Monday, 29 December 2014

Wounded Knee Massacre remembered

                                                         poster by Bruce Carter

Today in history, December 29th 1890 - The U.S 7th Cavalry carried out the Wounded Knee Massacre near Wounded knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.The Native Indians had gathered to participate in a religious revival movement known as the Ghost Dance. Fearing large numbers of Indians gathered in one place, the U.S military tried to ban the ceremony and crush their right to assembly.
In the aftermath as many as 300 Lakota Sioux men, women and children were killed, many shot in the back while attempting to flee. Their bodies left to freeze  in a mass grave. It serves today as a constant   reminder  and example of the brutal mistreatment and oppression bestowed upon the Indians. Today I remember  these ancestors lost on December 29th, 1890, their peace on earth shattered, all those winters ago.
In 2008 a petition was  launched demanding that the U.S reclaim the medal of Honour  that was given to the 7th Cavalry  for their role in the massacre, and to remove any  recognition the U.S military bestowed to its entities for the massacre and to obtain  the return  of personal items taken from the Lakota people.
In 1973 the American Indian Movement (A.I.M ) occupied Wounded Knee, noting its historic significance - a 71 day stand off ensured with federal law enforcement officials. Leonard Peltier an A.I.M leader was asked  by traditional people at Pine Ridge  in South Dakota to support and protect them. He was later illegally arrested by means  of coerced and fraudulent testimony for the murder of 2 F.B.I agents. He is now one  of the longest held political prisoners in the United States, 37 years and counting .He is in declining health,so timing for justice is short.
An earlier post on the case can be found here:-

                                           Leonard Peltier

Lakota accounts of massacre at Wounded Knee

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Lawrence Ferlinghetti ( b 24/3/19) - Pity the Nation

Pity the nation 

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

Friday, 26 December 2014

What if it was you?

Happy Boxing Day.

To coincide  with this  day, a major date in the hunting calender, the League against Cruel Sports is launching a new national ad campaign  to portray the cruelty of hunting with dogs for sport. The hard hitting film asks the question, What if it was you? and shows the cruelty of hunting from a hunted animals perspective.

As many as 80% pf the public think that fox hunting should not  be made legal again.

The pro-hunt lobby it seems is completely  out of touch with modern British society. It is now time for the pro-hunt lobby to respect the  law, respect our wildlife and respect the will of the British people. The cruelty and casual disregard must not be allowed to return.

Today across the country it is pissing down, but there are still those riding horseback, who hope for fox hunting to return I hope they all get a good soaking, and have a thoroughly miserable time, and all get thrown off their horses..

The Tory's are also hoping for a repeal  of the fox-hunting  ban  if they win 2015 election, offering a free  vote in the next in the next Parliament in May. They must be stopped in their tracks.



Wednesday, 24 December 2014

I have a dream

'On the night before Christmas, we'll all  be about,
while the people are sleeping, we'll realise our clout,
we'll expropriate goods, from  the stores, because that's fair,
and distribute them wide, to those  who need care.'

All I guess I really want  for Christmas is the abolition of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy, and the end of David Cameron and his coherts power, Dave, who this morning  expressed his commitment to Christian values, saying "giving and sharing and taking care of others at home and around the world was something Britain could be proud off." Oh the bloody  hypocrite. The same  David Cameron who wants to stop us all from fighting for our rights. Let's all put our faith into action, and next year kick the Tories out. Real progress can only be achieved, if the Conservatives power is taken away. This day, coming soon, is the one I will truly celebrate. Together let's kick out the Tories.

Anyway Merry Crimbo.... blog will probably be quiet, for a bit, the library I use will be closing for its mandatory holiday season. Thanks for all who have supported blog, another world is not only possible, it is inevitable. Despite it all, have a good one.
Best wishes...heddwch/peace.

