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Ma McKinnon plans musical extradition protest

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Janis Sharp, mother of US extradition target Gary McKinnon, has hatched plans to conduct a sing-in protest to coincide with President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to London.

The demo is planned to coincide with Obama's visit to attend the G20 conference at the beginning of April, where global leaders will meet to discuss the global economic crisis. Sharp has rewritten the lyrics (but not the tune) of Graham Nash's Chicago as a protest against long-running attempts to haul her self-confessed UFO evidence hunter turned hacker son over to the US and the "one-sided" UK-US extradition treaty more generally. Nash is famous as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Sharp said that she picked the song, which comes from the era of the Vietnam War protests, in order to "rekindle the spirit of protest" of those times. She hopes to get television crews along to film the protest, first mentioned in a Twitter post. "We want to appeal to Obama for justice," she told El Reg.

Music has featured quite a bit in McKinnon's long-running campaign against extradition. Recent converts to McKinnon's cause include former Police frontman Sting and wife Trudie Styler.

Ross Hemsworth, managing director of Glastonbury Radio and UK director of the International UFO Congress, floated plans to organise a benefit gig on McKinnon's behalf back in November. Kayleigh-fondlers Marillion expressed an initial interest but pulled out apparently because of concerns about upsetting their US fans, according to Sharp.

Hemsworth also talked of bringing musicians together to make a recording of a song written by McKinnon, called Only a Fool, with the proceeds going to charity. That venture didn't quite make it to fruition either.

The planned 'sit-in' musical protests come in the run-up to a June judicial review on whether the Home Secretary was right to allow extradition proceedings against Gary McKinnon to proceed following his recent diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome. The hearing represents McKinnon's last best hope of avoiding US extradition and trial following failed appeal to the House of Lords last year and a more recent decision by UK prosecutors not to bring a case against McKinnon in the UK. ®

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