Sunday, 30 December 2012

Patti Smith (b 30/12/46) - Happy Birthday Warrior Poet.

In this video, Patti Smith reads from Woolgathering and shares memories of growing up in Jersey and New York. The Los Angeles Times described this book as a " mix of the practical and the mythic, like the marriage of rock n' roll and poetry". A wonderful 80 minutes worth of her genius. So happy birthday to this warrior poet, 66 today, still fighting for beauty truth and  and justice. Long may she continue to inspire.

Patti Smith: Poem about Arthur Rimbaud
clip from Stephen Sebring's 2008 film documentary
"Patti Smith- Dream of Life.

Patti Smith - Howl, Florence 10/9/09

Wilderness - Patti Smith

Do animals make a human cry
when their loved one staggers
fowled dragged down
the blue veined river

Does the female wail
miming the wolf of sufering
do lilies trumpet the pup
plucked for skin and skein

Do animals cry like humans
as I having lost you
yowled  flagged
curled in a ball

This is how
we beat the icy field
shoeless and empty handed
hardly human at all

Negotiating a wilderness
we have yet to know
this is where time stops
and we have none

Reprinted from
Auguries of Innocence

Friday, 28 December 2012

Charles Baudelaire ( 9/4/1821 -31/8/1867) - CROWDS

 ' It is not given to everyone to take a  bath in the multitude; to enjoy the crowd is an art; and only that many can gorge himself  with vitality, at the expense of the human race,whom, in his cradle, a fairy has inspired with love of disguise and of the mask, with hatred of the home and a passion for voyaging. Multitude, solitude: terms that, to the active and fruitful poet, are synonomous and interchangeable. A man who cannot people his solitude is no less incapable of being alone in a busy crowd.
The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege that he can, at will, be either himself or another. Like those wandering spirits that seek a body, he enters, when he likes, into the person of any man. For him alone all is vacant, to his eyes, they are not worth the trouble of being visited.
 The solitary and pensive pedestrian derives a singular exhiliration from this universal communion. That man who can easily wed the crowd knows a feverish enjoyment which will be eternally denied to the egoist, shut up like a trunk, and to the lazy man, imprisoned like a mollusk. The poet adopts as his own all the professions, all the joys and all the miseries with which circumstance confronts him. What men call love is very meager, very restricted and very feeble, compared to this ineffable orgy, to this holy prostitution of the soul that abandons itself entirely, poetry and charity included, to the unexpectant arrival, to the passing stranger.
It is good occasionally to bring home to the happy people of the world, were it only in order to humiliate for a moment their inane pride, that there is a happiness superior to theirs, vaster and more refined. The founder of colonies, the pastors of peoples, missionary priests exiled to the ends of the earth, doubtless know something of this mysterious drunkeness; and in the heart of the vast family which their genius has created for itself, they must laugh sometimes at those who pity them for their destiny that is so unquiet and for their life that is so chaste.'

Reprinted from Petits Poemes en Prose
Translated as Twenty Prose Poems by Michael Hamburger (22/3/24-6/07)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

HAPPY CRASSMESS | There Is No Authority But Yourself

The above  'There is No Authority But Yourself' is a Dutch film directed by Alexander Oey documenting the history of anarchist punk band Crass. The film features archive footage of the band and interviews with former members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher. As well as reflecting on the band's past the film focusses on their current activities, and includes footage of Rimbaud performing with Last Amendment at the Vortex jazz club in Hackney, a compost toilet building workshop and a permaculture course held at Dial House in the spring of 2006.
The tile of the film is derived from the final lines of the Crass album Yes Sir, I Will; "You must learn to live with your own conscience, your own morality, your own decision, your own self. You alone can do it. There is no authority but yourself."
There is No Authority But yourself premiered at the Raindance Film Festival at the Picadilly Circus, London Trocadero in October 2006 and was part of the Official Selection film programme at the Flipside film festival in May 2008.
I remember when I first  heard Crass many moons ago, their lyrics taught me to question and took me on  a journey of discovery.Led by radical free thinkers   Penny Rimbaud, a ex-art teaching, middle class situationist and Steve Ignorant who was a working class street punk.Their songs offerered meaningful angry thoughts on societies many ills, and led many people to question injustice. Their angry defiant polemics and messages at the time chiming with the underclass that was emerging from the wreckage of Thatcher's Britain. They based themselves at their Essex communal house called Dial House, and from 1977 until their demise in 1984 released a succession of powerful provocative albums and singles. With words they articulately explained the ideas by which they were living, and with deeds , promoted a fierce critical viewpoint, financially supporting the peace movement and a whole myriad of radical causes.Many people taking their ideas further in a series of anti-capitalist Stop the City demonstations, held in the financial centre of London, between 1883-84, and the emerging New Age Traveller movement. They came to be seen as central to the opposition of  the cruel redundant social and economic policies that were being pushed at the time, which have direct parallels to what is being pushed by our current incumbents..
Their refusal to compromise was inspiring then, and  continues to be today, to all who dream of  peace, freedom, love and justice. Cental to their core was a a  D.I.Y Punk ethic which they used to preach subversion,whilst  living by their ideals and words, advocating a form of  individualism, hence the title 'there is no authority but yourself.'
I have never personally  been a purist, but there are some  people around today that say that Crass sold out. Crass were accused  of lifestylism, back in the day, not engaging with wider struggles.Currently there are  arguments raging about copyright law, with Crass apparently not allowing people to share their music on file sharing sites,  like Media Fire, but their original message for me still worth savouring, still worth sharing, which will  hopefully continue to inspire, and perhaps tomorrow  there will emerge people with even deeper truths. Perhaps the higher we set our ideals the deeper we fall, but the overall result is the fact that none of us are perfect. Crass only offered us suggestions, they served as a pulse, absorbing and spreading ideas, and it was directly because of Crass's ideas that many people engaged in the battlefield of radical ideas, some taking up the ideology of anarchism, some taking their own path, but inspiring many to start creating another world, and challenging the system, and all its failures,  it is I guess, up to us, in which direction we take it.
At a time of socio-economic decline, we should not get sidetracked, distracted. Division does not make the world a better place, Crass promoted  solidarity,by action as well as words. That for me is something we should be grateful for. Am also eternally grateful to them, because they inspired the artist and musician Jeffrey Lewis, who released one of my favourite albums in recent years, with his own homage to Crass.
The message still rings out, another world is not only possible, it is inevitable. We must not give up on our dreams. Become your own spark.
Almost 30 years later Crass's legacy still ripples with much symbolic potency.

