Friday, 11 June 2021

Beyond mediocrity


Biologically
Your heart is a mere mass
Of blood and valves
Pumping to keep you alive.

Scientifically
The mind is a collection
Of cells and neurons
Making us conscious of our existence.

Optimistically
Alpha is past
But never was.
Omega is future
We can all taste reality.

Emotionally
Feelings can dangerously ensnare
Release anger, pain and hatred 
Jealousy, deception, depression
Fear swelling up deep inside.

Instinctively
Thoughts can teach us
Tell us which way to go
Ride through nightmares
Carry us through stormy weather.

Apathy
Is the chorus of fools
Blind indifference
To the suffering all around us
Passionless does not give a fuck.

Life is a lesson
Roads open or closed
The taste of love
Struggles verified and unbroken.

Compassion delivers justice
Without it, no peace 
Harness it, remain undeterred 
With laughter too, stay faithful and true.

There are beginnings and endings
Dances with different names
Challenges constantly unravelling
Dreams, sweet like honey
Clearing cobwebs from mind.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Emily Wilding Davison (11/10/1872 - 8/6/1913) Militant Suffragette Remembered.



Today is the anniversary of the death of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison whose bravery helped achieve Votes for Women which  would not have been won in 1918 without the struggles and sacrifices of hundreds of brave Suffragettes.like her.  
Emily Wildling Davison was born in Blackheath in southeast London, on 11th Otober, 1872.In November 1906 the Women's Social and Political Union enrolled Emily Davison. She was thirty-four years old and employed as governess to the four children of Sir Francis Layland-Barratt, the Liberal MP for Torquay and High Sheriff for Cornwall. While her involvement with the WSPU remained low-key she continued working for the family until, eighteen months later, her urge to 'come out' as a militant would lead her to resign and join the campaign. 
Emily was soon involved in Suffragette militant demonstrations.
In the afternoon of 30 March 1909, Dora Marsden, carrying a tricolour flag, led a deputation of twenty-nine women, Emily among them, to see Herbert Asquith at the House of Commons, although he had refused to meet them. Accompanied by a brass band and singing 'The Marseillaise', the women reached St Stephen's Entrance, but Dora Marsden, less than five feet tall, became tangled up with three police horses and the staff of her umbrella was broken. One Suffragette hit a constable on the head with her umbrella, other policemen had their helmets knocked off.
Ten women were charged with obstruction and assaulting the police, and sentenced to between one and three months. For Emily Davison, this was her first time in gaol; it would not be her last.
On 2 August, Emily Davison, whose prison file describes her as 'bad', wrote to Herbert Gladstone, the Home Secretary, from Holloway describing her treatment. Emily said she was 'forced' into a cell and broke seventeen panes of glass to let in some air. She was transferred to a cell where the glass was thicker but still managed to break seven panes, also cutting her hand. They stripped her and put her into a prison chemise; when the doctor tried to 'sound' her heart she resisted and was taken to a punishment cell.
'Ours is a bloodless revolution but a determined one' she wrote to Gladstone. Emily said that she and others were 'ready to suffer, to die if need be, but we demand justice!'
 Emily Davison joined the dozens of Suffragette prisoners who were officially on hunger strike. In a manuscript prepared for the WSPU she provided a vivid account of the protest made by Suffragettes who were being kept in solitary confinement and force-fed in their cells. On 22 June 1912, near the end of a new six-month sentence in Holloway, she threw herself over the handrail and wire netting outside her second-floor cell and landed at the bottom of the steps of the floor below.
 Earlier in the day she and others had barricaded themselves into their cells, 'a regular siege took place... on all sides we heard crowbars, blocks, wedges being used, joiners battering on doors with all their might. The barricading was followed by sounds of human struggle, the chair of torture [used for force-feeding] being pushed about, suppressed cries of the victims, groans and other horrible sounds.' She decided that she had to make a 'desperate protest' to end the 'hideous torture'.
Ten days before the end of her six-month sentence, on 28 June 1912, Emily Davison was released in a run-down state, two stone lighter, with two scalp wounds. She had been force-fed forty-nine times. 
Emily continued her campaign of militancy by breaking windows, setting fire to postboxes, and attempting to assault Lloyd George. Despite her constant support for the Suffragette cause, she was never employed as a paid Organiser by the Women's Social and Political Union, and not all the articles that she submitted were published in suffrage newspapers.
At a time when it was almost impossible for women to take a degree, she  still managed to earn a First Class honours, from London University via St Hughs College, Oxford.On another occasion she hid overnight in Parliament so she could claim it as her address on census night, an exploit marked with a plaque by Tony Benn in 1999.
The Daily Sketch published Emily’s last article on 28 May 1913. The language of ‘The Price of Liberty’ is apocalyptic. ‘The perfect Amazon is she who will sacrifice all … to win the Pearl of Freedom [the vote] for her sex. Some of the bounteous pearls that women sell to obtain freedom… are the pearls of friendship, love and even life itself.’ Emily refers to the ‘terrible suffering’ she has endured, the loss of ‘old friends, recently- made friends, and they all go one by one into the Limbo of the burning fiery furnace, a grim holocaust to liberty’. She argues in favour of making ‘the ultimate sacrifice’, happy to pay the ‘highest price for liberty’. 
 Emily had agreed to be a helper at the Suffragette Fair and Festival at the Empress Rooms, Kensington, on Derby Day, but she decided to visit the fair the night before, and discussed with Kitty Marion and others ‘the possibility of making a protest on the race course, without apparently coming to any decision’. As the women strolled into the festival, they were faced by a statue of Joan of Arc, bare- headed and holding her sword pointing to heaven. On the plinth were emblazoned Joan’s reputed last words: ‘Fight On and God Will Give the Victory.’
The weather on Wednesday 4 June 1913 was forecast to be sultry with thunderstorms. That morning Emily left Alice Green’s home at 133 Clapham Road, Lambeth, and walked to Oval to catch a tram to Victoria station, where she bought a return ticket for Epsom Downs. Before she left she told Alice what she was going to do. She pinned a purple, white and green flag inside her jacket and took her latch key, a small leather purse containing three shillings and eight pence and three farthings, eight halfpenny stamps and a notebook. Another suffragette flag was tucked up her sleeve. Emily walked to the racecourse and bought a Dorling’s List of Epsom Races.
Emily made her way to Tattenham Corner, a tricky place for horse and rider in the gruelling mile and a half race. This was the biggest day out in Edwardian England. Here at three o’clock, the apex of the social pyramid met its base. The King and Queen and their entourage added glamour to an occasion that welcomed both the establishment and the working class at play.
Emily squeezed close to the rails. As the race started the sixteen horses and riders ran straight for three furlongs before the course climbed to a gradient of one in fifteen. The King's horse, Anmer, made a good start. At seven furlongs the field took the left turn downhill for five furlongs and this is where Anmer fell away to the group at the back. The leading horses pounded towards the spot where Emily was waiting. Tons of horseflesh and men flashed past, spittle, sweat, huge eyes rolling with the effort, the noise of the crowd was bewildering. Everyone was screaming the names of their horses for that brief moment, and jumping up and urging them on. The trailing bunch, including Anmer, approached. Emily fiddled with the sleeve of her jacket, bobbed under the white railings, and made history. She stepped out in front of King George V’s racehorse, Anmer, Thrown violently to the ground upon impact, she never regained consciousness and died four days later on this day, 8/6/1913.
Sacrificing herself to the suffragette slogan, “Deeds not words” in protest against Parliament’s refusal to grant voting rights to women, Davison remains a feminist icon, viewed by many as a martyr for women’s rights.
Davison is often remembered for her final protest running onto the course of the Epsom Derby in 1912 in an attempt to  pin the sufragette colors to the Kings horse.  A final act that would cost Davison her life and acqure her the status of 'Sufragette Martyr'. Let us remember her bravery, tenacity and passion, who used deeds as well as words to get her message out. She who  made the ultimate sacrifice for one of life's causes. 
On Saturday 14 June 1913, a special guard of honour of Emily’s closest friends brought her body from Epsom to Victoria railway station. Six thousand women marched from Buckingham Palace Road to Emily Davison’s funeral service at St George’s Church, Bloomsbury. Ten brass bands marched behind each section playing funereal marches.
The coffin was escorted by Elsie Howey on a white horse dressed as Joan of Arc, and two contingents of hunger strikers walked behind the hearse which was laden with wreaths. Banners in purple silk included Joan of Arc’s last words: ‘Fight On and God Will Give the Victory’. Central London stopped.
She had succeeded in bringing global attention to the sufragettes cause, triggering a fierce wave of feminist resistance and activism to the feminist cause, with her place in history guaranteed in an almost mythic way. Lest we forget her legacy to women today, a reminder of the strength of feeling, of the acts these brave Edwardian women were prepared to carry out so women could be treated as full citizens economically and politically.


