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. 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?


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 :-

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

In Solidarity With the Palestinian People

 For the past several weeks, Israel’s police and paramilitaries, together with violent settlement groups, have escalated their brutal attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem. Specifically targeted are the residents of Sheikh Jarrah, who face imminent eviction by Israeli settlers,and Ramadan worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and around the Old City. the third holiest site for Muslims in the world, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) firing rubber bullets, tear gas cannisters, and sound bombs, targeting Palestinians, in which at least 26 people in Gaza, including 9 children were killed that saw in
response retaliatory rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, which resulted in the first Israeli causalities, These localized attacks have further escalated into an all-out military campaign against Gaza, totally besieged since 2006 but unwilling to abandon their brethren in Jerusalem. These are not merely “clashes” between “sides” in a symmetrical “conflict” between two peoples. They are rather actions of conquest, political repression and dispossession on the part of Jewish Israelis met with defiant Palestinian reaction. Zionism, a settler colonial movement of the late 19th century, had a clear and explicit agenda: in the language of the Zionist movement, to Judaize Palestine, to turn an Arab land into a Jewish one; in short, to “cleanse” the country ethnically. At the heart of this project was displacement. Jewish settlers could only assert their exclusive claims of entitlement to the country by driving the indigenous population off the land and taking demographic as well as political control. Ethnic cleansing remains the single-minded preoccupation of modern Israel. It lies at the heart of the attacks and resistance protests in Sheikh Jarrah and the al-Aqsa mosque, as well as in the continued resistance of the people of West Bank, Gaza and even, it appears, Palestinian citizens of Israel who still find themselves displaced and without equal rights.
This particular round of low-intensity warfare occurs at Ramadan, in which thousands of Muslims converge on Jerusalem. There, the Israeli police violently harass them, demonstrating total Israeli control through sheer force. Bad enough in itself, this tense period collides with the triumphalist celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day and Jerusalem Day, an official “holiday” in which thousands of religious-nationalist settlers come to assert the “Jewishness” of the city. A major component of these “celebrations” is humiliating Jerusalem’s Palestinian inhabitants by marching with large Israeli flags and drums through their Old City quarters, yelling out patriotic songs.
Friends in Gaza  are currently  frightened.  They have had no sleep for two nights now.  There is a high degree of confusion.  People do not know when the next bombing will happen or where it will be.  It has been non-stop for two days. They are defenceless.
Meanwhile since the Conservative government was elected in May 2015 the UK has licensed over £400 million worth of arms to Israeli forces So would in this moment in time ask you to  .Email your MP:and demand that the UK government stops arming Israel.
It is also worth noting that  yesterday, in the Queen’s Speech opening the new Parliamentary session, Boris Johnson’s government announced a plan to deny UK citizens the right to protest against Israeli atrocities via BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in what in my opinion  can only be seene as wholehearted support for the murder of Palestinian children:
Despite this I would like to urge people to boycott products/services of, and/or mobilize institutional 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 major multinationals such as: Elbit Systems,, G4S/Allied Universal, AXA, CAF, PUMA, General Mills/Pillsbury, Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries, JCB, Volvo, Barclays Bank, Alstom, Motorola Solutions, and CEMEX.
We know that the worse thing is the feeling that you are isolated and the people of the world are ignoring what you are going through. If  you believe in your human right to peace, freedom and justice and solidarity  if it does not include the Palestinian people, it's pure hypocrisy. Everyday we must completely and unequivocally support their struggle for liberation.and as the unvarnished face of apartheid is revealed again in its full brutality,our solidarity has never been more urgent.The Israeli government's deadly attacks against Palestinians must be stopped.
We must stand up against  Israel's human rights abuses. On Saturday 15th May 2021, take action in your local community. Stand together for an end to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, and for the right of return for all exiled Palestinians.
 Protests are being organised around the country by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, and Muslim Association of Britain.
Here is a list  of national protests  currently planned.;-:

Monday, 10 May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 Connecting with Nature

 Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is a nationwide yearly event, which begins today created by the Mental Health Foundation 21 years ago, that focuses on achieving good mental health.The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.
 Mental Health Awareness Week is open to everyone. It is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it..This past year has been bloody tricky, to say the least  due to the covid-19 pandemic, so there’s no hiding from the fact that it has been difficult on everyone’s mental health, a lot of us spending increasing amounts of time at home in isolation  unable to see friends and family, with a lot of the things we enjoy that  have been limited on how far we can travel to help keep everyone safe.with our  outlets for wellbeing, like gyms, indoor sports, and spaces to connect with others closing overnight, the loss of weekly doses of live music has impacted on me greatly. It' been a time of great uncertainty, anxiety and stress.
We all know about the benefits of healthy living. From an early age, we are taught about the importance of exercise, a balanced diet and good hygiene. We know that if we look after our bodies, we reduce the risk of illness and we feel better in ourselves. People are not threatened by the word “health” and most people are willing to talk about it. However, place the word “mental” in front of it, and people may be much less willing to open up and share their experiences. 
The word “mental”still has negative connotations. It is still used as an adjective to describe something that was unreasoning, unreasonable, out-of-control or just plain crazy.Those who suffer are often, like me, ashamed to speak of it. Those who are lucky enough to be free of mental illness are terrified of it. Nobody wants to be seen as “mental” and this stigma is perhaps what is making it so difficult to engage in sensible, open discussion about “mental health”.The reality is, mental health affects every single one of us. The word “mental” simply refers to aspects or functions of the mind. Very few people would claim that they don’t have a mind, so why should we feel unable to discuss it?
When it comes to mental illness, we still don't quite get how it all works. Our treatments, while sometimes effective, often are not. And the symptoms, involving a fundamental breakdown of our perceived reality, are existentially terrifying. There is something almost random about physical illness, in how it comes upon us , a physical illness can strike anyone – and that is almost comforting. Were mental illness to fall into that same category, then it too could strike any of us, without warning. And that is terrifying.
But more than simple fear, mental illness brings out a judgmental streak that would be unthinkably grotesque when applied to physical illness. Imagine telling someone with a broken leg to "snap out of it." Imagine that a death by cancer was accompanied by the same smug head shaking that so often greets death by suicide. Mental illness is so qualitatively different that we feel it permissible to be judgmental. We might even go so far as to blame the sufferer. Because of the  stigma involved  it often leaves us much sicker.
Mental ill health is a real and important thing in the exact same way as physical illness, trauma and inherited conditions. It is however to say that in a better organised world our lives would be less pressured into brokeness, despair and ill health. Our minds, like our limbs, break under stress. Our lives within the capitalist system are harmed by the system, often we medicate not to make ourselves well, but very often we medicate in order to continue to function in a broken society, and capitalist system where our only immediate  value is in how they exploit us. It should be noted  that many  people believe that our Governments policies are actually fuelling the current  mental health crisis. Budget cuts to mental health services combined with no genuine support are driving  many people to the edge. As a result many young people and adults are left isolated facing long waiting lists for mental health therapies and diagnostic assessments. 
Mental health charities report that one in four people will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives. That’s 25% of the population. One in twelve children and young people  are affected by mental health difficulties that have a negative impact on their relationships, education and general well-being on a day-to-day basis. Depression and anxiety are now the number one cause of long-term absence from work and mental health issues are estimated to cost Britain £70 billion each year. With so many of us affected and with such a cost to the economy, you would have thought that we would at least be able to talk openly about it.
