Friday, 30 November 2012

Mary Harris Jones ( 1/5/1830 - 30/11/1930) Mother Jones / The Miners' Angel


Today marks the anniversary of the death of Mary Harris Jones. Dressmaker and militant activist. In her autobiography she claimed she  was born on May 1 1830, though others have put her actual birth as  August 1 1837. What is undisputed is that she was born in North Cork, Southern  Ireland, her grandfather  having been of Welsh stock, who had been hung for fighting for the cause of Irish freedom. Her own father was a Richard Harris, a Roman Catholic tenant farmer, who was forced to flee with his family to Toronto in Canada because of getting into trouble for political activities.
After  leaving school at 17,  Mary taught for a while before leaving Canada and moving to Chicago and becoming a dress maker. Going back to teaching, she moved to Memphis where she met and married the Welsh American George E Jones in 1861. He was an iron moulder who was an active member of it's union.
However tragedy struck because her husband and their four children died in an outbreak of Yellow Fever. Mary tried to recuperate by moving back to Chicago, to become a dressmaker once again, but yet again another misfortune occurred. In the great Chicago Fire  of 1871, she lost everything she ever owned. On her own in the world, she decided to dedicate herself  to the labour struggle for human working conditions, and so began  a life of relentless campaigning against suffering and exploitation.
She said "Often while sewing for the lords and barons who lived in magnificent houses on the Lake Shore Drive, I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking along the frozen lake front. The contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people fr whom I sewd I sewd was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice or care.'
In 1903 the West Virginian District Attorney, Reese Blizzard dubbed  her ' the grandmother of all agitators, and the most dangerous woman in America.'
She joined the Knights of Labour Movement and was to become involved in just about every  major industrial dispute in the next half century. From the 1870' to the early 1920's  she travelled to many strikes up and down the country, earning respect and admiration wherever she went,  she became known for her passionate eloquent speeches, that she delivered  to encourage the strikers, taking part in many militant actions, running educational meetings for the workers and their families. She lived amongst the workers, treating them all as equals, inspiring them, such was her empathy for the workers, they started referring to her as Mother Jones.

She developed a confrontational style, refusing to compromise on behalf of all that she considerec suffering from Oppression. In 1877, she was involved in the Pittsburgh Railway Strike, when twenty strikers were killed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Railroad_Strike_of_1877. She showed no fear to the intimidation and violence that was being perpetrated by the authorities, at a time when many radical leaders in the Labour Movement were being harrassed, detained and silenced. Despite all this Mary Harris Jones carried on defending.
In 1898 she helped found the Social Deomocratic Party, which 3 years later became part of the Socialist Party  of America. In 1905 she helped start the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). She was the only woman among 25 delegates, who called for a convention to organise all Industrial Workers. Known as the Wobblies, their famous motto was ' an injury to one, is an injury to all' http://libcom.org/history/articles/iww.usa

Famously she organised the childrens crusade of striking children from the textile mills of Kensington, Pennsylvania, across New Jersey to President Theodore Roosevelt's own front door in Long Island , New York in 1903. Though the President refused to meet the protestors, this crusade bought the issue of child labour  to the national attention.She made frequent stops to give speeches and tell the public about the effects of this exploitation, and her actions paved the way for the eradication of child Labour in the Unite States. Here she was at 73 , still fighting for better conditions, you did not mess with Mother Jones.
She was like an anchor to the workers, such was her dedication to their cause, arrested many times, using fearless tactics, with words and deeds, using revolutionary ideas, driven by her underlying passion. She got increasingly involved in the plight of the miners, becomming an organiser for the United Mine Workers Association, the miners themselves started to refer to her as their angel, such was their love for her. In 1911 she was involved in the Paint Creek Cabin Strike in West Virginia. In 1912 she was leading a march of miners children in Charleston, West Virginia. She was back again the next year, this time leading to her arrest. She had become a militant matriarch, uniting the family of labour through her words and her courage.
September 23, 1913 marked the beginning of a massive coal strike in Colorado, she brought news of the strike to the nation, and after the infamous Ludlow Massacre, when twenty people  were machine gunned down by guards after a walkout  by about ninety percent of the workers she made sure that the truth of this  got out and that the news was not suppressed.

Woody Guthrie - Ludlow Massacre


When in January 1914  she tried to return she was arrested again. She was convicted  by a miliatary court of Conspiracy to murder and the 83 year old was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Thousands gathered to protest which led to the commute of her sentence. Above all she had once again drawn the press into the plight of the miners and by her actions the Senate ordered an investigation into the conditions in the coalfields.
She went to Pittsburgh in 1919 to support the steelworkers,throughout the 1920s, her fight did not cease, still embracing the movement to her heart,supporting dressmakers in Chicago in 1934, supporting the Revolutionary cause in Mexico. In 1925 she published her autobiography. In it she defiantly wrote 'In spite of oppressors, in spite of false leaders the cause of the workers continues onward. Slowly his hours are shortened, slowly his standards of living rise to include some of the good and beautiful things in life. Slowly, those who create the wealth of the world are permitted to share it. The future is in labour's strong rough hands.' She continued making public appearances and fighting for the causes she believed in right up to her hundredth birthday.

