to promise to reduce the appeals procedure in asylum cases involving foreign nationals and to scrap our precious, hard-won human rights laws in the light of the Qatada fiasco. It would be huge mistake to scale-back the asylum appeals system because of the case of Qatada. The appeals procedure exists to ensure fairness and to safeguard against miscarriages of justice. We should never diminish our civil liberties and our due legal process in response to a minority of exceptional cases, no matter how reprehensible people like Abu Qatada may be. What is proposed by the government is an ill-thought, knee-jerk reaction that is both autocratic and petulant. Successive home secretaries are guilty of giving Abu Qatada the whip hand. They cou ...
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Huffington Post article
Peter G Tatchell: Russian Anti-Gay Law Violates the Constitution and European Human Rights Law
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The Russian parliament has unanimously passed a harsh new anti-gay law that criminalises LGBT freedom of expression, under the guise of suppressing the spread of 'propaganda' to minors in support of "non-traditional sexual relations". It is one of the most draconian laws against LGBT freedom of expression anywhere in the world and a further reversal of the liberalisation of the early 1990s, when homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia. Not since the days of Stalin have LGBT Russians experienced such repressive legal measures. Although the legislation is ostensibly aimed at prohibiting the dissemination of so-called 'gay propaganda' to young persons under 18, in reality it will criminalise any public advocacy of LGBT equality or expression of same-sex affection where a young person could potentially see or hear it. LGBT organisations, meetings, festivals, marches, posters, newspapers, books, films, counselling and safer sex educa ...
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Huffington Post article
Bradley Manning generates more sympathy abroad
Fox News - over 3 years
It's rare for an American to generate more sympathy abroad than he or she does at home, but Bradley Manning and his trial are unique in a host of ways. With Manning's trial heating up in the United States, where he is accused of aiding the enemy by leaking classified material to WikiLeaks, his vocal supporters in Britain and Europe are once again rallying to his side. While support for the imprisoned soldier may be weak in the U.S., Manning — a dual U.S. and British national by virtue of his Welsh mother — has a solid band of supporters in Britain. In countries with no national secrets at stake in the trove that WikiLeaks unleashed on the Internet, many have seized upon Manning's case as a focal point for a wide range of human rights issues, from the ethics of waging preemptive wars abroad to the protection of individual freedoms on the Internet. Many saw his harsh treatment in a U.S. military prison as a violation of his own human rights ...
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Fox News article
Peter G Tatchell: Islamist Hate Preachers Blocked at East London University
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
The University of East London (UEL) blocked an Islamist meeting that was due to be held on the Stratford campus last Friday, 15 March. The meeting was billed as featuring hate preachers Khalid Yasin and Jalal Ibn Saeed. The meeting was also advertised with "segregated seating", where women would be forced to sit separate from men. The Peter Tatchell Foundation, LGBT Society at UEL and the Braki blog lobbied for the meeting to be cancelled. Khalid Yasin says homosexuality and lesbianism are "aberrations, they are immoralities." He endorses the execution of gay people. He also insists that Muslims should not have non-Muslims as friends, condemning non-Muslims using the derogatory term, kaffirs. He praises public executions and amputations and claims AIDS is a western and World Health Organisation conspiracy to kill Africans. Jalal Ibn Saeed reportedly supports the Taliban, despite their documented terrorist attacks and abuse of human rights. The advocacy of execution ...
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Huffington Post article
Peter G Tatchell: A Day in the Life of Peter Tatchell
The Huffington Post - about 4 years
A Day In A Queer Life is an ongoing blog series that documents the unique struggles, joys, triumphs, set backs, hopes and desires of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in one of the six countries currently featuring a HuffPost site (Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States). Each week a different blogger from one of these countries shares his or her personal story and perspective on what life is like wherever he or she resides. Want to share your own story? Write us at to find out how you can take part in A Day In A Queer Life. I go to sleep every night with a siren alarm, fire extinguisher and rope ladder beside my bed - in case of another attack. I've had hundreds of attacks over the years: bottles and bricks through the windows, three fire bombs and a bullet through the letterbox. My flat is a fortress, with iron bars over the windows, a steel-reinforced front door and the hallway is fire-pro ...