The late Tony Benn illegally put up several plaques around the House of Commons to unrecognised heroes of democracy. Here' one he screwed to the door of a broom cupboard aided by Jeremy Corbyn in commemoration of Emily Wilding Davison.
Here's a link to Tony Benn's  speech in parliament in 2011 when he admitted to his illegal activities. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/2001/mar/22/election-of-a-speaker#S6CV0365P0_20010322_HOC_234.




Saturday, 5 June 2021

The Last Bird of Its Kind, Singing for a Mate That Will Never Come.

 

In Hawaii's Kauai island, the native forest birds are in peril. Once considered a paradise for the colorful songbirds, the island has lost more than half of those native species.Over the coming decades, species are predicted to go extinct a 1000 times the historical natural rate, and in 100 years the planet may lose up to 50 percent of all species alive today.
The Kauaʻi ʻōʻō or ʻōʻōʻāʻā (Moho braccatus) bird was among the smallest of the Hawaian honeyeaters, if not the smallest species, at just over 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length. It was the only ʻōʻō  known to have eyes with yellow irises. It was named dwarf ʻōʻō  by the natives. It was very vocal, making tranquil flute like calls. Both males and females were known to sing. It was endemic to the island of Kauaʻi and was common in the subtropical forests of the island until the early twentieth century when its decline began.Although listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1987 the last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō was male, and his song was recorded for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The male was recorded singing a mating call. The song has breaks for the female bird to respond. for them to harmonize together and make beautiful songs. But there's no response and so desperately sad, because this bird is waiting  for someone no longer there as the male Kauaʻi ʻōʻō is the last of its kind.
 This haunting song of the Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō will  never be heard in the wild again, since it has not been detected since 1987, and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists it as extinct. Habitat  destruction and invasive species were the likely causes of the species decline and loss.
Knowing it are the last calls of an entire individual species is uneasy to hear,maybe this bird knew he was the last and he was singing goodbye cruel world. Though the song is incomplete, and ever so sad because such  sound will ever be sung again.what remains is very beautiful. Someday the last human will call out too, and nobody will be there to answer the call.. 
Today, the Kauai ʻōʻō is extinct but other native forest birds such as the I'iwi are still around. but face the threats of invasive species and climate change. Luckily, conservationists are dedicated to ensuring a thriving future for these rare birds. Conservationists are hopeful that by working to remove invasive species and use captive breeding programs to bolster populations they can help these forest birds fill the forests once again. The ʻōʻō serves as a reminder to strive to prevent extinctions of these endemic birds.
The Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project is an organization that promotes the knowldge, appreciation.  awareness and conservation of the native forest birds of Kaua‘i’, Hawaii. It is a collaboration between the State of Hawaii Division of Forestry & Wildlife and the University of Hawaii's Pacific Studies Cooperative Unit. 
The project began in 2003 and advocates for the unique birds of Kaua‘i’. Only eight species of forest birds remain on Kaua‘i’ due to invasive species, plants, disease, and climate change.These include federally endangered birds such as the Akeke’e, Akikiki, and the Puaiohi as well as native birds like the Kaua’i ‘Amakihi, Apapane, Anianiau, Kaua’i Elepaio, and 'I'iwi.
 Invasive species including rats, threaten the remaining birds by destroying nests and aggressively competing for food. This is a common problem in areas in which species have evolved without natural predators. Where humans go, so do rats and their destructive nature. Unfortunately, this means animals like the forest birds of Kaua‘i  simply have no natural defense mechanisms against predatory species. It is a problem that we as humans have created and one that we need to fix.
If after all that  you fancy an hours worth of the plaintive cry of the the Kauai ʻōʻō  bird, you can listen below.



