Monday, 30 April 2018

After Amber Rudd time for Theresa May to go too.

Amber Rudd  has finally bowed down to the inevitable and was forced to resign  yesterday after 200 MP's signed letter accusing her of making up immigration policy on the hoof. About time too.She was responsible for misleading the government over targets for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Rudd had claimed to a parliamentary committee that her department did not impose targets, but the Guardian newspaper  reported on Sunday, that in a private letter to Theresa May in 2017, she had informed the Prime Minister that she intended to boost deportations by 10%.
Rudd's departure deals a further blow to the embattled Prime Minister's leadership, after a misjudged election  last year aimed at "strengthening her hand" in Brexit negotiations backfired spectacularly when her Conservative party lost its parliamentary majority.
Theresa May may run but she can't hide. Rudd  has shielded her from the Windrush scandal for too long. It's time now for the Prime Minister to take responsibility and consider stepping aside too,let's not forget that it is she that has been the leader that's presided over legislation that's discriminated against a whole  group of people who came from the Commonwealth, who suffered racism when they first came over, and then had to relive the trauma all over again because of Theresa May.
Her apologies and excuses are hollow and shallow, and have come too late from the author of cruel and vindictive policy.During the past six years she has been responsible for the deportation of thousands of people. It was she who created draconian immigration rules. In 2013, May oversaw the whipping up of a climate of increasing state and media racism, typified by government sponsored vans featuring anti immigrant 'Go home'! adverts. Introducing the Immigration Act 2014, she boasted of how living in Britain would now' become tougher for illegal immigrants.' Most of the Act had nothing to do will illegal immigration but this did not prevent her using the word 'illegal' every time she said 'immigrant' and 'hardworking' every time she said 'taxpayer''
She was responsible for whipping up a climate of fear, the 2014 act that was draconian enough was swiftly followed by the 2016 Act, which was more of the same, but even harsher. Her apologies for the treatment of Windrush citizens and her assurances no one would be deported would have carried more weight if she had ackowledged her role in the shameful episode and past measures, that have caused  so much damage. that she has not shown remorse for, or any regret. It was May who was determined to create what she termed a " hostile environment" for illegal immigrants which  had such  miserable consequences for the Windrush generation which has since mortified the country.
From the suffering caused by Home Office policies , under Rudd, and Theresa May that has caused such tragedy. From the Windrush generation to the women who've been on hunger strike  in Yarl's Wood detention centre, and to anyone threatened by the racist 'go home' vans, these policies have spread misery across the country.What is clear and certain that the government under May will continue to wreck the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, low- paid workers and their families.
 Rudd may have gone, but the real architect of these hostile policies remains in Downing Street and the blame for recent scandal remains firmly under her feet, which does not make her own position tenable. From bad to rotten now we have Sajid Javid  a hard nosed Tory banker who bought into the Thatcherite philosophy  that poor people deserve what they get - nothing,  ,whose responses to the Grenfell Tower tragedy  were simply appalling, who only a few weeks ago called a democratic grassroots movement " neo fascist" now traking over a Home Office which has inflicted inhumane treatment on British citizens, denied them medical treatment, imprisoned and deported them, who so far has  done nothing to suggest that he plans to change immigration policy in any substantial from what happened  under his predecessor.
And with Parliament set to debate a petition this week on the amnesty for " anyone who was a minor that arrived in Britain between 1948 to 1971." which would  include the Windrush generation, May looks sure to face more difficult questions over her government's handling of the scandal.
Many are  now calling for Theresa May to quit too,shadow minister Dawn Butler said "Our Prime Minister Theresa May now has no human shield, it is time for her to  follow suit and step down. Labour MP Rosena Allin- Khan added "Rudderless and without direction. Theresa May needs to do the right thing and step down!" .The clock is currently ticking for her , it's time for her to go, at the heart of this Tory Government is its incompetence, vindictiveness and intolerance, and callousness which has damaged the UK's standing and reputation across the world.

Captain Ska - Windrush  - Feat . Rubi Dan

Friday, 27 April 2018

Powerful images from land of conflict and devastation by Syrian artist Tammam Azzam.

The Syrian war, as we all know too well, has been one of the bloodiest of the 21st century. It has bred the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, and the ever climbing death toll, sees no signs of abating. Despite this Syrian artists have managed to render their pain, and create art and to bear witness with artistic memory to this nation torn apart, conveying their hope and despair for the world to see.
The above picture depicting a Statue of Liberty-like structure,rising from the ruins of Syria has recently been doing the rounds of the internet. The image in question is from a work by Syrian Artist, Tammam Azzam, and is actually a digital composition in which different parts of bombed out buildings are assembled together to resemble French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s statue.The artist  has been in the spotlight previously for addressing the Syrian tragedy through his work ( when he photoshoped in 2013 Klimt’s “The Kiss” atop a war-ravaged building from Syria). It is one of many pieces created by the artist over the course of this long running conflict.
Another haunting picture of his shows a Syrian building floating on balloons out of the smoking hole in the side of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

One other shows a hand grenade made of brightly coloured flowers which Azzam captioned "Syrian Spring "

                                                Tammam Azzam

Born in Damascus, Syria in 1980, Tammam Azzam received his artistic training from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus with a concentration in oil painting. Alongside a successful career as a painter in Syria, Azzam was a prolific graphic designer. Forced to flee from his home and studio in Damascus at the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Tammam Azzam left behind his painting materials and reputation as one of Syria’s key artists. Restless in his exile, Azzam could only watch the developments of the conflict stream through his Twitter feed, increasing in number and devastation every day. Anguished in his powerlessness, he could no longer withstand the despair such destruction caused him. As a substitute for paintbrush and canvas, Azzam adapted to a new medium: digital art in which to express himself and his sadness with the events that were unfolding in his homeland of Syria.

                                           Henri Matisse, The Dance (1910)

The artist who is not affiliated with or embedded in any opposition group, moved to Dubai where he spent the next  four years. Here in a solo exhibition held in November 2012 in Ayyam Gallery Dubai (Al Quoz), digital artworks representing a location the Syrian Uprising has affected were overlaid with the text, ‘In the revolution’, followed by the name of the area that witnessed the revolution. Other examples took the form of fractured and wounded maps of my country, stop signs covered with bullet holes, bleeding apples, fallen chess pawns and puzzle pieces, and symbols of peace reconfigured into targets, all symbolizing the violence and suffering the Syrians are facing.
Azzam who is still an active Twitter user, takes advantage of his international fame to share updates of the conflict, but he mainly spreads messages of peace. The artist   tweeted an article  about the statue of  Liberty image  to clarify his position and the misleading associations that have been attached to it.
He said pro-Assad and regime loyalists were sharing the picture and lying about its origins saying: “From a Syrian artist to America, using his own destroyed home in Aleppo.”
He said the work was done by a photomontage on the computer and not a real statue. The Syrian artist explained: “The Statue of Liberty in New York does not represent US politics and I used it only as the symbol of freedom.” “The piece at the time was carrying a message of optimism despite all of the destruction in Syria,” he added “but that was a long time ago.”
Azzam said he doesn’t respond to people who were using his picture in a context that he had not intended. “I’m an artist, and I’m busy with all my art work, and have no time to respond to anyone, I draw people and their worries, and not about politics,” he said.
Recently, he has returned to painting with Storeys, a series of monumental works on canvas, that show the magnitude of the devastation in Syria. The artist studied photographs from several Syrian cities, including Douma and Aleppo, on which to base the paintings, excavating the horrors of war and the ongoing humanitarian crisis, depicting scenes of massive neighbourhood devastation in which whole buildings are bombed or leveled..