She died on November 30th 1930. She is  buried in the Union Miners' Cemetery at Mount Olive, Illinois, alongside th 4 victims of the 1889 Virden, Illinois, mine riot. Mother Jones , the Miners angel had been asked to be buried here. Her 80-ton granite monument  was erected there in 1936, dedicated before a crowd  of 50,000 people, 32,000 of whom had marched to the cemetery.
After her death the American authorites tried to erase her imprint from the history books, they still found her dangerous. But her memory and spirit was impossible to erase, she had overcome personal tragedy to raise peoples hopes , a spark in  the name of solidarity and resistance. She had become the mother of the downtrodden,and the voicless, who had fought against suffering and exploitation. Across America, today, people still fighting for decent lives, fighting for social justice, raising their voices in defiance. This is Mother Jones's legacy, long may it be honoured.

Mother Jones Speaks
filed on the occasion of her 100th
birthday 1930

The Most Dangerous Woman
- Ani di Franco & Utah Phillips


Further Reading:-

Autobiography - Mary Harris Jones

Mother Jones: The Most Dangeerous Woman in America
-  Elliot J Gorn.

Mother Jones speaks:
Speeches & Writings of a working Class Fighter
-Mary Harris Jones/ Philip S Glover
(1995) 

'Pray for the dead & fight like hell for the living'. - Mother Jones

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Message for Stevie Wonder after finding out he is to provide IDF Soldiers with Support Through Song.




Hey we all kind of do funny things from time to time, seriously, we can get confused, we get invited to things, and the offer seems irresistable to refuse. You have just been invited to play for an upcoming Gala, in support of the Friends of the Israel Defence forces (FIDF) organisation. An annual event. It is  held this year on December 6th at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Guaranteed to be a glitzy affair, their will be lots of other guests and will probably raise millions of dollors not  for charity but to support the Israeli army.
You probably did not want to turn down the invitation, because this gig is a must attend event for the Los Angeles community, and you would not want to be accused of being anti-semitic.  It is not being anti-semitic to not want to support the activities of the IDF however, or the policies of the state of Israel. You might , after standing up against racism and injustice, and  against apartheid South Africa, be accused of a little hypocricy , since lets face it the IDF are mainly known as the force that maintains Israels occupation of the West Bank, and the  ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the area, whilst propping up apartheid policies, taking part in land grabs and other war crimes.  The IDF are terrorists, who have been responsible for the demolishment of 200 houses in Gaza and seriously damaged 8,000 more. Coming  a week after Operation  Pillar of cloud,  your timing is impecabble.
Will you be playing 'I just called to say I love you',  if so I am definitely feeling a little ' uptight'.
Did you not used to talk about Martin Luther King and did you not used to share his ideas, walk along the same paths, with a man  who lived and died trying to break the chains of oppression and injustice.
Stevie the parallels between apartheid south africa and Israel are  clear to understand. An apartheid society is much more than just a 'settler colony'. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, wheras civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges.
The apartheid wall which the I.D.F prop up is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israels illegal settler colonies.

The New Black by the Mavrix
 ( a collaboration between South Africa and Palestine)
South African band, the Mavrix and Palestinian Oud Player
Mohammed Omar


It's never to late  to reconsider, and I'm talking as a fan, I remember how you supported the international call to boycott south africa and your  refusal to perform in their at the time of apartheid, so why would you support an apartheid state now, which side are you on , how come you  now seem to be supporting the oppressors? Their is always time to wrestle with your conscience, identify with the struggle, ,not to get carried away, time  to admit, perhaps, that   if you did this one gig, that you might have something to   regret. I really hope so , because their is no one blinder than those who REFUSE to see between right and wrong.
Thought I'd end with a video of an old song you used to sing, that has much resonance with what you might be about to do,  and a link to  two  petitions that  perhaps someone could have a look at for you, a lot of fans are signing,  they've respected you for a long time, I do hope for a long time to come, so please I am urging you to cancel this performance and stand with the values of justice. You have used your wonderful singing voice to  spread messages  of hope and love, so please Stevie, don't sing for Apartheid.

Stevie Wonder - It's Wrong ( Apartheid)


Petition: Stevie Wonder, don't play for an occupying army
(The Israeli Defence Force)
http://www.causes.com/actions/1708640

Petition: Stevie Wonder: Don't play at the IDF gala fundraiser in LA on Dec 6th
http://www.change.org/petitions/stevie-wonder-don-t-play-at-the-idf-gala-fundraiser-in-la-on-dec-6th

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Remi Kanazi - Normalize This! /Coexistence



I have posted some Remi Kanazi before,http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/poetiv-injustice-writings-on-resistance.html a powerful performace poet from New York, thought it apt to publish some more.

Twitter :https://twitter.com/Remroum
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/RemiPoet
Website:http://www.Poeticinjustice.net
Purchase Poetic Injustice http://www.poeticinjustice.net/purchase.aspx~.U13EKGnuVv1

Producer: Tami Woronoff
Cinmatographer:Mike McSweeney
Editor: Mathew C.Levy
Sound: Steve Burgess

Nor-mal-iza-tion:

a "colonization of the mind" whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor's reality is the only "normal" reality... and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.

In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as "normal" - even "enlightened" through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid.

