Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Workers Know Your History, 1820 Insurrection.

      The 1820 insurrection is an event that the state would rather we forgot, or see it as a handful of protesters help bent on trouble, that were brought to heel by the forces of law and order. During that era Britain was in turmoil, 1819 Peterloo massacre sparked riots in Paisley and Glasgow, as well as elsewhere. It took the full force and duplicity of the state to break the rebellion, some paying for their desire for freedom by being hanged and beheaded, others were transported to Austraila.
     Spirit of Revolt has just put up an interesting piece on this event, you can read it at their Read of the Month.
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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Workers Know Your History, Death On The Picket Line.

      Last March, at the start of the 30th. anniversary of the 1984/85 miners strike, Spirit of Revolt, along with Clydeside IWW and Glasgow Anarchist Collective, co-sponsored  a talk in Glasgow, by Dace Douglass. After the talk, Dave asked if we had any knowledge of a recording of The Ballad of Freddie Mathews. Freddie Mathews was a Hatfield miner who was killed while on the picket line.
      Sadly we drew a blank, nobody seemed to know of a recording, so I approached Alun Parry and asked if he could make a recording. This he done, and he will be performing it at the Hatfield Colliery Gala in Doncaster, later this month.
       Thanks Alun. Settle down and enjoy a tale from working class history and struggle.

After almost a year of bitter and brutal struggle, the strike ended on March 3rd. 1985.

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Funny Money.

     I like one of the recent acts of the Syriza government, it would great if our millionaire cabal that infests the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption, would follow suit. Of course, there's not a hope in hell of that happening, our bunch of lords and masters just love funny money.

From International Journal of Socialist Renewal:
     I must tell you that today we announced the conclusion of a judicial investigation made at the request of the anti-corruption minister. It led to the freezing of 404 million euros found in bank accounts of large investors and depositors who have failed to prove the lawful origin of the money.
Read the full article HERE:
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Syriza And Democracy.

      Syriza or no Syriza, the Greek state apparatus is still a fascist institution. It has draconian laws in place which Syriza has not even hinted at repealing. They have laws governing "criminal organisations" and "terrorist organisations" which sees legitimate protesters detained in high security prisons. Then their is the so called "hoodie law",  acts committed with concealed physical characteristics, plus forced DNA samples. Admitted Syriza has a bitter loosing fight on its hands with the European financial Mafia, but it could still be addressing these matters on simple democracy at home.
      The conditions in Greek prisons are probably the worst in Europe, this from Wikipedia: Amnesty International and other human rights bodies such as the Committee for the Prevention of Torture have repeatedly expressed concern about the prison for its overcrowding and inhumane treatment of detainees. [4][5] In 2007, a special committee composed of physicians of the Division of Health Inspections of the Prefecture of Piraeus and Piraeus Medical Association has reported that the hospital and the mental clinic of the prison operate without even the minimum conditions of hygiene, with aging infrastructure and big shortages in medical and nursing staff.[6] 
      Because of these totally inhumane and undemocratic conditions, there is another prisoners hunger strike taking place in Greece. Will Syriza handle this hunger strike  any different from the way the last incumbent "managers" of the Greek state apparatus handled the last one?
Greece's only prison hospital.
This from Contra Info:
On March 2nd 2015, combative prisoners launched a hunger strike in various Greek prisons. Their main demands are: the abolition of Article 187 (criminal organisation) and Article 187A (terrorist organisation) of the Greek Penal Code; of the “hoodie law” (acts committed with concealed physical characteristics); of the legal framework for Type C prisons; of the prosecutorial provision of forcible taking of DNA samples – and the immediate release from prison of Savvas Xiros (convicted for his participation in the R.O. 17 November) on health grounds.
So far, those who have joined the political prisoners’ mobilisation and collective hunger strike are three urban guerrillas incarcerated in the E1 wing of Domokos type C prison: Dimitris Koufontinas, Kostas Gournas, and Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis – and five participants in the Network of Imprisoned Fighters (DAK): Antonis Stamboulos (Larissa prison), Tasos Theofilou (Domokos prison), Fivos Harisis, Argyris Ntalios and Giorgos Karagiannidis (Koridallos prison). The rest of the comrades who participate in the
Read the full article HERE:
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Monday, 2 March 2015

Making Communities Safer.

