Feeds

Pink Floyd frontman backs McKinnon musical protest

Shine on you crazy diamond

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A small group of protesters held a successful musical protest against attempts to extradite UFO enthusiast turned hacker Gary McKinnon to the US on Thursday.

Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, organised the sing-in protest outside the US embassy on Thursday to coincide with President Barack Obama's visit to London for the G20 conference and UN World Autism Awareness Day.

Gary McKinnon US embassy sing-in protest

Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, is accompanied by musician/guitarist James Litherland in her rendition of "Chicago"

Sharp rewrote the lyrics (but not the tune) of Graham Nash's "Chicago" as a protest against long-running attempts to wrench her son over to the US to face trial and probable incarceration for hacking into US government and military systems. The protests also sought to highlight concerns with the lop-sided UK-US extradition treaty more generally.

These efforts gained a massive publicity boost when David Gilmour, legendary singer and guitarist with Pink Floyd, agreed to sing on the backing track of the song. Gilmour wasn't able to attend the event himself, but he did post a message of support for McKinnon on his website, adding his name to those who oppose McKinnon's extradition.

Gary McKinnon US embassy sing-in protest

John Smith, London Rap artist, and his friend Olivia put a shout out for McKinnon.

Crank up the volume

Music has been a feature in McKinnon's long-running campaign against extradition. Celebrity supporters of McKinnon's include former Police frontman Sting and wife Trudie Styler.

Nash, famous as a member of Crosby, Stills, & Nash, gave permission for his song "Chicago" to be rewritten to reflect McKinnon's plight. He, along with Gilmour, also number themselves among McKinnon's supporters.

McKinnon's friends and family hope to produce a music track/compilation CD - involving some famous musicians - in support of Gary McKinnon's legal fight against extradition, the Free Gary support blog reports.

Other high-profile supporters outside the world of music include London mayor Boris Johnson, Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws, and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite.

The 'sit-in' musical protests took place two months before a judicial review on whether Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was correct to allow extradition proceedings against McKinnon to continue in spite of his recent diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome. This hearing represents McKinnon's best hopes of avoiding extradition after the failure of earlier appeal to the House of Lords and elsewhere last year, prior to McKinnon's diagnosis with a mild form of autism. ®

Bootnote

A big Reg thank you to Janis Smith for use of the photographs. Janis and her husband Wilson are both musicians, which is why they came to live and work in London when Gary was a child. "Gary is a gentle musician but unfortunately that's not how he's portrayed in the media," she said.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.