Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Look ahead


Look ahead,beyond the chaos
our only hope is the children,.
make them see, make them care
show them a brighter vision,
where people no longer bludgeon each other
for a slice of bread or less.
Destroy apathy that does not give a toss
just keeps the status quo running at
                                   huge human cost,
a case of hope deferred, energy lost
when we should be keeping spirits high
by fighting for a nobler cause.
Try not to become defeated or foiled
reach out for freedom, peace,equality
keep looking for another way of possibility
or be doomed forever as prisoners of time.
Teach the children to listen
offer them the gift of understanding,
if fear is the only way
frighten them into caring.
When this task is undertaken
beyond the walls of illusion,
we can all become one
society re-moulded, re-cast,
for future generations to come.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Paul Nuttall leader of UKIP, we should not be laughing.


We should not be laughing as it is announced that Paul Nuttall is now the new UKIP leader.Even though I have posted a rather silly picture of him. His views alone are pretty worrying, he is a sexist, racist, climate denier, who thinks immigrants are taking all our jobs, he wants to abolish the NHS, and come down hard on abortion, he has also called for a referendum for bringing back the death penalty and a repeal of the hunting ban, Nuttall is a leading advocate for banning the burqa,"The law should be clear - either you are allowed to express your religious beliefs at all times, or you accept that there are some occasions where these are restricted," he said last year."Face coverings should be banned in any public building. while Nuttall is in favour of removing the right of Muslims to wear what they please, he does not believe there should have been any restrictions on the right of Christians to express religious discrimination.In 2011, Peter and Hazelmary Bull were found to have acted unlawfully in refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in their hotel. Nuttall was not impressed with the ruling." This week has been a good week for the PC brigade," he wrote on his blog.
In the same post Nuttall went on to defend football pundits Andy Gray and Richard Keys after they were sacked for making sexist comments. In 2015, he faced criticism after joking that “perhaps we should throw (Scottish First Minister Nicola) in front of a hunt horse." in order to commemorate the day of celebration for the life of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. For this he was branded as misogynistic and insensitive.In some respects he is an even more hard line right-winger than Nigel Farage.
The 39 year old new leader has been MEP for North West England since 2009 and has served as Ukip's chairman and deputy leader.He had previously stood for the Tories in 2002, and failed:Don't see him as some sort of comedic figure though,it's easy to make fun, but this doesn't seem to work, after all isn't that what they did with Donald Trump? While some of you are probably guffawing at him, I think his acceptance speech alone will ring alarm. We are witnessing a new dangerous strain of empowered Far-Right thinking politics, flourishing at the moment, Paul Nuttal is one of many, appealing in pro Brexit times to beleaguered, alienated working-class people. 
Mr Nuttall, who was born in Bootle, Mersyside, with working class roots, a former history lecturer who played football for Tranmere Rovers as a boy, has claimed that he is well placed to snatch working class voters from Labour to further his vision of making UKIP, the "voice of patriotic Britain." He has made clear his sights are on poaching votes from Labour, arguing that the party under Jeremy Corbyn was more interested in "dinner party" topics like climate change and fair trade than the interests of their working class voters, such as immigration and social mobility. "Ukip's future is bright but for it to be so, Ukip must unite. Today's result has ensured that it will." The politics of hope, decency and social justice are now under threat, we must forever be on our guard from the likes of Nuttall and his friends in UKIP with their brand of reactionary, divisive politics  that threatens the character and cohesion of our society. There is nothing patriotic in stoking up hatred and mistrust of our neighbours. UKIP should not be seen as a comedy party on the slide, they still pose a serious threat. You have been warned.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Theresa May says her faith in God, gives her confidence, and she is doing the right thing !


Theresa May yesterday announced in the Sunday Times that her faith in God, gives her confidence, she is doing the right thing, saying her moral sense of right and wrong is helping her work out what is best for Britain claiming “There is something in terms of faith, I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.”
The daughter of a vicar went on: “If you know you are doing the right thing, you have the confidence, the energy to go and deliver that right message.”But she confessed “in this job you don’t get much time to sleep” and admitted that she was “very conscious” of the enormity of Brexit saying ‘it’s a moment of change” and “a hugely challenging time.”
Isn't this the sort of clap-trap Tony Blair used to say, offering pontifications about his so called divine right. Whilst God  was engaged, kept busy did he/she also tell  her it's OK to drop nuclear bombs on people too, whilst she carries on staunchly defending  selling arms to human rights abusers. From what I remember, from studying scripture did not  Christ help feed those that were oppressed, homeless and starving, taught us to love thy neighbour? 
So not sure whose been guiding her, because even though i'm a bit of a skeptic not sure if this friend of hers would have told told her to keep continuing with austerity, homelessness and foodbanks, and screwing the sick and disabled on a daily basis? Or that  successive Tory MP's should carry on with the same objective.It could just  be a case of simple delusion, or the sayings of just another Tory hypocrite, who I remember previously saying " We, the Conservatives will put ourselves at the service of normal working people. We will strive to make Britain a country that works for everyone, regardless of who they are and where they're from." 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

As dreams fade and lights dim


( for Leonard Cohen and others I Love)

As dreams fade and lights dim
sinews of imagination
split and cut the sky;
on every waking morning
allows  love to hear the fire of breath,
absorbing waking moments
a man in fedora hat carries on singing,
unchanged in memory,grants assistance
reflection echoed across eternal oceans,
offers tangible thread of reassurance
on the road to somewhere else,
still able to purify heart
enabling light to cast its shadow,
as we all hang on as best as possible
salvaging  what we can, delicately balancing,
keeping on loving while we are still able.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fidel Castro Cuban Revolutionary who defied America dies aged 90.

