Saturday, 31 March 2018

Anniversary of Poll Tax Riots that led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall

On 31st March 1990  people took to the streets of London and fought  back against Margaret Thatchers'  hated poll tax, leading to running street battles with the police and total chaos in Trafalgar Square - the following has some good footage of this battle.

Thatcher Poll Tax Riots

Prior to this momentous occasion,the introduction of the poll tax was widely unpopular from the outset, and increased when tax rates set by many local councils turned out to be much higher than initially predicted. Local groups opposed to the tax , known  as Anti-Poll Tax Unions sprung up across Britain, encouraging non payment, organising protests, and resisting bailiffs. In defiance many people refused to pay, But I remember the Labour Party at the time  shamefully announcing that they would not support those who refused to pay.
On this day, over 250,000 people sweeped into London, for many people it was not a case of wanting to demonstrate, it was a case of having too. There was no choice, this cruel tax would have seriously impacted on peoples lives.Most people on the day of this demonstration, arrived unaligned - ordinary people, families, pensioners, the unemployed, students, black  and white, all united as one to fight against this immoral tax.
The overriding opinion of the time,is that what started as a peaceful protest, with an almost carnival feel to it against an illegal tax was quickly turned into a bloody battle  by uniformed thugs acting under Thatcher's orders, with aided and abetted by agent provocateurs.The use of  charged mounted police also aggravated the situation, leading to many peaceful bystanders  with heads streaming with blood. A very frightening experience. It would  see in the heart ofLondon's West End cars being overturned and set on fire , dozens of shop windows beingsmaxhed and their contents lootes, suchwas the anger and rage unleashed.
To this day many people  lay the responsibility of the violence that happened on this day, firmly on the shoulders of Thatcher and her government. Despite the demonisation of the protestors in the mass media,  people still refused to pay, the campaign  flourished, culminating in millions of people's non payment, bailiffs  were resisted, courts unable to cope because of opposition and active resistance as more and more people said "can't pay, won't pay"
It would see the Poll Tax eventually being destroyed, also  helping bring down Thatchers hated tory government.Thatcher resigned in Nooember 1990 and her successor John Major announced its replacement by the council tax, which at least took some account into peoples ability to pay.
Manny years  later, the same simmering resentment towards the Conservative Government still exists. It seems that the tories have still not learnt from  their past mistakes,with  the introduction of the bedroom tax , universal credit and other horrors. The resistance to the  Poll Tax  a reminder to all people who say it is impossible to fight back. Hopefully like then we can bring the Tories down again. The lesson we can  learn today is that a movement with backbone can defeat the forces of reaction.

 Poll Tax Riot 1990

Friday, 30 March 2018

Palestinian Land Day:The Scent of Longing.

30th March, is the day when Palestinians commemorate Land Day, marking  over 50 years of Palestinian land confiscation and dispossession, Since Israel occupied the West Bank 50,0000 homes and structures have been demolished to make way for over half a million Israelis to settle in Occupied Palestinian Territories. These settlements have been condemned by the United Nations in 2016 as 'a fragrant violation of international law.' Yet they continue to grow. My local Amnesty International Group, have been giving out leaflets  today asking people to sign a letter to the Foreign Secretary asking that the UK bans the sale of Israeli settlement products in UK markets and stops companies in the UK from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.
March 30 has been a day of resistance of Palestinians worldwide since 1976 when Israeli forces carried out a lethal and brutal military attack on unarmed Palestinians who were peacefully protesting against Israeli Apartheid land grab policies , their expropriation of 2,000 hectares of land surrounding Palestinian villages in the Galilee. Six Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were injured when Israeli forces crushed the protests. Every year since, Palestinian communities in Israel and the occupied territories have gathered to commemorate these events,remember those fallen, highlight Israels ongoing seizure of Palestinian land, and to reaffirm their connection to the land and their struggle for justice, standing united against oppression .
Palestinians are planning a massive demonstration beginning today through to May 15, the anniversary of the Nabka -"the catastrophe when more than 750,000 people were driven from their homes to make way for the creation of Israel. Israeli officials have threatened to respond with lethal force.Today many people across the globe will stand in solidarity with Palestinian resistance to Israel's ongoing land expropriation, colonisation, occupation and apartheid. Four decades after the first Land Day demonstrations, Israel continues its theft of Palestinian land. Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, forcing Palestinians from their land.Still killing people, six confirmed so far today, many more injured, peaceful marchers met with snipers and a newly developed form of tear gas, simply for defending their land.
As a supporter of the Palestinian struggle for freedom I will continue to join other people of conscience in supporting the global led Boycott, Divestment and sanction (BDS)  campaign, intensifying our collective efforts to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.Respecting today the Palestinians inside Israel, the Israeli-Occupied Territories of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, and those in exile, who mark Land Day and view it as an assertion of the Palestinians' right to return to their homeland.

This day has inspired me to pen the following poem.

The Scent of Longing

In a land of occupation
Blood flows, as do tears.
But from the earth
Liberation grows,
In the dream of clouds
Confiscated land returned,
The scent of longing
Carried forward,
From ancient olive trees
Hangs the gift of self determination,
Despite great dispossession
Nourishment released to hearts,
To proud Palestinians
who still cling steadfast to their land
Where every name has its own poetry,
Walking with dignity in their eyes
From the rivers to the sea,
With quest for freedom ongoing
This place where passion never fades.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Buffy Sainte-Marie - The War Racket

Buff Sainte Marie - The War Racket , A Song about the people making big money from the guns and bullets killing and maiming people in Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Turkey, the US of A etc etc. A powerful indictment of  the military industrial complex, a message that the world needs to hear right now.
After a career in music spanning 50 plus years, the 77 year old singer songwriter is still using her voice for change. Respect.

Animation by Kurt Swinghammer

Buffy Sainte - Marie- The War Racket

Ooo you're slick – you investors in hate
You Saddams and you Bushes; you Bin Ladens and snakes
You billionaire bullies; you're a globalized curse
You put war on the masses while you clean out the purse

and that's how it's done war after war
You old feudal parasites just sacrifice the poor
You've got the cutting edge weapons but your scam's still the same
as it's been since the Romans: it's the patriot game
It's the war racket

You twisters of language; you creeps of disguise
Your disinformation; like worms in your eyes
You privileged bankers; you gambler thieves
You profit on war; there's less money in peace

That's how it's done time after time
Country after country, crime after crime
You pretend it's religion and there's no one to blame
for the dead and impoverished in your little patriot game
Honey, that's the war racket

Got the world's greatest power and you team up with thugs
Make a fortune on weapons, destruction and drugs
But your flags & boots & uniforms start to all look the same
when both sides are killing in the patriot game: it's the war racket