-PACBI ( The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1850

For more infomation on cultural and academic boycott in the US please visit
http://www.usacbi.org/

Remi Kanazi - Coexistence
(taking to the stage Nablus 2010 )


His only Welsh date on his upcoming UK tour is at the Ebbw Vale Institute, Church Street, Ebbw Vale NP23
Saturday December1st 2012.
Supported by the award winning poet Patrick Jones.
Tickets cost £5 Advance £6 OTD
Box Office- 01459 708022
or online at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/192455
Doors open 7.00 p.m, start 7.30 p.m

Friday, 23 November 2012

Prosiect Datblygu


Will be off to see new film by director Owain Lyr  tonight  about my old friends band Datblygu.One of the main reasons I started learning the Welsh language. The premier is in Theatre Mwldan's new digital cinema,  in Cardigan/Aberteifi . 23 Nov, 24 Nov, 25 Nov, 26 Nov at Mwldan 3
You can book your tickets herehttps://mwldan.ticketsolve.com/shows/873486242/events?locacle=en-GB

       Born in a bedroom in Cardigan thirty years ago, the  band  Datblygu were  hailed as
       the first truly modern Welsh-language group, their uncompromising, immense music
       has been described as genius, and their influence on Welsh music as immeasurable.
       Fronted by the charismatic and anarchic rebel poet David R. Edwards, the group
       came to define what T Gwydwr's Gareth Potter calls 'the soul of the Welsh
      underground scene in the 1980s. Datblygu's acidic take on modern Wales - the
      artistic bourgeoisie and politicians were typical targets - liberated a whole
      generation of bands and artists. Five Peel sessions with legendary Radio 1 DJ John
      Peel is some measure of the effect they had on the converted. Championed by Peel but
      ironically ignored by mainstream Welsh media, the band was part of an energetic
      underground scene which also included Y Cyrff, Yr Anhrefn, Ffa Coffi Pawb and
      Llwybr Llaethog, in a random alliance which re-defined Welsh language popular
      music. This new independent film from Director Owain Llyr celebrates 30 years of
      Datblygu, and features extensive interviews with David R.Edwars and Patricia
      Morgan from the group, as well as notable others who remember this anarchic
      ensemble in its prime. Prosiect Datblygu premieres at Theatr Mwldan.
      SUBTITLES

Spoke to Dave the other night , both he and Pat are hoping to make an appearance. It coincicides too with the release of a new four track E.P, which on all accounts ( haven't heard it yet) recalls the classic Datblygu sound and line up of Pat and David. Looking forward to getting hold of it.
This limited edition release will be on sale tonight and through the ankst websitehttp://www.ankst.net/.

A link to earlier post I did is here,  http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/david-r-edwards-y-teimlad-feeling.html since when David has come on leaps and bounds
and link to wonderful unofficial site for all things Datblygu here http://www.datblygu.com/ and here's a link to another group of lovely people is here.....http://www.facebook.com/Datblygu30

If you want to pop along, I suggest you hurry up, tickets are running out fast, should be a big crowd.

Looking forward/edrych ymlaen.l



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rights Groups Condemn 'Killer Robots'



They're being called 'killer robots' - machines that decided indepenently on  targets to strike without being told to any human.

Alhtough they do not exist, the world's most powerful armies are taking steps in that direction - and are believed to be available in the next few decades or sooner.

A report this week by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic titled " Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots" outlines the danger of these fully autonomous weapons

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Personal Opinion

Once upon a time this was a thing I would read about in Science Fiction novels. Asimov comes to mind who wrote a story back in 1950 called I robot. In his story he chronicles the development of the robot, from its primitive origins to its ultimate perfection in the not so distant future, a future in which humanity  itself may be rendered obsolete.

I find it strange that we never take note of warnings from the past even if it is a work of science fiction.

In an earlier short  story from 1942 ,  called "Runaround" he introduced 3 principles of the robot.
They were:-

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The prospect of developing autonomous wearpons with the capacity to evaluate targeting options themselves is now a distinct possibility.  On a personal note , humanitarian considerations should be put before any military ones, we have so much to lose and much  to fear.
The technology is already out their, we have drones used to kill,  unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely operated killing machines, raining hellfire missiles on inncocents in Pakistan and the Middle East. Since 2008  remotely piloted U.S drones have killed up to 3,000 people  in Pakistan alone.
I guess all wars lead to the erosion of ethics, and humanity seems  to have developed an inate ability to keep killing one another. Perhaps it would  be a better idea, that humanity seeks ways to control their own actions and feelings  without developing robots that can carry out our destructive needs without feeling. After all, certain military strategists aided by politicians  have probably worked out that  they can create machines that make less mistakes, but can carry out nevertheless, more deadly precision killing.
 I strongly feel that the devlopment of and use of autonomous weapons or killer robots should be explicitly prohibited, because I feel they are an abuse of humanity's real needs. Otherwise I fear,   it really will be too late.
Humanity should be seeking ways to find peace, and  getting rid of  existing injustices, instead of marching onwards to a dystopian world, that would mean that we all cease to exist.



