Monday, 29 June 2020

The World's Police - Leon Rosselson

Leon Rosselson is one of England's most respected songwriters who played a real part in the post-war revival of folk music in the UK. Best known for his politically-edged tune, "The World Turned Upside Down," that tells the story of the historic Digger Commune movement of 1649 in England. Dedicated to the ideal of a classless society, the Diggers settled on privatized land and held it in “the common good,” believing that all should share freely in the gifts of the earth.about the 17th century.
Rosselson continues to reflect the state of modern Britain through his songs that are full of power, passion, anger and hard questions yet catchy and sometime laugh out loud funny. The Guardian called his tunes "fierce, funny, cynical, outraged, blasphemous, challenging and anarchic," Folk Roots described Rosselson as "a sharp observer, a wonderful wordsmith, a composer of originality and depth, but most of all, a superb integrator of words and music." Launching his career in the early '60s, as a member of folk revivalist group the Galliards, Rosselson attracted international attention when several of his songs were featured on the satirical television show, That Was the Week That Was. A major break in Rosselson's bid for success came when Billy Bragg's version of "The World Turned Upside Down" reached the British Top Ten in 1985. Two years later, Rosselson had a minor hit with his independantly-released single, "Ballad of a Spycatcher," recorded with accompaniment by Bragg and the Oyster Band.
He has performed in every conceivable venue around the country, from pub rooms in Wigan and Warrington to the Albert Hall and Festival Hall in London, and has toured the United States, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. He has written songs for community theatre and children’s street theatre, songs for a stage production of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and a scripted shows about the nuclear threat called ‘No Cause for Alarm’. He has released twelve CDs of his songs and published two songbooks, Bringing the News from Nowhere and Turning Silence into Song. He has also had seventeen children’s books published; the first one, Rosa’s Singing Grandfather, published by Puffin, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 1991. A stage show based on his children’s story The Greatest Drummer in the World was premiered at the Drill Hall in London in 2002 and subsequently went on a nationwide tour of theatres and schools.
From his 1979 LP If I knew who the enemy was, The World's Police has a wide interpretation, being on surface level about the forces of law and order, but in fact developing to show the use of authority as not merely oppressive but apocalyptic. By extension, the same authoritarian forces lead from boots to non-lethal weapons, to machine guns, bombs and ultimately nuclear holocaust.
The song seems to have reached its coda when the verses drop out, and in one of the most unexpected developments of any Leon song, the post-apocalypse world is almost celebrated as one of perfect calm and peace. But Leon spins it around again; he's looking from the perspective of the authorities where peace is synonymous with order, and the theme of the song is launched anew. As with a lot of his songs, it has a timeless quality that still resonates with the times we live today.
The World's Police" features Leon alongside Roy Bailey backed by Firoz Shapur on brass and piano, guest guitarist (and LP producer) Martin Carthy unhappily sitting out the session.

"There were arguments, I seem to remember, when we recorded this cheerful little number for If I Knew Who the Enemy Was. Martin Carthy thought that I'd over-arranged it. But there's no arguing over Fiz Shapur's fine octave leap on the French horn shortly before the end of the world."  -  LR (sleevenotes to Guess What They're Selling at the Happiness Counter, 1992)

“Musically, and in content and form, this is about as remote from the folk idiom as it’s possible to be. I’m not sure how I arrived at a melody which required a chord sequence of Edim/Fm/Cm/C sharp minor/G sharp/E. Not, for sure, from strumming the guitar. Could I then have made my first acquaintance with the Brecht-Eisler songs? This wasn’t, in my mind, a song just about the militarisation of society and the suppression of popular uprisings. It was intended to be broader than that – to depict a society based on an ideology of control, order, obedience, repression, domination of nature, deterrence, leading ultimately to the death of the planet.”  -  LR (sleevenotes to The World Turned Upside Down (CD box set), p27-28)


Why leon Rosselson, is not a “household name” has long baffled me, not only has Leon been writing and singing for more than half a century, but he has remained faithful to a certain concept of political, social and economic justice. For those who share that faith, he will always be a household name

Visit his website at

And here is a link to a recent  article written by him on the current Labour Party debacle :-

Beyond a Joke - Leon Rosselson

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Oppose Israeli Government’s Annexation Threat in the Occupied West Bank

Demonstrators take part in a rally to  protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, Jericho, June 22, 2020