What a year it's been, and it's not over yet, Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him, died on Friday, sged 90.
Castro had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006 and he formally ceded power to his younger brother Raul Castro two years later.It was Raul Castro who announced his brother died on Friday evening:-"The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening," the president announced on national television just after midnight Friday (0500 GMT Saturday)."In compliance with Comrade Fidel's expressed will, his remains will be cremated early in the morning" on Saturday, said Raul Castro, who took power after his elder brother Fidel was hospitalized in 2006.
The government on Saturday decreed nine days of mourning.
From November 26 to December 4, "public activities and shows will cease, the national flag will fly at half mast on public buildings and military installations," a statement from the state executive said.
Castro's ashes will be buried in the southeastern city of Santiago on December 4 after a four-day procession through the country, it added. Santiago was the scene of Castro's ill-fated first revolution attempt in 1953.
The bearded Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution and ruled Cuba for 49 years with a mix of charisma and iron will, creating a one-party state and becoming a central figure in the Cold War.
He was demonized by the United States and its allies but  admired by many around the world, especially socialist revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa.
Transforming Cuba from a playground for rich Americans into a symbol of resistance to Washington, Castro outlasted nine U.S. presidents in power.He fended off a CIA-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 as well as countless assassination attempts.His alliance with Moscow helped trigger the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, which resulted in a 13-day showdown with the United States that brought the world the closest it has been to nuclear war.
Wearing green military fatigues and chomping on cigars for many of his years in power, Castro was famous for long, fist-pounding speeches filled with blistering rhetoric, often aimed at the United States.In Cuba he got rid of capitalism and won support for bringing schools and hospitals to the poor. But he also created legions of enemies and critics, concentrated among Cuban exiles in Miami who fled his rule and saw him as a ruthless tyrant.
In the end it was not the efforts of Washington and Cuban exiles nor the collapse of Soviet communism that ended his rule. Instead, illness forced him to cede power to his younger brother Raul Castro, provisionally in 2006 and definitively in 2008. Raul since taking over has introduced market-style economic reforms and agreeing with the United States in December 2014 to re-establish diplomatic ties and end decades of hostility.
 Fidel Castro  himself offered only lukewarm support for the deal, raising questions about whether he approved of ending hostilities with his longtime enemy.He lived to witness the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuba earlier this year, the first trip by a U.S. president to the island since 1928.
Castro did not meet Obama, and days later wrote a scathing column condemning the U.S. president's "honey-coated" words and reminding Cubans of the many U.S. efforts to overthrow and weaken the Communist government.
In his final years, Fidel Castro no longer held leadership posts. He wrote newspaper commentaries on world affairs and occasionally met with foreign leaders but he lived in semi-seclusion.
His death - which would once have thrown a question mark over Cuba's future - seems unlikely to trigger a crisis as Raul Castro, 85, is firmly ensconced in power.
Still, the passing of the man known to most Cubans as "El Comandante" - the commander - or simply "Fidel" leaves a huge void in the country he dominated for so long. It also underlines the generational change in Cuba's communist leadership.
A Jesuit-educated lawyer, Fidel Castro led the revolution that ousted U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista on Jan 1, 1959. Aged 32, he quickly took control of Cuba and sought to transform it into an egalitarian society.His government improved the living conditions of the very poor, achieved health and literacy levels on a par with rich countries and rid Cuba of a powerful Mafia presence.
But he also tolerated little dissent, jailed opponents, seized private businesses and monopolized the media.Castro's opponents labeled him a dictator and hundreds of thousands fled the island.Many settled in Florida, influencing U.S. policy toward Cuba and plotting Castro's demise. Some even trained in the Florida swamps for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. But they could never dislodge him.
We should not forget  others who did not agree with him , dissidents, seen as usurpers of the Revolution,  imprisoned  without trial in the dungeons of Cabana Fortress and subjected to inhuman treatment and sometimes killed.Political activists some to the left of Castro imprisoned.Nor should we forget the injustice inflicted on homosexuals during his rule in the 60's and 70's,like other Cubans, including some priests, considered “ideological deviants,” homosexuals in the 1960s were sent to labour camps for re-education and rehabilitation. Discrimination continued in the 1970s, with gays, in particular gay artists and writers, disgraced, marginalised,  in some cases who were driven into exile.Later Castro would regret this that he himself did not pay enough attention to the plight of gays during an era of sabotage, armed attacks and assassination plots against him. Yes, there were moments of great injustice – great injustice,” Castro said.“I am trying to narrow my responsibility in all of this, because of course personally I have no such prejudice” against homosexuals, he said,
"If someone is responsible, it's me," In the 1960s and 70s, many homosexuals in Cuba were fired, imprisoned or sent to "re-education camps". In 1979, homosexuality was decriminalised and, more recently, there have been efforts to legalise same-sex unions.The situation has since thankfully  improved greatly for gays and lesbians in Cuba, where Castro’s niece Mariela – the daughter of President Raul Castro – heads the National Sex Education Centre and has been campaigning for years for greater rights for gays and transsexuals.
Despite this for generations of Latin American  people Castro  has been applauded for his socialist policies and for thumbing his nose at the United States from its doorstep just 90 miles (145 km) from Florida.Castro claimed he survived or evaded hundreds of assassination attempts, including some conjured up by the CIA.In 1962, the United States imposed a damaging trade embargo that Castro blamed for most of Cuba's ills, using it to his advantage to rally patriotic fury.
Over the years, he expanded his influence by sending Cuban troops into far-away wars, including 350,000 to fight in Africa. They provided critical support to a left-wing government in Angola and contributed to the independence of Namibia in a war that helped end apartheid in South Africa.
He also won friends by sending tens of thousands of Cuban doctors abroad to treat the poor and bringing young people from developing countries to train them as physicians Fidel  was  also a staunch advocate of the Palestinian quest for freedom and independence. The PLO and Cuba were natural allies, as both championed what their leaders saw as a struggle against imperial and colonial powers.Indeed, Castro conflated Cuba's "strife to fight imperialism" with the Palestinian quest for independence from Israel's occupation.Palestine has now lost one its oldest and closest friends and few leaders, with the exception of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, gave such vocal and unstinting support to the Palestinian people and their decades-long struggle for justice.
Born on Aug 13, 1926 in Biran in eastern Cuba, Castro was the son of a Spanish immigrant who became a wealthy landowner.Angry at social conditions and Batista's dictatorship, Fidel Castro launched his revolution on Jul 26, 1953, with a failed assault on the Moncada barracks in the eastern city of Santiago."History will absolve me," he declared during his trial for the attack.He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released in 1955 after a pardon that would come back to haunt Batista.
Castro went into exile in Mexico and prepared a small rebel army to fight Batista. It included Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who became his comrade-in-arms.
In December 1956, Castro and a rag-tag band of 81 followers sailed to Cuba aboard a badly overloaded yacht called "Granma".Only 12, including him, his brother and Guevara, escaped a government ambush when they landed in eastern Cuba.Taking refuge in the rugged Sierra Maestra mountains, they built a guerrilla force of several thousand fighters who, along with urban rebel groups, defeated Batista's military in just over two years.
Early in his rule, at the height of the Cold War, Castro allied Cuba to the Soviet Union, which protected the Caribbean island and was its principal benefactor for three decades.The alliance brought in $4 billion worth of aid annually, including everything from oil to guns, but also provoked the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the United States discovered Soviet missiles on the island.Convinced that the United States was about to invade Cuba, Castro urged the Soviets to launch a nuclear attack.Thankfully cooler heads prevailed. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy agreed the Soviets would withdraw the missiles in return for a U.S. promise never to invade Cuba. The United States also secretly agreed to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an isolated Cuba fell into a deep economic crisis that lasted for years and was known as the "special period". Food, transport and basics such as soap were scarce and energy shortages led to frequent and long blackouts.
Castro undertook a series of tentative economic reforms to get through the crisis, including opening up to foreign tourism.The economy improved when Venezuela's socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who looked up to Castro as a hero, came to the rescue with cheap oil. Aid from communist-run China also helped, but an economic downturn in Venezuela since Chavez's death in 2013 have raised fears it will scale back its support for Cuba.Plagued by chronic economic problems, Cuba's population of 11 million has endured years of hardship, although not the deep poverty, violent crime and government neglect of many other developing countries.
For most Cubans, Fidel Castro has been the ubiquitous figure of their entire life.Many still love him and share his faith in a communist future, and even some who abandoned their political belief still view him with respect.Solidarity with the people of Cuba in their time of mourning.
Goodbye Commandante flawed and authoritarian as he may have been, Castro stood up to the world's biggest bully for almost six decades,  and certainly leaves his mark on history.Charismatic, outspoken, defiant who did try to  devote his life, his knowledge and his struggle not only to the Cuban people but to all the people of the world.Fidel's commitment to internationalism leaves a lasting legacy around the World.Fidel Castro is beloved by the free people of Africa, Asia and South America because he always stood with them against the tyranny of Empire.While Britain and America were supplying arms to help Africa's apartheid regimes, Cuba was busy sending its men to fight them.Under Castro, Cuba had the best literacy rate in the world because it spent five times as much on education than war - the opposite of what America does. In fact, Cuba achieves the same health care system outcomes as the United States at only 5% the cost.Lest we forget, Cuba was the biggest single provider of healthcare workers to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, more than all richer nations. Cuba has sent more doctors throughout the world to minister to the poor than even the World Health Organization despite Cuba's small size and meager resources.
From Cubas support fighting Apartheid in South Africa, to training doctors from Latin America and its international medical brigades caring for the victims of earthquakes from Pakistan to Haiti, Cuba's model has shown that another world is possible. Condolences to the family and friends of Fidel Castro in their time of mourning. The best tribute we can now make is to continue the struggle to end the immoral and unjust blockade of Cuba and for the return of the illegally occupied land at Guantanamo Bay. R,I,P

