Monday, 29 June 2015

Gaza bound flotilla seized by Israeli navy.

Following my last post, news  has reached me that Israel has boarded and taken over a vessel attempting to break the blockade of the Gaza strip, officials have said.
In a statement the Israeli army on Monday  said that it did not use force in redirecting, the main boat Marianne to the  Israeli city of Ashdod. 
Petros Stergiou, a spokesperson for the flotilla told Al Zazeera that organisers lost contact with the ship at around 2 am time on Monday morning as the military boats approached. Once again the Israeli government and its military has acted like state pirates and attacked in international waters. We must continue to respond and react against this injustice, as we will until the port of Gaza is open and the seize and occupation is ended.
I hop all on board will be safe.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Breaking the Siege Freedom Flotilla III

Today a flotilla of at least 3 ships with supporters from over 20 countries, will try to set out across the Mediterranean Sea, bound for the Gaza strip. The aim being to confront Israels maritime blockade of the Palestinian people, and deliver symbolic  humanitarian aid to those imprisoned there.
Dismissed by Israel as a publicity stunt,and a threat, unauthorised, but serves to remind the world that the blockade is another war crime. A continuous violation of international law. A collective punishment of more than 1.8 million Palestinians.. The flotilla's journey will seek to highlight  the impact of Israel's 8 year imposed,inhumane land , air and sea blockade.
Setting sail to what is known as the worlds largest open-air prisons by many different human rights groups. The blockade having already bought a solitary confinement to Gaza's people by further restricting their movement outside the territory and curtailing  the amount of items that can be bought in.

Activists on these ships will attempt to deliver much needed medical supplies and solar panels, to people  living in disgraceful conditions, in an act of peaceful civil disobedience and solidarity. I hope we will not see a repeat of what occurred 5 years ago when a previous Gaza Freedom flotilla of 6 ships, the first including Turkish and Greek vessels, made nine attempts to break the siege. These ships  were also carrying humanitarian aid and building materials, activists and journalists and aid workers. It resulted in Israeli commanders boarding a ship called  the Mavi Marmama in international waters, in horrifying scenes it resulted in 8 activists being killed, dozens injured, in an act of piracy that also saw dozens  injured.
Since then, others have attempted to land supplies in Gaza, or even sail from Gaza to rendezvous offshore. All have sadly failed, with ships impounded and destroyed.
The journey will be a tough one, but I hope the latest attempt will succeed, that they reach Gazas port, without any fatalities or injury and bring attention to the international community the Palestinians plight and send a message of hope to the Gazans who have to endure such a punishing daily life of struggle.
This blockade must be lifted

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Allright for some

Campaigners are demanding an immediate review  into the Royal families contribution to Government austerity measures. It seems the Queen will not face any cuts to Royal finances for at least another 2 years - despite an 11% increase in her income. In the 2 years since the Civil list was replaced by the Sovereign Grant, the Queens taxpayer funded income has shot up from £36.1 million to more than £40 mililon, which seems obscene to me, especially in today's uncertain economic climate. They are simply outdated and  in serious need of reform.
Surely  its time to auction of the crown jewels, give her homes to the homeless, as they line their pockets through strict nepotism and strategic alliances. The Royal  family is more than just an international embarassment, it is a crime against the British public. We should give thanks to those who have earned  it, than to those who were born to rule, simply  because they have the right last name.
The rule one for the rich and another rule for everybody else, obviously springs to mind. The cost is not the only reason I would  like to see the  back of ther monarchy ( and I can assure you that is my wish) - I would want them gone, even if they were free. But this latest abuse  of public money and their lack of concern  for the taxpayer is a symptom of an institution that cannot be held into account.
It surely is absurd that we still have them in this modern age. They are not elected, just inheritors of a status that is so outdated. Maybe having a King or Queen reminds the people of the old days, when Britannia  ruled the waves, along  with much of the world's land mass. The reality today is rather different though,  they simply serve  little purpose, other than  to perpetuate a divisive class system, at a time when Britain is the most unequal society it has  been in Queenies 60 year reign. I for one  hope their reign does not endure.
Is it not time  they were served an eviction  notice from Buckingham Palace and offered a council  house in return. But mind you they would have to wait around 8 years  for one to turn up, on the current waiting list from Westminster City Council.
Surely we must have sufficient  grounds by now for pressing for the dissolution of the monarchy.Time for them to give their palaces and silver and gold  back to the nation.  I long for the day when instead of singing God save the Queen or King, we cry out loud Viva Republic.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

