Saturday, 31 August 2013

Seamus Heaney (13/4/39 -30/8/13 ) R.I.P - Postscript


Sad to hear that poet and nobel laureate  has died in hospital in Dublin, yesterday morning, after a short illness, aged 74, following a stroke that he had in 2006.
From his first major collection 'Death of a Naturalist (1966)  he was to become a colussus in the poetry world.Born on a farm near Toomebridge, in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, he was a magnificent communicator of global significance. His early works examined the implication of having been born into a society deeply divided along religious and political lines. This gave him a deep preoccupation with the question of poetry's responsibility and pregoratives in the world, and is now considered to be one of the most important poets of the modern age. His works were often meditations on the intersection of personal choice and loss with the larger forces of history and politics.Virtuosity  and truth, the one useless without the other, are also hallmarks of his poetry. He also saw the role of the artist to give voice to those who are oppressed and the ignored,believing that art was driven by empathy, thus being a great supporter of Amnesty International and the Palestinian people, being the Patron of the Palestine Literature Festival.
 A huge loss to the cultural hub of Ireland and the world. His words inspiring hope in a seemingly hopeless world.
He is survived by his wife Marie and three children.
The following poem , describes a drive along the Clare coast. It is a meditation on the fate of being a poet. He does not park but drives on through the glittering scene, and sees the dazzle of light on the sea, on the other side of the road, the lake. Magnificent stuff! So sad that he has gone, but his words will never fade.

                                                Postscript

And some time makes the time, to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the Light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Unless to think you'll park and capture it
More thouroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart of guard and blow it open.

Reprinted from:
The Spirit Level (1994)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Martin Luther King that Obama did not mention as he plans to bomb Syria


Watch the above video to see what Martin Luther King might have said to Obama about attacking Syria.
This is the Martin Luther King that Barak Obama, who is waging several wars - In Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, etc, wants you to forget

Say no to Western Intervention in Syria

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54193

Statement by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmarment on Syria

http://cnduk.org/cnd-media/item/1731-dont-attacksyria







Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dr Martin Luther King Jr (15/1/29 -4/4/68) - I Have a Dream


Today marks the  50th anniversary of Dr  Martin Luther King Jr's - famous  'I Have a Dream Speech, still resonating deep into the American psyche. The clergyman was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement, whose great progress has made him an icon for human rights causes across the globe.When President Kennedy brought the Civil Rights Bill before Congress in 1963, King made a speech on television on 11 June, in which he said:-

 ' The Negro baby born in America today regardless of the section of the nation in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day; one thirs as much chance completing college; one third as much chance of becoming a professional man; twice as much chance of becomming unemployed; about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy which is even shorter; and the progress of earning only half as much.'

In an attempt to persuade Congress to pass Kennedy's proposed legislation, King and other civil rights leaders organised the famous March on Washington for jobs and freedom. The march 50 years ago was a huge success with estimmates of the crowd varying between 250,000 to 400,000. King was the final speaker and outlined his vision of American racial harmony in a historic display of oratory, in the style of a fervent Baptist preacher.
Just months before he was assasinated, Dr King, was to take these ideas further, whilst organising support for the "Poor Peoples Campaigns," aimed at supplementing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a full measure of economic and human rights for America's poor, arguing that African-Americans and poor whites were natural allies and if they worked together they could help change society.
But 50 years laters, despite some victory's and gains, the march for equality is unfinished, and for some the dream is unrealised, and  as tens of thousands of people marched to Dr King's memorial last Saturday, some pledged that his dream included equality for gays, latinos, the poor and the disabled, and we must remember our modern failures and wrongs, taking for instance, the way an all-white jury in Florida cleared George Zimmerman of murdering the black teengager Tayvon Martin, the persistently high unemployment among America's  black population, twice that of white Americans.
We cannot let go of Dr King's dream, because, surely it is everybody's dream, we must continuously try to change the world, remember those in the U.S.A fighting for jobs and freedom, a land  still lanquishing to find itself, while perpetrating injustice, discrimination and inequality.A country that imprisons more  of their citizens than any other country in the world. African Americans in particular, though they are 12% of the population, make up 38% of the state prison population, despite their crimes being no different from their white and hispanic counterparts.
Despite much positive change, the struggle continues, and we must continue pushing and shoving and  let freedom ring.

' Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today,my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold those truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons 
 of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Missisipi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governeor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nulification' - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

i have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain, shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that Igo back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day - this will be the day when all of God's children, will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my father died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Missisippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from evrrevery village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestents and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almight, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King Jr - I Have A Dream Speech
August 28, 1963
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C




 


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Ecce Homo


                                          William Blake - Ancient of Days

Once upon a time,
when man was born,
I imagine our first ancestors,
facing endless nights in darkness,
hours of waiting, for a light to reveal,
strangers footprints, the sound of laughter,
sailing through the air,
vistas of companionship.

Stored knowledge on a cave wall,
as voices learnt to sing,
discovered the rules of love,
sought progress, and the elements,
needed for survival,
water, air, earth and fire,
infinity's keys opening locks,
smoke signals rising across continents,
in innocent time, before the kiss
                                 of ideology,
and the need for cant and fear,
in past seasons, as wind lifted hope,
perhaps these little things,
are all we ever needed,
to help us understand.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Free Chelsea Manning


Throughout the suffering Manning has had to endure so far, from inhuman solitary confinement to a widely publicised military  court martial,the mainstream media has somehow neglected to cover this defendents greatest inner struggle. That she had been forced to live as a he throughout it all.
One day after being sentenced to 25 years in prison , the Army Private the world knows as Bradley Manning issued a statement about who she really is. " As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy treatment as soon as possible. I hope you will support me in this transition. I also reqeust that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and the use of the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility.'
The US army is refusing to give Chelsea Manning  the hormone therapy she has requested. I strongly object to this situation and believe Chelsea deserves the treatment she wants. Chelsea Manning should have her crushing 35 year sentence commuted by President Obama to the three and a quarter years she's already spent behind bars awaiting trial and sentence.
Manning is likely to serve her time at Fort Leavenworth, which does not offer hormone therapy or sex-reassignent surgery to prisoners, I just hope that the authorities see sense and do the right thing.
Mannings's leak of military data was driven, she says, by 'love for our country and a sense of duty for others'. and there was an undeniable interest in the public knowing more about the conduct of the US military in Iraq and in places like Afghanistan. With the Apache helicopter killings for instance, Reuters haas sought release of the cockpit video via Freedom of Information legislation, a route that proved totally unsuccessful.
Sometimes leaks are the only way.
Though Manning will be eligible for parole after serving a third of her sentence, many are finding the sentence completely disproportionate  when compared to the sentences given to other soldiers convicted of more serious crimes such as murder.
So in the meantime we must raise our voices, shouting free Chelsea Manning.

http://www.freebradleymanning.net/

http://www.bradleymanning.org/

Petition one can sign here

http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/manning-treatment



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bradley Manning's Post Sentence Statement


' It is dangerous to be right in matters in  which the established autorities are wrong'
- Voltaire

After 3 years, 12 weeks and 4 days , Bradley has escaped the death penalty, it is still too long for someone who in my opinion has done no wrong, jailed for being a conscientious human, for speaking the truth, jailed because his voice cared, and because being  brave  refused to succumb to silence.

 Bradley Manning's  has been sentenced  to 35 years in military prison, Manning's civilian defense attorney read a statement from Manning, which will be included in a filing requesting a pardon from President Obama.

 In this deeply moving testimony Coombs also describes what Manning was like after the sentence was announced. He recounted how he and his other defense attorneys had been crying. Manning looked at him and said, " It's okay, it's alright. I know you did your best. I'm going to be okay. I'm going to get through this."