Oh ,by the way,
Father Christmas says Free Palestine

Sunday, 21 December 2014

On the threshold (a poem for the Winter solstice )

We remember, old friends
the warmth of breath,
on the threshold now
of new beginnings,
escaping the darkness
bridging the void,
lighting  fires to rekindle
the glow from within,
releasing again
the eternal surge and flow,
of humanity's embrace,
hands stretched out
travelling light,
mapping the invisible
on this shortest day,
toasting new beginnings
setting course on paths of freedom,
as moon's shadow casts its seed
and the night dances
with the cathedral of earth
and the white bones of winter,
yuletide brings gentleness to restore 
to allow all things to become possible.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sleaford Mods - Jolly F*cker

Ready for Christmas.... Fuck... I'm never bloody ready for christmas, it's all a illusion, as they  smash us up, over and over again, don't leave us with many crumbs, as coldness and starvation takes hold, but those tory blighters  will still be  having a toast, sitting comfortably in their cozy homes, filling their bloated faces  with cake. Yes the spectacle of consumerism and distraction draws close, but in these times of austerity and crisis, it is crucial to remember  that the seeds  of a better society already lie embedded  in the contradictions of the current one. In these dark times, when  hope seems lost, we must constantly remind ourselves that the seeds for  a better world already  lie deep in the scorched earth of the present one. As they continue  building their walls of oppression, tommorrow we  must carry on confronting and challenging head on, let us be the  spirit of revolution reincarnated, striking down upon the  scrooges of our time, as  darkness seems to envelop the world.
Bah humbug, merry crisis and a happy new fear. Hope the future is brighter, reignites all with passion and integrity.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Lights out for Gaza

Switch off your lights tonight 7pm -8 pm in solidarity  with Palestinian families in Gaza.
Currently  they only get electricity for 6 hours a day.Power off for 18 hours.
Today there  is a global solidarity campaign highlighting this problem and the innocents  living with  a blockade on the Gaza strip and  its ongoing power crisis.
The Palestinians in Gaza suffer from power shortages for long hours, that has been exasperated after the last Israel war.
Combined  with poor electricity infrastructure, there is shortage of  industrial fuel to generate power and technical  issues with Gaza's power plant, linked with Israel's recent bombing campaign.
Daily life is a constant battle for the deprived residents of  one of the worlds most densely populated places on earth.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Surprise, Surprise G4S guards found not guilty of manslaughter of Jimmy Mubanga

Surprise, surprise - 3 state employed private security guards working for G4S accused of 2010 manslaughter of deportee Jimmy Mubanga, walked free earlier this week after being cleared by an Old Baily jury - like the police,  except somebody,somewhere makes a profit from public money and nobody anywhere is held accountable, and Justice once again gets blindfolded.
It is difficult to reconcile this verdict with the evidence at the trial that over 20 people  heard Jimmy Mubanga say "I can't breathe".Another sad signifier of the numerous cases of private companies wholly inappropriate conduct over the last few years.

Happy birthday Chelsea Manning

I have written about Chelsea Manning several times before today I mark her 27th Birthday. Chelsea Elizabeth Manning changed her name from Bradley earlier this year to reflect the fact that she is trangender and wants to live as a woman. The above picture  is how she sees herself "this  is the closest representation of what I might look like if I was allowed to present and express myself the way I see fit." Currently she is serving a 35 year prison sentence for whistleblowing and for revealing to the public that the U.S army, the C.I.A and Iraqi and Afghan forces committed  human rights violations in breach of international law.
It was revealed  earlier in the week by her Welsh aunt,( Chelsea  herself attended Tasker Millward school Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire for four years) that US authorities tortured her with barbaric techniques. which posed,  a  psychological  threat to her health.
These allegations add further to the growing calls to investigate US interrogation techniques, as well as the roll of British intelligence played in this process.
No circumstances whatsoever can ever justify the use of #torture. Perpetrators  must be held accountable.
Chelsea manning has always claimed she acted in the public interest, hoping to spark a meaningful debate on the costs of war, specifically on the conduct of  the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. However she was not permitted to present this as evidence at her trial, and was only allowed  to explain her motives at the sentencing  phase.

Before her conviction, she had already been held for three years in pre-trial detention, including 11 months in conditions which the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture described as cruel and inhumane.
Today marks her fifth birthday spent in prison. For many across the world we perceive her as a heroine who was not afraid to speak out, blowing the whistle on war crimes. Her treatment is an example of how far the U.S will go to try and cover  up its crimes. There will  be vigils and standouts  in a number  of cities across the world, to mark the occasion, and calling for her freedom.
Her supporters are gathering in London  between 14.30-16.00 on the steps  of St Martin in the fields Trafalgar Square.
Please sign Amnesty International's petition calling for her immediate release.
Happy birthday/ Penblwyd Hapus Chelsea Manning


Link to Amnesty International Petition

" In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably  turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the  name of our war on terror."