 In recent years, successive governments have become aware of the growing need to address the country’s mental health difficulties. Money is often pledged to tackle the problems of underfunding and targets are frequently set to reduce waiting times for patients to access counselling services. This is all beneficial when the politicians actually deliver on their promises but evidence points out that they don't so  unless people become more willing to hold them to account and continue to discuss their individual experiences of mental health issues, the stigma and the access to services so much needed  will remain.
Previous generations would have struggled to imagine it: whether on TV, social media or in the pub or the park, mental health is  at least increasingly being discussed across society. Though much remains to be done, the once prevalent stigma around the topic is slowly disintegrating.It’s a positive  shift, and one that is much needed.
But mental health isn’t just about illness, it’s also about what we can do to nurture and sustain our wellbeing; getting the crucial help we need in difficult times and crises, while also finding the insights, tools and communities that can support our resilience and personal growth.
Each year the Mental Health Foundation set a different theme, connected to improving, and achieving better mental health. This year, the Mental Health Foundation have made 'Nature' the theme’ and the benefits it can have on improving our mental health and wellbeing. Their aim is to encourage people to share how nature has supported their mental health, especially throughout the past year of lockdowns.
Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation explains how nature has played a crucial role in maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing over the past year, Mark said –
 “Our research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed that going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of people reported that being in green space had been vital to their mental health. It was as if we were re-discovering at our most fragile point, our fundamental human need to connect with nature.”
There is increasing evidence that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our mental health. As well as being more active outside and the health benefits that come with this, spending time in nature can improve our mood, lower stress levels, improve confidence and self-esteem, and give us a valuable ‘time-out’ from the busy world we live in. Research into ecotherapy (a formal therapeutic treatment involving time spent in nature and close mindful examination of the impact this has on our thoughts and feelings) has shown it can reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression. For others, simply pottering around in the garden or going for a walk can be a less structured, but equally beneficial experience. Nature can have has this calming and enchanting effect.Spending time in nature is a great way to take a break from looking at screens and look after your mental wellbeing. Going for a walk or sitting outside in a park and listening to the sounds around you is a great way to clear your mind if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.No matter if it's spring, summer, autumn, or winter, nature is all around us. that like our well beings still needs  so much protection and looking after, as it continues to nourish all that depend on her.
Have you ever noticed that when the sun is out you often feel in a better mood? This is because sunshine gives you Vitamin D and Vitamin D helps you stop feeling tired and sad. The next time it is sunny be sure to go out and enjoy the good weather. It will make you feel happier and boost your mood. Sitting outside, in nature, calms me so much, gardening makes me feel healthier, inspired, the rain calms me, the smell and sounds of birds, animals, flowers, the wind, watching clouds float by, calms me.
However I accept the fact that , many of us may face barriers that might stop us from connecting with nature. For example, you may be limited by your environment and access to outdoor space. Or you may be unused to spending time in green space and find it uncomfortable or unfamiliar.
We all have different experiences, different ways of coping and  if you feel anxious in new places or social situations, you could ask someone you trust to go with you at first or you could even connect with others & share how you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself and try to maintain goodwill and generosity to others, and please don't vote for the Tories, there certainly not going to help at all. In these divisive times it's certainly not an easy road, I hope I have at least  offered some positivity, a little room for optimism, even if sometimes when it gets a little too dark, I do not always find the time to practice what I preach. Please try and remember you are not alone.
If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.You might feel better contacting these people because they are trained experts who can get you the help you need straight away. For details of organisations such as the Samaritans and Mind, visit this list of support services