Mannings's remarks to Coombs once again give an indication of the resolve and strong character that Manning  has as a  a human being.

Please sign this petition and stand together with Bradley Manning.
We owe him our thanks and gratitude for all the service he has done for humanity.
I will continue to support any further transition, until freedom is gained.

/http://www.standwithbrad.org/


Bradley Manning's statement appears below:

'The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of the concern for my country, and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We have been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on a trasitional battlefield. Due to this fact, we've  had to alter our methods of combatting the risk posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help fefend our country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we are doing. It wwas at this time that I realsed that our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we had forgotten our humanity.
We consciously elected to devalue life both in Irag and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we percieved were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent children, instead of accepting resposibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached  countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionabble acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually an American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-concieved mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtue of democracy - the Trial of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism and the Japanese-American Internment camps - to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, there is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.

I understand that my actions violated the law. I regret thsat my actions hurt anyone or harmed the Unite States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified  information, I did out of a love for my country and my sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for pardon, I will serve my request knowing that some time you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceieved in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.'

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Statement from Nigel Kennedy on the BBC's censorship:


On Thursday 8th August, musician Nigel Kennedy performed at the Proms with the Palestine Strings - a group of young Palestinian musicians from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.
Towards the end of the concert, Kennedy said "We all know from experiencing this night of music tonight that giving equality and getting rid of apartheid, gives a beautiful chance for amazing things to happen."

The concert.including the quote was available on iPlayer here, although it's now unavailable:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b037v4q1

A recording of the concert was due to be aired on Friday 23d August at 7.30 pm.
Following ressure from pro-occupation lobbyists, including Baroness Deech, the Jewish chronicle has announced that the BBC will be cutting Kennedy's remarks from the televised broadcast amounting to political censorship on the part of the BBC

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/110366/bbc-cut-kennedy-slur-proms-broadcast

The article says the BBC confimed on Tuesday that his remarks would be edited out of the concert when it is shown on BBC 4 on August 23.

I believe to cut these comments would be an act of political censorship, seeing as there was nothing in Kennedy's actions or comments that were innacurate or untruthful. I believe that Mr Kennedy acted out against apartheid and have complained to the BBC about it's stance which you can do here:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

Suppressing free speech and political dissent is the norm for state broadcasters under dictatorships. It gets kind of worrying when we start to see this kind of supression being practiced by our own state broadcater the BBC.

Interesting article here, which helps define apartheid in relation to Israel.

http://electronicintifada.net/content/defining-apartheid-israels-record/4095

and here is an online petition that you could sign if you have the inclination

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/don-t-censor-the-palestine-prom?time=1376841379



Here is  an official statement from Nigel Kennedy about the BBC's unprecedented decision to censor his brief statement about Apartheid during his prom.
https://www.facebook.com/yaronstavi/posts/10151880378849048

'Nigel Kennedy finds it incredible and quite frightening that in the 21st century it is still such an insurmountable problem to call things the way they are. He thinks that once we can all face issues for what they really are we can finally have a chance of finding solutions to problems such as human rights and even, prhaps, free speech. His first reaction to the BBC's censorship & imperial lack of impartiality was to refuse to play for an employee who is influenced by such dubious outside forces.

Mr Kennedy has, however, reminded himself that his main purpose is to provide the audience with the best music, he can deliver. To withdraw his services would be akin to a taxi driver refusing to drive their customer due to their political incorrectness. He, therefore, is not withdrawing his services that he owes to his audience, but is half expecting to be replaced by someone deemed more suitable than him due to their surplas of opportunism and career aspirations.

Mr Kennedy is glad, however, that by censoring him the BBC has created such a huge platform for the discussion of its own impartiality, its respect (or lack of it) for free speech and for the discussion of the miserable apartheid forced on the Palestinian people by the Israeli government supported by so many governments from the outside world.

Mr Kennedy believes his very small statement during his concert was purely descriptive and not political whatsoever."