Monday, 19 November 2012

Something in the Air

A Poem for Gaza

There's something in the air, as sirens sing,
the pavements twisted with broken embers of peace,
a   prism of shimmering emptiness as promise lays cursed.
Shoes speckled with blood, abandoned and bereft,
the sad drumbeat of humanity's curse.
Tiny hands, rigid fossil like,as fire breaths  from a blood
red sky.
Prayers on all sides, succumb to deep shadows,
as sunset descends, into deep labyrinths of hell,
the velocity of winds gather up storms.
We maintain vigil, take sides, proliferate opinions,
as the reverberations of suffering and sorrow grow.
This experience of darkness, impossible to erase,
like black mountains, glimmering across the night sky.
In the morning, the chants still ring out,
Inshallah, Inshallah, as the weeping mother buries her dead.
                                        

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Medical Aid for Palestinians - Donate - Emergency Gaza Disaster Appeal


As the military bombardment of Gaza increases. Medical Aid for Palestinians are redponding by helping the victims of tose attacks. As the death and casualty toll increases, including children, we are working with the main hospital in Gaza to ensure that they have the medicines and medical equipment needed to respond urgently and effectively to this emergency situation. But we can't continue in this emergency aid without your help now. We need your help to raise £100,000 immediately. Your support will enable MAP to buy life saving drugs and medical equipment to save lives in Gaza.
In addition to buying medicines and medical supplies we are also preparing Disaster Survival and Hygiene kits throughout Gaza to protect children and vulnerable civilians displaced by the bombardment. With your help we will be able to help Palestinian children, women and men who need emergency help now.
Please Donate now.
Medical Aid for Palestinians - Donate - Emergency Gaza Disaster Appeal

Friday, 16 November 2012

Mahmoud Darwish (13/3/41 - 9/8/08) - Think of Others

Sitting in the library, thoughts as yesterday, with the beleagured citizens of Gaza. A place that I have never been to, whose language I cannot speak, whose heartbreak I have not even come near too, whose oranges I have never picked, whose sky I have never touched, whose air I've never inhaled. But long has their story touched me, their struggle held much resonance. In their history of hardship and struggle, these people have never given up hope, even when they are daily besieged, imprisoned. And now Israeli  are launching a series of deadly attacks against this giant open air prison camp, resulting in the deaths of many innocents with many more left injured.
The BBC and the mainstream media does not seem to highlight the grief that Israel is bringing to the innocent, we must be made to comprehend and speak out.
Anyway some time for some reflection, so here are the words of one of Palestinians greatest poets Mahmoud Darwish.

Think of Others

As you fix your breakfast, think of others. Don't forget to feed the pigeons.

As you fight in your wars, think of others. Don't forget those who desperately demand peace.

As you pay your water bill, think of others who drink the cloud's rain.

As you return home, your home think of others. Don't forget those who live in tents.

As you sleep and count planets, think of others. There are people without any shelter to sleep.

As you express yourself using all metaphorical expressions, think of others who lost their rights to speak.

As you think of others who are distant, think of yourself and say "I wish I was a candle to fade away the darkness.

Translated by Shahd Ausalama

http://palestinefrommyeyes.wordpress.com/


See earlier post of mine on Mahmoud Darwish here

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/mahmoud-darwish-poet-of-resistance.html




here is a link to a petition you could consider signing
Palestine, the World's Next Nation

http://www.avaaz.org/en/independence_for_palestine_en/

Emergency Petition
from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

End Israel's War on Gaza - NOW

http://psc.iparl.com/petition/9

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Emergency Demos: Protest against the Attack on Gaza Now!


Yes Israel has been attacked by rockets, not after Palestinians had fired rockets into civilian areas, but after Palestine resistance fighters  targetted Israeli forces enforcing the siege and occupation of Gaza. So Israels response has been totally disproportionate. Remember Gaza is an occupied area, daily under siege, would you not retaliate in some way.
Lets put it in context.
On November 9, 2012 Israel's army killed a teenage child playing soccer, then launched an unprovoked bombardment of the Gaza strip which killed 7 Palestinians and injured more than 40, and to which the resistance responded. Subsequent Israeli attacks led to more deaths and injuries, and culminated yesterday with the assasination of Ahmed Jabri, second in command of the military wing of Hamas, and many others , many of whom were civilians throughout Gaza. Further, Israel formally launched a ground invasion of the Gaza strip, saying they would be in Tal Alhawa within 24 hours. This is an area in the middle of densely populated Gaza City.
I think anyone with conscience should be oppossed to Israels actions and would urge them to urge the foreign office, to call Israel to account, and if possible to attend any emergency demonstations in support of the besieged.Israel must end their siege of the Gaza strip and grant immediate access to all food, humanitarian and medical relief supplies without restiction, or their could be a humanitarian disaster. The strip is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 80% of whom are refugees, denied by Israel the right to return to their homes and lands of origin from where they were expelled by occupation in 1948. Nearly half of the Gazan population are children who along with the elderly and ill remain completely deprived of food water, fuel, elecricity, humanitarian relief and medical supplies or facilities.
The Palestinians are in constant daily  fear of bombardment.They are a largely civilian population trapped in the largest outdoor prison in the world, daily they  face the risk of indiscriminate killing.They cannot run or hide or escape. They have no army, airforce or navy to speak of.Sitting targets for Israels War crimes. Since yesterday the death toll has risen to 15,and what should also be remembered is that  the mainstream media never report the whole picture. It is important that we remember, it is the Palestinians that are under siege and not the other way round. All the Palestines want is to be free .

Gaza after attack yesterday.



Here is a list of protests and demos I am aware of

London: Thursday 15 November: Opposite Israeli embassy 5.30-7pm ( nearest tube High St  Kensington

Edinburgh: Saturday 17 November: Assemble at Charlotte Square 122 pm for march to the Scottish Parliament

Manchester: Thursday 15 and Friday 16 November: Picadilly Gardens 5pm

Aberystwyth: Friday 16 November  Vigil 6pm Clock Tower, Great Darkgate Street.

