Sunday, 24 June 2018

No words needed .... but


For me the Royal family represent inequality, a dynasty that has no place in the modern world , above though we see  Theresa May fawning in open deference while Brtain is going through a time of national economic and social stress , due to Brexit, austerity, incoming roll out of Universal Credit and so on.
The Prime minister performed this awkward unusually low dip as she shook the Duke of Cambridge's hand to welcome him during a visit to a newly built Defence and National  Rehabilitation Centre last Thursday in Nottinghamshire. I find it  unbelievable that one human being would publicly and shamelessly debase themselves in this manner. Theresa May curtsying, grovelling more like, to Prince William is one of the most cringeworthy, nauseatingly, obsequious spectacles I have seen for a while, and is simply an affront to human decency. How can human beings indulge in this humiliating behaviour with a straight face, heaven knows.
Others might point out that she was just showing some basic chivalry, protocol and respect, but have we not  in the modern age, moved on from these outdated monarchist hangups. I personally look forward to a society in the future where we can all look into one another's eyes as equals, whatever our positions in life.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Lowkey ft Kaia - Ghosts of Grenfell 2



After a five year hiatus in 2017, Lowkey returned to the mic with a personal tribute on the Grenfell disaster,https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2017/08/lowkey-ghosts-of-grenfell-ft-mai-khalil.html  who  many have said could have been avoided  with proper construction practices. Above is his powerful sequel  to remind  our government that victims of this avoidable tragedy are still fighting for justice.
The tale of Grenfell is a tale of two Kensingtons. It is the story of how scores of poor people were left to perish, in a block riddled with fire and safety problems and disrepair, just meters away from some of the wealthiest streets in the country.
And if this alone does not  make you cry, then  listen to the following.Simply beautiful.Does music have the capacity to heal?

Yousra & Johara - Fire in Grenfell


My own initial response https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2017/06/for-grenfell-tower-poem.html

And some further reflections,https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2018/06/grenfell-tower-fire-one-year-on.html

rehouse the survivors, prosecute those rsponsible, Justice 4 Grenfell  💚

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Halfway there (Happy Summer Solstice)


(happy summer solstice, to all out there, heddwch /peace, blessed be)

Surging through veils
to enhance, to heal,
recharge, renew, reveal
time to celebrate
through spirit, mind, and heart,
the turning of the seasonal wheel,
under the influence
of a bright shining moon,
swirl in peace for awhile
solitary or in company,
kiss goodbye to the last shades of spring
pay homage to forces of nature we trust,
marking new beginnings
as earth's darkness returns to light
radiant sun returns with dawn
and summertime is reborn.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Donald Trump must end the separation of migrant families.


Between October 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children  have been split from their parents. 1,995 of them were seperated over, the last six weeks, April 18 to May 31, indicating that at present, an average of 45 children are being taken from their parents each day. Migrants who have been crossing the hot southern desert into the U.S seeking security and safety from gangs and drug cartels. The UN says the use of detention and family seperation runs counter to human rights standards and principles.
This has seen the United States , under an Orwellian  policy of 'zero tolerance' immigrant children being ripped from the arms of their mothers and fathers and placed in detention camps. This is the same country, who has invaded a number of states across the globe in the name of freedom, human rights, democracy and equality, but we are currently seeing the real face of the USA, and with their President warning that migrants will 'infest' America, some are saying Holocaust parallels are impossible to ignore. Currently speaking wikipedia is listing Trump's detention centers as concentration camps.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_concentration_and_internment_camps#Forced_separation_of_immigrant_children
The  heartbreaking sight  of children being held in metal cages, in extreme heat by day, extreme heat at night  is America's shame, what the Trump administration is doing to these families is simply barbaric.Church leaders and figures across the political spectrum have expressed their outrage.This
outcry has increased  after an audio recording  captured distraught  minors, apparently between  four and ten, screaming "Mami" and"Papa" hours after they were removed by their parents.
Parents who have fled trauma and persecution are now having to endure the unfathomable terror of not knowing if they will ever see their children again.
Taking children away from their parents can risk  re-traumatising children who have already sufferred the trauma of violence and persecution in their native countries, as well as the arduous journey to seek safety. The idea that children can be protected by tearing them away from their families is cruel and unnecessary, defying all sense of logic and humanity. None should be treated so cruelly .Punishing people seeking safety and dignity goes against all values of dignity and compassion.
Donald Trump must end this human rights violation now and when he lands in the UK on July 12, we should make sure he is not given any welcome.
Please sign the following  :-

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/220898 

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/usa-families-belong-together?from=issue&utm_campaign=MEMA1719_ACT_REFU_USA_Family_Border_Separations&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Campaigns&utm_content=1749


“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


- 'The New Colossus' by Emma Lazarus. Written on the statue of liberty.



