Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Just over 10 years ago an innocent 27 year old Brazilian electrician Jean Charles De Menezes was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot at close range 7 times in the head while sitting on a bench at Stockwell Tube Station in London on his way to work .Two weeks earlier 52 people tragically lost their lives on July 21 in a wave of terrorist bombings on the London transport system. Jean Charles was not a terrorist though. No warnings were ever shouted and he subsequently died on the spot. Nobody would want to deny the police the right to shoot dead a sucide bomber if they genuinely thought he was about to blow up innocent people, but on all accounts this is not what happened here. Due to failings of the Met police from Commander to officer on the the ground an innocent man was killed deliberately and unessessarily//
But this killing has now been ruled lawful according to the European Court for Human Rights , see further details here :-
http://www.rt.com/uk/337730-de-menezes-court-ruling/ Todays ruling comes as a major blow to his family who have endured a 10 year legal battle and a long fight to achieve justice http://www.justice4jean.org.
An innocent man abroad killed at the hands of the British State. Still no justice , and no one held for account, I personally feel this to be an utter disgrace. Once again the British police allowed to be unaccountable, in the so called name of justice. We should not forget the memory of this innocent man, and the tragic disturbing circumstances in how his life was lost.
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
( an old one not posted here before, rejigged)
Wearing seven masks at once,
( I am the onion)
seven secrets gently spun,
on wheels sealed,
holding on to the shore in ionspheres,
no need for tears, will be here once more,
to not give a shit, to not give a damn,
but to care all the same, and to remain questioning,
we cannot revive old factions,
or follow antique drums,
but with our traces we can reveal,
just remember to be kind,
peel the layers slowly.
truth lies naked
underneath the skin.
A history of silencing Israeli whistleblowers , Jonathan Cook looks at how the truth of Israels past and present war crimes is surfacing, slowly but surely, much to the dismay of Binyamin Netanayahu
and company who are threatening to ban army whistleblowers.
Link here :-
A history of silencing Israeli army whistleblowers – from 1948 until today – Redress Information & Analysis
Posted by teifidancer at 11:35
Monday, 28 March 2016
( an Easter gift for Jane, the mighty furbster, knowing that she is unable to eat chocolates at the moment, and that the only flowers I can afford at the moment would come from the hedgerows, a poem released from my heart.)
This love I know, I've watched grow,
A rare beauty in a world gone wrong,
An understanding beautiful pulse,
Of tenderness and great spirit,
In day brings hope and the night quiet peace,
Whose face sparkles in my dreams,
Manifesting her loveliness,
In every season stands splendid and proud,
A burst of precious moments,
Creator of joy and happiness,
Light shines all around her presence,
Sweet like honey, this love I know,
I have tasted the wonder of her lips,
None other can I compare,
In my mind will never fade nor wither,
When I close my eyes I know,
Here be an exquisite bloom.
That will never be unspoken of or forgotten.
Saturday, 26 March 2016
This Easter marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising in Dublin against British imperialist rule. It actually began on 24 April 1916 and lasted for six short but bloody days, resulting in the deaths of over 300 civilian casualties, but is marked a month early to symbolically connect it with Easter.
This uprising marks one of the most defining moments of the struggle for Irish independence, which began with reading of the proclamation Poblach na h -Eireann byPatrick Pearce, a radical document that called for the establishment of a republic, which ' represented of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women." and "the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland."
It occured at the height of the First World War, rebel leaders feeling the need to rise the people up, while England was at it;s weakest point. At the time this did not arouse much sympathy because many Irish men, were already fighting and dying on foreign lands, for their current King and country. Nevetheless many rallied to the cause, the insugents numbering to over 1,200 men and women.Barricades across the capital city of Dublin sprung up with rebels taking over strategic landmarks.
Over the course of the rising the British deployed over 16,000 troops to brutally suppress it, but the rebels bravely resisted, but it would lead to about 450 civilan casualties being killed and over 2,000 wounded. The rebels headguartees at the GPO would be blasted into surrender,which Patrick Pearce ordered on the 29th of April.
GPO headquarters in ruins after failed uprising
One of the self styled commaders in chief of the rebel forces was James Connolly, a revolutionary socialist actually born in Scotland, who not only dedicated himself to the cause of Irish liberation but alsoto that of international socialism, active also within the radical syndicalist union known as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). On the 12th ofMay he would be satin a chair and shot by firing squad along with other leaders of the uprising, numbering 16 in all , which included Patrick Pearce. He was to weak to stand on his own because his body was too battered from wounds received in the uprising.
Pictured :- James Connolly
It should be noted that at the time the rising had little support from the Irish people, no popular mandate, but because of its brutal suppresion and the martyrdom of its leaders it sparked the flame of Irish republicanism, that would launch a mass rebellion that would lead to the creation of an Irish republic. The rising subsequentlly struck a blow against the idea of empire and imperialism, beginning a path repeated across the British Empire as the 20th century progressed, as Edward Said noted " a model of 20th century wars of liberation." Connolly is now rightly celebrated as one of the fathers of the Irish nation that we see now.
After the rising over 3,000 peopke were arrested many with no actual connection with the uprising and over 1,800 imprisoned. This would also start a wave of support that would lead to independence.
Many were to be interned in Frongech Prison Camp here in Gwynedd, Wales, near Bala, which would aid the rebles cause further because collectively they found solidarity, in what has become known as the university of revolution, seeds of further rebellion were sown, in the hearts and minds of some who had not previously considered this path.
In 1920, after the failed uprising Britain would sign a disputed treaty creating two governments- one in Belfast with jurisdiction over 6 counties and the other in Dublin which had authority over the others. It was not until 1949 that the state of Ireland explicitly became a republic, an independent nation.