Cardiff: Sat 17th November Queen Street 2pm

Swansea: Sat 17th November Castle Square 2pm

Aberystwyth: Friday 

And in all corners of the globe.

Le Trio Joubran - Safar ( with the voice of Mahmoud Darwish) live

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

People of Europe Rise Up.



Nuremberg Principle 1V States

" The facts that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Google map showing protests taking place today.



10 year old protestor injured by Police in Tarragona, Spain


Firemen on Strike, lay down blocking traffic in Le Mans, France



Students march to the train station to go to Milan demo from Seronna


Strikers at Cross Rail Block Tottenham Court Road, London


Police attack protestors after they block traffic on Oxford Street London



Barricades in Asturias Spain


5,000 students take to the streets of Rome.

Valencia, Spain

Tuis, Italy


Capitalism kills - action against the banks in Spain


Brussells, Belgium







Solidarity Forever
an injury to one is an injury to all.
If the problem is economics dont use more economics.

The Story

Peoples of Europe rise up!

Peoples of Europe shut the TV and rise from those
graves disguised as chairs...
Because you are Europe.
You are Italy, Greece, Germany, France and all the
other countries.
They are just those who have patented the name.
They are just those who understood how to use it first.
They arejust who will run away first when the ship
will sink.

Peoples of Europe turn offf the engine that chained you
one behind the other and rise up from those prisons
disguised as cars...
Because you are the every day walking, working, and
fighting Europe.
You are the engine, not that under the hood.
They are travelling, not you.
They arrive at the finish, never you.

People of Europe pull that damn phone from ear,
crash it in a thousand pieces and rise up from that
slavery disguised as freedom...
Because you are the ones who have to talk to each other,
face to face, everywhere.
You should be intercepted, you should be those who
say the words able to bring down the house of trick
cards they have built around you.
They have never had anything interesting to say.
They never needed you to tell the truth.
Tjhey are just a good bluff.

People of Europe, at least for now, turn off also this
computer and rise up.
Leave home, go on the streets and squares, and not
because someone has invited you to  to do from
Facebook...
Because those streets and squares are yours.
You are the ones that have built them.
You are the ones that daily pay their price.
They are only the ones that have stolen them...

PS: Now someone will say that I am a communist...

The aboveReblogged from http://betweentwosouths.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/from-greece-peoples-of-europe-rise-up.html  thought it relevant for NOW.








Tuesday, 13 November 2012

What's the point of Police Commissioner Elections in Wales.

Sitting here all bunged up , wondering about the forthcoming elections for Police Commisioners. From what I have gathered the Conservative government seems to have made a right shambles of this.
Not sure of the reason, ah yes, the county police authorities made up of elected local authority members are being disbanded., so the Torys  want something else in place , whether we like it or not, their version of democracy, force something on us while we're not looking.They like changing things. But what they had not imagined is that most people are  are unaware an election is coming, there have been no leaflets through the door,or knocks, and most are totally unaware who is standing. And those that are aware of it , intend ignoring it completely.
After 2 years of Tory rule there are , 28,000 less workers employed in our police forces, than when they first started,  and they reckon they are the party of law and order, they just want to have another political quango, where all there mates can go and roost.
The aim of the Police Commisioner is to set the Police budget and policing precept, Commission Police related services within the force area, improve the accountability of the police to the public, (it seems they have their work cut out.) and engage with the public on policy decision. The public does not seem to be clamouring for this sort of change.
It is  reckoned too that only 15% of the 40 million adults outside of London eligible to vote will bother. In Wales itself the turnout is expected to be less than 10%. Not an amount to be considered a democratic mandate in my opinion. And a Police Commisioner could get a total of 5 % and still incredibly get elected.This is the process of sham democracy,that we are living under.
A second set of ballot papers in English and Welsh has added £350,000 to the bill, to what is already a high amount in times of austerity, an incredible barmy figure of around £75 miillion. But they've save a bit from not publishing individual  manifestos, in case we were interested in what some of the candidates have to say. The message here is, that unless your wealhty enough your message will not get out.
These elections are guaranteed at making  Policing political, (it always has been), and I am afraid the Police Commisioners will be left with far more political influence  than we realise..
As for the Tories enthusiasm for Commisioners, that worries me,  because their ideological bent, gives no two hoots  to local democracy or public involvement. The needs of society will still be ignored, so a new Police Commissioner will not make a blind bit of difference.The possibility of corruption and political elites forming too, is a distinct possibility,I do not think it will lead to greater Police accountability.  So personally we need to oppose it, so that this government does not think it can inflict policies on us, by the back door on  a  dishonourable democratic mandate.
So what  to do,  I humbly recommend, that if you have the urge and feel the need and want to behave like a good citizen,that  you should remember too, that all spoilt ballot papers have to be counted, so a simply writing a message on  your ballo paper of say A.C.A.B will do the trick, or perhaps that's a little to harsh and you could simply write nothing.
Or perhaps you dont want to engage in any of this Political football at all, these are  Police Commisioners who are only taking part  in the first place, because of a thirst for power.  Remember that there is no requirement for Police Commisioners to be experienced in policing - or in fact anything. It is also by the way, an American idea that might be O.K over there, but what works over there does not always work over here.
A tory policy that in the General Election , the people by a majority did not vote for. Yep I won't be voting.
It's all too much of a mess. I  wont be giving their election a sham endorsement. Thats how they keep us in control.