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The Huffington Post article
Gay Marriage Has Passed In The UK's House Of Commons
Business Insider - about 4 years
When the moment came, it was joyous and loud. There were deafening cheers as the gay marriage bill passed its first parliamentary hurdle in the House of Commons last night from supporters squeezed into a committee room anxiously waiting the result. "As a boy I never thought this moment would happen in my lifetime," said Greg Leonard, 44. "It's really quite emotional". Asked if he was married, he grabbed his partner's leg. "Not yet," he said. Supporters of the bill had gathered outside parliament as MPs were casting their votes. Archie Young, a 20-year-old actor, was among those who cheered as a lorry driver parped his horn and gave a big thumbs-up to the crowd. "This bill will go down in history as an actual groovy piece of legislation," he said. "It is up there with civil rights and the legalisation of homosexuality. This will be the moment when gay people can get married to each other and be recognised by the state - that's pretty fantastic." The bill was of "huge symbolic imp ...
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Business Insider article
UK police accused of wrongly taking DNA of gay men
Fox News - about 4 years
In 1983, Stephen Close was arrested, jailed and expelled from the British army for having sex with a male squad mate. Three decades later, police tracked him down to the northern England city of Salford and demanded a sample of his DNA because of that conviction. Close, now 50 and openly gay, said he was shocked. "I was horrified that after all these years they suddenly decided to bring this up again," Close said in a telephone interview from Salford, 205 miles (330 kilometers) north of London. While it is not illegal in the U.K. to collect genetic material from adults, Britain's DNA database — one of the largest in the world, with some 6 million samples — has long been a magnet for controversy. Human rights advocate Peter Tatchell says gay men convicted years ago under Britain's now-defunct gross indecency law may have had their rights violated recently by British police who ordered them to submit their genetic material to ...
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Fox News article
Rats leave Nick Griffin behind on the BNP's swiftly sinking ship - The Independent
Google News - over 4 years
BBC News Rats leave Nick Griffin behind on the BNP's swiftly sinking ship The Independent Access to the British National Party's annual conference, which is likely to be attended by about 100 activists, will be tightly controlled to prevent "spies" penetrating the gathering and relaying its deliberations to the outside world. But it is hard to imagine that ... Peter Tatchell blasts BNP leader Nick Griffin over 'smears' B&B ruling: Discrimination a right - Nick GriffinBBC News Nick Griffin posts address of B&B case gay couple onlineThe Guardian Daily Mail -Channel 4 News all 266 news articles »
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Google News article
Gay Olympians Are Triumphant In London -- But Will The Next Host City Be As Welcoming?
Huffington Post - over 4 years
LONDON -- It has been a great games for gay Olympians – probably. British equestrian Carl Hester won gold in team dressage in London. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe has scored three goals for the U.S. women's soccer team and several other lesbian players are part of the Dutch field hockey team heading into Friday's final. But it's likely there have been more triumphs by gay and lesbian competitors that the world doesn't know about. There are more than 10,000 athletes competing at the London games, but when the gay website set out to count how many were openly gay, it came up with 23. "It's an absurdly low number," said site co-founder Jim Buzinski. He said that compared to the arts, politics or business worlds, "sports is still the final closet in society." Estimates of the percentage of gay people in any given population vary widely. In a 2010 survey by Britain's Office for National Statistics, 1.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Tatchell
  • 2016
    Age 64
    On 13 February 2016, Fran Cowling, the national LGBT representative for the NUS, refused to share a platform with Tatchell at Canterbury Christ Church University to discuss the topic of "re-radicalising queers".
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  • 2015
    Age 63
    In November 2015, Tatchell condemned the conviction of British teenager Silhan Özçelik for trying to join the Kurdistan Workers Party.
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    On 14 February 2015, Tatchell was one of a number of signatories to a letter criticising the trend in the British National Union of Students to apply a No Platform policy to feminists who criticised the sex industry or challenged demands made by certain groups of transsexuals.
    More Details Hide Details In particular, the letter cited the denial of a platform to Kate Smurthwaite at Goldsmith's College and to Germaine Greer at the University of Cambridge. Tatchell received death threats after signing the letter. He later stated that he would have worded the letter differently to clarify that he supported the human rights of trans people and sex workers, but that he had signed the letter nonetheless because he believed in the message of free speech on campuses. He said that the initial draft that he signed contained the sentence "Some of us have disagreements with the views expressed feminist critics of trans people", and that he was "not happy" that this was cut out of the final letter.
    A previous supporter of the Stop the War Coalition, Tatchell and many other public personalities expressed concern with the coalition's allegedly unduly favourable view of Bashar Al-Assad's government in Syria, and has called for the Labour leader and former Stop the War Chair Jeremy Corbyn not to attend the Coalition's Christmas fundraiser 2015.
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  • 2014
    Age 62
    In September 2014, Tatchell advocated arming the Kurdistan Workers Party to fight against ISIS, and argued that the USA and EU had been wrong to designate it as a terrorist organisation.
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    In January 2014, Tatchell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by De Montfort University.