Wednesday, 2 June 2021

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

 

It's 100 years since white mobs attacked Black residents descndents of slaves of the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. and inflicted two days of terror. The assault began on May 31, soon after the Tulsa Tribune newspaper published a racially-charged report that a Black teenager had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old white woman in an elevator - despite no formal complaint being made against him by the woman.
The white attackers – some of whom were deputised by civil officials and given weapons – laid siege to Greenwood, home to a thriving stretch of businesses known as Black Wall Street. They indiscriminately attacked Black residents while ransacking and torching homes and businesses. White assailants strafed Greenwood with machine-gun fire from overlooks. The slaughter was even waged from the sky, as aircraft pilots dropped dynamite and turpentine bombs on the district.
When the smoke cleared in June 1921, the toll from the massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was catastrophic — scores of lives lost, homes and businesses burned to the ground, a thriving Black community gutted by a white mob. Hundreds of Black residents of Greenwood were killed in the 18-hour orgy of violence directed against them. 
 The nightmare cried for attention, as something to be investigated and memorialized, with speeches and statues and anniversary commemorations.
But the horror and violence visited upon Tulsa's Black community  didn’t become part of the American story. Instead, it was pushed down, unremembered and untaught until efforts decades later started bringing it into the light. No one was held responsible for the massacre , there was no apology from the state and survivors and families of those who were killed were cut adrift. Insurance companies refused to pay claims for the loss of homes and businesses, citing that the attack was a ‘riot’ rather than a co-ordinated onslaught on the black community. 
 Thousands of survivors were forced for a time into internment camps overseen by the National Guard.  Black residents who were left destitute after the attack on Greenwood departed Tulsa and never returned. While parts of Greenwood were rebuilt, by the 1970s all but a tiny part the district had again been razed - this time to make way for a motorway under the guise of ‘urban renewal’. The fight for justice for the 1921 massacre has continued down the generations, against the efforts of state and Tulsa city officials over the years to first cover up and later minimise what happened.Survivors and descendants of those killed, injured and dispossessed by the attack on Greenwood point to a legacy of trauma and the loss of generational wealth, and are leading calls for reparations. They are backed by members of US Congress.  
In 1997, the state Legislature created what was called the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, and it published its final report in 2001. It found that the city of Tulsa had conspired to destroy Greenwood..
"This Commission fully understands that it is neither judge nor jury. We have no binding legal authority to assign culpability, to determine damages, to establish a remedy, or to order either restitution or reparations," commissioners wrote. However, the report suggested that reparations to the Greenwood community "would be good public policy and do much to repair the emotional and physical scars of this terrible incident in our shared past."
According to the commission's report, the massacre destroyed some 40-square blocks in Greenwood. Nearly 10,000 people were left homeless as 1,256 homes were looted and burned down. And the thriving commercial district was destroyed — some of the finest Black-owned and operated businesses in the country, including hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, a theater, a roller skating rink, hospitals and doctors' offices, law firms and churches.
In 2001, eighty years after the massacre, Oklahoma approved funds to redevelop the area and build a memorial.Today, the Greenwood Cultural Center stands in the same community where the massacre took place, committed to preserving and sharing the proud and tragic history of "Black Wall Street." 
In 2013, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan took some responsibility when he apologized for the actions of the police department during the 1921 Massacre: “I cannot apologize for the actions, inaction and dereliction that those individual officers and their chief exhibited during that dark time. But as your chief today, I can apologize for our police department. I am sorry and distressed that the Tulsa Police Department did not protect its citizens during those tragic days in 1921.” However, similar statements of responsibility from other city officials have been notably lacking.,
In 2019. the Emmy winning HBO series  "Watchmen " sparked a wave of interest in the little known tragedy. The show inspired  bu a comic book depicted chilling scenes of what happened there. Viewers were shocked to realize that the assault was a real event grounded in horrifying facts. 
The tireless work of community activists has also brought the Tulsa Race Massacre into new focus. A Centennial Commission has worked on several community and educational projects to commemorate the Massacre, including a successful effort to include the history of the Massacre in the curriculum of state schools. The Reverend Dr. Robert Turner, pastor of the Historic Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa, has been among many leaders calling for reparations.
 There is a strong case that the United States is not currently meeting its international human rights obligations as a result of its failure to adequately address past and ongoing racial injustice. The continued lack of accountability for the Tulsa Race Massacre provides just one particularly painful example.
Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the terrible history of the Tulsa Race Massacre and making a powerful case that reparations are long overdue. One of the survivors of the Massacre, Lessie Benningfield Randle, at age 105, has joined with the relatives of other survivors in a new lawsuit seeking reparations, including payment for property damage calculated at $50 million to $100 million in today’s dollars. The suit uses legal arguments similar to those that proved successful in holding a pharmaceutical company accountable for the community harm caused by the opioid crisis.
 Despite these important efforts, many obstacles remain to achieving justice in Tulsa. Persistent racial discrimination continues in the form of neighborhood segregation, mistrust by the black community of white city officials and police, and, as described in the Tulsa reparations lawsuit, a legacy of overt public disinvestment in the area. An annual study shows significant and persistent inequality in the city, in particular on issues of law enforcement and access to justice. And in June 2020 a police officer in Tulsa made a painfully racist comment suggesting that police in the city are shooting Black people “less than we probably ought to be.”
 An emotional President Joe Biden marked the 100th anniversary of the massacre declaring Tuesday that he had “come to fill the silence” about one of the nation’s darkest — and long suppressed — moments of racial violence..Linking the white massacre to modern day subjugation pointedly including voters rights suppression. promising survivors their truth will be known.
 “Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous, they cannot be buried, no matter how hard people try,” Biden said. “Only with truth can come healing.”
Biden’s commemoration of the deaths of hundreds of Black people killed by a white mob a century ago came amid the current national reckoning on racial justice.  
“Just because history is silent, it does not mean that it did not take place,” Biden said. He said “hell was unleashed, literal hell was unleashed.” And now, he said, the nation must come to grips with the subsequent sin of denial.
“We can’t just choose what we want to know, and not what we should know,” said Biden. “I come here to help fill the silence, because in silence wounds deepen.”
The truth of this massacre  was never spoken by a President before and remember that long silences, cover ups and horrible injustices go hand in hand. 
After Biden left, some audience members spontaneously sang a famous civil rights march song, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”
The events Tuesday stood in stark contrast to then-President Donald Trump’s trip to Tulsa last June, which was greeted by protests. Or the former president’s decision, one year ago, to clear Lafayette Square near the White House of demonstrators who gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer..

Looking Back at Tulsa Race Massacre


Saturday, 29 May 2021

Palestine rally taking place in Haverfordwest 30th May 3pm

 

A Free Palestine protest is taking place in Haverfordwest, tomorrow, it has been  called for by Palestine activists, the Pembrokeshire Muslim community and trade unionists after describing how Britain;s arms deals with Israel have contributed to the deaths of Palestinians.

It follows a number of Free Palestine  protests held across the world recently in solidarity with the people of Palestine after renewed violence in Israel and Palestine in the last month. The event will take place following a cease-fire that went into effect on  Friday the 21st of May that was brokered by Egypt. The ceasefire came after an 11-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip considered the worst violence in the region since 2014. The halt to hostilities comes after more than 230 Palestinians — including over 60 children — had been killed in Israeli airstrikes. 

The Israeli airstrikes left thousands of Gazans without a place to live, after a week of sustained conflict and critics of Israel say its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank needs to end..