Azzam is realistic about the impact of his artwork in the conflict. In an interview he once said  “I believe that art can’t save the country. Bullets are more powerful than art, now. But I believe at the same time that all kinds of culture, art or writing, cinema or photographs, can rebuild something in the future.” Again through Twitter, he often considers the power of political and protest art in a world where anyone who has access to the internet is equal in their freedom to express their discontent. This form of art will continue to define the conflict in Syria and elsewhere in the world, as for the first time in history, any protestor has the voice to address the global audience. Despite the undeniable problems associated with aestheticizing protest by presenting it as art, nothing can prevent the rise of artists like Tammam Azzam and the place they are claiming for themselves in the violent and complex dimension of conflict.
Whether made digitally or photoshopped his work remain powerful pieces of art, and through his eyes,as he sees it expresses a need for unity and the fact that human suffering is the same whatever part of this planet we are on. He remains an arresting visual chronicler of what remains when an entire people’s way of life is upended, possibly for generations to come, using the means  available to him, to show the world what is going on in his country and reinforce  that “empathy should not be limited to the first world”.My heart personally goes out to all those currently suffering the devastating impact of war.
Azzam currently lives and works in Deimenhorst, Germany and has contributed to large scale international exhibitions across the world.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Easter Rising : A chronology of Rebellion

The Easter Rising was launched  in Dublin on April 24, 1916 in an attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland, beginning a process that would eventually lead to the  war of independence, the civil war and ultimately the freedom  of the Irish republic ( though minus the six counties.) This rebellion was known as the Easter Rising.  The background to the rebellion was the centuries of national oppression suffered and felt by Irish people by under British.domination and rule, and the intensification of the national question around the issue of home rule ( limited self-governmet for Ireland within the United Kingdom )
Three groups were behind the rising,  but the most important was the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) which was formed in the mid-19th century.Thomas Clarke and Seán Mac Dermot were the key figures in the IRB, which had been recruiting among Irish nationalists in Dublin ., many of whom were disillusioned to the extent of Ireland's support for Britain in the First World War.
The Irish Volunteers were a military group formed in 1913 and its members accounted for the largest number of men who were called out on Easter Monday.
The Irish Citizen Army, a socialist militia, led by James Connolly formed to protect striking miners in 1913 also played an important role.
The key group was a seven-man IRB military council, drawn from those three organisations, which planned the Easter Rising with complete secrecy.They were Tom Clarke, Sean McDermot, Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, James Connolly and Eamon Ceannt.
By 1914, the division over Home Rule had taken Ireland to the brink of civil war. Unionists had founded a 100,000 strong militia, the Ulster Volunteer Force, to resist its implementation, while moderate nationalists set up the Irish Volunteer Force in response.
But the outbreak of the First World War would see the two sides rally to the war effort,, which saw the majority of both militia enlisting in the British Army, making up a large compound of the 210,00 Irishmen who served. However a huge amount of around 13,000 dissident Irish volunteers remained in Ireland, rejecting the war.
The decision to rise was based on the traditional dictum that England's difficulty was Ireland's opportunity. But it also reflected the military council's fear that Irish nationalism was in decline, a concern reinforced by popular Irish nationalist support for the aims of the Irish Parliamentary Party and the British war effort.
On 23 April, the council agreed to proceed with the rising the next day, Easter Monday.
The drafting of a proclamation declaring a republic was one of the final steps taken by those who planned the rising. It decided that the proclamation should be read to the public outside Dublin's General Post Office (GPO) by the president of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic. It was agreed that Pádraig Pearse a poet and educator should act as president, and 
Connolly as commander in chied, who in the run up to and during the rising itself, made political concessions to the forces of nationalism he was fighting alongside, setting aside some of the ideas and methods he had so carefully developed during decades of revolutionary activity. This is best reflected in the Proclamation he put his name to, which is, notwithstanding the positives sentiments it contains, is a nationalist document. 
Shortly after noon on Easter Monday, Pearse accompanied by an armed guard, stood on the steps of the GPO and read the proclamation, signalling the beginning of the Easter Rising.
Ireland's 'national right to freedom and sovereignty' was asserted, which was partly based on Robert Emmet’s proclamation of Irish independence of 1803, enshrined equal suffrage and equal rights. It spoke of “religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens” and “cherishing all children of the nation equally”. 

The conflict that followed was largely confined to Dublin. The rising itself seemed doomed from the beginning. With only a small number of fighters the rebels were militarily significantly outnumbered and outgunned. The rebellion was largely confined to the fighting in the four courts and General Post Office in Dublin although there was also support from rebel forces in Galway and Wexford. As the week progressed, the fighting in some areas became more intense, leading to several prolonged, fiercely contested street battles. Military casualties were highest at Mount Street Bridge and fierce fighting also took place at South Dublin Union and North King Street. The suppression of the rising was immediate with martial law being declared on April 25 1916. 

Under supreme Commander in Dublin Major General John Maxwell , the British forces had authority to punish the risings participants. They were determined to suppress and crush the new wave  of Irish militant nationalism, arresting and rounding up many in the aftermath, along with leaders as well as suspected supporters in a nationwide sweep, aided by police. Over the following  week, the British deployed over 16,000 troops, artillery and even a naval gunboat into the city at  Liffey  to suppress the rising.After five days of fierce fighting and the rebel headquarters at the GPO being heavily bombarded, Pearse surrendered unconditionally to prevent the further slaughter of unarmed people of Dublin , realising that his own forces were surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered. 
A total  of 450 people were killed during the rebellion, 2,614 were injured, More than 3,430 men and 79 women were arrested, over twice the number of people that had actually taken part in the actual rising.As far as Mawell was concerned the ringleaders of the rebellion and their supporters were guilty of treason in a time of war. It should be noted that the First World War, was taking place at the same time, and they should recieve the ultimate penalty - death. But the tremendous courage and self-sacrifice displayed by the likes of James Connolly and indeed  the others who fought in the rising cannot be disputed.
Connolly was imprisoned, and despite his severe wounds, was tied to a chair and executed by the British military on May 12th 1916 by firing squad to the outrage of many people in Ireland and across the world.
With the subsequent execution of 15 of the leaders it would sow a wave of resentment, prompted by the general feeling that unnecessary severity had been deployed ,proving a catalyst in changing public opinion into away from a desire for Home rule and  a demand for a fully Independent Irish Republic.
Even though the rising was thwarted five days later and Irish independence would not happen until 1923, many believe that the actions that began that Easter Monday helped inspire similar rebellions in more distant parts of the British Empire, and internment camps such as Frongoch in North Wales became known as the University of Revolution. which would see a total of at least 30 men held here going on to become  MPs in the new Irish parliament in Dublin that would be formed.
By the summer of 1916 the rebel leaders were viewed as heroes, and by January 1919 when a more concerted war for Independence broke out the huge impact of the Easter Rising would be seen.  Sadly the vision of these brave men and women who had risen,  has not been fully realised  with fostering divisions, Britain's continuing claim to sovereignty over six counties in the north east of Ireland, and the failure to actually achieve a united Irish republic,  means that the dream is still not complete, a conundrum than many still find troubling to this day.