Thursday, 24 November 2016

William S. Burroughs - A Thanksgiving Prayer

Music video by William S. Burroughs performing A Thanksgiving Prayer. (C) 1990 The Island Def Jam Music Group

Here we have a short film of William  Burroughs, best known as the author of a body of controversial and experimental literature,  reading his poem  “Thanksgiving Prayer.”  shot by Gus Van Sant, best known as the director of films like Good Will HuntingMy Own Private Idaho, and Drugstore Cowboy, the last of which includes a memorable appearance by Burroughs himself,in which he played played a defrocked priest addicted to heroin.
The above video captures Burroughs reading his poem  “Thanksgiving Prayer.”
Burroughs, a lifelong critic of America, fills his prayer with bitterly sarcastic “thanks” for things like violence, racism, oppression and homophobia.Thirty years after William S. Burroughs wrote it sadly it’s never been more relevant. It's like a floodlight beaming down on everything askew in the good ol' US of A in the present time..

For John Dillinger
In hope he is still alive
"Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986"

In hope he is still alive
Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts
thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison
thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger
thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcass to rot
thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes
thanks for the American Dream to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through
thanks for the KKK, for nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches, for decent church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces
thanks for Kill a Queer for Christ stickers
thanks for laboratory AIDS
thanks for Prohibition and the War Against Drugs
thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business
thanks for a nation of finks—yes,
thanks for all the memories all right, lets see your arms you always were a headache and you always were a bore
thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Spectre of Fascism is haunting the World

( Earlier I heard that Thomas Mair, right wing extremist had been found guilty of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox, a mother of two young children, a wife and tireless campaigner. The following unashamedly raw poem is dedicated to her memory and all other victims of the ideology of fascism.)

The Spectre of Fascism is haunting the World

They call themselves the 'alt right'
they are given a platform by sites like Breitbart,
now they're in the bloody Whitehouse
fascism that's swapped its jackboots for business suits
if you're not worried yet, you're not paying enough attention!
on the brink of World War Three
do we ignore lessons from our history,
as the spectre of fascism haunts the world again
Le Pen, Trump, Farage  all cut from the same cloth,
bringing no fresh light for us to consume
complacently deciding who to pick on next,
aiming at all they consider, less than them
hatred breeding, running amok.

The fascist logic is cruel follows all seasons
knows no reason it is inhumanity's  curse
orders genocide and feels no remorse
asphyxiates and destroys freedoms torch,
lets the cruelty of abuse loose
for truth to be buried and hidden,
tears to flow with the weight of knowing
as they blame their victims, insisting they are grateful,
we should always listen to the voices that survived
tortured and abused, tongues of masses silenced,
threatened, shaken, shackled,shat upon
corrupted, stamped left crying in rain,
women and children raped to stigmatise
left abandoned drowning in vomit, smeared in blood.

We all place ourselves in danger
when we refuse to condemn,
viruses spread when not confronted
and authoritarianism is a very ugly disease,
from flag waving  bigoted fascist bastards
to right wing suited neo-liberal managerialists,
their free speech treats you like a subhuman
teaches others that you should not exist,
remember terrified people are easily controlled
easily abused, easily conquered, taken over
so inhale the future, exhale their poison
resist them with all the strength you've got
all of them can be beaten, they shall not pass.

This poem can now also be found at I am not a silent poet

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Phone Pest

(Increasingly I am being bombarded at home on telephone by cold callers, asking me to respond to lifestyle surveys, despite being ex directory, and not being subscribed to any of their services. This is a poetical response.)
I lose my head often in the midst of thought
I feel no sudden loss or unexplained pain
The telephone rings, disconnects the silence
Are they tapping into my attitude
As I lose my resolve in the middle of day
Answer a cold caller going by the name
                                                   of pest.

Good day sir, he says
I'm with opinion research
I would like to ask you a few questions
It will only take a few minutes
And then we will be done
Promise wont ring again
But its never really that simple
Because once bitten, they return again
Usually at a time of most inconvenience.

