Thursday, 30 January 2014

Remembering Today with Sadness the Victims of The Bloody Sunday Massacre in Derry January 30th 1972.

On this day today,,a date that wont be forgotten in Northen Ireland, 14 innocent Irish Catholics were killed by British soldiers, many more were injured  as they were marching for their basic freedoms and civil rights, under almost siege like conditions under British rule in the city and across Northern Ireland..
The civil rights protestors were shot in the Bogside by British soldiers  from 1 Para Regiment. All of the dead were unarmed, five were shot in the back. Most were shot fleeing the soldiers and several were killed trying to assist the wounded. One man was shot and killed while assisting a victim and waving a white handkerchief another killed with his arms raised in surrender position.
The protestrs were oppossing the policy of internment which allowed the authorities to imprison suspected members of the IRA without trial. On 9 August, 11, British soldiers detained 342 people, many of whom were tortured and had no connection to the IRA . This disastrous policy led to an immediate increase in violnce, with 17 people killed within the next 48 hours.On 22 January 1972, soldirs attaxked an anti-internment protest in Derry, firing rubber bullets and beating rotestors severely.
However the Northern Ireland Civil Rights  Association was determined not to be intimidated. so on this day arund 10,000 people marched twards the city centre, but their route was blocked by army barrcades. Here and there, some stones and bottles were thrown at the troops but collectively the marchers posed little threat to the well armed British soldieers, who  exceptionally on this day were members of an elite parachute regiment, thus trained for combat, not policing crowds. At some point for reasons that as never been established, British soldiers began firing into the crowd of civilians.
Soon many  were falling to the ground.  All of the dead were unarmed, five were shot in the back. Most were shot fleeing the soldiers and several were killed trying to assist the wounded. One man was shot and killed while assisting a victim and waving a white handkerchief another killed with his arms raised in surrender position. Seven of them were teenagers.
Like internment, Bloody Sunday provided the IRA with a huge  recruitement boost and 1972 marked the single most violent year of the troubles. I can understand  why  any working class Catholic who having watched  their friends get killed and detained, their houses burnt down and their communities left attacked by pogroms, could choose the path of resistance, in defence of their people.

List of those killed

Patrick ('Paddy') Doherty (31)

Gerald  Donaghey (17)

John ('Jackie' ) Duddy (17)

Hugh Gilmore (17)

Michael Kelly (17)

Michael McDaid (20)

Kevin McElhinnet (17)

Bernard ('Barney') McGuigan (41)

Gerald McKinney (35)

William ('Willie') McKinney (26)

William Nash (19)

James ('Jim') Wray (22)

John Johnston (59)

It was later revealed that some days prior to this massacre, the British soldiers had been briefed 'to shoot to kill' at the march. The Saville report  and enqury which had taken 12 years  confirmed the innocence of the victims, exonerating every one of them,  and even our own Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to announce that the British armies actions on this day were' Unjustified and Unjustifiable,' It vindicated not only those who died, and the many injured, but also the familes and supporters who had campaigned  for so long to have their innocence recognised.Like the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa a shameful day in history  Let us hope that the future sees no more bloody Sundays, .

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Nigel Jenkins (1949- 28/1/14) Poet and Peacemaker R.I.P

Found out yesterday, the very sad news that  the people of Wales have lost one of their most eminent writers, the poet, Journalist, psychogeographer and associate English Professor at Swansea University, Nigel Jenkins, aged 64 after suffering from a short illness. Active on the Anglo-Welsh literary scene for over 30 years, he has long been a personal inspiration.
Emerging in proinence in the 1970's, his voice  established the emerging politicised voice, released with warmth and candour. An activist who stood among us in  the peace, environmental and movements for social justice here in Wales, identifying himself as an internationalist, who also happened to be a localist. He was also  editor of Radical Wales magazine and was actively invloved  in the Welsh Union of Writers. A learner  and great supporter of the Welsh language. I first became aware of his presence at  demonstrations against a nuclear bunker in Carmarthen  in the 1980's.
A generous and gentle man, with a rich voice who I was privileged to meet several times. At a reading in Aberteifi, his strong voice drew me in, and over the years I would chance upon him at hay- on-wye, and bump into him a couple of times on the train to Abertawe. Was also privileged to encounter him under his guise as a fine blues musician, and I remember that he always seemed to have a warm glint about him.
Nigel Jenkins was born on a farm in Gower, after periods of travel abroad, including a spell working in a circus, Mr Jenkins returned  home, to base live in the Mumbles, near Swansea, capturing his love for the land of Wales, and his locality in his various collections. He was also a great writer and devotee of  the haiku poetical form.
He will be missed by his friends, family and student alike as a kind man and a wonderful poet.

