Friday, 31 August 2012

Protest against ATOS

Castle Street in Cardiff was shut down for a short while a couple of days ago to allow for the concerned peaceful protestors to mark their commemoration to those who  have died as a consequence of the lack of care and duty of the government appointed department ATOS that are a not-fit-for-purpose organisation who's motive is profit and not care.
Meanwhile today thousands demand RESPECT and Quality of life.
Disability rights campaigners have ended a week of protests outside the central London headquarters of ATOS . They have for some wierd reason been one of the main sponsors of the Paralympic Games.
It is ATOS's tests for people on disability allowance, that  have led to peoples suicides, and is daily adding damage and distress to peoples lives.
Protestors gathered in London, and have been taking direct action against what is being called the Atos Games. Atos is benefitting from peoples misery, and are making a tidy profit too, people should be put first.
There contract is worth £110 million a year, but the appeals alone cost the taxpayer another £60 miilon. The impact of wrongly being declared fit to work can be enormous.
Increasingly people are realising that ATOS are not fit for purpose, but the government keeps giving them their backing.In the first 8 months of last year , 1,100 people  have died of their illnesses soon after being found fit for work by ATOS. No regard for peoples feelings, but their that type of government.....complete heartless basrards actually.
People are refusing to be ghettoised and silenced, and are declaring enough is enough. If the Paralympics has managed people to see how this government is treating it's most vulnerable citizens, then that is a good thing.
I keep banging on about this issue, because it's an issue that is close to my heart. People matter, and untill ATOS are removed we will keep bannging and shouting. The fact that ATOS has been sponsoring the Paralympics is a sick joke gone to far.

Comedian Jeremy Hardy at ATOS protest

ATOS protest outside the DWP today

Thursday, 30 August 2012


In a globalised world, you might expect to see a rise in the number of cross border couples. But one person (backed by the Whole Government) stands to stop international love for many ordinary people.
Indeed Theresa May, the Home Secretary wants to make it harder for British citizens and those settling in the U.K to bring their spouses, civil partners and indeed other family members to the U.K. Join the campaign to stop a flagrant abuse of human rights

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

No Justice for Rachel Corrie

The death of  pro-palestinian activist Rachel Corrie was a "regrettable accident" for which the state of Israel was not responsible, a judge has ruled, dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by the family.
According to Judge Oded Gershon of Haifa Court she had " put herself in a dangerous situation" whilst dressed in a bright orange jacket and acting as a human shield, when she was crushed under the weight of an Israeli miltary bulldozer while trying to obstruct the demolition of a Palestinian home in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border.

Israel to all intents and pupose has declared itself not guilty of Rachel Corrie's murder. The world I think sees things differently.
The home Rachel Corrie died trying to protect was razed, along with hundreds of others. She was murdered whilst protesting against home demolitions and injustice in Gaza. This court has now given its stamp of approval to the flawed and illegal practices of the Israeli military. The verdict has failed to hold the Israeli military accountable for continuing violation of human rights. It is a shocking day for human rights, but a verdict that I am not too surprised about. Again and again Israel acts with impunity, carrying on regardless in an arrogant violent manner. There is no justice when their courts show such contempt, for justice's meaning,
there is no justice too, when the Gaza strip remains a sealed ghetto,there is no justice when countless Palestinian families are made homeless, there houses destroyed, where is the  justice for them or  their friends  after the death of their loved ones.
By disregarding international law and granting Israeli war criminals impunity, the verdict exemplifies that Israel's legal system cannot be trusted to administer justice according to international standards.
The fight and struggle will continue, the end result being that we get truthful answers and yes JUSTICE...... the world will not stay silent, and I will remember Rachel Corrie , who courageously died whilst living her dreams, staying human, amd showing solidarity with her beloved friends, the Palestinians.
This will not be last time we hear her name. The memories of her death will not fade, nor that of the death of thousands of Palestinians. Israel have stated their objectives, they are participating in a war, and in there war, there is no such thing as civilians casualties. At least 6,444 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupation since 2000, so  we carrying on fighting for their Justice too as well as Rachel's.