The birth of the Irish Republic  - Walter Paget

Earlier piece written on the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising :- 

Monday, 23 April 2018

All born equal?

A woman named Kate Middleton gave birth to a baby boy this morning, her husband William was by her bedside. It's their third child. As the BBC continues  its sycophantic fawning and it takes over the news agenda to divert attention from Windrush and Syria. Here's a really positive way to respond to the Royal Baby news. Donate to the Child Poverty Action Group.
Here's a link :-
Remember any other family living this kind of life  at taxpayers expenses would be hounded  by the  press  as benefit scroungers. No bunting for me, but congratulations to the parents, but as we continue to face misery under the reign of Theresa May  I can't though find much reason to get over excited . It just serves to remind us all of the appalling inequality that still exists in our country, which is at the core of existence of monarchy. Nothing  quite symbolises stagnation, immovable social barriers  quite like the royal family.
Amid growing austerity,  these occasions should remind  us too, that in 2018 modern Britain the aristocracy still own more than one third of the country continue to hold onto disproportionate power.  This baby will have every need  pandered too, servants to make sure it goes for nothing, while others are born into poverty, whose  mums cannot  afford food or heating.
Behind all the spin and the fairytale nonsense, we should recognise  the sad fact that the gloss of inherited privilege, still shines,  I look forward to the day when, we are all born equal. Should not every new baby born, be headline news.
The upcoming May 2018 wedding of Meghan and Harry should also be seen in this context Austerity Britain and universal credit  verses a pageant of the rich with expenditure being no object.
There's a petition  at the moment too asking that the BBC is fair balanced and proportionate, and avoids  wild speculation and inaccurate claims about the royals and public opinion
You could sign it here :-

Privilege Verses Poverty

So a child is born
the silver spoons are near
for him to be fed,
with all the vestiges of power
that he could ever possibly eat,
while media overdrive in frenzy
gather outside, a life of privilege awaits.

the poorest among us
born in chains,
our voices go unanswered
and in refugee camps across the world
children choked in shadows of rubble and dust,
their future already denied
they are seemingly invisible.

Innocent children killed by drones
the press ignores their story
and people consigned to poverty and misery
by tory austerity and welfare reform
are expected to fawn
whilst queing at foodbanks
running on empty.

Daily we are manipulated
and the benefit claimants, disadvantaged,
and the underpaid workers
are told to go to hell,
Royal sprog does not have to worry though
in the 21st century it seems, we're still born unequal,
will be looked after by nannies, sent to public school
look forward to a lifetime of pampering and advantage,
and his grannies had a bloody pay rise too.

Sunday, 22 April 2018


We wait because we have no choice
all of us will not come back from the abyss,
death from warfare, death from addiction.
disease, austerity, melancholic affliction.
most will encounter death in the flesh
strings of infinity, stretched out, as we coalecse.
For years now, we have
exchanged propaganda presents,
here, there, everywhere, we wait for return
as dusk dances upon the sky with starlight,
we remind ourselves that everything that lives
will one day eventually cease to exist.

Time gets swept away, conjuring questions
which way now, but elsewhere,.
some choose revelation, some simply forget
others hum notes, that cannot be heard,
by anyone, save the listeners
above and beyond.

The sweetness of the world
its bitter pill often too hard to taste,
tears shed in ditches, to the point of no return
life balances on a thread, wears no uniform,
ready to bleed, ready to burn
a future under a cremated sun.

Life is a segway of delicate navigation
often the scales, tip one way or another,
lets us fall, stay or drift far away
following contracts of internal emotion,
good and evil, light and darkness
passion, apathy, peace, war, love and hate.

As days are dark, and night grows blacker
terrible flashbacks pass through mind,
with no end in sight, souls find no rest
remain powerless as life disparages,
tentative moments, in the pace of uncertainty
in moment's quiet,we can try, find harmony.

Survivors accept things as they are
take steps away from the edge,
abandon division, ideological tides
discover beauty among the ruins,
find some force, to ignite every breath
fight for life,so that they can win.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

In aftermath of Windrush Scandal its time for Amber Rudd and Theresa May to be deported from office.

                            The Empire Windrush arriving in Britain from Jamaica, 21 June 1948

After Theresa May was forced to make a grovelling apology to Caribbean leaders for Windrush scandal, after Caribbean migrants who arrived in Britain 50 years ago were threatened with deportation, because some of them may be living here 'illegally', and when over-zealous enforcement means that long-term legal residents live in fear and face deportation from the only home they have ever known, something is very wrong. This follows the case of Jamaica-born Albert Thompson. Who was told to present a British passport or pay £54,000 for NHS cancer treatment., and arrives shockingly during the signifiant anniversary of Enoch Powell's infamous ' Rivers of Blood speech..
Green MP Caroline Lucas was right to say that the Tory government “wants to create a hostile environment for migrants. This isn’t a design flaw, it’s central to their programme.”
We should remember the infamous words uttered by Theresa May as home secretary in 2012. “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.”
Under  racist immigration  polices introduced by Theresa May then and 2014, many of the children of the Windrush migrants are now finding themselves hounded by the government.Further changes to already racist immigration laws in 2012 and 2014 mean migrants can now be forced to prove they have the right to be here. Employers, landlords and public services such as the NHS can demand to see paperwork for healthcare provision.. other  people facing deportation, others have been made homeless or fired from their jobs. And some others have been forced to pay thousands in legal fees in their battle to stay.
This "hostile" immigration policy devised by Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary has been  regarded as "almost like Nazi Germany" by some ministers, the former head of the civil service has said.Lord Kerslake claims that concerns were voiced within government after the policy was announced in 2014.
He added that the strategy was a "very contested piece of legislation" that some ministers were "deeply unhappy" with. "Now, I can't say, and shouldn't say, as the former head of the civil service, precisely who gave what advice to whom. But, what I can tell you, it was highly contested and there were some who saw it, I shan't name them, as almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the way it's working," he said. Asked if he was referring to people in the civil service, Lord Kerslake said: "No, some in the ministers were deeply unhappy."
Speaking on BBC 2's Newsnight, Lord Kerslake criticised the way the Windrush controversy was being handled, calling Amber Rudd's attempt to blame the situation on the civil service "completely ridiculous".“You cannot create a climate and then not expect it to have consequences,” he said.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has refuted these comparisons.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "I have never heard anyone make that comparison before Lord Kerslake did. "It is not for me to criticise a distinguished former public servant like Lord Kerslake, but I respectfully disagree."
Mr Gove went on to praise Home Secretary Amber Rudd's response to the Windrush scandal after many were wrongly threatened with deportation.
"I think the gracious way in which she apologised to those affected was a model of how a politician should react to a situation like this," he said.
Tory local government minister Sajid Javid added that  he was “deeply concerned” about the scandal.
Yet at the same time the  Tories have no sympathy for the thousands of people held at Britain’s borders in Calais, nor is there scandal for people or outrage for people currently cruelly being detained in immigration removal centres like Yarl’s Wood, Is is not shameful that such centres exist at all?
The Home Office vile policy to create a 'hostile environment' for migrants in the UK has rightly come under fire with the Windrush Scandal. We should now be calling on politicians, as well as journalists to sign up to principles for ethical reporting on migration. To recognise that migrants are #notillegalHUMAN. It is scandulous that any human being can be described as illegal.
Amber Rudd, the current Home Secretary has been using the language of individuals to take away from the structural racism that is behind the Home Office deportation system.
This needs to stop. All deportations are unjust.In order to make this happen we need politicians that can pledge to work towards these 10 principles for ethical reporting on migration, of which over 60 politicians and journalists have already signed up to. All deportations are unjust.
We should remind ourselves that  a lot of the government's  policies on immigration/ asylum/ right to stay  isn't driven by actual concrete consequences. It's driven by pandering to anti immigrant / racist views. Britain an only atone for damage caused  by adopting policies exactly opposite to those currently in place, welcoming the migrants who come to our country with open arms and not treat them as second-class citizens.
And in solidarity,it's time for Theresa May and Amber Rudd to be deported from office.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Chittaqong uprising of 18 April 1930