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    Tatchell protested the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi over the gay rights stance of Russia, comparing the event to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell was arrested at the Moscow Pride parade in 2011 amid a spate of anti-gay violence by Neo-Nazis. Tatchell argues that the Russian police collude with Neo-Nazi elements, and that some in the Neo-Nazi group were undercover police officers.
    Tatchell is a strong opponent of the Russian LGBT propaganda law. In 2014 Tatchell protested Valery Gergiev's support for Vladimir Putin.
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  • 2013
    Age 61
    Alongside Misha B, Jody Cundy, Peter Norfolk and others he is a patron for 2013 National Diversity Awards.
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  • 2012
    Age 60
    On 21 September 2012, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the UK's first National Diversity Awards.
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    In 2012, the National Secular Society awarded Tatchell Secularist of the Year, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the defence of human rights against religious fundamentalism.
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  • 2010
    Age 58
    In 2010 he won Total Politics Top 50 Political Influencers.
    More Details Hide Details A diary journalist reported rumours that he had been recommended for the award of a life peerage in the British New Year's honours. He was said to have turned it down.
    In February 2010, Women Against Fundamentalism defended Tatchell against allegations of Islamophobia and endorsed his right to challenge all religious fundamentalism: "WAF supports the right of Peter Tatchell and numerous other gay activists to oppose the legitimisation of fundamentalists and other right wing forces on university campuses, by the Left and by the government in its Preventing Violent Extremism strategy and numerous other programmes and platforms".
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  • 2009
    Age 57
    In 2009 he racked up multiple awards.
    More Details Hide Details He was named Campaigner of the Year in The Observer Ethical Awards, London Citizen of Sanctuary Award, Shaheed Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti Award (for reporting the Balochistan national liberation struggle), Evening Standard 1000 Most Influential Londoners (winning again in 2011), Liberal Voice of the Year and a Blue Plaque in recognition of his more than 40 years of human rights campaigning.
    On 16 May 2009, the day of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russian gay rights activists staged a protest in Moscow in defiance of the city's mayor, Yuri Luzkhov, who had long banned gay demonstrations and denounced them as "satanic".
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell was among 32 campaigners arrested when they shouted slogans and unfurled banners.
  • 2008
    Age 56
    Tatchell campaigned on the issue of the constitutional status of Cornwall. In November 2008, The Guardian carried an article by him entitled Self-rule for Cornwall, in which he said: Like Wales and Scotland, Cornwall considers itself a separate Celtic nation – so why shouldn't it have independence?
    More Details Hide Details Cornish Nationalists argue that Cornwall is a subjugated nation, in much the same way that Scotland and Wales once were. Not only is the historic Cornish flag – a white cross on a black background – excluded from the Union Jack; until not so long ago Cornish people needed planning permission to fly it. Comparisons with Scotland and Wales are valid. After all, Cornwall has all the basic cultural attributes of a nation: its own distinct Celtic language, history, festivals, cuisine, music, dance and sports. Many Cornish people perceive themselves to be other than English. Despite the government's resistance, under the Commission for Racial Equality and Council of Europe guidelines, they qualify for recognition as a national minority. Cornwall was once separate and self-governing. If the Cornish people want autonomy and it would improve their lives, why shouldn't they have self-rule once again? Malta, with only 400,000 people, is an independent state within the EU. Why not Cornwall?
    In August 2008 Tatchell wrote about speculative theories concerning possible atmospheric oxygen depletion compared to prehistoric levels, and called for further investigation to test such claims and, if proven, their long-term consequences.
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell is an active supporter of animal rights, saying "human rights and animal rights are two aspects of the same struggle against injustice". He is a patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society, a charity campaigning for an end to the use of animals in circuses, zoos and exotic pet trade. He is also a patron of Animal Aid and works with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
    In the Irish Independent on 10 March 2008 he repeated his call for a lower age of consent to end the criminalisation of young people engaged in consenting sex and to remove the legal obstacles to upfront sex education, condom provision and safer sex advice.
    More Details Hide Details In 1998 and 2008, he supported relaxation of the then strict laws against pornography, arguing that porn can have some social benefits, and he has criticised what he calls the body-shame phobia against nudism, suggesting that nudity may be natural and healthy for society. Tatchell has pledged his support for opposite-sex couples to be allowed to have civil partnerships, stating that some opposite-sex couples dislike the "sexist, homophobic history of institution of marriage", and allowing them into civil partnerships "is simply a matter of equality". Writing for his organisation the Peter Tatchell Foundation, he claims that: The defeat of opposite-sex civil partnerships is, hopefully, only a temporary setback for equality. The government never wanted them. It used scare tactics to frighten MPs into voting to maintain discrimination against straight couples. Although a review has been agreed, it is unnecessary. More than 60% of the public support civil partnerships for everyone, gay and straight Heterosexual couples have a right to a civil partnership. Banning them is wrong. This issue is all about equality. Just as gay couples should be allowed to marry, straight couples should be permitted to join together in a civil partnership. There should be no discrimination in civil marriage and civil partnership law. Both the Tory government and the Tory rebels reject full equality. They have double standards on civil partnerships and civil marriages.