POSTSCRIPT :22.30

Bowing to immense pressure. Trump has abruptly reversed  and signed an executive order halting his administration policy of seperating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U S border. A dramatic turnaround for him, who had been insisting wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to seperate families apprehended  at the border because of federal law and a court decision. In my opinion Trump is still an exceedingly dangerous man, out of control drunk on power.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Refugee Week 2018



This week, from 19-24 June is Refugee Week, in which thousands of people across the country celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees, promoting understanding of why people see sanctuary. The UN has announced today that more people are fleeing conflict and persecution than any time in the past 70 years. The UK government can and must do more to help.By signing the following petition, this one simple act will hopefully bring us one step closer to changing the unjust rules that keep many families apart.https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/home-secretary-reunite-refugee-families?from=issue&utm_campaign=MEMA1714_ACT_REFU_FamilyReunion_ActionTakers&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Campaigns&utm_content=1744
The following is a letter that I wrote to my local paper, the Tivy-Side Advertiser to mark Refugee Week..

FOUNDED in 1998, Refugee Week Wales is a week long cultural, artistic and educational celebration of the contributions made by talented asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Wales.
Refugee Week takes place from June 17-24 and Cardigan and North Pembrokeshire Amnesty International group always marks the week.
Wales has a proud history of welcoming refugees from all over the world. Refugees are forced to leave their country in order  to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster often with no warning and cannot return to their country unless the situation improves. This is different to economic migrants.
Refugee Week Wales is an opportunity to promote this message across Wales.

                                                                                                                   Dave Rendle
                                                                                                        Cardigan and North
                                                                                                 Pembrokeshire Amnesty
                                                                                                         International group

http://refugeeweek.org.uk/events/refugee-week-in-wales/


Sunday, 17 June 2018

After the Hatstands ( Forever we will dance)


In the morning, days lay ahead
in the middle just a dot,
as sky above, slowly awakes
releasing heat, to cloy the senses ,
into this world of daily prescription
a shot of benevolance, beyond the dark,
on spinning floors, laboriously gathered
we are one, a stream of togetherness,
taking deep breaths, we sail again
holding on to memories, sliding down,
we inhale the smell of one another
the sweet anesthetic of friendship,
carried by rhythmic vibrations
from our cages, we free ourselves,
beyond drifting world of chaos
float peacefully towards tomorrow,
among tinctured cadences and
                            patterned threads
find fulfillment in music and magic,
fuse our movements, blend emotions
release our breathe, redistribute passion
as fragments drift into twilight
forever we will dance

Friday, 15 June 2018

Guantanamo 6,000 days,


This Friday, June 15, Guantanamo Bay prison will have been open for 6,000 days. A depressing milestone  that marks 6,000 days of torture, abuse and indefinite detention without charge. It is a cruel reminder of just how long this injustice has gone on.
 Via the Close Guantanamo  campaign, there has been a photo campaign all year involving the Gitmo Clock, which counts, in real time, how long Guantanamo has been open, and urges Donald Trump to close it.People have been taking photos with posters every 25 days showing how long the prison has been open.
Join us in telling Donald Trump, "Not one day more!"
Print off a poster, take a photo, with it and send it to info@closeguantanamo.org, or just gisplay the poster on a tablet and have your photo taken with it - or even on your phone!
6,000 Days Poster-
http://www.gtmoclock.com/posters/GTMO-Clock-6000.pdf 
Check out all the photos here
https://www.closeguantanamo.org/Gitmo-Clock-2018-photos 

