Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Assata Olubala Shaker (b 16/7/47) - She who struggles, Poet , Revolutionary.


Assata Olugbala Shakur was born JoAnne Deborah Byron  on July 16, 1947, in Jamaica, New York. a descendent of slaves. Adopting an African name, she took on Assata, meaning 'she who struggles,' Olugbala, meaning 'love for the people,' and Shakur, meaning 'the thankful.' The first woman to be placed on the FBI's Most wanted  Terrorist list, Shakur was a member  of the Black Panther Party and Black liberation Army in the late 1960' and 1970s.
In the early 1970', several false criminal accusuations for murder, robbery and kidnapping were bought against Shakur. All except one were later acquiitted or dismissed. In 1973, Shakur and two other friends were cornered by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike, and became involved in a shootout where she was  severely wounded, apprehended and charged  for the murder  of  Werner Foerster, a New Jersey State Trooper. Although Shakur  protested her innocence, and subsequent medical and forencic evidence  indeed  proved it was not possible for her to have  shot the state trooper, she was however convicted of the murder. She was incarcenated  in several prisons throughout the 1970'  until she managed a daring in 1979, and has managed to live in exile  in Cuba since 1984.She is recognised  by the Cuban Government as a revolutinary fugitive in exile, at once venerated by supporters, the Cuban Government continue to contribute to her living expenses, and is regarded as an icon by many others, as a living link  to  a revolutionary era.
The FBI's animalistic hunting of her resumed after nearly 40 years when it labelled  her a terrorist, offering $2 million for her capture,  still reminding the world, and becomming a symbol of America;s gaping racial divide, reminding us that the oppresion  of Black women by America is far from over and to many the world over she continues to remain an inspiration to all lovers of freedom,  as a courageous fighter, liberator and hero, and is defended by many who do not want to see her returning to a prison cell.
She has since continued to dedicate  her life to challenging injustic, advocating  on behalf of those persecuted using her skills as a writer, artist and poet. In 1987 she published a powerful memorable book 'Assata Shakur - An Autobiography' where she outlines her beliefs, and the book contains many of her poems, two of which I include here. In this book she also writes from a perspective whose life continues to be on trial.
Long may Sister Assata Olubala Shaker retain her freedom and we carry on breaking down the chains.

Affirmation - Assata Shakur


I believe  in living
Ibelieve  in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine
windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And I believe that seeds  grow into sprouts.
And sprouts  grow into  trees.
I believe  in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe  in rain and tears.
And in the  blood of infinity.

I belive in life.
And I have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting  mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.

I have seen the kind become the blind
in one every lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.


I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, If I know any thing at all,
it's that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all,
it can be broken down.


I believe in  living
I believe in birth
I believe  in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.


And I believe that a lost ship,
sneered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided  home
to port.

Love is Contraband in Hell - Assata Shaker

Love is contraband in Hell,
cause love  is a acid
that eats away bars. But you, me, and tomorrow
holds hands and makes vows
that struggle will multiply.
The hacksaw has two blades.
The shotgun has two barrels.
We are pregnant with freedom.
We are a conspiracy.
It is our duty to fight for our freedom
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to  lose but our chains.

Reprinted from :-

Assata An Autobiography (1987/2001)

Here is a link to a campaign that continues to support and  defend her:-

http://www.assatashakur.com/





Assata Shaker in her own words










Sunday, 26 October 2014

October 30th UK.Drugs debate..





On October 30th, 2014 the UK Parliament  will host a debate on the country's drug policy. To ensure your MP represents you at the debate and works to support evidence-based drug laws in the country. visit here:-



http://www.talingdrugs.org/parliamentary-drugs-debate



Friday, 24 October 2014




Blog Stuck in rut


Blog unable to upload photos or videos at moment in time, I hope it's temporary, any suggestions please?Also missing a dear  friend, but that's another story. Meanwhile between 13 and 26th October a joint police Operation called 'mos maiorum'  takes place  in nearly all European countries to  identify, imprison  and finally  deport illegallised  migrants. Thousands of  people will be subject to so called ' racial profiles ' and will be harassed and criminalised  upon those criteria.
The following site tries to document the actions that are part of 'mos maiorum'  and to make these effects visible to everyone.
Please contribute  to document public police checkpoints  or identify  checks throughout the European union.