The 1916 rising remains a seminal event of 20th centurty history and is celebrated because it gave rise to a birth of a nation. It still holds great significance because it has continued to be both a source of pride, division and controversy across this Island ever since, as some believe there is still unfinished business.
This Easter Sunday will herald synchronised wreath laying ceremonies at strategic points across Dublin and the Republic of Ireland in what will be an unashamed celebration of the birth of the Irish republic, one hopefully of unity instead of division. A moment of a people's pride.
Friday, 25 March 2016
What would Jesus be up to nowadays, though many claim he is still with us, this unemployed son of two asylum seekers. Maybe he would be born in todays world as a refugee, or in an occupied nation, or in a slum or in a war zone , a life on benefits, due to sickness or disability.
I like to think that if he did wander on this earth he would show solidarity with the poor and oppressed, the most vulnerable, being the righteous man that he was said to be.
I am not personally of the christan faith but respect some historical facts, the evidence that points to Jesus as one of the self proclaimed messiahs fighting to end Roman occupation and for an egalitarian society in which division between rich and poor had been erased. His revolutionary message. This is what made him a marked man and led to his crucifiction and his followers subsequently being persecuted. I think his ideas seem to be the complete opposite of some of his followers today, who use his name, certain right wing politicians.
Did not many of the earlier christians practice a form of communism. As Acts of Apostles says " The believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." And this from the gospels " he had filled the hungry with good things and sent the richaway with empty hands." Did he not preach fairness, his revolutionary ideas stirring some to follow him and others to hate him. Does not the Bible reveal too, a focus on social justice and the poor and point to a way that economic life should be organised around the needs of societies weakest and most vulnerable members. He challenged the attitudes of a society that looked down on the marginalised - the sick, the poor, the needy, social outcasts and challenged the structures that kept them in their marginalised place. He did not simply ignore those who suffer on the margins of our societies. He talked about a God of compassion - one that would open up his kingdom to those locked out.
In this present time many of his followers are urging Stephen Crabb the current secretary of state for work and pensions, and current Conservative MP, for Preseli Pembrokeshire here in Wales to scrap brutal cuts. In a letter which suggests they are incompatible with his Christian faith.
Catholic think tank Ekklesia have written to him saying his departments cuts have gone to far. Urging him to reverse the policies of his predecessor and to work to the principles of Christian justice .
You can read the full contents of the letter here , well worth a read :-
happy eostore, heddwch/peace.
Posted by teifidancer at 13:05
Thursday, 24 March 2016
William Morris was an English textile designer, artist, writer and revolutionary socialist and political agitator associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts movement born on this day in 1854.
His aim was not only to create beautiful things but also a beautiful society. He became an important figure in the emergence of socialism in Britain, founding the Socialist League in 1884, active in promoting its cause through his writing and lecturing on street corners. Throughout his life he continued to identify with the revolutionary left. He was heartened by the Labour movements break with liberalism, but he warned, perhaps more clearly than anyone else at the time of the dangers of reformism. Right up to his death in 1896 he was agitating and arguing for a socialist movement that would change the world by open revolt. He also embraced radical ideas of sexual freedom and libertarianism. There is a strong libertarian temper in his writings and being a close friend of Peter Kropotkin ( eminent anarchist at the time) was well aware of the anarchist case against government and political authority.
In 1885 he bought out his Chants for Socialism which the following two poems are drawn from. In his novel News from Nowhere (1890) he recorded his own idiosyncratic vision after the abolition of classes. In it he envisages a society of equality and freedom. Such a vision - a rational grounded utopia , apparently so distant to us - is precisely what is needed for us today.
An interesting passionate and varied life, he hated the age he lived, its commerce, its poverty, its industry, but most of all he hated its individualistic, selfish system of values. At the end of his life he explained.
"The study of history and the love and practice of art forced me into a hatred of the civilisation which, if things were to stop as they are would turn history into inconsequent nonsense, and make art a collection of the curiosities of the past."
His words still have powerful resonance in our own turbulent times.
Saith man to man, We've heard and known
That we no master need
To live upon this earth, our own,
In fair and mainly deed,
The grief of slaves long passed away
For us hath forged the chain,
Till now each worker's patient day
Builds up the House of Pain.
And we, shall we too, crouch and quall.
Ashamed, afraid of strife,
And lest our lives untimely fail
Embrace the Death in Life?
Nay, cry aloud, and have no fear,
We few against the world;
Awake, arise! the hope we bear
Against the curse is hurled.
It grows and grows - are we the same,
The feeble hand, the few?
Or, what are these with eyes aflame,
and hands to deal and do?
This is the lost that bears the word,
NO MASTER HIGH OR LOW-
A lightning flame, a shearing sword,
A storm to overthrow.
All For The Cause
Hear a word, a word in season, for the day is drawing
When the Cause shall call upon us, some to live, and some
He that dies shall not die lonely, many an one hath gone
He that lives shall bear no burden heavier than the life they
Nothing ancient in their story, w'en but yesterday they bled,
Youngest they of earth's beloved, last of the valiant dead.
E'en the tidings we are telling was the tale they had to tell,
E'en the hope that our hearts cherish, was the hope for
which they fell.
In the grave where tyrants thrust them, lies their labour
and their pain,
But undying from their sorrow springeth up the hope again.
Mourn not therefore, nor lament it, that the world outlives
Voice and vision yet they give us, making among our hands
Some had name, and fame, and humour, learn'd they were,
and wise and strong;
Some were nameless, poor, unletterred, weak in all but grief
Named and nameless, all live in us; ne and all they had
Every pain to count for nothing every sorrow to forget.
Hearken how they cry, "O happy, happy ye were
In the sad slow night's departing, is the rising of the morn.
