Sunday, 28 August 2016


Welcome friends
Nothing new here today,
The same old points of rememberance
The home environment still bathed in blue,
Clouds in slow motion dark and grey
Waiting for thunder to bellow,
Lightnings electrons to releases a spark
The unapproachable and unknowable,
The quantum uncertainty still at large,
Schrödinger’s cat inside Pandora’s box
The hard-drive clambering among confusion, 
Life currently debauched by profiteers
The drowning despair of capitalism,
The earth and lovers slowly dying
A future that remains unknown, 
Time now to turn up the music loud
Do a spiral dance, pause for reflection,
As the universe passes by in ambivalence.
Try to cling on to  threads of hope
Seek and clasp new forms of clarity,
From depths of moments indecision
Keep on looking for signs to rearrange,
Through the blur and scope of time
Different forms of distraction to keep engaged.
Allow mind like a compass to pass through the haze
As darkness falls, the day takes another shape,
Fresh currents emerge to engulf consciousness
To combat feelings and paths of uncertainty,
In glistening dawn,  distraction  dissolves,
Mindstreams of  exhaustion might be resolved.


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Rawabi - A city of hope

Palestinians see the West Bank, which Israel captured in the Six-Day War in 1967, as part of their independent state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Under the Oslo Accords reached two decades ago, the Palestinian government now rules about a third of the territory. The rest remains under Israeli control and is home to some 370,000 Jewish settlers. The last round of peace talks broke down two years ago, and prospects for resuming negotiations—much less reaching an agreement—are dim.
But after years of setbacks, Palestinians are proudly starting to move into their first planned city, Rawabiwhich is currently being built in the West Bank. This move is not just about real estate but also a symbol of Palestinians quest for statehood after nearly 50 years of Israeli military occupation.This privately financed city project in the heart of occupied West Bank symbolises both a possible future for the beleaguered Palestinian people.
That it has got this far in a place under military rule for almost half a century, and in the teeth of political obstruction, controversy and criticism, is a testament to the vision of its founder and driving force, a Palestinian-American entrepeneur called Bashar al-Masri,who dreamed up Rawabi, or hills in Arabic, in 2007. Work only began in 2012.Palestinian critics accused it of "normalising the occupation", of making deals with Israel for private profit. Jewish settlers on nearby hills watch and worry as Rawabi rises from the ground."I am defying the occupation," insists  Masri “Some people say Rawabi sugarcoats the occupation. I disagree. Rawabi is being built despite the occupation. We expose the occupation by our battle for basic things like water and a road.” For the last nine-years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has created multiple delays in the development of the city. But the last hurdle has been the much needed approval for a water hookup from the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee.According to a 1995 interim agreement under the Oslo Accords, the JWC must approve water and sewage projects for Israelis and Palestinian in the West Bank. Although its first batch of apartment buildings is finished, homeowners have been unable to move in for the past year because the city lacked water. Masri said one of the major hurdles in starting Rawabi was getting approval from Israel for an access road and water supply to the city, which took years. "Dealing with occupation is not dealing with a proper nation," he said. "It's dealing with an ugly system."
Water has not been the only problem though. Rawabi is situated in Area A, the 18% of the West Bank that is under Palestinian control. But access to the city lies through Area C, the 60% that is under full Israeli control. Masri had to negotiate for permission to build a road on which trucks could deliver construction materials and cars and buses carry Rawabi workers – and, eventually, give Rawabi residents access to the rest of the West Bank.
Rawabi which is north of Ramallah perched on a once desolate hilltop, is the first Palestinian city being built according to a modern urban design plan. The organized layout and modern facilities are in jarring contrast to chaotic Palestinian towns and villages in the area. It now has a yearly renewable permit to use a narrow road that passes through an adjacent 1-kilometer stretch under Israeli control. A pipeline, which passes through the same area, brings in 300 cubic meters of water a day—insufficient for the residents as well as the construction that's underway.Additional water is currently being brought in on tankers, and some people supplement their supply from a nearby village. Masri said his next battle is to triple both the width of the seven-meter road and the water supply.Currently 250 families live in the city. That population is expected to swell to 60,000 when construction ends in about five years. A three-bedroom apartment averages about $100,000, about 25 percent less than in the main Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah nearby.At the heart of Rawabi will be the city center where art and culture will enjoy center stage,along with a large amphitheater that can hold 12,000 people, Rawabi now boasts also an industrial zone, schools, and the first big Western-style open-air shopping center in the West Bank. Such attractions lumped together in one city are unheard of in Palestinian areas.There is a mosque under construction and also a church which will serve the Palestinian Christian minority. About 10 percent of Rawabi residents are expected to be Christian.
Meanwhile though in sharp contrast no place in Palestine is less like Rawabi than Gaza. Sadly two years after the last of the three wars in six years whole districts lie in ruins, families are living in homes missing large sections of walls and roofs.  In these desolate streets there is neither electricity nor water and families say bitterly they are forgotten. The war displaced 500,00 people and 90,000 are displaced today, and 1.3 million people need aid, according to the UN.
Only 40% of the $3.5 billion pledged for reconstruction after the 2014 war has been delivered. The most basic infrastructure is in tatters, only kept functioning at all by resourceful engineers and administrators. In districts where there is electricity the cuts are sometimes 18 hours at a time. Ninety per cent of the water is contaminated. Stinking lakes of untreated sewage lie right by where people live and a visitor must cover the nose to bear driving close. UN technical reports have said that by 2020 Gaza will be unliveable – mainly because of the water crisis. One teacher said simply, “our life is already hell.” During our visit to his office patients twice burst in, and only agreed to wait because he was seeing “foreigners”.
In addition Israeli airstrikes still hit the Strip – as recently as last week. Even worse is the eight year blockade of the 1.8 million people — internationally recognised as collective punishment breaching international law.
Rawabi though  the first Palestinian city to be established in thousands of years can at least at a time of growing malaise over a standstill in Middle East peace efforts, offer some source of pride, hope and excitement for the Palestinian people while at the same time not distracting from the harsh realities of life under occupation.