Not sure when I'll be back, probably when the libraries reopen.
Next year sometime...... in the meantime Happy Crassmess.
All the best.....heddwch/peace


You must learn to live with your own conscience
your own morality,
your own decision,
your own self.
You alone can do it.
There is no authority but yourself

                                                     Crass - Yes, Sir , I will, 1983

Monday, 24 December 2012

"It was meant to be great but it's horrible- - Santa Claus 1968

Poster done by King Mob
The late British Revolutionary Situationist Group
based in London from  the late 60s onwards.
An old message for today......

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Albert Einstein (14/3/1879 - 18/4/1955) - A human being is part of a whole, called by us 'the Universe' - a part limited in time and space.

'A human being is a part of the whole called by us 'the Universe', a part  limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something seperated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricts us to our personal desires and  to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely for such achievement is itself a part of the liberation and a foundation  for inner security.'

Friday, 14 December 2012

Breadline Britain by Luciana Berger


At the moment almost seven million working age adults are living in extreme financial stress. 3.6 million households have little or no savings, nor equity in their homes, and struggle at the end of each month to feed themselves and their children adequately. People are increasingly unable to cope on their current incomes and have no assets to fall back on, many people across Britain are now using food banks to get their daily sustenance.In 2008/9, 26,000 people in the U.K relied on emergency food aid, now as 2015 draws to a close   this figure is set to reach the truly shocking level of a million people and counting. The sad fact  is in 21st century Britain a significant number of people are going hungry.Welfare cuts are a significant cause. I know of many people who at the moment are probably skipping a meal or two in order to ensure their food supplies stretch out a bit.
This is a savage indicment of Tory Party policies which are increasingly taken us back to the dark old days of Thatchers Britain, a direct result of their savage economic/political austerity programme.. Food prices are rocketing, bills are getting higher. It's going to get even worse.
This scandal of British food poverty should shame us all.

Breadline Britain - The Communards

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ravi Shankar( 7/4/20 - 11/12/12) Legendary Indian Sitarist R.I.P

It was with great sadness, that this morning I heard of the death of the  legendary Indian Sitar maestro, who collaberated with such greats as the Beatles and John Coltrane, taking the instrument to the world, inspiring the 60s psychedelic sound.
It was uncanny because only last night I had been listening  to a work of his Chants of India which was produced by George Harrison, a wonderful soothing collection, like balms for the soul, in these tepid times that we are living in.
He had been ill for several years but still his passing came as unexpected, he seemed timeless like his beautiful music.
He was still performing up to November of this year, playing with his daughter Anoushka. He was I guess one of my first introductions to what  is now known as World Music, introducing me to a melting pot of sounds, his mastery of his chosen instrument long inspiring me, eventually getting drawn to music that was even more out their, but that is another story.
He was born Robindra Shankar in 1930, in the city of Varanas, spending his earlier days in poverty. Initially he was a dancer performing with his brothers Indian and classical folk dance troup, but by the 1930s he had become a master of the Sitar, along with other classical indian instruments. I first became aware of him through watching old performances of him plaing at the Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festivals and later at the 1972 Concert for Bangladesh. Every time I heard his complicated music, it was like their was some kind of magic in the air.
Over the years I was still drawn to his playing, and I regarded him as an almost visionary figure, who became a legend as his life traversed nearly a century, his music transcending trends and cultural barriers becomming one of Indias most effective ambassadors.
His influence soon spread, maintaining a purity of vision, but  was not afraid to collaberate.His the work with Phillip Glass and  with Yeudi Menuhin, in the 1960s and 1970s are now regarded classics, where east truly did meet west.
And now he has gone, aged 92, but his sounds still rythmically breathing so to speak, beyond the melancholy of this world, still stirring hearts, lingering in moments of peace, and satori's twinkling stars.
R.I.P Ravi Shankar.

