Friday, 27 January 2012

Holocaust Memorial Day.


Today marks Holocaust Memorial Day, on the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz Birkenau, where 1.6 million men, women children were killed in the holocaust.
The day aims to remind people of the crimes, racism and loss of life  during this holocaust and prevent it ever being forgotten.
Alongside the six million Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, hundreds of thousands of others were targeted by Hitler's regime - including trade unionists, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transpeople, (LGBT) gypsies, disabled people and the mentally ill, and others attacked for their race or simply being different.
It is important that we do not forget,  but  if we look at history this is not the only time that genocide has occurred, and history repeats. Humanity continues to turn against itself.
Yesterday for instance was Australia day or for many others Invasion Day, when people remembered the terrible wrongs and crimes against the aboriginal people, then there is Colombus Day on the 8th  of October, you see the list is endless.
Somehow  human beings around the world are capable of so much hate, we should work together to prevent this. Remember those who have resisted, shown bravery and courage. We should remember them all.
There is still so much to learn, we should stand united against genocide wherever it occurs.

Some other  places  and people that the world sometimes forgets.

Siebrenica,

Karabakh,  

Bosnia, 

Liberia,

Sudan,

Holodonor,

 Armenia, 
                                 
the ethnic cleansing of indigeneous Palestinians,

The Indigeneous Peoples of  America,

Checknya,

Congo,

India

and the genocide of slavery

and on and on and on.

We are all human, and we should never forget, where hate and division is fostered we should
strive for equality , peace and justice for the whole of mankind.

First They Came - Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the Trade Unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade Unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left To speak out for me.

Useful link

http://www.hmd.org.uk/

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Some thoughts on St Dwynwen's day

Today
St Dwynwen's day
Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers.
Dream of hope, dream of happiness
the feel of protection, listen to old choruses
sparks of history, people who circumnavigated
with inspired attitude.

Souls - direct manifestations
keep touching, turning,
over and over
ferociously spinning.
The scanner verifies
words to steal
calm amidst the storms,
comprehension becomes jumbled
follow shootings stars, the phases of the moon.

Flashes inspire, lists become endless
every man and woman a star.
In world of wonder, ergot blossoms,
the image has not yet cracked,
unconscious rambling 
everyday we ressurrect.
Fingerprints glowing
hearts beat in synchronisation.

The land of my mothers 
the green, green grass 
of  home.
A saints day parade of names
old relics shape us
our heritage forever to be hummed.
In difficult times, lose ourselves
in imaginations wander 
waiting to be fed  
let ancient currents hum
as day ripples with orgasmic
sweet cocktails.

Write it all down  
sometimes we get what we need
caught and taken in the breeze
Temperature is rising
head full of elevated thought
flickers tonight
will touch palms
will not starve
senses will tremble
the firebox  rekindled
tomorrow  smoulders
with today's afterglow.
In dreams and love,
there are no impossibilities.


    (For Jane) 
         

Saturday, 21 January 2012

PIPA and SOPA stopped for now.




After days of international pressure online and offline.against internet censorship legislation, the US congress has announced they are postponing votes. This is what happens when people join together. Millions and millions of people united to a common cause.

But make no mistake , this fight is far from over, this is not the end.... to be continued.....

their are still those in murky corridors who want to take away our free speech....

********* *********

Laters.

Friday, 20 January 2012

STOP SOPA share this video with everyone



Stand up against these devastating bills that are due to be voted on by the Senate on the 24th of January.
If any of these bills are passed it would essentially shut down websites like youtube and as a consequence probably me and many other blogs. It would even have the powers to block google and facebook.
Sign this petition and help the fight
http://www.mspaintadventures.com/blackout.html
A lot of things get taken for granted, the internet is one of them, we think we are free and can do what we want, but in reality we are very limited and restricted. The United States at this moment in time wants to hinder this even more by censoring the internet, despite wordwide protest. Many others out there are completely unaware that what they take for granted is under attack. What they want to do is basically destroy free speech, by search engine censorship, website censorship. The U.S Justice Department in their attempt to block websites that distribute links  to/or hold pirated files.Credit card companies  and payment gateways like Paypal could be asked to block payments and companies could be blacklisted by the U.S Justice Department if they attempt to place adds on these sites.
In solidarity websites like Wikipedia and Reddit went dark on Wednesday to protest against this proposed legislation.
Their plans will affect anyone  who desires the freedom to browse anonymously, speak freely without fear of retribution, or protest without fear or arrest. SOPA will legitimise censorship in Americas continual quest for domination. If passed the U.S would be able to brand any website as illegal and cut of all support to it. This strikes me as something that dictators and repressive regimes would do. Draconian and not something I would have expected from a Western democracy, but that's what they disguise themselves as I guess.If people dared to openly critisice the U.S Government, well we would not be able to do it online anymore.
Over 9 million people have already signed petitions online and the American Government has made statements appearing to back down. but this fight is NOT over, and we must continue piling on the pressure, and keep telling Obama and his Congress to keep their filthy hands of our free speech and keep it's grubby hands off the Internet.

" Well, we have to imitate China and Syria. for our safety... to catch criminals...uhm... well... its like this see, ... when the States do it, it is OK, right? But when other countries who we do not like do it, then that is bad... yeah, that's the ticket!"

BOLLOCKS TO THAT

STOP INTERNET CENSORSHIP.

Another  2  petitions here.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-sopa-2-2/

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/

The Fight goes on.....