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Happy Birthday Gary Snyder: Poet laureate of Deep Ecology

Today  acclaimed poet, essayist, scholar, environmentalist and Zen Buddhist Gary Snyder (one of my favourite writers) turns 91. He has been called the "poet laureate of Deep Ecology." Deep Ecology is the philosophy of environmental ethics, the spirituality of Gaia. Deep ecology leads to direct action. In his writing and his life, Snyder explores what he describes as "the mytho-poetic interface of society, ecology, and language."
Snyder’s purpose in writing  is to actively influence emotional, political, and physical change.,using images of our environment, to re-establish our connection to the world in order to promote political change that addresses the ecological problems which face our capitalistic, image-driven culture. And throughout his life has pursue a radical vision that has continued to inform his poetry, shaped the cause of Deep Ecology  and helped provide distinctive answers to the eternal question of what it is to live a human life. 
Gary Sherman Snyder was born to Harold and Lois Snyder on May 8, 1930 in San Francisco, the beginning of the Great Depression  and was raised in an anarcho-syndicalist household, his grandfather soapboxed with the Industrial Workers of the World, and both his parents were labor movement radicals who grew disenchanted with the Soviet Union and Stalin's atrocities. Snyder himself was a member of the IWW. The family soon moved to the Pacific Northwest, to start a small dairy farm north of Seattle, Washington. His sister, Anthea, was born in 1932. The family moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1942. Snyder climbed Mt. St. Helens in 1945; and a year later he joined the Portland Mazamas, a mountaineering club. Throughout his life he has continued to climb mountains and take long wilderness hikes. During his high school years, he held a number of part-time jobs including working at a camp on Spirit Lake in Washington and as a copy boy for the Portland Oregonian
In 1947, Snyder graduated from Lincoln High School and enrolled at Reed College. He published his first poems in the campus literary magazine, Janus. While at Reed, he met fellow poets Philip Whalen and Lew Welch who would become his lifelong friends. Snyder graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Anthropology in 1951. His senior thesis was later published as the book, He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth (1979).
Snyder spent the summer of 1951 working as a timber scaler on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on the east side of the Oregon Cascades. Following the summer job, he hitchhiked to Indiana University to begin graduate study in Anthropology. It was on the trip east to Indiana that Snyder had a revelation that constituted a real turning point in his life. In an interview with the Commonwealth Club on May 15, 2002, Snyder described the incident, "In the middle of Nevada, on old Interstate 40, there was a period of about five hours where nobody would give me a ride. As I stood there in the middle of the sagebrush flats, I was reading through a chapter of Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism, First Series, and I hit on some phrases that turned my mind totally around. I knew that I wouldn't last at Indiana, and that I would soon be heading in the other direction back toward Asia, but I had to complete my short-term karma. So I did finish out that semester and then went back to the West Coast."
By spring 1952, Snyder was living with Philip Whalen in San Francisco and taking on odd jobs in order to support himself. During the early 1950's, Snyder returned several times to the forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest for summer employment including stints as a choker-setter for the Warm Springs Lumber Company and as a fire lookout. From 1953 to 1955, he lived in a tiny cottage near campus as he pursued graduate studies in the Department of East Asian Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. It was while he was at Berkeley that Snyder met Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
In October 1955, Snyder and Ginsberg hosted a poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco. Snyder, Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, and Philip Whalen read, and Kenneth Rexroth acted as master of ceremonies. Snyder read his poem, "A Berry Feast."inspiring an interest in Zen Budhism that has become a hallmark of Beat writing. Jack Kerouac recalled this event in The Dharma Bums (1958) and used Snyder as the basis for the book's fictional hero, Japhy Ryder, a Beat poet, Asian scholar, and mountain climber. In the early months of 1956, Snyder moved into a cabin in Mill Valley and Kerouac later joined him there. Snyder named the place, Marin-an -- Japanese for "Horse Grove Hermitage" for the adjacent meadow with its grazing mares.
In May 1956, Snyder left for Japan to study and work at a Buddhist temple, Shokoku-ji, in conjunction with the activities of the First Zen Institute of America's Kyoto facility. He took a job, in August 1957, as a wiper in the engine room of the S.S. Sappa Creek and was at sea for eight months until the ship reached the United States in April 1958. He spent the next nine months involved in the San Francisco Bay Area literary scene before returning, in early 1959, to Kyoto, where he began studying under Oda Sesso Roshi at the Daitoku-ji monastery. During this time, Snyder's first book Riprap was published, printed in Kyoto by Cid Corman and distributed through City Lights Books.
Snyder married Joanne Kyger in Kyoto in February 1960. From late 1961 to early 1962, the pair spent six months travelling in Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal. They joined Allen Ginsberg in New Delhi and visited with the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, where they had a notable discussion on hallucinogens.
His second collection Myths and Texts  came out in , followed by two pamphlets  that gained him a wide readership. Snyder returned to San Francisco in May 1964, and that fall he taught English classes at the University of California, Berkeley. Snyder and Kyger divorced in 1965, and he returned to Japan in October of that year.
On August 6, 1967, Snyder married Masa Uehara. The ceremony took place on the rim of an active volcano on Suwa-no-se, a small island north of Okinawa. Suwa-no-se was the site of the Banyan Ashram, founded by Nanao Sakaki, a poet, World War II veteran, and Japanese cultural radical. In 1967, Snyder briefly lived at the Banyan Ashram with the group of young people who gathered around Sakaki and called themselves Buzoku or Tribe.
In April 1968, Snyder's first son, Kai, was born in Kyoto. The family left Japan in December 1968 to make their home in California. A second son, Gen, was born in 1969. In 1970, Snyder took up residence with his wife and two young sons on San Juan Ridge, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near Nevada City, California. With students and friends, Snyder built his home and named it Kitkitdizze, a Native American (Wintun) word for a local plant with a unique and pungent aroma. Snyder and Uehara divorced in 1989. 
Inherent in Snyder's philosophy is the concept of place and community:

We are all indigenous to this planet, this garden we are being called on by nature and history to reinhabit in good spirit. To restore the land one must live and work in a place. The place will welcome whomever approaches it with respect and attention. To work in a place is to bond to a place: people who work together in a place become a community, in time, grows a culture. To restore the wild is to restore culture.

Snyder leaped  from being a regional poet to national acclaim in 1974 with the publication of Turtle Island a political text that aimed to teach readers how to 'be ' in North America. Turtle Island, Snyder writes in the volumes introductory note, is "the new/old name for the continent based on many creation myths of the people who have been living here for millenia.... A Name: That we may see ourselves more accurately o this continent of watersheds and life communities."
Snyder's next bestseller was Axe Handles (1983), a less political collection of poems that espouses how to live in the world, specially as a family. Additionally, his intense submersion in envrironmental concerns, Zen Buddhism, and Native American, Chinese and Japanese cultures, permeate all of his works.
Snyder also  manages to practice what he preaches. At San Juan Ridge, he has established a lay Zen centre and an ecology centre. He has politicised the local community, helped them to understand nature and to be able to respect and defend their space.
Snyder was a founding member of the "Ring of Bone" Zendo, a country-based Mahayana Buddhist sangha, which is located on his property on San Juan Ridge. Meetings and sesshin were first held in Snyder's barn in the 1970's and later moved to the Zendo after it was constructed in 1982. The Zendo was named "Ring of Bone" after the poem by Lew Welch. Although the Zendo is an affiliate of the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, it functions as a completely independent and self-governing church.
Using Kitkitdizze as his home base, Snyder toured extensively, giving readings and talks, doing what he termed, "hunting and gathering." In addition to his numerous appearances in the United States and Canada, his lecture tours took him to Australia in 1981, Sweden, Scotland, and England in 1982, Taiwan in 1990, Spain in 1992, Ireland in 1995, and Greece and the Czech Republic in 1998, Korea and Japan in 2000, Japan and France in 2002, and Japan again in 2003.
Snyder married Carole Koda in April 1991 in a ceremony at Kitkitdizze. She is a writer and has two daughters, Mika and Robin. Of Japanese-American heritage, Koda grew up in the South Dos Palos area of the San Joaquin Valley of California on a large rice farm that had first been planted by her father's parents. Her father researched and founded the "Kokuho Rose" line of rice and was a pioneer in using airplanes to plant rice from the air.
Snyder became a faculty member in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis in 1986. He was instrumental in founding the "Nature and Culture" program (1993), an undergraduate academic major for students of society and the environment. He was also active in establishing "The Art of the Wild" (1992), an annual conference on wilderness and creative writing. The Academic Senate selected Snyder as the 2000 Faculty Research Lecturer, the University of California, Davis' highest faculty peer honor. He retired in 2002. 
Snyder has written  wrote more than twenty books of poetry and prose including: Riprap (1959), Myths & Texts (1960), Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems (1965), A Range of Poems (1966), The Back Country (1967), Earth House Hold: Technical Notes & Queries for Fellow Dharma Revolutionaries (1969), Regarding Wave (1970), Turtle Island (1974), The Old Ways (1977), The Real Work: Interviews & Talks, 1964-1979 (1980), Axe Handles (1983), Passage Through India (1983), Left Out in the Rain: New Poems 1947-1985 (1986), The Practice of the Wild (1990), No Nature: New and Selected Poems (1992), A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds, New and Selected Prose (1995), Mountains and Rivers Without End (1996), The Gary Snyder Reader (1999), The High Sierra of California (2002), and Look Out: A Selection of Writings (2002).
In addition to his books, Snyder contributed his works of poetry and prose to numerous journals and anthologies. He often provided introductions and prefaces to scholarly translations, Buddhist studies, and poetry books. His writings have been translated into a number of languages, and he has been the subject of several critical books and many interviews.