Israeli settlement Ateret in background as the Palestinian national flag flies from the highest point of Rawabi

              A large amphitheater will hold about 12,000 people in the entertainment complex.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Letter of support to Standing Rock: Stop pipelines, climate change, and capitalism

Dakota Access—a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP—has proposed a $3.7 billion, 1,168-mile pipeline that will transfer up to 570,000 of crude oil per day from the  North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois.The potential of oil leaks would contaminate the only source of water for the reservation. While Dakota Access claims oil leaks are unlikely, an oil leak from a separate pipeline in North Dakota was discovered (8/15/16) to have leaked over 500 barrels of oil since the leak began on July 19, 2016. You can read the article here: A leak like this from the Dakota Access pipeline would leave the Standing Rock Sioux without any clean water. However, for the past several months, native American communities and landowners have been battling the construction of the DAPL.
A couple hundred tribal members went to the construction site on Aug. 12 with a vow to stop the pipeline. And to make that point clear, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault chose to be arrested after crossing into the construction zone. Since that day, hundreds of Native Americans and allies from across the country have been camped near the Missouri River to join the protest. For now, construction has ceased while a court hears the tribe’s suit against the Army Corps for failing to comply with environmental and historic preservation laws.
The people of Standing Rock, often called Sioux, warn that a potential oil spill into the river would threaten the water, land, health  and sacred lands of their reservation.Their fight is also against a system of domination that has been imposed on the original nations.The Hunkpapa Nation (including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) is part of the larger Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Teton Nation), sometimes known as “the Great Sioux Nation.” The United States regards the entire geographical area of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota (Oceti Sakowin) territory as part of the national territory of the United States. The United States sees itself as a nation that possesses the territory of original Native nations “in full sovereignty and dominion.But this sovereignty is really an unjust form of domination that limits human freedom, the government stealing indigenous peoples land for corporate profits.I admire the bravery of these people prepared to stand up for the earth and their health. I stand with the Lakota Tribe and Protesters against the pipeline, I hope they keep fighting and never give up.

Please sign the following petition:-

Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

The following statement is reposted from the website of The Red Nation.