Despite widespread condemnation from Palestinians, US-Arab allies and numerous foreign governments. Israel is expected on July 1 to annex  huge swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank  under a plan agreed by Netanyahu and his rival turned ally Benny Gantz, the head of  the Blue and White party.
The plan comes as part of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” which was announced on Jan. 28. It refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank, and calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected by bridges and tunnels. Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel will annex 30%-40% of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.occupied territory.
These dangerous proposals, represent a serious attack on decades of international law and successive United Nations resolutions, and further undermine the rights of the Palestinian people and the prospects of peace in the Middle East.The plan will force Palestinians to live in isolated enclaves surrounded by Israeli military checkpoints, walls and segregated Jewish settlements built  on Palestinian land, and will have a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, women and men, whose voices were not even consulted. The Israeli government has already made it clear that Palestinians in the West Bank who will be annexed to Israel will not receive citizenship nor residence rights, and the most likely outcomes will  see further unequal distribution of land and water resources on behalf of illegal Israeli settlements, more state violence, and fragmented Palestinian enclaves under complete Israeli control
As the world is focused on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Israeli government is rushing to implement these plans ahead of the US presidential elections in November.
Even a smaller scale annexation would mark an immense blow against the democratic and national ambitions of millions of Palestinians, and particularly against the idea of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel, and thus would mark a significant turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This threat has already drawn protests and sharp opposition on both sides of the national divide and internationally. This includes thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and thousands of Jews and Palestinians in Israel who have protested against the plan.
The demands of the Palestinian people for an end to occupation and the system of segregation, an end to discrimination and the right to full equality, and the exercising of self-determination through the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders remain unchanged. These legitimate demands will not be diminished by unilateral moves taken by Israel in violation of international law, and we must reiterates our solidarity with the Palestinian non-violent opposition whose freedom, dignity and human rights are threatened by this current proposal and Israel's previous actions. Since 1967, tens of thousands of Palestinian properties have been demolished and whole communities forcibly displaced to make way for illegal settlements. Natural resources have been diverted and appropriated to settlements which flourish while Palestinians communities face systematic and institutionalised human rights violations, and lets not forget that under every shade of Israeli rule, Palestinians have only ever been exiled refugees,  occupied subjects, or second-class citizens. There is nothing that another bill can tell us that decades of laws and policies haven’t already. And there is no need to wait for Israelis to admit their regime is apartheid to prove that Palestinians were right all along.
Israel's plan to annex any area of the West Bank including the Jordan Valley must be condemned.We must recognise East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights as illegally annexed under international law and continue to condemn Israel's 53-year occupation of the West Bank and its 13-year blockade of Gaza. Adding our voice to the growing denunciation of Israel's flagrant disregard of international law, the Geneva Convention and resolutions agreed upon by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. Standing  with those countries, civil society and human rights organizations, and people of conscience who call for Israel to immediately end their plans for annexation.
Annexation, will formalise Israel's strategic and persistent efforts to create "facts on the ground" and will be the death knell for a viable Palestinian state. For decades, a two-state solution which acknowledges the rights and security of both Palestinians and Israelis as equal neighbours has been upheld by the United Nations and the international community. If Israel continues with its plans, as articulated, realisation of a two-state solution will be rendered impossible. This will cause irreversible damage to the fulfillment of the inalienable right of Palestinians to self-determination, as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, and will hinder efforts for them to create a flourishing Palestinian state.
Disturbing historical parallels have also been drawn between Palestinians and the Bantu people of South Africa. Ten territories were designated as quasi-autonomous states for the black African population during the mid to late 20th century and kept under control of the white supremacist state.  The “Steal of the Century” is intended to bring about a similar fate for Palestinians.
With the looming threat of annexation, there’s been a general escalation in attacks by Israeli state forces and by colonial settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The killing of Eyad al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old Palestinian with autism, on May 30 in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli “Border Police” soldiers was a graphic example of the brutality of the Israeli occupation in a territory which was already officially annexed to Israel immediately after the 1967 war of occupation.
The small but important protests following that killing involved Palestinians and Israelis and drew inspiration from the BLM rebellion in the US, with some using the slogan “Palestinian Lives Matter”. Israeli Jewish activists of Ethiopian origin drew a comparison between the case and the racist police brutality endured by Israeli Ethiopians, which sparked a series of stormy protests, most recently in July 2019. In response to the killing of al-Hallaq, the Israeli establishment, including Netanyahu, shed some crocodile tears, realizing the potential for a stronger backlash.
Yet, despite Netanyahu’s concern with a potential investigation in The Hague, it is clear that any annexation move will trigger a sharp backlash against the Israeli occupation and the Israeli regime in general over the next period. The plan is quite simply a further attempt to legitimize the illegitimate: Israel’s existing policies of forcible expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population, home demolitions and evictions, and already unprecedented levels of state-sanctioned settler violence against Palestinians. Annexation means Israel’s illegal, immoral, and racist 19th Century campaign of colonization, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid become officially formalized – in violation of all international law.  
Virtually everyone opposes this, but the question is whether anyone will do anything about it. Europe and others have the power to make Israel think twice, but they need to hear a massive demand for action from citizens first. Let's give it to them! .
Demand action for Palestine now, plase sign the following petitions:-

Quick Facts : Israel Annexation of Occupied Land & International Law

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Ocean of Tears

Lulling us into false contentment the light jades
Across an undulating mirror lightning plays,
Eternally in motion lit by silver blades
Turbulent foam flecked over restless waves,
Gathering souls in an endless quest
To clasp the bravest in it's watery breast,
Ever governed by the moon
Its tidal swell catching those too soon,
Young, strong, weak and old
Pulled relentlessly into the cold,
Trapped forever in perpetual gloom
Dragging the helpless to their doom,
Hearts and souls set forever free
Drowning among salty hold.
Unfathomed are the waters deep and blue
The ocean creating such hullabaloo;
Seeking amusement in lunar slavery
So eager to catch the sleepy unwary.

Monday, 22 June 2020

National Windrush Day

Today marks National Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Docks in Essex carrying the first Caribbean migrants. It marked a seminal moment in Britain’s history and has come to stand for the rich diversity of this nation.
Many of those who left sunnier climes were ex-servicemen who fought with the UK in the Second World War and had answered the British Government's call to help rebuild post war damaged Britain  Their hard work and skills would help bolster the economy, fill labour shortages and help establish our National Health Service.Their descendants have continued to enrich social, economic, political and religious life. It is estimated that around 500,000 people living in the UK are part of the Windrush Generation, who arrived between 1948 and 1971.
Windrush Day was established as a celebration to honour the enormous contribution those who made that journey, and others who followed from elsewhere - have made to Britain. Many encountered overt racism, discrimination, and rejection. The climate of Britain was not ready to embrace anyone who was different. "The Other" This was the era of "Sorry no coloured, No Irish, or dogs" The harrowing stories of being spat at, excluded from the mainstream, not accepted, not wanted, laughed at physically and emotionally abused. The stories told are horrific.Yet,  despite all this they persevered. Many were granted the right to settle in the UK by the British Nationality Act 1948. Those legal rights meant that those migrated neither needed, nor were given documents upon entry to the UK.
The annual event was established in 2018 in the wake the Windrush scandal when many of those invited to Britain suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of immigration laws that, unbeknown to them, had changed around them.
We should not forget the infamous words uttered by Theresa May, who as home secretary in 2012 said  “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 in  2014, many of the children of the Windrush migrants found themselves hounded by the government. Further changes to already racist immigration laws in 2012 and 2014 meant migrants could be forced to prove they have the right to be here.
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.
Although many people had lived and worked in Britain for most of their lives, law changes required them to have official documents to have access to healthcare.
Some people who had lost their official documents or were unable to provide them were sent to immigration detention centres. At least 83 people were wrongfully deported.
The scandal led to the resignation of then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd, and prompted a wider debate about British immigration and deportation policy.The Government  was forced to apologise and give compensation to those whose lives were affected. Despite the scheme being launched two years ago, only 5% of the many people who have submitted claims have been paid compensation.
This country owes a huge debt to the Windrush generation. The injustices that the Windrush generation and their families have faced have not gone away, as they struggle to secure their status and access the compensation they deserve. The Home Office must stop furthering the pain of victims of the Windrush scandal. If the Government were sincere in their apology, it’s time for the hostile environment to come to an end and they compensate victims fairly.Please sign the following petitions


No matter who you are or where you are, there are lots of ways to mark Windrush Day, even in lockdown, by watching, reading and educating yourself through informative and accessible events taking place online. Many places  began  their days of celebration with the ‘Windrush song’ – ‘London is the Place for Me’ by Lord Kitchener – at 10.27am – in reference to 1,027 passengers aboard the Windrush when it docked at Tilbury.