I simply have no urge to participate
Or time to lose my patience
Its just another boring distraction
They want to know what I consume
What  flipping things I like the most
As the world continues to burn.

But there's nothing new to be said
I tell them not to worry or fret
Try not to lose too much sleep
Every day is full of surprises
Consumer lifestyle choices
Really are not my bag.

In the face of social decay and vast corporations
Eating away at the future of humanity
There's enough pesky problems in the world
From birth to death, bitter pills to taste
So please can you stop pestering me
as the phone line goes dead, peace is restored.

This poem can also be  found at I am not a silent poet 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Indian Givers - Neil Young ( Live Soundtrack Native American Oil Pipeline Protest)

Answering the call by Neil Young to "Share the News" - this video was compiled to do just that - fill in the void left by the media's lack of comprehensive coverage of this most troubling and dangerous situation.As he has done for more than a half century, Neil Young has answered the calls for help from the Sioux Tribe. "Indian Givers" was written and recorded within hours in reply to the encroachment on sacred native lands by oil companies planning to lay a pipeline.
(The music used here is from a live performance in Pomona, California by Neil Young and Promise of the Real.)
This would cross sacred burial grounds and the largest water aquifer in the United States. This also is in direct opposition to a treaty that the Sioux received from the U.S. government.People now standing up, resisting corporations , protecting turtle island  and mother earth, peacefully and unarmed water protectors facing daily police brutality.Water is life, we stand together, we share the news.
Meanwhile when  the whole wide world was watching - Hundreds of water protectors were injured at the Standing Rock encampments when law enforcement blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening. The attack came as water protestors used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that police had chained to concrete barriers weeks ago, blocking traffic on Highway 1806. Water protectors' efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, an LRAD ( Long Range Acoustic Device), stinger grenades, rubber bullets; and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Faranheit. Some flares shot by law enforcement started grass fires which were ignored by the water cannons and had to be extinguished by water protectors. Law enforcement also shot down three media drones and targeted journalists with less lethal rounds.
Read More here :-

"Indian Givers" - Neil Young

There's a battle raging on the sacred land
Our brothers and sisters had to take a stand
Against us now for what we all been doin'
On the sacred land there's a battle brewin'

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news

Now it's been about 500 years
We keep taking what we gave away
Just like what we call Indian givers
It makes you sick and gives you shivers

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news

Big money going backwards and ripping the soil
Where graves are scattered and blood was boiled
When all who look can see the truth
But they just move on and keep their groove

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news

Saw Happy locked to the big machine
They had to cut him loose and you know what that means
That's when Happy went to jail
Behind big money justice always fails

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news

Bring back the days when good was good
Lose these imposters in our neighborhood
Across our farms and through our waters
All at the cost of our sons and squaw daughters
Yeah our brave sons and daughters
We're all here together fighting poison waters
Standing against the evil way
That's what we have at the end of day

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news

Global BDS Week of Action Against Hewlett Packard HP November 25 - December 3

The BDS movement, in partnership with other organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are calling for an international week of action against Hewlett Packard over its role in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. The week of action will take place November 25-December 3, which includes the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29.
Hewlett Packard split into two companies, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), last year, and two more spin-offs are projected. The various HP companies share certain logistical infrastructure, governance, supply chains, and technologies with one another, and they all draw on the HP brand’s long history of close connections with the Israeli military and occupation.They may be best-known for their laptops and printers, but they also profit from Israel's illegal occupation and oppression of Palestinians.Hewlett Packard is the second largest investor in Israeli Information Technology (IT). Their biometric system is used for control and surveillance of the Palestinian population both inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories. HP provides services and technology for Modi'in Illit and Ariel, two of the largest illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. HP's Basel system is installed at Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. HP supplies computer systems for the Israeli Ministry of Defense and provides IT infrastructure for the Israeli Navy, thereby helping enforce the illegal blockade of Gaza, they also provide  for Israel's discriminatory checkpoint  and ID card systems; and  continue to profit from Israeli prisons where7,000 Palestinian political prisoners are held where use of torture is systematic.
While claiming to uphold values of social responsibility, HP companies are notorious for involvement in oppressive practices worldwide,HP also contracts with US prisons and Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE), enabling deportation, mass incarceration, and solitary confinement in America. It is is high time HP withdrew from their contracts with Israel – and stopped profiting from discrimination, occupation and human rights abuses, so from the United Kingdom to Malaysia, from the United States to Italy, from Germany to Palestine, organizations in cities worldwide are organizing campaigns and actions to hold HP accountable, and so can you. The Palestinian BDS National Committee and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights have launched an international pledge. I personally will not be buying anything from HP for the forseeable future unless they clean up their act and stop profiteering daily from Palestinian humiliation.

Please Click here to sign the pledge.

We call on Hewlett Packard companies -- including HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and all spin-offs -- to end all participation in the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people and other targeted communities worldwide. We pledge not to purchase products -- including printers, computers, and ink -- from complicit HP companies, and we call on retailers, universities, schools, faith communities, investment funds, municipalities, governments, trade unions, and other institutions to boycott and divest from HP companies until they cancel all contracts that supply Israel with technology, equipment, and information used in its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights and international law.

Join the Global BDS Week of Action :
Protest HP Nov 25 - Dec 3, 2016

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Jose Buenaventura Durruti ( 14/7/1896 - 20/10/36) - A New World in our Hearts

"  We  have always  loved in slums and holes in the wall. We will  know how to accommodate ourselves for  time. For you must not forget we can also build. It is we who built the palaces and cities here in Spain and America and everywhere. We the workers, can build others to take their place. And better ones. We are not in the  least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. There is  not the slightest  doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here in our hearts. That world is growing every minute."