2999,792.5 kilometres a second - Nigel Jenkins

Light leaves us as it leaves the stars:
I see you as you were
a fraction of a fraction of a second ago,
sunned at the window, this bitter day,
by a light that's eight minutes out from home
we kick heels waiting

And for a sudden upturn, the happy accident
while gazing perpetually out on the past:
a quasor as if it was fourteen billion years back;
a face across the room
whose light hit the road
a hundred millionth of a second ago.

think us back some years, you and I...
Where now, I wonder, is the light of that time?

Autumn 96, New Welsh Review

The Watch - Nigel Jenkins

To pass the time, time after
time in those last long days
he'd take his watches to pieces
and dreamingly
shove it together again.

Time passed. And with time's
passing - a lightening
of the load, as one by one
the little screws wandered
the gems hid their light
in the folds of his chair,
and the glass smashed.

Time passed, and now the watch
is mine. From time to time
it turns up un a drawer.
and I hold it in my hands, cloud
its mirrors with my breath.

His toil remains: the tobacco,
hayseeds. sand of his pockets
gathered round the rim: the hands
of the watch ripped clean away.

And what time does it tell
with its blank face? You can
sometimes shake it into brief life,
and the time it tells is
always never, always never,
never never, always never,
always never, always never,
always always now.

from Acts of Union; Gomer, 1990.


Full Stop- Nigel Jenkins

Whatever in life
is muddled, side-stepped, misconstrued
there is no ignoring me,
full stop, new sentence.
And should that sentence prove
too painfully long
you have only to invoke
my careful abbreviatory skills,
full stop, new par.

Whichever way you wind-
via colons of plenty, dashes of joy -
I will oblige yo, ready or not,
with your vanishing point.

From Ambush;
Gomer, 2006

Last Word - Nigel Jenkins

She, like the planet, lovely and hurt
by squalorious man, shocked the fiesta.
"Why not?" she smiled, congested with grief,
"Why not make the whole disater,
let nature start again...?
It would be like having a good shit."

But, they reasoned, there might not be time
for a wiser model to fumble from the wreck
before the Sun, swollen
to a red giant, and devouring its children,
gobbled up the Earth.

"Well," she said, "perhaps we should all
self-obliterate, leave the planet in peace
to the birds, the gorilla, the wiser whale."

A noble4 abdication, butno, they said, it is
now too late: our madness, our systems-
we cannot simply walk away from them,
there'd be anarchy, melt-down, a thousand
Chernobyls, death world-wide to bird and beast:

we have made ourselves indispensable.

Autumn 96, New Welsh Review.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pete Seeger (3/5/19 - 27/1/14) - Troubadour activist R.I.P

Pete Seeger, the iconclastic American singer, songwriter and social activist, who devoted his whole life  to fight against social injustice, armed with a banjo, a guitar and the transformative power of song, has died , aged 94.
He lent his voice  to  the labor, peace and civil rights movements, being  a musician and a revolutionary, his powerful songs  helped soundtrack the 1960's protests, advocating for change, offering his services too in opposition to war and racism.
A Harvard College dropout, he became the indefatigable champion of the voiceless, at the same time almost single-handedly sparking the folk-musical revival,over the course of his long journey, despite blacklisting, even death threats, he never softened his core political beliefs. His dedication never wavered, his indomitable spirit, one to be celebrated.
Born at his grandparent's estate in Patterson, New Jersey on May 3, 1919, he was the son of a musicologist called Charles Seeger, and his mother was a violin teacher called Constance de Clyver Edson Seeger.
From meeting Woody Guthrie in the 1940's he was to be on the frontline of every key progressive crusade- from labor unions and migrant workers in the 1930's and 1940's,anti-fascist, the banning of nuclear weapons and opposition to the Cold War in the 1950's , civil rights and the anti-Vietnam War movement , environmental responsibility, opposition to South African apartheid, the oppression of the Palestinians in the present day, the occupy movements and  a supporter of human rights throughout the world. Blacklisted by the media for more than a decade after tangling with the House of UnAmerican Activities Committe in 1955, at the height of McCarthyism, ad paranoid withchunts. He never stopped fighting, never stopped believing.
His legacy consists of over 80 albums, his influence  on other musicians immeasureable, from Bob Dylan, to Rage Against the Machine bringing political and folk traditions to the masses, his contribution  to the world cannot be overstated, inimitable and courageous, singing with defiance, inspiring countless generations.
It only takes one person to care, one person to make a difference, Pete Seeger, musician and activist did all these things with abundance.We shall overcome, someday soon, Pete Seeger R.I.P. Heddwch/peace.

