Monday, 19 February 2018

Against Gun Violence

At time of writing, according to the there have been,975 incidents, 1,922 deaths, 3,330 injuries, 71 children killed or injured, 377 teens killed or injured, 32 mass shooting, 41 officers shot or killed, 312 subject or suspect killed, 235 home invasions, 192 defensive use of guns, and 229 intentional shootings in the United States.
I wrote following poem in response.

Against Gun Violence

Sometimes it seems that hope runs out
There seems no end, to waves of violence.
No prayers or thoughts can break the cycle
This endless primal, destructive spiral,
Innocent lives getting lost everyday
Can we not simply destroy the ammunition,
Instead of trigger happiness, stop the madness
So that darkness no longer releases its deadly load,
Is it too late to halt the hate, lament all who've been lost
On blood stained streets, where flowers wither,
Tell the NRA no one has right to bare arms
The second amendment has no moral purpose,
Stop the bullets flying, shots from killing
With Gun control heal a wounded nation.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Remembering the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War : The 81st anniversary of the Battle of Jarama

Today in history: marks the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Jarama,in the Spanish Civil War, which   was an attempt by General Franco's fascist forces to dislodge the anti-fascist lines along the river Jarama, just east of Madrid. Franco's troops forced back the anti-fascists, including the International Brigades, but after days of fierce fighting no breakthrough was achieved. Anti-fascist counterattacks along the captured ground likewise failed, resulting in heavy casualties to both sides. Many American anti-fascist volunteers from the Abraham Lincoln Brigades fought and died in this battle to stop the spread of fascism. 
 Jarama marked the beginning of a bruising and often dispirited campaign and witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of Spain's Civil War.. By the end of the first day of battle, the British batallion found itself with less than half the number they had set out with.On February 12th the British, deployed in the hills on the east bank of the river Jarama, in a place that became known as 'Suicide Valley",  the fascists were able to virtually surround the British Batallion  but even though they were outnumbered, they still  managed to keep the fascists at bay, but suffered  heavy losses.
The volunteers were a mixture of Communists, Labour Party members, socialists, trade unionists and other sympathisers, all bitterly opposed to the idea of fascism. They came primarily from the unemployed areas of Mersyside, Manchester, Scotland, Tyneside and London.On February the 18th the brigadiers launched a counter attack, but this was stopped by the fascists. Despite the poor conditons, the brigadiers managed to stand firm ,  As the men made their way up an outcrop that was later known as " Suicide Hill " they were mown down mercilessly  by machine gun fire. They had little chance.Of the 500 brave men only 140 survived, the memory of this battle haunting them for many years later. But the vital road that Franco needed to have cut remained open.
Today I remember those who throughout this conflict their faith and ideals remained intact,with their bravery, sacrifice and committment to their noble cause. Comrades that stood together and fought for good against  the evils of fascism.Ordinary people who made the extraordinary choice to leave their friends and family and fight in a brutal war far away from home, a common cause bringing them together, shoulder to shoulder with the workers and peasants of Spain fighting for their emancipation..
We should never forget this heroic struggle against the forces of fascism that remains today, the struggle continues, they shall continue to not pass. No pasaron. Remember the Internationale unites the human race.’

" It was in Spain  that my generation learned that one can be right but can be beaten , that force can vanquish spirit, that there are times when courage is not its own recompense. It is this doubtless , which so many, the world over feel the Spanish drama as a personal tragedy" -   Albert Camus

Battle of Jarama - John Lepper.

The sun warmed the valley
But no birds sang
The sky was rent with shrapnel
And metallic clang

Death stalked the olive trees
Picking his men
His leaden finger beckoned
Again and again

Dust rose from the roadside
A stifling cloud
Ambulances tore past
Klaxoning loud

Men torn by shell-shards lay
Still on the ground
The living sought shelter
Not to be found

Holding their hot rifles
Flushed with the fight
Sweat-streaked survivors
Willed for the night

With the coming  of darkness
Deep in the wood
A fox  howled to heaven
Smelling the blood.