Two earlier posts on Rachel Corrie here
Rachel Corrie - The Courage to Resist

Rachel Corrie- Palestine mark's activists death

Rachel said 2 days before she was killed
"I'm witnessing the systematic destruction of a people's ability to survive. Its horrifying'.

This  is still the situation today,  despite the condemnations internationally, Israel  believes it can get away with murder...... the  world is watching and  the world says no.   

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sacco and Vancetti we remember you.

In this set of clips, Americans are shown how to spot Communists. For example . " If a person reads and advocates the views expressed in a Communist publication, he may be a Communist. If a person defends the activities of Communist nations while consistently attacking the domestic and foreign policies of the United States, she may  be a Communist!!! The video also goes on to demonstrate the evils of Communists stealing one's daughters away to work on a collective farm.
Joking aside it was not just Communists the Americans were afraid of, they garnered a lot hatred for other things too. On this day in 1927, Ferdinando Sacco and Bartholomew Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants living in Boston, were executed after being framed in a robbery. The alleged robbery  had taken place some time before in 1920, in Massachusetts, and their subseguent trial and execution was surrounded in conntrovery.Their real crime was that they were anarchists, involved with the vibrant anti-capitalist  movement  that was popular at the time. That too scared the shit out of the American establishment, voices that threaten their authority still do. So here's to Sacco and Vancetti's rebel spirit rattling through time. We never forget, never forgive. RIP comrades

" Oh martyr!
Dead, dead! You are dead
But your human tree and your human root
Are budding

Listen to the war cries of your living brothers!
This is the incense we are burning to you."

from Sacco Vancetti - H.T. Tsaing
Daily Worker August 20, 1928

Sacco and Vancetti - Ben Sahn

Song about Sacco and Vancetti - David Roviks and Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Nat Turner (2/10/1800 -11/11/31) His Legacy of Rebellion Remembered.

Nat Turner was born October 2, 1800 in slavery on a plantation in Southampton County Virginia. He became known as a popular religious leader among his fellow slaves, and he became convinced that he had been chosen by God to lead his people to freedom. Today on August 21st, he and 5 other slaves, killed their master  and his family, and joined about 60 other slaves from other plantations, and started  a general revolt, because they coud  no longer face race oppresion and slavery in a hypocritical nation founded on  revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality. As an act of neccessity and as a as a means of survival  they were forced to use violence as means to an end, in an effort to escape their daily lives of burden and suppression.
His rebellion became one of the bloodiest and most effective in American history. Igniting a culture of fear, as the insurrection spread from plantation to plantation. However it was brutally put down, with most of the rebels being summarily executed . Nat managed to escape, and eluded  capture for a couple of months,  but on November 5th 1831 was found guilty at a trial of the crimes of conspiracy to rebel and making insurrection. Unfortunately too, in the aftermath, many slaves who had , had nothing to with the rebellion, were beaten, tortured and murdered. New legislation was passed that further restriced people rights. It would be a long road, but from this point on, there would be no turning back.
 Nat Turner actions  acted as a catalyst for the many struggles that lay ahead, leaving a mythic footprint for those who came later,  and   he became a powerful symbol of black autonomy and it's fight and struggle for freedom and emancipation. He had lit a fuse that would refuse to go out, to rise phoenix like at the time of the Civil Rights  movement in the 1960's.
He had given all slaves a chance to see freedom and herald it on it's way. He died as he had lived, with courage and conviction,  apparently he walked to the hanging tree, without showing a sign of fear, famously refusing to speak any last words. we will always remember him, a man whose breath was forever free.

Nat Turner
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read man's history, is man's original virtue, it is through disobediance that progress has been made - through disobedience and through rebellion."
- Oscar Wilde

Monday, 20 August 2012

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuadorian embassy

An amazing speech
will our government listen
are they so afraid of the power of communication.