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Bradley Manning in his own words.


Here are Bradleys words  as used in chat logs.
Lamo's bits have been cut out,
so we have Bradley talking to himself so to speak,
talking things through.... it becomes a prose poem
of much depth.
thanks to all at  http://wiseupforbradleymanning.wordpress.com/
and those who are  keeping his torch alive.

"one of the more significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of asymmetrical warfare."

EXCERPTS FROM CHAT LOGS

hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for a long time... say 8-9 months... and you saw incredible things, awful things... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC... what would you do?

or Guantanamo, Bagram, Bucca, Taji, VBC for that matter
things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people

say... a database of half a million events during the iraq war... from 2004 to 2009... with reports, date time groups, lat-lon locations, casualty figures... ? or 260,000 state department cables fromembassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?

Hilary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack, when they wake up one morning, and finds an ntire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format to the public...

uhm... crazy, almost criminal political backdealings... the non-PR versions of world events and crises... uhm... all kinds of stuff like everything from the buildup to the Iraq War during Powell, to what theactual content of "aid packages" is: for instance, PR that the US issendind aid to Pakistan includes funding for water/food/clothing... that much is true, it includes that, but the other 85% of it isfor F-16 fighters and munitions to aid in the Afhanistan effort, so the US can call in Pakistanis to do aerial bombing instead of americans potentially killing civilians and creating a PR crisis

theres so mush... it affects everybody on earth... everywhere there's a US post... there's a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed... Iceland, the Vatican, Spain, Brazil, Madagasgar, if its a country, and its recognised by the US as a countyr, its got dirt on it

it's open diplomacy... world-wide anarchy in CSV format... its Climategate with a global scope, and breathtaking depth... its beautiful, and horrifying...

and... its important that it gets out... i feel' for some bizarre reason.

it might actually change something

i dont believe in good guys verses bad guys anymore... i only a plethora ofstates acting in self interest... with varying ethics and moral standards of course, but self-interest nonetheless

i mean, we're better in some rspects... we're much more subtle... use a lot more words and legal techniques to legitimise everything

its better than dissapearing in the middle of the night

but just because something is more subtle, doesn't make it right

i guess i'm too idealistic

i think the thing that got me most... that made me rethink the world more than anything was watching 15 detainess taken by the Iraqi Federal Police... for printing "anti-Iraqi literature" the Iraqi Federal Police would  not cooperate with US forces, so i was instructed to investigate te matter, find out who the "bad guys" were, and how significant this was for the FPs... it turned out, they had printed a scholarly critique against PM Maliki... i had an interpreter read it for me... and when i found out that it was a benign critical critique titled "Where did the money go?" and following the corruption trial within the PM's cabinet.. i immediately took the information and ran to the officer to explain what was going on... he didn't want to hear any of it... he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding MORE detainees....

verything started slipping after that... i saw things differently

i had alays questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth... but that was a point where i was a part of something. i was actively involved in something that i was completely against.

but i was part of it...
and completely helpless...

event occurs in 2007,
i watch video in 2009,
with no context,
do research,
forward indfomation to group of FOI activists,
more research occurs, video is released in 2010, those involved come forward to discuss publically, even add them as friends on FB. without them knowing who i am.

they touch my life, i touch their life, they touch my life again.. full circle

i just couldn't let these things stay inside ofthe system...and inside of my head

i recognised the value ofsome things.

knew what they meant..dug deeper

i watched that video cold, for instance

at first glance it was just a bunch of guys getting shot up by helicopter... no big deal... about 2 dozen more where that came from right. but something struck me as odd with the van thing... and also the fact it was being stored in a JAG officers's directory... so i looked inyo it, eventually tracked down the date, and then the exact GPS co-ord.. and it was like ok, so thats what happened.. cool... then i went to the regular internet.. and it was still on my mind... so i typed into google, the date and the location.

and then i see this

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/13/world/middleeast/13iraq.htn

( this is NEW YORK TIMES REPORT OF INCIDENT as it DIDN't happen.

i kept this in my mind for weeks. probably a month and a half... before  i forwarded it to them

it was  unreal.. i mean, i've identified bodies before.. it's rare to do so, but usually it's just nobody

 it humanized the whole thing... re-sensitized me


i dont know... im just, wierd i guess
i can't seperate myself from others
i feel connected to everybody.. . like they were distant family
i care?

i probably shouldn't have read sagan, feynman, and so many intellectual authors last summer...

(sigh)

we're human... and we're killing ourselves... and no-one seems to see that....
and it bothers me

apathy

apathy is far worse than the active participation
i prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy.
i think i've been traumatised too usch by reality, to care about consequences of shattering the fantasy
i'm not brave, im weak

like i've said before... im not so much scared of getting caughtt and facing the consequences at this point... as i am of being misunderstood, and never having the chance to live the life i wanted to...

well, it was forwarded to WL and god knows what happens now, hopefully worlwide discussion, debates and reforms... if not.. then we're doomed...as a species

i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens

the raction of the video gave me immense hope. CNN's iReport was overwhelmed... Twitter EXPLODED

people who saw, knew there was something wrong

i want people to see the truth
regardless ofwho they are
because without infomation
you cannot make onformed decisions as a public

if i knew then, what i knew now.... kind of thing...
or maybe im just young, naive and stupid

im hoping for the former
it cant be the latter

because if it is
... we're FUCKING SCREWED

well,

IT SHOULD BE BETTER

its sad
i mean what if i were someone more malicious
i could've sold to russia or china, and made bank


Why didn't you

Lamo asks.

because it's publc data, Bradley replied

i mean, the cables  Lamo asks

it belongs in the public domain
infomation should be free
it belongs in the public domain


because another state would just take advantage
of the infomation.... try and get some edge

if its out in the open...
it should be a public good...

i'm just me
im  crazy like that.