Lets not forget that Gaza is besieged by Israel by land, sea and air on a daily basis. It's inhabitants the vast majority of whom are refugees are trapped in an area of land just 60 kilometres long and 9.5 kilometres wide, in what many see as an open air prison..

In a recent report,Independent human rights experts have also highlighted the vast asymmetry of of power between Gaza and Israel and called on  the International Criminal Court to investigate the attack on civilians and "gross violations of human rights" 

Increasingly people are questioning an occupation by a powerful military state, armed and supported by the West, against an impoverished, stateless and displaced people. For over 70 years, Israel has subjected Palestinians to systematic human rights abuses, severe discrimination, and deadly military force. A fourth generation of Palestinian children are being brought up in refugee camps, in chronic poverty, denied the right to return to their family homes. Over a million Palestinians suffer discrimination over access to public services, land and employment. Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.9 million inhabitants to poverty and psychological violence. The construction of the apartheid wall, the military closure of the Jordan Valley, and the annexation of East Jerusalem are creating an irreversible reality of permanent occupation.

As a fragile ceasefire currently holds  the Israeli occupation continues ,and daily keeps inflicting on the Palestinian people, by virtue of their identity to misery. In certain areas, the deprivations the Palestinians face are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Governments around the world, including the UK government, have enabled Israel to carry out this oppression. Israel’s oppressive rule over the Palestinian people relies on the support of countries and companies which back  Israel through diplomatic support, trade and investment.

 Many people know this is wrong and are now standing for justice, believing we have a responsibility to protect human rights. Reasons too why I am supporting tomorrow's protest and the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice. Our solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine  is more necessary now than ever. 

The protest in Haverfordwest will assemble at Picton Fields on Sunday, May 30, and march to Castle Square.

Organisers have emphasised that it is a peaceful protest and people who attend must remain vigilant and keep to socially distance guidelines.

A spokesperson for the rally said: "The newly formed group, Solidarity with Palestine Pembrokeshire, supported by Palestine activists, the Pembrokeshire Muslim community and trade unionists, have called for a rally for Palestine on Sunday, May 30.

"We will assemble in Picton Fields by the Skatepark at 2.30pm and march to Castle Square for a rally at 3pm.

"This will be a peaceful socially distanced demonstration to show our solidarity with Palestine and Palestinians.

"Please bring your placards and Palestine flags and make some noise."

The protest group go on to say how they think Britain has had a fateful influence on the troubles in the Middle East.

"Britain is complicit in Israel’s murder of Palestinians.

"Arms deals with Israel are certainly lucrative. Britain has licensed over £400 million in arms sales to Israel since 2015, with the real figure certain to be higher. The equipment includes components for assault rifles, drones and warplanes, all used in attacks on Palestinians.

"Britain doesn’t care. It doesn’t apply any “end use” conditions on the deals, meaning that Israel is free to use the equipment however it likes.

"These weapons of war have been used against Palestinian civilians without mercy.

"The world has risen up in it’s millions to demand an end to Israeli terror."

More details about the rally can be found on Facebook.

From the rivers to the sea Palestine will be free,




Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Communards’ Wall, at the Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris.


 March 18, 2021, marked 150 years since the Paris Commune began.https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.com/2021/03/150th-anniversary-of-paris-commune.html Despite its short existence and bloody repression, the Commune marked both the history of political ideas and that of revolutions. For 72 days, the communards fought to build a democratic and social republic, organizing elections for its popular commune, initiating radical social measures, discussing political issues in revolutionary clubs, organizing resistance with the National Guard against the Versailles counterrevolution, and more. During the fall of this short-lived revolutionary experience  known as "Bloody Week" (May 21 to 28, 1871), Pere Lachaise Cemetery saw bitter fighting between 200 outnumbered communards  made a final defiant against the troops of the National Assembly's Versailles Army, who secured the area on May 27which ended with the brutal repression of the communards by the French government in Versailles.
The following day 28 May 1871, one-hundred forty-seven federes, combatants of the Paris Commune, were shot, without trial and thrown in an open trench at the foot of a wall in the cemetery. To the  left, the wall became the symbol of the people’s struggle for their liberty and ideals and a reminder  of the ferocity of the government's reprisals. The massacre of the Communards did not put an end to the repression. During the fighting between 20,000 and 35,000 deaths, and more than 43,000 prisoners were taken; afterwards, a military court pronounced about a hundred death sentences, more than 13,000 prison sentences, and close to 4,000 deportations to  New Caledonia. 
 In keeping with their anti-bourgeois principles the former Communards rejected the grandiosity of monuments land wished only for a simple plaque to mark the wall where the mass executions had taken place. However, fearful of encouraging future insurrection, the authorities attempted to sell off the plots associated with the common grave and banned any mention of the events on individual or collective monuments within the cemetery.  Many leaders of the French Communist Party, especially those involved in the French resistance, are also  buried nearby. 
Jules Jouy, a chansonnier from Montmartre wrote:

"Tombe sans croix et sans chapelle, sans lys d'or, sans vitraux d'azur, quand le peuple en parle, il l'appelle le Mur.”

"Tomb without a cross or chapel, or golden lilies, or sky blue church windows, when the people talk about it, they call it The Wall."

The memory of the Commune remained engraved in the people's memory, especially within the workers’ movement which regenerated itself in a few years time. However  following  the Commune, worker’s protests were not authorized in the streets of Paris until roughly 1910. For anarchists and socialists commemorative ceremonies at the Wall of the Communards assumed the same role that the funerals of opposition figures had during the Restoration. The first march to the Wall took place on 23 May 1880, two months after the partial amnesty for former exiled and deported communards, which came into effect in March 1879, and just before the general amnesty of July 1880. It would be coordinated principally by the (Guesdist) Workers’ Party via its associated relays such as the Socialist Committee for Aid to the Pardoned and Unpardoned (Comité socialiste d’aide aux amnistiés et non-amnistiés) and the Federated Syndical Workers’ Union of Workers of the Seine and the Socialist Press (Union fédérative ouvrière et l’Union syndicale des travailleurs de la Seine et la presse socialiste) which included the publications L’Égalité and Le Prolétaire.: 25,000 people, a symbolic "immortal" red rose in their buttonholes, stood up against police forces. From that time on, this "ascent to the Wall", punctuated French labour force political history. Every year since 1880, the organizations of the French left have held a demonstration in this symbolic place during the last week of May. 
 The “Wall” has, little by little, become established as the open-air domus ecclesia of a secular and revolutionary left. This secular space has become a new space of sacralization around which those who still believe in and hope for the coming of a more just and egalitarian society and for the completion of the work left unfinished by the revolts of March 1871, come to rest, to reassemble, and to recharge.
Unlike the masculine crowds of street protests that often ended in insurrection, these are respectful family affairs that included women and children. Their orderly nature was later invoked to convince the authorities to grant permits to political parties so that growing worker’s movements might march in the streets of the capital. The modern protest march, now an institution of Parisian life, can be said to have in part been born within the walls of Père Lachaise, where innovations of funerary practice and funerary architecture first allowed for personal and collective commemoration.
Ironically Strangely, Adolphe Theirs is also buried in the cemetery. He was the French President who presided over the execution. and the man most widely associated with the Communes brutal suppression. In May 1971, 100 years after the Commune and just three years after the 1968 protests that had rocked both the capital and the Fifth Republic, commemorators once again lined the streets. Some individuals tried to blow up the tomb of Adolphe Thiers. And in May 2019 thousands of gilet haunes poured out onto the streets and into Père Lachaise  to commemorate the Commune and its stand against the French State. Many leaders of the French Communist Party, especially those involved in the French resistance, are also  buried nearby. 