This year, the NHS in particular is leading the charge in Windrush celebration, marking the contribution of staff from more than 200 nationalities who have played a critical part in the shaping of the health service, and remain a crucial part of its workforce today.
Here's  some other ways you can get involved this year:
The Black Cultural Archives will be celebrating the heroes of the Windrush Generation with live poetry.Between 7pm and 8pm, they will be live on their Instagram page in partnership with youth charity Poetic Unity.
Residents living in Lambeth, London, are being invited to sing Desmond Dekker's song ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’ on their door steps on June 22 as a socially distanced way to mark the day with others.
A Windrush art and activity pack is also available for locals, and has been created by a Brixton-based artist, Carolyne Hill.
Even if you don't live in the area, you can always sing the song in your home as a sign of support.

There is also an online screening of the documentary “Daughter of the Windrush” from Blackburne house, working with the Museum of Liverpool – which examines stories told by daughters and granddaughters of Liverpool’s Windrush Generation.
 Another Black Cultural Archives (BCA) collaboration, ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ is a series of eight radio plays produced by Decolonising the Archives that explore Windrush legacies by drawing from the BCA collections. The plays will be released over eight days from Monday June 22. Find out more here
The poetry Society will also be sharing poems by poets throughout the day.
And events will also being taking place across Wales to honour the Windrush generation and their contribution to Welsh life
Lets show our gratitude and respect to the people of Windrush, who did nothing wrong and  did not deserve the treatment experienced. Their legacy lives on.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

World Refugee Day 2020

Credit ;Deveron Projects , Illustrated  by Jacques Coetzer

World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20 to raise awareness about the plight of refugees around the world. It is held to show solidarity with those who have been displaced and to honor their resilience and determination to keep their families safe. The day is also marked to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, climate disaster, political instability conflict and persecution.
World Refugee Day came into being in 2000 when the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided on December 4, 2000 that June 20 would be marked as World Refugee Day. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol help protect them.
This year the theme for World Refugee Day 2020 is Step With Refugees. As per the UN, in a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees.
Statistics from Amnesty International  show that many refugees who have fled conflict, persecution, hostile environment  or disease remain in volatile conditions.  Millions of Syrian refugees live in dire conditions on the border with Turkey – millions more refugees live in overstretched camps and face daily exploitation in Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Greek islands. Even refugees who sought a better life and made the extremely dangerous journey to Europe face open hostility and daily injustices. Refugees stranded in camps and at borders have been challenged more than ever before with the toughest of living conditions and a hostile reception at international borders.
Nothing can be more heartbreaking than having to flee the place you have been born and brought up in, 70 million people are currently displaced from their homes on account of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations, of these, approximately 25 million are refugees, over half of whom are children under the age of 18, having being forced to  leave their home country and  take perilous journeys to cross international and national boundaries in search of safety elsewhere. A far larger number of people are displaced within their own country (internally displaced) or displaced for reasons which go beyond persecution and conflict, including drought, hunger, environmental disasters and the effects of climate change. In this context, World Refugee Day takes on ever-greater importance as a point in the year to remember, learn more about and explore ways of addressing the situation of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
Don't forget either  that many refugees find themselves living in camps until they are resettled, some of which are so dangerous and not well-equipped for long term living. Refugees also don't have a say in which country they are ultimately relocated to, and the bureaucratic process involved in finding their new home can take years. Refugees stranded in camps and at borders have been challenged more than ever before with the toughest of living conditions and a hostile reception at international borders.The persecution of refugees continues, whipped up by forces of racism spreading fear and misinformation. As continuing tragedy unfolds, some of the countries most able to help are shutting their gates to people seeking asylum. Borders are closing, push backs are increasing, and hostility is rising. Avenues for legitimate escape are fading away.
Since the beginnings of civilization, we have treated refugees as deserving of our protection. Whatever our differences, we have to recognise our fundamental human obligation to shelter those fleeing from war and persecution. It is time to stop hiding behind misleading words. Richer nations must acknowledge refugees for the victims they are, fleeing from wars they were unable to prevent or stop. History has shown that doing the right thing for victims of war and persecution engenders goodwill and prosperity for generations. And it fosters stability in the long run.
Today and tomorrow we must continue to stand up for refugees. We must and play our part in continuing to challenge the injustices and inequalities that fuel and helps further exacerbate this ongoing crisis, and promote a better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. It is vital more than ever that we  ensure that people seeking refugee protection  remain visible and heard and are welcomed. The world needs to renew its commitment now to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its principles that made us strong. To offer safe harbor, both in our own countries and in the epicentres of the crises, and to help refugees restore their lives, and allow their voices to remain visible and heard, build  bridges not more obstacles or borders.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Devoid of Virtue

£900,000 to paint Boris Johnsons personal plane
While many don't have enough for food for table,
Engulfed in despair and utter desolation
Trying to keep lives afloat on troubled waters,
Our Prime minister it seems has money to burn
Foolish man, with overrated sense of self- importance,
Brimming with selfishness that must be reviled
Who believes aid to poor countries should be denied,
As he swaggers and blusters across the land
Making mockery, releasing arrogance of power,
This money could be spent on free school vouchers
Or a years salary for 36 newly qualified nurses,
Instead of a revolting lurid vanity project
Many feeling this folly truly obscene,
As our country faces really grim future
This red white and blue paint job, taking the piss,
A vacuous leaders wasteful distraction
Sycophantic pillock in need of gratification,
While the tears of Grenfell continue to fall
Where's the recovery cash, for all the survivors,
Can you see them, hear their cries
Beyond this Tory clots tactless makeover.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Sean Taylor - Herd Immunity

 Sean Taylor is a fantastic London-based singer and songwriter who deserves wider acclaim.
This , alongside "This Is England" is Sean Taylor putting into words his total frustration with what has become of the UK in the last few years. And he speaks for so many of us.
This track specifically challenges the Johnson led UK government over their appalling, self praising handling of a pandemic that has caused so many thousands of unnecessary deaths.
It's tough in its condemnation, harsh in its criticism, but needed to be said. And I applaud his fearless approach.