END OF EXTRACTS


Bradley Mannings punitive treatment in his own words


Jack Omer - Song for Brasley Manning


 The truth is out there
another world is possiblee
Bradley is a brave man,
time to set him free.

another good link
http://www.bradleymanning.org/

2 earlier posts from me on Bradley here

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2011/12/solidarity-with-bradley-manning.html

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2011/03/bradley-manning-forgotten-man_11.html.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Rosa Luxemburg ( 5/4/1871 - 15/01/19) Revolutionary of Passion..




Yesterday was the anniversary  of Rosa Luxemberg being shot and  murdered  When her body  was thrown into the Landwehr Canal in Berlin. She has continued to inspire, a rousing figurehead to many.
Born in Russian controlled Poland, she was a Marxist theorist, philosopher and economist and activist of Polish Jewish descent who became a nanturalised German citizen. She became a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDK Pil), and then the Social Democrat Party of Germany (SPD), and the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) and the Communist Party of ermany (KPD).
In 1915 after the SPD supported German involvement in Word War I, she and Karl Liebnecht co-founded the anti war Spartacist League which became the Communist Party of Germany.
The Spartakists attempted an uprising , and subsequently she and Liebnecht were singled out by the authorities and she and other supporters were captured and murdered.
Her faith was a socialist idea  that  combined the powerful passion of both mind and heart. She devoted herself to the cause of revolution,and its preparation. She lived and breathed its fire, with selflessness and devotion, in every waking moment she dedicated herself to its cause.  Standing bravely up for freedom with a  strong powerful intellect. An individualist, she formulated her own ideas, using her own words to energise and radicalise the people and bring about a socialist revolution.  She argued that " The mass strike is the first natural, impulsive form of every great revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and the more highly developed the antagonism is between capital and labour, the more effective and decisive must mass strikes become. The chief form of bourgeois revolutions, the fight at the barricades, the open conflict with the armed poor of the state, is in the revolution today only the culminating point, only a moment on the process of the proletarian mass struggle."
 She followed no leader, was no ones puppet and when  she criticised Lenin,  it was in relation to dictatorial aspects. She said " Terror has not crushed us. How can you put your trust in terror."
She quoted Leon Trotsky saying
"As Marxists we have never been idol worshippers of formal democracy." She went on
"All that really means is: We have always distinquished the social kernal of social inequality and lack of freedom hidden under the seet shell of formal equality and freedom - not in order to reject the latter but to spur the working class into being satisfied with the shell, but rather, by conquering political poer, to create a socialist democracy to replace bourgeois democracy - not to elininate democracy altogether....... but socialist democracy is not something which begins only in the promised land, after the foundations of socialist economy are created, it does not come as some sort of Christmas present for the worthy people who, in the interim, have loyally supported a handful of socialist dictators. Socialist democracy begins simultaneously with the beginnings of the destruction of class rule and the construction of socialism. It begins at the very moment of the seizure of poer by the Socialist party. It is the same thing as the dictatorship of the proletariat. Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorshiip consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, but in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class - that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses, it must be under their direct influence, subjeected to the control of complete public activity; it must arise out of the political training of the mass of the people."
Possibly her  believe in democracy is what failed her philosophically, nevertheless the questions she posed still worth looking at today. She also wrote " the revolution is the sole form of war, and this is also its most vital law - in which the final victory can be prepared only by a sense of defeat.".
She had determination by the buckets and a steely willful commitment. A combatant who strove for peace, who did not hesitate in her beliefs,  to speak and proclaim with her own independent reason her own opinion. For that alone I respect her. Her idellible mark has been left on the world,  who combined ideals with action, so or long may Red Rosa be remembered.

 

Red Rosa

Epitaph by Bertolt Brecht is a short poem written by Bertolt Brecht in honour of Rosa Luxemburg.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Luxemburg

Further Reading

Rosa Luxemburg: A reapraisal - Lelio Besco
Andre Deutsch, 1975.

Rosa Luxemburg: A life
- Elizvieta Ettinga , Beacon Press 1987.

"either capitalism will continue, with fresh wars and a rapid plunge intp chaos and anarchy, or else capitalist exploitation will be abolished." Rosa Luxemburg 14/12/18 Rote Fahne

"Revolutionary idealism .... can be maintained over any period of time only through the intensely active life of the masses themselves under conditions of unlimited freedom." Rosa Luxemburg

Friday, 13 January 2012

Jack Spicer (30/1/25 - 17/8/65) - Extact from: A Textbook of Poetry / Rimbaud.

Jack Spicer - Rachel Burgess


                                                          from: A Textbook of Poetry

1

   Surrealism is the business of poets who cannot benefit by surrealism. It
was the first appearance of the Logos that said, " The public be damned,"
by which he did not mean that they did not matter or he wanted to be
crucified by them, but that really he did not have a word to say to them.
This was surrealism

   But even the business of ignoring the public is the business of the poet
and not the surrealism of the poet. The surrealism of the poet could not
write words.