The Chittagong Armory Raid, also known as the Chittaqong uprising was an attempt on 18 April 1930 to raid the armoury of police and auxillary forces from the Chittagong armoury in Bengal province of British India by armed revolutionaries for Indian independence from British colonial rule.
This elaborate plan was  concieved by a sofyly y spoken local teacher by the  name of Surya Ben  who was popularly known as Masterda..In. 1916  when he was a B.A  student in Behrampore College he learned about the Indian freedom movement from one of his teachers. He was drawn to revolutionary ideals and joined a revolutionary organization called Anushilan Samity. movement. After completing his studies he returned to Chttagong in 1918 and joined as a teacher at National School. Nandakanan., At that time, the Indian National congress was the most prominent political party there.

                                                       Surya Sen

All of the leaders of the uprising, were participants in the congress led civil Disobedience movement launched in 1919. They were bitterly dissapointed by Gandhi's decision to call of the movement following the violence in Chauri Chaura in 1922.Apart from Surya Sen, Nirmal Sen, Lokenath Bal, Ganesh Ghosh, Anant Singh, Ambika Chakravarti, Pritilata Waddedar, Tarakeswar Dastidar and Kalpana Dutta are the names of other unsung heroes, involved in this  revolt..
The inspiration of the Chittagong raid  actually came from the 1916 Irish Easter uprising, which vexed the crown, and  in the case of the  Chittagong mission, there is one dimension which, in later decades and still today, is seen by many as the definitive moment when women left the traditional roles to play a part in defining an independent national identity.
Pritilata Waddedar, also from Chittagong, accompanied Sen during the 1930 mission and later, in 1932, led another raid on the Pahartali European Club, which reportedly had a sign at the entrance: “Dogs and Indians not allowed.” During this operation, Pritilata was surrounded and took a cyanide pill to kill herself, thus creating a defiant nationalistic image to be followed by women in future decades to break down restrictive social shackles.
The aims of  the Chittagong raid  were to seize enough  arms and ammuniition which would be used in a great uprising, and show others that it was possible to challenge the armed might of the British Empire.
 After extensive planning and deliberation, and after  managing to  build up an army of teenage recruits. The plan was to assassinate  the members of the European Club – military and government officials who were responsible for siding with the British to maintain the Raj. The other objective  at the time was to make Chittagong independent.
At around 10 pm. around 100 of these recruits clad in khaki, marched in military order  in several groups. One of their batches raided the telephone exchanges and Telegraph offices and managed to cut off all communications between Calcutta and bacca.. The second severed rail connections at Nangalkot and Dham, which caused derailment of good trains and blockading of all railway traffic. At the same time leaflets were distributed all over the town explaining  the objective of the raid.. They also  hoisted the national flag on the premises of the armoury, and proclaimed a provisional Revolutionary Government  It was a symbolic blow on the British supremacy  at the time.
 After that they fled to the hills. They were pursued by the Police; and were  surrounded by the British Indian Army in the Jalalabad Hills, where they had took shelter on the afternoon of 22 April 1830.There was an encounter in which over 80 troops and 12 revolutionaries were killed in a gunfight. Surya Sen and some of his fellow revolutionaries were  successful in fleeing. The revolutionaries who were arrested in Chittagong were captured and trialed with  12 people being deported for life.
Stunned by Surya Sens actions, the British embarked on a series of brutal combing actions around the Muslim dominated villages where the revolutionaries were hiding. Despite repressive British actions, these villagers did not betray Surya and his band, instead they offered them food, work and shelter for three years.
In February 1933  Surya Sen was eventually arrested by the Police after being betrayed by one of his omrades, Netra Sen.He was brutally tortured by the British for days, his teeth knocked out, nails ripped, limbs  and joints broken, before he was dragged to the rope unconscious and, hanged, and given a burial at sea.
In his last letter, written to his friends Master-da exhorted us, 'Death is  knocking at my door.My mind is flying away towards eternity... At such a pleasant, at such s grave, at such a solemn moment, what shall I leave  behind you? Only one thing that is my dream, a golden dream, the dream  of Free India.  Never forget the 18th of April 1930, the day of the Eastern Rebellion in Chittagong... Write in red letters in the core of your hearts the names of the patriots who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of India's freedom.' 
This remarkable, anti-imperial revolt remains relatively little-known, if not quite forgotten, but  at the time managed to rattle an empire and two films have since been made about it. Ashutosh Gowariker's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se (2010), starring Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, and Debabrata Pain's small-budget but award winning Chittagong (2012), featuring Manoj Bajpai and Vega Tamotia, both, unfortunately, flopped at the box-office. 
Earlier, Manini Chatterjee, the daughter-in-law of communist leader PC Joshi and Kalpana Datta (1913-95), wrote a gripping account Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34 (1999).
She was well placed to do so because her mother, Kalpana, had been one of the insurgents who took part in the uprising.
Surya Sen and many of  his comrades paid a heavy price, sacrificing  their life, for the cause of freedom even though their actions have got dispersed in the pages of history.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Palestinian Prisoners Day