Stay alert
Die quietly
Don't complain

All hail Boris the butcher
Welcome to our ‘Little England’ nightmare
Incompetence, arrogance, negligence and cruelty
Is the twisted heart of government
If you repeat a lie often enough
You can write it on the side of a bus
They knew this pandemic was coming months ago
But as the storm gathered pace
The UK declined European assistance
The government chose Brexit over breathing
As other countries closed large events and gatherings
Boris bragged about shaking hands with Coronavirus patients
Coughing with 80,000 Rugby fans
Followed by Cheltenham festival
Where a quarter of a million people spread the virus
Every action has been taken with reluctance, incompetence and delay
Too slow to close the schools, too slow close public places
Too late with tracing and testing
We have gone against advice from the world health organisation
We have taken a completely different response to every other country
They say it is too early to ask
Why we have one of the highest death rates

The victims are always the most vulnerable;
Coronavirus in care homes spread like wildfire
The sick and the poor hammered again
Stay alert means stay home if you are rich
But die at work if you are poor
The lowest paid jobs have the highest death rates;
Those who never stopped working;
The construction workers, the cabbies, security guards, transport workers, doctors, teachers, nurses, carers delivery drivers and supermarket staff
Workers from every country
Who are vilified by racists as ‘unskilled migrants’
Now as we are fighting for our lives
Exploited migrants become key workers
If you can applaud the NHS why do you keep voting Tory?
Remember when they cheered a pay freeze for nurses?

Angela Merkel is scientist and Jacinda Ardern a compassionate leader
We have our very own killer clown
Putting the blame on the individual
Makes the government not responsible
All that bragging got the clown infected
Taking it on the chin turned to ‘Let’s all pray for Boris’
We will never know the truth about his illness
Except it is his get out of jail free card
Read the Sun exclusive about an Old Etonian’s scary ordeal
He should try being poor
Our deaths are reported like scorecard of government success
An abstract figure fed through a prism of lies
Our criminal government aided and abetted by a complicit media
Fawning over daily graphs and colourful slideshows
It is a dark time when phone tapping Piers Morgan
Is the only mainstream journalist challenging the government

They say ‘Protect our borders’ when they demonise migrants
But when it comes to Coronavirus we have open door policy.
Everybody is welcome particularly those infected
Forget about fighting on the beaches
Who needs quarantine and testing
When we have that stiff upper lip
Herd immunity is far right eugenics
In Dominic Cummings’s words ‘let old people die’
Like the Bullingdon club trashed restaurants
Now they are wiping out care homes
Do you feel proud?
When Boris calls black people ‘piccaninnies with watermelon smiles ‘
When Boris calls homosexuals ‘tank top bum boys’
When Boris calls Muslim women ‘letterbox bank robbers’
When Boris steals the racist thunder
From Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson

Written by Sean Taylor
Produced by Mark Hallman 
Video by Shaun Dey@ Reel News

Buy @


Sunday, 14 June 2020

Emmeline Pankhurst (15/7/1858 - 14/6/1928) - Deeds not Words

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Emmeline Pankhurst, British political activist, feminist, and leader of the suffragette movement who played a crucial role in winning the vote for women.
Emmeline Goulden was born to radical, feminist parents in Manchester in 1858.  Despite being academically gifted, she did not receive the same education as her brothers. Although her parents supported women's suffrage and the general advancement of women in society, they believed that the most important part of a girl's education were the skills needed to make a home for her family. At age 15, Pankhurst left home to attend the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 1878 she married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister 24 years her senior who supported women's right to vote and Emmeline's political work outside the home. Over the next ten years, Pankhurst had five children while remaining active in political organizations, including the Women's Suffrage Society.
In 1889, the Pankhursts founded the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for all women—married and unmarried. In 1893, Pankhurst began to distinguish herself as an activist in her own right. She became active with the Women's Liberal Federation (WLF), an auxiliary of the Liberal Party, but quickly grew disenchanted with the group's moderate positions. She resigned from the WLF and applied to join the Independent Labour Party (ILP). She was refused admission to the local branch because of her gender, but eventually joined the national ILP. One of her first activities with the ILP was distributing food to the poor through the Committee for the Relief of the Unemployed. She also worked as a Poor Law Guardian, exposing her to the harsh conditions in Manchester workhouses. She campaigned for improvements to the conditions, becoming a successful voice of reform on the Board of Guardians.
In 1889, after the death of her husband, Pankhurst resigned from the Board of Guardians and took a paid position as Registrar of Births and Deaths in Chorlton. This position and her elected position on the Manchester School Board served to reinforce her political convictions regarding women's suffrage. The Pankhurst children also started becoming more active in the women's suffrage movement. In 1903, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a suffrage organization whose slogan was "deeds, not words."
Under Pankhurst’s leadership, the suffrage movement adopted a distinctly radical strategy. English women burned down the country homes of the rich. They harassed businessmen on the street. They placed bricks in their handbags. They destroyed golf courses, poured acid in mailboxes, and cut the telegraph wires of stock brokers. In one memorable event, they enlisted supportive male dock workers to charge the Prime Minister’s office, wreaking havoc along London’s Downing Street.
“In our civil war people have suffered,” she declared, “but you cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs; you cannot have civil war without damage to something. It does not matter to the practical suffragist whether she alienates sympathy that was never of any use to her.”
The press, public and politicians were shocked by such combative, revolutionary demonstrations by women.The group became infamous for its tactics of smashing windows and assaulting police officers, leading to repeated prison sentences for its members, including Pankhurst and her daughters. In prison, the women staged hunger strikes and the authorities' policy of force-feeding garnered significant sympathy for the women. After Pankhurst's oldest daughter, Christabel, took over the WSPU in 1912, arson became a common tactic of the organization, drawing criticism against the Pankhurst family from more moderate organizations. In 1913, several prominent members left or were forced out of the WSPU, including Pankhurst's other daughters, Adela and Sylvia.
 When she returned to England after her 1913 American fundraising tour, Pankhurst fully expected to be imprisoned for an earlier conviction, and she was. In June, 1913, at the most important race of the year, the Derby,.  ran out on the course and attempted to grab the bridle of Anmer, a horse owned by King George V. The horse hit Emily and the impact fractured her skull and she died without regaining consciousness. Although many suffragettes endangered their lives by hunger strikes, Emily Davison was the only one who deliberately risked death. However, her actions did not have the desired impact on the general public. They appeared to be more concerned with the health of the horse and jockey and Davison was condemned as a mentally ill fanatic. Emily was a WSPU member.
With the outbreak of World War I the WSPU agreed to to halt all militant suffrage activities, being among the first to surrender their principles to the altar of war and patriotism, suspending its campaign and aid the war effort, they encouraged men to fight and women to help with industrial production in their absence which redeemed it somewhat in the eyes of some but drew consternation from others..Emmeline's patriotic view of the war was reflected in the paper's new slogan: "For King, For Country, for Freedom'. The newspaper attacked politicians and military leaders for not doing enough to win the war, All suffragettes were  released from prison.  In 1917, Pankhurst dissolved the WSPU and formed the Women's Party, a political party dedicated to promoting women's equality in public life. In 1918, after the Representation of the People Act granted votes to all men over the age of 21 and  married  women over the age of 30, the party stood Christabel as a candidate in the 1918 general election. She won 47.8% of the vote in her constituency, losing by only 775 votes to her Labour Party opponent.
But after the success of 1918, Emmeline retreated from public life in Britain. She spent much of the early 1920s lecturing in Canada and the United States. She returned to Britain in 1926 and surprisingly to some, she joined the Conservative Party  and was selected as a candidate for Whitechapel and St George in 1928. However, her health had been impacted by her frequent incarcerations and hunger strikes and she died that same year at the age of 69. Just eighteen days later, Parliament passed the Representation of the People (equal franchise) Act 1928, giving the vote to all women over the age of twenty-one regardless of property ownership. Finally, women had equality with men in terms of voting. It was a shame that Emmeline, after devoting her life and sacrificing her health to the cause, never got to see her dream fully realised.
Pankhurst is considered to be one of the most influential women in British history. After her death, the New York Herald Tribune called her "the most remarkable political and social agitator of the twentieth century and the supreme protagonist of the campaign for the electoral enfranchisement of women".
The legacy of the Suffragettes lives on though in people who daily practice deeds not words, who participate in direct action, constantly calling out for more radical change. On the anniversary of Emmeline's death their are still many being force fed, in prisons  across the world, many people still fighting , still hungry for freedom.
 Today also marks the  anniversary of this blog,11 years old, I thank all those who have supported it ,  left a comment or two, shown some encouragement, you know who you are. Keep fighting for what you believe in, All the best  heddwch / /peace.