Viva Julian Assange
Viva Free Speech
Viva Wikileaks
Viva Ecuador.....

The truth is out there

see also this from New International
Julian in his own words

George Szirtes (b.29/11/48) - Cultural Directives

As Michelangelo, the great Italian composer,
once remarked: Artists have responsibilities.
Hearing music is like contracting a disease,
a beautiful infection. It brings closer
the point of no return. One must be strong.
There's no such creature as a harmless song.

Painting too, as the English artist Shakespeare
pointed out, can be debilitating
unless you aspire beyond paint to real things.
A painting freezes movement. The eye, like the ear,
is a channel of impotence. Mere airs and graces
often induce an unproductive stasis.

And as for words, I only need quote Mozart,
the Swiss poet: They're tainted by unreason.
Language is discourse, words slippery. To seize one
we must lay traps, as for mice. The throat's part
of the respiratory tract, and you may clip
a speech, like air, by tightening your grip.

Too many of you are wasting your time and ours
with gewhaws, bric-a-brac and frolicking.
It's time to give you all a rollicking.
We're not impressed, I fear, by your endeavours.
The role of the past is to prepare the future
and your task is to welcome it with Culture

Reprinted from
Sing Freedom
Faber and Faber
in production with Amnesty International

Deprivation of Freedom of Expression - Paulo Zerbato

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Julian Assange and Wikileaks: The real issues

Stop the War's John Rees interviewed on the BBC Jeremy Vine show on why he gives unequivocal support to Julan Assange in his fight against extadiction to Sweden and from their possibly to the United States.

Many of us can remember too, when The Conservative Party gave uneguivocal support to the fascist dictator General Pinochet when he came to stay in our country.

The differences perhaps is that one has exposed human rights abuses, whilst one perpetuated them.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot Guilty

As feared Pussy Riot have been found guilty, in what was not a fair trial but a political witchhunt. The draconian, reactionary beasts of authority have convicted them of 'hooliganism'. In my opinion the only thing that should have been found guilty was the Russian Court System. The 3 individuals from Pussy Riot could now  face up to 7 years in prison, but they seem to be holding their heads up and showing no fear.
Protests will now continue as planned across the world. Already a couple of thousand were outside the Moscow Courthouse chanting ' Freedom to Political Prisoners '. The sentence will be handed down later today, the  real verdict  being, is that it exposes how sick Putins regime is.pussy riots only real crime was one of thinking for themselves, and not bowing down to the slavery of patriarchy and conformity.
The message below is one I endorse, because Putin is so arrogant, he  refuses to listen, to the millions across the world who share the same sentiment, that is his folly, he will be now remembered as a  man, that cannot take a joke, and will be forever mocked  ' Sweet Vladimir Putin is afraid of girls dancing in a church.' 'Virgin Mary , Mother of God, Put Putin away. Put Putin away. Put Putin away.

have just found out they have all been individually sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.
The Pussy Riot has only just begun. Fuck you Putin.


Yekaterina Samutsevich closing statement at the Pussy Riot Trial

Following Tuesdays post, and  on the day  that members of Pussy Riot await theiir fate, when at 3 0'clock this afternoon, they will finally get their verdict and sentence, thought I'd qickly post this. Their  is all probability that they will not recieve  a not-guilty verdict, so the eyes of the world  will be on how long the jail sentences will be. The expectations are that they will get between one and three years.
They have been fortunate I guess because they have managed to garner much sympathetic international media attention, unlike many other prisoners of conscious across the globe. They have also attracted the support of many  celebrities and international organisations like amnesty, and many groups and individuals across the world, for a little noticed You Tube video of a political prank back in February, and have  certainly succeeded in  capturing our hearts and imagination too.