Today marks Palestinian Prisoners Day, a day when the Palestinian people and supporters of justice and liberation for Palestine all over the world express  their support to Palestinian political prisoners of freedom.
In Palestine, political imprisonment is a central feature of Israeli Apartheid with over 20% of Palestinians facing imprisonment in their lifetime.
According to the Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoner Affairs ;-
,  roughly 6,500 Palestinians are currently lanquishing in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 350 children, 62 women (8 of whom are female child prisoners), 500 administrative detainees held without charge or trial. 1,800 prisoners who require medical care (700 of whom suffer from serious and chronic conditions), 6 parliamentarians, and 18 journalists. The youngest being a 12-year-old girl. All are treated with the same callousness regardless of age or gender, and UNICEF has said that Israel’s treatment of child detainees is in violation of international law and the Rights of the Child.
Since Israeli began its military occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been abducted and imprisoned by Israel.  This figure represents 20% of the total Palestinian population and 40% of the Palestinian male population. It also includes 10,000 women imprisoned since 1967 and more than 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons as a result of torture and lack of medical care. Furthermore, 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested since 2000.
Under international law and conventions, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (the Third Geneva Convention), the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, Israel is legally bound to exercise its powers for the benefit of the occupied area and its people.
Palestinian Prisoner Day was founded to remind the world of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners imprisoned in Israeli prisons or detention centers without charge or trial for extensive periods of time. The number of Palestinian detainess increases as Israeli occupying forces continue to wage campaigns of arbitrary arrests and detentions against thousands of Palestinian prisoners. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue to be subject to wide-ranging violations of their rights
and dignity.
 The numbers of Palestinian women detained has also increased,. Investigations have revealed that prisoners are regularly subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including poor detention conditions, in violation of Israel's obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
Out of the total number of detainees, 48 had spent more than 20 successive years in prison, 25 spent more than 25 years and 12 having spent more than 30 years.
The longest serving are Kareem Younis and Maher Younis, who have been in detention for 35 years, and Nael Barhoutti, who served 24 years in Israeli prisons and released during one of the prisoner exchange deals  but was later re-arrested to continue his previous life sentence and an additional 18 years.
These are some of the  reasons that I support Palestine  Prisoner Day  and continue  to support the international communities efforts to ensure the immediate and effective measures to ensure that Israel releases all unlawfully detaned prisoners, and ensures that conditions of arrest are consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law.

Take action

Monday, 16 April 2018


Lowkey fearless rapper with a purpose returns, and hits back at Donald Trump.

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Official Video for Lowkey - McDonald Trump

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

May must resign

A message from a friend. Please share

May I request that you rally together all MP's that opposed the insane bombing in Syria on the night of the 13th/14th April 2018, ie  SNP, Greens,and other voices of reason and logic etc, so that on Monday 16th April 2918, when the UK Parliament meets. a motion is presented, or if that is not possible a series of individual calls, for the Prime Minister and her Cabinet to resign.

A constitutional protocol or agreement was established  in response to the UK Parliament being deceived by Blair, using false intelligence, regarding weapons of mass destruction, into declaring a catastrophic war on Iraq. The agreement being that all Prime Minister's relinquish sole right to their previously held ability to use substantial armed force against another sovereign state without having to consult the UK Parliament first.

This agreement was not only broken by Prime Minister May and her Cabinet, when they ordered the UK military to take part in the attack on Syria without first consulting parliament. They also repeated a version of Blairs deception, by ignoring a basic civilized  rule of justice and failing to wait for any substantiated evidence to be collected, nothing analysed, before making inflammatory accusations regarding the alleged chemical attack in Douma. As such they acted as no more than a lynch mob when ordering air strikes that clearly risked a potential catastrophic confrontation with Russian forces, which the Russians had explicitly warned they would not tolerate.

As such May and her  Cabinet should be forced to resign, as they have perverted the constitution and are a clear risk to both the national security of the UK as well as the welfare and safety of its citizens.That the UK Government has chosen to bypass Parliament in this instance is simply not acceptable and makes a mockery of our so called democracy and the international rules of law which on an exceptional basis, allows to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering. Why single out Syria, there are many other countries one could mention where thousands of people are routinely murdered.

The hypocrisy is amazing. Theresa May and  her toxic co must go.

Friday, 13 April 2018

No to bombing Syria

Currently the warmongerers are gathering, planning to bomb Syria, after a recent chemical attack,  Theresa May has put RAF bombers on standby to start airs strikes in Syria. Donald Trump has vowed to take action .The stakes are obviously extremely high, but opinion polls suggest public opinion is firmly against military action. Only 22% of respondents in a YouGov Poll said they would support airstrikes on Syria. More bombing would prolong the agony of the Syrian people and risk causing a catastrophic war with Russia.
I can understand the ongoing tragedy of the situation in Syria, and people who argue that non-intervention has a price as well as intervention, and that letting people get away with the use of chemial weapons will only encourage them to do it again. But the argument which takes us from those statements  to 'we must bomb Syrian military forces or fatalities' is seriously lacking in logic and reason, and simply attacking anyone who questions this and being a supporter of Russia is just nonsense. The gassing of civilians, if confirmed, must not go unpunished. But while retaliation may briefly relieve western guilt over the Syrian tragedy and boost Mr Trump’s self-image, it cannot be a substitute for a peaceful solution.
The conflict in Syria has a deep and complex history. An estimated 100,000 Syrian people have lost their lives, and nearly 2 million have been forced to leave their country, torn apart by civil war and competing global and regional powers. We know that innocent people, often women and children pay for war and aggression and there is  no end in sight. A US military strike will not end the violence. We must not forget that the UK and the USA has been bombing other countries for over a decade, the cost being massive regional instability, terrible loss of millions of innocent lives. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results meets Albert Einsteins definition of madness. More likely, it will trigger a massive regional conflict, and  will destroy the infrastructure the Syrian people desperately need to stabilize and rebuild their country.
Dropping more bombs on this devastated country will only add to the nightmare already in existence. Military action action against Assad will  not make the situation better for the people of Syria, it will most probably make a perilous situation much worse.  We should do whatever is possible to urge our Government from leading us into another dangerous war. Air strikes in Syria could risk devastating consequences. War is an act of terrorism too, only on a bigger budget. Do we stoke and inflame an ongoing tragedy? There is a very real danger that the Middle East could face the catastrophe of a regional war, and that Trump, backed by May, could fan the flames. Where is their concern for the welfare of civilians when we see Israeli snipers targetting unarmed Palestinian civilians in Gaza?  Do we really need more blood on our hands? Not in my name.
Stop the illegal war demo has been called by the Stop the War coalition today at 5 PM Downing Street, there will also be protests across the country over the weekend and another demonstration called for Parliament Square Monday 5.30 pm.