    To  be lost in a crowd. Of images, of metaphors (whatever they were),
or words; this is a better surrender. Of the port who is lost in the crowd of
them. Finally.

16

    it does not have to fit together. Like the pieces of a totally unfinished
jigsaw puzle my grandmother left in the bedroon when she died in the
living room. The pieces of the poetry or of this love.

   Surrealism is a poem morethan this. The intention that things do not
fit together. As if my grandmother had chewed on her jigsaw puzzle
before she died.

     Not as a gesture of contempt for the scattered nature of reality. Not
because the pieces would fit in time. But because this would be the
only way to cause an alliance between the dead and the living. To magic 
the whole thing toward what they called God.

     To mess around. To totally destroy the pieces. To build around them.


                                                                 Rimbaud

They said he was nineteen; he had been kissed
So many times his face was frozen closed.
His eyes would watch the lovers walking past
His lips would sing and nothing else would move.

We grownups at the bar would watch him sing.
Christ, it was funny with that childish grace
He sang our blues forus; his frozen lips
Would lift and sing our blues out song for song.

Intemperance of heart and of the mind
Will block their progress to the last abyss
Unwinkingly; they listen to the wind
And find ceiling in the throat.


image by
R.H Quaytiman.

 
The collected |Books of Jack Spicer:
Ed.Robin Blaser.Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press,
1975

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Guantanamo Remembered : 10 years on

Despite a pledge by US President to close Guantanemo Bay by 1 January 2010, today marks the day that this illegal prison was first opened, where prisoners, the majority of whom have been released without any charge whatever, have faced years of abuse and detention without trial. Many ssailed with coerced confession, with  many have have benn treated to ordeals that amount to torture. In many cases even the circumstances of their detainment are questionable.
It stands in contradiction with agreements and standards of international law.
A total of 779 men have been held since it was opened. Today around 171 prisoners remain detained.



Amongst them is a British resident by the name of Shaker Aamer



who continues to be held despite long being cleared for release. His wife and children await his safe return in London.
For more details about this individual and other cases go here.

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/

Amnesty International has described the legacy of Guantanamo Bay as a "decade of damage to human rights,"  across the world. " Guantanamo has politicised justice internationally by portraying detainess as having no human rights " Amnestyy has said.

Guantanemo Bay : A decade of damage to hunan rights - amnesty international


10 years on: End detentions at Guantanomo Bay - Amnesty International




So today  marks 10 years of evading the law, 10 years of hiding justice.
Today also marks the day where
Wikileaks Reveals Secret Files on All Prisoners

http://wikileaks.org/gitmo/

Despite the inhuman conditions  that inmates have been contained, they were able to pass one another messages, using pebbles to scratch messages into foam cups they got with their meals. They were not however passing along escape plans or infomation about future attacks. They were sending each other poems.  They have used words not weapons as power, but often their thoughts were destroyed.  But many persevered . How their words survived shows their will and determination.
In the words of Seamus Heaney;

"Poetry has been defined as the imagination passing back against the pressures of reality, and these poems from Guantanemo are vivid proof of the rightness of that definition. Here are voices crying de profunis, yet the very fact of this articulation constitutes a victory, a guarantee of the spirits indomitable aspiration towards freedom and justice."

The U.S authorities have long tried to suppress peoples voices yet they failed to crush these. The human spritt is resiliant, it finds a way. Many carry political messages, but equally others speak of religious faith, home and longing and their thirst for freedom and justice.

This remarkable book   ' poems of Guantanemo ' was published by the University of Iowa in 2007.
To order it go here.
http://www.uiowapress.org/books/2007-fall/falpoefro.html

To My Father - Abdulla Thani Faris al Anazi

To years have passed in far-away prisons,
Two years my eyes untouched by kohl.
Two years my heart sending out messages
To my homes where my family dwells,
Where lavender cotton sprouts
For grazing herds that leave well fed.

O Flij, explain to those who visit our home
How I used to live.
I know your thoughts are swirled as in awhirlwind,
When you hear the voice of my anguished soul.
Send sweet peace and greetings to  Bu'mair;
Kiss him on his forehead. for he is my father.
Fate has divided us, like the parting of a parent from a newborn.

O Father, this is a prison of injustice.Its iniquity makes the mountains weep.
I have committed no crime and and  and am guilty of no offense.
Curved claws have I. But I have been sold like a fattened sheep.
I have no fellows but the Truth. They told me to confess, but I am guiltless;
My deed are all honourable and need no apology.
They tempted me to turn away from the lofty summit of integrity,
To exchange this cage for a pleasant life.
By God, if they were to bind my body in chains, if all Arabs were to sell their faith, I would not sell mine.

I have composed these lines
For the day when your children have grown old.

O God - who governs creation with providence,
Who is one, singular and self-subsisting,
Who brings comfort and happy tidings, Whom we worship-
Grant serenity to a heart that beats with oppression,
And release thisprisoner from the tight bonds ofconfinement.

Is It True? - Osamas Abu Kamir

Is it true that the grass grows again after rain?
Is ittrue that the flowers will rise up again in the Spring?
Is it truethat birds will migrate home again?
Is it true that the salmon swim back up their streams?

Is it true. This is true, These are all miracles.
But is it true that one day we'll leave Guantanemo Bay?
Is it true that one day we'll go back to our homes?
I sail in my dreams. I am dreaming of home.