Far right thugs protest in London despite warnings

Far-right extremist  thugs from Britain First, English Defence League and the Football Lads Alliance,  supported by fascist Tommy Robinson scuffled with police in central London on Saturday, despite strict police restrictions and warnings to stay home to contain the coronavirus. They instead y descended on the U.K. capital to cause disruption and harm. Many gathered around the statue of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph war memorial, which were both boarded up Friday to protect them from vandalism. Officials put protective panels around the monuments amid fears that far-right activists would seek confrontations with anti-racism protesters under the guise of protecting statues.
Fireworks, smoke bombs and bottles were hurled at police officers, while others tried to push through police barriers. Riot police on horses pushed the crowd back. The protesters, who appeared to be mostly white men, chanted “England”the national anthem and "We're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it.".while others raised nazi salutes and some  brandished neo-Nazi regalia, Footage widely shared on social media showed punches being thrown by those in attendance while in one instance a press photographer suffered a broken nose at the hands of one demonstrator.  Six officers were left with "minor injuries",
“I am extremely fed up with the way that the authorities have allowed two consecutive weekends of vandalism against our national monuments,” Paul Golding, leader of the Far-right group Britain First, said.earlier but this   did not  prevent the "desecration" of Pc Keith Palmer's memorial after a man urinated next to it amid violent far-right protests in London, while others carried out acts.of extreme thuggery and violent behaviour. in such an appalling and shameful.manner.

I believe in freedom of speech but  these neo-fascist forces  with their  insidious ideas are a direct opposite to all that freedom stands for, if they had the means to they would crush the diversity and openess that fly under freedom's wings. Their ideology linked  historically in  opposition to all concepts of fraternity and equality, brutally supressing all opposition and criticism, to spread hatred and division. They are hypocrites of the first order infected with a racist mindset.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "These are the same people we have to deal with on an everyday basis and they think we can’t feel their racist energy,” he continued. “and urged people on Saturday to “stay away” from the demonstrations in light of the risk of spreading coronavirus and concerns about possible disorder, vandalism and violence.
“We have intelligence that extreme far-right groups are coming to London ostensibly, they say, to protect the statues, but we think the statues may be a flashpoint for violence,” Khan said on BBC Radio on Saturday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also forcefully advised against attending protests, saying Friday that anyone attacking public property or the police would face "the full force of the law."
The violence could have been far worse had a planned demonstration by the Black Lives Matter movement not been cancelled after receiving word that “many hate groups” were planning a counter-protest. saying the presence of the counter-protesters would make it unsafe. Some anti-racism demonstrators gathered in smaller numbers at Hyde Park.
Scotland Yard had already issued a Section-60 order for the protests, which gave them increased powers to stop and search.
The global Black Lives Matter movement has spread beyond demonstrations against police brutality to confronting colonialist pasts  and systemic racism.In recent days, some protesters around the world were emboldened to take more strident action, toppling statues of slaveholders, slave traders and prominent colonial era figures.A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was hauled from its plinth by protesters in the city of Bristol on Sunday and dumped in the harbour.
In London, Churchill’s statue was daubed with the words "was a racist.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted Friday that while Churchill "sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today,” he was a hero and "we cannot now try to edit or censor our past.”
Churchill, whose first term spanned 1940-45, has long been revered for his leadership during World War II. What is overlooked is that Churchill espoused various racist opinions which are well documented. He once  wrote, "I hate Indians". "They are a beastly people with a beastly religion," Not just his words, his actions too are a testimony of his racial mindset. In 1943, Churchill engineered the Bengal famine, where wheat was exported from India for allied troops as Indians went to bed hungry. He stopped all food supplies to India and was a major reason why four million people starved to death in Bengal in the same year.
"It's (Indians) their own fault...for breeding like rabbits," Churchill had said.
He was also a supporter of gas bombs and during the Arab Uprising in 1920, he lamented the 'squeamishness' of his colleagues who were not in favour of using poisoned gas against the so-called "uncivilised tribes".
In the same year, Churchill sent the blacks and tans into Ireland who were tasked with terrorising the Irish rebellion.
In 1949, Churchill also ordered the British Army to fire on the anti-Nazi protesters in Greece and also facilitated Zionism in Palestine. "Palestinians were 'barbaric hordes' who are little but rabbit dung," he wrote.
"A stronger race, a high-grade race, a more worldly-wise race has come in and taken their place."
Churchill also planted the seed in South Africa to strip black communities from their voting rights. Among other controversies.was  his involvement in the Tonypandy riots .
After Britain declared a state of emergency in Kenya in 1952 to protect its system of institutionalised racism, Churchill approved the forcible removal of the local population, which he termed "blackamoors".At least 150,000, women and children were forced into concentration camps. Churchill also thought that the British were "winners in a social Darwinian hierarchy". This thought is out-of-date, just like imperialism and like racism, which is another legacy of the British, that needs to die.Despite all of this, many are still blinded by their excessive admiration for Churchill, take Prime Minister Boris Johnson. for instance.
We should not let the fascists whipped up and stirred by the likes of Johnson,  go unopposed despite his condemnation of what happened on Saturday.Without the encouragement of  Johnson  pretending that the issue of Black Lives Matter is reduced down to statues. things might not have taken the course they did. He has not engaged on the key point about racism and its systemic nature in this society. Johnson himself has been dogged by allegations of racism and bigotry over the course of his career, due to a series of controversial columns he has written and comments he has made.
We must continue to challenge racism wherever we live and stand together against the forces of intolerance that  spread hatred and division, and with everyone who has been impacted by racism, prejudice and the invisible structures in society that perpetuate inequality.

