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Naming The Dead - A Serious Crime

A book by Maya Anne Evans (and Milan Rai)

'Engaging and honest, it blends the personal and political in page-turning style.'
John Enefer—Hastings Against War

'A compelling memoir. Often painfully honest about her own frailties, Maya reminds us that activists are neither freaks nor saints, and that we can (and should!) all take action to confront power and change the world for the better.'
Gabriel Carlyle—Voices in the Wilderness UK

'I read it in an evening, and then I read it again.'
Genny Bove—Wrexham Peace and Justice

'Indescribably positive, comforting and also inspiring.'
Michael Bentley—Eastbourne for Peace and Liberty

Naming The Dead describes how Maya Anne Evans came to be the first person in Britain to be convicted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005) of demonstrating without police permission in the vicinity of Parliament. It describes her arrest and trial, and the media frenzy that erupted around her in the aftermath of her conviction on 7 December 2005.

Naming The Dead also explains how a shy, relatively apolitical university student gradually developed into a young woman with the courage to stand up for what she believed in.

The last words of the final chapter of Naming The Dead:

We have power, more power than we know. By being active with our friends and neighbours, by educating the people we live and work with, and by putting pressure on those who make crucial decisions, we do change the world. Not as fast as we’d like to, but we do.

I hope that my story will encourage more people to become active for whatever cause is close to their hearts. I hope especially that some people who read this, who oppose the ongoing war in Iraq, will be encouraged to support and become active with their local peace groups, so we will not have to keep remembering the deaths of an ever-increasing number of Iraqi civilians and Western soldiers.

Most of the time we will make painfully slow progress. Sometimes our actions will have an impact far beyond what we expect or can imagine.

The Contents Page is here.

You can read Chapter 1 here.

The order form for Naming The Dead, which enables you to purchase a copy for only £7 post free (UK only), can be found here.

Naming The Dead: Press Release

Press Release 18 October 2006:

Maya Anne Evans, 26, the first person to be convicted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) for reading out the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq, and the author of a new book 'Naming the Dead - A Serious Crime', is risking arrest again on the anniversary of her first anti-war remembrance ceremony, breaking her conditional discharge just weeks before her appeal is heard in the High Court.

On Sunday 29 October, in Parliament Square, Maya will be reading out the names of British soldiers and Iraqi civilians who have died in the Iraq conflict in an unauthorised demonstration, once again risking arrest under SOCPA.

She says: 'I am willing to risk arrest at the "No More Fallujahs" protest on 29 October in order to help remember the massacre that happened in Fallujah in November 2004, when uncounted hundreds of women and children were killed by US forces with British support.'

Maya is also appealing her conviction under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. The appeal will be heard at the High Court on 16-17 November. If she loses her appeal, she will refuse to pay her fine of £300, risking a prison sentence. Last December, Maya was given a 12-month conditional discharge, requiring her to avoid arrest for the next 12 months, which she will be breaking by taking part in the unauthorised demonstration on 29 October.

Maya's new book 'Naming The Dead' describes her path to radicalism in Blair’s Britain. It explains how the shock of the invasion of Afghanistan propelled her into becoming an anti-war activist; how time spent volunteering with the US nonviolent civil disobedience group Voices in the Wilderness made her commit herself more deeply to peace work; and how meeting a Hiroshima survivor on a peace walk inspired her to risk arrest for the first time at an anti-nuclear protest outside NATO Headquarters in Belgium just two months before her second ever arrest at the unauthorised 'reading the names of the dead' ceremony in Whitehall.

'Naming The Dead' also explains how Maya came to overcome her fear of public speaking in order to deal with speaking in court, and then the enormous media attention she faced after her conviction on 7 December 2006. This is the gripping story of how a young woman from Hastings came to defy an unjust law and an unjust war to stand up for what she believes in.