"Fair the crown the Cause hath for you, well to die or well
Through the battle, through the tangle, peace to gain or
peace to give."
Ah, it may be! Oft mescemeth, in the days that yet shall be,
When no slave of gold abideth 'twist the breadth of sea to
Oft, when men and maids are merry, ere the sunlight leaves
And they bless the day, beloved, all too short for all their
Some pause awhile and ponder on the bitter days of
Ere the toil of strife and battle overththrew the curse of gold;
Then 'twist lips of loved and lover solemn thoughts of us
We who were once fools and dreamers, then shall be the leave and wise.
There amidst the world new-builded shall our earthly deeds
Through our names be all forgotten, and the tale of how we
Life or death then, who shall heed it, what we gain or what
Fair flies life amid the struggle, and the Cause for each shall
Hear a word, a word in season, for the day is drawing nigh,
When the Cause hall call upon us, some to live, and some
Posted by teifidancer at 03:30
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Solidarity with disability cut protesters at the House of Commons earlier. The BBC and ITV were been told to stop filming because it might encourage campaigners to stage similar stunts. So above here's a photo. Not that we are used to viewing anything contentious on our mainstream news media. Business as usual. Strange that the BBC saw fit to try and report it though because when an anti-austerity protest was attended by over 50,000 people recently, they decided not to report it and bury the news.
Following yesterdays post, it is worth noting that welfare cuts have already killed more people by their own government in the UK than terrorists have killed in Europe. The deaths will continue. Sad to report of anyone under attack, these facts might not prove popular, but I believe that the sickest and most vulnerable deserve to have headlines of their own as well.
Yes terrorists are evil , but we should forget that out own Governments in order to govern, has been allowed to get away with murder, punishment and spite, directed against the most vulnerable.
My heart goes out to all victims. May they all get the justice they deserve.
Campaigners voices continually must be heard.
Posted by teifidancer at 14:53
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Sad to hear that at least 26 have died and many injured after blasts erupted in Brussels airport this morning. This comes after last weeks arrest of main suspect in the deadly Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam.
This attack part of a nihilistic movement that many are calling fascist in nature. Carried out by those with a warped negative view of humanity. Seeking not justice, but apocalypse and destruction. Seeking it seems to spread ethnic hatred against one another, trying to create deeper divisions over an ever fractured continent.
We must truly stand in solidarity, literally, side by side, with the victims, in unity with all forces who fight the ideology of ISIS on whatever front. We must repel this death cult, keep searching for answers, these forces of fascism can not be allowed to win. Condemn this indiscriminate use of violence as a way of achieving their ends. Acknowledge that many of the victims of these atrocities are ordinary working class people, from diverse backgrounds, and that this is indefensible. We must also extend our full solidarity to any who face possible racist attack, as a result of some sort of backlash. We must not allow civil liberties to be lost in exchange for a false sense of security and justice.
This latest incident is horrible and very sad, so lets hope that we can break the cycle rather than allow this to become the new normal. Sadly though the enemy is to be found within every country. We must not forget that bombs do not discriminate, daily bombs fall in Ankara, Turkey, in many other places too, too numerable to mention, all human lives lost, matter too. The flag filters of tragedy does not just come to European countries. Somehow we are France, and Belgium, but sometimes forget to be Nigeria, Palestine, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, Burkino Faso, etc etc. All life is equal, all life matters.
We must not turn the blame, and the hatred and use it on refugees , fleeing the same evil, plus our own bombs, (in their own country's) this is their suffering too and is not just happening today, but everyday.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of the dead and wounded. Let us pray for all humanity, the world is in chaos.
Remember both of those below want to eliminate the grey zone
Posted by teifidancer at 14:00
Glenda Jackson's superb speech about Ian Duncan Smith and the DWP, 2014. Where she cut through the crap, so perfectly. We do not forget that IDS , as Glenda said " plunged thousands and thousands of our citizens into the most abject penury." A woman of honor among the swine. Lets not forget that their is no such thing as compassionate conservatism they are all just a set of ideological vandalizers hell bent on the destruction of our welfare state. Intent on carrying out their unfair policies. People are finnally joing the dots, it does not add up, this long economic plan of pain is not what the people ordered.
Their austerity medicine is simply not working, and in IDS's resignation all they have done is replace one man who hounded the sick, the disabled and vulnerable with another, who will do more the less exactly the same.
Anyway currently the conservatives are divided over whether to be bastards or utter bastards.
Currently tearing themselves apart, which is good to see, because at the end of the day it could be just what this country needs.
I guess too, that it is time to forget about IDS, move on, and go out and get Stephen Crabb
who now takes on the mantle of chief benefit cutter. Who is an unashamed fan of Margaret Thatcher, who owes everything to David Cameron and will now be expected to do his masters bidding. Because he was bought up in poverty on a council estate, he now acts like he has a divine right to batter those that he left behind.
He has said there will be no more welfare savings in THIS Parliament saying " We will not be going ahead with changes to PIP that had been put forward. I am absolutely clear that a compassionate and fair welfare system should not be just about numbers. Behind every statistic is a human being and perhaps sometimes in government we forget that."
Call me cynical but I am not a great believer in compassionate conservatism, not a bit. The people of Pembrokeshire have been fed up with him for a while, and if he has decided not to resign his post as Pembrokeshire patron for MENCAP by April 2nd will be holding a demonstration outside his office in Haverfordwest and gather and demand that he resigns his post. Many believe that as an M.P that he has also failed to represent his constituents and has just instead consistently voted for his party, such a Tory loyalist he is.
The Tory's are no friends of democracy though, more than any government in history they have attempted to use their power to weaken opposition, see their moves on Trade Union funding, voter registration, boundary changes, and political party funding. Time and time again they have demonstrated that their are no tricks so low that they will not consider.