Spain, Aragon , 1936

Jose Buenaventura Durruti, was  one of the key militants of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) A man of uncompromising belief. Durruti was a major figure in the anarchist movement, from his teenage years, the formation of affinity groups, and on to the greatest revolutionary event in human history, the Spanish Revolution (which this year marks it's 80th anniversary). He always fought for the poor and downtrodden, and against the State, whether of the social democratic, fascist or marxist varieties When Spanish fascists attempted to overthrow  the  Republican government on July 19th 1936, Durruti and other comrades helped put down the uprising in Barclenoa. He became a member of  the Anti fascist Militia Committee and led the "Durruti" Column an almost  mythical  group of CNT militants to the  Zaragoza front. The Durruti column was able to liberate  much of Aragon. He  was an inspiration to many as a partisan of the Spanish people with an internationalist vision, who for him personally revolutionary thought and action went hand in hand.
In 1936, after the liberation of Aragon from Franco's forces, Durruti was interviewed by Pierre van Paasen of the Toronto Star. In this interview he gives his views on Fascism, government and social revolution despite the fact that his remarks have only been reported in English - and were never actually written down by him in his native Spanish, well worth reading and can be found here
Tragically Durruti  would  die at dawn on 20th November 1936, receiving a bullet to his chest, as he rallied his militia  to continue their resistance after days of fighting without respite. His death was a tragedy for all free thinkers, in the fight against fascist tyranny. His death was a turning point in the Spanish Revolution and one of the events that lead to the defeat of the revolution.
When his body was returned to Barcelona  over 500,000  people took to the streets to follow his funeral procession,a tribute to the place he played in peoples hearts, his coffin draped with the familiar diagonal red and black flag. Many years later "we carry a new world, here in our hearts."

Durruti's grave at Montjuïc Cemetery, Barcelona

Further reading:-

Daniel Guerin - No Gods, no masters; 2006

Durruti - The people Armed - Abel Paz

Durruti in the Spanish Revolution - Abel Paz 

Spanish Civil War  (1936-37) (Buenaventura Durruti)

The above which also serves to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, shows the period of revolution that gave in Spain in the years of civil war. The video highlights the hero killed by the bourgeoisie (Buenaventura Durruti).

Living Utopia - The Anarchists and the Spanish  Revolution

 Living Utopia is a unique documentary that blends the historical account of the origins and development of the Spanish anarchist movement, focussing on the 1936 war. A reflection on the philosophical underpinnings of such a movement and their practical application. As both an informative and inspiring piece of research it is considered a jewel amongst historians and rebel hearts.
This documentary-film by Juan Gamero consists of 30 interviews with survivors of the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution, and is one of the best documentaries dealing with the theme. The testimony of the anarchist militants are very moving indeed, and are showing the constructive work of the social revolution in Spain. This "Anarchy in Action" meant: on the land around 7 million peasants form collectives, in the city 3000 workplaces collectivised, 150 000 join the anarchist militias to fight fascism, as well as cultural activities and the movement of the Mujeres Libres to free the women from patriarchy.

Spanish with english subtitles

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Joel Hill ( 7/10/1879 - 19/11/15) - Gone but not forgotten.

On 19 November 1915: Swedish songwriter, cartoonist and itinerent worker, Joel Emanuel Hagglund, aka Joe Hill, was executed by firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah, for a crime he didn't commit. Joe was an organiser and songsmith for the anarcho-synicalist Industrial Workers of the World. The Wobblies as IWW members were called, were unrepentant revolutionaries, calling for ' one big union' and for the overthrow of capitalism.
Swedish born, he emigrated  to New York aged 23, with his brother Paul, after the death of his parents, spending his time as a wandering itinerant and musical troubadour, engaging in the struggles of his time, hopping from one freight train to the next, working as a labourer, washer of dishes, sweeper of floors, moving cargo on docks, picking crops and working in construction. He was later to adopt the name Joe Hill after being blacklisted after trying to start  a union in Chicago.
Joe Hill active in the Labour movement  throughout his live,he would go to Mexico at the time of the revolution in 1911, fighting with his comrades under a red flag like the true rebel that he was, tryng to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz. Next stop onto San Diego in 1912vto support fellow workers protesting against police banning of street meetings. Then onto British Columbia helping organise a national construction strike, then on to San Pedro to help dockworkers. Joe saw his music as a weapon in the class war, composing songs to be sung on soapboxes, picket lines or in jail.Hill had taken popular songs of the day and inserted his own lyrics,satirical, irreverent, often humorous,commenting on the plight of the working class in America. 
He would inspire many, his fellow workers and comrades, but to the bosses he was someone to be feared, someone they considered dangerous, he was in their eyes a marked man. 
In January 1914, he was arrested in Salt Lake City on trumped up charges and accused of murder. On the evening of 10th January 1914 in Utah  he sought medical treatment for gunshot wounds, he claimed they had been inflicted upon him after quarrel with a man over a woman, and refused to elaborate anymore, earlier that evening in another part of town, a grocer and his son had been shot and killed. One of the assailants was wounded, so Hill's injury  implicated  him in the incident. Yet despite the uncertainty of witnesses, no one coming forward to identify him as one of the assailants at the scene of the crime no blood of Hills found at the scene a local jury was convinced of his guilt. No physical  evidence linking him to the murder he was accused of.
He was scheduled to be shot by firing squad,  this  caused outrage across the world.  an international campaign to exonerate him was launched, from Britain to other European countries and even President Woodrow Wilson calling for a retrial.  Those looking at the case eventually declared its willingness to hear testimony from the woman's husband, but Hill loyally  refused to identify his alleged assailant in case it damaged the reputation of the lady involved.
Sadly the eventual day came and he was executed and shot down by firing squad on this day 19th November 1915. 
Whilst waiting his execution he wrote the following words which were later turned into song :-

My will is easy to decide
for I have nothing to divide
My kin don't need to weep and moan
Moss does not cling to a rolling stone
My body?  oh, If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breeze blow
My dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would soon grow up and grow green again
This is my last and final will
Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill

In his final letter to IWW leader Bill Haywood he wrote: "Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."
He died proclaiming  his innocence and just before he was assassinated  in reply  to a question if he had anything further to say he answered "Fire" unfortunately they did.
Up to 30,000 people would attend his funeral, he was subsequently cremated and his ashes divided into 600 envelopes, that were sent to IWW branches across the globe. From his conviction  to his death he became an icon for workers everywhere,  and his subsequent  execution sent echoes around the world. For many his spirit and his legacy lives on.

The Ballad of Joe Hill - Phil Ochs

Make Royals Pay for Palace Renovation.