  • 2007
    Age 55
    On 27 May 2007, Tatchell and other gay rights activists were attacked.
    More Details Hide Details He was punched in the face and nearly knocked unconscious, while other demonstrators were beaten, kicked and assaulted. A German MP, Volker Beck, and a European Parliament deputy from Italy, Marco Cappato, were also punched before being arrested and questioned by police. Tatchell later said "I'm not deterred one iota from coming back to protest in Moscow." On his release, Tatchell made a report on the incident to the American Embassy.
    In February 2007 the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, visited Ken Livingstone for an annual meeting that also involved the Mayors of Berlin and Paris, with the mayor of Beijing present as well.
    More Details Hide Details Nikolay Alexeyev, one of the organizers of the Moscow gay pride parade, joined Tatchell in protesting the visit. A notice of the protest quoted Talgat Tadzhuddin saying that the Moscow pride marchers should be flogged. Ken Livingstone asserted that he supports gay rights, and said "In Moscow the Russian Orthodox church, the chief rabbi and the grand Mufti all supported the ban on the Gay Pride march with the main role, due to its great weight in society, being played by the Orthodox church. The attempt of Mr Tatchell to focus attention on the role of the grand Mufti in Moscow, in the face of numerous attacks on gay rights in Eastern Europe, which overwhelmingly come from right-wing Christian and secular currents, is a clear example of an Islamaphobic campaign." Tatchell retorted that Livingstone's remarks were "dishonest, despicable nonsense", adding "The Grand Mufti was not singled out". He further said the Mayor had brought his "office into disrepute" and "has revealed himself to be a person without principles, honesty or integrity."
    From 2007 to 2009, he campaigned in defence of two UK-based Baloch Muslim human rights activists, Hyrbyair Marri and Faiz Baluch, accused of terrorism charges and tried in London.
    More Details Hide Details Both men were acquitted in 2009. He alleged British and U.S. collusion with the suppression of the Balochs, including arms sales to Pakistan, which he says were used to bomb and attack Baloch towns and villages. In May 2006 Tatchell attended the first Moscow Pride Festival. He appears in the documentary Moscow Pride '06 featuring this event. In May 2007 Tatchell returned to Moscow to support Moscow Pride and to voice his opposition to a ban on the march, staying at the flat of an American diplomat.
  • 2006
    Age 54
    Tatchell wrote a 2006 opinion column in The Guardian arguing that Muslims deliberately conflate offense with violence, in an effort to suppress Muslim reformers in Britain. He argued that Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain see "any criticism of Islam is an insult and that all such insults are unacceptable" in order to suppress the "free exchange of ideas". In July 2004, then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone invited Yusuf al-Qaradawi to attend a talk called "A woman's right to choose" about the wearing of the hijab.
    More Details Hide Details Livingstone had read positive coverage of Qaradawi in The Guardian and the Sun. In October 2004, 2,500 Muslim academics from 23 countries condemned Qaradawi, and accused him of giving "Islam a bad name and fostering hatred among civilizations" and "providing a religious cover for terrorism". Tatchell argued that Qaradawi expresses liberal positions to deceive the Western press and politicians, while being "rightwing, misogynist, anti-semitic and homophobic" and using his books and fatwas to advocate female genital mutilation, blame for rape victims who dress immodestly, and the execution of apostates, homosexuals, and women who have sex outside marriage. Livingstone issued a 2005 dossier praising Qaradawi as a moderate, based on positive press coverage he had received previously. Livingstone pronounced that Tatchell has "a long history of Islamophobia", and asserted that he is in a "de facto alliance with the American neo-cons and Israeli intelligence services." Tatchell strenuously denied the accusations, pointing out that he has never said any of the things that Livingstone accused him of saying. Livingstone continued to describe Qaradawi as “one of the leading progressive voices in the Muslim world” in 2010, after having been denied entry to the UK for his extremist views.
    In 2006, he helped stop the abuse of Muslim prisoners at Norwich jail and helped secure parole for other Muslim detainees.