After Austerity Demo - Time to Keep fighting

Went up from Wales yesterday to the Peoples Assembly Demo in London, one of the biggest I've attended for years. It saw as many as 250,000 people taking to the streets to protest against austerity. 
Masses of Trade Union banners mingling with  placards from the Peoples Assembly, the Green Party, a myriad of political groups, Anarchists, Autonomists, Quakers, Hari Krishnas, all religious faiths, Class War dancing in the streets, Hunt Sabs, CND, Stop the War, you name it, they were there, a broad church clamoring for change.
Amazing too to bump randomly bump into several people from various parts of the country, which was pretty amazing considering the amount of people.
Not once did I feel unsafe, people in masks did not bother me, the only time I felt uncomfortable was the sight of policemen in uniform, carrying out governmental orders, but that's another story.
The message of the day, was "This Far, No further" to the government and their cuts. The feeling I left with was one of solidarity, celebration, a largely peaceful affair, but nevertheless saw people managing to get their different messages out. Linking us all to the economic and political struggles coming ahead. As the government agrees £12 billion welfare cuts- hours after this brilliant swell of people, just adds insult to injury.
It is  not the end. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted by rich politicians, bleeting  on about immigration  or aspiration or  EU referrendums. We must  unite against a system that seeks to oppress us all. After this big demo, we keep faith, keep fighting,  when  you see this many people marching together, it does release a good feeling, however much some speeches, being a tad lackluste . As a movement, we will keep on fighting, gaining momentum, with each step.

Peter Tosh - Equal Rights

Everyone is crying out for peace, yes,

No one is crying out for justice,

Everyone is crying out for peace , yes,

No one is crying out for justice.

( Happy Solstice, blessed be, solidarity)

Friday, 19 June 2015

Fela Kuti - Sorrow Tears and Blood

Dedicated to victims of Charleston shooting

"We fear for the things we no see

We fear for the air around us

We fear to fight for freedom

We fear to fight  for liberty

We fear to fight for justice

We fear to fight for happiness

We always get reason to fear

We no want die

We no want wound

them leave Sorrow,Tears and Blood "

No to Austerity : National Demonstration 20 June 2015

We  have to say no to the lie of austerity. Say no to the £12 billion in benefit cuts the Tory's are planning. No to the 4.5 billion new cuts  just announced. No to a Government that has no actual mandate to govern. No to a Government that  only 25% of the population bothered to vote for.
We must loudly say no to the vicious cuts, that will hit public services hard, including education, transport and local government. Making it even harder for councils to deliver key services such as social care.The NHS under threat too, as are our libraries. Things that matter a lot to ordinary people across the land.
This combined with the attack on the workers and the poor, the marginalised and the disadvantaged. We cannot afford to sit back and wait for their savage plans to unfold. Cameron and co have shown to us their  true intentions, their intent to go on a rampage with our lives. In July will deliver a budget with  £12 billion of cuts to welfare hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
We need to stop them  in their tracks show them our resistance, our strong opposition. Counter their extreme ideology, as they threaten  to take away our freedoms and privileges and economic futures.That is why I will be joining others and travelling up from West Wales, a attend a demonstration in  the heart of London, the belly of the beast, on the doorstep of the very people who caused the crisis in the first  place, the bankers and their friends in government. We will demand that the bankers and the elite should  pay for this  crisis and not the vast majority who had nothing to do with it. I will support all that  release their justified anger, joining  the growing mood  of angry defiance to the capitalist system that is now emerging. We should not forget either the richest 1,000 people in this country who doubled their wealth  during the last parliament. How much more will they gain in the new one.
What will we achieve, we will have  loudly shown our opposition, stood in solidarity, find some strength  as we build our resistance, as we try to keep Britain tidy and kick out the Tory's. Their lies can be combatted, they can be defeated

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

I Am ( a poem to mark refugee week 15-21 June)