Ce que nous demandons à l’Avenir.

Ce que nous voulons de Lui.

C’est la Justice.

Ce n’est pas la Vengeance.”
 
 Victor Hugo (Inscription on the Communards’ Wall)

What we ask of the future

What we want from it 

Is justice

Not vengeance
 
Covering more than  100 acres Père Lachaise is the world's most visited cemetery. Its appeal lies not just in death, but in the fact that it's a brooding aggregation of French culture. Hundreds of celebrities, writers, artists, and musicians are buried there. This is where you come to honor the brilliant minds.
 Among those buried in Pere Lachaise are Oscar Wilde,. Edith Piaf, Frederich Chopin, Eugene Delacroix,Amedeo Modigliani, Pissarro,Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and Jim Morrison. 
 A chart bearing prominent names and locations is displayed at the entrance gate. Every headstone tells a story. The cemetery is built on a gently sloping hill side in Paris in the 20th arrondissement on the eastern side of the city. To walk through it is almost to visit the last 200 years of French history. The pathways are cobbled and elegantly maintained. It is like walking along a stretch of peaceful country lanes, a place where time seems to stand still. Vive la Commune.


The annual Memorial Meeting Near the Wall of the Communards in the Cemetary of Père Lachaise 

Painting by Ilya Repin

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Remembering George Floyd

 

One  year ago today in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020, an ordinary 46-year-old African American man,George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin. even though Floyd was lying face down on the ground and hand-cuffed from behind.
George had bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in South Minneapolis on the evening of 25 May 2020.
A shop assistant believed he had used a counterfeit $20 bill and called the police after Mr Floyd refused to return the cigarettes or pay again.
Officers arrived and handcuffed him but when they tried to put him into the squad car, he resisted. A struggle ended with Mr Floyd face down on the street.
George Floyd's  last moments were caught on video. While being arrested, Floyd was held down by a Minneapolis police officer's knee. The video shows Floyd pleading that he is in pain and can't breathe. Then, his eyes shut and the pleas stop. He was pronounced dead shortly after. Under the circumstances, it was clear that Floyd posed no threat to anyone. When bystanders pleaded on Floyd’s behalf, they were threatened with being pepper-sprayed. Floyd was tortured to death. This was a lynching of a black man, pure and simple. Prosecutors said Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty during the lengthy restraint, saying Chauvin inflicted gratuitous pain and caused psychological distress to Floyd and to bystanders. They also said Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, and that he pinned Floyd down in the presence of children — including a nine-year-old girl who testified at trial that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”
 Expert witnesses on behalf of the state testified that Mr Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to the manner of restraint employed by Chauvin and his colleagues.
 Chauvin himself chose not to testify, invoking his right to not incriminate himself with his responses.
Jurors took less than a day to reach their unanimous verdict, finding Chauvin guilty on all three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. 
 Sentencing will take place in June, and Mr Chauvin could spend decades in jail.His lawyers have requested a new trial, but the motion is not likely to be granted.
Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who helped restrain Floyd, and Tou Thao, who stood near the others, were not initially charged. Lane, 37, Kueng, 26, and Thao, 34, are now charged with aiding and abetting  second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 
After the verdict, the Floyd family's lawyer, Ben Crump, said the conviction marked a "turning point in history" for the US.
It is rare that police officers in the US are charged, let alone convicted, for use of lethal force.
President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris called the Floyd family after the verdict. Mr Biden was heard saying that "at least now there is some justice".
In nationally televised remarks shortly afterwards, Mr Biden said: "Systemic racism is a stain on the whole nation's soul."
 However, despite the victory of a conviction, there was disturbing evidence in the background signaling that the struggle against racial oppression has a long way to go. Amid the trial and announcement of the guilty verdict, the Biden White House decided to drop the campaign promise to establish a national commission on law enforcement violence.
The way in which Mr. Floyd was killed revealed once again how systemic racism and anti-Blackness reinforce an unjust legacy of oppression that too often results in the death of Black people. Mr. Floyd’s passing, however, further ignited the growing need to address institutionalized bias and racially-motivated hate in all of its forms.
Floyd played basketball and American football in high school and won a scholarship to attend a community college, now known as South Florida State College. He left after two years and attended Texas A&M University in Kingsville, but left without graduating to return to Houston. He was arrested on drug and theft charges several times between 1997 and 2005, the Associated Press reported. In 2007, he was charged with armed robbery, pleaded guilty two years later and was sentenced to five years in prison. When he was released, he became involved with Resurrection Houston, a new church setting up in his old neighbourhood. He introduced the pastor to residents, who told Houston television station KHOU that “much of my ministry I was able to do at Cuney Homes was because of George Floyd”. But Floyd left for Minneapolis in 2014 in search of work to help support his daughter, born a year earlier, and a fresh start. He worked as a security guard at the Salvation Army, where a co-worker, Michelle Seals, recalled him as sweet-natured. He later drove trucks and was a bouncer at Conga Latin Bistro, but he lost his job when Covid-19 shut down bars and restaurants. Mary Ginns, a friend from high school, told NPR last year that Floyd once said to her that he was “going to change the world”. “We were like, ‘We know you are,’” she said. “You’re going to be in the NBA . . . But God put something in him to see it a different way. He probably didn’t know at the time what he was saying, but that is exactly what he did. He has changed this world.
His  death sparked sparked a justified, constructive anger at racial injustice, police brutality,  that is still felt around the world. The call for police reform has become louder, the work to address the inequity of health outcomes more urgent, and the intersections of racism and other forms of injustice more obvious than ever. George Floyd's brutal murder by a Minneapolis police officer also led to a global wave of demonstrations and the resurgence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.  
Since the inception of the BLM banner, it has become a life-affirming cry against racial oppression.This historic movement has changed the public debate on racism and police violence, but a massive backlash is underway, led by governments cracking down on dissent and police forces stepping up the harassment of black people.Yet despite government opposition, Black Lives Matter retains a broad appeal in the UK. By October last year, over half of the British public continued to support Black Lives Matter, with that number rising to seven in 10 for young people.
Recently, demonstrators have taken to the streets again to protest against the killings of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and Ma’Khia Bryant — three names out of dozens of people killed by the police across the country during the three weeks of testimony. 
 A rally in Minneapolis was held on May 23rd 2021 to remember Floyd. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where Chauvin’s trial was held, including members of George Floyd’s family and others who lost loved ones to Police encounters.
 Many marchers carried signs, banners and pictures of Floyd, along with other men killed at the hands of the authorities.  
Floyd is remembered as a father of five. His youngest daughter Giana alongside her mother Roxie Washington ,spoke in June 2020 after the incident. Giana said “that she missed him”, describing her father as a fun man who often played with her.
 The Minneapolis rally was organised by the George Floyd Memorial Foundation and is one of several events set to go ahead across the USA in the coming week to honour his memory.
Among them will be an event held in Minneapolis which the foundation described as a “celebration of life.” 
Organizers said: “We will celebrate the life and legacy of George Floyd through Black culture, art, history and support of local businesses,” adding that there will be performances from a number of local and “Grammy award-winning artists”.
 As we mark a year since the murder of George Floyd, it is vital that we step up the movement for justice, against racism and police violence.As we remember, reflect, and respond in our own way to the senseless and brutal murder of George Floyd we must do battle with the past, take courage from the present and work to create a shared future that is just and allows individuals to flourish. 
The future can be so much brighter for all if the global insurrection, solidarity, sympathy, and decency against racial and other forms of injustice that George Floyd's death inspired continues to burn in our hearts and minds. And this is not because Mr George Floyd was a paragon of virtue, but rather because he was a man who was extrajudicially murdered because he was Black. That is the scandal; that reality, that truth, should trouble our conscience wherever we might live.
And if President Biden is right when he stated, after the court returned a 'Guilty' verdict against Derek Chauvin on 20 April, that George Floyd's murder 'in the full light of day' lifted the 'blinkers off the whole world' to see America's treatment of one of it citizens, then there is clearly urgent work that needs to done in society. 'I can't breathe.' 'We cannot', said President Biden, 'allow these words to die with him.'
 Floyd is recognised as a symbol, remembering his humanity is important, this, in part, is the significance of the request to  say his name. To speak about his humanity, to remind ourselves that he is more than what happened to him. Thank you Mr George Floyd for giving all of us another 'chance to change', to treat each other with dignity and respect, to pursue righteousness and justice.
 Anti-racists will  mobilise today to say no to institutional racism in Britain and globally. I encourage all of us today to  make time in the busy day and take the knee and observe 9 minutes and 29 seconds of silence, the length of time Mr. Floyd suffered under Derek Chauvin’s knee, to reflect on the changes that have followed his passing and the work that remains. Individually, we have to play our part in uprooting all forms of racism, oppression and exploitation once and for all, acting collectively as vehicles for real social change.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