And that's how it's done, and you've got our sons
in the crosshairs of horror at the end of a gun
and your national anthems start to all smell the same
when all sides are dying in the patriot game
It's the war racket

And war is never, ever holy
It's just a greedy men's dream
And you two-faced crusaders: both sides are obscene
War's not made by God: War's made by men
who misdirect our attention while you thieves do your thing

And that's how it's done
About every 30 years
The rich fill their coffers
The poor fill with tears
The young fill the coffins
The old hang a wreath
The politicians get photographed with their names underneath

It's the War Racket
It's the patriot game
It's the war racket

Writer: Buffy Sainte Marie, from the album:Medicine Wheel

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair / Na i Ffair Arfau Caerdydd

Demonstration today Tuesday 27th of March from 8am – 5pm outside Motorpoint Arena, Mary Ann St. Cardiff, CF10 2EQ

Stop Arming Turkey - Stop Arming israel - Stop Arming Saudi Arabia - STOP the CARDIFF ARMS FAIR
What will be Happening throughout the day:
FOOD NOT BOMBS serving tea/coffee and food
Make today count – if you can’t make it to Cardiff please get involved in the Communications Blockade.
As Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish people continues, Saudi Arabia’s war on the people of Yemen worsens and we continue to arm Israel, we really need to make our opposition to the arms trade felt.
The Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff needs to know that this ARMS FAIR (disguised by the name DPRTE) is not wanted in Cardiff or anywhere else. The event, proudly advertised on their website as ‘The Defence Procurement Event of The Year’, has BAE Systems as one of its main exhibitors, the worlds 3rd largest arms producer, the same company who supplies Saudi Arabia with all the weapons it needs to bomb the defenceless country of Yemen.An already impoverished country Yemenis now in the throes of a humanitiarian crisis as a result of these attacks using British made armaments, as shown in this video.
Let’s overwhelm them with phone calls, emails, Twitter and Instagram messages telling them this. Keep it polite, just state clearly your opposition to the event. You can also leave a message on their FB page.
Box Office: 029 2022 4488 (Opens 9:30 – 17:30)
Complaints: 02920 234 500
Press Team: 029 2023 4551
Hospitality: 029 2023 4555
Instagram: Mortorpointarenacardiff
Twitter: @MotorpointDiff
Any one who uses FaceBook or Twitter please share / tweet the event link below:

We need to protest against such an event being held in Wales and show our opposition to the arms trade.

Monday, 26 March 2018

In a small town by a river

(dedicated to Morvenna)

In a small town by a river
There are many factors that guide,
Sometimes there is such a feeling of sadness
So deep it hurts to breathe,
When life slips to madness
And puts you on your knees,
But Laughter gives strength
Togetherness releases resilience,
Friendship provides comfort
Those who help give hope,
To people seeking independence
Fearlessness offers resistance,
Those who look on and do nothing
Have not much value to reach for,
Normal to some is such a silent place
To me this such a saddening thing,
I wish the world would question
Possibilities can be obtained,
Littering the earth with kindness
Proving that humanity exists.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Iconic Palestinian singer Rim Banna dies at 51 after battle with cancer (8 /12/66-24/3/18)

Yesterday the iconic Palestinian singer, composer, lyricist, activist Rim Banna sadly lost her long battle to breast cancer at the age of 51 in her home town of Nazareth.
Born in Nazareth, where she graduated from Nazareth Baptist School she was the daughter of Palestinian poet Zoheira Sabbagh and lived with her three children, Banna studied singing and conducting at the High Institute for Music in Moscow one of the worlds most challenging conservatory environments.After the release of two live records and six more years of formal study, she graduated from the institute in 1991. Tjat same year she married Ukrainian musician and former classmate Leonid Alexeianko, with whom she relocated to Nazareth. Upon the couples return to Banna's native region, she released a collection pf Palestinian children's songs that were on the edge of dissapearance.  The Dream (1993) served to preserve and re-popularize the nearly forgotten repetoire. Banna continued to seek out Palestine texts and set them to traditionally influenced music, becoming a cultural icon among the Palestinians. Having achieved stardowm in the region she became notworthy on an international level with her appearance on the 2003, various artists release Lullabies from the Axis of Evil. The record featured female singers from a variety of nations (deemed  enemies of freedom by George W. Bush) singing traditional lillabies alongside English language stars in the hope of introducing their music and culture to Western peoples. Her follow up The Mirrors of My Soul caught the attention of audiences the world over. Her population and reputation as a cultural advocate and political agitator continued to floursh. Banna performed the world over wirh patriotic music that called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Often hailed as 'the voice of Palestine,' Banna was also a messenger of revolution. Riding the waves of the Arab Spring. She set ancient and modern poems to music that is equally timeless. With a beautiful inspiring voice, enchanting performances and the sheer intensity of her interpretative gifts, she magnified and recast the politics of every verse, singing for love, humanity, childhood and homeland, with passion sang with the ecstatic spirit of freedom, shining a light of freedom where it has tet to shone upon. During the span of her musical career Banna released 10 albums most of which echoed words for the Palestinian cause.She would often appear wearing traditionally embroidered gowns and a keffiyeh scarf a symbol of Palestinian resistance and independence over her shoulders. Thee Palestinian Ministry of Culture honoured her prolific musical and artistic legacy by naming her Cultural Personality of the year in 2016.
The 51 year old had first discovered she was suffering from cancer in 2009. Her initial treatment had reigned her victorious over the disease, but it soon returned. Even then the singer still continued to sing passionately with such bravery. She always referred to her brutal battle against her illness as a battle against occupation. "just like Israel occupying our lands, cancer wants to occupy my body, and just like we resist occupation , I resisted my illness," she said in one of her latest videos.
Last week , her family issued a statement to highlight her deterorating medical condition, telling her fans that she was recieving treatment in one of the hospitals in Nazareth.
"She is continuing to resist... she will even announce new plans and reveal details of an upcoming musical tour," the statement read. and three weeks befored she passed away, she said goodbye, in her own way :" Life is beautiful and death is like history, a fake episode." Her mother wrote on her Facebook page:"My white gazelle departed. She took off the dress of sickness, and she left. But she left behind her bright smile which dissipates the scourge of seperation."
Bannab was laid to rest, in her hometown of Nazareth, on Saturday evening, hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respect and chanted some of her songs during the funeral.
Rim Banna, Rest in power and peace. You left the world with a strong legacy for the Palestinians and the world to cherish. Free Palestine.

