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Peter Tatchell

Australian-born British LGBT-rights activist
Astrology chart, profile, books, links

Sagittarius Ascendant, Aquarius Sun, Capricorn Moon, Venus Rising

his astro-chart

Born: 25 January 1952, 02:30 (2:30AM) AEST (10hE), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (Sy Scholfield [copyright] quotes data from him; RR: A).
FEATURES: PERSONALIZED PLANETS: Sagittarius VENUS (conjunct Ascendant), Capricorn MOON (conjunct Ascendant), Aries ERIS (square Moon; sextile Sun), Cancer URANUS (opposite Moon; rules Aquarius Sun), Scorpio MARS (sextile Moon; square Sun). PATTERNS: CARDINAL GRAND CROSS (Capricorn MERCURY, Aries JUPITER, Cancer URANUS, Libra SATURN). UNASPECTED: Leo PLUTO. SHAPE: HORSESHOE (12th cusp is pivotal). CHINESE SIGN: METAL CAT/RABBIT. NUMEROLOGY: "7" LIFEPATH.


public domain photo from Wikipedia

www.petertatchell.net


Abridged Wikipedia Biography [Astrology by Sy Scholfield]:

Peter Gary Tatchell (born 25 January 1952) is an Australian-born British activist, well known for his work with LGBT social movements, who attracted international notice for his attempted citizen's arrest of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in 1999 and again in 2001. [Tatchell's Sun is in Aquarius, the sign of political activism, ruled by Uranus, the sign of the agitator. Uranus itself is found in a Cardinal Grand Cross].

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; though the Labour Party subsequently allowed his selection, when he ran in the Bermondsey by-election in February 1983. In the 1990s, he became a prominent LGBT campaigner through the direct action group OutRage!, which he co-founded ["Outrage!" is a more than suitable keyword for the "direct-action" Scorpio Mars that aspects both of Tatchell's luminaries from the establishment-rocking 11th house no less]. He has worked on a wide variety of issues, such as Stop Murder Music, which attempts to censor anti-gay lyrics, and is a frequent contributor on such subjects in print and through broadcast media, authoring many articles and six books.

In April 2007 he became the Green Party of England and Wales prospective parliamentary candidate in the constituency of Oxford East. However, in December 2009 Tatchell announced he was standing down from the post due to brain damage he says was sustained from injuries by President Mugabe's bodyguards when Tatchell was trying to arrest him and in Moscow, while campaigning for gay rights. [Tatchell's Ascendant ruler is Jupiter in Aries, the sign associated with the brain. Jupiter is opposed by hard-hitting Saturn, an aspect that can result in brain damage].

He is a regular contributor to The Guardian's online opinion section, Comment is Free.[7

Personal life

Tatchell was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His father, Gordon, was a lathe operator in an engineering factory [Fatherly Sun in the 2nd, the house of 'hands-on' work, squared by Mars, the engineering sign]; while his mother, Mardi, was a housewife and later worked in a biscuit factory. His parents divorced when he was four and his mother remarried soon afterwards. Her second husband, Edwin Nitscke, worked variously as a gardener, factory cleaner and taxi driver. Tatchell's mother was chronic asthmatic and the family finances were strained by medical bills [Motherly Moon in Capricorn, the sign of chronic illness]. As a result he was unable to continue his formal education beyond a basic level, and in 1968, at age 16, Tatchell started work as a designer, sign-writer and window-dresser in Melbourne's principal department stores, first Waltons and then Myer. At the latter, he worked throughout the year to develop international prize-winning animated window displays for the Christmas period. Tatchell has said that he has incorporated the theatricality of these displays into his political activism. [Venus, the artistic planet, rising at 26° Sagittarius: "The sculptor's vision is taking form" (Sabian Symbol) meaning that what a person shapes, shapes the person].

While in Australia he began a lifelong interest in outdoor adventurous activities such as surfing and mountain climbing, which he says helped him develop the courage to be a political risk-taker in adult life [People with Venus in Sagittarius on the Ascendant usually love the great outdoors; mountain climbing and water sports are indicated by also having Moon in Capricorn on the Ascendant]. He stated this while speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions, in the context of insurance and legal risks preventing British teachers from being willing to take their pupils on outdoor adventures.

