What Would Princess Diana Have Had to Say About This Census Controversy?

Census home

Some interesting articles and youtube videos have been doing the rounds in the last few weeks regarding the UK government’s 2011 attempt to take stock of the human herd – sorry, I mean conduct a necessary census of the people, which is supposed to take place on March 27th.

The controversy centers around the choice of companies who have been given contracts to collect and handle the incredibly detailed, sensitive, personal, intrusive and presumably highly valuable data which the census is designed to extract and collate. That data being a complete and up-to-date profile of everyone in the UK.

In a move which would probably have made George Orwell and his Etonian French teacher and Fabian society member Aldous Huxley exchange knowing winks, contracts to gather/ process the data have been given to weapons manufacturer giant Lockheed Martin and to ‘provider of marketing and information systems’ CACI (UK).

Lockheed Martin is a US based weapons manufacturer of almost incomprehensible proportions, receiving over $29,000,000,000 per year in Pentagon contracts, which equates to $260 a year from every US taxpaying household according to this book.

According to a recent article in The Atlantic Lockheed Martin are currently at the centre of most expensive flying death machine making program in history, the Lockheed Martin F- 35 Lightning II, which costs $90,000,000 per plane.

Washington’s plans to buy 2,443 of them, at a price tag of $382,000,000,000 (plus operational costs of $650,000,000,000) is set to cost the US taxpayer $1,000,000,000,000 which is more than the entire GDP of Australia ($924,000,000,000).

Lockheed Martin are also being accused of making landmines (or components for them). I have not yet been able to fully verify the claim but after just a few minutes googling I did find a reference to a Lockheed Martin manufactured ‘wind-corrected munitions dispenser’ for ‘Gator’ cluster bomb units on page 559 of The Naval Institute guide to world naval weapon systems (fifth edition) By Norman Friedman.

The ‘Gator’ cluster bomb appears to be a sort of bomb which is stuffed full of land mines which spread out over a football field sized area. (Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of modern weapons might like to help with links to further expand on these landmine claims).

Landmines are banned in many countries. Learn more about The International Campaign to Ban Landmines here.

Whatever the full extent of Lockheed Martin’s involvement in the manufacture of landmines is, it seems that people are generally disturbed and outraged that a contract has been awarded to a company which specializes in – and profits from – that very profitable industry called ‘modern warfare’ or, as some prefer to call it:

the senseless mass murder of human life using unbelievably expensive and diabolical killing machines, payed for through forced taxation, and made public once these highly efficient techniques of human slaughter have been made morally acceptable enough in the general public’s perception (and perhaps even associated with being ‘sexy’) by relentless propaganda such as that carried out by Hollywood, working in partnership with the Pentagon.

In fact the Pentagon even has its own special Hollywood movie department which ‘approves’ and ‘offers assistance’ with Hollywood movie scripts in return for lending them jet planes and tanks etc.

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Let’s move on to CACI who are also contracted to handle data for the census.

CACI (UK) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US contractor CACI International, which provided interrogators who worked at Abu Ghraib prison at the height of the prisoner abuse scandal. Here are some pictures taken in Abu Ghraib.

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Here are a couple of Guardian newspaper articles about the whole controversy.

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Public urged to boycott census over contractor’s alleged torture link

Protesters aim to force cancellation of contract with subsidiary of US firm that provided Iraq interrogators

Billy Briggs
The Observer, Sunday 6 March 2011


ABU GHRAIB PRISON

The public are being urged to boycott the census in Scotland over allegations that the parent company of a UK firm contracted to gather information has been linked to the torture of prisoners at Iraq‘s notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

Protesters say they are willing to break the law and face a criminal record and a £1,000 fine in an attempt to force the Scottish government to cancel the £18.5m contract it awarded to CACI (UK).

The London-based company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US contractor CACI International, which provided interrogators who worked at Abu Ghraib prison at the height of the prisoner abuse scandal. The prison became infamous in 2004 when disturbing images emerged of US soldiers abusing prisoners. The pictures included naked Iraqi detainees cowering from dogs, and US soldiers were later found to have perpetrated widespread torture.

Civilian staff working for private US security companies specialising in interrogation techniques were alleged to have been involved in some of the human rights abuses.

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In Scotland, the campaign against CACI is being led by a civil liberties organisation called Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC).

Richard Haley, the chairman of SACC, said the Scottish government should cancel the contract with CACI and hire another firm. “Of course, postponing the census would be disruptive,” he said. “But anything would be better than continuing with the unethical arrangements that the Scottish government seems to believe it is stuck with.