Friday, 12 June 2020

While Banksy Proposes a Replacement for Bristol's Colston Statue Others Say Topple the Racists

As thousands of demonstrators gathered in largely peaceful protests in cities across the UK at the weekend, including in Manchester, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, as early as last week Banksy lent support to the Black Lives movement with a powerful piece of art of a vigil candle burning an American flag. and a stark message,which read: 'At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue.'But why would I do that? It's not their problem, it's mine.'
He continued: 'People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it's not their job to fix it. They can't - no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
'This is a white problem. And if white people don't fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.'

Banksy returned to Instagram to share another piece and proposal surrounding the controversial and now-toppled statue of  Edward Colston in Bristol. Colston was a 17th-century slave trader that was responsible for having transported over 80,000 enslaved individuals between 1672 and 1689. Around 20,000 of them, including some 3,000 or more children, died during the transatlantic journeys.
The statue has stood in Bristol's city center since 1895- 170 years after his death – to celebrate his (debatable) philanthropic work. The plaque on the statue insists that it was “erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.”  But it had become increasingly controversial  with petitions created to demand for its removal This past Sunday,anti-racist  protestors took down the statue of Colston from its pedestal, located in the center of Bristol, and tossed it to the bottom of the Avon River, as jubilant cheers roared across the city centre and harbourside.

The elusive street artist and fellow Bristol-native Banksy shared an excellent idea for filling the gap left and commemorating the important moment in his latest work saying : “What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol?” The artist expanded upon his suggestion, expressing: “Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t. We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”
Others meanwhile  have suggested the controversial torn-down statue should be replaced with a tribute to prominent civil rights campaigner Paul Stephenson, 83.More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for a statue of Mr Stephenson to be installed on the now-empty plinth where  the controversial Colston sculpture once stood. Mr Stephenson led the Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963 after a company refused to employ black drivers and conductors. The 60-day protest eventually led to the company revoking its colour bar.
Another suggested replacement is that of Bristol pioneer Roy Hackett, a civil right's hero, co-founder of the Commonwealth Co-ordinate Committee (CCC) and founder of St Pauls Carnival. It has also been suggested the city should install a memorial to the thousands of West Africans who died aboard ships during Colston's time as Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company..
While Banksy’s post is receiving many positive responses, the removal of Colston’s statue is also  part of a widening global conversation about racially insensitive, invasive monuments that scar cities and towns across the West, many glorifying the men who profited from slave trade throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, with many Europeans now contemplating their history with slavery.  . The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made an official address to evaluate of all London statues that have ties to slavery. BBC News recently reported that another statue of a slaveholder by the name of Robert Milligan has been vandalized and removed from outside the Museum of London Docklands.
 And students in Oxford have become freshly interested in taking down a statue of  white supremacist Cecil Rhodes on their own campus. This is just one example of how the removal of sculptures in one place can trigger renewed critical interest in an entirely different physical location, and given the global nature of the protests that are currently ongoing, it’s likely that many more monuments to long-dead oppressors will be torn down in the future.
Anti-racism protesters have also drawn up a map of 60 “statues and other memorials to slave owners and colonialists need to be removed so Britain can finally face the truth about its past – and how it shapes our present”.Monuments on the “Topple the Racists” list published by the Stop Trump coalition in support of the Black Lives Matter protests and maps out  statues across Britain which pay tribute to slave traders and "racists". ans include statues of slave pioneers, Francis Drake, Robert Blake, and Horatio Nelson, at Goldsmiths College, and statues of Christopher Columbus and William Gladstone.
The group said: "We believe these statues and other memorials to slave-owners and colonialists need to be removed so that Britain can finally face the truth about its past – and how it shapes our present.
They said they were inspired to start the map by the actions of the protesters in Bristol.
"Statues are exercises of public adoration. And Edward Colston made his fortune in the slave trade.
"He was part of a system of mass murder, torture and human suffering.
"We must learn from, not venerate, this terrible chapter in British colonial history."
The list of statues and street names range from statues of Christopher Columbus in Belgravia, London, the famed explorer who colonised America to stained glass windows in Cambridge and street names in Croydon. There is also a petition gaining momentum  here in Wales to end commemoration of colonial murderer 'Sir' Thmas Picton , which you can sign below
Statues commemorating racist and colonial figures such as officials of the confederate army and slave traders are also being removed across the world either by protestors or local authorities. though the existence of many of these has already been the subject of nationwide debate, particularly in the US, the push to remove them has emerged from the ongoing, worldwide demonstrations protesting racial inequality and police brutality. in richmond, virginia, the state-owned statue of robert e. lee, a leader of the confederate army, has been covered in graffiti amid the protests, while on june 4, governor ralph northam announced plans to remove the statue:

''when a young child looks up and sees something that big and prominent, she knows that it’s important,’ northam said in a press conference. ‘and when it’s the biggest thing around, it sends a clear message: this is what we value the most. but that’s just not true anymore. in virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history. one that pretends the civil war was about “state rights” and not the evils of slavery. no one believes that any longer. and in 2020, we can no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people. in 2020! I want us all to tell the little girl the truth. yes, that statue has been there for a long time. but it was wrong then, and it is wrong now. so, we’re taking it down.’
All this comes amid the recent Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place in the wake of the murder of George Floyd who died after a white police officer held him down by pressing his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. His death has sparked days of protests around the world and  as a result, for now these dark shameful, dehumanising symbols  of empire, oppression and racism  are coming down.It's not a case of erasing history, but  of correcting past injustices and betrayals, recognising the ongoing legacy of slavery, the horrors of colonial expansion, least of all the violence against people of colour, or forgetting who was responsible for some of thee greatest human rights abuses in history. The struggle is long and arduous, but we can still celebrate small victories along the way.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Just Requital