Early campaigns

His political activity had begun at Mount Waverley High School in Melbourne where, in 1967, he launched campaigns in support of the indigenous Aboriginal population. Tatchell, who was elected by fellow pupils as secretary of the Students' Representative Council and, in his final year, as School Captain, took the lead in setting up a scholarship scheme for Aboriginal pupils and led a campaign for land rights from 1968. These activities had not been popular with school authorities and led the headmaster to denounce him as having been manipulated by communists. It is an issue he has returned to from 2004 in proposing the renaming of Australian capital cities with their original Aboriginal place names. [Tatchell has the Sun in activist Aquarius in the 2nd, the house of land rights].

He also joined the Australian campaign against the death penalty. Prompted by the impending hanging of Ronald Ryan in 1967, Tatchell went round his local area daubing slogans against the hanging, an action which was not identified as his until he revealed it in an interview nearly 30 years later.

The following year, 1968, Tatchell began campaigning against the United States's and Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, which he believed was a war of aggression in support of a "brutal and corrupt dictatorship in Saigon which was notorious for the torture and execution of political opponents". The Victorian state government and right-wing city council attempted to suppress the anti-Vietnam War campaign by banning street leafleting and taking police action against anti-war demonstrations. [Tatchell has Pluto unaspected in the 8th, the house of death and war, ruling his 12th, the house of long-running campaigns].

Gay Liberation Front

Dodging conscription, he moved to London in 1971. He had admitted his homosexuality in 1969, and four days after arriving he spotted a sticker on a lamp-post in Oxford Street advertising a meeting of the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF). He quickly became a leading member of the group until it disintegrated in 1974. During his time in GLF 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. He was a member of GLF's Youth and Action Groups. With others, he helped organise the first Gay Pride march in Britain, in London in 1972.

In 1973, under the aegis of the GLF, he attended the 10th World Youth Festival in East Berlin. His interventions brought out considerable opposition to gay rights within and between different groups of national delegates, including the British Communist Party and National Union of Students, which manifested itself in Tatchell being banned from conferences, having his gay rights leaflets confiscated and burned, interrogation by the secret police, the Stasi, and him being threatened and violently attacked by fellow 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 legally, 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. At the GLF disruption of the "Christian fundamentalist" Festival of Light rally at Methodist Central Hall, he was part of GLF's Youth Group which staged a kiss-in in the upper balcony in response to a statement from keynote speaker, Malcolm Muggeridge, that he did not like homosexuals. [].

Graduation

After doing his A levels at evening classes at West London College, 1972–74, Tatchell continued his education at the Polytechnic of North London. On his graduation he obtained a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Sociology.

At UNL / PNL he was a member of the National Union of Students Gay Rights Campaign. On graduating he became a freelance journalist specialising in foreign stories, during which he exposed scandals including the child labour on British-owned tea farms in Malawi.[Sagittarius rising ruled by Jupiter in Aries].

Political activity

In January 2005 he was first included in Who's Who.

He opposed the appointment of Ruth Kelly as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in 2006, as the Department had responsibility for equalities while Kelly, a practising Roman Catholic, had not supported equal treatment of lesbians and gay men in any Parliamentary votes. Tatchell complained that "her appointment suggests the government does not take lesbian and gay rights seriously", adding "Tony Blair would never appoint someone to a race-equality post who had a lukewarm record of opposing racism".[].

In the mid- and late-1980s, Tatchell worked as an author, writing books including The Battle for Bermondsey (the story of the by-election), Democratic Defence and a ground-breaking guide to surviving with HIV and AIDS, AIDS: A Guide to Survival. His book Europe in the Pink gave an introduction to the different laws on homosexuality through the European Union. In 1990 Tatchell sought (unsuccessfully) the Labour nomination for Hampstead and Highgate, being defeated by actress Glenda Jackson.

