Duke Amachree, Homelessness Prevention Officer, 1991-2009
- No wrongdoing, no breach of contract, unblemished record
- Compassionate family man
- Good servant of Council and community for 18 years
- A victim of prejudice
Stand with Duke for truth and justice
Win Duke his job back in time for Christmas
In January of this year, Duke was helping a client with her housing situation. The client had seen various doctors who had told her that she had an incurable medical condition. Out of compassion for her, Duke commented that sometimes the doctors don’t know everything –and encouraged her to consider putting her faith in God.
The client did not complain to Duke, but did go to his managers to report him. Two days later the managers knocked on Duke’s door as he was conducting another interview, asked him to finish up and then report to the Director’s office.
When he arrived, Duke was told that there had been a complaint and that he was being suspended with immediate effect. His pass was taken away and he was told not to make contact with any of his friends and colleagues or to come near the offices. He was then marched off the premises.
Why we must take action in the days to come to help Duke Amachree
At CLC and CCFON we all believe, that this is one of the most appalling if not the most appalling case we have ever seen. The way Duke was treated anyone would think he had been caught viewing pornography on an office computer. Yet all Duke did was extend the hand of compassion to a fellow human being in distress. What’s more, there was nothing in his employment contract to indicate that he was in any way not to speak about God.
Don't say 'God bless' or we sack you.
Incredibly, when our solicitor who represented Duke in the initial meeting with the employer asked what would have happened if Duke had simply said ‘God bless you’ to a client, the spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said it would have been advisable not to say that either.
Duke Amachree, a gentle, intelligent and kind-hearted family man living in Britain in 2009 has been found ‘guilty’ of an ‘offence’ which would amaze a visitor from any previous time in the history of Christianity in this country. Out of compassion he offered the hope of God to a woman in need. He breached no part of his contract. Yet he was marched off the premises and, after a period of suspension, was dismissed.
Please stand with CLC and people everywhere to support a good man in his fight for justice:
- Sign the petition
- Attend the Prayer Vigil
- Write to your MP (if you live in Wandsworth)
- Donate to the campaign
"I am pretty outraged by this horrible incident and the many others like it that go unnoticed. As an attorney, I feel I have an obligation to speak up, even if my expertise is in maritime law. Working out of New Orleans my practice supports injured maritime workers receive compensation for their medical expenses, etc. My practice is here. But it doesn't take a lawyer to see the problems with this case and I urge everyone to sign the petition and rectify this injustice." Bill Swift
Result of Duke’s hearingDecember 16th, 2009
Thank you for all your support over the last fortnight. Following last night’s hearing, Wandsworth council have dismissed Duke’s internal appeal, upholding its decision to dismiss him. The Christian Legal Centre will now be taking his case to an Employment Tribunal. More details can be found in Christian Concern for our Nation’s report.
The Christian Legal Centre support many other Christians in similar circumstances. You can find our website at www.christianlegalcentre.com and can get our latest news updates by joining our mailing list.
God bless, Andrea
Prayer Vigil TodayDecember 15th, 2009
The day has arrived. Today, Wandsworth Council will decide whether to reinstate Duke, or send out a loud, clear message to its employees that if you talk about God in the workplace you risk losing your job.
Duke is a gentle, hardworking family man who loves his job, working amongst people in need. The Council has acted completely out of proportion, dismissing Duke for gross misconduct, the most serious
category of offence.
If, you can, please come to the prayer vigil outside the council at 4pm today (15 December). But if you can’t make it, please pray with us that
justice, truth and commonsense will prevail.
One day to goDecember 14th, 2009
With only a day to go, thanks again for the encouragement and support we’ve received since the launch of the campaign. Duke has read your messages of support and is deeply grateful for them.
Duke’s hearing is tomorrow at 4pm. Let’s hope and pray that Wandsworth Council will do the right thing and reinstate Duke. Not even the lady who made the complaint against him wanted him to lose his job. His previous employer has come forward and will provide an excellent character reference regarding his job with his New York City rug cleaning service. Turns out Duke was a conscientious worker who never missed a day and went out of his way to help customers, even when that help had nothing to do with the service he was being paid for.