Jarama Valley - Woody Guthrie

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Homeless in the World's largest Prison

These photographs were published on Wednesday by the Shehab News Agency, and  show a homeless palestinian family forced to live in a bus stop in the besiged  Gaza strip.
Ths bus stop at Saraya junction in Gaza city is what the family has from the weather - the world outside offers them none.
According to a recent study, 80% of the 2 million inhabitants of the coastal enclave beseiged by the occupier Egypt and Israel , live in poverty and 65%  in extreme poverty, with little access to the most basic serices.
 As over 80%  population depend on aid , the cuts to aid ( which have already been reduced before because of lack of funds )  by the Unied States will only worsen the situation. The U.S  announced on Jan 16 to cut 67 million Us dollars from 125 million dollars that it had planned to provide to the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. The blockade has pushed Gaza's population into frther poverty as unemplyment rates hit 45%. The illegal blockade has been in place for over a decade , devastating Gaza's economy , causing widespread destruction and left most people cut off from the outside world. 
The humanitarian needs are enormouse. People struggle to access clean water, food, medical education and to rebild their homes. The blockade  prevents  most of them  from leaving Gaza or trading with the  outside world and restricts vital  reconstruction material from entering.
Over 60% of Palestinian residents in Gaza are living in food insecurity as  many rely on foreign food aid, according to international organizations and United Nations agencies.The Crisis has delibertely been made in the beseiged Gaza by its beseigers and their enablers in the so called 'international community'.
The UN Security Council held a cosultative session on Wednesday to discuss the deteriorting situation in the Gaza Strip following warnings of a possible collapse of basic  services in the Palestinian war-torn enclave, amid calls for urgent intervention to end the suffering of the Palestinians there.



Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Love is Liberation.

                                                    Love is Liberation
                                                    Found In the pulse of everyday
                                                    For rich and poor to ever seek
                                                    Let it reveal it's wild contagion
                                                    A soothing plaque to heal world
                                                    Touching the void of emptiness
                                                    Freeing minds and captive souls
                                                    Stretching to infinity, travelling on waves
                                                    In patterns of endless recurrence
                                                    More than enough to go round
                                                    Filling the air with dizziness
                                                    An essence that cannot be caged
                                                    We can all be free within it's grasp
                                                    Casting warm shadows on our lives
                                                    A taste of freedom we can embrace
                                                    Running relentlessly through veins
                                                    Generating kindness, shows no fear
                                                    Sharing the gift of understanding
                                                    Opening eyes to magical emotion
                                                    Can unshackle hearts from tears.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

After Dresden (13/2/45 - 13/2/18).

Evil falls from all sides
Spits its deadly poison,
In Dresden everyone felt
Horror unimaginable,
No one left alive could escape
As people burned in flames,
Left a mark that forever stained
Releasing years of mental turmoil,
Burning phosphorus still today falls
From, Gaza, Iraq to Syria,
Civilian casualties lost forever
Vanished under cruel clouds of ideology
Skin and bone melting and disintergrating,
Rising today as spectral ghosts.

Poem can also be found here :

Free Ahed Tamimi

Palestininian  protest icon Ahed Tamimi , who I have written about previously, is back in a military court today today , facing 10 years in prison,  an individual  that for many symbolizes the Palestinians' David vs Goliath struggle against military occupation, high profile  entertainers, scholars, and civil rights icons  have just recently signed a just released letter in support of her and other Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel.On behalf of those  who should be able to live out their childhood without  the unrelenting encroachment of illegal Israeli settlements,  occupation and military courts where they face 99%  prosecution rates.
The signatories include prominent actors Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams and the Practice's LisaGay Hamilton, musicians including  Vic Mensa, Talib Kweli and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, civil rights leaders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza ( xo-founders of Black Lives Matter), Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, political commenttors Marc Lamont-Hill and Angela Rye, and Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman and super bowl champion Michael Bennett.

There are also  daily Teitterstorms  organised by the Facebook page Free the Tamimi Women, which one could support.  I believe we should all support those who dare to stand up to repression. Take action stand up for Ahed now.
Tell Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release her without delay.

You can also add your name to this open letter targetting all World leaders

Monday, 12 February 2018

Noam Chomsky, explains the standard technique of privatisation:

Noam Chomsky , world reknowned political analyst explainsthe standard technigue of privatisation.

"That's the standard technique of privatisation, defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

Currently the NHS is being given away and the  cost of rail travel soars, part of a meticulously planned ideological assault on the fabric of British society under Tory rule. who want to defund, demoralise , then privatise.The end result being that the wealth of our nation is left in the hands of a few , this is not a good thing. Lets not mistake it, the government is focussed on privatising public sector entities, managing them with a view not to revive them, but to prepare a case for their privatisation. Policies designed to extract wealth from the poor and weak at the bottom and transfer it to the already fat cats at the top of the rotten heap.
Lets hope there is a return soon to days when people mattered more than profits. If this makes you angry reshare  and continue to fight against it, we must take back control of all our essential services..