Monday, 12 November 2012

TV = Mind Control



Using fear and the threat of insecurity to manipulate the people, corporate media, in bed with governnment, over the years having become the mouthpiece of government control, unleashes a barrage of propoganda, in images nd pro-war commentators, to arouse the population the false sense of security that justifies miltary action. This way, debate is silenced and dissent is dissapeared on the airwawaves as once again the corporate media, the gatekeepers of infomation, allow us only to see and hear the point of view they want us to incorporate into our psyche. Voices of reason and of intelligence are ignored, banished from imparting thoughts of wisdom, thus making it virtually impossible for the population to ever know there are other options beside the horror of war.

With corporate anchors, journalists, reporters, commentators and executives pushing into our homes an exclusive pro-war, jingoist viewpoint, blitzkrieging us with their propoganda-laced images and opinion, over months of constant threats of fear and insecurity, denying the public from ever seeing or hearing fruits and realities, it therefore becomes rather easy, with a  population addicted to television viewing, to mobilise a nation for war. With the marriage of government and corporate power, truth dissapears just as much as falsly prospers. With both entities profiting from the spoils of war, it is in each other's best interests to work together to disseminate the seeds that will inarioubly spawn the rebirth of a dominant war culture.

It is designed to manipulate and control at once, transformeing the population into a sedentary  herd of sheeple who never question what is told them. Over the years millions of civilians have used this most dangerous drug to escape lives of frustration, unhappiness, deperation, depression and loneliness, never realising that with every hour they watch, with every show they are glued to, with every channel they surf their minds are turned to mush becomming conduits of ignorance, molded into muscles in deperate need of gossip and sensationism, no longer thinking for itself.

The Establishment has perfected its machination of propoganda, creating the realities it wants into society, forming whatever truth that will be of the greatest benefit, not to society, but to itself. Whatever reality it wants to create and disseminate is quickly absorbed by a population eager to feed of the mammary glands of television. The Establishment, the corporate world and government have for years told us how and what to think, how to act, who to obey and where to follow, condemning our minds to obedience, our lives to conformism and silent acquiescence.



It doesn't have to be like this though, change the media, change the people. There are many alternative media sources growing all around. Blogging for instance, facebook, yes twitter. Still not taken completely seriously, it is ostraciced and marginalised, but increasingly people are looking for new ways of seeing , and for spreading their messages of  social justice and ideas that they control themselves. Unfortuately the internet is not free yet either, with many forces out their attempting forms of censorship.I personally use rather too much of both. But what would happen if we all simultaneously turned of our  televisions, wow that would be amazing, We would become the news, make it, rather than be mere spectators, that are ignored daily anyway. Oh, what time is now on?

Disposable Heroes of Hypocricy - Television the Drug of the Nation.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Harriet Avery Gaul (1886-?) - The War Wife (a song)


,
lest we forget

American, writer, married commposer Harvey Bartlett Gaul . Authorof Five Nights at the Five Pines ( 1922),( Vamp till Ready, a Comedy of the Depression (1932), and with Ruby Eiseman, John Alfred Breashear, Scientist and Humanitarian, 1840-1920 (1940)

The War Wife (a song)

You left me lad with a heart of stone.
Where are you boy?
You march with flags while I stumble alone,
Where, where are you boy?

Will you ne'er come back through the long dead years.
Where are you boy?
The song of war is the sound of tearsm where, where are you boy?
Where are you boy?

My life grows dark with the redd'ning sun,
My day is nigh and my travail done.
Will you hear our child when the fight is won.
Where are you boy?

Reprinted from
My Country is the Whole World
An Anthology of Women's Work on Peace and War
Cambidge Women's Peace Collective
1984.



Friday, 9 November 2012

Horizon (for Robert Chrysler 21/10/67 - 4/09/12)

I have been using social media and blogging since June 2009. Every so often I have made connections that greatly influence  my thoughts and my perceptions of certain realities, and how I view the world.
Robert Chrysler was one of these. He befriended me on facebook  back in April 2010, possibly because  he identified with someone who shared a poetic pulse, I can never be sure.I began to admire his posts immensely, his outsider edge and his obvious love of freedom, connecting the obvious, to the rather arcane with a strong surrealist bent. I never met him and it is not a long time to have had an acquaintance, but it was a connection I valued., 
'Robert Chrysler  He said of himself  '  is  an inspired subway ranter from Toronto, Canada. He enjoys challenging capitalist property, trying to figure out what the post structuralists are going on about, and dreams of someday living in a tree.'
I looked forward to hearing his voice....then recently notced that his daily facebook pages had drifted away. I looked at his profile 2 days ago and was shocked and deeply saddened to find he had suddenly passed away  on the 4th of October.
His thoughts always invigorating and stimulating, I discovered too how long this great man had spent on journeys of difficulty and hardship. There were battles with drugs and homelessness, yet he never seemed to have lost his sense of humour, and a thirst for something new, a hunger too for social justice.
A great intellect, who came along and inspired, so thanks Robert R.I.P, you have taken me places where it will take a lifetime to look.
Here are some links to his writings, that give an insight to his great mind.

http://www.fullofcrow.com/prate/2009/11/robert-chrysler/

http://www.ditchpoetry.com/robertchrysler.htm

http://balloonpoetry.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/3-poems-by-robert-chrysler.html

An interview with him here.

http://www.ditchpoetry.com/Robert%20Chrysler%20Interview.pdf

This is something I wrote the other night.