Like an innocent flower fighting darkness

Rim Banna - A Time to cry

Rim Banna - Fly Love

Rim Banna - Sarah : In memory of Palestinian children killed by Israel

Thursday, 22 March 2018

As Palestinian teenage activist Ahed Tamimi agrees to 8-month plea deal time to end illegal detention

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was videotaped slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier at her family's West Bank home, will serve eight months in prison, following a plea deal her defense attorney reached with military prosecutors on Wednesday evening.
Behind closed doors at Ofer miltary court in the West Bank, military prosecutors agreed to drop eight of 12 charges against the 17 year old, and  will have to pay a fine of 5,000 shekels 9about $1,430) who has been in military detention since December, who was 16 at the rime of her arrest. She will be given credit for time served leaving with five months on her sentence.
A statement from the Israel Defense Forces said Tamimi pleaded guilty to four charges of "criminal acts where she disrupted an IDF soldier and carried out incitement."
For the Palestinians she remains a hero after the December 15 incident outside her families home of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on facebook by her mother and it went viral. She has been called the Rosa Parks of Palestine .For years she and her family had stood up to the Israeli occupation.The soldiers had been deployed during a weekly Palestinian village against Israeli policy on settlements in the West Bank, one of the most heated issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also followed the shooting in the head with a rubber bullet her cousin 15 year old Mohammed Tamimi, which left  him with serious injuries and the village with much anger and resentment.
"No justice under occupation!" Tamimi, handcuffed and shackled out to reporters at the court on Wednesday. Many have been afraid that she would have to serve many years in prison, who while at the same time do not think she should serve any time at all, view this result as a form of victory. Believing that if it had not been for the international outcry and support Ahed  received, she would probably have been sentenced to three, five, even ten years. Since Ahed's arrest there has been  non-stop protesting, people writing letters, signing petitions across the globe.
While Ahed's plea bargaining is seen as a positve step, there is still a long way to go. Each year Israel, arrests and detains around 700 Palestinian children. They are denied access to a parent or lawyer during interrogation, held in solitary confinement, and physically abused.
As in most arrests of Palestinian children, Ahed's arrest took place in the middle of the night. Despite being a minor, she was denied bail and was held throughout trial. Israel remains the only country in the world with a juvenille military court system. Palestinan child detainess of Israel are often blindfolded and forced to sign confessions in a language they don't read. Yesterdays sentence is seen as yet another alarming example of the Israeli authorities contempt for their obligations to protect the basic rights of Palestinians living under their occupation, especially children. A sentence that has been condemned by Amnesty International.
Ahed's father says about the prison sentence imposed on his daughter and that of his wife. Our first charge is that we are Palestinian, and the rest is just filling in the gaps." There is no justice under occupation. I would urge you take action to help end its illegal detention policies and preactices that violate international law :

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Anna Campbell :Death of a freedom fighter

 It was with sadness, that many were greeted at the weekend by the news that 26 year old  Anna Campbell from Lewes, East Sussex, had been was killed by a Turkish air strike on the 15th March in Afrin alongside 100 volunteers with the all-female Kurdish protection  unit, the YPG in Syria.
A qualified plumber in the UK, she first travelled to Syria in May 2017 to help the Kurds, who were battling the Islamic State group.
A prominent human rights activist in Britain, she had been been heavily involved  in the Empty Cages Collective a project aimed at building a movement in England, Scorland and Wales to resist the prison industrial complex and organise a prison free world. Through grassroots organising, advocacy and direct action she and her allies challenged the prison system which puts prisoners at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, as well as impacting on surrounding communities and ecosystems by their construction and operation.Well known in Brighton and Bristol anti-fascist, animal rights , environmental protection, anarchist and feminist circles, Anna was an individual who was  known for her passionate idealism, and her commitment to fighting for the causes of liberation.
Until recently, she had no connection to the Kurds, yet  was deeply moved, family and friends have said, by the fight to defend an autonomous, mostly kurdish region in northern Syria, known as Rojava, whose leaders advocate a secular, democratic and egalitarian politics, with equal rights for women.
" She was somebody who saw the injustices of the world and plight of the weak and vulnerable and disempowered, and she also saw the idealism, the amazing utopian vision of Rojava, and she found those two elements irrestible ! her father Dirk Campbell, said in an interview."She wanted to prevent this being stamped out, which Turkey and Syria are trying to do."
Anna who was given the nom-de-guerre Helin Qerecox, sheer heroism was demonstrated by her insistence on taking part in the Afrin resistance despite the great danger she faced in fighting against NATO's second-biggest army. Eight British fighters have now died fighting in the Rojava revolution though Anna was the first woman.
On Sunday, the city of Afrin was confirmed to be occupied by the Turkish Armed Forces and its Free Syrian Army affiliates. Launched on January 20th, the so-called "Operation Olive Branch" has been subject to criticism from the United Nations, the European Parliament, members of the UK parliament and various humanitarian agencies. Footage taken over the course of the opration shows looting, extrajudicial killings , with estimates of the civilian death toll ranging from 300-500 civilians.
The Kurdish community keeps reminding us that Turkey's invasion of Afrin is illegal and has no basis in international law. Their attack on the convoy which killed Anna constitutes a war crime and they call on progressive fores here in the UK to keep pressuring the UK Government to take firm action against Turkey. The UK Government though is clearly more concerned with selling weapons to Turkey than protecting Kurdish communities. Let's remind ourselves that in May 2017, Theresa May negotiated a £100m deal to help Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan  develop fighter hets and improve trade relations.Also between July and September 2016, the UK sold Turkey £26m worth of armoured plate, body armou, as well as £8.5m worth of aircraft, helicopters and drones, and almost £4m worth of licenses for missiles, bombs and 'counter-measures'
UK companies like Thales, British Aerospace, and Rolls Royce are all raking in profits from arming the Turkish regime, despite it's war crimes, alongside the British Government and Theresa May they have blood on their hands.
Anna's act of bravery will not be forgotten by the Kurdish community, by her friends, family and comrades and all who fight for a better world , in defense of freedom with the firm conviction that her sacrifice will not be in vain. Anna is still with us, the fight goes on. Long live the Rojava revolution.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Supremacy- Le Trio Joubran & Roger Waters

Former Pink Floyd front man, released the following  vocal protest to US President last week in regards to Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.In what is seen by many to be a major set back in the middle east  peace process.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, as it is claimed by both sides as its  capital, Israel seizing East Jerusalem from Jordan in the Six Day War which the Palestinians see as their  their future state.
To fan the Palestinians flames even further, Trump announced that this move will take place on May 14 to coincide with Israel's celebration of it's 70th anniversary, a day that also marks what the Palestinians call Nabkka Day or "Day of Catastrophe"  which in 1948 saw the mass deportation of a million Palestinians from their homes, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of their villages.
Accompanied by Nazareth based  Palestinian oud group Le Trio Joubran , Roger Waters recites the verses from the great Palestinian national poet of resistance Mahmoud Darwish's " the Penultimate speech of the 'Red Indian' to the white man,"
In a statement Roger Waters wrote,"On the surface it narrates the last speech of the Native American to The White Man, but it also speaks to Darwish's beloved Palestine and it's indigenous people, in fact it's relevant to all victims of settler colonialism everywhere,"
Le Trio Joubran added , "We have been touring the world with our ouds for the past 15 years, taking with is, from city to city, a bit of Palestine. We honor the struggles of indigenous people across the globe, and through our art, affirm that the relationship between people, culture and their homeland survives history."