To be with my children, each one part of me;
To be with my wife and the ones I love;
To be with my parents, my worlds tenderest hearts.
I dream to be home, to be free from this cage.

But do you hear me, oh Judge, do you hear me at all?
We are innocent, here, we'eve committed no crime.
Set me free, set us free, if anywhere still
Justice and compassion,remain in this world!


Time for this symbol of injustice to fall.



Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Margaret Thatcher, her legacy, a personal view, a poem, and some tunes.


In light of the new film about the monster that is Margaret Thatcher starring Meryl Streep, and the current revisionism and attempts to humanise her , thought I'd post this little piece.
I was 11 years old when she was first elected to power as prime minister on the 4th of may 1979 and aged 23 when her tenure as prime minister ended on she finally was beated and resigned on November 28th, 1990.
It was during her reign, I guess that my political leanings were formed. I saw her and her Conservative  government plunging Britain into deep recession, devastating our industries and social services, that to this day have not recovered entirely. Throughout her tenure I heard daily reports of mass unemployment, eventually trebling to well over 4 million, with job vacancies the lowest ever. I was told at school to study and work hard, but for what, because with her in power I saw no future.
It has been said that Margaret Thatcher was the only Prime Minister  who could claim to have destroyed more of Brtains industry than all of Hitlers bombs during the Second World War. I saw her attempts at destroying the welfare state, closing hospitals, operating a policy of divide and rule. Driven  by a right wing passion that bordered on the fanatical, that saw her pursue policies that denied people a right to a job on a living wage and to adequate housing, education and health care.
As a result of her obscene policy of spending £10,000 million on a new generation of Trident nuclear missiles I joined C.N.D ( the campaign for Nuclear Disarmarment) inspired by the brave women of Greenham Common and other peace campaigners. On top of this I saw her blatant war mongering and then she actually led us into war, which was the Falklands fiasco, with as many as 255 British men being killed in this futile war,  with many young men from here in Wales, being sent to die for her pathetic cause. In her attempt to raise patriotic fervour,and her drive for instant popolarism, I saw her for what she really was.
  It was because of her constant attacks on weaker members of society ( yes she was a bully) that I was drawn to movements that helped protect these people and the poor from a government deaf to reason and blind to compassion.
I noticed who her friends and allies were, her support for fascist like  repressive regimes ( South Africa, Chile) and the hidden hands of big business and corporate power backing her in the shadows.
I began to see what she and her party stood for as evil, plain and simple. I began to read writers and philosophers for inspiration, like Marx, and read Aneurin Bevan who said in 1938 " From Parliament itself nothing can be expected. It is  jaded and cynical. It can be stirred from outside and only from outside." I looked for others to join in opposition to her policies, and that was when I joined the Labour Party Young Socialists who I thought at the time would enable me to pursue this idea. Later however when new labour was elected I saw Thatchers breath stalking the Labour Parties policies, and I rejected that party as well.
At the time , I was daily incensed by her actions in particular with her devastating attack on the miners who dared to take her on. She chose to crush them and anybody else that stood in her way. I remember the bitter summer of 1984 when mining  communities were battered and beaten.  Where she utilised the police and the powers of the state in brutal fashion. Her attempts to turn our country into fortress Britain with her constant undermining of our civil liberties.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              




 I remember too her introduction of the Poll tax designed again to attack the poor.



So we marched  and took to the streets determined to get rid of this horrible woman who proudly declared that she was not for turning, not prepared to listen. Today when I look at Cameron , I see her spectre, when the people get angry again and resist, they offer us riot squads, plastic bullets and water cannons, whilst robbing us of our benefits.  I see  Thatcher  when Cameron attempts to place  additional burdens on the low paid, cutting our public servces, imposing drastic cuts, with their policies of privatisation and support for profiteers, bankers and the evils of capitalism.
The people are screaming again, and it looks like history is repeating. But we carry on resisting.

When I see Cameron smile, Blair smile I see her smile. her sneer, her total lack of compassion.
Her legacy one of aggression and authoritarianism, that leaves me to this day contemptuos of all things tory, and when the demented creature that is Thatcher  finally crokes it, I and millions of others will remember her cruelty and what was done in her name and dance merrily on her grave, for every person that wears a black tie their wwill many more wearing party hats.  This is what happens when monsters time is over.
Back in her day we had a right wing press that supported and colluded with her, but many diverse coalitions of resistance bought about the end of her time in power, today we have the internet and with it the rise of alternative forms of social media. We can beat the tories again, outside all is not lost, when they try to push us down , we must push back, and united we can again defeat them.




Here's and old poem I found, I wrote back in about 83/84 ,would have been my first attempts at poetry, so rather crude and basic i'm afraid, but was about 16,  but underlies the passion I had at that time, looked through some others, think I'll leave them at the bottom of the the drawer.

Thatcher the Milk Snatcher!

Darkness flows everytime I see her
Thatcher, the milk snatcher
her smile like something evil incarnate
a grocers daughter who steals our change.
With her stormtroopers and her jackboot heels
creates division and fear.

This witch is not for turning
with friends in even darker places
in fascist South Afica, Chile, El Salvador.
Her will is simple ; it is to crush .
She eats babies for breakfast
steals from the poor, sells anything of worth.

Her opinion, makes me reel, makes me spin
makes me scream,makes me extreme.
Everytime she walks, it's like a curse
in this land of fading hope and glory
but I rejoice when I hear the people shout,
Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out, Out.

written 83/84 sometime.