August 21, 2016
Brave resisters and water protectors descended on the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site to halt its construction as it lurches towards the Mni Sose, the Missouri River, at Cannonball, ND. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation) have opposed the pipeline and all pipelines trespassing treaty territory, as defined by the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties. The proposed 1,172-mile pipeline would transport Bakken-produced heavy crude oil across the major freshwater source for countless human and nonhuman lives, the Missouri River.
The Red Nation calls on everyone to support resisters and water protectors as they put their lives on the line to halt this devastating wasicu, fat-taker capitalist pipeline. On July 27, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia to enforce the tribe’s federally protected rights against the pipeline’s construction. On August 24, Standing Rock as well as several other Native Nations will have a court hearing to undo the US Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of the pipeline.
[UPDATE: At the August 24 hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as hundreds rallied outside, the judge announced that the ruling would be made on September 9 and the next hearing would be September 14.]
In violation of treaty law, the Corps negotiated the pipeline’s passage with the Texas-based pipeline corporation Energy Transfers through treaty territory despite massive protests citing the desecration of burial sites and culturally sensitive areas as well as threatening clean drinking water for millions. The Corps is also responsible for the continued violation of Native water rights by altering the flow of the Missouri River. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Corps, working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, constructed 107 dams and six major dams on Native treaty territory. These dams flooded 611,642 acres. More than half of this land was Native land and resulted in the removal of 600 Native families. The Corps continues to violate Native water rights as defined by the Winters Doctrine, which prohibits altering the flow of rivers or the selling of water rights within original Native treaty territory even if that territory has been diminished. Natives and non-Natives still suffer from the devastating effects of these dams and forced relocation. The Missouri River has never recovered and 90% of its wild game and plants were annihilated.
In typical industry fashion, the public and vulnerable Native communities will pay for cleanup and contamination when — not if — the pipeline breaks.
Bakken oil and gas production, as it peaks, has already devastated the Native and non-Native communities, leaving the land and water dead and communities torn apart. Yet, oil and gas companies continue reap huge profits as Bakken jobs decline, the land becomes more unlivable, and the social malaise of violence inherent to boomtown economies continues to wreak havoc.
Meanwhile, the Energy Transfers corporation is attempting to sue the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for protesting the pipeline and law enforcement is arresting resisters and water protectors, and the true criminals walk free. Instead of merely stopping Dakota Access, we demand that the Army Corps and Energy Transfers be held accountable for the crimes of putting at risk vulnerable water supplies, the public at large, and the violation of treaty rights. We demand that their profits — and the assets of all fossil fuel companies responsible for climate change — be seized to pay for the cleanup and to help begin to mitigate the deadly effects of climate change.
Capitalism is the enemy of all life and it must be stopped!
We must also recognize that upholding Native treaty rights is essential to combat climate change and benefits everyone. We demand that the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties be fully obeyed as law and the restoration of the original treaty lands to the Oceti Sakowin.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse!
Hecetu Welo!
The Red Nation

Please sign the following petition:-

Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Save our Human Rights Act

Have written on this subject many times, but it is too important a subject not to broach once more. As the media currently tries to distract us with a non story about Jeremy Corbyn's train seat this ****** government of ours is still trying to abolish the Human Rights Act. Liz Truss,  the newly appointed Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, revealed the news while dismissing concerns from some Conservatives that the plan, a manifesto pledge in both 2010 and 2015, had been axed.This is  the law which gives us the right not to be tortured, the right to a fair trial and the right to an education and allows us to hold public institutions like the police, prisons and councils to account that has served the people of Great Britain well..
Lyn Truss and co want to replace it with a British "Bill of Rights and Responsibilities". It will curtail the power of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Britain..
In effect, the Conservatives will reduce the ECHR to no more than an advisory body. Should the ECHR not accept Parliament’s veto of its rulings, the government would withdraw from the Council of Europe, the human rights watchdog that is not related to any European Union (EU) institution. All Europe’s 48 countries, except Belarus—a military dictatorship—have signed up to the Council of Europe and made the Human Rights Convention part of their constitutional and domestic laws.
The new measures will erode the right to life, to privacy, to a fair trial, to protest and to freedom from torture and discrimination. It will enable the government to deport more people and defy ECHR’s requirements. In relation to foreign policy, the repeal of the act means that UK armed forces could act with impunity, as they would no longer be subject to human rights legislation. Even the right-wing Economist magazine, which speaks for British finance capital and demands a more assertive British foreign policy, lamented the “poor signal” it will send “about Britain’s commitment to international law.” The current law gives us the right to get justice from British courts without having to go to the European Court. It requires all public bodies, including central and local government, the police, the National Health Service, prisons and other services to abide by these human rights, and extends to outsourced public services such as care homes.
The legislation also  includes the right to life, not to be tortured or subjected to inhumane treatment, not to be held as a slave, to liberty and security of the person, to a fair trial, not to be retrospectively convicted for a crime, to a private and family life, to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, to freedom of expression, to freedom of assembly and association, to marriage, to an effective remedy, not to be discriminated against, to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s property and the right to an education.
The Human Rights Act was introduced by the Blair Labour government in 1998 and came into force in 2000. Its antecedents are in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, drawn up after World War II in response to the horrendous crimes carried out by the Nazis. The Convention, based in part at least on the principles enshrined in the Magna Carta, drew upon the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It was one of a number of mechanisms, along with the Marshall Plan, during the Cold War against the Stalinist Soviet Union that served to rehabilitate capitalist rule—under conditions where it had been widely discredited—and show it was compatible with democracy and civil liberties, particularly those of Europe’s millions of displaced peoples and refugees.
The Conservative government proposal is simply appalling and unacceptable, trying to get rid of the Human Rights Act is a blatant open  wholesale assault on democratic rights and must be opposed part of our protection to be able to function as citizens in a democratic country as the ***** Tory's know too damn well.
The plans also contravene various national agreements. The Sewel convention dictates that parliament cannot legislate for devolved matters without the consent of Scotland and Wales and to push the bill through against this "would be horrific", said one legal expert. In Northern Ireland, abolishing the act would place the UK government in breach of the Good Friday Agreement, a direct violation of international law that would "plunge the UK into a constitutional crisis", says the Guardian.
Surely it can't have escaped the Tory's attention that our country has seen a spike in hate and division recently, considering this they should not be  pouring yet more public money, into scrapping human rights and equality protections that are needed now more than ever.People power got us these rights, and now it’s up to us to stand up for them again.We can prove public opinion is against scrapping the Human Rights Act - and show we’re prepared to fight for it. It could convince the government to nip these plans in the bud once and for all. 
Please sign and share the following petition, it  means a lot to me, thanks.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The shame of Burkini ban.