PSC & Pink Floyd's Roger Waters condemn BBC for 'Political Censorship' over Nigel Kennedy

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/nigelkennedy/



Sunday, 18 August 2013

E.M Forster (1/1/1879 -7/7/70) - In praise of reciprocal dishonesty

 
 

' I do not bang or blow them about as much as I should, or oil their leather backs, or align those backs properly. They are unregimented. Only at night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers, and the lights are turned off, do they come into their own and attain a collective dignity. It is very pleasant to sit with them in the firelight for a couple of minutes, not reading, not even thinking, but aware that that they, with their accumulated wisdom and charm, are waiting to be used, and that my library, in its tiny imperfect way, is a successor to the great private libraries of the past. 'Do you ever lend books?' someone may say in a public-spirited tone of voice at this point. Yes, I do, and they are not returned, and still I lend books. Do I ever borrow books? I do, and I can see some of them unreturned around me. I favour reciprocal dishonesty.'

From
My Library (1951)
Ditto.....

Friday, 16 August 2013

Charles Bukowski ( 16/8/20 -9/3/94) - Alone With Everybody / Be Kind / Oh Yes


Cheers and thanks Charles who would have been 93 today

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but  keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds
fresh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there's no chance
at all
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the jukyards fill
the madhouse fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills


Be Kind

we are always asked
to understand the other person's
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious,
one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with kindliness,
especially if they are
aged
but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see,
not their fault?
whose fault?
mine?
I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear,
age is no crime
but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted life
among so many
deliberatelt
wasted
lives
is.

Oh Yes

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realise this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
than t
too late.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM


This is a video from Amnesty International  with the link below that  tells you

DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK

http://www.ifoundtheletter.org/secretvideo

That contains a secret  message from well known Chinese contemporary  artist and social and political activist Ai Weiwei, promoting free expression.


' My opponent makes  a move then I make the next one -  Ai Weiwei

http://www.facebook.com/amnestyglobal?fref=ts

REMEMBER

NEVER BLINDLY FOLLOW RULES


Monday, 12 August 2013

It's Not Unusual To Boycott Apartheid





Sir Tom Jones is due to play in Israel later this year. Please ask him to heed the Palestinian call for boycott and ask him not to play in apartheid Israel.

Sir Tom Jones: Please don't play in apartheid Israel

Join the campaign here:-

https://www.change.org/en-GB/organisations/cardiff_psc

International Welsh superstar Tom Jones is scheduled to perfprm in Israel at Tel Aviv's Nokia Arena on 26 October.

We say Why? Why? Why?

Israel is guilty of ongoing ethnic cleansing, land and water theft and stands accused of war crimes. It is the subject of several UN resolutions which it routinely ignores.
Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967 and continues to impose a harsh blockade on Gaza, which even UK P.M David Cameron has called the largest open air prison in the world.

There is also a facebook page that you can find here

https://www.facebook.com/Tom.Jones.NotUnusual.Boycott.Apartheid

It should be noted that Sir Tom Jones was persuaded by Welsh campaigners without much difficulty to not go back and play in apartheid South Africa, it would be a lovely achievement if he was able to reconsider his position in relation to performing in Israel.
Artists must  continually  be asked not to contribute  to the whitewashing of Israel's occupation. The logic of cultural boycotts is that they hurt the image of the oppressor state, making it and its products less appealing to the international public.
I would be very grateful if Sir Tom Jones was to pay heed to the call, and join   other high profile performers that I admire, in responding positively to the calls for boycott.

