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24 September 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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    Inside Out - West Midlands: Monday September 19, 2005


Puppy farm

Marcia Jones and puppy c/o The Shropshire Star
Marcia Jones - banned from keeping animals for ten years

Inside Out investigates a woman from Shropshire who has been banned from keeping animals, but is still involved in the sale of puppies.

Marcia Jones received the ten year ban in 2001 for causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Our reporter goes undercover to check out the role Ms Jones plays in the breeding and sale of dogs at her home, and also discovers there are limits to the laws in place to protect our pets.

Photograph courtesy of the Shropshire Star.

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Malcolm X

Benjamin Zephaniah
Journey back in time - Benjamin Zephaniah visits Smethwick

In 1965, the radical civil rights leader Malcolm X paid an unannounced visit to Smethwick, in the West Midlands.

Forty years on, poet Benjamin Zephaniah travels to the Black Country to retrace the steps of one of his heroes and find out why the American activist decided to drop in on the small industrial town.

He talks to some of the people who met Malcolm X back in the 1960s, and discovers that the unexpected visit still has an impact on Smethwick to this day.

"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, my brothers and sisters - Plymouth Rock landed on us!"

Malcolm X

Malcolm X visited Birmingham on 12th February 1965.

He believed that parts of Smethwick were rife with racial conflict, fuelled by local and national politicians seeking election in the area.

During his visit he drank in a local pub, walked down Marshall Street and gave several interviews.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X - civil rights campaigner

Only nine days later, Malcolm X was murdered in Harlem, New York City at the Audubon Ballroom.

Despite his murder, Malcolm X remains one of the world's most revered and controversial civil rights activists.

His teachings and speeches are still influential, even though it is 40 years since his death.


Born Malcolm Little in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The family's home was burned to the ground by the white supremacist organisation The Black Legion in 1929.

Malcolm was a good student but dropped out of school and worked in a variety of odd jobs.

Sentenced to ten years for burglary in 1946 but paroled after seven years.

Appointed as a minister and national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam.

Founded his own religious organisation, the Muslim Mosque Inc.

Repeated attempts on his life.

Assassinated New York in 1965 aged 39-years-old.

He was born Malcolm Little, but changed his name to 'Malcolm X' after a period in prison and after studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammad.

He considered the name 'Little' to be a slave name and chose 'X' to signify his lost tribal name.

Later Malcolm X was to change his name to the Holy name of 'El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz' following a trip to Mecca.

Malcolm X wrote extensively about human rights, and he was a gifted and charismatic orator.

Amongst his most famous quotes is this statement about human rights:

"Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognised by all the nations of this earth."

Malcolm X's vision has been an influence on today's black leaders and youth, including some of those who met him in Birmingham in 1965.

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War protester

Brian Haw
Non-stop protest - Brian Haw and his "Don't Attack Iraq" campaign

Brian Haw has staged a non-stop demonstration against the government’s policy in Iraq for four years.

Brian has been protesting against UK and US government policy towards Iraq since 2 June 2001.

He has protested against everything from economic sanctions and the continued bombing of Iraq to the 'war on terror' and invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former carpenter’s one-man protest outside the Houses of Parliament has made him a familiar figure to many in London.

But Brian, from Redditch, in Worcestershire, had to battle to save his campaign in the High Court after it came under legal pressure.

It's been more than 1,560 days since the start of Brian's protest on 2 June 2001.

He only leaves his makeshift campsite in order to attend court hearings, and survives on food brought by supporters.

In the 2005 General Election Brian stood as a candidate in the Cities of London and Westminster in order to further his campaign, winning 298 votes and making a speech against the ongoing presence of UK troops in Iraq at the declaration of the result.

Brian says of his actions:

"I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again knowing that I've done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government's unjust, amoral, fear - and money - driven policies. These children and people of other countries are every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children."

Source - Parliament Square website

Inside Out joins Brian on his pavement protest to find out how he took on the law – and won.

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