- Chelsea Manning

Letter asking for clemency, August 2013

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Met aint happy

A number of false advertisements alleging that the police are racist have been spotted around London. It is believed that they were put up at the weekend  with political magazine Strike claiming credit for them.
In a facebook post Strike said after complaints were received ' if  only the met put this much effort into investigating their own crimes and corruption.' 
The police remind me of alcoholics, who do not  deal with their problems, until  they put their hands up and say, yes, think we've got ourselves a problem.
The posters which borrow the logo of the  Metropolitan Police have  been seen occupying advertising spaces on bus stops across the capital, and have also been spotted  outside the Mets own headquarters. Another ad says " We caused the 2011 riots by shooting an unarmed civilian and then ling about it. And we got away with it."
Have always admired  the likes of Adbusters myself, and I must say it is always nice when  people try to  redress the balance a little bit.
Meanwhile some of the posters have been cordoned off while police look for evidence.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Waiting for the Great leap forward

Oxford academic Danny Dorling recently  observed a remarkable and disturbing phenononem. Last years the world's richest 1%  owned 41% of the world's wealth. What bloody century are we living in? Pinched myself, yes it's the 21st, but it gets even worse. This year alone the richest 1% owned 48% of total wealth. That's an increase of just 7% in just one year.
If this is to continue for say another  7 years,  this would mean that the 1% would earn 100% of the world's wealth. Crazy. It does not take an economist to point out  that it's just not possible. 
Dorling concluded therefore that in the next 7 years something is going to happen. No one can tell what, but I have a few ideas. It is clear  that if things continue as they are, something seismic is going to happen. Hope people are pushing in the direction I want it to go.
Waiting for the great leap forward.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Solidarity with anti-police brutality solidarity protestors.

Around 2,000 anti-police solidarity protestors occupied West field shopping Centre in London last night, as the group formed a huge die in  to protest at  the Staten Island Grand Jury's decision  not to indict Police Officer Daniel Panteleo Garners death  on December 4th. Protestors describing the mood as  jubilant,  many holding aloft placards that read I can't  breathe an no justice , no peace.
People were obviously angry, and justified in being so,  for the situation that has  become critical in the U.S, that is also a problem internationally, as seen with the killing of the Palestinian Zihad Abu Ein the minister of the wall and settlement resistance suffocated to death by  an Israeli  policeman in the West Bank,  and here in the U.K that urgently needs  addressing.Police brutality must come to an end.

The police used intimadatory methods, a met standard which  resulted in 76 people being arrested, people kettled, despite the support of shoppers and staff.

So doing a die  in  results in arrests, but actually causing people to die leads to nothing.  Tell me where's the justice in this?  Many have now been bailed with some still being held  but  all will still need our support.
People are learning again to stand up and be counted, in solidarity, they find strength, and time and time again it is proved, that tactics used against peaceful protests do not work, as people return to the streets in increasing numbers, getting  stronger and stronger.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The 1984/85 Miners Strike remembered as Winters draws it's breath

Haunting images of the 1984/85 British miners strike. We should never  forget the brave men and women  who stood up to the Thatcher Government. And never forgive the police who brutalised the working class men and women.
30 years ago they had been on strike  for about 9 months and were ready to face Christmas on strike. The propoganda  from the government, Coal Board and the police was relentless. Many were suffering real hardship. But were to stand solid for a further 3 months. With friendship and solidarity, despite the unbelieavable significant hardship and relentless harassment  they refused to be broken. United by struggle, united by belief,  generating images  of strike action that remain powerful today
It was difficult to get  by at any point  in the strike, but it is difficult for anyone who was not there to imagine what Christmas was like  for  the many mining communities, as parents relied on their unions, charity and the goodwill  of strangers  miles away  for presents for their kids.
The bitter  legacy of Thatcher is  that 20,000  people die in the UK every winter because they cannot afford heat, yet the  very industry that could have sustained people was crushed, and closed down. Resulting in  20,000  people dying every  year  in the past  30 years  because of Margeret Thatchers's cruel twisted policies. Lest we forget

                                            Notice the boarded up fireplace.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Remembering John Rety (8/12/30 - 3/2/10) - Anarchist, Poet and Artist