Yesterday it was announced that the royal residence of Buckingham Palace is to undergo a major  refurbishment to the whopping estimated cost of £389 million,at a time when there is a national housing crisis, the NHS is in crisis, austerity is forcing cuts in many front line services.
In these hard times  how many hungry mouths could be fed, instead of wasting it on these parasites.Currently Liz and her family are currently extremely wealthy individuals living rent-free, whilst many of the Queen's subjects are increasingly finding it hard to get by. Britain is going through a time of national economic and social stress due to Brexit, austerity and so on.The Conservative Government currently imposing a draconian, financially-crippling sanction system on jobseekers because they don’t want to pay any money to people who are out of work and simply don’t care if those people come to harm as a result.I'm sure the oldest and most vulnerable in our society are happy Liz is having her house refurbished at tax payers expense, when they cant afford to heat their homes or put enough nutritional meals on the table.Over a million Brits were forced into using foodbanks last year, the NHS is in ".5bn of debt, with hospital chiefs warning us its capacity is stretched to breaking point.And if the public wasn't angry enough already, despite their being no money in the pot for a collapsing NHS, the government have managed to find an extra £389 million down the back of sofa for repairs to flipping Liz's 775 extravagant pad.
The royals think Buckingham Palace is theirs to use and ours to pay for,but its time they were told to look after the buildings themselves, raise their own revenue to fund maintenance or time for them to give the palace back to the people. It would probably be far less expensive to actually  knock the run down building down, it is not fit for purpose anyway , a relic of another age, Liz does not even spend much time there anyway, over at her other modest pads, windsor or balmoral. We could alternatively replace it  and build much needed affordable social houses on the site and simply abolish the monarchy at huge savings to the whole country and the public purse. It's not even the most beautiful building to look at , just an extravagant untidy mess.
In terms of public  perception. the timing of this announcement could not have been worse,thousands of  people seem to think,that it is the royals themselves who should foot the bill for Her Maj’s luxury pad.A petition suggesting The Crown and its estates should pay for the renovations has received just shy of 15,000 backers. I would urge you sign it , the British monarchy have sponged of us long  enough. While they keep  receiving more free money from tax payers while there are cuts to NHS, cuts to ESA and other disability benefits, homelessness and poverty are rife and we are told this is austerity. This  latest announcement is immoral and obscene.It is vile that we are even considering this at all. Public money should not be wasted away for this purpose when there are so many more pressing needs of much more deserving urgency. Whatever your beliefs about the monarchy, it is a slap in the face to know that due to financial mismanagement within the Royal Household that  their buildings have fallen into such states of disrepair. It is time to stop using public money to prop up them up,the decision to give away our money wasn’t actually  made by the royals ,it was made by Theresa May and her Conservative Government, their handing the royals £396m for a makeover of Buckingham palace is simply scandulous and outrageous.
The Queen using some of her vast wealth to pay for the upkeep of the Palace - would be an act that I could support and one that would create greater national unity.I just don't want the funds to come out of benefits for pensioners struggling to pay heating bills, single-parent families, funds for the NHS etc at this difficult time.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Today We Sing (Project Zouqaq)

Today We Sing (Project Zouqaq)

Inspiring music video from the Gaza strip which allows us to see this place from a different perspective. In this place where electricity flows for just eight hours each day, in this open prison where 1.8 million Palestinians are  now contained. Many young Gazan musicians and singers  are starved of permanent performance spaces,but despite bombardment, explosions, rockets, violence, struggle, terror, borders, all these restrictions, increasingly many are now using the internet ,when  that is they can access it ,to display their talents and share their messages of hope, peace and freedom to the world. Awesome. May they keep on singing.

Yousef Nateel
Art Supervisor
Abd Alrahman Alsabbah
Director of photography
Hussien Jaber
Camera Cast
Hussien Jaber
Khalid Tuaima
Youssif Almashharawi
Camera Assistant
Marwan Alsawaf
Mohammed Nateel
Khalil Nateel
Rushdi Alsarraj
Yousef Nateel
Color Correction & Grading
Mahmoud Abu Zayda
Music arrangement
Mohammed Salem
Music Supervision
Alaa Shublaq
Mohammed Albaz
Mixing and Mastering
Ali Aljojo
Recorded at
Mashael Studio
Oud Player
Mussa Abu ZanounaReem AnbarGuitaristMohammed AlbazAya Mghamis
Cajon DrumSaid Fadel
Performers by order
Khaled Abu Ramadan
Ameer Abu Mualiq - CAMP’S SON
Mahmoud Salman - INTIFADA
Iyad Zorob - RIOTS
Mohammed Lafi - RIOTS
Zina Abu Al Ouf
Abd El Monem Awad AKA FAWDA
Mahmoud Almughrabi – Almughrabi
Mohammed Alaidi – Handala
Sari Ibrahim
Ayman Mghamis – Abu Joury
Hadeel Fawzi
Mohammed Albaz
General Supervisor & Coordinator
Ayman Mghamis aka Abu Joury
Special Thanks
Montaser Alsabe
Hazem Alabyad
Hussein Owda
Anas Alnajjar
Mohammed Almadhoun
Fares Anbar
Special Thanks To Marna House Hotel
Produced by
Riksteatern logo
Funded by
Postkodlotteriet logo

Executive Producer
© 2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

An injury to one is an injury to all

On June 27th, 1905, The Industrial Workers of the World , also known as the wobblies was founded at a twelve day Convention in Chicago.In the belief that industrial unionism, could it come into being, would tend to be revolutionary.The wobbly motto is ' An injury to all  is an injury to all.'
They were noted for their use of poetry and song to promote their radical ideas, publicise strikes and other protests and generally present the case that still  holds up today, that there can be no solution to industrial warfare, no end to injustice and want, until the profit system itself is abolished.In striving to unite labor as a class in one big union. The IWW also seeks to build the structure of a new and better social order within the shell of the old system which fails to provide for the needs of all.Combined with a commitment to workers solidarity which they have a rich history off, along with their militant tactics.
Their work was designed to provoke thought, and was deliberately immediate in its message, in order to get it across to as many people as possible. In the present moment progressives- and in fact, all people of good will- need to reassert and embrace the political, social and economic case for, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” We need to explicitly and loudly embrace a movement across the divides of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity against hate and greed.
The wobblies  are still going strong , still organising, still resisting.In these divided times,of economic despair,  they continue to be a strong radical voice that stands defiantly, on behalf of the people, following an old tradition of solidarity that does not seperate along lines of nationality, race or gender, speaking too to the unemployed, the sick, and  the marginalised  spreading messages of hope among the carnage that is  currently being unveiled.
I happen to be a member, an organisation that I believe does not condemn the actions of its membership, that listens and understands.

An injury to one is an injury to all

Whether you're a Socialist, Trotskyist

Marxist-Leninist, anarchist,

or a concerned individual

you do not have to feel alone,

we need to have each other's back

when we're under fascist attack,

standing  as one,  from branch to branch

building a fairer world, within our grasp,

working for equality against exploitation

defending oppressed people across the globe,

solutions to problems of injustice we will seek

with unity's strength we can all be free,

solidarity forever, lives and breathes

an Injury to  one is an injury to all.