http://map.nadir.org/ushahidi





Monday, 20 October 2014

The Battle of the Tarpaulin - Police Brutality



Hundreds of police officers attack Occupy Democracy participants because they don't want them  to sit on tarpaulins. This was after Occupy Democracy broke  away from  the TUC march on  Saturday and headed to Parliament Square for an open Assembly,  wardens had asked protestors to leave under an old by law, then sent the police in, and  then their was a total overreaction, on behalf of the police and a standoff lasted till yesterday. What was witnessed was a scene that  had reminiscences of Hong Kong, less freedom seen in Parliament Square. The protestors sound system was confiscated and   tents and sleeping bags were not allowed into the camp. The massive overpolicing and  attempshut down this democratic forum is truly shocking and outrageous. The protestors plan to occupy  the square for the next week.  Viva  freedom.


George Orwell on the police ;-

" I have  no love for  the idealized 'worker' as he appears in the bourgeois mind, but when I see an actual flesh and blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not  have to ak myself which side I'm on."



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Freudian Slip



Freudian slip:-

Tory welfare minister Lord Freud apparently thinks disabled people  should be paid less than the minimum wage. And where is the opposition to these  remarks, Millibland just keeps on shuffling and smiling,  he needs to wake up...  did he read any of his dads books for gods' sake... somewhere he must have some guts.
Lord Freud the same heartless individual who said ' The poor should take more risks as they have the least to lose.' Lord Fraud every time he opens his gob,  a shallowness  emerges  that says much about his character and  very much about the nasty party  that he represents. People holding these views should not be in government, they are  reckless and damaging, but their they are pontificating about realities that they know nothing about. He has no previous experience of the welfare system  Baron Fraud, but who asked him first to provide a review of these services, Mr Tony Bliar under New Labour. You couldn't make these things up. My mind boggles. Oh blundering Mr  Fraud has since apologised, but  he's done that before as well, over previous  gaffes of his  own making, time he got another job, same applies to the rest of his cohorts in government who are equally complicit in their appalling attitudes to the poor and disabled.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Wonderful news: British MP's vote to recognise Palestine as a state.




Ok I would be the first to admit that I don't always like what emerges out of the  house of commons, but  as a result  of tireless campaigning, yesterday finally  resulted  in the historic occasion  which resulted in the UK Parliament  voting to recognise the state of Palestine. This follows the Swedish Parliaments decision to do the same. Wonderful news. It  saw as many as 274 voting for the motion to 12 against in a momentous  event that  gave  me much joy, when usually the only thing that emerges from these dusty corners are dark shadows.
Surely it is a big thanks to all  who for years  have marched, demonstrated  for the rights of the Palestinian people and is  also a sign of times in the fact   that British Parliament seems to have noticed and reflected  what  it's people really feel  in the wake  of  Israels recent onlslaught in Gaza, that left over 2,000 Palestinians dead,  and that people are now wide awake to its continuing illegal military occupation and recognise that Israel is losing the battle for public opinion and is part of a growing international trend that demands justice for the Palestinians. The time is  now right for the Palestinians to have the state that it deserves.
This symbolic  vote will mean absolutely nothing if further action is not taken, to bring the  Palestinians dream of statehood into reality. International pressure must continue to be mounted  until oppression is ended and the maxim  from the 'rivers to the sea' is finally achieved.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Steal this poem - Claire Faucet

 

This poem is copyleft.
You're free to distribute it and diffuse it,
re-write it and abuse it,
and use it.
For your own ends,
and with your own ending.

This is an open source poem
entering the public domain.
Here's the source  code,
add a little salt and pepper if you  like,
share it out amongst your friends.

Because I didn't write  this poem
I moulded it,
picked the lines out of a skip as I was walking on over here
took used up fragments of leftover ideas,
and put them to use.