“It’s a matter of record that staff employed by CACI International interrogated people detained without charge at Abu Ghraib. They did so under US rules of engagement that permitted sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation and intimidation by dogs. SACC believes detention and interrogation in these circumstances violate international human rights norms. If the Scottish government won’t cancel the contract, I hope that people in Scotland will use census day to say ‘no’ to this dirty business.”

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Read full article here

Another article….

Boycott the UK census over links to Lockheed Martin, protesters say

We’re ready to face £1,000 fine, declare anti-war protesters in row over role of US arms firm Lockheed Martin in data gathering

David Sharrock and Jamie Doward
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 19 February 2011 21.15 GMT

f-35

People are being urged to boycott next month’s UK’s census because the US arms manufacturer responsible for Trident is involved in gathering the information.

Protesters say they are willing to break the law and face a £1,000 fine and a criminal record by refusing to fill in the 32-page questionnaire. Resistance to the decennial census is growing as a coalition of anti-war groups, pacifists, religious organisations and digital activists begin raising public awareness about the role of Lockheed Martin, America’s largest arms manufacturer.

The company, which makes Trident nuclear missiles, cluster bombs and F-16 fighter jets, won the £150m contract to run the census on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition said: “We will certainly be calling for a boycott and telling people not co-operate with the warmongers.”

The Green party has dropped its original opposition to Lockheed Martin’s lead role “because the census is extremely important and needs to be accurate”, but there is grassroots disquiet.

A campaign to address the issue, bringing together religious groups, peace activists and digital data campaigners opposed to Lockheed Martin, is expected to emerge in the coming days. One of its organisers has told the Observer that a call for a boycott would be one of its major considerations. Siân Berry, a former Green party member who led the party’s 2008 campaign against Lockheed’s bid for the contract, said she was disappointed by the decision to support the census.

“The really worrying thing is the fact that the information being collected in the next census – including new questions on sources of income and place of birth [to help monitor immigration] – would be ideal fodder for the kind of anti-terror analyses being carried out by Lockheed, and could lead to a faraway database identifying thousands of us as potential ‘threats’.”

Read full article here

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Videos have also started appearing on youtube with more information, such as this two part video which alleges (among many other things) that:

‘Lockheed Martin assists more than 25 American government agencies. It is involved in surveillance and data processing for the CIA and FBI. It has provided contract interrogators to the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba’.

and

‘All US companies are subject to the ‘Patriot Act’, which allows the US government to have access to any data in a company’s possession. This could give the US government access to detailed and personal data on the UK’s entire population’.

 

BOYCOTT THE 2011 UK CENSUS

Part 1 of 2 (warning: graphic images of war destruction and death shown)

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Part 2 of 2

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This all raises the question, what would Princess Diana have said about such a situation and about such allegations if she were still alive today?

Would she have urged a boycott, too? Or would she have said nothing, perhaps to avoid any political backlash or heightened media attention?

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Princess Diana – Land Mines Political Row

 

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Anyone wishing to learn more about Lockheed Martin might be interested a recently published book called Prophets of War’ by William Hartung which is described as ‘an exposé of America’s largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin’.

Read a review of it here or this excerpt below:

The nation’s largest government contractor gobbles up some $260 from each and every taxpaying household, according to a new book that chronicles the history of Lockheed Martin.

In “Prophets of War,” longtime arms industry observer William D. Hartung calls this “the Lockheed Martin tax” — a way of driving home just how much government contracting costs Americans.

And that’s just one company.

“Prophets of War” (Nation Books) comes out at an auspicious time. It’s been 50 years this week since President Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell speech, warned the American public “of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.”

Lockheed Martin headquarters in Bethesda, Md. 

Leslie E. Kossoff, AP According to a new book chronicling the history of Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., above, the largest government contractor is involved in almost every aspect of the U.S. government.

Hartung’s history of the defense giant traces it humble roots back to the Loughead brothers (who eventually changed their name to Lockheed), to its current incarnation as the nation’s top government contractor. That route was by no means smooth — it was a path marred by bribery scandals, disastrous contracts and near-bankruptcy.

But it emerged — in large part thanks to government largess — to become the nation’s top government contractor, with more than $38 billion in contracts in 2008. Hartung’s book, in many respects, appears to document the very incarnation of Eisenhower’s warning…..

Prophets of War

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If you are unfamiliar with the above quote regarding President Dwight Eisenhower’s chilling warnings about the expansion of the military industrial complex you can hear him speak some more at the start of this documentary ….

Invisible Empire – A New World Order Defined

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Metanoia Films have also released two excellent (free to watch) online documentaries ‘Psywar’ and ‘Human Resources’ which also provide a fascinating insight into the workings of the military industrial complex among other things. Both are well worth watching.

There is so much information to think about in relation to this imminent census attempt and the whole subject of privacy, as well as all our attitudes to it, that I decided the best way to try and make sense of it all was to make myself a questionnaire about the census.