The Mandarin Sky


Beneath the canopies, underneath the spiralling stars
In the wake of violence, destruction and devastation,
The world has sighed with a heavy heart this week
From Colombia to Tigray to Palestine to Myanmar,
Misery consuming, mirth no longer passing
Negating hope with so much intensity,
People gazing into the night sky, praying for release 
Among the darkness filled with pheromones of hurt,
Traumatised and broken, wondering what has happened
No time to dream, wading through a living  nightmare.
Landscapes scarred with acerbity, agony and pain
Black holes filled with sadness, releasing tears of bitterness,
Tales of genocide, war crimes against humanity
In glooms of wrecked environment, as apartheid spreads globally,
Assaulting reason, anxiety and confusion testing faith
Blockades of injustice, multiply and mirror the ache, 
While we are left heartbroken, with feelings of outrage
There's no time for despair, because something has changed,
A growing movement of people, loudly speaking out
Every voice raised a tangible step on the road to justice,
With collective voices of resistance, change will increase
It's a long road ahead, with unity, let's deliver peace.

Friday, 21 May 2021

BREAKING: Israel approves a ceasefire, ending its nearly 2-week assault on occupied Gaza.


Israel has approved a ceasefire  between Hamas  after a devastating  offensive  on the Gaza Strip. Forced to stop bombarding  Gaza tonight after global condemnation.
At least 232 people were  killed , including 65 children,1,900 wounded. 90,000 displaced according to the UN. 1800 housing units destroyed. 74 government facilities bombed.33 media centres destroyed.6 high rise buildings  leveled.There are no bomb shelters, or bomb sirens in Gaza..
On the 17th May Israel bombed  the office of the Palestinian Children's Relief  Fund in Gaza that  provides free medical care for Palestinian children in need, they've also bombed power plants, water plants, mosques and the roads leading to hospitals, These are war crimes. 
While the ceasefire is to be welcomed,it is not enough, it will only stop the bombs temporarily.It doesn't mean those who lost their entire families will  be rectified, The Ceasefire does not mean that this is the end of illegal occupation, colonisation, oppression and ethnic cleansing.This is not a ceasefire.Israel will continue to kill Palestinians by land, sea and air in the coming days, weeks and months as it has done with every other ;ceasefire', Reduced media coverage after the ceasefire does not mean the root cause is resolved,
We cannot return to apathy, we must amplify our voices and must keep on protesting and  supporting Palestinians rights, for freedom, justice and equality for all under Israels apartheid government,and make sure that Israel pays its price for its criminality.
The Ceasefire arrives after President Biden  has incredibly approved s $735 Billion arms sale to Israel. that surely can't be justified. To put it briefly, the Biden administration, like its predecessors, is financing Israels brand of exceptionalism and settler colonial policies, The latests weapons deal is even uglier in the face of the bombing of Gaza because it demonstrates clearly US-Israel collusion against Palestinians..
It is time.for United State , the United Kingdom .and the EU to end their unequivocal support for Israeli aggression and illegal occupation .It is time for Israel to end it's brutal siege and blockade on Gaza the world'd largest ever open air prison.It is time to fully open all of Gaza's crossing. It is time to lift restrictions on imports and exports. It is time for Palestinians in Gaza to have more than 6 hours of electricity a day.It is is time for Israel to end it;s repeated violations of international law; It is time for the Palestinians to be free and safe and practicing all their human tights.
Please support the Palestinians in their quest for Peace and Justice through the boycott, divestment movement (BDS), and you can  also help by getting the following petition to 400K?