Pussy Riot video of  performance, that has garnished so much attention

The eyes of the world will now be watching what happens, does Putin and his allies want to be seen as confirming themselves as   draconian reactionaries. Personally I hope not, and that they will not be treated to harshly and that they will soon be free.
In an act of solidarity I am reprinting Yekaterina Samutsevich, one of the defendents closing statement at the Pussy Riot Trial.

Yekaterina Samutsevich's closing statement in the criminal case against the feminist punk group Pussy Riot.

During the closing statement, the defendant is expected tp repent or express regret for her deeds, or to enumerate attenuating circumstances. In my case, as is the case of my colleagues in the group, this is completely unnecessary. Instead, I want to express my views about the causes of what happened with us.
The factthat Christ the Savir Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin's former (KGB) colleague Kirill Gunyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Chrch. After this happened, Christ the SaviourCathedral began to be used as a flashy setting for the politics of the security services, which are the main source of power (in Russia).
Why did Putin feel the need to explain the Orthodox religion and its aesthetics? After all, he could have emplyed his own, far more secular tools of power - for example, national corporations, or his menacing police system, or his own obedient judiciary system. It may be that the tough, failed policies of Putin's government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced fim to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign, otherwise the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendenal guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections  and civil society, but from God himself.
How did he succeed in doing this? After all, we still have a secular state, and shouldn't any intersection of the religious and political spheres be dealt with severely by our vigilant and critically minded society? Here, apparently, tha authorities took advantage of a certain deficit of Orthodox aesthetics in Soviet times, when the Orthodox religion had the aura of a lost history, of something crushed and damaged by the Soviet totalitarian regime, and was thus an opposition culture. The authorities decided to appropriate this historical effect of loss and present ther new political project to restoore Russia's lost spiritual valus, a project which has little to do with a genuine concern for the preservation of Russian Orthodoxy's history and culture.
It was also fairly logical that the Russian Orthodox Church, which has long had a mystical connection with power, emerged as this project's principal executor in the media. Moreover it was also agreed that the Russian Orthodox Church, unlike the Soviet era, when the church opposed, above all, the crudeness of the authorities towards history itself, should also confront all baleful manifestations of contemporary mass culture, with its concept of diversity and tolerance.
Implementing this thourougly interesting political project has required considerable quantities of professional lighting and video wquipment, air time on national TV channels for hours-long live broadcasts, and numerous background shoots for morally and ethically edifying news stories, where in fact the Patriarch's well constructed speeches would be pronounced, helping the faithful make the right political choice during the election campaign, a difficult time for Putin. Moreover, all shooting has to take place continuously; the necessary images must sink into the memory and be constantly updated, to create the impression of something natural, constant and compulsary.
Our suddem musical appearance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior with the song "other of God, Drive Putin Out" violated the integrity of this media image, generated and maintained by the authorities for so long, and revealed its falsity. In our performance we dared, without the Patriarch's blessing, to combine the visual image of Orthodox culture and protest culture, suggesting to smart people that Orthodox culture belongs only to the Russian Orthodox church, the Patriarch and Putin, that it might also take the side of civic rebellion and protest in Russia.
Perhaps such an unpleasant large-scale effect from our media intrusion into the cathedral was a surprise to the authorities themselves. First they tried to present our performance as the prank of heartless militant aethiests. But they made the blunder, since by this time we were already known as an ant-Putin feminist punk band that carried out their media raids on the country's major political symbols.
In the end, considering all the irreversible political and symbolic losses caused by our innocent creativity, the authoritis decided to protect the public from us and our nonconformist thinking. Thus ended our complicated punk adventure in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we now expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. Now the whole world sees the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, Russia looks different in the eyes of the world from the way Purin tries to present it at daily international meetings. All the steps toward a state governed by the rule of law that he promised have obviously not been made. And his statement that the court in our case will be objective and make a fair decision is another deception of the entire country and the international community. That is all, Thank you.

This was taken from Chtodelat News

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jamie Bevan, Welsh Language Campaigner Jailed for damaging a Conservative Office in fight to protect his language: But the fight continues.