Horizon.

We follow echoes,
make connections,
follow paths back and forth,
swaying slightly,
as blossoms become dreams.
Outsider winds
gravitate through portal  windows
urgent smiles fall out of
subterranean tunnels,
make contact.
Our hungry reflections criss cross,
on journeys where we grow,
together,
humming through the darkness,
when often the sky gets too bright,
into the air voices drift,
call out in a world of international paths,
we share things
bringing the outside in,
conjure magic,
through chasms of anchorage
we touch  the edge of horizons path,
as our wings keep moving,
our careful fingers flutter,
as we dive for breath,
inside and out
in the end the sky closes in,
the river keeps on flowing.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

95th Anniversary of the Bolshevilk Revolution


On this day1917 the Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace.

" Not by compromise with the propertied classes, or with the other political leaders, not by concilating the old Government mechanism, did the Bolsheviks conquer the power. Nor by the organised violence of a small clique. If the masses all over Russia  had not been ready for insurrection it must have failed. The only reason for Bolshevik success lay in their accomplishing the vast and simple desires of the most profound strata of the people, calling them  to the work of tearing down and destroyng the old, and afterwards in the smoke of falling ruins, cooperating with them to erect the frame-work of the new"
- John Reed
10 days that shook the World
1922.


For a while , at least, another system seemed achievable.Unfortunately, rather than produce socialism, the Bolshevik Revolution gave birth to autocratic party dictatorship residing over a state Capitalist economy and gave rise to the horrors of the Stalinist system. Equality did not appear and many human rights were curtailed. But of course circumstances at the time also dictated, their were many external pressures, and counter revolutionary forces, these were tumultuos times. But for me,  the vision still lingers on, and   in the heart of many others the goal of  global revolution still achievable. Long has this time , had resonance for those of us  who think about freedom and the themes of social justce. So unless we learn from the lessons of history we are doomed to repeat them.
Emma Goldman noted that it was 'a tragic fact that all revolutions have sprung from the loins of war. Instead of translating the revolution into social gains the people have usually  been forced to defend themselves against warring parties.... It seems nothing great is born without pain and travail.'
from Vision on Fire, pages 218-222.

Celebration of the Bolshevik Revolution
on 95th anniversary of Red October
Song written by Woody Guthrie, sung by Billy Bragg


Russian Revolution 1917

The Communist Internationale ( original with English lyrics)

Down with all forms of tyranny, exploitation and oppression. Class war does exist. There simpy is a ruling class and a working class.


Glorious story of October 1917 Revolution
(Soviet Propoganda film)






95th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

It is perhaps ironic that one day after the dismal election of 2012 we are celebrating the 95th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. There could hardly be a starker contrast. In one case, the working class is presented with a choice between two representatives of the bourgeoiie, each of which is pledged to continue the assault on living standards and democratic rights that have marked the decade since 9/11. As long as the two parties of the bourgeoisie continue to define political life, there is no future.
http://forum.permanent-revolution.org/2012/11/95th-anniversary-of-russian-revolution.html



' There are decades when nothing happens, and then
there are week when decades happen.'
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Support for disabled Protestor staging vigil and hunger strike outside Atos Offices in Cardiff.



A man stopped of his benefit after falling victim to the dreaded work capability Assesments has announced he will end his hunger strike outside the Cardiff offices of Atos Healthcare, however a week long vigil will continue.
Christos Palmer who has both mental and physical health problems , including depression, hopes the protest will highlight the suffering of disabled people caused by this cruel heartless government. ATOS is the controversial French company  that carries out the controversial work Capability Assessments on behalf of the government.It has been the subject of widespread condemnation from  disability charities and the British Medical Association has called for the assessments to be scrapped completely. The firm has been accused of target chasing for cutting the amount of people found eligible for benefits.Doin this, in a thirst for profit way. I know of people whose G.Ps valuable medical opinions have been simply tossed aside, because ATOS sure do not.
Christos's actions can only be commended, its cold and windy out their on the streets and deserves all the support that can be mustered. He represents all of us faced with this terrible situation. A company being used by this government to wage war against societies most vulnerable. Welfare is now being torn from those, who most deserve it.
He and his supporters have been gathering at St Agnes Road, Cardiff from 9a.m to 4.p.m , all this week until the 9th of November.
all are welcome to go and join them . Their is a facebook group too that you can go to and leave messages of support
.https://www.facebook.com/events/430345053681756/

A spokesperson from Disabled People Against Cuts in Cardiff http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/11/disabled-protestor-to-stage-vigil-hunger-strike-outside-of-atos-offices-in-cardiff/  said,

" While we support the protest aims we are extremely concerned about Christos's physical and mental well being. He often suffersfrom extreme fatigue and is housebound on some days. That somebody so unwell has been driven to this shows the desperation that the sick and disabled are being driven to by this government. We are urging him to end his hunger strike."