Today I remember  writer, editor, artist, publisher, chessplayer, anarchist and pacifist John Rety.
Born Reti Janos to a Jewish family in Budapest in 1940, his political views were shaped by his childhood experiences. His grandmother escaped a pogram in Serbia by swiing across a river with her children strapped to her back, while following the outbreak of war, John's family knew life as Jewish people was going to be extremely difficult.As a child partisan  in the second-world war he saw his grandmother shot in front of him
An anarchist  from a young  age he was sub-editor of one of its  leading journals Freedom between 1963 -1968. A rich and colourful  life, after arriving in London in the 1950's  he became a painter, and started to produce  still-lifes and landscapes, something which he subsequently  gave up in 1977, after sadly  his studio was broken  into and all his painting  stolen. Luckily for the world he would take up  poetry.
John met his partner Susan Johns in 1958. Together they moved into Robert Street, Regent's Park and scraped a living by  putting on a ja night at a Soho baseent bar, then ran a second hand furniture store in Camden High Street.
On all accounts  he was a gentle human being, of huge intellect, with depth and power with unwavering political passion, with  undoubtable charm and humour, dedicating his life to the causes of  peace,  he was active against the Vietnam War, a member of the radical anti nuclear group the Committe of 100, a supporter of squatters rights, libertarian education,  and the myriad forms of freedom and social justice.When the land rights group The Land is Ours  occupied a derelict plot owned by Guiness in 198. and turned it into an experiment in sustainable and cooperative living, John described the South London site as "anarchy in action",saying that as a partiipant, he had " now seen anarchy in practice and, so far, it works." (Freedom, 18 May, 1996)
 He was respected by all who came across him. He was also an accomplished chess player and  passionate listener of music.He was to become well known in the  literary world for his contributions to poetry, founding in 1982, the Torriano Meeting House  in Kentish Town, North London which became known for its performances, exhibitions and political activities, which is also where   he founded  the Hearing Eye Press  a wonderful publishing house that he ran with  his partner Susan  1987 which continues to  this day.
He had a non-sectarian approach to life, avoiding walls and was to become poetry editor of the Morning Star, where  he published a different  poet every week, releasing the superb poetry collection Well Versed in 2008 with a foreward  by the late Tony Benn.
His own poetry has been a source of tremendous  comfort and joy since I first encountered them, spontaneous free verse of much inspiration, richly evocative, and imaginative.
He died of a heart attack on the third of February 2010,aged 79, his legacy a rich and strong one, still touching and resonating with peoples lives.

" There  is no other movement  in the country or anywhere  in the world, which operates as does the anarchist, openly,  spontaneously and altruistically. We do not resign to superstition, bigotry, chauvinism of any kind. We are not afraid of power,  neither master nor slave."

- John Rety, 28.1/95

I conclude with 3 poems from his pen that I particularly enjoy.

Art and the Man

The  man in the garden was numbering
the leaves
the tree was  just  a tree
The man was just a man
The numbering took ages
That was in the Summer
Every  leaf was numbered
in the Autumn the man
Gathered the fallen  leaves.

The man was in the garden pinning  back
the leaves
the tree was no longer just a tree
The man was no longer just a man
He was an Artist and his work of art was
the tree.


Oh yes,  we can ignore  the shouting
whether behind closed doors
or out  in the open fields.
We can choose our friends
And ignore the problems of
the dirty, the unwashed, the ignorant
And avoid if we can the aggressive
Close our eyes to the beggars of the town,
Oh yes,  we can ignore the shouting
We can ignore our own pleading,
our own anxieties.
We are not as bad, not as ugly
Not so stupid as that raving
That undescribably filthy
Oh yes we can hear what is decent
We can hear the nice noises, the acceptable ones
We can hear the adding machine, the police siren,
The everso friendly voices on the screen
On the pulpit, on the rostrum and on the telephone
the quick cheery tune that escorts us across the
They are sanctioned these voices
Therefore they are good.
Oh yes, we can ignore the shouting
Our lease  is duly signed
And our job is secure
Here is your key, now get on with it,
Noon day and night
Secure it tight
Leave on the light
Let them think your hovel is occupied
While you are on a flight
to some exotic sight
Oh yes, we can ignore the shouting
And we can hardly remember
The shouting, the misery, the  desperation
All that is of the past
The utter, utter degradation,
Now is our turn, my turn,  my key's turn.


                  for Philip on his seventieth birthday

Where is that land
Show me that land
Don't say it  never existed
Petofi, Makhno and Durutti-
did they all die in vain?
Are we just  dreamers ansd
Abstract thinkers
Don't we know more than that?
What I don't know, you might know
Somebody, somewhere  on the wide ocean
Up a high mountain
Where beauty conquers terror
Might still know where
Behind the  screen of clouds
-Don't tell me it's only in my mind-
Is that land, the land of the free,
Don't say it never existed.