Dub Syndicate - Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar at Monterey 1967

Ravi Shankar & Phillip Glass - Ragas in a Minor Scale

Yeudi Menhuin & Ravi Shankar - Jungalbandi

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Arthur Rimbaud (20/10/1854 -10/11/1891) - extract from A Season in Hell: Ravings II

' I became  a fabulous opera. I saw that all beings have a 
fatality of happiness. Action is not life, but a way of dissi-
pating some force - an enervation. Morality is the weak-
ness of the brain.
    Each being seemed to me to have several other lives due
to him. This gentleman does not know what he is doing he is
an angel. This family is a pack of dogs. In the presence of
several men I have conversed aloud with a moment of one
of their other lives. Thus, I have loved a pig.
    Not one of the sophistries of madness - the kind of madness
that is locked up - have I omitted. I could recite them all, I have
the system.
   My health was threatened. Terror would come upon
me. I would fall into sleeps lasting several days, and on
rising would continue the saddest dreams. I was ripe for
death, and by a road of dangers my weakness led me to the
confines of the world and of Cimmeria, country of darkness
and whirlwinds.
  To divert the enchantment assemmbled in my brain, I had 
to travel. On the sea, which I loved as though it would cleanse
me of a defilement, I saw the comforting Cross erect itself. 
I had been damned by the rainbow. Happiness was my fatality,
my remorse, my worm. My life would always be too huge to be
devoted to strength and beauty.
 Happiness! Its deathly-sweet tooth warned me at cock-crow -
ad matutinum, at the Christus venit - in the darkest cities.

Reprinted from:
Norman Cameron's translation of 
'Ravings II' from Arthur Rimbaud,
A Season in Hell
( Anvil Press, London,1994)

See also

after Rimbaud: The kidnap and murder of David Cameron

Monday, 10 December 2012

I support Palestinian Human Rights!

Sixty four years ago today, humanity took an inspirational step forward when the United Nations General Assembly, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Article 1 of which states:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

                                Photo credit: United Nations

To mark this occasion, we celebrate today International Human Rights Day, but with a heavy heart because Palestinians are systematically denied their human rights by Israel's apartheid policies, which are funded and protected by our government.

Former anti-apartheid icon and South African President Nelson Mandela said it best: "Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

In the spirit of the beautiful clarity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I ask you to take one simple action today: declare your support for Palestinian human rights.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Smell of Welsh Cakes

Well the silly season is well and truly upon us, as those in power are determined to make or lives a little more hard, thought it time for a joke, the original one I had of Patrick Moore's demise, felt a little to sour, even though he was a great astronomer, I knew him primarily as a racist, homophobic, sexist so and so, who despite playing the xylophone credibly, I will remember mainly for his ultra right wing views, he liked animals too, but so did Hitler, anyway back to the joke.

Gwyn and Betty lived in a little cottage  in the village of St Dogmaels, down the road from me here in Cardigan. Their cottage was immaculate, for Betty was a fierce and tidy woman who liked to see everything in its place. She worked to a strict daily schedule, and was considerably inconvenienced when her husband fell ill and looked as if he might die.

One day, after a visit from thedoctor confirmed that he had not long to live, Betty had to go shopping. "Gwyn," she said. "I won't be gone long. I has to get some flour and raisins. But if you feels like dying afore I comes back, mind to blow out the candle first."

Gwyn was still alive when his wife came back, and indeed it appeared that he might recover, for there was a bit of colour in his cheeks. Betty tucked him up nice and cosy in his bed, wiped his nose, staightened his night-cap, and then went into the back kitchen to get on with her daily tasks. Soon the unmistakable smell of Welsh cakes on the griddle wafted into the bedroom, and Gwyn was greatly moved. "Betty bach," he cried "I smell fresh Welsh cakes on the stove! I think I could manage one or two!"

"Hush now husband," came the reply. "You'll manage nothing of the kind, for those are for the funeral!"

Boom, Boom.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Money can't buy our Love

a spontaneous response

Impotent  in the face of death, impotent, perhaps, in the face of life,
we substitute one for another,money can buy power, but not human rights,
medicine but not health, decorations but no happiness,
impossible to love, can often  make us feel inhuman,
a paradox then, that leaves many bankrupt and broken,
has become an idol of the rich, destroys the joys of the poor,
if it lasts , it lasts because of us, it shines  in dour emanation
paper burns, gold melts at 1063 celsius, copper melts at 1583
Zinc at 419, silver at 961, you see it's all a matter of degree,  
in our pockets slides like a dark turning point of no return,
buys us illusion,  figments of crazy imagination,
turns us into machines, with its numbness and sham,
impotent in the face of death, impotent, perhaps, in the face of life. 
Money can't buy our love.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Bugger The Bankers

Song for our times
Bugger the Bankers, performed by the Austerity Allstars

and as for this tawdry lot

they can rot in bloody, bloody hell. hell, utter contemptuous bastards. They simply don't care, never have , never will, and if they think we're going to sit back for the next 3 years, they really must be taking the piss.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Montgomery Bus Boycott

                               Don Craven/Time Life/Getty images

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year old African American woman who worked as a seamstress, boarded a Montgomery City Bus year old  to go home from work. On that bus on that day, she initiated a new era in the American quest for freedom, equality and justice.
Hers was a brave, spontaneous act of defiance  that sparked a flame of rebellion.

                                          Rosa Parks  

She was arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation, known as 'Jim Crow Laws' Mrs Parks appealled her conviction and thus formally challenged the legality of segregation. In cities across the South, segregated bus companies were daily reminders of the inequalities of American society.
The next day Dr Martin Luther King proposed a city wide boycott of public transportation at a church meeting.On December 5th, 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. Since African Americans made up about 75 percent of the riders in Montgomery, the boycott posed a serious economic threat to the company and a social threat to white rule in the city. Out of Motgomery's 50,000 African American residents, 30,000 to 40,000 participated. They walked or bicycled or car pooled, depriving the bus company of a substantial portion of its revenue.