Jamie Bevan, a Welsh language campaigner from Merthyr Tydfil, has been sentenced  to 35 days behind bars for failing to pay £1,021 in damages after breaking into a Conservative Party Office in protest over S4C spending cuts. He was originally jailed last August to 7 days imprisonment for breaking into the office of Conservative MP Jonathan Evans and painting a slogan on a wall calling for a genuine television service for the Welsh speaking communitiies and citizens of Wales. According  to Wales Online he said he had complained to the Court Service three times but still recieved an English-only order after breaking into Tory MP Jonathan Evans office in North Cardiff in March last year.

He told Merthyr magistrates he had no " intention" of paying the fine despite  having the means to do so and that it was a "privelege" to accept his punishment.

Rapturous applause from fellow campaigners swiftly  turned to heckles as Bevan was jailed.

Presiding magistrate Owen Jenkins said he had no choice but to send Bevan to Jail and was then confronted by screams of injustice from the public gallery.

In a dramatic finish, Bevan, who had previously jailed for seven days for breaking a curfew, raised a fist high above him as he was escorted away.

Bethan Williams, chairwoman for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg - the Welsh Language Society - then shouted " The system is oppressive- this court is oppressive" before being dragged from the court room.

Cymdeithas yr Iath Cymrag carries a report and the satement to the court by Jamie   here:

" Over the last   year and a half I have followed completely constitutional means in complaining about the patchy and fragmented Welsh language service from the courts and justice system. I have recieved apology after apology with assurances that the systems are being put in place to make sure that these so-called mistakes don't happen again. But the monoliigual letters continue, the phone service with a Welsh language option which leads nowhere, and the sneering and disrespect from the courts staff, the police and the security staff.

According to your language scheme, there is no right for a Welsh person to get a hearing in front of a Welsh language court. It says that you will try to get a hearing in front of a Welsh language court. It says that tou will try to provide a Welsh Language court, but if tou can't do that  you will provide a translator.

Welsh speakers are under an enormous disadvantage when recieving a court hearing through the medium of a translator as a translator cannot enable the individual to communicate directly with the judge or magistrate. Actually, many lawyers advise their clients not to choose a Welsh language court case because they recognise that disadvantage. It's a disgraceful situation in the Wales of today.

Your language schemes also set out an employment strategy based on the area's language profile. So employing Welsh language speakers to enable to provide a Welsh language service depends on the percentage of local speakers and the whim of the court manager. How can you justify the fact that a Welsh person from Merthyr gets a deficient service while someone else in another part of the country recieves a better service? Welsh people in every part of Wales have a moral right to use Welsh to its fullest extent.

I have no intention of conforming. I have no intention of paying a single penny of the fine although I can do so easily finacially. Do as you please with me. I accept any result gladly."

Welsh transcript here

Let us also remember that before the General election, the Torys had promised that S4C would be safe in their hands, but is now facing a cut of 40%. What Mr Bevan was originally doin, was making a stand too against the Tory's savage austerity cuts.No one got hurt, he was carrying on a long tradition of non-violent protest. He has become an inspiration to many people here in Wales.

You could send a message of support and solidarity in the post to

Jamie Bevan
A9459CFBEVAN              A459CFBEVAN
Carchar Caerdydd             Cardiff Jail
HMP Caerdydd                 HMP Cardiff
1 Ffordd Knox                    1 Knox Road
Supporters of Mr Bevan outside courthouse

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Free Pussy Riot - Jamie Reid

Some artistic support of Maria Alelchina, Nadezhda, Nadeezhda Tokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich,from Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot, by seminal artist Jamie Reid. Who have been imprisoned in Russia since March, charged with "hooliganism on the grounds of religious hatred." The bands crime? They performed a protest song, "Virgin Mary Reddeem Us of Putin," in front of the altar at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on Feb 21. It was one in a string of guerilla concerts, including one in Red Square, the band has staged since its formation a little more than a year ago. They have used music and performance art to express their anger at Vladimir Putin, his return to power and the rising signs of an increasingly repressive regime.
It is our moral right to draw, play, shout, jump up and down, and speak freely and share with the world moral injustices.