    More Details Hide Details Half his asylum cases are, he reports, male and female Muslim refugees. Two of his highest-profile campaigns involved Muslim victims—Mohamed S, who was framed by men who first tried to kill him and then jailed him for eight years, and Sid Saeed, who brought a racism and homophobic harassment case against Deutsche Bank. Tatchell has described Sharia as "a clerical form of fascism" on the grounds that it opposes democracy and human rights, especially for women and gay people. He was the keynote speaker at a 2005 protest at the Canadian High Commission demanding that Ontario's arbitration law, which permitted religious arbitration in civil cases for Jews and Christians, be extended to Muslims. Tatchell argued there should be no separate arbitration systems for any specific religion. In 1995 he wrote that "although not all Muslims are anti-gay, significant numbers are violently homophobic homophobic Muslim voters may be able to influence the outcome of elections in 20 or more marginal constituencies."
    In 2006, during the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, Tatchell spoke at a 25 March 2006 rally called the Freedom of Expression Rally.
    More Details Hide Details At the rally, Tatchell argued for the "disestablishment of the Church of England and the freedom to insult the Queen, Prime Minister and Archbishop of Canterbury." Tatchell said that the far-left is "Mired in the immoral morass of cultural relativism, they no longer endorse Enlightenment values and universal human rights. Their support for free speech is now qualified by so many ifs and buts. When push comes to shove, it is more or less worthless." In a 2007 Guardian opinion piece, Tatchell argued that "The best way to tackle prejudice is by presenting facts and using reasoned arguments, to break down ignorance and ill-will." Tatchell is critical of Islamic fundamentalism, and first wrote about its rise in Britain in 1995. However, Tatchell condemned Islamophobia, saying "Any form of prejudice, hatred, discrimination or violence against Muslims is wrong. Full stop". He described the Qur'an as "rather mild in its condemnation of homosexuality". Tatchell also points out that much of his prison and asylum casework involves supporting Muslim prisoners and asylum seekers—heterosexual, as well as LGBT.
    But in 2006 Tatchell noted that SCIRI had become markedly more fundamentalist and was endorsing violent attacks on anyone who did not conform to its increasingly harsh interpretation of Islam.
    More Details Hide Details He claimed that SCIRI, the leading force in Baghdad's ruling coalition, wanted to establish an Iranian-style religious dictatorship, with a goal of clerical fascism, and had engaged in "terrorisation of gay Iraqis", as well as terrorising Sunni Muslims, left-wingers, unveiled women and people who listen to western pop music or wear jeans or shorts.
  • 2004
    Age 52
    For nearly four decades, Tatchell has campaigned for Gaza and the West Bank to be the basis of an independent Palestinian state. In May 2004, he and a dozen other OutRage! members, including gay Arabs, joined a London demonstration organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Their placards read "Israel: stop persecuting Palestine! Palestine: stop persecuting queers!" (the latter a reference to the arrest, jailing and torture of homosexuals by the Palestinian authorities). The OutRage! presence was greeted with hostility by some other demonstrators, and Tatchell claims they accused him of being a Mossad agent sent to disrupt the march, of being a racist or a Zionist, a supporter of Ariel Sharon or an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency or MI5. Tatchell has written a number of articles in the Guardian on the issue. In April 2008, Tatchell attempted to disrupt the procession of the Olympic torch though London. As a protest against China's human rights record he stood in front of the bus carrying the torch along Oxford Street while carrying a placard calling on Beijing to "Free Tibet, Free Hu Jia" (the name of a recently jailed human rights activist). Tatchell was taken away by police but was not charged. In an interview Tatchell called on the world to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics, or to take other visible action.
    In April 2004, he joined the Green Party of England and Wales and in 2007 was selected as prospective parliamentary candidate in the constituency of Oxford East, but in December 2009 announced he was standing down due to brain damage he says was caused by a bus accident as well as damage inflicted by Mugabe's bodyguards when Tatchell tried to arrest him in 2001, and by neo-Nazis in Moscow while campaigning for gay rights.
    More Details Hide Details Since 2013 he has been a full-time employee of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Tatchell was born in Melbourne, Australia. His father was a lathe operator and his mother worked in a biscuit factory. His parents divorced when he was four and his mother remarried soon afterwards. Because the family finances were strained by medical bills, he had to leave school at 16 in 1968. He started work as a sign-writer and window-dresser in department stores. Tatchell claims to have incorporated the theatricality of these displays into his activism. Raised as a Christian, Tatchell says that he "ditched his faith a long time ago" and is an atheist. It is widely reported that Tatchell is a vegan, however Tatchell himself only states that he eats no meat, but does eat eggs, cheese, and, according to Richard Fairbrass, wild salmon, meaning Tatchell is in fact a pescatarian.