The boycott lasted 381 days, and proved to be effective, causing the transit system to run a huge deficit.After all Montgomery's black residents were not only the principal boycotters, but also the bulk of the transit system's paying customers. The situation became very tense, with members of the White Citizens Council, a group that oppossed racial integration firebombed Kings house.
In June 1956, a federal court found that the laws in Alabama and Montgomery requiring segregated buses were unconstitutional. However an appeal kept segragation intact until Dec 20, 1956 when the US Supreme Court upheld the district court's rulings.The boycott's official end signalled one of the civil rights movements first victories and made King one of its central figures.

                               Marin Luther King after Montgomery Bus Boycott
                               Time life/Getty images

With new self respect and a new sense of dignity , it was part of the beginning of a call for revolutionary change, the oppressed were determined to stand up and struggle until the walls of injustice had crumbled. It would be a long and hard journey, which would see them take on and triumph against the dominant  repressive forces of evil.
This movement has echoes with the divestment movement  and the campaign of boycott against apartheid South Africa, and currently again against the policies of apartheid Israel.Where people are once again daily defiantly taking nonviolent direct action in defence of oppressed people.

                                          Montgomery Bus Protest

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Nocturnal Blue/ Silouettes

Nocturnal Blue

Past midnight, I went for a walk
down to the estuary to roam alone,
under the moonglow, where thoughts alighted
anquished anger welcomed strangers kindness.
It was cold but clear, and a freezing hum spoke to me
I have long believed in prophecy,
remembered beginnings, passing its time
between the gnarled roots and the shadows,
brooding upon heavy lidded eyes
shoots shouting, yes you can,
breath congealed, confused murmours
returned to me , again and again,
like a shaman, that had hit me full force,
then tumbled away. moved downstream
as the burnt clearing of memory
penetrated into the bowels of the earth.
Headed home, to plant seeds
chant some passionate verse,
to stubbornly repeat, the science of practice
pray to an unfathomable god
that has vanished from this world.
This heart gulped a glass full of wine, left out
concealed myself in another constellation
slowly dissapeared, underneath, unseen.


the afternoon rolls on, we follow the testimony of brothers and sisters, tonight, we will bask in defiant
thoughts, step by step, the same night fall, we speak to all or nothing at all, at first we tried to be
different, some of us boiling were left unattended, but hopefully now we share, hearts content with
nothing short of justice, joining hands, outside the world is ours.


Friday, 30 November 2012

Mary Harris Jones ( 1/8/1837 - 30/11/1930): Mother Jones - The Miner's Angel

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Mary Harris Jones. Dressmaker and militant activist. In her autobiography she claimed she  was born on May 1 1830, though others have put her actual birth as  August 1 1837. What is undisputed is that she was born in North Cork, Southern  Ireland, her grandfather  having been of Welsh stock, who had been hung for fighting for the cause of Irish freedom. Her own father was a Richard Harris, a Roman Catholic tenant farmer, who was forced to flee with his family to Toronto in Canada because of getting into trouble for political activities at the height of the Great Hunger. .
After  leaving school at 17,  Mary taught for a while before leaving Canada and moving to Chicago and becoming a dress maker. Going back to teaching, she moved to Memphis where she met and married the Welsh American George E Jones in 1861. He was an iron moulder who was an active member and organiser  of it's union.
However tragedy struck because her husband and their four children, all under the age of five died in an outbreak of Yellow Fever. Mary tried to recuperate by moving back to Chicago, to become a dressmaker once again, but yet again another misfortune occurred. In the great Chicago Fire  of 1871, she lost everything she ever owned. On her own in the world, she decided to dedicate herself  to the labour struggle for human working conditions, and so began  a life of relentless campaigning against suffering and exploitation.
She said "I would  look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking  alongside the frozen lake front.  The contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed  was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice or care.'From then on Mary became a voice for social justice, quitting her job and travelling the country assisting and organising  labor strikes and unions. 
She joined the Knights of Labour Movement and was to become involved in just about every  major industrial dispute in the next half century. From the 1870' to the early 1920's  she travelled to many strikes up and down the country, earning respect and admiration wherever she went,  she became known for her passionate eloquent speeches, that she delivered  to encourage the strikers, taking part in many militant actions, running educational meetings for the workers and their families. She lived amongst the workers, treating them all as equals, inspiring them. Coal miners and their families called her " the miners angel" and such was her empathy  for the workers she began referring to the miners as "her boys" and then they started referring to her affectionately as Mother Jones.