I am everyman, I am every woman
every current, every breeze,
I am in exile, looking for home
I am universal, a citizen of the world,
I am no trespasser, I come in peace
I am the colour of rainbows,
I drift among a mass of people
seeking refuge, carried on storms,
I am a witness of a world of poverty and war
I was born into revolution, turmoil and strife,
in rubble to the sound of bullets and explosions
my neighbours are dead, my friends are lost,
my homes have been  plundered, my wells emptied
I have escaped persecution and oppression,
I am in search of freedom and hope
but I am refused, and given no welcome,
I am vilified and abused, told to shut my mouth
I ride waves of persistence, move in many directions,
I am the blood and soil of humanity
I carry the kiss of different languages tonque,
I arrive with the weight of dignity
I have fled sleepless and anquished nights,
I am a world of belief and struggle
moving onwards with  memory and survival,
my voice  rings out on all continents
I am an endless  river, releasing the flow of endurance,
I am tired, but will  not be silenced or confined anymore
I am a dream that never ever fades.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Refugee Week; 15-21 June 2015; No one is illegal

It is refugee week here in the UK a week to celebrate the rich contribution refugees bring to the UK and promote a better understanding of why people seek sanctuary, sadly however, we are currently witnessing the worst crisis since World War 11.
 One million refugees  still desperately in need of resettlement, some sanctuary, safe harbour.  Currently there are 4 million Syrian refugees struggling to survive in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. More than 3 million  refugees in Sub-Sahara Africa and  only a small fraction being offered resettlement. Since 2013, 3,500 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in  2014, 1,865 so far  this year. People daily dying, due to drowning, starvation or dehydration.
World leaders are condemning millions of refugees to an unbearable existence and thousands to death by failing to provide essential humanitarian protection, because they pursue selfish political interests  instead of showing some human compassion.
Amnesty International have published today a new  briefing today in Beirut, ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20th

The Global Refugee Crisis; a conspiracy of neglect

Governments across the world have a duty to ensure  people do not die trying to reach safety, after managing to escape, persecution, torture, oppression, poverty, etc. Our own Government has not yet joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees - a resettlement  programme, but has instead set up its own programme providing minimal assistance. Unlike Germany who have pledged to take 11,000 Syrian refugees as part of a UN initiative. Even much smaller countries with respect, like Sweden and Norway have agreed to take in a significant number,  to Britain's shame.
We must continue to counter the element of  persecution of migrants and refugees, who have been scapegoated for no fault of their own. That has been fuelled  by the rise of the racist UKIP party.
On the 25th  of June European leaders  will have the chance to take decisive action to save lives  and stop smugglers in their tracks  by offering refugees another route to safety.  We must resettle more people  bringing them directly and safely to  European Countries. Please act now and call on the Prime Minister David Cameron to protect refugees in the Mediterranean.

It is  essential that we offer a safe have for desperate refugees, offering them protection and dignity, lets steer away from the mindset of Fortress Europe. To be welcomed and  accepted , to be treated with respect, no one is illegal, no one should be caged, imprisoned, quarantined, denied access, abused and vilified for simply seeking freedom. In  these uncertain times, we must offer them hope, and a means of survival.We must end the detentions and deportations. Let us stand together against racism and for international  solidarity with migrants and refugees the world over.
No one is lllegal, we are all human.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle

                                            Guy Debord

In his fascinating book first published June in 1967 the Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord leading figure of the French Situationist International argued that to succumbing to alienation caused by capitalism we have let our lives become colonised  by an immersive experience.
This spectacle has replaced social interaction and human needs. While this is superficially satisfying it  makes us isolated and lonely individuals.It is still one of the greatest theoretical examinations  of our social-cultural conditions describing in pinpoint accuracy the dreadful corporate globalization currently sweeping the planet.The spectacle accompanies us throughout our lives, via News Propaganda, advertising, enertainment and yes social media, presenting a continuous stream of imagery, projecting a constant justification for how our society and culture is formulated.
The text
was  a primary influence not only on  the near-revolution of May 1968 in Paris, but also on the ethos of London's  underground press and certain aspects of punk ideology. The SI developed out of an earlier Left Bank twitch of avante garde politics, carring out programs of provocation, graffit and antiparty revolutionary outrage. The Situationists were concerned to articulate a 'theory of moments,'  propogating ideas of pleasure and depicting the personal as intrinsically political (' boredom is always counterrevolutionary ' sneered one of their mottoes. Debord dissolved the SI ( proclaiming its victory over history') in 1972, their impact has been assured. Again we need t break with conventions, break out of our desolate paradigms, and be free.Viva the Situationists.
Sadly in 1994 aged 67, in the isolated village of Champot high in the Auvergne, Guy Debord shot himself with a single bullet to the heart.