Oppose Trump and May's Plans for Escalation in Syria

"So we are going to "war" are we? And how do we get out of this war once we have started it? Any plans anyone? What if there's a giganti srew up, whih wars do tend to usually produce? What happens then?" - Robert Fisk

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Fighting Times

People in society currently pecked into pieces
Politicians creating wastelands for generations,
Taking from the poor and giving it all to the rich
Division not progress their ultimate pitch,
Poisoning minds, creating wars of attrition
Continuing to blind us with fear and confusion,
With twisted morality, sullied emotion
Forces of capitalism, driving us in one direction,
Planned poverty,leaving victims in its wake
Homelessness growing that the government make,
Food banks growing in this age of austerity
People daily waking up to distorted reality,
In Grenfell tower people died, government indignation negligible
No deaths in a Salisbury cafe, government reaction incredible,
Their systematically treating us with derision
With conscious games that simply imprison,
Daily now the balancing acts of life hard to handle
People broken, beaten, continue to be strangled,
Held captive by forces of misery and mockery
Time, to take a stand, make demands that set us free;
Break the bonds that bind us, the walls that hide us
Plant seeds of rebellion, rise back in disgust,
Growing stronger, lifting voices high
So loud they will be unable to drown our cry.
Together we are capable of inducing chain reactions
Generating effects that take away maddening distractions,
Leaving the present behind, that is ever so profound
Keep fighting for our lives, until the next round.

Poem can also be found here:-

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Emiliano Zapata - Mexican Social Revolutionary (8/8/1879 - 10/4/1919)

Emiliano Zapata was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution  of 1910 against the dictatorship  of Porfirio Diaz. He is considered to be one of the national heroes of Mexico, the Zapatistas, a revolutionary movement fighting for the political rights for Mexico's native Indian population, based in the state of Chiapas, take their name from him. Their most famous voice is Subcommander Marcos.
Zapata was born on August 8, 1879, in Anencuila, Mexico, an uneducated son of a peasant of indigenous blood who trained and sold horses. At age seventeen  he was orphaned and was forced to raise his brothers and sisters.
He grew furious at the injustices suffered by his neighbors whose lives depended  upon the small trats of land they farmed. All the villagers lands were threatened, however by the corrupt government of Porfirio Diaz.
When a nearby hacienda owner stole land from the peasants. Zapata began battles to get the peasants land back to them.In 1897 he was arrested for taking part in a protest by the peasants, against the hacienda/plantations that had appropriated their lands and soon after was drafted into the army. He served six months, at which point he was discharged to a landowner to train horses in Mexico City.
Zapata became known as a man with a balanced judgement and humble values. He was partly influenced by an anarchist from Northern Mexico  named Ricardo Flores Magon. The influence on Magon on Zapata can be seen in the Zapatismo Plan de Ayala, but even more noticeably in the Zapatisto slogan 'Tierra y liberted' or 'land and liberty.' the title and maxim of Magon's most famous work. Zapata's introduction to anarchism came via a local schoolteacher by the name of Otilio Montana, who exposed Zapata to the works of Peter Kropotkin among others , while Zapata was at same time observing and beginning to participate in the struggles of the peasants in the land.
Zapata disliked the tyranny of a brutal central government that favoured the wealtty over the peasantry, an anarchist possibly, but Zapata was no Marxist, One famous attributed quote of his reads "One of the happiest days of my life was made when I made five or six hundred pesos from a crop of watermelons I raised all on my own,"
Zapata was, at his heart, a socialist who believed in fair access  to the means of production, whih he believed would lead to prosperity for the community.Widely respected by his community, the village elected him to be their leader in 1909. By 1910, many of the common people were forced of their land . These injustices to his fellow Mexicans , forced Zapata to form a peasant army to fight for the rights and freedoms of the indigenous people. He joined fores with Francisco I. Madeiro however Zapata became disenchanted with Madero's lack of action toward land reform, as well as his lack of support for Zapata's 1911 Plan of Avala, which called for the return of lands to the indigenous peoples.
Zapata had a picturesque appearance, old eyes, big sombrero, with long  handlebar mustache, a pistol tucked into his belt, the quintessential Mexican Revolutionary, a  passionate man with strong ideals that he tried to put into practice.Personally incorruptible, he remained loytal through a decade of revolution to the cause of campesinos. In return the poor of Southern Mexico idolised him. When an old woman in an isolated village was asked what she thought of him, she asnswered, " us poor mountain Indians, go along hanging on tight to the tail of chief Zapata's horse."

After Victoriano Heurta overthrew Madero , Zapata joined forces with the legendary Pancho Villa, who was leading an army of Madero supporters in the North of the country.During the first weeks of 1910, Zapata continued to build his organization, training and equipping his men and consolidating his authority as their leader. The revolution took it bloody course with Villa fighting in the northern part of Mexico, while Zapata remained mainly south of Mexico City.
On 11 May  his peasant army began the Battle of Cuautla  and on  May 19, after a week of extremely fierce fighting with government troops, the Zapatistas took the town of Cuautla. Only forty-eight hours later, Francisco Madero and the Mexican government signed the Treaty of Crudad Juarez which ended the presidency of Porfirio Diaz and named Franisco Leon de la Barra, former ambassador to Washington , as interim president.
Madero was elected president in November 1911, and Zapata met with him again with no success.With help of a teacher  Otilio Montano, Zapata prepared the Plan of Avala, which  declared Madero incapable of fulfilling the plans of the revolution.They vowed to return stolen land to the people, by expropriating, with payment, a third of the area of the haciendas,those haciendas that refused to accept the plan would have their lands expropriated without compensation. The peasants rallied to Zapata's support.
With Zapata's Revolution an ongoing event, in 1913, General Vitoriano Heurta assassinated Madero who then took control of the country under a dictatorship. It there was anyone that Zapata   hated more than Diaz and Madero, it was Heurta, who had been responsible for many atrocities in southern Mexico while trying to end the rebellion. Zapata was not alone. In the north the legendary Pancho Villa, who has supported Madero, immediatey took to the field against Heurta. He was joined by two newcomers to the Revolution, Venustiano Carranzo and Alvaro Obregon.
Together they made short work of Heurta, who resigned and fled in June of 1914 after repeated military losses to the "Big Four." Zapata did not recognise the authority that Carranza asserted as leader of the revolutionary movement, and continued his adherance to the Plan de Ayala. Zapata and Villa broke with Carranza, and Mexico descended into civil war. Zapata focussed his energies on rebuilding society in Morelos which he now controlled, instituting the land reforms of the Plan de Ayala. As Carranza consolidated his power and defeated Villa in 1915, Zapata initiated guerilla warfare against the Carrancistas, who in turn invaded Morelos, employing scorched earth tactics to oust the Zapatista rebels. Zapata once again retook Morelos in 1917, and held most of the state against Carranza's troops.
In this year Carranza's army defeated Villa though which left Zapata isolated. Carranza was elected president and threatened by Zapata's enormous popularity,  maliciously set about plants to get rid of Zapata once and for all. On April 10th, 1919 Zapata was led into a trap where 400 of his enemies lie in wait. Hidden snipers on surrounding rooftops opened fire, riddling him with bullets. His body was photographed and put on display so that there would be no doubt that he was dead, before being buried in Cuadutla. Zapata's assassination backfired on Carranza , who was forced to flee the capital the following year, with Zapata becoming the apostle of the revolution and a symbol of dispossessed peasants. Support among the people of Morelos grew and they continued to support the Zapatista forces, providing them with weapons, supplies and protection. To many Zapata still rides in the hills intent on finishing the job he began on November 28, 1911- the date of the Plan of Ayala..He also remains a symbol of freedom to the oppressed of the world. Zapata's influence  has endured , and continues to be one of the most inspirational figures of any social  justice movement, and his agrarian reform movement, remains important to many Mexicans today. where he is considered a folk hero and is revered as a revolutionary figure.celebrated for continuing his fight for land and liberty for the poor and oppressed
Zapata's motto; "It's better to die on your feet, than live on your knees," was a plea to dignity to ordinary citizens.Zapata lives the struggle continues.