See earlier post here

Petition in support of Pussy Riot

and from Amnesty International

Tolokonnikova, wearing T shirt with the famous slogan of the Spanish Civil War " No Pasaran" (They shall not Pass) emblazoned across it, arriving at recent court appearance.

Link to Jamie Reid's site

Monday, 13 August 2012

DEAR ATOS - Send us your messages for atos

On Wednesday 29th August, as part of the Atos Games, Disabled People Against Cuts will deliver a coffin full of your messages to the Atos headquarters in central London. Why? Because over 1,000 people have died after being found 'fit for work' by Atos.
Marking the fourth anniversary, the coffin  will be delivered as a memorial. A minutes silence will also be held on the day.

More here
This will all be happening at the same time as the Paralymics will be commencing, which David Cameron will use as a propoganda tool... cheering it on, while robbing many other disabled people of their benefits, in a festivity that is actually sponsored by, of all people Atos.
Personally speaking, the fear that Atos has inflicted  on  my friends and associates on a daily basis has been terryfying. I know of people who are simply trying to survive, I like to refer to them as survivors instead of victims. But some of these people who have been steadily making progress with their lives, are then set back because of Atos's sheer lack of compassion and empathy, no caring feeling is expressed by their daily actions. Simply doin the governments rotten work. Ordinary people are being made to suffer, because of Atos's thirst for profit, and people are dying. The actual assesments bear no resemblance to real life. And it is the most vulnerable members of our society,that  are singled out and targeted, this I feel  is unjust.
Atos  because of the way they carry out their procedures, have been responsible  for causing added misery, stress and anxiety to peoples daily lives. Some people I know who have been on incapacity Benefit, when making a new claim for one of the new benefits it has replaced, have not even had an assessment by an actual real person, their claim form simply processed by a computer in a dehumanising way... their G.Ps opinions tossed aside.
Atos assesments are simply not fit for purpose. we need a fair sytem that protects the sick and disabled that offers them dignity.
Their are a number of petitions on line addressing these issues, two of which you can find links to below

Ian Duncan Smith, Maria Miller, David Cameron: Stop Supporting Atos origin

Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportianately on disabled people, their carers and families


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Bob Kaufman (18/4/25 - 12/1/81) - Believe,Believe

I couldn't  resist mentioning William Blake today, today marks the anniversary of the death of this great poet and visionary. Today also marks my beloved dad's 80th birthday celebrations, apart from a tumble down the stairs recently he's doing fine. Both still continue to inspire me. I guess it was my dad, that taught me to question everything.... I don't think he thought I'd take it quite so literally though. I think he would have preferred if I had not spent so much time living on the margins.
But because of a healthy defiance of some of his thoughts too, long ago became attracted to other outsiders and outsiders who did not follow the straightened path, who's tokes of breath  inhaled from  unity's breath, whilst  embracing the dislocations  of the world's hypocricy, whilst retaining a thirst for dream. Who longed for social justice, another world.
I guess too I discovered a love of poetry too, as an act of defiance, my dad see has never really shared this enthusiam. Nevetheless  it is because of him, I found a sort of identity, an anchorage, and for that I am always grateful.
Moving on, a poet who owes much debt to William Blake, is Mr Bob Kaufman, one of the hidden masters of the beats, who's words too continue to ignite my passions.
Born of a German Jewish father and a Native American Martinique Black Roman Catholic mother in New Orleans, April 18, 1925, Kaufman grew up speaking Cajun as well as English. His maternal grandmother, who'd come to America on a slave ship fom Africa, used to take him on long early morning walks. These early experiences and influences constantly appear in his work informing it with a deep personal empathy with minor cultures as well as with a wider rang of voice that is evident in most American poetry. He spent his life committed  to a  visionary echoe, never doing anything halfway, committed to wild abandon. His work owes a debt to Blake to , his words still  provoking, so today happy birthday dad, hello William Blake...... here's to deepness and  the delights of  raw vision. Raging against conformity.