Below Guy Debords 1967 text is remade into a contemporary context and turned into a mind-bending short film,with contributions from Marshall Mc Luhan and John Berger, made bt Aska with sound by Pippin Kenworthy.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Ornette Coleman Jazz Legend R.I.P ( 9/3/30 -11/6/15)

Unfortunately blog playing up at moment, again, can no longer upload certain stuff here, in the libray, hey hot despite this must mention the passing of Ornette Coleman,  legendary self-taught saxophone player who bought to the  jazz world his unconventional 'free jazz, becoming known as an avant garde genius, sadly died yesterday morning in New York aged 85.
He began playing alto sax at age 14, partucularly influenced by  Charlie Parker. In the late 1950's and early 1960's he became  a central figure in the downtown avant garde scene. A friend of poets and musicians alike.
Mr Coleman widened the options in jazz and helped change its direction. He pioneered  and presented a style  that is not for some ears accessible, but I loved most of his body of work. Hauntingly beautiful, raw and tender. He symbolisedf the outsider American spirit as effectively as any artist of the last century. His bold and exciting music has had a huge impact on me and the shape of jazz to come.Truly amazing inspirational character, thank you Ornette. R.I.P

For Ornette

A plastic saxophone,
releases free tonal notes,
passionately in whirlwinds of intensity,
simple melodies of improvisation,
breathes of illumination.
compositions leftfield,
blowing against tradition,
otherworldly and gentle,
hauntingly beautiful,
refusing to be sensible,
keeps on soaring,
long after exit time.
thank you ornette,
for your musical gift.,
your legacy, sublime,
it will stay in place,
harmolodics will keep on talking,
the sound of imagination,
always free.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

What Amazon Isn't Telling You

It's been another  good year of Sales  for Amazon.  Its never far from the headlines, if its not tax avoidance , its treatement of its workers and its union busting activities. Their CEO Jeff Brazen will tell shareholders  how rosy everything is.  But that is just spin. While  Jeff is lining his pockets,  Amazon workers are paying the price with miserable working conditions, stress, poverty  wages and job insecurity
Here's the story Amazon does not want you to see. Share it far and wide.
If you use social media why don't you join others in sending them a little message.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Release the Vortex

Mass worldy observation,
immersed in delusion and devotion,
amongst the dark swell of the afternoons' call,
that comes down daily to breach the peace.

There are no safe districts,
we all carry different scars,
force fed illusion, the need for consumption,
walls built of separation and division.

It is time to disassemble, unravel, untangle,
turn of the t.v, mobile phone, computer screen,
because there is nothing to be seen or heard,
that has not been  glanced at many times before.

The compass is broken, 
the map is torn, time to escape,
create a new destination,
where the signals of obedience do not call,
because they have all been switched off.

Thread by thread, we can rearrange,
it only takes a moment for light to return,
as rain falls down, filling in holes,
sparkles of nourishment, on breathing leaves,
release the vortex as fresh candles are lit.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Remembering the Naksa ( The Setback)

                                            Poster issued in 1967, to commemorate event

Yesterday June 5th saw the 48th anniversary of  the Naksa (the setback)  when Israel illegally seized what was left of the Palestininian's historic homeland.( the Sinai, the Golan heights,the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem )
In 1967 more than 400,000 Palestinians  were expelled  by Israel from their land  , making  it the secomnd expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland since the Nakba ( the Catastrophe) in 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled  to neighboring Arab countries by Zionist terror groups, and 150,000 Palestinians  became internally displaced in the newly  born state.
It took less than  a week for the Palestinians to be forcibly displaced for the second time. A truly dark moment in history. The life in refugee camps, is truly miserable, whether in Lebanon, Syria or Jordan, the Palestinians today seek justice, freedom and Israel to abide by International law and allow Palestinian refugees their right to return to their homelands.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Well done Charlotte Church

Good to hear  that Charlotte Church has been standing up against austerity and for our NHS, welfare  state and public services. At a press conference for the Peoples Assembly she outlined her position.  She should  be congratulated  for making the direct link between progressive income tax and desperately needed services. She has also said she would be happy to  pay 60 to 70 % top rate of tax  if it meant saving services, which are the lynchpins of our society, adding that inequality made her ' angry as the hulk'.. This is a Welsh working class girl who has not forgotten  her roots, we should be very proud of her,we need more like her, who are prepared to lend their voice, this is how momentum gathers.
Asked recently why as a millionaire she had taken to marching against austerity, she said 'being poor is not a  prequisite for empathy'. She also publicised an anti austerity rally to be held in London on June 20th, urging members of the public to attend. 70,000 have already pledged their support to attend.