A selection of my favourite Pete Seeger songs, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from.

Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers- Solidarity Forever


Pete Seeger - Where have all the flowers gone.

Pete Seeger - If I had a hammer

Pete Seeger - Bells of Rhymney

Pete Seeger - To my old Brown Earth

Pete Seeger - Little Boxes

PeteSeeger -Turn, Turn, Turn




-Pete Seeger

Monday, 27 January 2014

Oxfam and Channel 4 - Say No to Occupation, No to Sodastream..

One of the main reasons that people don't like Oxfam and Channel 4's ( who are currently promoting Sodastream via their programme ' The Jump' ) association with this company is the fact that Palestine Solidarity activists across the globe are  currently boycotting  it, because it is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement, on stolen Palestinian land. This is why Oxfam, a charity I volunteer for,must disassociate itself from their current ambassador Scarlet Johannson, who has recently also been seen promoting this soft drinks firm, who despite valid  criticism has continued her support in a display of casual disregard to the core issues at stake. I respect Oxfams recent statement in response to the bad publicity to  one of their ambassadors seemingly endorsing a product that for many is complicit in profits made from occupation and apartheid.
Oxfam and Channel 4  I believe should drop their association, they cannot be allowed to  cosy up to this unethical  company.
SodaStream is made in the Mishor Edomim industrial zone, that is part of the illegal Israeli settlement Ma'aleh Adumim, which cuts deeply into Palestine's West Bank, severing Palestinian towns and devastating their economy and daily lives, Sodastream's factorty is built on stolen land, on seperated Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho.

The fact remains that daily, Palestinian workers in  factories  like this  are underpaid, denied basic rights such as holiday or sick pay, denied the riht to organise into unions, and are left to fend for themselves if injured at work, and lets remember that the  Israeli government encourages companies like this to locate within its illegal settlements by allowing less environmental and labor standards than those required in Israel., allowing a complete disregard for human rights and international law to continue.
I believe it is impossible to be an 'ambassador'  or pretend to be a respectable Public broadcasting Company whilst at the same time through association  promote what in my eyes is a  human rights abuser. Businesses that operate from illegal settlements further the ongoing poverty of the Palestinian Communities,  we should keep up the pressure on Oxfam and Channel 4, any one of value really, to  dissasociate from a company that  profits from the exploitation of Palestinain land, labour and resources. Sodastream tries to garner repectability,  but under international law, operates illegally , exploiting the poor of this region, whilst promoting a dubious ecological agenda, and while it remains constitutes as a barrier to peace in this region.
There is nothing clean about SodaStreams product, parroting  its message does not build bridges, it is time to let it's bubbles free.

Further information here:-

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Love Actually - A poem for Dydd Santes Dwynwen/ St Dwynwen's Day (Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers)

Under Ceredigion sky,
the wind catches my breath,
her presence all around,
plants her smile on our lips,
takes us to places where we don't mind,
sighing, bursting, laughing, singing,
her voice lingers long in our hearts,
turns grey spaces, into colourful bloom,
wraps us up in warm swoon,
like a marvellous scent,
that runs inside and out,
takes away the darkness,
overcomes barriers and borders,
in every language, releases poet's tonque,
there is consolation in love's certainty,
deep, deep, deep, it's roots are strong,
I try my utmost, that she is not hurt,
share it's sap, for this fragile world to consume.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Illumination :- (For an old dear friend, who never returned)

Image:- Emma Ferreira, 2009 

I remember when, reason got lost,
wild rivers, ran their ragged course,
on old mountains, the sky spat its blood,
veins  of burnt silver burst,vapours released,
thick white smoke, waved it's dragons tail,
and the pretence of tomorrow, released a form of

A line was drawn,
bunkerered down, in a dream of rest,
measured vision one by one,
navigated, transcended, forgot,
released abandonment,
from the weight of perception.