Most of the men held at Guantanamo over the last 6,000 days (16 years, five months and four days) have been held without charge or trial, in defiance of international laws and treaties governing the treatment of prisoners, There are only two acceptable ways to deprive an individual of their liberty- either as a criminal suspect to be tried in a federal court or as a prisoner of war, held unmolested until the end of hostilities. The men at Guantanamo are neither. Instead, after 9/11, the Bush administration concieved of a novel category of prisoner - one without any rights whatsoever - and implemented this at Guantanamo. Although the prisoners have fought to secure rights, being granted constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights by the Supreme Court in June 2008, those rights were eviscerated by a number of appeals court decisions between 2009 and 2011, effectively gutting habeas corpus of all meaning for the Guantánamo prisoners. The unacceptable reality of Guantánamo now is that the men still held can only be freed at the whim of the president, and the president has no intention of releasing anyone.
Donald Trump inherited 41 prisoners from Barack Obama, but he has only released one man, a Saudi repatriated to ongoing imprisonment as part of a plea deal he agreed in the military commission trial system in 2014. Of the 40 men still held, only nine are facing, or have faced trials. Five were approved for release by high-level government review processes under President Obama, but are still held, while the other 26, accurately described as “forever prisoners” by the media, are held indefinitely without charge or trial, regarded as posing an ongoing threat to the U.S., even though the U.S. apparently lacks the evidence to put them on trial.
Every day that Guantanamo remains open is a black mark against America's notion of itself as a nation founded on the rule of law, which respect the rule of law. Andy Worthington, the co-founder of the Close Guantanamo campaign,https://www.closeguantanamo.org/ said "6,000 days is far longer than the two world wars combined. It is outrageous that the U.S Government continues to perptuate the  myth of an endless war, as a supposed justification for holding prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial, when this is, in fact, a policy for which there is no justification whatsoever."
Helen Schietinger of Witness Against Torture http://www.witnessagainsttorture.com/ said "it
 is significant, and not accidental, that all the men who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo are Muslim. How many holy months of Ramadan have they missed during these 6,000 days? How many more must they endure, never being allowed visits by their families?"
The fight against Guantanamo is proving to be a long one, but wont stop until Guantanamo is closed for good.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Grenfell Tower Fire: One Year On


It really is hard to believe that it has already been a year since the Grenfell Tower fire which shocked the nation and devastated a community, when  72 people tragically lost their lives on 14 June, 2017, when flames engulfed the 23-storey building in the worst fire to hit Great Britain since the Second World War, no one deserved or were supposed to die like this.
The chaos and confusion that ensued in the following days added further injury and insult to the hundreds of people immediately impacted by the fire and the wider community. Their anger and frustration were matched by their incredible kindness and generosity, as the people of North Kensington came together in a way that had not been seen in this country for decades.It also saw the UK unite in solidarity with the victims  and their families, against  the reckless incompetence that ultimately led to the fire. The incompetence, coming from both the government and property developers, that included the failure to take seriously the many complaints made by Grenfell residents regarding the lack of fire safety, as well as the failure to replace the extremely combustible cladding with fire-resistant cladding, which would have prevented the fire spreading at such a rapid pace, which would have cost only £293,000 to install, resulted in human beings meeting their deaths in the most horrific of way.
The legacy of Grenfell is clear, and of course we must remember each and every soul that tragically perished in such a preventable disaster, The Guardian recently published a piece on the " Lives of Grenfell Tower https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/ng-interactive/2018/may/14/lives-of-grenfell-tower-victims-fire  in which mini obituaries written by the friends and family of the victims, were published as tributes to those who lost their lives.We must also remember that Grenfell Tower - a social housing enclave nestled in  one of the most expensive neighboorhoods in the world was mainly occupied by immigrants,people of colour and low-income families, and that the tragedy clearly demonstrated that their lives mattered significantly less, than those of their white, wealthy counterparts.
Time is supposed to heal wounds, but for many Grenfell survivors and victims relatives, the anniversary is a reminder of just how little has been put right over the past year.Sadly not much has changed since the tragedy, Nobody responsible has yet to be charged or arrested, and the consequent investigation into the tragedy, has not urged the government to ban combustible cladding, despite calls from campaign groups, across the country to to do so. 300 tower blocks across the country are still covered in the same dangerous cladding used on Grenfell Tower and building and fire safety regulations are still not fit for purpose
The lack of response is simply a disgrace, but the campaigns of the victims families provide hope for a future with better oversight and more safety, and as the public inquiry continues there are still so many questions to be answered in the fight for justice.
Theresa May  has admitted her failure to meet Grenfell residents in the immediate aftermath of the disaster made it appear she "did not care". The Prime Minister said she will "always regret" failing to go to the tower on the day after the tragedy, saying that her actions were "not good enough" Writing in the Evening Standard May said: "The day after the disaster I made the first of a number of trips to the site, thanking the firefighters for their work and holding a short meeting with the team in charge of the response."What I did not do on that first visit was meet the residents and survivors who had escaped the blaze."But the residents of Grenfell Tower needed to know that those in power recognised and understood their despair. And I will always regret that by not meeting them that day, it seemed as though I didn't care. "That was never the case."
Many people though believe her apology is simply to little and far too late, and are asking that if she cares so much, why are survivors still waiting  to be rehoused in permanent accomodation? Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has admitted that 43 families are still living in hotels, one year on. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, he said 203 households needed new homes in the aftermath of the tower block fire, saying that of these, 198 have accepted permanent or temporary accomodation and 134 have now moved in. But he added he was "very concerned" about the 23 households who are living in hotels one year after the event.
"My ministerial team has met with many of them and I've  personally written to all of them, to find out what barriers exist in each individual case and how we can overcome them, he told MPs.
He also reiterated the Governments commitment to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise tower blocks, subject to a consultation, that will be published next week.Adding that the Government has "made it clear" that it espects private building owners not to pass the costs of removing dangerous cladding on to leaseholders.
"The private sector must step up and I am not ruling anything out if they do not." he told MPs.
Responding to the Housing Secretary's statement, Labour's Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said the "time for warm words is long past".
"Grenfell residents feel that they were failed before the fire, and many feel failed since," said Mr Healey. "They were promised permanent new homes within a year, but only 82 of the 209 households are in permanent new homes. On the wider Grenfell estate, only 39 of 127 are in permanent new homes."
Mr Healey also pressed the Housing Secretary on whether the Government set for all survivors to be permanently rehoused.
"Without a deadline, more words of regret will simply ring hollow to the still homeless residents of Grenfell Tower." he added.
Grenfell Tower now stands in Kensington as a relic, covered in scaffolding and white sheets like a bandage over broken bones. On it is a banner featuring the green Grenfell heart and the words "Grenfell forever in our hearts" emblazoned across the four highest floors.
Justice for Grenfell https://justice4grenfell.org/ is a community led organisation set up in the days following the fire, focused on obtaining justice for the bereaved families, survivors, evacuated residents and the wider local community. Where the authorities failed survivors, Justice for Grenfell stepped in, when the media and politicians went silent, Justice for Grenfell shouted louder.
On 14th June, alongside other activist groups,  Justice for Grenfell will mark 12 months since the tragedy with the 12th Grenfell Silent Walk https://www.facebook.com/events/174975633343497/.The walks are a monthly opportunity for the community to remember, mourn and pay tribute to those affected. On Saturday 16th June you can join them outside Downing Street at 12 pm to march for justice for Grenfell.
Today communities across the country will also fall silent for one minute at 12 pm to remember the victims and those affected by the inferno. In solidarity with the survivors and those whose lives were affected, residents, families, neighbours, emergency services, in what must still be an incredibly painful time.