Green issues In February 2000 he resigned his membership of the Labour Party, citing its treatment of Ken Livingstone, and in support of Livingstone he fought unsuccessfully for a seat on the London Assembly as an Independent Green Left candidate. On 7 April 2004, Tatchell announced that he had joined the Green Party but that he did not envisage standing as a candidate in any future election. However, in 2007, he was selected as the party's candidate for Oxford East. Then, on 16 December 2009, Tatchell announced that he was withdrawing as the Green party candidate due to brain damage incurred on three occasions (when assaulted while protesting in Brussels in 2001, when assaulted while protesting in Moscow in 2007, and in an accident on a bus in July 2009).

Tatchell opposes expanding nuclear power in Britain and worldwide; instead he supports concentrated solar power. In his column in Tribune, he pointed out the adverse effects of climate change both at home in England and worldwide: "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." "Unless swift remedial action is taken, climate chaos will devastate large parts of the world. The poorest countries, with the least wealth and resources to cope, will be hit the hardest."

For many years, he supported a green-red alliance. In particular, he helped launch the Green Left grouping within the Green Party. He also urged for the formation of co-operation and links between trade unions and the Greens. On 27 April 2010, he urged Green Party supporters to vote for the Liberal Democrats in constituencies where they have an incumbent MP or a strong chance of winning.

Gay rights in Moscow, Moscow Pride From May 25 to May 27, 2006, Tatchell attended the first Moscow Pride Festival at the invitation of Nikolai Alekseev whom he met at London Pride in July 2005. Tatchell also appears as one of the protagonists of the documentary Moscow Pride '06 that features this event.

In May 2007, Tatchell went to Moscow to support Moscow Pride and to voice his opposition to a city-wide ban on the planned gay pride march. He went there at the invitation of Russian LGBT activists. On 27 May 2007 Tatchell and other gay rights activists were attacked. Tatchell was punched in the face and nearly knocked unconscious, while other demonstrators were beaten, kicked, and assaulted.[25] A German MP, Volker Beck, and a European Parliament deputy from Italy, Marco Capatto, were similarly subjected to punches before being arrested and questioned by police. Tatchell later said "I'm not deterred one iota from coming back to protest in Moscow."

On 16 May 2009, the day of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, that was being held in Moscow and was widely covered by the world's media, Russian gay rights activists staged a protest in Moscow in defiance of the city's mayor Yuri Luzkhov who has long banned gay demonstrations and denounced them as "satanic".[28] Tatchell was among the 32 campaigners who were arrested by police when they shouted slogans and unfurled banners urging gay rights in Russia.

Campaigns

OutRage!

Tatchell took part in many gay rights campaigning over issues such as Section 28. Following the murder of actor Michael Boothe on 10 May 1990, Tatchell was one of thirty founding members of the direct action group OutRage! and has remained a leading member. The group fuses theatrical performance styles with queer protest. As the most prominent OutRage! member, Tatchell is sometimes taken to be the leader of the group, though he has never claimed this title, saying he is one among equals.

In 1991, a small group of OutRage! members covertly formed a separate group to engage in a campaign of outing public figures who were homosexual in private. The group took the name 'FROCS' (Faggots Rooting Out Closeted Sexuality) and 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 what he claimed was the hypocrisy of those newspapers which had condemned their campaign despite having themselves outed celebrities and politicians.

Some of the activities of OutRage! have been 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 themselves leading secret gay lives. 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,[34] who had received one of the letters,[35] died two months later of a sudden heart attack on the day one of the Belfast newspapers planned to out him.[36][37] 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 was prosecuted for leading an OutRage! protest which disrupted the Easter sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, with Tatchell forcing his way onto the pulpit to denounce what he claimed was Carey's opposition to legal equality for lesbian and gay people. The protest had a lot of 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 small sum of £18.60, which most commentators assumed was a wry allusion to the year of the statute used to convict him.

Some in the LGBT press have dubbed him "Saint Peter Tatchell" following further OutRage! campaigns involving religion.

Age of consent laws protest

In 1996 Tatchell led an OutRage! campaign to reduce the age of consent to 14 to adjust for studies which showed nearly half of all young people - gay and straight - had their first sexual experiences prior to 16 years old and to counter them from being "treated as criminals by the law". The campaign positioned there should be no prosecution at all if the difference between the ages of the sexual partners was no more than three years - and providing it is backed up by earlier, more effective sex education in schools. He was quoted in the OutRage! press release as saying "Young people have a right to accept or reject sex, according to what they feel is appropriate for them".[40] Leo McKinstry, in The Sun called it "a perverts' charter". Tatchell in the Irish Independent on 10 March 2008 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. In the early 1990s, he supported a relaxation in 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.