It seemed only fitting.

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Census Questionnaire

Section 1

Q1A. Have you ever considered writing down and sending your extremely private, detailed personal information to an overseas giant military contractor before?

Q1B. If so when … and why?

Q2. Would you feel comfortable about filling in the census and then leaving it lying about in some public place to be picked up by any random person?

Q3. Please rank the following in order of trustworthiness as you perceive it.

  • governments
  • your average man/woman on the street
  • giant overseas weapons manufacturers
  • some faceless information systems company you never heard of before

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Section 2

Q4. Do you trust the government

  • to be capable of looking after your data?
  • to always tell you the truth?
  • to even know what plans might exist for your data once it has been collected and processed by all the various agencies?
  • to care even remotely what happens to all the sensitive and detailed information about you 6 months, 5 years, 10 years from now?

Q5. If you do currently trust your information will be in safe hands, have you considered what might happen to it in the event of any unforeseen future scenarios such as:

  • changes in political policy
  • different governments being elected to power in the future
  • changes in law regarding how information on you can be used
  • big changes in the geopolitical structure of the world
  • corruption / deceit of any kind taking place
  • leaked information for any reason (accidental loss, technical malfunction, hacking etc)
  • some other unforeseen scenario?

Q6. If you should ever feel uncomfortable with your data being stored by third parties in the future, how will you go about retrieving it again?

Q7. How much do you feel governments, corporations and the mainstream media encourage us (and especially young people):

  • to be responsible with our personal information
  • to value and protect our personal privacy as a matter of course
  • to never think about it and not really give a stuff?

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Section 3

The following videos and links are all related to personal privacy, attempts to undermine such privacy and our attitudes towards such things.

Q8. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q9. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q10. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q11. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q12. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q13. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q14. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q15. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q16. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q17. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Q18. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

RFID chip: Foundation of the electronic jail

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Q19. Do you think the information in the following video

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

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Section 4

Q20. Can a national census be justified, especially at a cost of approximately £500,000,000 taxpayer’s money during a global depression?

Q21. Would you rather see this £500,000,000 of UK taxpayer’s money spent

  • inside the UK on schemes and services which will benefit local communities
  • on yet more data collection with a significant proportion of this tax money being handed over to foreign arms manufacturers for this purpose?

Q22. In order to help allocate future public spending effectively do you think it might be possible to obtain enough useful information from existing sources of data (for example existing council tax information) with perhaps smaller scale polls used ‘as and when’ needed by the relevant local authorities themselves?

Q23. Is it likely that any of the following groups will be filling in the census (or filling it in truthfully)

  • illegal immigrants
  • criminals or anyone involved in any kind of fraudulent or ‘dodgy’ activity
  • benefit cheats
  • squatters
  • the royal family
  • spies, undercover agents etc
  • cheating lovers
  • chronically depressed people
  • students living in shared houses
  • runaway battered wives hiding in bed sits
  • people who don’t wish to fill in a census form
  • etc?

Q24. Should these kinds of groups not fill in their forms, how do you think that will that affect the usefulness of the data collected at a cost of £500,000,000?

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Section 5

The following two-part video uses real world scenarios to explore issues such as

  • the increasing use of CCTV
  • the inevitable emotional and behavioral insecurity which this age heightened ‘security‘ induces in people
  • the erosion of individual human rights as a direct result of this ever growing culture of centralized surveillance ‘protection’
  • the ‘corporatization’ of public spaces
  • the public’s relationship with, and attitude towards, figures of authority
  • authority figures’ relationship with, and attitude towards, the public
  • general social conventions and learned behaviour
  • the extent to which fear is but a heavy blanket laid over an otherwise fearless society
  • the public’s tendency to hug and express spontaneous love when given the opportunity

The Love Police – Shopping for CCTV (1 of 2)

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The Love Police – Shopping for CCTV (2 of 2)

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With reference to the above video

Q25. Is everything OK?

Q26. What is really going on?

‘You should always do what you are told and never question any form of authority’.

Q27. Discuss the above statement. Try and include several historical examples of the public questioning/ not questioning authority and what the consequences were in each case.

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Section 6

Here is a recent propaganda poster from London

Here is a propaganda poster from Germany from 1934

Q28. What factors or processes explain best the transformation, 80 years ago, of Germany as a whole from a peaceful, highly cultured republic to an authoritarian, fascist Nazi police state control grid engaged in genocide and aggressive military attempts to conquer all of Europe and eventually the world?