The night softly dissolved into flames,
and comforts ambience, lifted its finger,
wrapped up in a warm place, of numbed release,
consciously blinking, in stretched defiance,
he fell asleep, to quietly wait,
for mornings hungry breath, to wake,
and the return of summer,
bringing some new shards of hope.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Benefits System: EXPOSED

People aren't 'playing the system' to even a fraction of the degree the media and politicians make out.
Scapegoating just paves the way for further cuts in support to people who need and deserve help - including pensioners, low waged workers and people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
The government is currently using  the right wing tabloids and media to lead an assault on the welfare system, in a deliberate  attempt at misleading the public with this constant onslaught of propoganda.
In the above video from the T.U.C  it tries to tackle some of the media and political myths about the benefit system, with the aid of a talking dog.
Oh and  lets remember the words of H.L Mencken who once said ' The whole aim of  practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed ( and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

Monday, 20 January 2014

UKIP Shipping Forecast

The claim by (now suspended)  UKIP coucillor David Silvetor that the recent flooding in Britain was caused  by Gay marriage, has been met with confustion and more than a touch of anger. But most people hacve just subjected this party to severe mockery and all the disdain that they deserve.
Here is  Nicholas Peggs spoof BBC Radio 4 UKIP shipping forecast. A wonderful comedic response.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lets target the real scroungers.

At the moment, we have a government made up of public school educated millionaires, presiding over the dismantling of the welfare state. These are the real scroungers in our midsts. A healthy media would tell us about them, but  they stay silent, carrying on this governments vile agends.
People are daily suffering, the consequences of an economic crisis, caused by the governments friends, and they expect us to accept  it, as they try to lay the blame on the marginalised and the powerless, at the same time demanding a wage rise.
It seems there is  rule for them, and stuff the rest of us. Yes, the biggest scroungers in this country comprises of  an unelected Tory Government, and their allies, claiming every last penny from the taxpayers.
Cruel headlines from the right wing media,  daily create false narratives, luckily we have our own media now, and we can answer back.
This is a war that Cameron and his cronies should not be allowed to win, for all our sakes and all of our tomorrows.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

R.I.P Roger 'Trigger' Lloyd-Pack ( 8/2/44 -15/1/14) - Comical Genius.

Very sad  to hear of the Death of Roger Lloyd- Pack, Only Fools and Horses, Vicar of Dibley and the Old Guys star,  a fine actor and contributor to moments of comical genius, who has died at his London home, after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
He was also a tireless committed  socialist, dedicated follower of peace and social justice,  a supporter of Left Unity, a recently formed 'radical party of the left, and gave unstinting support to various radical causes and movements such as Stop the War Coalition and the People's Assembly, as well as being a  vocal supporter for Palestinian rights.
A versatile character actor who was at home with both comedy and drama, his expressive face and comical timing will be missed.
My thoughts go out to his family and friends. So long Trigger. R.I.P

My Name is Rodney - Classic scene from Only fools and horses.

Trigger and Ghandi

Trigger gets wrong Idea

Roger Lloyd- Pack speaking about why he would be at Anti-War Mass Assembly tback in 2011, to mark 10th anniversary of Afghanistan War and the war on terror.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rosa Luxemburg (5/3/1871 -15/1/19) - Citizen of the Proletariat

Today I remember the murder in 1919 of the Jewish agitator, internationalist and theoritician, Rosa Luxemburg who was killed by right wing troops  opossed to the revolutionary movement that swept through Germany in the wake of the First World War. A leader  of the radical wing of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), since 1899,she became an important figure in the world socialist movement, and became involved in the international organisation of workers,  she broke with the SPD however  after it supported the imperialist drive towards war, she believed in the build up to the First World War that ' workers blood should not be shed in defence of the captalist system'  Because of  her socialist agitation during this terrible war , she was imprisoned for it's duration, but after Germany's defeat she was released, and with her friend Karl Liebnecht,  forming the Spartacus league, and  she assumed the leadership of the radical independent socialists. Her will and her desire was to see an end to all exploitation and oppression.
She herself took part  in  revolutionary events , recognising the need of a revolutionary party, which could unite and give a lead in a revolutionary situation, seeing  socialism as a movement of the proletarian masses that should emphasise unity and equality rather than highlight the oppression of any particular group, with an undogmatic committment to an unfinished notion of freedom that still appeals to many people today.
In November 1918 after four years of war, German society crumbled both at the front at home, and a revolutionary fervour swept the land, the working class took to the streets in a series of strikes and the navy mutinied., though critical with some demands of the revolutionary movement, Rosa threw in her lot with her comrades, believing that she could not simply wait on the sidelines. Subsequently on January 15, she  and some of her  her comrades were arrested, including Karl Liebnecht, Rosa was shot and dumped in the Landweher canal, Berlin.
Famously on the evening of her murder almost certainly knowing that her fate was sealed she wrote.