SUPREMACY - A Response to Trump - #JerusalemCapitalOfPalestine

 Music - Trio Joubran

Voice - Roger Waters Poem - Mahmoud Darwish

Translation - Dr. Fady Joudah & Roger Waters

Video Director - Adnan Joubran

Music Producer - Renaud Letang Recorded at Abbey Road Studios & Studio Ferber Label - RANDANA Management - Karim Ghattas

Poem - The Penultimate speech of the 'Red Indian' to the white man

A long time must go by 
Before our present becomes history 
Just like us 
We will face the long march 
But first 
We will defend the trees we wear 
We will defend the bell of the night and the hanging moon over our huts
We will defend the leaping deer
And the clay of our pots
And the eagle feathers in the wings of our final songs 
But soon you will erect your world on our remains 
You will pave over the sacred places 
To open a road to the satellite moon 
This is the age of industry 
The age of coal
 Fossils to fuel your thirst for fine wine 
There are the dead and the settlements 
The dead and the bulldozers 
The dead and the hospitals 
There are radar screens to capture the dead 
Who die more than once in this life 
To capture the dead who walk after death 
The dead who breed the beast of civilisation 
The dead who die to carry the earth 
After the relics are gone 
Where, oh white master, are you taking my people... and yours?

سَيَمضي زَمانٌ طَويلٌ لِيُصْبحَ حاضِرُنا ماضياً مثُلَنا ..
 سنَمْضي إِلى حَتْفِنا , أَوَّلاً , سنُدفعُ عن شَجَرٍ نَرْتَديه ...
 وَعَنْ جَرَسِ اللَّيلِ , عَنْ قَمَر , فَوْقَ أَكْواخنا نَشتْهيه
وَعَنْ طَيْشِ غزلانِنا سَنُدافعُ , عن طِينِ فَخْارِنا سَنُدافِعُ

 وَعَن ريشنا في جَناحِ الأَغاني الأَخيرةِ , عمَّا قَليل تُقِمونَ عَالَمَكُمْ فَوْقَ عَالَمِنا: مِنْ مَقابِرِنا تَفْتَحونَ الطَّريق
إِلى الْقَمَرِ الاصطناعيِّ , هذا زَمانُ الصِّناعاتِ هذا زَمانُ المَعادِنِ , مِنْ قِطْعَةِ الفَحْمِ تَبْزُغُ شَمْبانيا الأقْوِياءْ

 هُنالِكَ مَوْتى وَمُسْتوطَناتٌ , وَمَوْتى وبولدوزراتٌ , وَمَوْتى وَمُسْتَشْفَياتٌ , وَمَوْتى وَشَاشاتُ رادار تَرْصُدُ مَوتى
 يَموتون أَكْثَرَ مِنْ مَرَةٍ في الْحياة , وَ تَرْصُدُ مَوتى
يَعيشونَ بَعْدَ الْمَماتِ , وَمَوْتى يُرَبُّونَ وَحْشَ الْحضاراتِ مَوْت
 وَمَوْتى يَموتونَ كَيْ يَحْمِلوا الأَرْضَ فَوْقَ الرُّفات

إلى أَيْنَ يَا سَيِّد البِيض , تأَخُذُ شَعْبي ,..

Friday, 16 March 2018

Courage to Resist for Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003)

Today is the 16th anniversary of the murder of Rachel Alleyene Corrie an American member of the International Solidarity Movement who was murdered by  Israeli Defense Force bulldozers while bravely non violently acting as a human shield against the demolition of Palestinian homes. But her memory is still  alive in the hearts of Gaza  and the Palestinian people still struggling for freedom, and her spirit lives on reminding us to get out of our comfort zones and to act with our convictions. Inspiring us that we can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong  even in the most difficult circumstances. Years later  though sadly Palestinians  are  still being killed and injured as they demand the right to return to lands that have been stolen from them.

Courage to Resist 

She witnessed the oppression
she stood with the Palestinian
shoulder to shoulder in a land of occupation
she stood in front of force
in act of non violent resistance
to try to prevent destructive demolition
her breath was one of peace
the world witnessed as she was crushed
we will never  forget.
Rachel Corrie was her name
her message of solidarity
still strong
her spirit remains free
because oppressors
can never kill a thought
defiance will always rise
wherever there is injustice.
In the town of Rafah 
they remember their sister's passion and courage
forever and ever
and the skys are still weeping.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Stop and Scrap Universal Credit.