She developed a confrontational style, refusing to compromise on behalf of all that she considered suffering from oppression. In 1877, she was involved in the Pittsburgh Railway Strike, when twenty strikers were killed She showed no fear to the intimidation and violence that was being perpetrated by the authorities, at a time when many radical leaders in the Labour Movement were being harassed, detained and silenced. Despite all this Mary Harris Jones carried on defending.and became involved in the strikes that led to the Haymarket riot in Chicago in 1886.
In 1898 she helped found the Social Democratic Party, which 3 years later became part of the Socialist Party of America. In 1905 she helped start the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). She was the only woman among 25 delegates, who called for a convention to organise all Industrial Workers. Known as the Wobblies, their famous motto was ' an injury to one, is an injury to all'

Famously she organised the childrens crusade of striking children from the textile mills of Kensington, Pennsylvania, across New Jersey to President Theodore Roosevelt's own front door in Long Island , New York in 1903. Though the President refused to meet the protestors, this crusade bought the issue of child labour  to the national attention.She made frequent stops to give speeches and tell the public about the effects of this exploitation, and her actions paved the way for the eradication of child Labour in the Unite States. Here she was at 73, still fighting for better conditions, you did not mess with Mother Jones.In 1903 the West Virginian District Attorney, Reese Blizzard dubbed  her ' the grandmother of all agitators, and the most dangerous woman in America.'
Typically clad in a black dress, her face framed by a lace collar and black hat, the barely five-foot tall Mother Jones was a fearless fighter for workers’ rights. She rose to prominence as a fearless organizer for the Mine Workers during the first two decades of the 20th century.Her size and grandmotherly appearance belied her fiery nature. A charismatic speaker, she was adept at staging public events to get publicity for striking workers and her physical courage was legendary. When she stepped on a stage, she became dynamic. She projected wide variations in emotion, sometimes  striding about the stag in a towering rage. She could bring her audience to the verge of tears or have them clapping or bursting with laughter. She was a good story teller and she excelled in invective, pathos and humor ranging from irony to ridicule. 
Mother Jones's low pleasant voice had great carrying power. It was unusual  because it did not become shrill when sh became excited, but rather dropped in pitch so that the intensity of it became something you could almost feel physically. When she rose to speak, Mother Jones seemed to explode in all directions and suddenly everyone sat up alert and listened. No matter what impossible ideas she bought  up, her energy and passion inspired men half her age into action and think she and they together could do anything and also compelled their wives and daughters to join the struggle. If that didn’t work, she would embarrass men to action. "I have been in jail more than once and I expect to go again. If you are too cowardly to fight, I will fight," she told them. 
Mother Jones' organizing methods were unique for her time. She welcomed African American workers and involved women and children in strikes. She organized miners’ wives into teams armed with mops and brooms to guard the mines against scabs. She staged parades with children carrying signs that read, "We Want to Go to School and Not to the Mines."
She was like an anchor to the workers, such was her dedication to their cause, arrested many times, using fearless tactics, with words and deeds, using revolutionary ideas, driven by her underlying passion. She got increasingly involved in the plight of the miners, becoming an organiser for the United Mine Workers Association, the miners themselves started to refer to her as their angel, such was their love for her. In 1911 she was involved in the Paint Creek Cabin Strike in West Virginia. In 1912 she was leading a march of miners children in Charleston, West Virginia. She was back again the next year, this time leading to her arrest. She had become a militant matriarch, uniting the family of labour through her words and her courage.
September 23, 1913 marked the beginning of a massive coal strike in Colorado, she brought news of the strike to the nation, and after the infamous Ludlow Massacre,when twenty people  were machine gunned down by guards after a walkout  by about ninety percent of the workers she made sure that the truth of this got out and that the news was not suppressed.

Woody Guthrie - Ludlow Massacre

When in January 1914  she tried to return she was arrested again. She was convicted  by a military court of Conspiracy to murder and the 83 year old was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Thousands gathered to protest which led to the commute of her sentence. Above all she had once again drawn the press into the plight of the miners and by her actions the Senate ordered an investigation into the conditions in the coalfields.
She went to Pittsburgh in 1919 to support the steelworkers,throughout the 1920s, her fight did not cease, still embracing the movement to her heart,supporting dressmakers in Chicago in 1934, supporting the Revolutionary cause in Mexico. In 1925 she published her autobiography. In it she defiantly wrote 'In spite of oppressors, in spite of false leaders the cause of the workers continues onward. Slowly his hours are shortened, slowly his standards of living rise to include some of the good and beautiful things in life. Slowly, those who create the wealth of the world are permitted to share it. The future is in labour's strong rough hands.' She remarkably continued making public appearances and fighting for the causes she believed in right into her 90's. Determined and strong to the last, when once introduced as a "humanitarian, " Jones argued, "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser"

She died on November 30th 1930. She is  buried in the Union Miners' Cemetery at Mount Olive, Illinois, alongside the 4 victims of the 1889 Virden, Illinois, mine riot. Mother Jones , the Miners angel had been asked to be buried here. Her 80-ton granite monument  was erected there in 1936, dedicated before a crowd  of 50,000 people, 32,000 of whom had marched to the cemetery.
After her death the American authorities tried to erase her imprint from the history books, they still found her dangerous. But her memory and spirit was impossible to erase, she had overcome personal tragedy to raise peoples hopes , a spark in  the name of solidarity and resistance. She had become the mother of the downtrodden,and the voiceless, who had fought against suffering and exploitation. Across America, today, people still fighting for decent lives, fighting for social justice, raising their voices in defiance. This is Mother Jones's legacy, long may it be honoured. She is now memoralized through the non-profit publication " Mother Jones"

Mother Jones Speaks
filmed on the occasion of her 100th 
birthday 1930

The Most Dangerous Woman
- Ani di Franco & Utah Phillips

Further Reading:-

Autobiography - Mary Harris Jones

Mother Jones: The Most Dangeerous Woman in America
-  Elliot J Gorn.

Mother Jones speaks:
Speeches & Writings of a working Class Fighter
-Mary Harris Jones/ Philip S Glover

'Pray for the dead & fight like hell for the living'. - Mother Jones

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Message for Stevie Wonder after finding out he is to provide IDF Soldiers with Support Through Song.