'"The leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and muust be recreated from the masses and out of the masses. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the revolution will be built... Order reigns in Berlin! You stupid henchmen! Your 'order' is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will already 'raise itself with a rattle' and announce with fanfare, to your terror: I was, I am , I shall be!"

Today her ideas can be pressed into many meanings. There is a feminist Rosa, an anarchist Rosa, then there is a red Rosa, but she remains an icon inthe truest sense of the word. Here is poem written by Bertolt Brecht in 1920 about Rosa.

About the drowned girl - Bertolt Brecht

As she drowned, she swam downwards and was borne,
From the smaller streams to the larger rivers,
In wonder the opal of the heavens shone,
As  if wishing to placate the body that was hers.

Catching hold of her were the seaweed , the algae,
Slowly she became heavy as downwards she went,
Cool fish swam around her legs, freely,
Animals and plants weight to her body lent.

Dark light smoke in the evenings the heavens grew,
But early in the morning the stars dangled, there was light,
So that for her, there remained too,
Morning and evening, day and night.

Her cold body rotted in the waters there,
Slowly, step by step, god too forgot,
First her face, then her hands, and finally her hair
She became carrion of which the rivers have a lot.

A post from  last year here

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Benefits Street : Tory Propaganda

Last night Channel 4, broadcast again their programme Benefits Street  in what appeared to me, to be blatant tory propoganda and poverty porn. The programme focuses on the lives of hard-up families on James Turner Street, in Winston Green, Birmingham, but so sensational is its approach the only  thing that Channel 4 seems to be concerned about is their lazy attempt at  boosting its ratings, Channel 4 after all is a 'public service broadcaster' but has not got the luxury of the BBC's license fee, so instead relies on advertising, and cheap programmes like this. A programme condemned  by many organisations for being damaging and grossly unbalanced, whose only true intention is to demonise the poor. It seems to  be suggesting that all benefit claimants are like the poor people of Benefit Street, stigmatising  and hunting down the most negative examples  in an attempt to stir up some controversy, or carry on the tory's agenda of trying to  lay the countries economic  problems  on the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
I guess the programme has fulfilled Channel 4's intentions, divide and rule, target audience achieved, as the tories continue reducing millions of people to abject penury while their friends, much better off, cheers them on, and the bankers still wave their wads of cash at us and laugh. As M.Ps spend £250,000 of taxpayers money on portraits of themselves, in the real world, the governments cruel welfare cuts, have led to people taking their own lives, and the fact is that tax fraud and error outweigh welfare claims by some 20 billion pounds!
I confess I only watched the first programme in it's entirety, because after the first 20 minutes of the latest installment  I just couldn't bare to continue, and was forced to switch it off, there was something cartoon like, about its lazy pigeonholing, and its editing, leaving us with images and lazy stereotypes straight out of central casting from any mainstream right wing media outlet.
Meanwhile the government has suffered a major defeat on Michael Meacher M.Ps motion to establish an enquiry into the impact of welfare reforms on the incidence of poverty. One of only a handful of M.Ps with a little conscience. So perhaps the tide is beginning to turn.
Programmes like Benefits Street, which I usually manage to avoid are designed to stir up hatred and divide communities between the rich and poor, and more dangerously, the 'deserving' and the the 'undeserving' poor. Designed to set sections of society which face the same problems, upon each other.
There is a petition people can sign about the programme, if any visitors to this site, could add their name, it would be much appreciated. Together we must stop this war on the poor and disadvantaged.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sa-Ra-Ga - Ananda Shankar