We should never be ashamed  that apartheid, occupation, siege, blockades and institutionalised racism in all it's forms must be challenged and abolished.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Remembering Nagasaki - Yosuke Yamahata (6/8/17 - 18/4/66)


68 years ago  August 8th 1955 ,a second atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
The bomb which used plutonium 239, was dropped by parachute at 1102 by an American B29 bomber.
Unlike Hiroshima, Nagasaki lied in a series of narrow valleys bordered  by mountains in the east and the west. The bomb exploded above the ground and directly beneath it was a suburb of schools, factories and private houses.
Among the 270,000 people present  when this criminal act occurred were 2,500 labour conscripts from Korea and 350 prisoners-of-war. Nagasaki was completely destroyed. About 73,884 people were killed and 74,909 injured, with the affected survivors suffering the same long-term catastrophic results of radiation and mental trauma as at Hiroshima.
Exposing the true exrent of human barbarism for years to come. On August 10th a day after this attack Yosuke Yamahata began photographing the devastation, over a period of 12 hours , he took over a hundred exposures. Later he himself was to become a casualty himself, on his 49th birthday and the twenteith anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima  he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, probably caused  by the effects of radiation, recieved at Nagasaki.
Today his images, still resonate with the truth, and the  shocking tragedy of this atriocity.
 






 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Oppenheimer -
 
Now I become death , the destroyer of worlds
 
 

Further reading:-

Nagasaki Journey; The Photographs of Yosuke Yamahata.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

P J Harvey releases Guantanamo Protest Song for Shaker Aamer



                                

Pj Harvey last Saturday released a new song to highlight the ongoing detention of the last British resident held inside the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.
The track, called Shaker Aamer, is available to stream  on behalf of the campaigning group Reprieve, which you can find a link for here:-
http://www.reprieve.org.uk/
It follows her politically charged album from 2001 'Let England Shake' which explored the horrors of war, and continues to cement her reputation as one of Britains finest songwriters. This new song describes the agony of it's title subjects four month hunger strike as he endures the prison's feeding tubes, restraining chairs and shackles.
Aamer has been detained in Guantanamo for more than 11 years , despite being cleared for release in 2007, and remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has a British wife and his four children - the youngest of whome he has never met - were all born in Britain. They live in Tooting, south London.
The British government has repeatedly stated that it wants him back in the UK and only last week under mounting international pressure , the US announced it is to restart transfers from the prison. Concerns remain, though , that Aamer might be forced to be sent to Saudi Arabia and imprisoned there instead of being reunited with the family in the UK.
More than half the detainess inside Guantanamo Bay remain on hunger strike in protest at their indefinite and illegal detention. Aamer has recently alleged that prison guards had been sexually assaulting him and that he is subject daily to often violent 'forced cell extractions'.
Aamers lawyer : Clive Stafford Smith , Reprieves director and Aamers lawyer, said " We hope people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer's plight: detained for 11 years, without charge or trial, despite having been cleared for release by both Bush and Obama."
" The UK government must do everything it can to bring Shaker back home to his wife and kids in London, where he belongs. PJ Harvey has written a wonderful song - I know Shaker will be deeply moved by it, and hope that, with the support of the public, he will one day be able to listen to it in freedom."
 Here is a link to a Shaker Aamer campaigning group, which will lead to various petitions and campaigns conducted on his behalf:-
http://www.saveshaker.org/

Shaker Aamer

No water, for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker aamer, your friend.

In Camp 5 eleven years.
Never charged. Six years cleared.

They took away my one note pad,
and then refused to give it back.

i can't think straight, I write, then stop,
Your friend Shaker Aamer. Lost.

the guards just do what they're told,
the doctors just do what they're told.

Like an old car i'm rusting away.
You're friend Shaker, Guantanamo Bay.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Visiting Hiroshima - Marcel Junod (14/5/04 -16/6/61)


Today marks the 68th anniversary of the devastating effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which killed between 70,000 and 80,000 people and injured more than 70,000 others.
For many across the globe, it is an anniversary that we sadly cannot forget.
Ceremonies are held internationally to commemorate the victims and to remind humanity of the horrors of war and the evil of nuclear weapons. We should not be aloud to forget this war crime, for that is what this action was.
Marcel Junod was a Swiss red cross doctor who was one of the first foreign doctors to reach hiroshima, treating many of the bombing survivors and injured people. The following is an extract from his own personal harrowing account.