Zimbabwe

Part of Tatchell's political activism and journalism in the 1970s had involved the Second Chimurenga in Rhodesia, in which he had supported the black liberation struggle, including the Zimbabwe African National Union and its military wing. However, Mugabe's denunciation of male homosexuality in 1995 led Tatchell to help organise a protest for LGBT rights in Zimbabwe by gays and lesbians outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in London. Two years later, he managed to sneak through police security disguised as a TV camerman to quiz Mugabe during the "Africa at 40" conference at Central Hall, Westminster. Mugabe thanked him for his support for the liberation struggle and told him that allegations of human rights abuses were grossly exaggerated. On 26 October 1997 a letter from Tatchell to The Guardian argued that the United Kingdom should suspend aid to Zimbabwe because of its violence against homosexuals.

At this point, Tatchell researched the Gukurahundi attacks in Matabeleland in the 1980s when Mugabe had sent the Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe army against supporters of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union. Then in 1999, two opposition journalists (Mark Chavunduka and Ray Choto) were tortured by the Zimbabwe Army. The arrest in London of Augusto Pinochet seemed to him a precedent that human rights violations could be pursued against a head of state, thanks to the principle of universal jurisdiction. 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. Tatchell opened the car door and seized Mugabe. He then called the police. All four OutRage! activists were arrested, on charges including criminal damage, assault and breach of the peace; these 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.[42][dead link]

On March 5, 2001 Tatchell, believing Mugabe was about to visit Brussels, went to the lobby of the Brussels Hilton and attempted a second citizen's arrest. This time, Mugabe's large corps of bodyguards pushed him away. Later that day Mugabe's bodyguards, on the forecourt of the hotel, were involved in a fight with Tatchell, who was briefly knocked unconscious and left with permanent damage to his right eye. His actions drew worldwide headlines, as Mugabe was, by then, highly unpopular in the Western world for his land redistribution policy, which involved the violent seizure of farms owned by white Zimbabweans and by black independent farmers (especially those who were not supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party).[who?] Although billed as a land reform programme, landless people got very little of the land. Most of the seized farms were handed to Mugabe's party, government and military cronies, known as the War Veterans Association. Tatchell's actions were praised by many of the newspapers that had previously denounced him, and by many black Zimbabwean democracy, trade union, student and church activists.[43]

Tatchell subsequently failed in his attempt to bring a legal case against Mugabe in Bow Street Magistrates' Court, trying to secure an international arrest warrant against the Zimbabwean dictator on charges of torture. The magistrate rejected the application, arguing that Mugabe had immunity from prosecution as a serving head of state.

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 government of Robert Mugabe by force. The civic action support group Sokwanele urged Tatchell to check his sources with the group, speculating that it may be an invention of supporters of the Zimbabwe government in order to justify violent action against its opponents.[44] This speculation proved to be unfounded. The ZFM was not used as a pretext for violent suppression. Indeed, 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.

Music industry: Stop Murder Music

Tatchell has organised protests outside the concerts of singers whose lyrics he claims urge the killing of homosexuals. A long-running target of his criticism has been reggae artists whose lyrics encourage and glorify violence, including murder, of lesbians and gay men. Tatchell's campaign began in the early 1990s when Buju Banton's song "Boom bye-bye" was released and has continued to date. Banton's song urges listeners to shoot gay men in the head. He has picketed the MOBO Awards ceremony to protest at their inviting performers of what he terms "murder music".[45] Tatchell received death threats and was labelled a racist. Tatchell defended himself by noting that the campaign was at the behest of the Jamaican gay rights group J-Flag, and the UK-based Black Gay Mens Advisory Group, with which he works closely. He also pointed to what he claimed as a life's work campaigning against racism and apartheid, and stated that his campaigns against "stop murder music" and state-sanctioned homophobic violence in Jamaica were endorsed by black Jamaican gay rights activists, and by many straight human rights activists in Jamaica (homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica due to the country's socially conservative government, see LGBT rights in Jamaica).[who?]