Call me cynical, but I do not believe in the versions of compassionate conservatism that have been sprouting forth in the last few days, not a bit of it.
Now is the time to keep undermining the heart of the Tory party and keep pushing the message that there is an alternative to austerity. Who knows the Tory's game might be up, lets keep pushing and fighting back. We have not got a moment to lose.
Posted by teifidancer at 13:02
Monday, 21 March 2016
When the news headlines are the ' crisis ' in the tory party you know it's a good day already, a time that I for one release a mighty smile. As for compassionate Conservatism. Their is no such thing. Their all grubby pocket-lining trough snouters.
Here's 5 reasons why Ian Duncan Smith's resignation letter could end austerity.
1. Ian Duncan Smiths resignation letter attacked Osborne's claim that 'we are all in it together.' Osbornes budget cut £3000 a year from disabled people to pay for tax cuts from the rich.
2. His letter also revealed that Tory cuts were ' distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.' Finally killing the myth that austerity is about helping the economy.
3. Osbornes austerity has been shown to be failing on its own terms. He has missed his own targets on investment, debt and balancing the books.
4. Tory M.Ps and the general public have joined IDS in attacking these cuts. A poll showed that fewer British people than ever believe Government cuts are necessary.
5. Support for an alternative anti-austerity message is now much stronger than the Tories message. It seems that the British public is finally waking up to the fact that ideological austerity is one big con. A socially and destructive one designed to transfer wealth form the majority of people to the super rich minority. We must continue to oppose the Tories damaging toxic policies, and make the case for an economy in which prosperity is shared by all.
Share to expose the truth about austerity.
Posted by teifidancer at 11:15
Friday, 18 March 2016
On this day March 18th, 1871, artisans and communists, labourers and anarchists took over the city of Paris and established the Paris Commune.
This radical experiment in socialist self government lasted 72 days before being violently being crushed in a brutal massacre that established France's Third republic. This rebellion would shake the foundations of European society to the core, the people rising up against a despised and detested government and its its capitalist rulers proclaiming the city an independent municipality, belonging to itself . a commune where they would directly and collectively manage their society through new institutions and voluntary associations of their own creation. It would mark the first major experience of the proletariat seizing political power. Taking charge of their own destiny.
The Paris Commune was the high point in the surge of the workers movement also expressed in the First International founded in 1867. Ideologically charged, with lots of division, the backlash following the defeat of the Commune, also broke up the International in 1872, which would see it splitting into two factions; Marxist and Anarchist. The leading figures on the two sides were Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin.
Both Marx and Bakunin supported and hailed the Commune - unlike some English trade unionists in the International, who recoiled in horror. Bakunin and his followers would use the word 'commune' a lot saying that the state could be immediately abolished by transforming society into a federation of free communes. The Paris Commune reflected anarchist ideas of community control, workers associations and confedorations, and suprisingly at the time Karl Marx strongly embraced the Commune, writing at the time he said " Working men's Paris, with its commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. It's martyr's are enshrined in the great heart of the working class."
Since then the Paris Commune has been thus variously described as either Anarchist or Socialist depending on the ideology of the commentator. It still fills me with much cause for celebration and inspiration as the Commune had put forward a radical social agenda that included seperation of Church and State, womens suffrage, abolition of interest on debts and worker self-management.
From March 18 to 28 May the two million residents of Paris ran their city as an autonomous commune, establishing 43 worker co-operatives, and advocated for a federation of revolutionary communes across France, establishing an 8 hour day,and began to regulate workers wages and contracts, abolishing fines for workers, giving them compensation, this was truly a government who put the interest of workers first . It also aimed to make education free, opening up culture for the people, formerly the sole property of the wealthy, opening reading rooms in hospitals to make life pleasant for those sick. Paris was filled with life, ideas and enthusiasm , though their city was under siege, attempts made to starve and break the will of the people surrounded by a hostile army.
Peter Kropotkin later enthused "Under the name of the Paris Commune, a new idea was born, to become a starting point for future revolutions.' But many others thoughts that the Paris Commune did not go far enough .
Anyway the French government was not going to tolerate this radicalism in its capital, and finally the French army marched from Versailles, but retaking the city would prove to be difficult, the communards would hold out for several weeks. The revolutionaries had built 600 barricades around the city which had to be cleared one by one. The French army finally entered Paris on May 21 and crushed the movement by May 28. Paris burned and was drowned in blood , the estimate of Parisian civilians killed usually tally's to be around 20,000, many died on the barricades. The leaders of the Commune might have had faults but for all their mistakes , they chose to fight to the end alongside the other workers. At the Pere Lachaise Cemetery the French army lined up and executed 147 Commune members. Around 6000 communards fled as the fighting doomed their experiment, fleeing to surrounding nations.
Since then both Communists, left wing societies, socialists, anarchists and others have see the Commune as a model for a prefiguration of a liberated society, with a political system based on participatory democracy from the grass roots up. It is a story of possibility not failure, evidence that points to the seeds of building an alternative society. The people of Paris began the fight for a new world, I guess it's up to us to finish the task.
further reading :- The Paris Commune: Revolution and counter revolution in Paris 1870 -1871
Communards at the barricades.
Posted by teifidancer at 15:14
Thursday, 17 March 2016
Budget 2016: Income Tax cuts will see the richest benefit by benefit, but the poor again left with less.
George Osborne delivered a bitter sweet budget as he announced a surprise tax on fizzy drinks but slash public spending while handing the rich a massive tax cut. This budget no different to his other seven, simply allowing his business pals to enjoy tax breaks that allow them to dodge billions in corporation tax, and the super rich again enjoying lower rates of income tax.
His budget he maintained also was ' a budget that puts the next generation first.' but what the next generation will inherit will be the shadow of a welfare state that once enabled people from disadvantaged backgrounds to survive.