Currently Theresa May's toxic Tory government is pressing ahead and rolling  out Universal Credit, at a time when many claimants  are descending into debt, relying on food banks, getting into rent arrears and in many cases getting evicted from their homes because of in-built problems with UC. People with disabilities will be among the hardest hit of these cruel welfare reforms.
UC replaces five benefits - child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, income based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance and working tax credit. Seven million households will be affected, including one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people actually in work could face being sanctioned, having their benefits stopped if they are unable to prove to the job centre that there searching for better paid work or more hours, in a completely illogical measure by our current government.
The government is imposing UC, despite losing a parliamentary vote on its extension to millions more people. On October 18, Parliament voted by 299 votes to zeros to temporarily halt the introduction of UC. Opposition  parties in Parliament led by Labour, passed a motion calling for the government to pause the rollout of UC. The vote was allowed as part of an Opposition Day Debate.
In the face  of mounting anger in the population, Theresa May's crisis ridden government instructed its ministers and MPs to abstain. This was due to their fear of a rebellion by at least 12 Tories as well as MP's from its governing partner, the DUP, who were prepared to back Labour. The government responded to the vote by declaring it was not binding, and with no regard to the mounting anger will continue to roll out UC regardless.
The entire process is riddled  with problems. Despite having been dreamt up a decade ago and built up since 2010 at the moment, hardly any part of the programme is functioning as it was supposed to. So far UC has been plagued by delays and administrative errors.The Department of Work and Pensions looks to many to be wholly unfit for purpose. Independent analysis has shown that the cuts hidden within UC  will result in three million families losing up to £2,600 per year each.The Charity Child Poverty Action estimates that this will push a million more children into poverty by 2022. And this only if everything  goes as planned.
UC is supposed to be an attempt to make the Benefits system better, but things like housing benefit are all chucked in with everything else, one single payment going to the 'head' of the household, This could put women in abusive relations in a very bad place. All the money for childcare, which once would have gone to her, is liable instead to go to the abusive partner. Financially this will mean that it will be harder for her to be independent and harder for her to leave. Applying to the government for benefits to be paid straight to her would simply alert the abusive partner to her attempts to escape his control. And this is currently happening in the name of 'simplicity.' This is just one example of the flawed nature of UC.
For now the waiting time has been cut from six weeks to five and from next month, housing benefit claimants will continue to receive support for two weeks after making their first claim for UC. It will also be possible to get a 100% advance on the benefit, with a year to pay it back, instead of being allowed only a 50% advance and being given just six months to return the loan.
But lets be honest  nobody seems to know what's going on anymore. Claimants across the country will find their payments being arbitrally cut month in, month out, with no explanation. Random debts  are imposed and retrieved with minimum information. Already as it is claimants, living on a shoestring, this process I fear will make things far worse.The Conservatives claim UC is designed to help help people into work by ensuring they are better off working than the unemployed  but whatever they say the number of families who are in work but still living below the poverty line is continuing to rise. As a result, inequality increases too, with the poorest among us being left behind.All because of their policies.
This is all why on  Saturday 16th May 2018 I will be supporting Ceredigion Disability People Against the Cuts (DPAC) who will be meeting  it, outside the Guildhall, Cardigan 11.a.m, to raise awareness of the impact it will have on our community when it hits us in September. We will have petitions to be signed and latest information on the roll out and how it will affect individuals claiming benefits, in and out of work.
Personally do not believe it can be fixed, or modified it needs to be stopped and scrapped completely. It is crucial that we carry on campaigning against its implementation to defend those on the receiving end of brutal cuts and to push for the complete abolition of these policies that will hurt those who are already the most disadvantaged in our society who are merely being treated as collateral damage and will as a result of UC will be pushed even further into the depths of poverty. We must continue to resist these devastating policies, an end to this cruel austerity measure and give support to all those that currently need it. Remember no one is immune to becoming ill or losing their jobs.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Stephen Hawkings ( 8 /1/42 - 14/3/18) - A Beautiful mind R.I.P

Another star just went out. Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned British physicist and author of A Brief History of Time, has died at the age of 76. He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning his family said.
Professor Hawking, one of the world's finest scientific minds, was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 21 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and was given only a few years to live. Though 80 percent of those with ALS die within five years of diagnosis, he managed to survive for many decades, perhaps longer than any other patient with the disease in medical history. Eventually  he was completely paralysed, confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, except through his  trademark computerised voice system for communication.
Despite all this, he continued to travel the world giving lectures and writing scientific papers about the basic laws of the universe, Black holes  and time that earned him comparisons to Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.He also embraced popular culture with enthusiasm  and humour, apprearing in cartoon series the Simpsons, starring in Star Trek and  providing the voice over for a British Telecom commercial that was later sampled by Pink Floyd on their album ' Division Bell. '
This physicists inspiring and turbulent personal story was dramatised in the 2014 movie "The Theory of Everything" which won the actor who portrayed  him, Eddie Redmayne an  Oscar for best actor.
A huge loss to science and humanity, his brilliant and extraordinary mind were obvious, which shined bright to the very end, but it was his courage in refusing to allow a disease that was a death sentence, that faced him daily and  his refusal to  allow it to defeat him, alongside his sense of humor that was to become an inspiration to millions.
He also stood for truth , justice and freedom of Palestine, supporting the academic boycott of Israel, and last year, he asked his millions of facebook followers to contribute financially to the Palestinian Advanced Physics School, a physics lecture series for master students in the occupied West Bank. " I support the rights of scientists everywhere to freedom of movement, publication and collaboration," he wrote.Bravely spoke too against the Iraq war and warned us too about the risk Nuclear weapons pose to the survival of humanity also must not be forgotten. He was also  a vocal champion of the NHS who, in the final months of his life, battled with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over the future of the health service. He had recently said he would not have had such a long life without the NHS. Less than two months ago a campaign group backed by Professor Hawking was granted permission to challenge MR Hunt in the High Court over plans to allow private companies to play a greater role in the service. The scientist had warned it was an " attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS" to allow commercial businesses to run parts of the health and social services. The judicial review into the proposal was expected to take place as soon as possible after Wednesday incidentally the day that he died.
After his sad passing many people are now sharing his words of wisdom and moving quotes.
I will  add one, he once remarked : " I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God: No one created the universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful."
So long Stephen Hawking, such a beautiful mind. R.I.P your extraordinary legacy will live on for years, may your mind roam the cosmos for eternity.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Defending Afrin

In recent days thousands of Kurdish immigrants have been taking to the streets  of Europe to protest against the Turkish military operation in the Kurdish region of Afrin in the Democratic Federation of North Syria. Afrin is part of the revolutionary process in the region based on multi-ethnic grassroots democracy and women's liberation.
After the US announced the Turkey/Syria Border Security Force, since  January 20, the Turkish military has been attacking and trying  to invade, night and day, towns and villages, refugee camps, historic and sacred sites that  have been  consistently been bombed by Turkish war planes and artillery.During the first 10 days of these attacks, many civilians have been killed and heavily injured. Among the casualties are women, men children and refugees from other regions of Syria.
The regime in Turkey has openly announced   that its aim of military aggression in Afrin is in  wiping out the democratic autonomous self-administration of Rojava (the Kurdish name for Northen Syria) where the Kurds have defended themselves from Isis and set up an autonomous state where equality, civil engagement, and democracy are manifest in every level of organisation.
Turkey's aim is to occupy this region and crush the will of it's people.Turkey's war on Afrin is an attack not only on Kurdish self-determination, but on democracy and women's liberation in the Middle East. The YPG (People's Protection Units) and YPG (Women's Protection Units) have been one of he main forces defeating ISIS, and are in the process of eliminating religious extremism and terrorism from the region. This invasion threatens all of this. Many women joined the YPJ after being liberated from ISIS or to free their families from ISIS.
Whilst the people of Rojava have been organising themselves in networks of grassroot assemblies and co-operatives, using the model of Democratic Confederalism, which emphasises direct democracy, feminism and ecology, and a multi-ethnic society without discrimination , compare this to the Turkish Government, which has been repeatedly criticised by the European Court of Human Rights for torture, enforced disappearances and the mass imprisonment of journalists and politicians.
The Kurdish people have a saying "we have no friends but the mountains" which is  often repeated when referring to the countless massacres, injustices and betrayals that the people of Kurdistan have experienced throughout their history. Stretching over four of the most important counties  in the Middle East - Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and constantly threatened with genocidal attacks from all sides, this expression resonates with lived experience far more than it should.
The international community to its shame has basically been silent. Turkey is a NATO country like Britain.The UK government has spoken of its support for Turkey's aggression,  Britain  just happens to be a major supplier of arms to the Turkish state and these arms are being used in a conflict where the deliberate targeting of civilians is taking place.
The Kurdish communities actions across the world, are an attempt to break this silence and International solidarity and the contribution of those not in Afrin canton are vital to help the Kurds struggle.In the battle for Afrin, we see the universal dimensions of popular struggles against fascism, dictatorship and death, and for democracy , freedom and justice.
We should strive to stop  the dictatorship of Turkish President Recep Tayvip Erdogan from spreading further its oppression, building it's road  of terror, full of despotic ambition, racist attitude  any further in the Middle East.
The Kurds deserve more than the friendship of their mountains, they deserve our solidarity, because not only is their existence and identity in danger but so too are the hopes of radical democracy and women's liberation  in the Middle East. Inside and outside Rojava, defending Afrin must become our imperative.
The Turkish army is now just a few kilometres from Afrin city where hundreds of  thousands of civilians are trapped.We must act now before its too late. raise our voices with spirit of the Kobane resistance! Try and find common cause with their struggle, to take a stand against these attacks  against one of the region's and the world's most hopeful movements.Who are currently building a new world in the shell of the old, planting seeds of imagination. Showing us another world is possible. Please join the Kurdish community and their friends in solidarity.No pasaran! defend Afrin , defend humanity.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A New World In Our Hearts - Spaceheads