' The bare cone of Fuijiiama was just visible on the horizon as we flew over the 'inland sea' which lay beneath us like a lavender-blue carpet picked out in green and yellow with its numerous promontories and wooded islands...
Towards midday, a huge white patch appeared on the ground below us. This chalky desert, looking around like ivory in the sun, surrounded by a crumble of twisted ironwork and ash heaps, was all that remained of Hiroshima...
The journalist described the main official buildings of the town, which waere built of reinforced concrete and dominated a sea of low-rooted Japanese houses extending over six miles to the wooded hills I could see in the distance.
'The town was not much damaged,' he explained. 'It had suffered very little from the bombing. There were only two minor raids, one on March  19th last by a squadron of American naval planes, and one on April 30th by a Flying Fortress.
'On August 6th there wasn't a clod in the sky above Hiroshima, and a mild, hardly perceptible wind blew from the south. Visibility was almost perfect for ten or twelve miles.
'At nine minutes past seven in the morning an air-raid warning sounded and four American B-29 planes appeared. To the north of the town, two of them turned and made off to the south, and dissapeared in the direction of the Shoho Sea. The other two, after having circled the neighbourhood of Shukai, flew off at high speed southwards in the direction of the Bingo Sea.
At 7.31 the all-clear was given. Feeling themselves in safety people came out of their shelters and went about their affairs and the work of the day began.
'Suddenly a glaring whitish pinkish light appeared in the sky accompanied by an unnatural tremor which was followed almost immediately by a wave of suffocating heat and a wind which swept away everything in its path.
'Within a few seconds the thousands of people in the streets and the gardens in the centre of the town were scorched by a wave of searing heat.
Many were killed instantly, others lay writhing on the ground screaming in agony from the intolerable pain of their burns. Everything standing upright in the way of the blast, walls, houses, factories and other buildings, was annihilated and the debris spun round in a whirlwind and was carried up ino the air. Trams were picked up and tossed aside as thogh they had neither weight nor solidity. Trains were flung off the rails as though they were toys. Horses, dogs and cattle suffered the same fate as human beings. Every living thing was petrified in an attitude of indescibable suffering. Even the vegetation did not escape. Trees went up in the flames, the rice plants lost their greeness, the grass burned on the ground like dry straw.
'Beyond the zone of utter death in which nothing remained alive houses collapsed in a whirl of beams, bricks and girders. Up to almost three miles from the centre of the explosion lightly built houses were flattened as though they had been built of cardboard. Those who were inside wwere either killed or wounded. Those who managed to extricate themselves by some miracle found themselves surrounded by a ring of fire. And the few who succeeded in making their way to safety generally died twenty or thirty days later from the delayed effects of the deadly gamma rays. Some of the reinforced concrete or stione buildings remained standing but their interiors were completely gutted by the blast.
'About half an hour after the explosion whilst the sky all around Hiroshima was still cloudless a fine rain began to fall on the town and went on for about five minutes. It was caused by the sudden rise of over-heated air to a great height, where it condensed and fell back as rain. Then a violent wind rose and the fires extended with terrible rapidity, beacause most Japanese houses are built only of timber and straw.
'By the evening the fire began to die down and then it went out. There was nothing left to burn. Hiroshima had ceased to exist.'
The Japanes broke off and then pronounced one word with idescibable but restrained emotion: 'Look.'
About two and a half miles from the centre of the town all the buildings had been burnt out and destroyed. Only traces of the foundations and piles of debris and rusty charred ironwork were left. This zone was like the devastated areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe after the mass fall of incendiaries.
At three-quarters of a mile from the centre of the explosion nothing at all was left. Everything haddissapeared. It was a stony waste littered with debris and twisted girders. The inccandescent breath of the fire had swept away every obstacle and all that remained upright were one or two fragments of stone walls and a few stoves which had remained inconcrously on their base.
We got out of the car and made our way through the ruins into the centre of the dead city. Absolute silence reigned in the whole necropolis.