Hey we all kind of do funny things from time to time, seriously, we can get confused, we get invited to things, and the offer seems irresistable to refuse. You have just been invited to play for an upcoming Gala, in support of the Friends of the Israel Defence forces (FIDF) organisation. An annual event. It is  held this year on December 6th at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Guaranteed to be a glitzy affair, their will be lots of other guests and will probably raise millions of dollors not  for charity but to support the Israeli army.
You probably did not want to turn down the invitation, because this gig is a must attend event for the Los Angeles community, and you would not want to be accused of being anti-semitic.  It is not being anti-semitic to not want to support the activities of the IDF however, or the policies of the state of Israel. You might , after standing up against racism and injustice, and  against apartheid South Africa, be accused of a little hypocricy , since lets face it the IDF are mainly known as the force that maintains Israels occupation of the West Bank, and the  ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the area, whilst propping up apartheid policies, taking part in land grabs and other war crimes.  The IDF are terrorists, who have been responsible for the demolishment of 200 houses in Gaza and seriously damaged 8,000 more. Coming  a week after Operation  Pillar of cloud,  your timing is impecabble.
Will you be playing 'I just called to say I love you',  if so I am definitely feeling a little ' uptight'.
Did you not used to talk about Martin Luther King and did you not used to share his ideas, walk along the same paths, with a man  who lived and died trying to break the chains of oppression and injustice.
Stevie the parallels between apartheid south africa and Israel are  clear to understand. An apartheid society is much more than just a 'settler colony'. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, wheras civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges.
The apartheid wall which the I.D.F prop up is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israels illegal settler colonies.

The New Black by the Mavrix
 ( a collaboration between South Africa and Palestine)
South African band, the Mavrix and Palestinian Oud Player
Mohammed Omar

It's never to late  to reconsider, and I'm talking as a fan, I remember how you supported the international call to boycott south africa and your  refusal to perform in their at the time of apartheid, so why would you support an apartheid state now, which side are you on , how come you  now seem to be supporting the oppressors? Their is always time to wrestle with your conscience, identify with the struggle, ,not to get carried away, time  to admit, perhaps, that   if you did this one gig, that you might have something to   regret. I really hope so , because their is no one blinder than those who REFUSE to see between right and wrong.
Thought I'd end with a video of an old song you used to sing, that has much resonance with what you might be about to do,  and a link to  two  petitions that  perhaps someone could have a look at for you, a lot of fans are signing,  they've respected you for a long time, I do hope for a long time to come, so please I am urging you to cancel this performance and stand with the values of justice. You have used your wonderful singing voice to  spread messages  of hope and love, so please Stevie, don't sing for Apartheid.

Stevie Wonder - It's Wrong ( Apartheid)

Petition: Stevie Wonder, don't play for an occupying army
(The Israeli Defence Force)

Petition: Stevie Wonder: Don't play at the IDF gala fundraiser in LA on Dec 6th

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Remi Kanazi - Normalize This! /Coexistence

I have posted some Remi Kanazi before, a powerful performace poet from New York, thought it apt to publish some more.

Twitter :
Purchase Poetic Injustice

Producer: Tami Woronoff
Cinmatographer:Mike McSweeney
Editor: Mathew C.Levy
Sound: Steve Burgess


a "colonization of the mind" whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor's reality is the only "normal" reality... and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.

In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as "normal" - even "enlightened" through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid.

-PACBI ( The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)

For more infomation on cultural and academic boycott in the US please visit

Remi Kanazi - Coexistence
(taking to the stage Nablus 2010 )

His only Welsh date on his upcoming UK tour is at the Ebbw Vale Institute, Church Street, Ebbw Vale NP23
Saturday December1st 2012.
Supported by the award winning poet Patrick Jones.
Tickets cost £5 Advance £6 OTD
Box Office- 01459 708022
or online at
Doors open 7.00 p.m, start 7.30 p.m

Friday, 23 November 2012

Prosiect Datblygu

Will be off to see new film by director Owain Lyr  tonight  about my old friends band Datblygu.One of the main reasons I started learning the Welsh language. The premier is in Theatre Mwldan's new digital cinema,  in Cardigan/Aberteifi . 23 Nov, 24 Nov, 25 Nov, 26 Nov at Mwldan 3
You can book your tickets here

       Born in a bedroom in Cardigan thirty years ago, the  band  Datblygu were  hailed as
       the first truly modern Welsh-language group, their uncompromising, immense music
       has been described as genius, and their influence on Welsh music as immeasurable.
       Fronted by the charismatic and anarchic rebel poet David R. Edwards, the group
       came to define what T Gwydwr's Gareth Potter calls 'the soul of the Welsh
      underground scene in the 1980s. Datblygu's acidic take on modern Wales - the
      artistic bourgeoisie and politicians were typical targets - liberated a whole
      generation of bands and artists. Five Peel sessions with legendary Radio 1 DJ John
      Peel is some measure of the effect they had on the converted. Championed by Peel but
      ironically ignored by mainstream Welsh media, the band was part of an energetic
      underground scene which also included Y Cyrff, Yr Anhrefn, Ffa Coffi Pawb and
      Llwybr Llaethog, in a random alliance which re-defined Welsh language popular
      music. This new independent film from Director Owain Llyr celebrates 30 years of
      Datblygu, and features extensive interviews with David R.Edwars and Patricia
      Morgan from the group, as well as notable others who remember this anarchic
      ensemble in its prime. Prosiect Datblygu premieres at Theatr Mwldan.