Tatchell has also campaigned against the homophobia and racism of Guns N' Roses and Marky Mark; as well as the rapper Eminem, commenting that "it's not hard to imagine Eminem as a woman-hating, self-loathing, repressed gay man" on the basis of his appearance and "obsession" with gay sex.[46] In December 2005, UK singer Robbie Williams won £200,000 damages from The People newspaper and the magazines Star and Hot Stars after they published false claims that he was secretly homosexual. Tatchell commented publicly that "[Williams'] legal action has created the impression he thinks it is shameful to be gay".[47]

Muslims and gay rights

Tatchell wrote in the Guardian that certain Muslim leaders, whom Tatchell describes as appearing "to be representative of the majority of British Muslim opinion", of having "intolerance" to gay people. He said people such as Hizb ut-Tahrir were extreme fundamentalists who had an "agenda for clerical fascism,"[59] He notes that its constitution explicitly rejects democracy (non-Islamic parties would be banned) and human rights (non-Muslims would have fewer rights and freedoms). Tatchell further claims that "The suppression of critics within the Muslim community is already excessive", adding "the MCB went out its way to expose Irshad Manji as a lesbian in a seedy bid to discredit her ideas." Tatchell had himself previously outed religious figures he viewed as hypocritical and homophobic, but he felt that Manji was neither hypocritical nor homophobic, so the MCB's action in drawing attention to her sexuality was, he said, unjustified.(see above)

In February 2007 the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, visited the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone for an annual meeting which also involved the Mayors of Berlin and Paris, with the mayor of Beijing present as well. PlanetOut Inc.'s Gay.com website reported "In February 2006, Grand Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin was quoted as saying about Moscow gay pride marchers, "If they come out on to the streets anyway they should be flogged. Any normal person would do that - Muslims and Orthodox Christians alike..." For these reasons Outrage are co-ordinating a protest at London's City Hall this Wednesday 28 February from 11am to 1.30pm."[79]

The Mayor of London issued a statement saying "I have already, and continue, to condemn all these and assert the basic human and civil right of gays and lesbians to peacefully demonstrate", but added "'It is clear that there is a concerted attack on gay and lesbian rights in a series of East European countries fed by diverse currents. 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."[80][dead link] Tatchell responded saying Livingstone's remarks are "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."[81]

In December 2009, Ken Livingstone issued a public statement disassociating himself from allegations that Tatchell is racist or Islamophobic. His statement read: "I have known Peter Tatchell for almost 30 years and have no doubt that he is a progressive left, green, anti-war, LGBT and civil liberties campaigner. We disagreed over my invitation to Yusuf al-Qaradawi to City Hall in 2004, but Peter is not racist or Islamophobic. He has a long record campaigning against the National Front and the British National Party, opposing the many injustices of the so-called 'war on terror' and condemning the victimisation of Muslim people. He has never attacked the Muslim community, denounced Muslims as Nazis or collaborated with far right groups. Such allegations are untrue and disgraceful."

Following the vote by the Knesset, the Israeli Legislature, in 2007 in favour of bills to ban lesbian and gay pride parades in Jerusalem, the Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism criticised Tatchell saying "Peter Tatchell and others who have distinguished themselves by the speed of their quite proper defence of lesbian and gay rights when these have been attacked by Black, Arab, Muslim forces or regimes have still refused to condemn with equal force the official attacks on lesbian and gay rights by the highest institutions of the State of Israel." Tatchell was, of course, in and out of hospital at the time, as a result of the injuries he received at the hands of far-right assailants in Moscow. On his partial recovery, he issued a strong statement condemning the Judaist fundamentalists who had promoted the pride-ban bill.

Animal rights Tatchell is also an active supporter of animal rights campaigns, saying "human rights and animal rights are two aspects of the same struggle against injustice".[87] 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.

Awards

In 2006, New Statesman readers voted him sixth on their list of "Heroes of our time".[90] [91]

He was named Campaigner of the Year in The Observer Ethical Awards 2009.

.... [read more about Peter Tatchell at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].



© 2010 Sy Scholfield

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