  • the majority of the people didn’t see it coming until it was too late
  • those who did see it coming did nothing
  • the entire German population all got together, had a big meeting and decided fascism and an aggressive militaristic foreign policy was the way forward
  • the people were cajoled using a propaganda campaign which used fear to gain the acceptance of Hitler’s increasingly insane and barbaric methods as being necessary to ‘protect their Homeland from outside threats’
  • those who questioned or opposed this transformation towards fascism were labelled ‘unpatriotic’ or even ‘terrorists’
  • the German people were all so obsessed with world domination they just had to give it a try, no matter what the cost
  • the German people all cared so little about world domination they were easy to deceive initially and thus be duped by their own elected leader(s) and the controlled media into unwittingly supporting a path to tyranny (until it was too late for them)
  • some other explanation

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Here is a recently released music video.

Rihanna – Hard ft. Jeezy

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Q29. How would you describe the music video ?

  • a blatant and highly disturbing celebration of militarism (propaganda)
  • OMG it’s Rihanna I sooo luv her!!!
  • an example of cognitive dissonance being used in popular entertainment, in this case using sexual fantasy, stereotypical role models, fashion and pop culture juxtaposed with heavy duty (yet subverted) militaristic imagery and warfare scenarios to encourage children to unconsciously shift their natural reactions and attitudes regarding the horrors of real life violence and warfare from negative to positive.
  • harmless entertainment suitable for kids – honestly, stop stressing out over it!
  • I found the images of Rihanna extremely titillating  – I was so distracted by her bootylicious curves that my mind was too preoccupied to pick up any (semi) subconscious messages that may have been present.
  • I dunno, it’s just a music video I guess  – I’ve never really thought about it
  • other

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Here is a video about (mainstream) Hip Hop’s connection to the military today

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Here is a list of attributes

  • an obsession to hierarchy and status
  • intense competitiveness and backstabbing rivalry
  • lack of compassion and empathy
  • violence
  • (exaggerated, unbalanced) male dominated culture with misogynistic tendencies
  • an obsession with dominance / subservience …. conquering, proclaiming oneself to be ‘king’/ ‘queen’
  • the desire for materialistic and territorial gains
  • the flaunting of such materialistic and territorial gains as an indicator of status
  • aggression and force favoured over negotiation and compromise
  • celebration/ glorification of technology, especially weaponry, especially guns
  • an obsession with displaying rank, factions, symbols/ logos, uniform
  • judging others by their corresponding symbolic identifiers and uniform

Q30. Which one of the following two groups do the above attributes apply to?

  1. a fascist/ militaristic regime
  2. today’s corporatized popular music scene and corporatized youth culture generally
  3. both

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Here is a video of Beyonce

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Q31. How would you describe this video’s effect on young people

  • more cognitive dissonance aimed at the youth
  • more predictive programming aimed at the youth
  • desensitizing the youth to militaristic police state uniforms
  • nope – definitely nothing weird going on here
  • stop hating on Beyonce I luv her!!!
  • militaristic propaganda, which we are likely to only become aware of in hindsight
  • history repeating, which we are likely to only become aware of in hindsight
  • don’t take it so seriously, it’s just popular entertainment!
  • etc

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Section 7


Q32. When trying to gain advantage over, or gain control of, any (singular of collective) adversary or enemy which is the generally preferred strategy?

  • try and find out as much as possible about them
  • don’t bother trying to find out anything much about them

Q33. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

EU to subject Britons to chilling new ‘Big Brother’ surveillance and investigation powers

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Q34. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Spanish Researchers Want to Tag Human Embryos With Bar Codes

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Q35. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Europe tells Britain to justify itself over fingerprinting children in schools

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Q36. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Government Spied on 500000 UK Citizens Last Year

Q37. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

‘Minority Report’ technology used by police to predict crimes

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Q38. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Fury over police ‘culture of impunity’

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Q39. Do you think the information in this website

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Snapscouts.org

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Q40. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

European police to spy on Britons: Now ministers hand over Big Brother powers to foreign officers

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Q41. Do you think the information in this article

  • concerns you
  • concerns somebody else
  • is nobody’s concern?

Orwell’s nightmare–big brother is here

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Section 8A

Q42. Bearing in mind governments are public servants who are supposed to be working for, and accountable to, the people, do you think there is a healthy and safe balance between the amount of information gathered about you by governments and the amount of information we are able to gather about them?

If your answer is ‘No’ please go to Section 9

If your answer is ‘Yes’ please go to Section 8b

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Section 8B

Q43. Are you sure about that?

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Q44. I mean really sure?

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Section 9

Here is a video called ‘The Story of Your Enslavement’

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Q45. What does ‘the farm’ in this video refer to?

Q46. What does to ‘leave the farm’ mean in this case?

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Section 10

Q47. Are you a number?

Q48. Are you a free human being?

Q49. Was this questionnaire helpful to YOU?

Q50. Do YOU have any questions?

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