We will be meeting outside Wandsworth Town Hall at 4 pm tomorrow to pray for Duke, and a good decision. Please join us, if you can, and send a message to Wandsworth Council, that employees should be allowed to mention God in the workplace.
Wandsworth Bus Adverts and VigilDecember 10th, 2009
Thank you all again for the wonderful support we are seeing for JusticeforDuke. I hope some of you will have seen the buses now circulating out of Wandsworth advertising the Vigil on the evening of 15th December. Do please let us know if you are coming along – and please bring as many friends as possible on the night.
Great news on the petition – we are now over the 4,000 mark. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us here.
For those of you who can, especially those of you in Wandsworth, do please do all you can to write in to your MPs and generally press on Duke’s behalf.
Campaign Day 2December 4th, 2009
Just a quick update and a big thank you – we had over 1,500 signatures added to the Justice for Duke petition in the first day of the campaign. This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much. Please tell all your friends about this and encourage them to add their names too. The more people who express their support for Duke the better. Thank you. God bless. Andrea.
Campaign Day 1December 3rd, 2009
Greetings from Christian Legal Centre and the Justice for Duke Campaign Day 1. I’m pleased to say we are seeing a great swell of interest and support from media and members of the public alike. I’m confident Duke will be greatly encouraged to see the support from so many people. Thank you all. Please do keep coming back to see developments in the campaign and potentially in the case over the days between now and the 15th. For now, please do sign up for the petition. We really do want to get as many names on there for Duke as we can. And please tell your friends and ask them to do the same. God bless. Andrea
WelcomeDecember 1st, 2009
Welcome to the Justice for Duke blog. Here you will read updates on what’s going on, and how you can stand with Duke and CLC for truth and justice.
For Immediate Release
3 December 2009
Statement Regarding DUKE AMACHREE
Today, 3rd December 2009, marks the launch of the ‘Justice For Duke’ Campaign, to win justice for Christian employee of Wandsworth Borough Council Duke Amachree, unfairly dismissed in July 2009 for mentioning God in the workplace. The campaign will include placement of London bus advertisements, political intervention, a day of prayer and a candlelight vigil outside Wandsworth Town Hall on the evening of the appeal.
Although the Christian Legal Centre has seen a huge increase in cases of Christians suffering in the workplace the case of Duke Amachree, 53, and a father of 3, is one of the most astonishing for the extreme treatment of a long serving employee when there was no breach of contract and where the supposed ‘misdemeanour’ was the merest mention of God.
Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, representing Mr Amachree, said today: “Duke’s case is an extraordinary example of the politically-correct but self–contradictory and intellectually and morally bankrupt culture of equality and diversity gone mad.
“Duke is a gentle, intelligent and compassionate man who served Wandsworth Council diligently for18 years – providing a vital service as a homelessness prevention officer.
“One day, in a client meeting, a woman spoke of her illness, which doctors had pronounced incurable. Moved by compassion Duke, a sincere and kind-hearted man of faith, offered comfort by commenting that sometimes the doctors don’t know everything and encouraging her to consider putting her faith in God. Two days later Duke was handed a letter informing him he had been suspended, had his ID pass confiscated and was escorted from the premises.
“Is this really the Britain we live in? Whether we have faith or not, to the mind of every reasonable person I speak to, this treatment is astonishing.
“We at the Christian Legal Centre are in full support of Duke Amachree and invite all reasonable people to call for Duke to be reinstated at his internal appeal hearing taking place at Wandsworth Town Hall on 15th December.
“We are posting a special campaign website www.justiceforduke.com. Details of upcoming events, including the Candlelight Vigil on 15 December will be listed there, as well as a blog and all news as the campaign develops. We hope this will be a rallying point of support for a good man terribly treated in a Britain nobody visiting our time from the 1950s would recognise or want to believe was real.
“Amazingly, Duke’s solicitor was even told in a meeting prior to Duke’s dismissal that it was not advisable to say ‘God bless’ either, giving rise to the very apt headline earlier this year ‘Say “God Bless” and We’ll Sack You’.
“I hope this campaign will not only win Duke back his job in time for Christmas but also send a signal that the majority of people in Britain, whatever their beliefs, can see this for what it is and demand a return to a proportionate, common sense approach to religious faith in our society. Indeed, this I believe would make an excellent Christmas present for us all”.