Believe, Believe

Believe in this, Young apple seeds,
In blue skies, radiating young breast,
Not in blue-suited insects
Infesting society's garments.

Believe in the swinging sounds of jazz,
Tearing the night into intricate shreds,
Putting it back together again,
In cool logical patterns,
Not in the sick controllers,
Who created only the Bomb.

Let the voices of dead poets
Ring louder in your ears
Than the screechings mouthed
In mildewed editorials.
Listen to the music of centuries,
Rising above the mushroom time.

William Blake - Angel of Revelation

The Ancient Rain: Poems 1956 - 1978 - Bob Kaufman
New Directions Press

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Olympic legacy London 2012 and some sweet Comedy Gold from seminal comedy duo Skint Video

Former Skint Video ( remember them, back in the day I thought they were absolutely fantastic, like a Left Wing Barren Knights, only personally speaking much better)   member  Gerry Mulligan on the Olympic Legacy. Remember Skint Video, I thought they were hilarious, still do in fact, tried looking for a tape of them I used to have, sadly lost, thank goodness to youtube. Saw them playing at many a benefit back in the day, supporting the likes of Billy Bragg, Redskins, and er Red Wedge.... Then I grew up , well for a little bit, thought I'd post a few favourites. Still find them hilarious.

Skint Video - about Thatcher Health Service Cuts

still somewhat topical

Skint Video - Billy Bragg, tribudy, half tribute, half parody

Skint Video- Bono pay your taxes, glastonbury 2011

Skint Video - Smiths parody glastonbury 84

I was in the audience smewhere high as a kite
my first glastonbury experience

Skint Video - Police Demo March, cops on 45

Friday, 10 August 2012

for some freedom of fairness

We are heading towards a transition

and we're supporting ourselves to go

w'ere not wasting our lives by tradition

cause we'll finally end up this show

Thursday, 9 August 2012

My Beloved Olive: Palestinian Farmers On their Land

This film, produced by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Palestine, explores the role of the olive in Palestinian farmers lives, and in the Palestinian economy, and the struggles of farmers to remain on their land and continue to harvest their olives in the face of the construction of the Apartheid wall, military occupation, settlement building, and land confiscation at the hands of yhe Israeli occupation, includes numerous interviews with Palestinian farmers.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Albert Camus (7/11/1893 -4/1/60) -Humanity's last Chance: Between hell and reason

Following Hiroshima Memorial Day, thought it would be fitting to  publish this famous essay from Albert Camus originally published in the French Resistance Paper Combat 67 years ago on August 8th, 1945. At the time not as many people spoke with such clarity, it still to has much relevance. A warning that we should never forget.