  • 2003
    Age 51
    In late 2003 Tatchell acted as a press spokesman for the launch of the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement, which claimed to be a clandestine group within Zimbabwe committed to overthrowing the Mugabe government by force.
    More Details Hide Details The civic action support group Sokwanele urged Tatchell to check his sources, speculating that it might have been by the Zimbabwe government to justify violent action. This speculation proved to be unfounded. The Mugabe regime dismissed the ZFM as a "hoax." However, two Central Intelligence Organization members were spotted and turned away from the ZFM launch, as shown in the film "Peter Tatchell: Just who does he think he is?" by Max Barber. A long-time anti-apartheid activist (from 1969), his lobbying of the ANC in 1987 contributed to it renouncing homophobia and making its first public commitment to lesbian and gay human rights. Later, in 1989 and 1990, he helped persuade the ANC to include a ban on anti-gay discrimination in the post-apartheid constitution (he assisted in drafting model clauses for the ANC). See: Sex and Politics in South Africa (Double Storey Books, Cape Town, 2005, pp. 140–149).
  • 2001
    Age 49
    On 5 March 2001 Tatchell believed Mugabe was about to visit Brussels.
    More Details Hide Details He went there and attempted a second citizen's arrest. Mugabe's bodyguards were seen knocking him to the floor. Later that day, Tatchell was briefly knocked unconscious by Mugabe's bodyguards and was left with permanent damage to his right eye. The protest drew worldwide headlines, as Mugabe was highly unpopular in the Western world for his land redistribution policy. Tatchell's actions were praised by Zimbabwean activists and many of the newspapers that had previously denounced him. Tatchell ultimately failed in his attempt to secure an international arrest warrant against Mugabe on torture charges. The magistrate argued that Mugabe had immunity from prosecution as a serving head of state.
  • 2000
    Age 48
    In February 2000 Tatchell resigned from Labour, citing the treatment of Ken Livingstone during the nomination of a candidate for Mayor of London, and of similar cases in the Scottish and Welsh elections, as evidence that the party "no longer has any mechanism for democratic involvement and transformation".
    More Details Hide Details He fought unsuccessfully for a seat on the London Assembly as an Independent candidate within the Green Left grouping, in support of Livingstone. On 7 April 2004 he announced that he had joined the Green Party of England and Wales but did not envisage standing for election. However, in 2007, he became the party's parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. On 16 December 2009, he withdrew as a candidate claiming brain damage from an assault while protesting in Brussels in 2001, while protesting in Moscow in 2007 and in a bus accident in July 2009. Tatchell opposes nuclear power; instead he advocates concentrated solar power. In Tribune, he pointed out the adverse effects of climate change: "By 2050, if climate change proceeds unchecked, England will no longer be a green and pleasant land. In between periods of prolonged scorching drought, we are likely to suffer widespread flooding."
  • 1999
    Age 47
    On 30 October 1999 Tatchell and three other OutRage! activists approached Mugabe's car in a London street and attempted to perform a citizen's arrest.
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell opened the car door and grabbed Mugabe. He then called the police. The four OutRage! activists were arrested, on charges including criminal damage, assault and breach of the peace; charges were dropped on the opening day of their trial. Mugabe responded by describing Tatchell and his OutRage! colleagues as "gay gangsters", a slogan frequently repeated by his supporters, and claimed they had been sent by the United Kingdom government.
    He attempted a citizen's arrest of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in 1999 and again in 2001.
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  • 1997
    Age 45
    On 26 October 1997 a letter from Tatchell to The Observer argued that the United Kingdom should suspend aid to Zimbabwe because of its violence against LGBT people.
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell researched the Gukurahundi attacks in Matabeleland in the 1980s, when the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade attacked supporters of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union. He became convinced that Mugabe had broken international human rights law during the attack, which is estimated to have involved the massacre of around 20,000 civilians. Then in 1999, journalists Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto were tortured by the Zimbabwe Army. The arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London seemed to him a precedent that human rights violations could be pursued against a head of state, thanks to the principle of universal jurisdiction.
    In a 1997 letter to The Guardian, Tatchell defended an academic book about "boy-love," calling the work "courageous," before writing: The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures.
    More Details Hide Details Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful. Tatchell has since reiterated that he does not condone adults having sex with children. On his personal website, under the subsection Age of Consent, he writes: My articles urging an age of consent of 14 are motivated solely by a desire to reduce the criminalisation of under-16s who have consenting relationships with other young people of similar ages. I do not support adults having sex with children. I do not advocate teenagers having sex before the age of 16. But if they do have sex before their 16th birthday, they should not be arrested, given a criminal record and put on the sex offenders register.