From Sa-Ra-Ga Machan (1981)
Footage from  La Societe du  spectacle (Society of the Spectacle) 1973 film by Situationist Guy Debord on his own 1967 book of the same name.
The Situationist International (SI) was a restricted group of international revolutionaries founded in 1957, and which had its peak in its influence on the unprecedented general wildcat strikes of May 1968 in France.
With their ideas  rooted in  anti-authorianism Marxism and the 20th century European artistic avant  in particularly  Dada and Surrealism, they advocated experiences of life being alternative to those admitted by the capitalist order, for the fulfillment of human primitive desires and the pursuing of a superior  pasional quality. For this purpose  they suggested and experimented with the construction of situations, namely the setting up of environments for the fulfilment of such desires.
Using methods drawn from the arts, they developed a series of experimental fields of study for the construction of such situations, like unitary urbanism and psychogeography.
They fought against the main obstacle on the fulfilment of such superior passional living, identified by them in advanced capitalism. Their theoretical work peaked on the highly influential book ' The Society of the Spectacle ' by Guy Debord. Debord argued in 1967 that spectacular features like mass media and advertising have a central role in advanced capitalist society, which is to show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life. To overthrow such a system, the Situationist International supported the May '68 revolts, and asked the workers to occupy the factories and to run them with direct democracy through workers councils composed by instantly revocable delegates.
After publishing in the last issue of the magazine an analysis of the May 1968 revolts, and the strategies that will be needed to be adopted in future revolutions, the SI was diisolved in 1972.

' The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.'

'Like lost children we live our unfinished adventures.'

' The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people mediated by images.'

- Guy Debord:-  The Society of the Spectacle

Friday, 10 January 2014

Amiri Bakara (Lee Roi Jones 7/10/34 -9/1/14) R.I.P - The Dead Lecturer

Sad to hear the news this morning that Poet and activist Amiri Bakara had sadly died yesterday aged 79. Here is a link to an earlier post of mine I wrote earlier in the year that now serves as a kind of requiem.
R.I.P to this great man. I believe his legacy to be one of  aching beauty..

The Dead Lecturer

The end of man is his beauty
And silence
which proves/ but
a referent
to my disorder.
Your world shakes
cities die
beneath your shape.
The single shadow
at noon
like a live tree
whose leaves
are like clouds.
Weightless soul
at whose love faith moves
as a dark and
withered day.
They speak of singing who
have never heard song, of living
wghose deaths are legends
for their kind.
A scream
gathered in wet fingers,
at the top of its stalk.
- They have passed
and gone
whom you thot  your lovers
In this perfect quiet, my friend,
their shapes
are not unlike


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Mark Duggan : Where's the Justice?

Mark Duggan was demonised by the police and the facts of his killing ignored. It seems now that the marginalised live in a parallel, unjust universe. Yesterday the Mark Duggan inquest decided  officers who shot Duggan dead in Tottenham in August 2011, acted lawfully. The jury voted  by 8-2 that although Duggan was unarmed and did not present an immediate or real threat to the police - the police were right to kill him. Ultimately if the Duggan family had, had proper legal representation, a European Court ruling, would have lead to the proper verdicts of unlawful killing. The Duggan family now join a long list of others, seeking justice for unexplained deaths in police custody.
I would like to remind you there have been more than 333 suspicious deaths in police custody since 1998 and zero officers have been convicted. Where is the justice in this.
We seem to live in a country where  a police officer  can and will discharge their weapons, and avoid any form of recompense. Mark Duggans family and friends will continue to demand  justice, and to seek , answers to the questions raised by this case and highlight the cover up that many believe  has happened.
Remember too, that what has happened to Mark Duggan could happen to anyone of us.
Marks family are calling for a peaceful vigil on Saturday, 2pm outside Tottenham Police Station.

No Justice , No Peace: A  Poem for Mark Duggan

I thought that all life was innocent,
but for some, this is not the case,
if you happen to be,
from the wrong part of town,
justice will be abandoned,
and deaths dominion,
will deliver to you,
a life sentence.

I can understand,
the undertows,
of rage and disbelief,
after bullets leave another,
young man dead,
and a mothers pain,
when her tears are washed away.

I  percieve, recognise 
the passion and intensity,
unleashed, after unwarrented,
bloodshed spills on our streets,
where certain hands that pull triggers,
are simply protected,
and that if you put your hands up,
authority might not want to see,
and why, when there is no justice,
there can be no peace.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WALA - Susan Abulhawa (b.1970)

The following video reminds us why we struggle to rid Palestine of the Israeli occupatuion. 'Wala' in this context  is like the word 'boy' used by slave-owners when addressing their slaves. The poem is from a poetry collection called 'My Voice Sought The Wind' by the exiled Palestinian American poet and human rights activist Susan Abulhawa. It speaks for the thousands of Palestinians, whose lives and livelihoods have been stolen or destroyed by Israel, as they in turn become a source of cheap labor that lines up before the sun, in long demeaning queues to work in Israel, where they are often exploited and mistreated. It also speaks for the oppressed within Palestine.
Abulhawa  sees the BDS movement, according to a 2012 profile 'as one of the most effective ways to promote Palestinian rights and achieve justice against Israels ongoing ethnic cleansing."
2014 has been named ' Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.' The international community must now press on to demand statehood for the Palestinian people, and allow them their freedom. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Song for Chelsea Manning / The Manning Truthfest in Haverfordwest (and Fishguard)

Free Chelsea Manning and all the other whistleblowers.