I  will not be goin to see the film, I've been sick of her for far to long, my thoughts
still hold far too much derision.
Laters.

John McCullough - I'll dance on your grave Mrs Thtcher.


Pete Wylie - The day that Thatcher dies.


Hefner- the day that Thatcher dies.


Class Actions - M is for Maggie ( Anti -Iron Lady Rap)



Sunday, 8 January 2012

VASCO CABRAL (b.1926 - 24/8/05) - Last adeus of a forest-fighter/ O ultimo adeus dum combatente


Vasco Cabra has been called the first Guinean intellectual. He was a poet and political prisoner, a leader  of the PAIGC ( African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde ) and a freedom fighter in the war for independence, an economic  minister and Vice- President of the new nation, and the founder of the National Union of Writers in Guinea-Bissau. He was a member of the Youth Unitary Movement in Portugal, which opposed the fascist dictatorship, and as a result of his involvement was arrested and imprisoned. Vasco Cabral's earliest poems, striking in their determination to end Portugese domination over Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde, date back to 1951, though all came to published in 1981. He became a man of letters and was a follower of the political leader Amilcar Cabral who he was jailed with. Amilcar Cabral was  dedicated to uniting different kingdoms ( and therefore different ethnic groups) , percieving that this would eliminate the ills of Guinean society - what he called the " Portugese economic infrastructure", which had its foundation in the exploitation, and division of dominated people. His ability to integrate with Guineans and Cape Verdeans in one single anti colonial movement and maintain unity was pretty impressive.
Vasco passed away in Bissau at the age of 79 in time to see that the anti-colonial endeavors he had followed, had become  part of the process where old empires kept falling and did not retain their power.

That afternoon I left and you remained,
we felt, us two, the  saudade's  sorrow.
I suffered the bloody truth of your tears.
You're not my only happiness, amor,
I left you there for love of Humankind
but, seeing your tears, my heart took upon the pain
you bore, and ached bitterly at your moans,
so yes,its why I left you and remained.

Believe I never left, that you gave me
the gift of yourself; then the pain and grief
will be no more than nightmares, quickly gone.
Believe I never will forget your love,
and, if I am the one your love burns for,
carry the hope that one day I'll return.

Naquela tarde em que eu paeri e tu ficaste
sentimos, fundo, os dois a magoa da saudade.
Por ver-te as lagrimas sangrarem de verdade
sofri na alma um amargor quando choraste.

Ao despedir-me eu trouxe a dor que tu levaste!
Nem so o teu amor me traz a felicidade.
Quando parti foi por amar a Humanidade
Sim! foi por isso que eu parti e tu ficaste!

Mas se pensares que eu nao parti e a mim te deste
sera a dor e a tristeza de perder-me
unicamente um pesadelo que tiveste.

Mas se jamais do teu amor posso esquecer-me
e se fui eu aquele a quem tu mais quiseste
que eu conserve em ti a esperanca de rever-me!

(1955)

Reprinted from
FOR VASCO
poems from Guinea-Bissau
The Heaventree  Press
2006

A further book is
Vasco Cabral - A luta e a minha primavera: poemas
( Oeiras: Africa Editora), 1981.

More on Amilcar Cabral here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am%C3%ADlcar_Cabral

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Benjamin Zephaniah (b.15/08/58) - What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us

Yesterdays sentencing , gives us nothing to celebrate. In the words of Ms Lawrence " How can I celebrate when my son is buried? Had the police done their job properly I would have spent the last 18 years grieving for my son rather than fighting to get his killers in court.". If their had not been so much institutionalised racism, perhaps Stephens killers would have been jailed much earlier, but the police failed to arrest anyone at the time, back in 1993. Where's the justice too for Lakhvider " Ricky"  Reel , murdered 4 years after Stephen, and the many other victims of racist violence.
Two have know been convicted for Stephens brutal murder,( Gary Dobson and David Norris)  time for the rest of them Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight to be sent down too.They should not be allowed to rest easy.
Their sentences should be long, despite the fact that they were juvenille at the time, they have shown no remorse, consistently lied and flaunted and paraded their arrogance. Shown themselves as the cowardly racists they are.
Sadly the ugly reality of racist hatred still lingers. It needs to be crushed and condemned at all times. Only then can we really move on. Perhaps the media can stop pandering to the venomous views of the historian David Starkey and others like him (  the odious newspaper 'the Daily Mail and its many rabid columnists is particularly alarming )  who contribute largely to perpetuating racist belief. Not all racists fit the stereotype of a skinhead in bovver boots anymore, they come in all shapes and sizes. For some rascist abuse is a daiy reality. We cannot tolerate it anymore, we should not let hatred consume us, and if that means banning the British National Party and other racist organisations, so be it.
I leave you with this , that the brilliant Dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, wrote back in 1999, still pertinent, still raising questions.

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us.

We know who the killers are,
We have watched them strut before us
As proud as sick Mussolinis',
We have watched them strut before us
Compassionate and arrogant,
They paraded before us,
Like angels of death
Protected by the law.

It is now an open secret
Black people do not have
Chips on their shoulders,
They just have injustice on their backs
And justice on their minds,
And now we know that the road to liberty
Is as long as the road from slavery.

