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[personal profile] heliopausa
I'm struggling a bit to get back on top of things, so this is not a very long or learned or real post... but then, what is a Real Post?  Oh well - very quickly then,in the department of things I've only just found out:

With reference to the song 'Being for the benefit of Mr Kite' (video, about two and a half minutes) - there really was a Pablo Fanque, running a circus in Britain over several decades in the nineteenth century. 
His birth name was William Darby, he was black, and very successful - which is all pretty interesting - but even more interesting is the story of how his circus employed an Irish contortionist (I think - the source says "posture master")  disguised as a Chinese man, (to be excitingly foreign and mysterious? - which I suppose is the reason for Darby's own name change) which provoked two other genuine Chinese men to investigate, fearing - after the circus refused to let them speak with the disguised man - that a countryman of theirs was being held in forced labour conditions - and they brought, successfully, a suit of habeas corpus against the circus. 
I find this wonderful and fascinating - the awareness of possible forced labour (and implicit possible human trafficking) at the time, and the brilliance of the habeas corpus law being used to fight against it. 

I love the gumption of the two Chinese men going in to bat for a possibly kidnapped and enslaved countryman.  I really want to hear of other such cases, where a real trafficked person was freed this way.



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