  • 1996
    Age 44
    In 1996 Tatchell led an OutRage! campaign to reduce the age of consent in the UK to 14 years, to adjust for studies that showed nearly half of all young people had their first sexual experiences prior to 16 years old, regardless of sexuality.
    More Details Hide Details He stated that he wished to exempt these people from being "treated as criminals by the law," and that the campaign claimed there should be no prosecution if the difference in ages of the sexual partners was no more than three years, provided that these youths are given a more comprehensive sex education at a younger date. He was quoted in the OutRage!'s press release as saying "Young people have a right to accept or reject sex, according to what they feel is appropriate for them". Leo McKinstry, in The Sun, called the release "a perverts' charter".
  • 1994
    Age 42
    Some OutRage! activities were highly controversial. In 1994, it unveiled placards inviting ten Church of England bishops to "tell the truth" about what Outrage! alleged was their homosexuality and accusing them of condemning homosexuality in public while leading secret gay lives.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly afterwards the group wrote to twenty UK MPs, condemning their alleged support for anti-gay laws and claiming they would out them if the MPs did not stop what they described as attacks on the gay community. The MP Sir James Kilfedder, one such opponent of gay equality, who had received one of the letters, died two months later of a sudden heart attack on the day one of the Belfast newspapers planned to out him. In a comment in The Independent in October 2003, Tatchell claimed the OutRage! action against the bishops was his greatest mistake because he failed to anticipate that the media and the church would treat it as an invasion of privacy. On 12 April 1998, Tatchell led an OutRage! protest, which disrupted the Easter sermon by George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, with Tatchell mounting the pulpit to denounce what he claimed was Carey's opposition to legal equality for lesbian and gay people. The protest garnered media coverage and led to Tatchell's prosecution under the little-used Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860 (formerly part of the Brawling Act 1551), which prohibits any form of disruption or protest in a church. Tatchell failed in his attempt to summon Carey as a witness and was convicted. The judge fined him the trivial sum of £18.60, which commentators theorised was a wry allusion to the year of the statute used to convict him.
  • 1991
    Age 39
    In 1991, a small group of OutRage! members covertly formed a separate group to engage in a campaign of outing public figures who were homophobic in public but gay in private.
    More Details Hide Details The group took the name FROCS (Faggots Rooting Out Closeted Sexuality). Tatchell was the group's go-between with the press, forwarding their news statements to his media contacts. Considerable publicity and public debate followed FROCS's threat to out 200 leading public personalities from the world of politics, religion, business and sport. With Tatchell's assistance, members of FROCS eventually called a press conference to tell the world that their campaign was a hoax intended to demonstrate the hypocrisy of those newspapers that had condemned the campaign despite having themselves outed celebrities and politicians.
  • 1990
    Age 38
    Following the murder of actor Michael Boothe on 10 May 1990, Tatchell was one of thirty people to attend the inaugural meeting of the radical gay rights non-violent direct action group OutRage! – although he was not a co-founder – and has remained a leading member.
    More Details Hide Details The group fuses theatrical performance styles with queer protest. As the most prominent OutRage! member, Tatchell is sometimes assumed to be the leader of the group, though he has never claimed this, saying he is one among equals.
  • 1985
    Age 33
    Tatchell's book Democratic Defence was published in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details This outlined how defence of the United Kingdom might be assured after the nuclear disarmament that he and the Labour Party were then committed to. (Labour has since abandoned this policy.) Tatchell argued that the British military was still organised on an imperialist strategy of basing troops abroad rather than on a strategy of defending the UK itself against foreign attacks. Citing the problems that the British army was facing in Northern Ireland, he argued that their long-established methods were ineffective against guerilla warfare. He argued for a range of methods to liberalise the regime in the armed forces so that troops could be allowed to join trade unions and political parties, and to end he referred to as the "bull" of "petty regulations" and harsh punishments for violating them. He upheld the British Home Guard as an example of a citizens' army that had been effective in fighting Nazi Germany, and also upheld the armed forces of Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia as effective in deterring foreign aggression.
  • 1981
    Age 29
    When the sitting Labour MP, Bob Mellish,announced his retirement in 1981, Tatchell was selected as his successor.