Charlotte Church a leading voice against austerity

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

House of Greed

As the incapacitated, unemployed and elderly are about to be hit with another round  of George Osbourne's austerity  cuts, it is simply astonishing  that the Government has now agreed to a 10%  pay rise, with no cuts  to their expenses, so now an ordinary M.P will get 74k a year, while people I know are survivng on £40 ta week hardship after sanctions, which includes disabled people, rhe mentally ill and the vulnerable, who have been unfairly sanctioned. Children now need  breakfast clubs at school,  people rely on food bank vouchers, while PIP is being refused to wheelchair users. It is quite frankly bloody obscene.
It simply represents the modern politicians detachment from reality, in this House of Greed, full of a self-serving political establishment that rewards itself as ordinary people struggle.
In a period of  sky high rising energy bills  for the rest of us, job insecurities.
At the end of the day these M.Ps are being rewarded for obdedience and conformity, little else, it certainly does not seem to be based on commitment or highly held priniciples. Their rising pay, will make them  more resilient to change, complacent and loyal to the status quo. Not in touch with the tough financial  conditions that the rest of us have to endure.
Surely Nurses, teachers, etc  represent more better value, 
Perhaps their pay should be subject to a medical, as metered out to people on benefits, I am sure there would be no  increase or reward for many.
And to no ones great surprise, David Cameron, who said he would not accept a rise, takes it after all, after calling it simply unacceptable. To be expected I guess.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Charles Kennedy (25/10/59 - 1/6/15) R.I.P Principled man of integrity

Sad news, former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has been  found dead at his home aged 55. A liberal yes,  but also a staunch internationalist and proud scot. On all accounts a kind hearted man, seemingly unencumbered by institutional  political spite, humorous and quick to smile. Unlike most politicians he seemed almost human and was one of the few politicians that I respected.
The only Lib Dem who retained his integrity while the rest betrayed us all, who in his  innate wisdom stood  out against the coalition, while the rest of his party ignored him. Always a man of the left, he acted as the unofficial leader of the opposition to the coalition in the Labour Party's  5 year absence. Such a shame people will only learn  about this mans steadfast principles through todays obituary columns.
I remember too  his courageous opposition to the Iraq war, the only party leader to do so,  while others flinched, who said at the time ' I  find it personally and politically very difficult indeed to support a war in which there is no mandate from the UN and no sense of legitimacy on the international stage.' Not afraid  to stand up  for social justice and what he believed in,  who was able to admit his own human failings, with great dignity, his humanity and his kind nature endured him to many. Sadly  this did not extend to the Palestinians, he did have close links to the JNF , a group that wants to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian, sometimes we make mistakes. But for many a  good and decent man, a genuine person. And at end of the day we all have to make hard choices and then live with them.
He will be missed by all that encountered him.
Charles Kennedy R.I.P 

Charles Kennedy's finest hour

Monday, 1 June 2015

30 years anniversary of Battle of Beanfield

The Battle of the Beanfield took place over several hours , 30 years ago  today on the afternoom  of Saturday 1 June 1985. When Wiltshire police prevented a vehicle convoy of several hundred New Age Travelers, known as the 'Convoy'  and referred  to  as the ' Peace Convoy' by the media,  from setting up at the 11th Stonehenge Free Festival in Wiltshire, England. 
It resulted in innocent people, women and children being violently beaten up in their own homes, after 12 years of gathering  in the same place of celebration, by the combined  forces of the state, who armed with shields and batons ran savagely amok. There was carnage and mayham as the marginalised  and dispossessed were brutally  targeted by a police forces  under the auspices of  Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government,  were allowed to get seriously out of control, trying to suppress a peoples thirst for freedom, this quasi military force carried out serious abuses of their power with an unrelenting  frenzied brutality following similar attacks in the year on the miners. 
A horrible time, like today, when people who live on societies  edges are attacked simply for being different. Women and their babies were left showered with glass after the police had smashed up their vehicles. It would  leave over 116 travelers  hospitalised. and 420  of their number arrested ( few arrested were ever prosecuted) as  their homes were systematically looted, smashed and burnt  with their possessions stolen..
A dark day for British justice and civil liberties.  30 years later people still  suffering the consequences , and bearing the scars of this dark passage in history. But the stones remain.