Have  had a wild weekend dancing my socks off, a magical blend of  musical adventure, a shout out to the wonderful Red and the hogweeds, Becky the Bullet and the Bloody frights, down at my local music venue the Cellar Bar, and the mighty anarcho punk band Mwstard  down at the Small World Theatre where the company of friendship  picked  me up so much, after a rather fraught week, bottom a little tender though , alas one move too far resulted with a collision with dance floor,whilst dancing to following band,  picked myself up again carried on doing what I do. 
I present to you the Spaceheads, trumpet player Andy Diagram and drummer Richard Harrison who last night released a joyful mix of jazzy , free form virtuosity, accompanying my journey with a backdrop of images from one of my favourite films, the 1928 Eisenstein film October: Ten Days That Shook the World, who through the medium of music manage to release a powerful optimistic call for change. Truly fantastic stuff. Which  serves to remind  me of old poem of mine slightly updated. lets all keep laughing in the face of power, and if you can keep on fiercely dancing

Spaceheads Introduce A New World In Our Hearts

Spaceheads - The Revolution Sashays Up the Mall

Spaceheads -  What is to be done

A New World In Our Hearts

We are building a new world in our hearts
Red and black flags united against the system,
With courage to demand nothing for us alone
But everything for everyone else,
Following a map towards tomorrow
Developing our own journeys,
Both individually and collectively
As we travel.

We don't want to rule others
And we will not be ruled,
We have no masters, our thoughts are free,
We have removed the chains that bind us,
Demanding the impossible 
Disintegrating capitalism,
Creating the world we want.

They try to reject us
Degrade us, belittle us,
Shame us and ignore us
Because together we are strong.
In unity we are fearless
As we try to eradicate their consensus
Growing kinder and more content.

Keep on laughing in the face of power
Filling emotions with love and rage,
Travelling far from webs of deceit
The daily delusionary shackles of greed
Living only now to feed our need,
Among widening circles that reach,
                              out across the world,
Believing in hope, it's enduring glow
And the messages that we share,
We fill our pockets with resistance
Keep on building  new worlds in our hearts.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

On International Women’s Day solidarity with Yarl’s Wood hunger strikers

At the beginning of the 20th Century women across Europe and America were finding their voice.That wanted and demanded decent jobs, better pay, emancipation and the right to vote and hold public offices. It was out  of this air of dissatisfaction,  that International Women's Day was born. A day that today we can still recognise the oppression that still flourishes, caused by both capitalism and patriarchy. Still an unfortunate and undeniable reality for many women today. The fight for woman's  rights might look a little different today, but many are still facing discrimination and injustices across the globe.
In recent times, issues of woman's political and economic inequality have been joined by broader struggles against racism, war, violence, oppression, for  social justice. So today as I observe International Women's Day, I stand up for all women still trapped by injustices. I believe the women's struggle is a struggle for the freedom of all  people, recuperating the fair value of people over things. I recognise the practice and theory of mutual support that women have laid, that are the foundations of social change that we must keep building.
Today in particular  I acknowledge those who are among the most vulnerable in the present moment of time- the refugees. In the same month that we have celebrated the centenary of (some) women's suffrage in the UK, we should not forget over 100 women who have been on hunger strike since February 21 against the inhumane conditions at the Yarl's Wood detention centre and the government's practice of indefinite detention, and their lack of human rights.
"We feel it is our responsibility to call the Home Office out, and take action with our bodies too," the Freedom Fast Yarl's Wood campaigners said in a statement."It is outrageous that 100 years after some women got the vote, elected governments can still openly enforce these inhumane and racist measures."
Some of the demands include an end to charter flights, snatching people ftom their beds in the night, an end to menial work for £1 per hour and to stop detaining vulnerable people and victims of abuse. They are also asking for adequate healthcare and amnesty for people who have lived in Britain for more than 10 years.The hunger strikers demands are for a fair system and an end to the hostile environment policy towards people with legitimate reasons to remain in the UK.A full list of the strikers demands can be found here:-
Each year over 1,500 women who have sought asylum in the UK are detained  at this infamous detention centre which has been the site of numerous scandals. Most of the women detained there are survivors of rape, torture ,sexual and gender based violence and  other abuse. The UK is currently the only country in Europe with no time limit on detention. A practice opposed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and many other civic and political organisations. This barbaric policy has no place in a so called civilised society.
However the Home Office has failed to acknowledge their demands has since taken punitive action, including attempting to deport two hunger strike participants Florence and Opela Kgare on Saturday 3rd March, before there case was complete. This deportion attempt was halted thanks to pressure from the women's friends, the involvement of Labour MPs and the intervention of Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes.
Today activists from across Britain will be taking part in a 24 hour fast on International Women's Day in solidarity with the Yarl's Wood hunger strikers. Migrant's right campaigners have united with the friends of those in the detention centre to call for a Freedom Fast on this day. They have urged " all people of conscience" to join.We must support the protestors and their demands, and stand with them in denouncing the Uk's  inhumane and fundamentally wrong treatment of them.
This International Women's Day, I simply ask everyone to stand in solidarity with female refugees, whatever the stage of their journey, and keep building a society where women's human rights are respected and in which they are free from persecution. Important  steps are already being taken, but it is a long road ahead. Today celebrate the women who are walking it: migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and women in the wider community working together. On the centenary year of women's suffrage in the UK , lets not forget those women, whose voices are too often not heard.It is also  time to keep on calling for the  closure of Yarl's Wood detention centre.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Yemen concerns