Think about it -
I can't telly you anything new.
In all these millennia of human existence
there certainly can only be a few ideas to be thought through.
So we treat them like rare commodities?
Plunder artic reserves for new ideas buried deep beneath the permafrost,
suffocate them with patent protection
and junk the rest?
Or  do we re-use them and recycle them?
Pile our public spaces high with shared ideas beyond anyone's imagining.

So I steal a verse  here and a line there
a riff there and a rhyme there
pass it on around the circle,
roll it up
add a joke
here have a toke
does it gey you high?

This poem  is indebted to Gil Scott Heron. Abbie Hoffman, Jim Thomas
   and Sarah Jones
This poem is indebted to all the words I've read and the voices I've known
This poem is a community  of intellect, your and mine
This poem  is ripped off line after line after line

Because intellectual property is theft
and piracy is our only defence against the thought police.
The revolution
will be plagiarised!
The revolution will not happen if ideas are corporatised
So steal this poem
and use it
For your own ends
and with your own ending

This poem is copyleft
all rights are reserved

Claire Faucet is a performance poet, activist and researcher for Corporate Watch.
Her poetry can be found online at http://www.re-clairethestreets.blogspot.com
and her political writing at http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk

The above poem reprinted  from:-
This poem is sponsored  by : Poems  in the face of corporate power
2007

Friday, 10 October 2014

Apple : Irony alert



Apple one of the the major  success stories of the dot-com era  is often accused of treating its own workers poorly and is no stranger to controvery.
According to recent Pocket Gamer  report  Apple has pulled 'Sweatshop' a satirical  game designed  to raise awareness about the inequities of forced labour, from its APP store, because it was 'uncomfortable selling a game based  around the running of a sweatshop. Though it apparently  has no such qualms  about selling a sweat shop produced phone. The technology giant whose own Foxconn facility  is routinely plaqued by suicides, riots and human rights allegations, has cited  clothing factory managers as routinely 'blocking fire escapes,' 'employing child labour' as reasons why the game was unsuitable for sale, according to Simon Parkin, head of games at liitlecloud, which created the game to highlight the human cost of fashion.
There is nothing ethical about apple, remember that they pay contract workers so little in China that they have been committing suicide, while their founder Jeff Bezos sits on a personal fortune of 427 billion, and Apple itself recently announced a $13.5 billion profit for the first quarter of 2014, while its warehouse workers suffer low pay and unfair working conditions, combined with a long term practice of using underpaid student labour and underpaying its  own share of British corporate tax. Long too,  has it had a history of allegations concerning human rights and labour rights abuses and lets not forget . Where things have improved recently for Apple is within its  public relations department, but scratch under the surface it is still very sensitive to any outside criticism. Apple's reputation still not squeaky clean, their thirst for maximum profit still seems to be their major concern and is still  in many peoples eyes a less than honest company. Apple also happens to be one of the most aggressive  patent lawsuit filers in the world, that  agressively pursues litigation  and excessive  claims  against its competitors. In effect a bully.Apples' dismal record on human rights has long been questioned and is probably worse than we know about such is this companies insistence on secrecy, besides treating  humanity with disrespect, Apple documents  show that suppliers  to the company also disrespect the environment, their suppliers routinely  discharging  toxic waste into our communities,  without regard to the  effect the  waste has  on  residents, wildlife or the planet, its commitment to ethical values  continues to be very dubious.  Scratch under the surface, Apple not as  nice and shiny as they try to make out.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

R.I.P 'Louakanikos' The Greek Riot Dog





'Loukanikos'  internationally known as the 'Riot Dog' has sadly passed away recently at the age of 10, His name translates into English as 'sausage'. This valiant  dogs health was adversely affected by  police asphyxiating  gas and from being kicked on numerous occasions by the police. Forcing him to retire from active protest 2 years ago. More than just a dog, he was a protector and a beloved comrade facing down riot Police daily as demonstrators took to the streets  of Greece  standing against austerity measures, he was usually  to be found at the thick of all the action in front of the crowds.So legendary was this noble creature that he had a bar named after him in Madrid. He was on the couch sleeping when suddenly his heart stopped.
This  courageous four legged revolutionary who led  many a fight for justice will bark no more.
Rest in Power.