    More Details Hide Details The selection was a surprise, as Arthur Latham, a former MP and former Chairman of the Tribune Group, was the favourite. Later the Militant group was cited as the reason for Tatchell's selection, but he has pointed out that at that time it had only a handful of members in the constituency, he had never been a member and Militant did not support his selection. Tatchell ascribed his selection to the support of the "older, 'born and bred' working class; the younger professional and intellectual members swung behind Latham". Due to Tatchell's support for direct action in the London Labour Briefing newsletter, Tatchell was denounced by party leader Michael Foot for allegedly supporting extra-parliamentary action against the Thatcher government; according to Tony Benn, Foot lied about Tatchell's alleged extremism in order to allow the Social Democratic Party to rejoin the Labour Party. Neil Kinnock stated that the whole affair was a matter of political judgement, asking "... the question is: are we talking of extra-parliamentary or anti-parliamentary behaviour?" The fact that Tatchell was a gay man was also considered by some as a factor as to why Tatchell should not be supported.
    Tatchell was selected as Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details He was then denounced by party leader Michael Foot for allegedly supporting extra-parliamentary action against the Thatcher government. Labour subsequently allowed him to stand in the Bermondsey by-election in February 1983. In the 1990s he campaigned for LGBT rights through the direct action group OutRage!, which he co-founded. He has worked on various campaigns, such as Stop Murder Music against music lyrics allegedly inciting violence against LGBT people and writes and broadcasts on various human rights and social justice issues.
  • 1980
    Age 28
    At CLP's AGM in February 1980, the left group won control and Tatchell was elected Secretary.
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  • 1979
    Age 27
    From October 1979, he became a leading member in a group of left-wingers planning to depose the right-wing caucus of Southwark councillors that controlled the Bermondsey Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
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  • 1978
    Age 26
    In 1978 Tatchell joined the Labour Party and moved to a council flat in Bermondsey, south-east London.
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  • 1973
    Age 21
    In 1973 he attended the 10th World Youth Festival in East Berlin on GLF's behalf.
    More Details Hide Details His actions triggered opposition within and between different groups of national delegates including the Communist Party of Great Britain and National Union of Students. He was banned from conferences, had his leaflets confiscated and burned, interrogated by the secret police (the Stasi) and was threatened and assaulted by other delegates, mostly communists. Tatchell later claimed that this was the first time gay liberation politics were publicly disseminated and discussed in a communist country, although he noted that, in terms of decriminalisation and the age of consent, gay men had greater rights in East Germany at the time than in Britain and much of the West. Describing his time in the Gay Liberation Front, he wrote in The Guardian that: The GLF was a glorious, enthusiastic and often chaotic mix of anarchists, hippies, leftwingers, feminists, liberals and counter-culturalists. Despite our differences, we shared a radical idealism – a dream of what the world could and should be – free from not just homophobia but the whole sex-shame culture, which oppressed straights as much as LGBTs. We were sexual liberationists and social revolutionaries, out to turn the world upside down. GLF's main aim was never equality within the status quo. GLF's strategy for queer emancipation was to change society's values and norms, rather than adapt to them. We sought a cultural revolution to overturn centuries of male heterosexual domination and thereby free both queers and women.
  • 1972
    Age 20
    With others he helped organise Britain's first Gay Pride march in 1972.
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  • 1969
    Age 17
    He had accepted being gay in 1969, and in London became a leading member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) until its 1974 collapse.
    More Details Hide Details During this time Tatchell was prominent in organising sit-ins at pubs that refused to serve "poofs" and protests against police harassment and the medical classification of homosexuality as an illness.
  • 1968
    Age 16
    In 1968 Tatchell began campaigning against the United States' and Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, in his view a war of aggression in support of a "brutal and corrupt dictatorship" responsible for torture and executions.
    More Details Hide Details The Victorian state government and Melbourne city council attempted to suppress the anti-Vietnam War campaign by banning street leafleting and taking police action against anti-war demonstrations. To avoid conscription into the Australian Army, Tatchell moved to London in 1971.
  • 1967
    Age 15
    Prompted by the impending hanging of Ronald Ryan in 1967, Tatchell went round his local area painting slogans against the hanging, a fact he did not reveal until nearly 30 years later.
    More Details Hide Details Ryan was accused of killing a prison warder while escaping from Pentridge Prison. Tatchell claimed, unsuccessfully, that the trajectory of the bullet through the warder's body probably made it impossible that Ryan could have fired the fatal shot.
    His political activity began at Mount Waverley Secondary College, where in 1967 he launched campaigns in support of Australia's Aboriginal people.
    More Details Hide Details Tatchell was elected secretary of the school's Student Representative Council. In his final year in 1968, as school captain, took the lead in setting up a scholarship scheme for Aborigines and led a campaign for Aboriginal land rights. These activities led the headmaster to claim he had been manipulated by communists. In 2004 he proposed the renaming of Australian capital cities with their Aborigine place names. He joined the Australian campaign against the death penalty.
  • 1952
    Age 0
    Born in 1952.
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