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Louisa Sarah Bevington (14/5/1845 - 28/11/1895) - Anarchist Poet

 

Louisa Sarah Bevington English poet, journalist, essayist, Darwinist and anarchist communist, was born. at St John's Hill, Battersea on 14th May 1845, the eldest of eight children to Quaker parents; Alexander, a member of Lloyds of London and his wife Lousia.
Details of her early life are scanty although in the census of 1861 she is listed as a scholar at Marlborough House, Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham. At the time her parents and siblings are listed as residing at Walthamstow with their four house servants and a coachman.
Louisa wrote poetry from a young age and she had two sonnets published in October 1871 in the Friends' Quarterly Examiner.
Her first collection, ‘Key Notes’, a slim volume of only 23 pages, was published under her pseudonym Arbor Leigh in 1876. A second publication, ‘Key-Notes: 1879’, written under the name L. S. Bevington also took issue with some Christian codes of conduct.
In her article in The Nineteenth Century in October 1879, ‘Atheism and Morality’, her secular pose provoked a clerical response. In December the same year, Bevington concluded a two-part essay entitled ‘Modern Atheism and Mr. Mallock’. This was in response to an attack on atheism in the same paper by a young Oxford graduate. Louisa put forward a spirited defence of secular morality.
Louisa received a letter from the philosopher Herbert Spencer, confirming that rationalists showed greater humanity than adherents of organized religion. Her exposition of this was published in The Fortnightly Review in August 1881 as ‘The Moral Colour of Rationalism’.
In 1882 ‘Poems, Lyrics&Sonnets’ contained both metrical experiments as well as remarks on the stagnant state of Christianity. Her politics were coming into focus.
In 1882, she went to Germany and in 1883 married a Munich artist Ignatz Felix Guggenberger. She found married life in Germany dull and humdrum. The marriage lasted less than 8 years and she returned to London in 1890.
Having formed a strong sense of social justice from her  Quaker parents, but became an agnostic and anarchist;and associated with international atheists and anarchists circles in which she preferred the use of her maiden name. In 1891 she commented to a preference for "L. S. Bevington" over "Miss Bevington", as she objected to the values "Mrs" and "Miss", although she did sign that letter "L. S. Guggenberger".
Louisa quickly gained credence as an anarchist poet and was also helped by her friends Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin who had founded the anarchist paper Freedom in 1886. Louisa sought distance from advocacy of bombs and dynamite and became associated with another paper, Liberty, edited by the Scottish anarchist and tailor James Tochatti, for which she wrote numerous articles and poems. She was also a contributor to The Torch, which was edited by the Rossetti sisters, nieces of the painter. She also authored the Anarchist Manifesto in 1895 for the short-lived Anarchist Communist Alliance. She also translated an essay on the Paris Commune by Louise Michel who became her friend.
At the age of 50 in 1895, Bevington was still active but was suffering from bad health, namely heart disease that had been afflicting her for years. She managed to write some articles for Liberty in that year and her last collection of poems for Liberty Press.
Louisa Sarah Bevington died due to dropsy and mitral heart disease on 28th November 1895 at the age of fifty in Willesden Green. Her funeral at Finchley cemetery was attended by her old comrade James Tochatti, Kropotkin, and the Rossetti sisters, among others. Whilst her poems, very much a product of late Victorian times, have not aged all that well, the articles and pamphlets she wrote in which she strongly argued for anarchism, still bear a look. 
 
 Louisa Sarah Bevington- The Secret of the Bees
 
 How have you managed it? bright busy bee!
You are all of you useful, yet each of you free.

What man only talks of, the busy bee does;
Shares food, and keeps order, with no waste of buzz.

No cell that's too narrow, no squandering of wax,
No damage to pay, and no rent, and no tax.
No drones kept in honey to look on and prate,
No property tyrants, no bigwigs of State.

Free access to flowers, free use of all wings;
And when beelife is threatened, then free use of stings. 
No fighting for glory, no fighting for pelf;
Each thrust at the risk of each soldier himself. 
Comes over much plenty one summer, you'll see
A lull and a leisure for each busy bee.

No overwork, underwork, glut of the spoil;
No hunger for any, no purposeless toil.

Economy, Liberty, Order, and Wealth!
Say, busy bee, how you reached Social Health?

(Answer.)

Say rather, why not? It is easier so;
We have all the world open to come and to go.

We haven't got masters, we haven't got money,
We've nothing to hinder the gathering of honey.

The sun and the air and the sweet summer flowers
Attract to spontaneous use of our powers.

Our work is all natural nothing but play,
For wings and proboscis can go their own way.

We find it convenient to live in one nest,
None hindering other from doing her best.

We haven't a Press, so we haven't got lies,
And it's worth no one's while to throw dust in our eyes.

We haven't among us a single pretence,
And we got our good habits through sheer CommonSense. 
 Louisa Sarah Bevington- In Memorium

Mad, as the world calls mad,
  See Anarchy’s few;
Fighting the False and the Bad
  In all that they do;
Forcing a way for the Glad,
  The Pure, and the True.

Bolder and clearer it grows
  The Anarchist task;
Liberty’s plausible foes
  To assail and unmask;
Handing the torch as it glows
  To all who may ask.

 Great! oh, exceedingly great,
  The Anarchists’ claim!
Fusing the falsehood of State
  In unquenchable flame;
Breaking the fetters of fate
  In Humanity’s name.

Breathing with fiery breath
  On the mammonite crew;
Fearless, in splendor of faith,
  Of the worst they can do;
Blessed, in life and in death,
  O beneficent few! 

 Louisa Sarah Bevington - Revolution

 Ah, yes! You must meet it, and brave it;
Too laggard too purblind to save it;
Who recks of your doubting and fearing
Phrase bound 'Evolution?'
Do you not hear the sea sounding it?
Do you not feel the fates founding it?
Do you not know it for nearing?
Its name Revolution.
What! stem it, and stay it, and spare it?
Or will you defy it, and dare it?
Then this way or that you must change you
For swift restitution.
Do you not see men deserving it?
Do you not hear women nerving it?
Down with old Mammon! and range you
To aid Revolution!
The last hour has struck of our waiting,
The last of your bloodless debating,
The wildfire of spirit is speeding
Us on to solution.
Do you not thrill at the uttering?
Do you not breathe the breeze fluttering
Round the brave flag of our pleading?
The world's Revolution! 

 Louisa Sarah Bevington - My Little Task

 I THROW a guess out here or there,
I breathe a hope into the air,
I feel a dumbness like a prayer.

What, with this fencèd human mind,
What can I do to help my kind?
I such a stammerer, they so blind!

Nothing; save through the single gate
Of utterance throw my little weight
To swell the praise of what is great.

