It's a year to the day since Dave Walker was coerced into taking down his 'Save the SPCK' posts from the Cartoon Blog. Phil Groom, who was also threatened with legal action by the same people, tells his story here. The following was sent to all 490-ish members of the 'We Support Dave Walker' Facebook group this week:
This Wednesday, 22nd July, will be 1 year to the day since Dave Walker and Phil Groom both recieved their 'Cease and Desist' legal threats from Mark Brewer.
An awful lot has happened during that time, not least of which has been the support of hundreds of you for Dave, former SPCK bookshop staff, and others who have suffered at the hands of the Brewers.
The good news is that plenty has been achieved.
- Firstly, Mark Brewer failed to get his St. Stephen the Great charity declared bankrupt in the US, a court case in which Dave's posts were cited as evidence.
- In April this yearthe UK Charity Commissioners took over the running of the St. Stephen the Great charity, after a formal investigation.
- Even though the Brewers had moved all the bookshops into a new organisation (ENC Shop Management) the CC's are now taking possession of these shops as St. Stephen assets.
- 30 former staff, whose tribunal against SSG was being heard earlier this year, will now have their cases settled by the Charity Commissioners.
- In the meantime Durham Cathedral has (at last) served notice on the Brewers tenancy of the cathedral shop. As you may know, though the SPCK posts remain absent from the Cartoon Blog (see them in full at http://opendebatenotlibelthreats.blogspot.com/), Dave has mentioned the saga a couple of times on his Church Times blog.
At no point have any of Mark Brewers threats been acted upon. Instead it's Mr Brewer himself who has gone very quiet.
Thankyou again for your support of Dave, and for those of you who have blogged, commented and emailed in support. We are maybe at the beginning of the end - both the end of SSG's dismal foray into UK bookselling, and the end of the bookshop chain themselves. Any further developments will be reported at http://spckssg.wordpress.com/
Your fellow supporter