Furthermore a third of his budget cuts will come from disability benefits, as the Chancellor revoltingly informed us that he had made a conscious decision to save £ 4.4 by cruelly cutting Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to 640,000 by 2020.
The sight of Osborne being mauled and petted by his chums was pretty nauseating too. But in one of his strongest performances at the disbatch box, the labor leader Jeremy Corbyn responded well ( not that their are not faults in his policies) in recognising that the buget had 'unfairness to it's core''
He said " The budget the chancellor has delivered is actually the culmination of six years of his failures. It is a recovery built on sand on and a budget of failure. He's failed on the budget deficit, failed on debt, failed on investment, failed on productivity, failed on trade deficit, failed on the welfare cap, failed to tackle inequality in this country.
Going on to say :-
' This budget has unfairness at its very core, paid for those who can least afford it. He could not have made his priorities clearer - while 500,000 people with disabilities are losing over £1bn in PIP, corporation tax is being cut and billions handed out in tax cuts to the very wealthy."
Yes, at the end of the day this budget is a total disaster for the most vulnerable people in the UK, but 100 billion left for trident which could have cut the NHS hole and help end austerity and help the poor and needy and pay poor tax payers back , the money stolen by the Tory's to bail the banksters out.
Oh and a little less cleavage on the Tory front bench would have been much appreciated too, vent over, think I'll go and have a wee drink, the stronger the better.
Posted by teifidancer at 16:36
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
It has become customary to mark the passing of Rachel Aliene Corrie a 23 year old American Peace activist from Olympia, Washington who was crushed to death by an Israeli military, caterpiller D 912 bulldozer in 2003, while undertaking non-violent direct action trying to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition in Rafah in the Gaza strip.
Justice has never been served for her, along with others killed under the Israeli occupation.
Today I reflect upon Rachel's brave stand in Gaza 13 years ago today and her courage to resist and all those who continue to live and struggle there. And all those passionate changemakers across the globe who each day act with conscience and work tirelessly to try and make a difference.
Currently in the city of Cardiff one of the UK's biggest arms fairs has come,to visit I applaud all those now trying to shut this awful event down. People saying no to business people profiteering from mass murder, displacement and torture. Exhibitors include BAE systems, the worlds 3rd largest arms producer whose weapons are currently being used in the Saudi attacks on Yemen.
When the rich make war it is the poor that die.
Remember that what is happening in Palestine is no inexplicable cycle of violence where each side is as bad as one another,. It is no more than an equal cycle of violence as seen in apartheid South Africa.
Being against it is not anti-Jewish anymore than being against a British governments military aggression marks you as as anti-British. Rachel Corrie understood these links and connections and would have known about an active Israeli peace movement, and of the hundreds of Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories, many of whom have been jailed for their stance. Israel has invaded Palestinian land in breach of international law. Rachel died while attempting to prevent a demolition of a home, a common practice of the Israeli army's collective punishment that has left more than 12,000 Palestinians homeless since the beginning of the second uprising in September 2000. A practice that violates International Law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
So here's to the memory and bravery of Rachel Corrie a true American hero.
Posted by teifidancer at 14:43
Monday, 14 March 2016
Figures for the number of Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails varies greatly, but by October 2015 there have been reports, that 171 children were being detained. A month later, nearly 800 Palestinian children ( and minors under the age of 18 ) had been arrested and the number of children in Israeli gaols had risen to nearly 340. Most of the detained children were from occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as arrests made in Gaza.
In June 20012, a delegation of nine UK lawyers published a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCU) funded, independent report ( " Children in Military Custody" ) on the plight of Palestinian children arrested and detained in Israel. The report found that Israel's treatment of Palestinian child prisoners was in breach pf Article 76 of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War ( concerning occupied territories and several articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The report made 43 recommendations and the UK Government, at the time promised to take up the issues with the Israeli Government:-
Back in 2013, Israel submitted a periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which set out to monitor the implementation of the Convention. The Committee responded in June 2013 saying that it regretted Israel's :-
" persistent refusal to provide information and data and to respond to the Committees's written questions of children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory."
Many children detained are denied access to a lawyer and are not entitled to family visits, furthermore hardly any education is provided, which is in contravention of the Geneva Convention and multiple human rights treaties. For adults detention can be stressful and dangerous, but for children can be even more so. Many sentenced or incarcenated because of suspicion of throwing stones, or releasing frustration in defiance of the Israeli armies illegal occupation. Detained children exhibiting symptoms of trauma, injustice, mistrust of others, combined with feelings of helplessness and worthlessness., OCD, disorder, hostility and aggression, withdrawal and lack of motivation.
I have written to my own M.P expressing my concerns, it is good to report that he is in agreement at the the injustice of this situation, I would urge you to keep pressuring your own individual representatives to do more to rectify this situation and move more in pursuit of peace and justice.
Lets not forget that Israel remains a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child , which among other provisions requires; " that a child not be compelled to give testimony or to confess or acknowledge guilt." and clearly states that detention or arrest should be used as a lat resort.
The use of interrogation techniques of mental and physical abuse that include threats of intimidation and physical violence must end, this continual violation of children's rights, that the international community must continue to speak out against in order to demand justice and accountability. Seeking to challenge Israels prolonged military occupation of Palestinians , demanding immediate protections for Palestinian children currently held in Israeli military detention where ill-treatment and torture is widespread and systematic.
Until the day that Israel stops its stubborn continual violation of international law with regards to Palestinian child prisoners and detainees.
Detainment and imprisonment will only serve to keep the cycle of violence and fear in this region ongoing that in the end securitises children, we must continue to speak for them, as conscious , right bearing subjects, that have the seeds of the future in their pockets.