Spoke to Dave the other night , both he and Pat are hoping to make an appearance. It coincicides too with the release of a new four track E.P, which on all accounts ( haven't heard it yet) recalls the classic Datblygu sound and line up of Pat and David. Looking forward to getting hold of it.
This limited edition release will be on sale tonight and through the ankst website

A link to earlier post I did is here, since when David has come on leaps and bounds
and link to wonderful unofficial site for all things Datblygu here and here's a link to another group of lovely people is here.....

If you want to pop along, I suggest you hurry up, tickets are running out fast, should be a big crowd.

Looking forward/edrych ymlaen.l

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rights Groups Condemn 'Killer Robots'

They're being called 'killer robots' - machines that decided independently on  targets to strike without being told to any human.

Alhtough they do not exist, the world's most powerful armies are taking steps in that direction - and are believed to be available in the next few decades or sooner.

A report this week by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic titled " Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots" outlines the danger of these fully autonomous weapons

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Personal Opinion

Once upon a time this was a thing I would read about in Science Fiction novels. Asimov comes to mind who wrote a story back in 1950 called I robot. In his story he chronicles the development of the robot, from its primitive origins to its ultimate perfection in the not so distant future, a future in which humanity  itself may be rendered obsolete.

I find it strange that we never take note of warnings from the past even if it is a work of science fiction.

In an earlier short  story from 1942 ,  called "Runaround" he introduced 3 principles of the robot.
They were:-

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The prospect of developing autonomous wearpons with the capacity to evaluate targeting options themselves is now a distinct possibility.  On a personal note , humanitarian considerations should be put before any military ones, we have so much to lose and much  to fear.
The technology is already out their, we have drones used to kill,  unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely operated killing machines, raining hellfire missiles on inncocents in Pakistan and the Middle East. Since 2008  remotely piloted U.S drones have killed up to 3,000 people  in Pakistan alone.
I guess all wars lead to the erosion of ethics, and humanity seems  to have developed an inate ability to keep killing one another. Perhaps it would  be a better idea, that humanity seeks ways to control their own actions and feelings  without developing robots that can carry out our destructive needs without feeling. After all, certain military strategists aided by politicians  have probably worked out that  they can create machines that make less mistakes, but can carry out nevertheless, more deadly precision killing.
 I strongly feel that the devlopment of and use of autonomous weapons or killer robots should be explicitly prohibited, because I feel they are an abuse of humanity's real needs. Otherwise I fear,   it really will be too late.
Humanity should be seeking ways to find peace, and  getting rid of  existing injustices, instead of marching onwards to a dystopian world, that would mean that we all cease to exist.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Something in the Air

A Poem for Gaza

There's something in the air, as sirens sing,
the pavements twisted with broken embers of peace,
a   prism of shimmering emptiness as promise lays cursed.
Shoes speckled with blood, abandoned and bereft,
the sad drumbeat of humanity's curse.
Tiny hands, rigid fossil like,as fire breaths  from a blood
red sky.
Prayers on all sides, succumb to deep shadows,
as sunset descends, into deep labyrinths of hell,
the velocity of winds gather up storms.
We maintain vigil, take sides, proliferate opinions,
as the reverberations of suffering and sorrow grow.
This experience of darkness, impossible to erase,
like black mountains, glimmering across the night sky.
In the morning, the chants still ring out,
Inshallah, Inshallah, as the weeping mother buries her dead.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Medical Aid for Palestinians - Donate - Emergency Gaza Disaster Appeal

As the military bombardment of Gaza increases. Medical Aid for Palestinians are redponding by helping the victims of tose attacks. As the death and casualty toll increases, including children, we are working with the main hospital in Gaza to ensure that they have the medicines and medical equipment needed to respond urgently and effectively to this emergency situation. But we can't continue in this emergency aid without your help now. We need your help to raise £100,000 immediately. Your support will enable MAP to buy life saving drugs and medical equipment to save lives in Gaza.
In addition to buying medicines and medical supplies we are also preparing Disaster Survival and Hygiene kits throughout Gaza to protect children and vulnerable civilians displaced by the bombardment. With your help we will be able to help Palestinian children, women and men who need emergency help now.
Please Donate now.
Medical Aid for Palestinians - Donate - Emergency Gaza Disaster Appeal

Friday, 16 November 2012

Mahmoud Darwish (13/3/41 - 9/8/08) - Think of Others

Sitting in the library, thoughts as yesterday, with the beleagured citizens of Gaza. A place that I have never been to, whose language I cannot speak, whose heartbreak I have not even come near too, whose oranges I have never picked, whose sky I have never touched, whose air I've never inhaled. But long has their story touched me, their struggle held much resonance. In their history of hardship and struggle, these people have never given up hope, even when they are daily besieged, imprisoned. And now Israeli  are launching a series of deadly attacks against this giant open air prison camp, resulting in the deaths of many innocents with many more left injured.
The BBC and the mainstream media does not seem to highlight the grief that Israel is bringing to the innocent, we must be made to comprehend and speak out.
Anyway some time for some reflection, so here are the words of one of Palestinians greatest poets Mahmoud Darwish.

Think of Others

As you fix your breakfast, think of others. Don't forget to feed the pigeons.

As you fight in your wars, think of others. Don't forget those who desperately demand peace.