 Useful links :- 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The continuing relevance of Woody Guthries song Deportee ( Plane Wreck at Los Gatos.) and the power of Song

One of Woody Guthrie's greatest protest songs,is Deportees.It details the tragic event of January 28, 1948 and the crash of a U.S Immigration Service plane near Los Gatos Canyon, 20 miles (32 km) west of California, carrying undocumented immigrants who were being deported from California to Mexico. During World War II there was a shortage of farm workers in California so the federal government set up the braceros program which allowed Mexican immigrants to legally come to California and relieve the shortage. A common trick of the time was to bring the low-paid workers over the border from Mexico with contracts that were intentionally flawed (in English) so that they would have no legal force.Following a season of backbreaking work in California's orchards and fruit fields, the braceros would at times be rounded up as illegals because of the invalid contracts and deported without being paid at all. Once their contracts were up, they were, in a sense, taken back to the border.The Mexican workers were fine to be used as cheap labour and then simply cast aside when they were not needed anymore.After the war, the California growers liked the cheap labor so much that they encouraged (bribed) congress to keep it in place. It wasn't ended until 1964.
Subsequently all 32 people on board this plane were killed. But while news accounts listed the names of the four people in the flight crew, the 28 undocumented victims were just listed as Mexican deportees. This upset folk musician Woody  and inspired by what he considered the racist mistreatment of the passengers before and after the accident, (who were buried in a mass grave and not given individual gravestones, just marked by a single plaque, which read only : “28 Mexican Citizens Who Died In An Airplane Accident Near Coalinga California On Jan. 28, 1948 R.I.P.”) to explode into anger and write a poem entitled "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos." It wasn't until nearly 10 years later that a Martin Hoffman , a teacher put the words to music.Becoming known the world over as "Deportee".Woody humanised the dead migrants as only he could.To Guthrie, they are not merely deportees: They have names (Juan, Rosalita, Jesus, Maria) and families.
Tim Z. Hernandez, a California poet and author, was also offended. In late 2010, while researching archives for his novel “Mañana Means Heaven,” he came across the headline “100 Prisoners See An Airplane Fall From the Sky.” A story about the crash, and it changed the course of his career. He grew up in the farming communities of the San Joaquin Valley, and he connected with Guthrie’s poem because it echoed his own feelings of injustice for the 28 Mexican men and women who were left unnamed. As he continued to read about the incident, Hernandez realized that this plane crash and the crash mentioned in Guthrie’s song were one and the same.But instead of simply lamenting the loss, Hernandez embarked on a nearly two-year quest for the long-forgotten names.Teaming up with the Diocese of Fresno to track down the workers' names, their family members and their stories. While the diocese's church register had partial, misspelled names, the writer and diocese officials pulled death certificates for all the workers and reconstructed their full names. With the help of Carlos Rascon, Director of Cemeteries for the Diocese of Fresno, he obtained lists from the Fresno Hall of Records, the Deparment of Labour and St. John’s Cathedral, where the original funeral mass was held. The lists matched, and the two worked to adjust misspellings of the names. Hernandez also decided to write “All They Will Call You,” a book about the tragedy to try to bring attention to those who were forgotten which hopefully will come out next year.
Also with the solidarity and help from the folk and grassroots community was able to amass enough money for a new headstone to mark their memory. Like Woody Guthrie before him he knew that immigrants were more than just labels like “illegal” or “deportee,” they were human beings that deserved to be treated with respect and dignity.The victims were honored in September 2013 by more than 600 people who had gathered at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno for an elaborate memorial service and the unveiling of a large headstone that lists each victim.Renditions of "Deportee" were performed at the memorial.

 Their names read thus :-

Miguel Negroros Alvarez

Francisco Llamas Duram

Santiago Garcia Elizondo

Rosalio Padilla Estrada

Tomasa Avena De Garcia

Bernabe Lopez Garcia

Salvador Sandoval Hernandez

Severo Medina Lara

Elias Trujillo Macias

Jose Rodriguez Macias

Tomas Padilla Marquez

Luis Lopez Medina

Manuel Calderon Merino

Luis Cuevas Miranda

Martin Razo Navarro

Ygnacio Perez Navarro

Roman Ochoa Ochoa

Ramon Ramirez Paredes

Apolonio Ramirez Placencia

Guadalupe Laura Ramirez

Alberto Carlos Raygoza

Guadalupe Hernandez Rodriguez

Maria Santana Rodriguez

Juan Valenzuela Ruiz

Wencealado Ruiz

Jose Valdivia Sanchez

Jesus Meza Santos

Baldomero Marcas Torres

Others aboard the flight:

Francis “Frank” Atkinson, Long Beach, pilot

Marion Harlow Ewing, Balboa, co-pilot

Lillian “Bobbie” Atkinson (married to Frank), Long Beach, stewardess

Frank E. Chaffin, Berkeley, immigration guard

It is the power of a song that has kept this tragedy of this incident alive, long after all the participants and witnesses have died.After stealing Mexican  and Native American land for years, despite this history of injustice a certain politician now wants to build even more walls of oppression. This  song continues to reminds us that the immigration problem isn't new, but has a long history. Woody's song, and the wide variety of musicians who have covered the song over the years reflects the sense of loss inspired by the story, and serves to  remind us of the many immigrants who have worked, suffered, been deported and continue to do so.Mexican farm workers, both legal and illegal,  still being used in great numbers. Many of them commute between Mexico and California annually as work comes and goes. Woody's words can still move us, raising attention of the many neglected, disadvantaged, downtrodden  people who are effected by American Governmental policies in our present times.
I am currently delighted however that every morning I wake up I get to read about the fantastic anti Trump demos taking place across the U.S and the amazing people that still manage to find the courage to stand up and speak out for a world where security is based on cooperation and community. And a world where  all people are able to reach their full human potential and are treated with respect. No human is illegal. Love trumps hate and so does human dignity.

Here is a link to Tim Z Hernandez own website that offers much more additional information to the event that inspired Woody Guthrie's poem and song :-


Words; Woody Guthrie 

Music; Marty Hoffman

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

Here are some of my favourite versions of this song.