Louakinikos in action

 

David Rovics - Riot Dog

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

7 facts about Workfare.



" There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood  of finding work.... workfare is least effective  in getting people into jobs   in weak labour markets where unemployment is high." This week their is a week of action against it, workfare profits the rich by providing free labour, whilst hurting the poor by taking away  welfare rights if people refuse to work. The government is misleadingly calling it now 'Help to work' but it is business as usual, it is draconian, exploitative, unjust and wrong, many charities are now refusing to have anything to do with it because :-.

1. There is no evidence that workfare schemes lead to employment.

2. You're  five times more likely to be sanctioned than get a job on a government work programme.

3. Workfare  is undermining voluntary and  charitable values.

4.Forced Labour is illegal.

5. Workfare is not just for the long-term unemployed.

6.Courts have repeatedly ruled  against workfare schemes.

7. Workfare is heading for collapse but we need  to  push for it.

Facts reblogged from here, where you will find more information.:-

http://realfare.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/7-facts-you-need-to-know-about-workfare/

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Empty promises and broken 'pledges' lead folk to one conclusion:-


and its too late for Cable and Clegg to start sounding off now, they have backed the Tories throughout, we all know now what their party stands for, everything the Tories have done has been done with liberal democrat support. Milliband as for him apparently shifting his party to the left, come on, same as Blair,who created a version of the social democrats mark 2, under the guise of New Labour, where is their pulse, where is their opposition, their anger, their fiery direction.As for the Tories, unreformed unapologetic Thatcherites and UKIP more of the same. I feel political scepticism is more than justified, most people I encounter feel alienated from the lot  of them, and do not understand the need to rush out to vote for them. Its not that people are disengaged with politics as a whole, I think  people just feel let down by the so called democratic systems and norms that does nothing for them in return.Regarding most careesrist politicians as fraudsters and liars, a self serving elite, who carry on  wining and dining, fostering division, with empty gestures, carving and making scapegoats out of sections of the community, as austerity grippens,  is it any wonder  that people increasingly feel abandoned, and left with not much hope, pessimistic and more than a little dissillusioned. Many people feel nauseated with the lot of them and simply cannot be bothereed with their message.
To change this country for the better, me thinks, the only hope for us, is to start thinking outside of the box, but  people are still demonstrating, occupying, resisting with direct action, it is not a question of people simply apathetic, people are wide awake, change is happening NOW. Anger,does not reflect disengagement, and as we see, people are able to express their political dissatisfactions in so many different ways in our modern world. But the status quo carries on regardless, carries on not listening, as no confidence in their empty hollow words  continues to grow.
But out of their fading  embers, hopefully a fairer, system can be built, personally for me one that proactively is used to combat oppression, exploitation and repression, surely another world is not impossible.

Monday, 6 October 2014

How the ISIS theatre of murder was born - Heathcote Williams



David Cameron says he is 'standing firm  and will not be cowed" by ISIS brutality. Poet Heathcotte Williams  responds.

Montage and narration by Alex Cox.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Overgrow the system... Give thanks to the Mother


Tuira Kayapo is an indigeneous Elder Mama warrior  who showed the world  what happens  when Women   take  charge of their power. She walked  into the 1989 Altamira Gathering in Brazil  against the destruction  of Dams in the Zingu, in her war paint, naked and carrying a large machete. She then walked up to the President of Brazil's Light holding Company Petrobras  and running the blade of her  machette  three times over his cheeks, proclaimed his act  on her people and on the entire Amazon as an act of war. She then stated in Kayopa :-
" You are a liar - We do not need electricity. Electricity is not going to  give us our food. We need our rivers to flow freely, our future depends on it. We need  our jungles for hunting and gathering. We do not need your dam."
Everyone stood in absolute  awe  at her audacity, especially the President of Petrobras who looked quite afraid .. yet what I see in her is a true example of WHAT Mamas are capable of in their full  Power...
We have ALL become tired of this mess the world is in... It is time to reclaim our truth. Don't play with our good hearts and intentions. I am grateful  for women like  Chief Kayapo, who was bold enough  to say no to colonialist exploitation. Bravely demanding respect, to allow her and her people  to live as they want and choose, expressing the feelings of her entire nation.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Fly Kites not Drones : Poppit Sands, nr St Dogmaels, Cardigan, West Wales.


