Wilding, Jo

Jo Wilding
31 May 2013Blog

Lawyer and activist Jo Wilding on the stark consequences of the proposed Legal Aid reforms and the recent demonstration against them.

Breda Power’s father Billy spent sixteen years in prison as one of the Birmingham Six (1975-1991), for an IRA bombing of which he was eventually shown to be innocent. Campaigning for his release she spoke frequently on the media and at meetings. When he and the other five walked out of prison, one of her first thoughts was that she never had to speak in public again.

“Twenty years later, here I am, again speaking for justice,” she said to a demonstration of lawyers, NGOs and other…

1 November 2009Review

OUP, 2009; ISBN 978 0 199 571 79 6; 320pp; £19.99

As a young South African lawyer, Albie Sachs defended his clients on charges brought under apartheid laws, was detained and tortured with sleep deprivation, went into exile, and lost an arm and an eye when South African security agents put a bomb in his car.

Following the end of apartheid, Sachs was appointed to the constitutional court by Nelson Mandela. This book is the fascinating story of an activist and lawyer given the opportunities, first to help write his country’s new…

1 June 2009Review

Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; ISBN 978 0 230218 78 9; 288pp; £14.99

This is a book about the way refugee academics have been either rescued by their British counterparts or received and treated on seeking asylum in the UK. In particular it focuses on the work of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) – originally formed in 1933 as the Academic Assistance Council.

The book is divided into three parts: “Then”, about the rescue of expelled or threatened (mainly Jewish) academics from Nazi Germany and neighbouring countries; “Until”, a short…

1 May 2008Review

Seven Stories, 2006; ISBN 978-1565848337; 128pp; £10.99

”We would hardly be notorious characters if they had left us alone in the streets of Chicago last year.”
So said Tom Hayden

3 September 2004Comment

It repeats itself: the main hospital has been closed down by US troops and is being used for military operations, ambulances are being prevented, again by US troops, from moving around the town, which is being pounded from the air while the US and the Iraqi militias, disparate armed groups, fight in the streets and US soldiers drive around with loudspeakers, ordering civilians to leave or be killed.

It could be Falluja in April; this time it's Najaf. I hear that Kut has been bombed…

3 September 2003Comment

Jo Wilding reflects on military tactics and civilian experience during the bombing of Iraq.

A few days before the bombing started, my friends Zaid and Asmaa and I decided, when the time came, we would be running through the streets of Baghdad together, tearing down Saddam portraits and letting down the tyres of US tanks. The fatal flaw in an otherwise perfect plan was that tanks don't have tyres, but it reflected what many Baghdadis told me. They did want rid of Saddam, but they wanted to do it themselves, not have the US and Britain invade and rescue - and impose their chosen…

1 March 2003Feature

So, while millions marched across the planet in protest at war on Iraq, what was 15 February like for people in Baghdad? Jo Wilding sent this first-hand report from the Iraqi capital.

The gang of lads asked my name, then dissolved in giggles, slapping each other's shoulders, when I told them mine and asked theirs. Overcoming their shyness, they asked where I was from, how old I was, what I thought of Baghdad, and we danced down the street together to the clatter of drums and hand clapping.

It was an anti-war march, organised by the students at the Non-Aligned Students and Youth Organisation (NASYO) conference. A Japanese group carried a banner saying “Japan - Iraq…