The death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us how to love each other
And never to take the tedious task
Of waiting for a bus for granted.
Watching his parents watching the cover-up
Begs the question
What are the trading standards here?
Why are we paying for a police force
That will not work for us?

The death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us
That we cannot let the illusion of freedom
Endow us with a false sense of security as we walk the streets,
The whole world can now watch
The academics and the super cops
Struggling to define institutionalised racism
As we continue to die in custody
As we continue emtying our pockets on the pavements,
And we continue to ask ourselves
Why is it so official
That black people are so often killed
Without killers?

We are not talking about war or revenge
We are not talking about hypothetics or possibilities,
We are talking about where we are now
We are talking about how we live now
In dis state
Under dis flag, ( God Save the Queen),
And God save all those black children who want to grow up
And God save all the brothers and sisters
Who like raving,
Because the death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us that racism is easy when
You have friends in high places
And friends in high places
Have no use whatsoever
When they are not your friends.

Dear Mr Condon,
Pop out of Teletubby land,
And visit reality,
Come to an honest place
And get some advice from your neighbours,
Be enlightened by our community,
Neglect your well-paid ignorance
Because
We know who the killers are.

Reprinted from Too Black , Too Strong
Bloodaxe 2001.



For more Benjamin Zephaniah go here
http://www.benjaminzephaniah.com/content/index.php



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

'' Jazz is our religion '' documentary ( 1971 )



U.K, 1971.
Directed by John Jeremy, documentary focuses on the photography of Valerie Wilmer, while various voices, Rashid Ali, Bill Evans, Marion Brown, Dewey Redman and others comment, with jazz poems by Langston Hughes and Ted Joans.
For some their is a mystical faith in their devotion and service to music. Take a look at  the work of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra and a multitude of others.
Does it have to have soul to make it real? Probably, but in jazz in particular there is a diverse devoted breed. There are many false prophets,and some refuse to follow any leader, many wrong turns and blandness that follow the order of money and corporate marketing machines that I refuse to worship.
I follow unities notes and chords, and all those who push the boundaries a bit. The tone  of endless freedom , to me is a love supreme.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Jack Kerouac ( 12/3/22 -21/10/69) on Slim Gaillard - ' There You Go-Orooni'


Jack Kerouac
(playing with consiousness )

Slim Gaillard was the perennial MC and hipster about town, whose impact and influence in the bop n beat generation of the 1940s ant the 50s is hard to exagerrate. Born in Detroit in 1916, he was a singer, songwriter, pianist , saxophonist and guitarist, noted for his immaculate appearance . As well as speaking eight languages, Arabic, Syrian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Armenian, Portugese and fluent Greek he had time to invent a new one, 'Vout' a hipster slang generated by adding -'oroonie' to every significant word,  he became known for his use of alliteration and his dazzling wordplay, with his hip nonsensical but inventive patois leading things.He was not however just a mere novely act, his playing was good enough for him to contend and play with many of the all time jazz greats. A true polymath, in periods away from music he worked as a cook, an airline pilot and a merchant seaman.
At the time of Americas witchhunts by the so called moral majority, Gaillard became a target. Among one of his songs to be singled out as being a prime cause in the decline of morals amongst the country's youth were the ultra-suggestive Drei Six Cents (actually Yiddish for thirty cents) and even the more sinister Cement Mixer with its onomatopoeic 'putti, putti.  In other songs he alluded to all manner of dubious activities. Subversive stuff to some , eh. His song 'Yep Roc Heresay''is considered one of the first Jazz songs in Arabic. He carried on doin what he did, recording with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie among many. Carried on regardless with his outrageous humour which manifest throughout his work , energetic, exciting. Gregarious and overflowing with tales, and wild vernacular eruptions.
In later life he settled in London , where he turned on a new generation of British players.
Often when life gets to serious when I need a little distractions from dark reality I play his records for a bit of a lift, listen to some cool , unexpected sounds. A nice cocktail for the senses when engaging in  lifes balancing acts. Improvised scatterings, interplay arrives at  a truly international language.  A joy to listen to a truly original voice. Hip idiosyncracy with a dash of versatility, I'll forgive him 'Absolute Beginners' brilliant book turned into shoddy film,oh and 'Charlies Angels'!! we all make mistakes, he simply walked his own way.
He died in London  on February 26th 1991.
I will leave you with  some words from todays sponsor Mr Jack Kerouac.