'Currently Tory Prime Minister Theresa May  is welcoming vile and  misogynist Saudi Arabian tyrants with open arms, with the aim of selling them even more British weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen.
Mohammed bin Salman is starting a three-day visit to the UK amid protests planned against his country's role in Yemen.
Jeremy Corbyn has accused the government of "colluding" in war crimes by selling arms to Riyadh.
The 32 year old crown prince,who is seen by some as a modernising force in the Gulf State. He has already had lunch with the Queen and Duke of York, and is due to have dinner with the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge.
The UK hopes to capitalise on the Saudi economy's opening up, but this decision has been met by protesters outside Downing Street against the killing of thousands of  Yemeni civilians in air strikes by a Saudi -led multinational coalition, backed by the UK and US, in what is is considered to be a forgotten war, where this crisis  grows daily, spawning an escalating, political, military and humanitarian crisis.
Also if  this Saudi Crown  Prince is truly a reformer, he must stop the execution of 18 young people for the'crime' of attending protests and put an end  to the shocking abuse of human rights.

Petition here:-

Here is a letter I managed to get published in my local paper Tivy-Side Advertiser yesterday expressing my concerns :-

THIS week the UK Government is rolling out the red carpet to Mohammad bin Salman the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, even as innocent children are being killed by the ongoing Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign in Yemen.
Since 2015 British weapons companies have made a staggering £6 billion from arms sales to Saudi Arabia the country leading the coalition bombing Yemen
At the same time, the British taxpayer is sending more than £200 million in life-saving aid to the Yemeni people.
As one of Saudi Arabia's key allies and arms suppliers, there is a risk that British bombs are being dropped on Yemeni children.
Thousands of innocent young lives have already been lost in airstrikes and explosions, and thousands more from hunger and preventable diseases like cholera and diphtheria.
Yemeni children are dying every day from preventable causes like hunger, disease and war.
It may be a far-away conflict, but I believe Britain has a moral obligation to help end the suffering.
I think our Government should stand up for Yemen's children and ensure food, medicine and fuel get into the country and that children are protected from bombs and bullets.

                                                                                                 Dave Rendle
                                                                                                 Teifi Terrace

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Alan Moore on Art and Magic

Comics legend Alan Moore, who has long been an inspiration is the the author of titles including Watchmen, The league of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.and the epic novel  Jerusalem . Not only being a prolific writer and visionary , he also happens to be a ceremonial magician and co-founded the Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels. Alan also sees an  inextricable link between magic and artistic creativity. Do we not all hold the keys to transformative power that lies within that has also has the power to change society for the benefit of all mankind.
Beyond general consensus, and ideas of conformity, we can find different rules to follow, actually alter the world around us., shape it and in the process create a better society. There is nothing more powerful than when our perceptions can change, collectively can actually impact on others and change awareness.Through art and creativity , we can connect to our senses , bodies and minds  and in the process this can enable us to spur thinking, engagement and even action, that has the possibility to motivate others into new ways of thinking. From the local to the global help us seek solutions to the challenges that face us all in the world today, a necessary persistence of the imagination that in this age of sceptical attitudes can actually alter and change consciousness and at same time, our trapped mindsets.

" Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a diservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this. I am sure."

" I believe that magic is art, and that art, whether that be music, writing , sculpture, or any other form. is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness, and  that i why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman..."

-Alan Moore

Alan Moore on Magic

Sunday, 4 March 2018

The Society of the Spectacle- Guy Debord / Poetry of the Spectacle

( a vastly updated blog post from 2015)

"The society whose modernisation has reached the stage of integrated spectacle is characterised by the combined effect of 5 principal factors; incessant technological renewal, integration of state and economy, generalised secrecy, unanswerable lies and eternal present - the spectator is simply supposed to know nothing and deserves nothing. Those who are watching to see what happens next will never act and such must be the spectator's condition ."

- Guy Debord.

                                            Guy Debord

Guy Debord was born on December 28, 1931, in Paris, France, a witer and director who became a  leading figure of the French Situationist International In his fascinating book  first published in June 1967, the Society of the Spectacle , he argued that to succumbing to alienation caused by capitalism we have let our lives become colonised by an immersive experience.
" In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immene accumulation of spectacles," Debord's book begins, "Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation." The political consequence of this separation from shared felt experience is key to understanding both how we experience the world and how we can change it.
This spectacle has replaced social interaction and human needs. While this is superficially satisfying it makes us isolated and lonely individuals. It is still one of the greatest theoretical examinations of our social-cultural conditions describing  in pinpoint accuracy the dreadful corporate globalization sweeping the planet, The spectacle accompanies us throughout our lives via news propaganda, advertising and entertainment, and yes social media,alienating us from ourselves and our desires in order to facilitate the accumulation of capital..
For Debord the spectacle presented itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned, It's sole message is :"What appears is good; what is good appears," The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances. its manners of appearing without allowing any reply. Debord , warned us that mass media had replaced religion in offering repressive pseudo-enjoyment of the world. Real life has become subordinated to its mediated appearance. " The medium is the message" declared Marshall McLuhan around the same time. Few appreciated the significance of the statement back then, but now we bear witness to rapid changes in the way we relate to each other and our planet.
The text was a primary influence not only on the near- revolution of May 1968 in Paris, but also on the ethos of London's underground press and certain aspects of punk ideology, The SI developed out of an earlier Left Bank mix of avant garde politics, influenced by Dada, Surrealism and Lettrism, carrying out programmes of provocation, graffiti and anti-party revolutionary outrage. The Situationists were concerned to articulate a 'theory of moments," propagating ideas of pleasure and depicting the personal as intrinsically political ("boredom is always counter revolutionary " sneered one of their mottoes.From 1962, the Situationists increasingly applied their critique not only in culture but to all aspects of capitalist society. Seeking to free us from the power of the spectacle in order to mount a credible challenge to capitalism, the Situationists introduced the tactic of detournement, an attempt to turn the  powers of the spectacle against itself.
Guy Debord emerged as the most important figure among their number: he had been involved in the Lettrist International, and had made several films, including Hurlements en faveur de Sade (1952)  Inspired by the libertarian journal Socialisme on Barbarie, the Situationists rediscovered the history of the anarchist movement, particularly during the period of the First International, and drew inspiration from Spain, Kronstadt, and the Makhnovists. They described the USSR as a capitalist bureaucracy, and advocated workers' councils. But they were not entirely anarchist in orientation and retained elements of Marxism, especially through Henri Lefebvre's critique of the alienation of everyday life.
Debord dissolved the SI (proclaiming its victory over history) in 1972, their impact has been assured. Again today, we need to break with conventions, consensus, break out of our desolate paradigms, and learn to be free.
Sadly on November 30th 1994 aged 67, racked by depression, after a life of hard drinking , that had led to a diagnosis of peripheral neuritis, a debilitating and extremely painful condition whereby the body's nerve endings burn away in the isolated village of Champot high in the Auvergne, Guy Debord shot himself with a single bullet to the heart. He remains however one of the most important contemporary thinkers, with a capital place in the history of ideas from the second half pf the second half of the 20th century.
The following film La Societe du Spectacle (Society of the Spectacle) is a black and white 1973 film  based on his book. It was Debord's first  feature-length film. It uses found footage and detournement in a radical criticism of mass marketing and its role in the alienation of modern society.
The 88 minute film took a year to make and incorporates footage from feature films, industrial films, news footage. advertisements and still photographs. The films include The Battleship Potemkin, October, Chapeav, The New Babylon, The Shanghai Gesture, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Rio Grande, They Died with Their Boots On, Johnny Guitar and Mr Arkadin, as well as other Soviet films.
Events such as the murder of Lee Harvard Oswald (who assassinated U.S, President John F, Kennedy in 1963), the Spanish Civil War of 1936 -1939, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Paris riots in May 1968 are represented, and people such as Mao Zedong, Richard Nixon and the Spanish anarchist Durutti.Throughout the film, there is a voiceover (of Debord) and inter-titles from The Society of the Spectacle  but also texts from the 1968 Occupation Committee of the Sorbonne, Machiavelli, Marx, Tocqueville, Emile Pouget, and Soloviev. Without citations, these quotes are hard to decipher, especially with the subtitles (which exist in the French version) but that is part of Debord's goal "to  problematize recept" (Greil and Sanborn) and force the viewer to be active. In addition , the words of some of the authors are detourned through deliberate misquoting.
In 1984, Debord withdrew his films from circulation, because of the negative press and the assassination of his friend  and patron Gerard Lebovici. Since Debord's suicide in 1994, Debord's wife Alice Becker-Ho  has been promoting Debord's film. A DVD box set titled  Guy Debord: Oeuvres cinematographiques completes came out in 2005 and contains Debord's seven film.
The cover of the film is derived  from a photo of Life magazine photographer J.R. Eyerman.
On November 28, 1952, at the Paramount Theatre(Oakland, California), took place  the premiere screening of film Bwana Devil, by Arch Oboler, the first full-length, color 3D (aka ' Natural Vision') motion picture. Eyerman took a series of photos of the audience wearing 3D glasses.
Life magazine used one of the photos as the cover of a brochure about the 146-1955 decade. The photo employed by Debord shows the audience in " a virtually trance-lie state of absorption, their faces grim, their lips pursed," however, in the one chosen bt Life, " the spectators are laughing, their expressions of hilarity conveying the pleasure of an uproarious active spectatorship "Cheers to Ubuweb