Recognition of Snyder's achievements includes the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book Turtle Island, his appointment to the California Arts Council (1975-1979), and his induction into both the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1987) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993). After his long poem cycle and forty-year work, Mountains and Rivers Without End, was published, he was presented with the 1997 Bollingen Prize for Poetry. In conferring the award, the judges observed, "Gary Snyder through a long and distinguished career, has been doing what he refers to in one poem as 'the real work.' 'The real work' refers to writing poetry, an unprecedented kind of poetry, in which the most adventurous technique is put at the service of the great themes of nature and love. He has brought together the physical life and the inward life of the spirit to write poetry as solid and yet as constantly changing as the mountains and rivers of his American -- and -- universal landscape.
This quotation is striking in that it hints at the inherent relationship between Snyder's writing and his environmental activism – that one does not exist without the other. Snyder's poetry, religious beliefs, and his activism are then all related. By reading his poems to find ecological significance, one also finds religious meaning.
Snyder received the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Grant in 1998. Also in 1998, he was honored with the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Propagation of Buddhism) award for his outstanding contributions in linking Zen thought and respect for the natural world across a lifelong body of poetry and prose. In 2001, he was awarded the California State Library Gold Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Science. 
 The pursuit of “relentless clarity” in everything characterizes Snyder’s life and art, but the pressures of the search are alleviated by his congenial nature and sense of humor. While emphasizing the importance of Zen “mindfulness,” Snyder has also stressed that “a big part of life is just being playful.” In accordance with this approach, Snyder has kept dogmatic or simplistic solutions out of his work and has cherished the wild and free nature of humankind. In “Off the Trail,” which he wrote for his wife, Koda, he envisions a life in which “all paths are possible” and maintains that “the trial’s not the way” to find wisdom or happiness. “We’re off the trail,/ You and I,” he declares, “and we chose it!” That choice—the decision to go against the grain “to be in line with the big flow”—has led to a poetry of “deeply human richness,” as Charles Molesworth puts it in his perceptive study of Snyder’s work, in which “a vision of plenitude” leads to a “liminal utopia, poised between fullness and yet more growth.
 Snyder’s poem "For All" puts a new spin on the takes the American Pledge of Allegiance. Instead of pledging allegiance to a flag, Snyder pledges allegiance to the land. Creating a new pledge of allegiance is a revolutionary act. Snyder takes the focus off national identity and instead put it on nature. While God is mentioned in the original Pledge of Allegiance, Snyder replaces him with the sun. By doing so, he is shifting the focus from an outside deity onto a natural object. Just as God is seen as an important, life-giving power, the sun can also be seen that way – the lives of plants, animals and humans would be impossible without the light the sun provides. By replacing God with the sun, Snyder says that the ecosystem is a complete and sacred entity unto itself.
It is also noteworthy that Snyder's new pledge of allegiance makes no specific mention of humans. Humans are implicitly referred to in the line, "and to the beings who thereon dwell," but the poem never raises humans above the other forms of life on Turtle Island. Again, this demonstrates Snyder's belief  
 that humans are only a part of the world, and not necessarily the most important one.
Happy birthday to this trailblazing Beat icon, and wise and witty charming poet who has made such an indelible mark on late twentieth and twenty-first century thought, who is still writing, his words still pushing the edge of contemporary thought, continuing to speak for all.

For All - Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small hard as toes
cold nose dripping 
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge alleigance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpretation for all. 

and some more from the master