Charlie Flowers Warns Woman Writer: “We’re Watching You”

Back in April, a website called Hackney Hive published details of a literary festival in Stoke Newington involving Farah Damji, author of a memoir called Try Me. Among those who left comments was Charlie Flowers:

Farah has written a great book. You may not like her or even know her but read the book. I know this will be a terrific event. Back off her, Precious, Alex, we’re watching you.
-Black Eyed Girls

“Black Eyed Girls” is a reference to himself and some associates who call themselves “the Cheerleaders”. Flowers, as I’ve written previously, is a bully and cyber-stalker who hides behind a pretence of political activism, and he tries to deflect criticism of his behaviour by suggesting that critics must be in league with Islamic extremists. He has gathered a wider gang of supporters on Facebook, but it’s doubtful that most of them know what he’s really like.

Farah Damji has been at the centre of various controversies over the years; the media has dubbed her “London’s most dangerous woman”, and in January she was jailed for a short time for housing benefit fraud. She also regards a number of people as being her enemies, whom she subjects to abusive tirades. One of her targets – for reasons unknown –  is another author, named Precious Williams, and this is the woman whom Flowers is threatening in the comment above. Here’s a typical example of one of Damji’s tirades against her:

My views on Precious-the-cunt-Williams are not unknown to her. She is a headcase… Her book’s been dumped. Serves the little fame-fucking desperate saddo right.

(In fact, Williams’ memoir was recently published by Bloomsbury)

Similar comments have also appeared on Damji’s Twitter feed, although she has recently deleted some of these; in one, she expressed the wish that Williams (who is of Nigerian heritage) had died of malaria.

Damji also boasts that a harassment case brought against her by Williams was dropped by the CPS in May, supposedly due to lack of evidence. However, Williams gives her version of the background here, and suggests that cases are still pending. Also, around the same time as Damji made her boast, Flowers left a comment on his Facebook page that he “loves it when a plan comes together”, and in June he made a posting suggesting that he and Damji had been interviewed by the police:

just back from today’s three hours of CSI: London with Farah. We’re getting good at this LOL

Flowers’ association with Damji goes back to last year; she used to be listed as an “officer” of his “Cheerleadered” Facebook page, and in December a bookreading of Try Me was held at a pub in central London under the “Cheerleadered” name. However, she appears to have removed her name in recent weeks.

Flowers seems to have a need to threaten and harass people, but also to feel good about himself for doing so. He rationalised his harassment against Tim Ireland, for instance, by claiming that he was acting to protect Nadine Dorries MP. It seems to me that he has some sort of vigilante complex, although in the case of Williams his sole self-justification appears to be that he’s friends with Damji.

UPDATE: Not completely unexpectedly, and true to pathetic type, the “Cheerleaders'” response to the above was to create a fake Facebook account in my name supposedly showing me hassling an old lady for a date. A screenshot was then posted to the “Cheerleadered” Facebook page so that comments could be left calling me a “sex pest” and such. It seems that Flowers thought better of it after a few hours and deleted it all.

Also, Flowers is now raving about how I’m supposedly a Communist and in the SWP – not true on either count, although, as noted above, my political leanings are neither here nor there; whatever kind of person I may or may not be does not change the facts about what kind of a person he is.

Leo Igwe’s Father Loses Eye in Attack by Gunmen

Back in January, I noted Nigerian sceptic Leo Igwe’s campaigning on behalf of Daberechi Anongam, a ten-year-old girl from his home village who has accused a powerful man from the same location of rape. Leo and his father have been harassed by the local police and accused of murder, and worse has now come:

Around midnight on Wednesday August  4 2010,two gunmen invaded my family house in Mbaise in Imo state in Southern Nigeria. They shot twice in the air and my mother fainted. They later descended on my aging father and started beating him. They blindfolded him with a piece of cloth and hit him several times with stones.

He later fainted and the hoodlums ransacked the whole house and made away with whatever they found valuable. My father  bled from the right eye, nose and mouth. He had bruises on his head, hands, legs and chest. After the attack, some neighbours came and rushed him to a nearby hospital. From there, I moved him to an eye hospital in Lagos where the doctor confirmed that he had extensive injuries in the right eye and recommended that it be removed. Yesterday, August 11, 2010, he underwent a surgery and the right eye was removed. He is currently recuperating at the hospital. I called the police to inform them, and they said I should send a formal petition.

… The police and judicial systems are corrupt, inept and ineffective. Police officers are only interested in making money from petitions, not in fighting or preventing crimes. And the court system is slow and expensive. So in Nigeria police and court actions are used by criminally minded people to harass and intimidate others, and block access to justice particularly for the poor and less privileged…

These issues must be raised with the Nigerian authorities at the highest level. They should be kept on the front burner of international relations and human rights advocacy until the Nigerian authorities take appropriate actions. The Nigerian government must be made to understand that the international community is aware of the facts of this case. And that the world is outraged at the way they are handling it. The human rights community should join hands with the IHEU in bringing this disturbing trend to the attention of the world.

Leo’s full statement can be seen on Butterflies and Wheels.

I’ve been following Leo’s activism for some time. Back in 2005 I noted his role in debunking a “man raised from the dead” tale that was being touted by WorldNetDaily and some neo-Pentecostal churches; more recently, Leo has taken on followers of Helen Ukpabio, who promotes the idea that children can become “witches” who then harm other people – a year ago, I was proud to host a guest post by him on the subject. An event he organised to highlight the grim consequences of Ukpabio’s teaching was invaded by her followers, and he was handled roughly; Ukpabio also tried to sue him on the grounds that attacking her beliefs amounts to an infringement of her rights. Leo also advocates an end to the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Africa, and Peter Tatchell describes him as “a voice for reason, justice and compassion”. An overview of his opinions can be seen here.