Victims of the fire


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

300 prominent global figures accuse Israel of committing ‘war crimes’


Israel's forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians has been denounced as a war crime by over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics artists, faith leaders and activists from around the world.
The universal show of solidarity to the Palestinians was published in an open letter which voiced strong opposition to Israel's plans to forcibly  transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming shepherding communities in the West Bank.
Signatories include 80 members of parliament, many of whom are from the EU and UK parliaments.
Other notable signatories include ten Israel Prize  laureates, film director.Ken Loach, artists Al Weiwi, author Alice Walker, academic Noam Chomsky and several musicians. Dozens of Rabbis have also signed the letter denouncing Israel for what many would describe as ethnic cleansing.
Forcible transfer - by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes - is a war crime the letter states.
Mentioning, in particular, residents facing expulsion from three areas, the Jordan valley, the South Hebron Hills and East Jerusalem, the letter says that Israel " aims to establish facts on the ground that would achieve exclusive de-facto Israel control in those area and eventually facilitate formal annextation"
"Israel's plans "the letter point out, range from freezing Palestinian development, through minimising Palestinian foothold in major parts of the West Bank, to the destruction  and transfer of entire communities " The plans, they add are being implemented through "coercive measures" which are listed as not being allowed to build new private or public buildings, denied access to water grids or to pave access roads, demolitions, threats and confiscation of essential equipment.
After denouncing Israel for committing "war crimes" the letter says "all people responsible for ir - including Israel prime minister and the minister of defence - bear personal responsibility.".
They also accuse Israel's high court of "rubber stamping" the criminal policies of the Israeli government. "All it does is also implicate Israel's High Court Justices in what is nothing short of a war crime, no matter how much legal formalism is enlisted in an effort to exercise the inexcusable." the letter concludes.
BDS until justice is done.

Source https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180612-300-prominent-global-figures-accuse-israel-of-committing-war-crimes/
.
https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/2018-06/20180611_khan_al_ahmar_petition.pdf


Open letter which voiced strong opposition to Israel's plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming communities in the occupied West Banlk

Monday, 11 June 2018

Noam Chomsky - Best Speech In 2018


Here Noam Chomsky who has dedicated his life to tackling very serious word issues, talks about  the major threats to the human race and other important issues of today. Though he talks eloquently, the stakes at moment are very high, words matter, but we as people must act.