I'm sure if Debord was alive today, he would almost certainly be extending his analysis of the spectacle to the Internet and social media. He would no doubt be horrified by social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, which monetize our friendships, opinions and emotions. It seems that our
internal thoughts and experience are now commodifiable assets. His viewpoint still bears an uncomfortable truth on our present day lives. One could say that our age is not so much the Society of the Spectacle, as it is the Society of immersion and manipulation, and many simply are so immersed they do not not realize it is happening.
Do we remain passive, carry on being manipulated, relying on the artificiality of  the spectacle,or  start thinking beyond it's confinement?The future is unwritten

Spectacle (Society of the Spectacle)

Poetry of the Spectacle

Here the SPECTACLE is captured and made to expose itself (if even for a brief moment) by turning its most beloved mystifying commodity, the computer, back onto itself to the benefit of language. It slowly dies a dramatic death of Lettritic convulsions.


In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived is now merely represented in the distance.

The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images. The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point that it becomes images.
The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual description produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialized.

Understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the result and the goal of the dominant mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the real world. It is the very heart of this real society's unreality. In all its particular manifestations - news, propoganda, advertising, entertainment - the spectacle represents the dominant model of life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by the production. In both form and content the spectacle serves as a total justification of the conditions and goals of the existing system. The spectacle also represents the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes the majority of the time spent outside the production process.

The spectacle is both the meaning and the agenda of our particular socio-economic formation. It is the historical moment in which we are caught.

The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Itssole message is: "What appears is good, what is good appears." The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply.

The first stage of the economy's domination of social life is brought about an evident degradation of being into having - human fulfillment was no longer equated with what one was, but what one possessed. The present stage, in which social life has become completely dominated by the accumulated productions of the economy, is bringing about a general shift from appearing -all "having" must derive its immediate prestige and its ultimate purpose from appearances.


The problem of language is at the heart of all the struggles between the forces striving to abolish the present alienation and those striving to maintain it. It is inseperable from the very terrain of those struggles. We live within language as within polluted air. Despite what humorists think, words do not play. Words work - on behalf of the dominant organization of life. Yet they are not completely automated: unfortunately for the theoreticians of information words are not in themselves "informationist", they contain forces that can upset the most careful calculations. Words coexist with power in relation analogous to that which proletarians have with power. Employed by it almost full time, exploited for every sense and nonsense that can be squeezed out of them, they still remain in some sense fundamentally alien to it.

Under the control of power, language always designates something other than authentic experience. It  is precisely for this reason that a total contestation is possible. The organization of language has fallen into such confusion that the communication imposed by power is exposing itsefl as an imposter and a dupery. An embryonic cybernetic power is vainly trying to put out language under the control of the machines it controls, in such a way that information would henceforth be the only possible communication. Even on this terrain resistances are beng manifested, electronic music could be seen as an attempt ( obviously limited and ambiguous) to reverse the domination by detourning machines to the benefit of language. But there is a much more general and radical opposition that is denouncing all unilateral "communication," in the old form of art as well as in the modern form of informationism. It calls for a communication that undermines all seperate power. Real communication dissolves the state.

Power lives of stolen goods. It creates nothing, it co- opts. If it determined the meaning of words, there would be no poetry but only useful "information."  Opposition would be unable to express itself in language; any refusal would be nonverbal, purely lettristic. What is poetry if not the revolutionary moment of language, inseperable as such from the revolutionary moments of history and the history of personal life?

Society of the Spectacle Pt 1 &2

Here Debord's  1967 text is  remade into a contemporary context.
Also  includes Marshall McLuhan and John Berger

Made by Aska (check the credits for more)
Sound by the amazing Pippin Kenworthy

Pt 1

Pt 2

                                Put the mirror to the moment  make yourself aware 
                                Facilitate, reconcile, get a new idea  
                                The pulsating spectacle, is not easy to forget 
                                Today randomly ordinarily, perception shifts
                                When the prism cracks, get yourself a new silhouette
                                Unharness camarardie, viva situationniste!