' The world is what it is, which is to say, nothing much. That is what we  all learned yesterday, thanks to the formidable chorus that radio, newspapers, and infomation agencies have just unleashed, regarding the atomic bomb. We are told, that  in the midst  of hundreds of enthusiastic commentaries, that any average sized city can be wiped out by a bomb the size of a football. American, English, and French newspapers are filled  with elegant essays on the future, the past, the inventors, the cost, the peaceful incentives,  even the military advantages, and the bombs  independent character.
Our technical civilisation has just reached its greatest level of savagery. We  will have to choose, soon, between collective suicide or the intelligent use of our scientific conquests.
Meanwhile  we think there is something indecent in celebrating a discovery in this way, whose use  has caused the most destruction that humanity has ever known. What will it bring to a world already given over to all the convulsions of violence, incapable of any control, indifferent to justice and simple human happiness,  to a world where science devotes itself to organised murder?
These discoveries must be recorded, commented upon for what they surely are, announced to the world so that humanity may have a truthful idea of its desitiny. We cannot allow these terrible revelations to be surrounded by humourous or picturesque writings.
It was already hard to breathe in a tortured world. Here now is is new source of anquish being offered, without reservation, its last chance. And that could, after all, be the pretext for a special edition. But  should  be an occassion for a few reflections and a lot of silence.......
Lets be clear. If the Japanese capitulate after the destruction of Hiroshima due to intimidation, we will be glad of it. But we refuse to draw from such grave news anything other than the determination to plead even more energetically for a real international society in ,which great powers  will not have rights superior to small or mid-sized ones, in which war, a scourge that has become definite through human intelligence alone; will not depend on the appetites or doctrines of this or that State.
Before the terryfying prospects now available to humanity, we see even more clearly that peace is the only fight worth struggling for. This is no longer a plea, but a demand to be made by all the  people  to their governments - a demand to choose  definitely between hell and reason.'

Thanks to Jane

Further Reading

Camus at Combat
1944 -1947
Albert Camus, Jacqueline Levi Valensi,
David Carrol, Arthur Goldhammer


Monday, 6 August 2012

Denise Levertov (24/10/23 - 20/12/97) - Gathered at the River

Today marks the day that on August 6th , 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese City of Hiroshima, followed a few days later by another dropped on the city of Nagasaki. This effectively, ended World War II, but at such cost - the two cities were destroyed , about 2000,000 people were slaughtered, with many more people dying later from injuries and illnesses.
Today has now become a focus for anti-war and anti-nuclear discussions and demonstrations across the globe. We must never forget, and hope it never ever happens again.

As if the trees were not indifferent...

A breeze flutters the candles but the trees give off
a sense of listening, of hush.

The dust of August on their leaves.
But it grows dark. Their dark green
is something known about, not seen.

But summer twilight takes away
only color, not form. The tree-forms,
massive trunks and the great domed heads,
leaning in towards us, are visible,

a half-circle of attention.

They listen, because the war
we speak of , the human war with ourselves,

the war against earth
against nature,
is a war against them.

The wordsare spoken
of those who survived a while,
lying shadowgraphs, eyes fixed forever
on witnessed horror,

who survived to give
testimony, that no-ne
may plead ignorance.
Contra naturam. The trees,
the trees are not indifferent.

We intone together, Never again,

we  stand in a circle,
singing, speaking, making vows,
remembering the dead
of Hiroshima,
of Nagasaki.

We are holding candles: we kneel to set them
 afloat on the dark river
as they do there in Hiroshima. We are invoking

saints and prophets
heroes and heroines of justice and peace,
to be with us, to help us
stop the torment of our evil dreams. . .


Wind threathened flames bob on the current . . .

They don't get far from shore. But none capsizes
even in the swell of a boat's wake.

The waxy paper cups sheltering them
catch fire. But still the candles
sail their gold downstream.

And still the trees ponder our strange doings, as if
well aware that if we fail,
we fail also for them:
if our resolves and prayers are week and fail

there will be nothing left of their slow and innocent wisdom,

no roots
no bole nor branch,

no memory
of shade,
of leaf,

no pollen.

to C.N.D
Cymru piece about
commemorations in Wales.

Poem reprinted from
Peace or Perish /A crisis Anthology
Poets for Peace, San Francisco, 1983

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Frank H. Little (1879 -1/8/17) I Stand for the solidarity of Labour

Today in Labour history, 1st August 1917, labour organiser and IWW leader Frank Little was dragged from his hotel room in Butte, Montana, by masked men and lynched, hung from a railroad trstle. Little had been active in helping to organise a miner's strike against the Anaconda Copper Company. Pinkerton agents were suspected of murdering Little, but his killers were never brought to justice.
We stand on the shoulders of working class giants, and remember that an injury to one is an injury to all.

See earlier  post on wobblies here

Thanks Sarah Springer........