As long as Israel avoids international accountability that human rights groups are urging , children will unfortunately continue to bear the brunt of the escalating violence that Israel uses to maintain its occupation, that offers no everlasting hope.
Posted by teifidancer at 15:18
Friday, 11 March 2016
His lies analysed here :-
Partial Transcript : ' Mr Duncan Smith launched into a defiant defence of the penalties, insisting that people were often glad the way sanctions had changed their lives.
Forgetting to add that the Government has just gone out of the way to cut £30 a week of benefits for the disabled while doing less than nothing about corporate tax avoidance and cutting taxes for the wealthiest. Vowing to ram through disability cuts despite a stark warning from his very own human rights watchdog.
The Secretary of State appears to be denying the existence of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act, which he personally helped deliver at the time, boasting that it was the biggest shake up of the welfare state in 60 years. Ian Duncan Smith an odious man, who does not care about the real suffering his policies will cause. No doubt about it, if these cuts actually happen the daily struggle for survival will get a lot worse, for those who genuinely need a helping hand in the present time. But here we are faced with Tory policy that could not give a toss about starving the people, the vulnerable that it should be protecting, showing the deep contempt the Conservatives have for peoples lives, hitting the hardest hit and the most disaffected people in the land as they continue their intent of pushing on with their mad ideological crusade to cleanse Britain of the poor and punish for our unfair situations, whilst rewarding the wealthy.
Makes yesterday's post 'All is Not Lost' seem most inappropriate.
Thousands of people, up and down the country are now wrought with worry, what a shameful country we live in.
Posted by teifidancer at 15:05
Thursday, 10 March 2016
(An exercise in surrealism
Each morning I cross a bridge,
pass new spaces to be discovered,
feet remaining firmly on the ground,
belonging as they do,
to the earth.
I try not to look back,
history's pages carry too much weight,
reminiscences of disappointment,
memories of death,
that slipped by casually,
ever so suddenly.
I take things easy nowadays,
especially the stairs,
but still drink thirstily,
a craving that never subsides.
helps keeps me growing,
on flights of reality,
wings of transition.
I have found safety,
places to hideaway,
conceal feelings, lose control,
escape to dreamtime,
play the fool on the hill,
in waiting rooms where I rest,
rainbows arrive to deliver treasure.
As the ink runs dry,
tomorrow never knows,
coming tides of golden slumber,
fill my waking eyes,
and Prometheus walks,
does the rounds,
marks out eternity,
releases fire and knowledge,
furnishes life with bearable segments.
' All you need is ears',
someone once said,
to lift the spirit,
allow sighs to decipher,
and if the glass is still half-empty.
fill it up again, each drop sustains,
delicious to taste, quenches tongue,
helps deal with stuff,
that are difficult to understand,
partially drunk, the world sways,
glimpses of reason, echoing unbound,
take a sip, find some comfort,
realise that all is not lost.
Posted by teifidancer at 15:24
Monday, 7 March 2016
Sir John Trevor ( 1637 -20/5/1717 ) - One of the last speakers of the House of Commons to be expelled.
On 7th March 1695, Sir John Trevor ( from the Brynkinalt estate near Chirk in Denbighshire, North Wales) was the last speaker of the House of Commons to be expelled, for taking a bribe of 1000 guineas, . ( £1.6 million in 2009.) before Michael Martin in 2009
He remained the only speaker to be forced out of office until Michael Martin resigned in 2009.
A Welshman ,his occupation was as a judge. He first acquired a seat at Castle Rising, which he bought for £60 , his involvement there was short lived and there is no evidence that he ever visited the Borough. He was a Tory, known as the Cavalier politician, anti-catholic and known for giving strong support to the Monarchy and quickly climbed the political ladder, described as ' a bold and dexterous man ' ( who knew the most effective ways of recommending himself to every government.) He finally represented his own region, where he was born, Denbighshire in 1681.
It is interesting to note that Sir Trevor was severely cross eyed, which often caused confusion as to which MP had "Caught the Speakers eye" and led to many speaking out of turn.
He was dismissed as speaker in 1695 after being found guilty ' high crime and misdimeanour.'
Sir Trevor's implication in charges of corruption may have bought his career in the Commons to an abrupt end, but it did not prevent his survival in public office. He retained the mastership of the rolls with its salary of £4,000 p.a until his death. In June 1702 he was appointed a Privy Councillor and from 1703 was restored to the Welsh Offices. When he died he remained a man of considerable wealth, he is reported to have left a fortune of £60,000.
And centuries may have passed but many people believe that the UK Government is still to a large extent run by a few big entities, an old boys network serving themelves , laws and regulations still being created and administered by those who have been paid or lobbied the best. Not exactly a strong model for creating a more harmonious society. 7 years on from the expenses scandal politics still seems to be tainted still perceived to be riddled with corruption. Greedy MPs are about to get another bumper pay rise of almost a grand this year. In line with a 1.3% increase from next April - just nine months after receiving a backdated bonus of £74,000, up from £67,060. The House of Commons still considered to be a rich man's play and pastime.
The next time your local MP lectures to you about prudent financial responsibility, try not to choke on your supermarket brand cornflakes.
A moral ditch still in desperate need of reform, only a radical initiative I believe will convince us that Westminster has really changed.
Posted by teifidancer at 16:08
Sunday, 6 March 2016
She married a white man man called Albert Parsons , who had become a radical republican after serving as a Confederate soldier. She would go on to become a leading figure in American Anarchism and the radical Labour Movement.
In 1875 she and her husband were forced to flee to Chicago, due to intolerant reactions to their interacial marriage. Together they would fight for African American voting rights, and against KKK terror, condemning racist attacks and killings. Getting involved also in radical labour organising, they fought for the rights of political prisoners, women, people of color, and homeless people, advocating a syndicalist theory of society. She did all this while working as a dressmaker.