Their kicking down the statues
Destroying grotesque monsters,
Deplorable figures of injustice and inequality
Spectres of an inglorious shameful age,
In moments of beauty and resistance
Marching to the beat of a different drum,
Exorcising the past, creating a brighter future
As symbols of terror, sink into deep waters,
Shed no tears, for images of exploitation
The shackles of colonialism and oppression,
Now defiant people, crush them to the ground
With power instead of whips and chains,
Tear down mantles of subjugation and horror
While voices of freedom keep on singing,
With strength beneath fingertips
Exhaling images of hate and deceit,
Sanctifying our surroundings, casting out evil
Delivering mercy, the joy of triumph's won,
let the empty spaces, be filled with spirit of liberation
Tomorrow's passion jubilantly dancing,
We breathe, as justice and equity change history
Cancelling out the signposts of hate,
Moving forwards, no longer submitting,
Soaring and spiralling on the breezes of life.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Song for the Day : Hozier and Mavis Staples - Nina Cried Power

Originally released in September  2018,  the remarkable "Nina Cried Power,"by Hozier. the Irish-born, indie-folk singer who came to fame with "Take Me too Church" (his  ripping condemnation of homophobia in religious organizations in 2014 ) could not feel more relevant, an anthem of resistance and strength in an increasingly tumultuous time.
The song honors the legacy of musicians and activists who made protest songs part of their repertoire. The iconic artists mentioned in the track's lyrics include the song's namesake Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, James Brown,Woody Guthrie, Billy Holiday and Curtis Mayfield, among others who all fought for something they believed in through music, whether it was clean water, equality or peace.. Hozier told Rolling Stone: "The fights that took place 100 years ago or 200 years ago for whatever - civil rights or workers' right etc. - don't stop. There is no final victory."
Hozier’s appreciation for the work of Black musicians shapes the entire track, including the lyrics, the gospel-inspired chorus and, most importantly, the involvement of a prominent civil rights singer, Mavis Staples,  whose voice blends seamlessly and soulfully with Hozier’s, their harmonies highlighting and giving way to one another.  Although known for his poignant lyricism, here Hozier opts for a simple yet rousing chorus in which he and Staples cry the word “power” — a tribute to Simone’s song “Sinnerman."In an interview with The Guardian, Hozier said that from a very young  age, he used to listen to Nina Simone's albums  before going to sleep and therefore he greatly admires African-American music.
Hozier’s efforts to give credit and recognition to these singers goes beyond the track itself. In the same Billboard interview, Hozier had no reservations about addressing the appropriation of rock music. “There is absolutely no rock and roll without blues music,” he said. “There is no blues music without one of the most horrendous atrocities of human trafficking in the last few centuries. It is, of course, a really difficult subject. Everything that’s popular music swings off the work and the achievements and the legacy of Black artistry.” By opening up these types of conversations about race, Hozier presents the music world with an important example of how to appreciate, rather than appropriate, art forms created by people of color.
Moreover, when considering today’s political and artistic climate, “Nina Cried Power” has even wider implications. A song like this along with the legacy of all the great Black artists that it honors, serves to remind us that art is never just art. Everything that we choose to read and watch and listen to carries a message with it, and those messages have a profound impact on our society. Art is power, as the song’s title suggests..Music can be used to provoke and empower people to become bold enough to fight against forces much greater than themselves. Unlike so many great promoters of peace, social justice and equality, many musicians are blessed with the fact that millions of people are listening to their songs, since their work  is so easily accessible via social networking and platforms like youtube, bandcamp and spotify. With that much influence, it only seems logical that they would choose to write about something worthwhile.
Before the release of ' Nina Cried Power', Hozier posted a message to his Facebook page told his fans that it's about "crediting the spirit and bravery of people whose voices have made impact on our world..."The video is a collection of Irish activists all with very amazing legacy’s and features them listening to the song for the first time. It's simply quite moving.In this defiant song  Hozier and Staples have challenged us as artists and as consumers to follow the lead of Dylan and Curtis, of Holiday and Woody, and of Simone,  they have challenged us to use our voices and to cry power, whilst highlighting all the ways music is a force to be reckoned with when we put actions to words.
Considering the mess that the world is right now, we definitely still need the push of inspiration and encouragement that comes from song, Whilst injustices continue to be challenged, and  people unequivocally stand in solidarity with Black communites in their fight for justice,with unprecedented sense of urgency, and it is our duty  to play are part in the protection of Black lives and all others facing ongoing oppression. People have the power, their is power in music and song that we can use to rally one another and help keep us strong. This music  is blowing across all continents, and the times are here for a changing.

Nina Cried Power- Hozier and Mavis Staples

It's not the wakin', it's the risin'
It is the groundin' of a foot uncompromisin'
It's not forgoin' of the lie
It's not the openin' of eyes
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

It's not the shade we should be cast in
It's the light and it's the obstacle that casts it
It's the heat that drives the light
It's the fire it ignites
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

It's not the song, it is the singin'
It's the heaven of the human spirit ringin'
It is the bringin' of the line
It is the bearin' of the lie
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power

And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Curtis cried power
Patti cried power
Nina cried power

It's not the wall, but what's behind it
Oh, the fear of fellow man, it's mere assignment
And everything that we're denied
By keeping the divide
It's not the waking, it's the rising

And I could cry power (Power), power (Power)
Oh, power
Nina cried power
Lennon cried power
James Brown cried power
And I could cry (Power) power, (Power) power
Hey, power
B.B. cried power
Joni cried power
Nina cried power

 And I could cry power
Power has been cried by those stronger than me
Straight into the face that tells you
To rattle your chains if you love being free

Ah, lord, I could cry power
Power (power)
'Cause power is my love when my love reaches to me
James Brown cried power
Seger cried power
Marvin cried power
Yeah ah, power
James cried power
Millie cried power
Patti cried power
Billie, power
Dylan, power
Woody, power
Nina cried power