A song by David Roviks.

Chelsea Manning should have her draconian 35 year sentence commuted immediately to the 3 and a quarter years she has already spent behind bars. What further purpose is there in further punishing a brave person, who after all is said and done, helped to publicise deeply troubling incidents.
Chelsea Manning is a courageous woman who deserves are respect for exposing the lies of U.S imperialism.
We  should not forget her.

Join Chelsea Manning's Irish supporters along with her family and friends in West Wales for two days of events celebrating Truth. All proceeds will go to the Private Manning Family Fund ,  eaising money to support  family members in Wales with the cost of prison visits to Chelsea in Kansas.

As Chelsea's American grandmother said:

      if you can;t tell the truth, then don't bother speaking!

Chelsea told the truth and has paid with her liberty.


( may be subject to minor changes)

A Gathering for Chelsea (Bradley Manning
brought by Irish musicians, performers and other supporters to Manning's family in West Wales.
Suppported by Irish Justice and peace group Afri

Friday 10 January, 7.30pm-11pm
Irish music and performance night
Shamrock Bar, The Square, Fishguard

With Irish musicians Joe Black, Robbie Sinnot, Brian Fleming, Ellen Cranitch, Imogen Gunner, RoJ Whelan & singer Sorcha Fox.
Donal O'Kelly will perform his award winning solo show Fionnuala

Entry by donation.

Saturday 11 January, 2pm-5pm
Solidarity with Chelsea Manning from Ireland: Public Meeting & Live Irish Music
The Picton Centre, Freemans Way, Haverfordwest

Introduction by Joe Murray and Donal O' Kelly
Harry Browne, journalist, lecturer & author
Nuala Kelly, formerly Director of ICPO ( Irish Commision for Prisoners Overseas)
Ciaron O'Reilly, former prisoner of the US (Manning WISE UP solidarity network).
Human Rights Lawyer Gareth Pierce (live or as a video address)
Chaired by Andy Storey of Afri.
Live music with Brian Fleming, Joe Black, Rovbbie Sinnot, RoJ Whelan, Ellen Cranitch, Imogen Gunner.

Entry by donation.

Saturday 11 January, 7.300m-11pm
Irsih music and performance night (with bar and buffet)
The Labour Club, Dew Street, Haverfordwest

Muscicians: Joe Black, Rovbbie Sinnot, Imogen Gunner, Wllen Cranitch, Brian Fleming
Sorcha Fox will perform her poetry piece with film Who Am Ireland?
Brian Fleming will perform his show Have Yis No Names to Go to?
The evening will end with an Irish music session.

Entry by ticket £5
Limited tickets - Booking essential.

Contact :

or call 07938 6119825 or 07812 577204



Friday, 3 January 2014

Amiri Bakara ( LeRoi Jones b.7/10/34) - A Revolutionary Conscience

Amiri Baraka, incendiary and emotive poet is at moment recovering from an unspecified illness.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, he went to Howard University, then. joined the U.S Air Force for 3 years, but was given a dishonourable discharge after accusations of communism.His early work was associated with Beat and Black Mountain poetics, however after murder of Malcolm X in 1968, Bakara left the predominantly white literary world of Greenwich Village for Harlem, where he founded the Black Arts Repetory Theatre and began an intense involvement in Black Nationalism.
In 1968, he took the Bantu-Muslim name Imanu Amiri Baraka, which means 'spiritual leader,' 'prince' and 'blessed one,' he also became the main theorist of the Black Aesthetic movement, which sought to replace white models of consciousness with African/American language and values.Later he embraced the philosophy of Marxism and became a supporter of third world liberation movement.He also supported the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system , for both black and white.
For Baraka, the ideal black artist was jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, and the rhythms and pulses of jazz and blues he has devoted and written articulately about in a career spanning over fifty years, winning many literary awards..
He has become respected for his pointed social criticism and fiery writing style, his voice incendiary, emotive, confrontational, He  believes poetry should rattle readers, rather than serve as decoration.
The following poem proved to be a little confrontational, but he steadfastedly refused to refute any of  it.