                                                         Slim Gaillard

'But one night we suddenly went mad together again; we went to see Slim Gaillard in a little Frisco night-club. Slim Gaillard is a tall, thin Negro with big sad eyes who's always saying, 'Right-orooni' and 'How 'bouta little
bourbon-orooni.' In Frisco great eager crowds of young semi-intellectuals sat at his feet and listened to him on the piano, guitar, and bongo drums. When he gets warmed up he takes off his shirt and undershirt and really goes. He does and says anything that comes into his head. He'll sing 'Cement Mixer, Put-ti Put-ti'  and suddenly slow down the beat and brood over his bongos with fingertips barely tapping the skin as everybody leans forward breathlessly to hear; you think he'll do this for a minute or so, but he goes right on, for as long as an hour, making an imperceptible little noise with the tips of his fingernails, smaller and smaller all the time till you can't hear it any more and sounds of traffic come in the open door. Then he slowly gets up and takes the mike and says, very slowly, 'Great-orooni... fine-ouvati... hello-orooni. . . bourbon-oroonie. . . all-orooni. . . orooni. . . how are the boys in the front row making out with their girls-orooni. . . . orooni. . . vauti. . . orooirooni. . . ' He keeps this up for fifteen minutes, his voice getting softer and softer till you can't hear. His great sad eyes scan the audience.
Dean stands in the back, saying, 'God! Yes! and clasping his hands in prayer and sweating. 'Sal, Slim hnows time, he knows time.' Slim sits down at the piano and hits two notes, two Cs, then two more, then one, then two, and suddenly the big burly bass player wakes up from a reverie and realizes Slim is playing 'C-Jam Blues' and he slugs in his big forefinger on the string and the big booming beat begins and everybodystarts rocking and Slim looks just as sad as ever, and they blow jazz for half an hour, and then Slim goes mad and grabs the bongos and plays tremendous rapid Cubana beats and yells crazy things in Spanish,in Arabic, in Peruvian dialect, in Egyptian, in every language he knows, and he knows innumerable languages. Finally the set is over; each set takes two hours. Slim Gaillard goes and stands againsy a post, looking sadly over everybody's head as people come to talk to him. A bourbon is slipped into his hand. 'Bourbon-orooni- thank -you-ouvati. . . ' Nobody knows where Slim Gaillard is. Dean once had a dream that he was having a baby and his belly was all bloated up blue as he lay on the grass of a California hospital. Under a tree, with a group of coloured men, sat Slim Gaillard. Dean turned despairing eyes of a mother to him. Slim daid, 'There you go-orooni.' Now Dean approached him , he approached his God; he thought Slim was God; he shuffled and bowed in front of him and asked him to join us. 'Right-orooni,' says Slim; he'll join anybody but he won't guarantee to be there with you in spirit. Dean got a table, bought drinks, and sat stiffly in front of Slim. Slim dreamed over his head. Every time Slim said, 'Orooni,' Dean said, 'Yes!' I sat there with these two madmen. Nothing happened. To Slim Gaillard thewhole world was just one big orooni.'

Extract from
'On the Road'- Jack Kerouac
Andre  Deutsch 1958.

Vout Oroonie Folks!
VoutOroonie!
 
Dreix Six Cents- Slim Gaillard


Cement Mixer - Slim Gaillard


Yep Roc Heresay -Slim Gaillard Quartette.


Jazz Juke Box
George Melly interview with Slim
Arena 1983.
George Melly shows somes hort films made in 1940's ,sublime .


Slim Gaillard  live 1947.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

LET FREEDOM RING

Octavia Paz (31/4/14 - 19/4/98) January First/ Primero de enero

The year's doors open
like those of language
toward the unknown,
Last night you told me: 
                                  tomorrow
we shall have to think up signs,
sketch a landscape, fabricate a plan
on the double page
of day and paper.
Tomorrow, we shall have to invent,
once more,
the reality of this world.

I opened my eyes late.
For a second of a second
I felt what the Aztec felt,
on the crest of the promontory,
lying in wait
for time's uncertain return
through cracks in the horizon.

Butno, the year had returned
It filled all the room
and my look almost touched it.
Time, with no help from us,
had placed
in exactly the same order as yesterday
houses in the empty street,
snow on the houses,
silence on the snow.

You were beside me,
still asleep.
The day had invented you
but you hadn't yet accepted
being invented by the day.
- Nor possibly my being invented, either.
You were in another day.

You were beside me
and I saw you, like the snow,
asleep among appearances.
Time, with no help from us,
invents houses, streets, trees
and sleeping women.

When you open your eyes
we'll walk, once more,
among the hours and their inventions.
We'll walk among appearances
and bear witness to time and its conjugations.
Perhaps we'll open the day's doors.
And then we shall enter the unknown.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1 January 1975

Las puertas del ano se abren,
como las del lenguaje,
hacia lo desconocicido.
Anoche ne dijiste:
                           manana
habra que trazar unos signos,
dibujar un paisaje, tejer una trama
sobre la doble pagina
del papel y del dia.
Manana habra que inventar,
de neuvo,
la realidad de este mundo.

Yatarde abri los ojos.
Por el sgundo de un segundo
senti lo que el azteca,
acehando
desde el penon del promontorio
por las rendijas de los horizontes
el incierto regreso del tiempo.

No, el ano habia regresado.
Llenabo todo el cuarto
y casi lo palpaban mis miradas.
El tiempo, sin nuestra ayuda,
habia puesto,
en un orden identico al de ayer,
casas en la calle vacia,
nieve sobre las casas,
silencio sobre la nieve.

Tu estabas a mi lado,
aun dormida.
El dia te habia inventado
pero tu no aceptabas todavia
tu innencion en este dia.
Quiza tampoco la mia.
Tu estabas en otro dia.

Estabas a mi lado
y yo te veia, como la hieve,
dormida entre las apariencias.
El tiempo, sin nuestra ayuda,
inventa casa, calles, arboles,
mujeres dormidas.

Cuando abras los ojos
caminaremos, de neuvo,
entre las horas y sus invenciones.
Caminaremos entre las aparienciones,
daremos fe del tiempo y sus conjugaciones.
Abriremos acaso las puertas del dia.
Entraremos entonces en lo desconocido.

a l de enero de 1975.

Reprinted from

Vuelta ( 1976)


Happy new year,lets try for another world.
don't let the bastards grind you down,
spread solidarity
heddwch/peace.
Let freedom ring
and truth and justice prevail.
Its o.k to say no.