She began writing for the radical newspapers The Socialist and The Alarm. The Chicago Police Department describing her 'as more dangerous than a thousand rioters.' On the topic of the growth of homeless people begging for food on the streets of Chicago, the Chicago trubune said ' When a tramp asks you for bread , put strychnine or arsenic on it and he will trouble you no more, and trouble wuill keep out of your neighbourhood.' In response to this depravity, Lucy wrote one of her most famous articles called - ' To Trams, the Unemplyed, the Disinherited, and Miserable.' Parsons became deeply involved in support of an eight hour workday, and during a demonstration in support of this at Haymarket Square on Tuesday May 4th 1886, an unknown person threw a bomb, subsequent police violence enabled a riot to take place. After the incident eight Anarchists were arrested on trumped up charges, including Albert. Lucy Parsons at the time did all she could to get justice for her husband and his fellow accused, since no evidence could be found to connect them to the bombing. Fighting tirelessly for them all, travelling across the United States, speaking out, rallying support, raising money. Alas in vain with four out of the eight being executed by hanging on November 11th 1887.
After her husbands death , Lucy came into her own as one of the leading radicals of the day. she continued to spread her anarchist message, and became known for her powerful oratory. In 1905 she participated in the founding of the International Workers of the World, she believed in their committment to direct action, which she believed would inspire a strong working class movement. She continued to work with various Labour groups, while raising two children that she had had with Albert. Finding time to organise demonstrations, talking to crowds of workers, for the unemployed, homeless and hungry delivering power passionate speeches against police brutality, judicial murder. Getting involved in the International Labour Defence, fighting for Sacco and Vancetti, Tom Mooney, Scottbro Nine, 9 young African Americans who had become symbols of criminal injustice at the time, and for Women's emancipation, for free birth control, advocating for organisation of sex workers,and the struggle and rights of the poor and disenfranchised. Preaching justice for the poor by way of revolution. Her radical beliefs prompted the police to arrest her many times but believing in freedom of speech, she would spend the rest of her life, fighting the forces that seeked to eliminate her voice.
Continuing to remain active into her eighties, she died in a suspicious house fire on 7/3/42, aged 89. It seems she was viewed as a threat to the political order in death, as well as in life, it was revealed that her ashes barely being cold, the Chicago Police force seized her entire personal library, in all it's 3,000 volumes, on sex, socialism and anarchy and turned it over the F.B.I. Most of it would never be seen again, an attempt to whitewash and write her out of history as they tried to rob her of the work of her life.
Fortunately some of her writings survived, as do her ideas, fighting strongly for what she believed in, defying both racial and gender discrimination, at the forefronts of movements and battles for social justice, her entire life. She challenged the racist and sexist sentiment in a time when even Radical Americans, believed a woman's place was in the home. The legacy of her fight for workers rights, freedom of speech, the African-American, is still a strong influential one. Her voice still resounding against all kinds of oppression and the forces of capitalism long after her death.
She is buried near her husband in Waldheim Cemetery (now Forest Home Cemetery), Forest Park, Illinois.
Posted by teifidancer at 21:21
Saturday, 5 March 2016
Pictured above Michael Gove looking far too jolly and bright
Around the country purple billboards formatted in the style of those annoying keep calm carry on posters have emerged urging people of the land to spruce up their streets, vacuum up their villages, for the benefit of the Queens 90th birthday celebrations in April. While communities across the country are suffering from long term deprivation, due to government cuts to local services , austerity and gentrification this new campaign backed by Country Life and Keep Britain Tidy expects people to do hours of unpaid work, get down on our hands and knees and scrub for a woman born into incredible wealth and opulence who has probably never picked up a piece of rubbish in her life, at a time when official funding for the parasitical royal family has risen 38% to a staggering £ 42.8 million. Austerity sure is tough for some. Quite simply the most patronising campaign I have heard of for a long time, that simply treats us commoners like peasants, serfs and minions.
At first I thought it was some internet viral joke, but the story actually turned out to be true. Ever since, always eager to brown-nose to the royals, Tory politicians have been quick to don hi-viz waistcoats and have a pose, like Mr Gove pictured, the sight of him alone just makes me want to go outside and kick over a wheelie bin. Cameron is said to have lent his support too. As have retailers like Costa, McDonalds and Greggs, producers and generators themselves of a hell of a lot of rubbish.
The clean up actually began yesterday after it has been reported that some local authorities,have cut the money they spend on street cleaning by an average of 16% in real times since 2010 and by more than 80% in some districts. I remember also that the Queen herself as reported by the Guardian in 2012 did not even pay her own cleaning staff the living wage, the princely sum of £6.67 per hour, at a time when the living wage was calculated to be £.8.55:-
.http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/14/queen-cleaners-living-wage, which does suggest a rather contemptuous to her own employees, God bless her.
I guess it was not her idea, this time, all a tad embarrassing though, but while this is in our thoughts here's another suggestion , how about, instead of cleaning up for the Queen we clear up our democracy instead, ridding ourselves of its hereditary and unelected positions once and for all.
I do not like seeing litter lying abandoned and already like to keep things tidy, will clean for the environment, and for the community but not for the Queen I won't, as a republican I can not stoop down in deference, however I would be more than happy to lend a hand clearing out Buckingham Palace and help end this symbol of privilege once and for all.
Queen for the Queen - No Thanks !
Posted by teifidancer at 10:30
Thursday, 3 March 2016
Today marks World Book Day, in an increasingly digitalised age, books I believe still have the power to change the world. Like many people, I guess, I still get trapped by the allure of the internet, a tool, that I use most days, but as I write this piece, in my trusted library am surrounded by books, and when not here, at home or wherever I happen to be, I still like to stick my head in a book, turn some pages, that continue to challenge and inspire. A thirst and taste first harnessed by my mum, and subsequently the local library.