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bill Hicks (14/12/61 -26/2/94) - It's Just A Ride



 One of my favourite comedians, still relevant, still pushing buttons,his ride was a life lived without fear. An anti war,  pro smoker, who waged war against corporate America and its bastions of mainstream media.As well as being  a brilliant stand up comedian, social critic, satirist and musician he attacked the complaceny of our so called consensus realities, through laughter  he made unacceptable ideas seem irresistable, cutting through  bullshit with bullets of joy.Raging  hard against  the injustices of life.
Nearly 20 years after his death, his reputation just grows and grows.You can get more from him over here. Lovely documentary about him from the BBC, that old institution that we used to trust so much.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010j56z
 
"The world is like a ride at an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round and it has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored and it's very loud. And it's fun, for a while. 

Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: 'Is this real? Or is this just a ride?' And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say 'Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid -- ever -- because... this is just a ride.' And we kill those people. 

'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry; look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.' 

It's just a ride.

But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that -- ever notice that? -- and we let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter, because... it's just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort. No worry. No job. No savings and money. Just a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy bigger guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. 

Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, into a better ride:

Take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and, instead, spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would do many times over -- not one human being excluded -- and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever. In peace. 

- Bill Hicks 


Friday, 2 November 2012

95th anniversary of the Balfour declaration.


 Lord Arthur Balfour

The Balfour Declaration (1917), which is named after Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary during the Word War 1, was the one of key developments in the early stages of the twentieth Century  that influenced the Jewish communities of the world to believe that Great Britan would support the creation of a jewish state in the Middle East. The ramifications would be seen up until the present day.
Balfour sent an official letter declaring the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the area  known as "Palestine" to Baron Walter Rothschild (the 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, who accepted it on behalf of Great Britain and Ireland.

The immortal words of the letter said the following:

" His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by jews in any other country."

The Original Letter of the Balfour Declaration


Seems the latter half of this letter has been completely ignored by Israel.With those words, which were later incorporated into the Severes peace treaty that ended hostilities between Britain and Ottoman Turkey at the conclusion of the First World War, the Zionist cause took a giant step forward, aided and abetted by the cloak of imperialism.

Zionism is the belief in the establishment of a national homeland for the jewish people in their ancestral Biblical homeland. The word "Zionism" comes from Zion which is also called Jerusalem.

The letter was also incorporated into the league of Nations Mandate for Palestine, becomming further enshrined in international law.
In another letter Balfour sent, after the WW1 had ended, he answered some of the critics of the Declaration who said that it was not right for England to "impose" Zionism on the local Arab indigeneous population he said.

" I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs, but they will never say they want it......Whatever be the future of Palestine, it is not now an 'independent nation' nor is it yet on the way to become one......If Zionism is to influence the Jewish problem throughout the world Palestine must be made available for the largest number of Jewish immigrants."

The rest is history and started a series of events that led to the foundation of the State of Israel and what is now to the occupation against the people in Gaza, and the continual violations in the West Bank, the illegal settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem, and the attempt to force the Palestinians out of their lands. Before we celebrate Happy Balfour Day we should remember this. I personally reckon that Balfour would be turning in his grave at the histiorical injustices carried out in his name.

1948

With the Balfour Declaration, Britain, because yes it was us, unleashed a series of events in Palestine that have caused enormous suffering and loss to the Palestinian people.It is unnacceptable too, that today, 65 years after the partition of Palestine, the UK has recognised the state of Israel but not the state of Palestine. The occupation of the Palestinian territories is not just illegal but brutal.
Consequently occupation always generates resistance. Britains history in all this narrative is shameful, but the present day atrocities lay at the door of only one nation. End the Occupation, end the problems in my humble opinion.
Let us remember too, that it is the policies of Israel today, that are themselves an insult and a threat to Jews everywhere. The  leaders of Israel  were never satisfied with what they eventually got in 1948. They unfortunately set their sights much wider. And to this day carry out policies of expansion and domination in acts of provocation.
Until measures are made by Israel to improve the standard of living, and bring economic prosperity to the Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Bringing some chord of social justice, and recognition of the Palestinians identity , and stolen land given back to them,and an end to their continuing use of apartheid practices., their will be no peace. That is Balfours tragic legacy.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Djamila Bouhired ( b.1935) Revolutionary and Icon.


In memory of the Algerian Revolution, 1st 1953, Djamila Bouhired is a leading Algerian heroine and revolutionary,
She fought in the war of national liberation 1954 -1982, and has worked as a vocal activist in the movement for womens rights in Independent Algeria. She joined the Algerian National Liberation Front ( FLN) while a student activist  to fight for Independence from France. She and other women played a critical role during the battle for Algeria, which began on September 1956. She assisted the FLN leader, Saaadi Yacef, in recruiting young muslims from the capital who could pass as Europeans. Dressed as Frenchwomen she and two other female militants placed concealed bombs in the European sections  of Algeria. Two exploded, causing civilian casualties, her bomb failed to detonate.These actions must be remembered in the context of the daily oppression that theAlgerians recieved at the time. This event and others unleashed the Battle of Algiers, which raged until 1957, when she was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to appalling torture. In July she was sentenced to death by the guillotine after a trial deemed a travesty of justice. However she became a cause celebre  because of international media coverage of the French army's systematic use of torture, and she was eventually released.
She continued to be actively involved in feminist politics, advocating fundamental transformations in the legal, political abnd social status of Algerias women roviding a new generation with a role model of an active anti-colonial fighter.

Further Reading

The Wretched of the Earth - Franz Fanon
(Penguin, 1967)

My Battle of Algiers - Ted Morgan
(Smithosian Books)