Pete Seeger - Deportee

 Christy Moore - Deportee

Ani di Franco and Ry Cooder - Deportee

Outernational with Tom Morello and Cuentame -  Deportee

with moving video that highlights the continuing struggle of migrants and deportees cross this great nation.


the moon above me
so calm, still and tranquil,
shedding beams of light
among flickering candles of the stars,
clearing away cobwebs from my head
so far away and distant perhaps,
but in this moment within my grasp
I feel her awesome power,
when I fall asleep in surrender later
between dream and awakening,
she will cling on and wait
continue to release her strength.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism - Dr. Lawrence Britt

In the spring of 2003, ex-corporate executive and political scientist Lawrence W. Britt published an essay in Free Inquiry magazine entitled “Fascism Anyone?” In his work, Britt examined the traits of the two governments that formed the original historical model for fascism, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and five other proto fascist regimes that imitated that model, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. He identified 14 characteristics that were common to all of them.
These traits have since been widely accepted as the 14 defining characteristics of fascism.
Nearly three generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, all of these regimes may have been overthrown, but fascism’s principles can still be found in many nations. History tends to repeat itself because many leaders and nations fail to learn from history, or they draw the wrong conclusions. Surely we are living in frightening times when a individual like Donald Trump with his extremist views, can sway enough voters to allow him to get into his position of power and authority, whose tactics aren’t unlike those of the fascists who came before him. It goes something like this:-
First, they isolate and attack marginalized people with little political power, like Muslims and undocumented workers. Later, they graduate to  other opponents of their dangerous right-wing populism. Finally, they play the victim and deny adamantly that they’ve done anything wrong.Trump's campaign’s overt demagoguery, vicious misogyny, racism, violent speech, and complete disregard for truth and values of human decency combined  with his macho cult of personality have released plausible shouts of fascism from every corner.
The following then considers, in fourteen points, the things which may happen to a culture when it is heading towards a fascistic regime, that can potentially threaten our civil liberties.As Donald Trump  becomes President of the USA by rattling the cages of racial anxiety,with his incendiary rhetoric it still serves as a powerful warning and wake up call,.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Rebel hearts

( thank you Glen Johnson for the lines no 14 and 15)

Over the years, habits can change
but we must continue to have desire,
to express and be free
to be true to one's self,
seeking change for others
stopping humanities foolishness,
with rebel hearts allow the meek
to  inherit the earth,resist their orders,
the jungle of superiority
and privilege, we will overthrow,
beyond voices of consensus
all obstacles  will simply be removed,
our hearts in abundance carry freedoms torch
even when  there seems to be a glitch in the matrix
and everything seems to be getting worse
we will keep pushing in another direction
with an  inner craving full of resilience
to hard to be torn apart as they try to stop us
divide us into a million  pieces
our rebel hearts will keep on resisting
beyond life's negations keep on beating.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Dear World

Dear world, there is much darkness
but you at least contain many glories,
things for us to reach out and share
wine, music and beautiful words,
the hurrying, bursting veins of hope
carried  in starlight away from misty clouds,
the caressing of hands, companionship and laughter
that can cancel out this age of grief and sorrow,
can help light a path through the dark,
and though everything feels stormy now
these days of confusion, history standing ashamed,
you  still allow us to wear compassion on our lips,
thank you then  earth, keep allowing us to look ahead
in the unity of consciousness, our weeping will cease;
beyond frustration, we can reverse the process and befriend.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Goodbye Leonard Cohen, ( 21 /9/34 - 7/11/16) - Bringer of so much light.

Following news of Donald Trump's election, did not think the world could get any darker, I have  woken to the very sad news that  legendary visionary Canadian singer, songwriter,  poet and artist Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82. The news was announced on his Facebook page late last night, it reads  it reads: ‘It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.‘We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.’In a statement to Rolling Stone, his son Adam, said: ‘My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records.‘He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.’
That last song  he had  written was  in reference to Cohen’s long-time muse Marianne Ihlen, who died earlier this year. It was revealed after her death that Cohen had written her a last letter two days before she died, telling her:
" Well Marianne it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don't need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road."
Born into a Jewish family in Montreal, Canada 1934 and raised in an affluent English-speaking neighborhood of the city, Cohen read Spanish poet Federico García Lorca as a teenager, learned to play guitar from a flamenco musician and formed a country band called the Buckskin Boys.
He attended McGill University when his poetry book, "Let Us Compare Mythologies," was published in 1956 to critical acclaim. It was followed by "The Spice-Box of Earth" in 1961. His first novel, "The Favourite Game," came out in 1963.He published several more poetry collections while living on the Greek island of Hydra in the 1960s and began to get wide notice with his experimental novel "Beautiful Losers" in 1966..All  have been a  a profound influence for me over the years.
Disillusioned with his meager income from writing poetry , Cohen turned to songwriting and landed an audition in 1967 with John Hammond, the producer who had discovered Dylan. Hammond signed him to Columbia Records, which would remain Cohen's label for five decades. His first album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen," came out in 1968.Cohen’s songs over sixty decades blended seemingly conflicting impulses: spirituality verging on the divine,  images of redemption and sexual desire combined a wicked sense of humor,carried  with such deep passion, which enabled him  to release such powerful emotional depth, with great understanding of the human condition.No other artist’s poetry and music felt or sounded  or touched in quite the way that his work did.
Cohen toured widely but also sought solace in meditation, far from the public eye.. For part of the 1990's he lived in a Zen Bhuddist monastery in the San Gabriel Mountains hust outside Los Angeles. Just weeks ago  he released another superb album You Want it Darker, an album continuing to shouw us his genius, his creative  gift, not afraid to touch on the subject of death, seemingly sensing it was not too far way.reflecting at length on his own mortality. And now this light has passed, a man who just seemed to keep going, but like all of us was taken away, gripped by the jaws of death. The world has lost another icon, a voice of inimitable force, a tower of strength.Of all the singer-songwiters  of his era labelled as poets, Cohen perhaps was the only one who truly bridged the divide.
Cohen who never married is survived by his daughter Lorca and his son Adam. So long Leonard Cohen. R.I.P

 Leonard Cohen - hallelujah

 Old poem that once dedicated to him

 There's crack in everything that's how the light gets in

( Thank you Leonard Cohen.)

There's a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in,
through empty gestures of times exhaust
that vent bitterness on tonque,
scars trace the nights laughter
sailing on ripped tides at dusk,
allow resurfacing days shadow to ignite
fizzing and nudging, in the process of awakening,
through depths of minds endeavor
moods of restless toil, 
voyages  of troubled sleep
deep in mood innate.
The magic of the moon,
in the dark shines bright,
waiting for dawns page to turn,
golden tickets of imagination,
in the ever present of eternity,
to purify and illuminate,
because there's a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in.