This week we have seen an  uptick in body policing and body shaming.We saw armed police surrounding a Muslim woman on a beach in Nice and forcing her to remove clothing. This is part of the racist and sexist policy being imposed on Muslim women in France, where so far 15 towns have introduced a ban on the burkini. The bans are claimed to be “protecting the population” of France from terrorism and religious ideas, but women choosing to cover up on the beach is no threat to society.
We should be ashamed of this because forcing an old lady,  to take off her Burkini, throws all values of freedom it has straight into the trashcan, so far removed from the message of Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité. Practicing  hypocrisy and double standards seems to be the new order of the day.missing the real opportunity to acknowledge female diversity that comes in various shapes and forms.Intentionally marginalizing Muslim women, highlights the country’s own issues with misogyny and racism by ironically dictating what women can and cannot wear, treating them as ideological commodities, to be denied the  freedom to  define or express themselves surely must be questioned.It is simply absurdity born of paranoia and the impulse to dominate others.
The burkini  symbolises leisure and happiness and fitness and health, worn voluntarily and sold by popular high street and haute couture brands alike, burkinis have become a widespread sartorial choice for many practicing Muslim women in France and beyond. Being praised for blocking sun-rays and the male gaze, the attire is often also embraced by non-Muslim women, most notably also by TV chef Nigella Lawson. Hopefully, the  next generation will look at this burkini ban much as we view the chastity belt.People should be allowed to wear what they like, at a time when politicians should be doing everything to avoid tension between communities, they have done exactly the opposite.Sadly though it is not surprising that it is men who  are the ones fighting over what women ought to be doing with their bodies. Depending on the era — and often the prevailing religion — women are either showing too much or too little
So who is better, the Taliban or French politicians? An interesting link that discusses this further can be found here:-

There is a demo at the French Embassy, 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT this Friday, 6pm, to protest the burkini ban.

This protest is called by Stand Up to Racism and supported by MEND

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Gilli Smyth ( (1/6/33-22/8/16) - Space Whisperer R.I.P