Despite the tragedies and terrors of the world books can still restore some kind of hope, can provide a form of sustenance to people in similar circumstances across the globe, a vast flow of communication that have served to remind us of our shared humanity's vast diverse cultural heritage. Precious trickles, like water that allow us to grow. Books still have the capacity to change and challenge the worlds problems and provide people with the means to educate themselves, and like love itself words of course have no borders.
Personally books are a form of addiction for me, one that I am glad that I have succumbed too, much better for my health than certain substances that are also readily available. I buy most of mine nowadays from charity shops and the few small inependent booksellers that remain, places so worth supporting, wonderful spaces, balms for the imagination.
At home I am lucky, I still have plenty to choose from, to hold my fascination, dusty old tomes, dangerous, magical, subversive, that cement ideas of mine together. Surrealists, dreamers, dissenters, outsiders, rebels,magicians, poets, experimental fragrances that always take me somewhere special. Thought provoking fuels that offer me equally comfort, confirmation and validation.
World Book Day is a time to celebrate everything book and reading related that enable us to engage in making another world possible. To enjoy and celebrate the power that different stories, tales and narratives have, to allow us to see the world through other peoples eyes, new perspectives that can help us find paths to build a better world to live in. Because books allow us to live creatively, think on our own terms, to travel portals with no need of passports.
The day hopes to bring people together through a love of books, to encourage people, especially children to read books, it also seeks to promote peace, tolerance and understanding and respect among each other for other cultures and traditions.
So today this post is my way of celebrating the power of books. Sadly though their will always be those that seek to control what we read, because books retain the power to move, transform and enrich individuals lives, open us up to change,and to help reshape significantly the world that we live in and make a difference.
Sadly my local library is currently under threat because my local council is planning to downsize it by 75%, and relocate it to a place that parents of young children , the disabled and others will have no access to, with no thought of the future, even though current landlord has offered this temple a rent free guarantee for the next five years. It simply does not make sense. The council is simply succumbing to our Governments monstrous cultural vandalism and savage cost cutting, that is taking place across the land, it is not to late to save it, so please sign the following petition, and would urge anyone reading on World Book Day to fight to save any library under threat in your own community.:-
In the background now the sound of children singing, enjoying the power of books, actively encouraged by our friendly librarian.
Books I hope will long have the capacity to mould, and sustain us.
I will end with some quotes, the first from Heinrich Heine ( 1797-1857) German essayist and romantic poet :-
" Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings. "
" You cannot open a book without learning something. " - Confucius
" A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us." - Franz Kafka
" Hungry man , reach for the book, it is a weapon." - Bertolt Brecht
Posted by teifidancer at 13:26
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Poetic response to events that have recently taken place in Calais and on the Greek/Macedonian border. Published on I am not a silent Poet Blog :-
Their pain is our shame.
No one deserves to be teargassed,
looking for shelter,
treated like savages, given no respect,
hope destroyed left in tatters,
reason left beyond recognition,
tears now drown the soil,
that once sustained them,
that acted as a bridge,
between life and death,
laughter and solace now lost,
as politicians seem not to care,
whether peoples dreams survive,
air now heavy in bullshit and tyranny,
my heart bleeds too,
as I witness this hell from afar,
innocent beings punished and forsaken,
memories already haunted, cloaked in grief.
Posted by teifidancer at 11:18
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Today as has become traditional I mark St David's Day/ Dydd Dewi Sant. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales. This day was chosen to commemorate St David's death on this day around 589 AD. It has been celebrated as a national day within Wales since the 18th century.
The Praise of St David's Day is reprinted from They look at Wales (1941) from an early black-letter broadside in the British Museum library. It refers to the original Trojan of the Welsh people. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century, Brutus of Troy conquered Britain and fathered the British people. Disputed by English scholars in the nineteenth century, this view of history remained gospel for patriotic Welshmen 'till the eighteenth century.
Who list to reade the deeds
by valiant Welch-men done,
Shall find them worthy men of Armes,
as breathes beneath the sunne;
They are of valiant hearts,
of nature kind and meeke,
An honour on St David's Day;
it is to wear a leeke.
The Welch most ancient is
of this famous land,
Who were the first that conquered it,
by force and warlike hand.
From Troy stout Brute did come,
this kingdome for to seeke;
Which was possessed by savage men,
then honoured be the Leeke.
He having won the same,
and put them to the sword :
Of Brute did Britaine first take name,
as Chronicles record
The Welch true Brittaines are,
whose swords in blood did reeke,
Of Pagan men being heathenish,
then honoured by the Leeke.
And know if you would know,
why they the Leeked do weare;
In honour of St David's day,
it plainly shall appeare.
Upon St David's day,
And first of March that weeke,
The Welch-men with their foes did joyne,
then honoured by the Leeke.
And being in the field,
their valour they did try;
Where thousands on both sides being slaine,
within their bloods did lye.
And they not knowing how
their friends from foe to seeke;
Into a Gardem they did go,
where each one pulld a Leeke :
And wore it in his hat,
their Countrymen to know ;
And then most valiantly they did
o'ercome their warlike foe.
Then were noe colours knowne,
or any feathers eeke;
The feathers first originall,
it was the Welch-mans Leeke.
And ever since that time,
the Leek they use to weare,
In honour of St David's day,
They doe that Trophy beare.
A Reverend Bishop was
St David mild and meeke,
And 'tis an honour that same day,
for them to wear a Leeke.
All the best on this day, heddwch/peace
happy St David's day/ Dydd Dewi Sant.
Posted by teifidancer at 10:32