Noam Chomsky on Privatisation

Friday, 9 February 2018

For now.

Before we make progress
Take some time to breathe,
Offer no explanation
Keep searching for what your looking for,
Imagination beyond caged confinement
Allow your pens to release defiance.
During the toughest of times , band together
With songs of immediacy and strength .
Humanity's conscience arriving in one breath
We are the future, we have always been,
Already committed, carry on assignement
Find resilience, some reallignement.

Possibilities appear, accellerate towards us
At the rivers edge, leave behind your chains,
Westward, seaward, deep and far
Follow rising tides, keep clinging on
The power we have is what we can share
Onwards we blaze, side by side.

Be creative, innovative and autonomous
Do not be controlled, afraid , do what they tell you,
The difference from yesterday, is now we  have no fear
Our expectations necessary,  survival depends on not getting stranded,
Somethings in the air, and there's no going back
Be an example, active force for change.

Never be limited, in ability to make earth better place
Together strong, we can rearrange,
Doors keep opening, no longer shut in face
The world is ours for the taking
Glimmers of hope, carried with purest faith
Power given back to the people.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

100 years of voting for (some) women

This week marks 100 years since (some) women won the vote. Let's reflect on the victories won. but remember politics still  doesn't work for everyone yet.
Today we maybe able to cast our votes,  lets not forget the bravery . tenacity and passion of those who used deeds as well as words to get their messages out. Some who made the ultimate sacrifice for their cause.
Those who succeeded in bringing  global attention to the suffragettes cause, triggering a fierce wave of feminist  resistance and activism to the feminist cause, with their place in history guaranteed in an almost mythic way. Lets mot forget their legacy to women today, remember their strength of feeling, of the acts of these brave women who militantly committed themselves so that women could be treated as full citizens economically and politically.
But the fight to make politics work for everyone goes on. Whilst supporting the concepts of equality and freedom. I believe the Suffragette movement unfotunately helped perpetuate the myth that making an 'X'  on a piece of paper  can affect real change. It leaves many with the idea that they can vote and assuage themselves of guilt for not participating in any further action with the conviction that they have done all they need to do.
In 2018, democracies dominant parties still represent the few, alligned with corporations, private financiers that exploit the resources of our nation,  not for us, but for the interests of the few, which they truly represent and uphold. Are we really free? Is not democracy a simple illusion. Struggles outside parliament still ruthlessly suppressed, criticized or simply ignored by the mainstream media.
Where is the democracy that sees communities being torn apart and stigmatised. The marginalised, the poor and disadvantaged singled out to pay for the shortfalls of the capitalist system, aided and abetted by nearly all the parties operating within the Parliamentary structure.
We still have a system where not all votes count. Big decisions are taken by unaccountable politicians and shady corporate  interests. Together lets reflect on the sacrifices our ancestors made,  the legacy of the Suffragetes lives on though in the hearts and minds of people who continue to daily practice deeds not words, who participate in direct action, constantly calling out for more radical change, lets  make sure we don't have to wait another 100 years for the democracy we want.

Monday, 5 February 2018

A glance outside.

Do you have trouble sleeping?
Are you a dissafected prole?
Do you carry on dreaming
Find some routes that do not keep you afraid?
Is your mind on fire, with unspoken thought?
On gentle breezes, can you find fantastical feeling?
Does your mind drift across oceans, react to understanding?
Do you watch silently, glancing now and then?
Can you hear the thundering noise of change in distance?
Can you make a difference, sustain your brothers and sisters?
Are you engrossed in a world of your own?
Living day by day, running free on wild emotion?
Away from the depths  of solitude's thought,
Rising aloft in the sun's rays, are you caught?
Follow transient patterns, for the mind to beseech?
Find dimensions of meaning, in birth, life and death?
Listen to the crackling of breaking twigs
Birds nesting on branches of liqoirice,
Can you hear them, can you see them?
Open your eyes and gaze at our beautiful world
Carry hope, to live, to open eyes?
Think about others struggling to survive
Through poverty sickness and destruction?
If you answered yes, at least you are alive
Remember there are many like us,
Together we are not alone
Each one of us an island,
Engulfed by individual feeling
Until we blaze like meteors in the deep blue sky.