 
 
Over  the past couple of months we have witnessed drone strikes in at least seven countries -  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq and Syria probably on the list soon. Devastatingly killing innocents it is now is clear  that  our political leaders  are  using  these
lethal forces  rather than look for diplomatic  or political situations.
Join me tomorrow, kites not drones at Poppit Sands near St Dogmaels, Cardigan, West Wales, in a symbolic, 'Stop the drones' demonstration supported by Drone Network Cymru/Wales and CND Cymru/Wales. We need to build a world where children can   play and fly  their kites safely, instead of spending their lives in fear.
Please  take a look at the following link:-

Child victims of drone warfare.

-http://childvictimsofwar.org.uk/get-informed/drone-warfare/


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Moazzam Begg - Wronged Man is free again


Moazzam Begg a native born British citizen, family man  of  Pakistani  descent, spent three years incarcenated  in  the most notorious detention centre created, Guantanamo Bay without being charged with any crime.
Arrested  in Pakistan in 2002  he was transferred  to Bangram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where he suffered torture and witnessed U.S interrogators  beat an  innocents taxi driver to death, he would spend the   next three years in   very tortuous uncomfortable conditions.
Throughout this time, Begg , now 45 was repeatedly, deprived of legal rights, but after public outcry  was returned to Britain in 2005. Despite the indignation and suffering  he encountered, he did not lose his humility or dignity.
He went on to become a prominent human rights activist, writing  books, advocating on behalf of other prisoners of conscience, whilst campaigning against the so called war on terror, and working with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe.
But constantly  he was harassed and intimidated,  marked out  because he was probably seen as one of Britains most prominent muslims. Well known  to muslims and non-muslims alike as  a representative of justice, truth and human rights in the face  of oppression , and injustice.
Last December  at Heathrow his passport was confiscated, and told it was not in the public interest to retain it, then later   he was arrested  for having allegedly travelled to Syria  to assist Syrian rebels in terrorist activities, but had not visited this land since December 2012 and this was to assist in humanitarian relief and support.It seems that he may have become a victim of the government again, because of his continuing  outspoken criticism  of the British governments conduct   during the War on terror. The arrest  of one of the Wests most prominent  Muslim critics certainly raised alarms with many.  Using dubious charges against dissidents  has  been a hallmark  post 9/11. Though these tactics are routinely condemned, they still  continue to be implemented,  showing us the crude  corrosive measures our governments use, which ultimately undermine the foundations of western freedoms.
After 4 months in Belmarsh, Londons Central Criminal Court acquitted him yesterday of all charges, prosecutors saying "  there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.'"
"The more this continues, the more it's going to alienate people." Begg  said about his case. Campaigners are  now concerned that the governments new hardened line as spelled  out at their recent party conference  will result in  greater harassment and victimisation.
So  it comes that an innocent man, has been freed  for the second time in his life. Lets hope his voice can now be used again to speak out against injustice and to contribute to  our understanding of each other , and that the world knows now what was  always crystal clear -that this is an innocent man.
I am overjoyed by his release but outraged by the imprisonment itself.
Gareth Peirce Beggs solicitor said : "Moazzam Begg is a good and brave man. He is a rare individual who will talk to  everyone and listen to everyone, even to those he profoundly  disagrees. He has spent the near decade since he was released from the  the torture of Bagram and Guantanamo in attempting to wake the world up  to injustice  and to comprhehend its causes and effects. His intelligent  voice of reason and  intelligence is desperately  needed now. We are relieved he is free again."
Long may it be so.

Here is a link to CagePrisoners the human rights group founded by Moazzam Begg

http://www.cageuk.org/

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cassetteboy - Cameron's Conference Rap



Applause please for Cassette Boy , with another fantastic satirical mashup.
Cassette Boy has made him speak the truth for once. Seriously though Dave thanks for legalising parody videos.