Further Reading:-

Songs of Anarchy and other Poems; Box 2 1989

Notebook in Hand: New and Selcted Poems 2012

Through the Anarchist  Press; a Column in Freedom; 1996
Beautifully illustrated by his daughter Emily Johns

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Angela Davis - A Message

 Angela Davis is known internationally for her ongoing  resistance to all forms of oppression, supporting the movements of social justice in the.  U.S and abroad.Her messages from the past still hold much power and relevance,  especially in relation to events that have happened in our recent past

excerpt from the black power mixtape

"I mean that's  why when someone asks me about violence.... I just  find it incredible. Because what it means is that the person asking that question has no idea what people have gone through...  what black  people have experienced in this country since  the time the first black person was kidnapped from the shores of Africa."

"Something is wrong.... Maybe the real criminals in this society are not the people who populate the prisons... but those who have stolen the wealth of the world from the people... and everytime a Black child dies ....we should indict them for murder because they're  the ones  who killed that black child." 

" No potential victim of the fascist  terror should be  without the knowledge that the greatest  menace to racism and fascism is unity!"

-Angela Davis



Friday, 5 December 2014

A Picture speaks a thousand words.

Pictures speak a 1,000 words, but as I write more than 180 Palestinian children have been  kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces in the past 45 days. While international  law states that child imprisonment should be used as a last resort, the Israeli  occupation forces view it as a matter of routine. Recently  draconian laws have  been used with greater frequency against children, including Administrative Detention orders which allow for detention without published evidence.
Under  military orders in force  in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, any Palestinian over the ageof 16 is considered an adult, while  inside Israel  the age of an adult is 18. Moreover,  a Palestinian child over 14 years are tried as adults in an Israeli military court, and are put into prisons with adults. These are direct violations of international law.
When children are arrested they are usually taken to  adult military detention centres and interrogation centres. There are no specialist juvenille facilities, courts or personnel  within the Israeli system apart from Telmond prison. Children held in Israels prisons are beaten, tortured, placed in solitary  confinement, and made to stand in cages outside in the cold. This is a systematic, institutionalised and  co-ordinated attempt  by Israels Government and Army to make their presence felt, as humiliation daily continues, taking the occupation  to an extreme and absurd level, that  will undoubtedly have a significant impact on their future  development as individuals. It is obvious to me that some people in this world have no shame at all. These are  more reasons why I keep  on posting about issues that I feel should concern the world. This is not how a normal state acts, and by refusing to sanction this rogue state for its abuses,Western governments themselves become complicit  in these crimes against children. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Big Brother is watching you.

One way or another, the Home office and Theresa May wants police surveillance off everyones web and mobile records and the banning of unpleasant opinions. The anti-terrorism and security bill will oblige internet service  providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP ( Internet Protocol) addresses to individual uses. It will  result in the police getting more   powers to force internet firms to hand over details linked to IP addresses in order  to help identify criminal suspects online.
The fact is that the fear of terrorism and extremist activities, now  makes everyone of us a suspect. Way before the internet we  have lived with fear and suspicion it is  part of our human nature, but with the internet age  it seems it  is now time  for all of us to be treated  like children, who cannot be trusted to act  responsibly based on what we here. Facebook  itself has also started behaving like a worried nanny, it seems you cannot hang bout there under  an identity that your friends know or trust, it seems that if we do not comply , we will be silenced, and turfed out.
Extremity is a state  of mind, that cannot be erased or killed, however hard people try, it can however be pushed further underground where its danger can still be spread. Voices silenced  will only foster more division, paranoia under the orders of what I personally see as a dangerous out of control extremist organisation the Conservative Party.If this does not bother you, then carry on, you might be  comfortable that 'Big Brother' is watching you, but I ask you who is watching Big Brother. Could someone tell the government and the opposition, because they don't seem to have been kicking up much of a fuss, that the George Orwell's book 1984 was a warning not an instruction manual.
" Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves" - William  Pitt the Younger.