Nothing; save in my every song
Heap cold discredit on the wrong,
And cheer the march of right along.

And when I hear the lark's pure mirth,
Or see sweet flowers gladden earth,
Sing forth the mood that feels their worth.

Or when a bitter woe in me
Is healed by tender sympathy,
To let the healing songful be.

So add what force a singer may,
To ring opinion's echoing sway
A few chords mellower day by day.

Through chiming all that's pure and true,
Through hymning steadfast love anew,
This is the most that I may do.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Marking the 73rd anniversary of the Nabka


Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the occupation of Palestine, so on this day as Palestinian people enter the 73rd  year of dispossession and exile, Palestinians, friends of Palestine and supporters of justice and liberation , commemorate the Nakba ( day of catastrophe in Arabic ) this forced displacement was the basis for the foundation of the Israeli state..
Between 1947 and 1949,  saw 531 villages being cleared , with massacres that led to 16,000 Palestinians being killed at the hands of Zionist para-military groups like Haganah, that later formed the core of the Israeli Defense Force, Ergun and the Stern Gang.Today, over 7 million Palestinians live as refugees or exiles, denied the right to return to the land from which they, or their family, were forcibly expelled. A right which is enshrined in international law. Palestinians who remained in the State of Israel, and those in the occupied territory, many of whom are refugees, face a system of discriminatory racist rule that amounts to the crime of apartheid under international law.
Despite the coronavirus, more Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem  had their homes demolished in the first 19 months of 2020 alone than in any full year  since 2016. Alongside this Israel is attempting to ethnically cleanse Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied Jerusalem. Four of the Palestinian families face the prospect of being evicted this week. As Palestinians protest in Jerusalem against these evictions, and Israel’s ongoing programme of ethnic cleansing, Israeli forces have responded with brutality, including an assault on worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque that has wounded hundreds.
With the complicity of the international community, the Nakba continues, with the militarisation of the Israeli State that has seen the Palestinians people confined  to a series of open air prisons, in which the Israeli state routinely rehearses its cruel technologies of war, poisoning the soil, contaminating the water and terrorising  the people. 
On May 8, 80,000 Palestinians came to Al Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police had violated their holy place and they came to reclaim it. They overwhelmed the roadblocks and the paramilitary police and faced them down with their bodies and their prayers.Palestinians protested in Ramallah and Jaffa, in Gaza and in Haifa, with  Palestinians and their allies are protesting around the world.
At the sight of fire in the Al Aqsa Mosque. Gazan fighters fired rockets in defiance to protest the forced expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
IsraeI responded with airstrikes in Gaza on Monday evening, following rocket fire from Gaza that caused damage to one Israeli vehicle, and ‘lightly injured’ one Israeli civilian, according to an Israeli army statement.” 
Israeli bombs killed 21 Gazans overnight . They killed nine children, and injured scores of people. Let that attest to the relative value placed on one Israeli vehicle and 21 Gazan lives.
International governments condemned the rockets and eluded the rest.Let us be clear, there can be no equivalence between oppressor ad oppressed, between colonizer and colonised. The Palestinians blockaded  on all sides by walls and turrets, have few means to defend their rights in the face of of Israel's machinery of war.Israel currently  bombing schools, hospitals, media centres and power plants in what amounts to war crimes.At least 126 people have now been killed in Gaza , including 31 children and 20 women. with thousands of Palestinians  forced to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict. 
Gaza is 3km wide ad 42km long  and has more than 2 million inhabitants.The population density is extremely  high. This is why there are multiple civilian casualties as soon as conflict and fighting occurs. People simply cannot scape the bombing.
To make the situation worse Gaza has been under blockade for a long time and vital supplies are extremely limited. The latest clashes could damage vital infrastructure, leading to a rapid deterioration in the situation. 
It has seen huge numbers of people turning  out to march in solidarity with the Palestinian people against the escalating aggression from the Israeli state. An estimated 100,000 people have marched in London as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign pointed out.
As we mark 73 years of Nakba, we also celebrate 73 years of resistance and struggle for liberation, therefore I will continue to side with the Palestinian who dares to dream of the day of return, when they can open up the locked doors of their stolen homes, are welcomed home, recognised  and encouraged by a world that acknowledges the injustice that has been inflicted upon them.
Today we will see the Palestinian people renew  their demands for return, to their cities, villages and lands that they were forced to leave in 1948. Many Palestinians still carry keys to the homes they or their ancestors were displaced from,all those years ago, a  continuing haunting memory of their existence.
For the past 73 years  Palestinians have resisted the Israeli Government's continued efforts to erase the memories of trauma and resistance that began with the Nakba and will remain rooted to their land. Beyond their suffering and Israels blockade of the West Bank and the open air prison we know as Gaza it does not stop their dream for their right to return and for having Jerusalem as their capital. 
Today we remember and recount the unique personal stories of those who lived through the Nakba  and acknowledge that today over 4 million registered Palestinians worldwide, the majority of them still living within 60 miles of the border of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza strip where their original homes are located. Israel refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to pay them compensation as required by UN resolution 194  of 1948. Over 1.7 million Palestinians now live under occupation in the West Bank  imprisoned by an Israeli wall, and the over  2 million currently living under military siege in Gaza, denied a series of fundamental rights, that include the freedom to move, access to clean water, food, medicine and electricity.
Their catastrophe ongoing. But their will remains  unbroken, we stand with them today in solidarity,until they are allowed to move freely again in Palestine, until they are given back the dignity and respect and basic rights  that they deserve as human beings, hoping that this cycle of injustice can be ended,  it is not just about remembering , a day of mourning , it is acknowledging the Palestinians right to return,  maybe one day, one day the continued catastrophe will end.
On the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba it is the duty of people of conscience  everywhere to stand the right side of history, in solidarity taking action to end  international complicity of states, institutions and corporations in maintaining Israeli apartheid. Boycott products services of and mobilise international pressure to divest from Israeli and international  companies and banks that are complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. This includes  all Israeli banks (Leumi, Hapoalim etc) and mjor corporations such as Elbit Systems  HP, G4S/ Allied Universal, AXA, CAF, Puma, Caterpillar, General Mills/Pillsbury, Hyundai Heavy Insustries, JCB, Volvo, Barclays Bank, Alstom, Motorola Solutions and CEMEX. From the rivers to the sea Palestine will be free. 

 Here is a link to an emergency update from Medical Aid for Palestinians CEO Dr Aimee Shalan :-

https://www.map.org.uk/news/archive/post/1109-video-message-from-the-ceo-on-the-covid-19-outbreak

And here is a link to a petition  calling for sanctions  against Israel, including blocking all  trade, and in particular all arms. 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/585314