Peoples history of the Mexican  Revolution ' La Revolucion  Mexicano 

Monday, 9 April 2018

70th anniversary of Dier Yassin massacre

Today  the Palestnian people mark the 70th year of Dier Yassin .An Arab village cleared out in 1948 by Jewish forces in a heatbreaking massacre just weeks before Israel was formed.The village  lay outside of the area assigned by the United Nations to the 'Jewish State'. It had a peaceful reputation, the Deir Yassin villagers had signed a non aggression pact with the leaders of the adjacent Jewish Quarter, Giv'at Shaul and had even refused military personnel from the Arab Liberation Army from using the village as a base.
But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for ocupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist frces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perfrm the takeover.
Early in the morning Commanders of the Irgun (headed by Menachim Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. By the time  the villagers realized the intensity of the terrorist attack, hundreds were already dead, the Zionist militia  murdered over 250 Palestinian villagers, men, women, children and the elderly, in cold blood wounding  many others. 53 orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifi El- Arabi orphanage.
 The Deir Yassin massacre outraged many Jews at the time. The day after the massacre, Albert Einstein wrote a letter of protest to Ben Gurion. Six months later, Einstein and Hannah Arendt and many others were signatories to a letter to the New York Times, denouncing Menachem Begin, and warning Americans not to support him.  “It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism through out the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents”, they said in the letter.
A year later the settlement  Kafar Shaul was founded on this site. In the 1980's the remains of Dier Yassin were bulldozed to make room for new settlements. The streets of these new neighbourhoods were  shamefully named after members of the Irgun family.Also today, a psychiatric hospital occupies the center of what was Deir Yassin village, restricting access to its fortified stone homes standing defiantly against the grid of generic Israeli settlement buildings constructed on stolen land.
For Palestinians and their supporters, the massacre is a symbol. It is remembered as the pivotal onset of the 1948 Nabka; Deir Yassin is the "other shoe that fell," sparking over 750,000 to flee from their homes out of a fear that they too would be massacred. What happened in Deir Yassin prepared the ground for the ethnic cleansing of 70% of the Palestinian people. The same ethnic cleansing that occurred then is still going on today. In 1948 they used direct massacres, but today they use airstrikes  and shoot innocent young Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.This stain in history marks more thany anywhere else the Palestinian sense of dispossession.
Seventy years later the Deir Yassin massacre still remains an important reminder of Israel’s systematic measures of displacement, destruction, dispossession, and dehumanization.In keeping with Simon Wiesenthal's observation that "Hope lives when people remember," the suffering of the Jews has been rightly acknowledged and memorialised. But there are few memorials for Palestinians who died in 1948 and since. Their history, in which the massacre at Deir Yassin is a very significant event, but has been largely buried and forgotten. And yet, like the descendants of the victims in Armenia (1915-17), in the Soviet Union (1929-53), in Nazi Germany (1933-45), in China (1949-52, 1957-60, and 1966-76), and in Cambodia (1975-79), the descendants of Palestinians want the world to remember what they suffered, what they lost and why they died. The calculated efforts by Israel to completely erase the history, narrative and physical presence of the Palestinian people will not be simply ignored or forgotten. It also serves to ask ourselves the question what  turns a victim into an abuser,a bully that keeps blaming its victims? And over the years we've been taught many things, that invasion was not invasion, occupation was not occupation, apartheid was not apartheid,ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing,and that land theft was not land theft and Palestine was not Palestine.
And Seven decades later , Palestinians continue to be killed with apparent impunity, as ongoing events in the Gaza Strip demonstrate, and modern day Palestinians in occupied  East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to face widespread illegal settlement expansion and home demolitions, but  the Palestinian peoples collective voice can still be heard from the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, to the towns of the West Bank and Gaza, to the ghettos inside the Israeli green line. This determination and resilience has earned them respect and support of an increasing number of people around the world. Despite the humiliation and pain of their  occupation, you can't kill their  indomitable spirit and struggle.

Phil Monsour , featuring Rafeef Ziadh - The Ghosts of  Dier Yassin

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Swirling Dream

( Following poem dedicated to Kurt Cobain, (20/2/67 - 5/4/94) among others lost, who on April 8, 1994, was found dead in his home in Seattle, his death was ruled a suicide by a self- inflicted shotgun wound to is head)

Swirling Dream

Sometimes the air around gets lost
Rain hits cheeks, drenching with sadness,
Fill lungs with nicotine, cans of poison
Go searching for Oblivion,
Waiting in the dark for sustenance
Some hi ho silver lining,
In transcendent state of mind
Gardens become blankets,
The only dragon that flies here
Is powered by love and light,
The deeper I wander, get closer to Nirvana
Subconscious particles of mind get clearer,
As the evening hangs still, among the silence
The whisper of leaves, scents that hypnotize,
I touch the moon and stars with my fingertips
In the distance hear the sound of angels calling,
Life's flickering candle rekindles, reawakens
On the threshold of dream, night turns to dawn.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Friends continue legacy of Gaza sand sculptor killed during Land Day protest

Israeli troops have shot dead seven Palestinian protesters and wounded at least 200 along the Israeli/Gaza  border Gaza medical offficials have said , since last Friday's Land Day demonstrations  raising the death toll to 27 in the week long disturbances.
Last Fridays demonstration was the second in as many weeks planned, a week long sit-in dubbed the Great March of Return.
Its main message is to call for the right to return for Palestinian refugees who were driven from their homes in the territories taken over by Israel during the 1948 war, known to Arabs as the Nabka.
Israel has since drawn sharp criticism internationally for its open-fire orders along the border, including its warnings that those approaching or trying to damage its fences would be targeted. While the world watched they used excessive force, against peaceful protesters firing live ammunition , tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets.
Palestinian Gaza based artist, Mohammed Abu Amir, 19, pictured above, was one of those killed. He was  killed a day after sculpting the words " I will return" on Gaza Beach.
Mohammed was the second member of his family to be killed by Israel. His brother Ehab, 21, was killed in 2008, during a clash east of Gaza City.
Mohammed once said, " Be optimistic, set a goal and plan for your life and make your personality open to others, then you can live happily," will now be able to continue to address the young generation through his work, but they will live on as posts on his facebook account for those who want to recall his sculptures, and though his friends who continue his legacy.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Theresa May and the Conservative Party's Toxic Politics of division that are aided by the media