Friday, 5 June 2020

Ben & Jerry's : Black Lives matter, so do Palestinians

In the aftermath of George Floyds  death in Minneapolis, US, thousands have taken part in protests and demonstrations across the world supporting the Black Lives Movement and calling for an end to police brutality against black people.
On Tuesday 2 June, so called Progressive ice cream makers, Ben and Jerry’s released a statement on its website, saying that the company is “outraged” over the killing of Mr Floyd and “the continued violent response by police against protesters”. Ben & Jerry's is known as a company that has spoken out on climate change, th rights of refugees and migrants, and the LGBTQ community, as well as for its bold statements in support of the Movement for Black lives in America since 2016.
 “We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalisation, and repression because of their skin colour, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country. We have to say his name: George Floyd,” the firm said.
Ben and Jerry’s wrote that the murder of Mr Floyd “was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy”, stressing that he is the “latest in a long list of names” of black people who have been killed, including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner.
 “Today, we want to be even more clear about the urgent need to take concrete steps to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms,” the firm stated.
The ice cream brand said it is calling upon US President Donald Trump and other elected officials “to commit our nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation”.
The company is also calling upon the US Congress to pass legislation that would “create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies”.
In addition, the firm is supporting Mr Floyd’s family in creating a national task force that would help to combat racial violence and increase accountability of the police force.
Commendable stuff  that all this is, activists meanwhile, say that slamming white supremacy, especially with the Trump administration in the White House , without invoking the rights of Palestinians is hypocritical and short sighted. In violation of their social mission, their Israeli franchise sells ice cream in illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, transported on Jewish-only roads, on trucks with Jewish-only license plates, passing easily through military checkpoints that bedevil others, and by doing business in Israeli settlements it makes the company complicit with the crime of apartheid.
 Israeli soldiers make it possible for Jewish-only settlements to grow in number and for supermarkets in those settlements to offer all the amenities of the "good life," including pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream--in contrast to the economic and social deprivations imposed on the Palestinian people.
As long as Jewish settlers remain the beneficiaries of settler-colonialism in occupied Palestine and companies like Ben & Jerry's are not held accountable for their business ties to the settlements, the suffering and dispossession of the Palestinian people will continue and intensify.
As a result since 2013, thousands of individuals and nearly 250 organizations in 20 countries have called on Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales to Israeli illegal settlements and to publicly oppose Israel’s occupation and settlements. They have refused to do so. Selective humanity is no humanity at all.  Ben & Jerry's silence on this issue speaks volumes.
 Ben & Jerry's has built a  carefully managed brand image and a loyal following around its social mission of "deep respect for human beings" and "the communities in which they live." Because of its well-known reputation as a business with a social conscience, Ben & Jerry's commercial ventures with Israel, more so perhaps than those of any other company, contribute significantly to "normalizing" the occupation by obfuscating the contradiction between cooperation with Israel and the imperatives of social justice. There is no such thing as ethical commerce in a land under military occupation, or with a system of settler-colonialism, or with apartheid.
Today happens to  marks the anniversary of the Naksa (the setback) following the  six day war when in 1967 Israel illegally  seized  what was left of  the Palestinian's historic homeland,the Sinai, the Golan heights, the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem .Nearly 400,000 Palestinians were added to  the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced in 1948 and their homes were razed to the ground by the Israelis. Leading to over 50 years of occupation.
As the Palestinian people face further annexation in the West Bank,  Ben & Jerry's activities in the settlements is an insult to this collective pain, and  until they have a change of mind, and stop supporting apartheid and occupation  all Ben & Jerry's other gestures, will just feel empty and hollow. For more on this story read below :-

Ben & Jerry freezes when it comes to Palestine

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

We Should All Be Antifa Now.

We are currently collectively  grieving. The brutal police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, David Mc Atee, Sarah Reed, Tony Mc Dade, and so many other lives that have been wrongfully stolen. and the miltarized police escalating across the USA show us once again that people are not truly free. and  if you are not anti fascist you are part of the problem. Now is the time to dismantle the systems of white supremacy, colonialism and privilege that  continues to destroy and strip  Black communities of their dignity, and too often their lives.
We need to demand justice and support the fight now, not just today, which is specially important, but next week, next month. until the fight is won.The sad truth is that police kill or commit violence against unarmed Black men almost every day , not  just those times when it is caught on camera and is covered in the news. In all of 2019 there were only 37 days when police did not kill someone.We must be unified as a movement for justice, racial justice, economic justice, social justice, everywhere for as long as it takes, standing in solidarity with all victims of police violence and structural racism and oppression.
The uprisings demanding justice, risking their health and safety to rise up  against  police brutality and systematic violence against Black people, are echoing across the world right now. Silence is not an option, it's up to us to demand change , demand  the end of racist violence and racial  inequity, our solidarity should lead the way in these dark times, not ignorance. We must honestly acknowledge that our society has constructed an elaborate system of legal , economic and social codes that perpetuate systematic racism, rooted  in the barbarism of our collective history  of genocide, enslavement and Apartheid. And that people,  especially white people benefit from this system.
To realize the systematic change, we need as individuals to recognise  our role in collective mass denial. This mass denial allows us to live in a society where people of color today are negatively and disproportionately impacted by every societal measurement of well being. In health, education, poverty, housing, state sanctioned violence.
White  people must , without  pausing actively follow the direction  of Black, brown and indigenous voices doing what they can to destroy and dismantle the systems of institutional racism currently in place. The continued  murder , of Black, brown, and indigenous  people shows us that so much more needs to be done. It is  so important to recognise  that it is not just in the United States where black people face institutionised violence , targetting  and incarcernation. While Trump is threatning  protestors for social justice with army intervention, while our own  government  remains shamefully silent, while in the name of profit, the UK continues to sell riot gear, tear gas and rubber bullets to  suppress a peoples rightful anger and dissent that deserves global condemnation.
I would urge you to write to your MP as a matter of urgency.
Attending a protest in person is maybe not an option  for some amid Covid -19, but that does not mean you can't contribute to the anti-racism movement in other ways. We can no longer be silent. now is the  time to do everything in our collective power to be vocally anti-racist, anti- fascist, with love and fierce resistance.Without justice, there can be no peace.
Eager for an enemy to blame whilst ignoring root causes of the protests rocking his nation, President Trump on Sunday signalled that he was preparing to label those  associated with the Antifa  (anti-fascist) movement as " domestic terrorists."
 A move in a complete distraction  would simply  be unconstitutional , you cannot make illegal a peoples autonomous rage, or a  peoples  continual rage against an unjust system. We  must all be antifa now keep supporting  the black lives projects, however we can, supporting those who put their bodies in front of police lines, unafraid to to make sure the ugliness and violence of racism never goes unopposed.  let us continue to be ever vigilant and continue to speak out against racism and fascism everywhere.