9 September, 1945

REPRINTED FROM:
Warrior without Weapons - Marcel Junod,
Cape 1951





For years the American government refused to release images and photographs, such was the sheer horror that they did not want the world to Know.
Those who did not get incarcented on the spot, were to be traumatised for the rest of their lives. Hiroshima and Later Nagasaki are  remembered  today as the most deadliest slaughter of modern civilains in modern history.
Hibakusha is a term widely used in Japan , that refers to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it translates as 'explosion effected/ Survivor of the Light. This post is dedicated to them and and  to all who were less fortunate.
Hiroshima now stands again, but  68 years laters reminds us why the world needs to get rid of  the madness  of nuclear weapons and proliferation, once and for all.

Monday, 5 August 2013

DEATH IN LONDON : Stop the Arms Fair


28,000 arms buyers and sellers are due to arrive in London in September, but we want to be there to stop them.
Please order postcards and posters if you can spread the word.
Put Sunday 8th September down for massive day of action.
http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk/order-leaflets-to-stop-the-arms-fair/

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Garry Davies (27/7/21-24/7/13) World Citizen of No Borders R.I.P

 
 
Peace activist Garry Davies, who dramatically renounced his U.S citizenship in the dark days of the Cold War and founded a government for self declared 'world citizens' like himself has died. He would have been 92 last Saturday. On May 25th 1948, this former United States B-17 bomber plot and broadway star entered the American Embassy in Paris,because of his own negative view of his own actions in the war, renounced his American citizenship and as astonished officials looked on, declared himself a citizen of the world . In 65 years after that untill the end of his long life last week, he remained by choice a stateless man - entering and leaving, being regularly expelled from and frequently arrested in a spate of countries carrying a passport of hies own devising, as the international news media chronicled his every move.
His rational was simple, his aim immense, if their were no nation states, he believed there woild be no wars. An idea he relentlessy campaingned for over many years, gaining the support of thousands of people across the globe. These ideas attracted support from the likes of physicist Albert Einstein, novelist Albert Camus and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer.
The World Passport is currently distributed by the Government of World Citizens, a self proclaimed, International Government body which he set up, that has issued documents, passports, identity cards, birth and marriage certificates and occasional postage stamps and currency. In 2012 Davies sent wikileaks founder and refugee of Ecuadorean embassy in London - Julian Assange - a world pasport, and only weeks before he died he sent a passport to whistleblower Edward Snowdon in Moscow.
And their is the probability that his hand of friendship if he had lived would have reached out to the great hero of our times Bradley Manning. Sadly the world is still divided, run by nearly 200 governments, and unfortunately we still live in a very infree world, but that does not stop us dreaming, and striving for a better one.

Sieze the the Day/ Carpe Diem


( written for Lammas Day,We have festivals of hope, of love and fertility, in honour of  death and the ancestors.this is one of gratitude, of celebrating what has been achieved, an affirmation of life, halfway between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.
It is the harvest of the first grain. .
I'm wishing people joy amidst the chaos, roses as well as bread. )

In this spinning cauldron of time
hold on to any chance that breaks,
return again and again, to old ideas that glow
resurrect old threads, spread messages of survival
with ink and smiles, and a glint of hope.

Release sparkles of thankfulness
grenades filled with passion,
plant seeds of disobedience across the night sky
for flowers to bloom again and again 
as the day hums with  energies emergence.

Add some portions of light and shade
chuck in shards of possibility,
as autumn whispers in the corner
the future is shaped by borderless hands
working together towards transitions transformation.

As the earth rises into new foundations
allow gardens of independence to flourish,
echoes rising among the sweet rain,
take a walk into  rich, deep dimenson
avoid the obstacles, sieze the day.