Goodbye to Gilli Smyth, aka Shakti Yoni, 83 years young. Poetess, cosmic feminist, priestess of space-whisper and founding member of the seminal band Gong, as well as her own band Mother Gong sadly passed away yesterday in Australia after a long illness, her son Orlando Allen has confirmed.
He says: "She passed amongst loved ones reading poetry and singing at exactly 12pm Australian time today. She is flying to the infinite through all the bardots as we speak so all your prayers of light, love gratitude and beaming energies are a shining light for her.
"Bless her psychedelic cotton socks, she will be in our and deeply in my heart forever. One of the strongest, most loving forgiving and powerful shakti being mums I have ever known.
"I give thanks for the blessing of her her being her example and shakti mumma presence and happy she is out of pain now and soon to be with, Daevid her dingo Virgin and all her favourite animals."
Gilli had three degrees from King's College London, where she first gained notoriety as the outspoken sub-editor of "Kings News", a college magazine. After a brief spell teaching at the Sorbonne (Paris) (where she became bilingual), she began doing performance poetry with the jazz-rock group Soft Machine, founded by her partner and long-time collaborator, Daevid Allen, in 1968. They would go on to co-found together the magical band Gong  and all of the songs on the albums Magick Brother and Continental Circus are listed as written or co-written by her. In her spoken-word poetry, especially within Gong's "Radio Gnome Invisible" Trilogy, she portrays a prostitute, a cat, a mother, a witch, and an old woman, and was known for wearing such costumes on stage. This became part of the cult mythology, which was written into sixteen albums that were produced. Gilli pioneered a revolutionary singing style known popularly as Space Whisper, a textural ambient cosmic voice/instrument and became known for her haunting seductive voice.
Over the decades she had continued to tour and record with various incarnations of the Planet Gong family and many other visionary acts, a floating gang of individuals and idealists trying trying to effect social change for the better.Also as a poet she had published several books of artful verse.
Her 1978 album Mother which I have just been playing stands as one of the first and most uncompromising feminist dispatches from the progressive rock universe in which she bought a very needed feminine voice ( a realm overpopulated by regressive and rather misogynist views towards women), the album's exploration of gender roles, cosmic consciousness, and domesticity remain vital and rewarding.I have posted a link below, a record that for me remains powerfully rewarding.
The Goddesses which  inspired much of Gilli's work, were to  her symbolic of life force,energy flowing  through the invisible web of being that links all life. "Leave behind your old attitudes and celebrate being.You are always now and tomorrow afternoon. You unfold your life like a fresh newspaper and read whichever page you choose. Surf the far waves of emotion, explore mysterious dimensions from the danger of your own head." Her life's journey continues to be a source of inspiration to those who rode or are continuing to ride similar, artistic and political seas. Her legacy and that of her lover, with whom she shared two children with , plus a long creative journey lives on.
with whom she shared two children and a long creative journey.

Read More: Gong Co-Founder Gilli Smyth Dead at 83 |
with whom she shared two children and a long creative journey.

Read More: Gong Co-Founder Gilli Smyth Dead at 83 |

Peace, love and light. R.I.P. Onwards and upwards.

Gilli Smyth - Mother (1978)

Tracklisting :-

I am a Fool
Back to the Womb
Shakti Yoni
Keep the Children Free
Prostitute Poem
OK, Man, This is Your World
Next Time Ragtime
Time of the Goddess

Monday, 22 August 2016

Happy Birthday Ray Bradbury (22/08/28 - 5/6/12) - Everyone must leave something behind.

Ray Bradbury, known for his imaginative and evocative tales of Martian lands and sinister carnival characters, was born  96 years ago today.In his lifetime Bradbury wrote hundreds of stories, a number of screenplays, and over two dozen novels,of subtle genius including The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine,and I sing the body electric. earning Bradbury a place within the canon of modern Western literature. Long have I been an admirer of his work. Here is a link to a piece I wrote when I heard about his death , a few years ago on hearing about his death :- A beautiful, writer, of gentle, probing, persuasive thought best known as a science fiction author, Ray Bradbury’s writing was courageous and visionary, combining poignant social criticism..
His  novel Farenheit 451, which came out in 1953 at the height of the “Red Scare” period most memorably exemplified by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s vicious, witch hunt against supposed communists and communist sympathizers which included attempts to remove suspect books from public libraries. This was also the period of the Hollywood blacklist, with many actors, directors, and screenwriters being banned from working on Hollywood films or television. Although Bradbury has said that the book-burnings in Fahrenheit 451 were inspired by the 1933 Nazi book-burnings, he was much more likely inspired by the censorship that accompanied the Red Scare of his own era.
Set in a bleak, dystopian future,where we find Guy Montag, the main protoganist, a fireman,whose main focus isn’t to fight fires, but to start them. In order to control information and its dissemination, the government has banned books. Anyone found in possession of them is subject to having their house burned to the ground by the fire department.
In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor one Clarisse McClennan , who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.He  become disillusioned with the societal distractions his wife had engaged in and  becomes fascinated with the people who hide and defend the books he is ordered to destroy. As such, he begins secretly hoarding books from the houses he is sent to destroy.Towards the end, Montag is befriended by individuals who have been labeled outcasts for their love of books and knowledge. Montag is speaking with one of them, named Granger, who delivers the following message :

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime....

- Ray Bradbury - Farenheit 451.

This end signified a turning point from hoplessness to hope, but the message of the book still powerfully acts today as a warning, teaching us not to accept what we are told is right or wrong as governments around the globe today continue today to suppress knowledge and the free flow of information. We  must keep on clinging to the freedom to read, the freedom of ideas, and the freedom of communication.
The gardeners to  be remembered, leaving their marks of unfettered imagination, seeds of the future to be forever  cherished and treasured. Everyone must leave something behind! Happy birthday, Ray Bradbury.