Theresa May is against so much, just look at her voting record, and what she has done since she became Prime Minister. She is Anti-NHS, Anti-working class, Anti-free school meals,Anti-pensioners,,Anti-students,Anti-homeless people,Anti welfare.Anti- Trade Unions,Anti- Laws to promote equality and Human Rights, Anti - those that seek asylum, Anti- tackling tax evasion
Anti-wildlife, Anti- environment Anti- world peace,Anti- legal aid, Anti- a fairer society, Anti- helping people in financial need, Anti-social housing.Anti- secure tenancies for life, Anti - an unbiased media. The list is endless.
Despite this the media give her an easy ride, while she continues to deliver her toxic policies of division. Capitalism's dedicated servant,  driven by vanity and her thirst for power, who joined up with Northern Ireland's, Democratic Unionist Party in a desperate attempt to cling on to her party's majority in Parliament. As unemployment, homelessness, despair continues to rise, this vicar's daughter shamelessly carries on , leaving the marginalised  adrift ,paying her game of divide and rule, with her plans for Universal Credit, people on welfare payments who are already facing the most gruelling of times, face an even harder one. Her plans will also effect millions of people actually in work too. It's a mess of her own making, one of conscious cruelty.
Tory cuts too mean that spending on local government services in England  has fallen by 33 billion in the past 5 years, and it is the most deprived areas that have been the hardest hit, some facing an overall drop of 20 percent or more in spending. Crippling councils and public services. As a result many local authorities are struggling to provide support for vulnerable children and families, Also as a result of  Tory policies, some 3 million children in Britain risk going hungry in the school holidays when they don't have school dinners, and  austerity has led to around 120,000 deaths.Tory policies really do cost lives, as they callously  keep ignoring the needs of the poor, the disabled and mentally ill. Lest us forget her chaotic approach to Brexit..
This is the world that Theresa May and her party have built. Do do we simply allow them to stagger on, with their wreckage, savaging the NHS, ignoring the homeless, holding down public sector pay, scapegoating Muslims , migrants and attacking disabled people,and recently putting the finger of blame on the Russians for a poison incident, despite having no  proof whatsoever, except in her closed mind, who should have seeked more evidence before placing the Kremlin in the frame. And then there is the case of her party pocketing millions from regimes that back extremism, Saudi Arabia for example, and at same time a small  group of millionaires continue to  bankroll her, for their own interests..
Yet the  mainstream media  generally casually ignores all this,and simply carries on with their rolling attacks of anything that  alternative voices say, for instance that of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn  who gets daily criticized  for anything he says or does, because of their owners own agendas. One of the worst perpetrators in all of this is the rag that goes by the tile 'Daily Mail', a so called newspaper that stood with Hitler and Oswald Mosely's fascists, a paper that only threes years ago ran a cartoon comparing refugees to vermin, that under the editorship of Paul Dacre declares that Corbyn is worse than the BNP. Surely even the most unaware among us, should  begin to question this ongoing narrative.
With news that right wing papers have been secretly recording Jews at religious events to 'prove' their antisemitism, it seems that anything resembling informal,impartial debate has been abandoned.Hence me letting of steam here,. Remember large sections of the billionaire  owned media have spent decades orchestrating  hatred and lies against all sorts of people, muslims, feminists,  the Irish,, LGBT  people, the unemployed, single mums, trade unionists,  immigrants of all stripes (including Jews)  and many more besides.And now we are supposed to believe that they have suddenly a solemn reverence to Jewish people. Antisemtism still needs to be stamped on, wherever it lies, inside the Labor Party and outside, but now seems to be being stirred up simply to attack Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has spent his whole life fighting racism in all its forms.
Billionaire newspaper owners like Lord Rothermore, Rupert Murdoch and the Barclay brothers,living in tax exile, have their own vested interests, and are desperate to keep Theresa May and the Conservatives in power, to allow themselves to keep protecting the status quo and the establishment,which they are part of, now openly displaying their right wing political bias, using their press to frame peoples perceptions and outlooks.
Despite this it has at least led to an explosion of independent media recently. Outlets like the Canary, Another Angry Voice, Evolve politics etc have at least sprung up  to provide a counter narrative to the established media. Independent voices that truly fight for our corner, instead of relaying propaganda on behalf of May and her mates. Sadly though it is is the right wing press, particularly the tabloids, that have the widest reach and so have the biggest impact on our political landscape, imaginations and conversations
Hopefully people nowadays with the onset of social media can see through  all this, and recognise for themselves, the need to continue to question this ongoing narrative, realise that their own futures do not look bright with May still in power, and to read beyond the spin in the daily press.May's government is in paralysis and beyond incompetence. This  is a toxic party, toxic government, but increasingly looking fragile, but still protected by their media. For the  many not the few, enough is enough,  its time, for them  to go. Hopefully they will be severely punished in the upcoming spring local elections. There you are rant over.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Martin Luther King (15/1/29 -4/4/68) His Prophetic Last speech : I been to the mountaintop

This is the last speech given  by Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr, delivered on April 3, 1968 to a crowded church, in Memphis Tennessee. King spoke of the injustice he felt for the city's sanatoriam workers who were on strike protesting low pay and poor working conditions.
Amid the call for African-Americans to boycott businesses that mistreated workers , he delivered a sermon, without notes, that focused on his life and disavowed any concern that he might be killed for his role in the fight for civil rights.
'Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about tat now,' the Rev. Mr King said that evening. 'I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, But I want you to know tonight, that we as people , will get to the promised land,!'
Now known as ' I've been to the Mountaintop,' the sermon was called King's ' ,most apocalyptic' y King scholar James Washington.
He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennesee the next day, today April 4, 1968. If you listen to the words, it's almost as if he was predicting his own death,  powerfully prophetic.His strong voice still speaking out and touching this age of Trump and rising Bigotry we need voices like King's more than ever. A man who refused to dilute his ideas, with integrity and passion for the causes of equality, justice and freedom, long may we celebrate his brave voice and his powerful legacy.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

A Different Drum

I march to the beat of a different drum
Through life keep dreaming on.
Carrying poetry deep in my soul
Following music that I must share,
Standing alone though I try to blend in
Keep on dancing while I listen,
Speaking about the abandoned
To those that are willing to listen,
Beyond political grief, apolitical despair
Finding enough reasons to continue to care,
Beyond man made borders
Discovering gifts of imagination,
Finding principles to guide
Pondering about ways we could all be free,
Falling in holes along the way
Sipping from bottles of mindfulness,
Journeying on with decimating attitude
Unpredictable thought, keeps on beating,
Glittering and glimmering under sunbeams
As rhythms of the heart.keep on beating.