Somebody Blew up America

 This controversy threatened to cloud the poems larger message.As journalist Jeremy Pearce explains " the poem announces the plight of the downtrodden through history, repeatedly asking 'who' is responsible for political oppression across the globe." I thank Amiri Bakara for rekindling the fire of politics in poetry.
The divisive politics of race and power continue to engage him. To Barak, the vital connection between art and politics couldn't be more clear, " There's a great flock of lies that have to be refuted, and only poetry can do that." His voice has been used to speak out against oppression and injustice,he presently believes that President Obama has failed on many foreign issues,  Amiri's  revolution has been fought with words,that I hope continue to be shared and not silenced, and shine a light, carry on his unflinching point of view who shares the worlds mirrors, both beauty and ugliness.
I for one wish him a speedy recovery.

Political Poem

( for Basil)

Luxury,then, is a way of
being ignorant, comfortably
An approach to the open market
of least information. Where theories
can thrive, under heavy tarpaulins
without being cracked by ideas.

( I have not seen the earth for years
and think now possibly " dirt" is
negative, positive, but clearly
social. I cannot plant a seed, cannot
recognize the root with clearer dent
than indifference. Though I eat
and shit as a natural man. (Getting up
from the desk to secure a turkey sandwich
and answer the phone: the poem undone
undone by my station, by my station,
and the bad words of Newark.) Raised up
to the breech, we seek to fill for this
crumbling century. The darkness of love,
in whose sweating memory all error is forced.

Undone by the logic of any specific death. (Old gentlemen
who still follow fires, tho are quieter
and less punctual. It is a polite truth
we are left with. Who are you? What are you
saying? Something to be dealt with, as easily.
The noxious games of reason, saying, " No, No,
you cannot feel, " like my dead lecturer
lamenting thru gipsies fast


The New World

The sun is folding, cars stall and rise
beyond the window. The workmen leave
the street to the bums and painters' wives
pushing their babies home. Those who realize
how fitful and indecent consciousness is
stare solemnly out on the emptying street.
The mourners and soft singers. The liars,
and seekers after ridiculous righteousness. All
my doubles, and friends, whose mistakes cannot
be duplicated by machines, and this is all of our
arrogance. Being broke or broken, dribbling
at the eyes. Wasted lyricists, and men
who have seen their dreams come true, only seconds
after they knew those dreams to be horrible conceits
and plastic fantasies of gesture and extension,
shoulders, hair and tonques distributing misinformation
about the nature of understanding. No one is that simple
or priggish, to be alone out of spite and grown strong
in its practice, mystics in two-pants suits. Our style,
and discipline, controlling the method of knowledge,
Beatniks, like Bohemians, go calmly out of style. And boys
are dying in Mexico, who did not get the word.
The lateness of their fabrication: mark their holes
with filthy needles. The lust of the world. This will not
be news. The simple damning lust.
                                                    float flat magic in low changing
                                                    evenings. Shiver your hands
                                                    in dance. Empty all of me for
                                                    knowing, and will the danger
                                                    of identification,

Let me sit and go blind in my dreaming
and be that dream in purpose and device.

A fantasy of defeat, a strong strong man
older, but no wiser than the defect of love


Ka' Ba

A closed window looks down
on a dirty courtyard, and black people
call across or scream across or walk across
defying physics in the stream of their will

Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than anyone's
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk in the air

We are beautiful people
with african imaginations
full of masks and dances and swelling chants
with african eyes, and noses, and arms,
though we sprawl in gray chains in a place
full of winters, when what we want is sun.

We have been captured,
brothers. And we labor
to make our getaway, into
the ancient image, into a new

correspondence with ourselves
and our black family. We need magic
now we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy, and create. What will be

the sacred words? 1969

Amiri Bakara: Evolution of a Revolutionary Poet

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Velocity!

It's that time of the year again, as always, there are lessons to be learnt, isn't this always the case, but this does not mean we have to take it all, or put up with government crap.
Anyway here's to the future, to friendship, the shadows of freedoms treasure, the petals of tomorrow, breaking down the powers that we did not choose.
Stay irresponsible, alive,  not kneeling in submission, follow unity's dance, take back  authority, reconfigure, remain heard, refuse to negotiate when your impossible dreams are not allowed.
Don't forget to sing out

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda/ Happy New Year.
Onwards and upwards.


Free Palestine.