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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Alan Turing Petition and other info
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep 2009, 06:04    Post subject:  Alan Turing Petition and other info
Subject description: add your support
 

Hi guys,, just got this email in my KLUG mail

Quote:
Hi All

I've been campaigning for a long time for an official pardon for
Turing who, when facing prosecution in the UK for being homosexual,
committed suicide rather than face chemical castration. My father was
the headmaster of Wavendon School in the grounds of Bletchley Park
where Turing worked to crack the German Enigma code (among others), so
I've always had an interest in the man and his work. I know that this
is a little 'off list' but if it wasn't for Turing we'd all still be
using mechanical calculators and signing Deutschland über alles every
morning...

Alan Turing was one of our country's national heros hastening the end
of the Second World War and, along with Von Neumann, making some of
greatest contributions to the developing what is now considered a
computer.

A petition on the same site to save Bletchley Park elicited a direct
response from the Prime Minister, it would be great if all of those
interested in this great man and the shameful way he was treated could
take the time to sign this petition.

For those interested in cryptoanalysis and the part it played in
defeating the Nazis in the Second World War, there is an exhibition
this coming weekend at Bletchley Park celebrating the 70th anniversary
of Turing's arrival:

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/calendar/event_detail.rhtm?cat=special&recID=567861

If you're interested in Turing there have been several books written
about him, but one of the best is David Leavitt's "The Man Who Knew
Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer" (ISBN
978-0393052367)

The petition for an official pardon for Turing can be found at:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/

James


Anyone wishing to add their support please do so, I have Very Happy

Aitch Smile
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davec51

Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 483
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep 2009, 08:57    Post subject: Support for Turing Petition  

I'm not a British citizen, so I can't sign the petition, but I support your efforts enthusiastically. Alan Turing did more to enable American help to the British by reducing the U-Boat threat than anyone else.
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thane

Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 112
Location: Waipahu, Hawaii USA

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep 2009, 03:53    Post subject:  

I'm a U.S. citizen and so can't sign the petition either, but it is getting some publicity here:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/an-apology-for-alan-turing.html
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep 2009, 15:32    Post subject:  

Update, for those who haven't heard

Gordon Brown UK PM Issues Turing Apology

from my email


Government response to petition 'turing'‏
From: 10 Downing Street (number10@petitions.pm.gov.uk)
Sent: 11 September 2009 10:40:32
To: e-petition signatories (number10@petitions.pm.gov.uk)

Thank you for signing this petition. The Prime Minister has written a
response. Please read below.

Prime Minister: 2009 has been a year of deep reflection – a chance for
Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those
who came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred in us
that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British experience.
Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to honour the service
and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago.
And just last week, we marked the 70 years which have passed since the British government
declared its willingness to take up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two.
So I am both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists, historians
and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and celebrate another contribution
to Britain’s fight against the darkness of dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on
breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that,
without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could
well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to
whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed
makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely.
In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ – in effect,
tried for being gay. His sentence – and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison
- was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones.
He took his own life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing
and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law
of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair
and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him.
Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted
under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.
I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this
government has
done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community.
This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia
is another step towards equality and long overdue.
But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind.
For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united,
democratic and at peace,
it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour.
It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate – by
anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices–
that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape
as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out
the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women
who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors
of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.
So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely
thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.

Gordon Brown


If you would like to help preserve Alan Turing's memory for future
generations, please donate here: http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

Petition information - http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/



Good Luck to all freedom fighters, everywhere

[don't ask what's going on with the "n- apostrophe -s" - no idea, it's hotmail/Government release!]

Aitch Smile
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