As you pay your water bill, think of others who drink the cloud's rain.

As you return home, your home think of others. Don't forget those who live in tents.

As you sleep and count planets, think of others. There are people without any shelter to sleep.

As you express yourself using all metaphorical expressions, think of others who lost their rights to speak.

As you think of others who are distant, think of yourself and say "I wish I was a candle to fade away the darkness.

Translated by Shahd Ausalama

See earlier post of mine on Mahmoud Darwish here

here is a link to a petition you could consider signing
Palestine, the World's Next Nation

Emergency Petition
from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

End Israel's War on Gaza - NOW

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Emergency Demos: Protest against the Attack on Gaza Now!

Yes Israel has been attacked by rockets, not after Palestinians had fired rockets into civilian areas, but after Palestine resistance fighters  targetted Israeli forces enforcing the siege and occupation of Gaza. So Israels response has been totally disproportionate. Remember Gaza is an occupied area, daily under siege, would you not retaliate in some way.
Lets put it in context.
On November 9, 2012 Israel's army killed a teenage child playing soccer, then launched an unprovoked bombardment of the Gaza strip which killed 7 Palestinians and injured more than 40, and to which the resistance responded. Subsequent Israeli attacks led to more deaths and injuries, and culminated yesterday with the assasination of Ahmed Jabri, second in command of the military wing of Hamas, and many others , many of whom were civilians throughout Gaza. Further, Israel formally launched a ground invasion of the Gaza strip, saying they would be in Tal Alhawa within 24 hours. This is an area in the middle of densely populated Gaza City.
I think anyone with conscience should be oppossed to Israels actions and would urge them to urge the foreign office, to call Israel to account, and if possible to attend any emergency demonstations in support of the besieged.Israel must end their siege of the Gaza strip and grant immediate access to all food, humanitarian and medical relief supplies without restiction, or their could be a humanitarian disaster. The strip is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 80% of whom are refugees, denied by Israel the right to return to their homes and lands of origin from where they were expelled by occupation in 1948. Nearly half of the Gazan population are children who along with the elderly and ill remain completely deprived of food water, fuel, elecricity, humanitarian relief and medical supplies or facilities.
The Palestinians are in constant daily  fear of bombardment.They are a largely civilian population trapped in the largest outdoor prison in the world, daily they  face the risk of indiscriminate killing.They cannot run or hide or escape. They have no army, airforce or navy to speak of.Sitting targets for Israels War crimes. Since yesterday the death toll has risen to 15,and what should also be remembered is that  the mainstream media never report the whole picture. It is important that we remember, it is the Palestinians that are under siege and not the other way round. All the Palestines want is to be free .

Gaza after attack yesterday.

Here is a list of protests and demos I am aware of

London: Thursday 15 November: Opposite Israeli embassy 5.30-7pm ( nearest tube High St  Kensington

Edinburgh: Saturday 17 November: Assemble at Charlotte Square 122 pm for march to the Scottish Parliament

Manchester: Thursday 15 and Friday 16 November: Picadilly Gardens 5pm

Aberystwyth: Friday 16 November  Vigil 6pm Clock Tower, Great Darkgate Street.

Cardiff: Sat 17th November Queen Street 2pm

Swansea: Sat 17th November Castle Square 2pm

Aberystwyth: Friday 

And in all corners of the globe.

Le Trio Joubran - Safar ( with the voice of Mahmoud Darwish) live

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

People of Europe Rise Up.

Nuremberg Principle 1V States

" The facts that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Google map showing protests taking place today.

10 year old protestor injured by Police in Tarragona, Spain

Firemen on Strike, lay down blocking traffic in Le Mans, France

Students march to the train station to go to Milan demo from Seronna

Strikers at Cross Rail Block Tottenham Court Road, London

Police attack protestors after they block traffic on Oxford Street London

Barricades in Asturias Spain

5,000 students take to the streets of Rome.

Valencia, Spain

Tuis, Italy

Capitalism kills - action against the banks in Spain

Brussells, Belgium

Solidarity Forever
an injury to one is an injury to all.
If the problem is economics dont use more economics.

The Story

Peoples of Europe rise up!

Peoples of Europe shut the TV and rise from those
graves disguised as chairs...
Because you are Europe.
You are Italy, Greece, Germany, France and all the
other countries.
They are just those who have patented the name.
They are just those who understood how to use it first.
They arejust who will run away first when the ship
will sink.

Peoples of Europe turn offf the engine that chained you
one behind the other and rise up from those prisons
disguised as cars...
Because you are the every day walking, working, and
fighting Europe.
You are the engine, not that under the hood.
They are travelling, not you.
They arrive at the finish, never you.

People of Europe pull that damn phone from ear,
crash it in a thousand pieces and rise up from that
slavery disguised as freedom...
Because you are the ones who have to talk to each other,
face to face, everywhere.
You should be intercepted, you should be those who
say the words able to bring down the house of trick
cards they have built around you.
They have never had anything interesting to say.
They never needed you to tell the truth.
Tjhey are just a good bluff.

People of Europe, at least for now, turn off also this
computer and rise up.
Leave home, go on the streets and squares, and not
because someone has invited you to  to do from
Because those streets and squares are yours.
You are the ones that have built them.
You are the ones that daily pay their price.
They are only the ones that have stolen them...

PS: Now someone will say that I am a communist...

The aboveReblogged from  thought it relevant for NOW.