      Day and daily the babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media, report violence from all around the Middle East, and elsewhere, but there is one country that doesn't get much publicity about its corrupt, brutal police force, a country where there is practically a shooting of an unarmed man by the over re-acting police every day of the week. I find it sickening that day in day out we find that some unfortunate, usually young person, has died at the hands of what can only be described as, a police force completely out of control, a law unto themselves.
      That country I'm referring to is the so called, "land of the free", "defender of the world's democracy", and other such double speak titles, The Good Ol' US of A. Where like police across the globe, they carry such phoney logos as "keeping you safe", or "making communities safer", and other such meaningless and empty phrases.
     A country where on average, every 28 hours, a young black man dies at the hands  of cops. This latest episode, captured on this video, is of a homeless man being dragged from a tent and killed outside a homeless mission in Los Angeles.
This report from Free Thought Project:

       Los Angeles, Calif. – In a brutal display, Los Angeles police shot and killed a homeless man in front of Union Rescue Mission today, after he scuffled with officers.
       A video of the event, posted on Facebook, shows numerous officers fighting with the man and eventually wrestling him to the ground where he continues to struggle against the officers.
The footage shows officers violently attacking the man with blows and then throwing him to the ground as four officers attempt to subdue him as he continues to resist the officers’ aggression.
At this point in the video, an officer can be heard yelling, “Get off my gun. Get off my gun.”
      While possible that the victim went for the officer’s weapon, it must be noted that one of the tactics utilized by police, as a means of conditioning witnesses, is to yell out phrases such as “stop resisting” even if the person is doing no such thing.
Similarly, saying that someone went for the officers weapon is an accepted justification to use deadly force, and has become the default justification in many encounters where officers have killed unarmed citizens.
     Suddenly a barrage of 5-6 gunshots ring out. Witnesses can be heard yelling, “Ain’t nobody got no guns!,” after the gunfire subsides.
No gun was reportedly found at the scene by police.
According to witnesses on the scene named Dennis Horne, 29, the victim was a man that went by the name “Africa.”
    Horne said that Africa had been arguing with someone in a tent when police arrived, reported the LA Times.
    After refusing to come out of the tent after being commanded to do so by officers, cops tasered him and dragged him out, according to Horne.

“It’s sad,” Horne said. “There’s no justification to take somebody’s life.”
    Ina Murphy, who lives in an apartment nearby, told the Times that Africa had arrived in the area about four or five months ago. He reportedly told her he had recently been released after spending 10 years in a mental facility.
Read the full article HERE: 
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dubious and Duplicitous Public Servants!!!

And more tunes from that MP fiddle.
Scottish Labour's candidate in the party's top target seat is under pressure after it emerged that he worked for the consultancy which helped design the Tory-led Government's NHS reforms in England.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is being asked to investigate the conduct of her own Energy Minister Fergus Ewing after he was accused of blocking one wind farm to pave the way for another backed by the Duke of Buccleuch, Britain's largest private landowner.
       It just goes on and on and on, greedy, self gratifying, egotistical, devious, duplicitous, lying, two-faced careerists, the whole bunch of them. Why do we pay for, and tolerate this cesspool of corruption, that serves us no purpose what so ever?  
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If Only All Fiddling Was Music!!!

       The latest episode in the long running saga of fiddling MPs, brings to the fore two long standing members of that self gratifying bunch of rich parasites, Namely Rifkind and Straw. Hardly new boys, who didn't know the “rules”, the rules being, don't get bloody caught. Of course this isn't Straw's first besmirching over expenses, in the past he jumped the gun when hearing that MP's expenses were to be made public, this from wikipedia: Two months after learning that MP's expenses were to be made public, Straw wrote to the fees office to confirm that he had over-claimed on the Council Tax for his constituency home. He attributed this to an oversight – he had been entitled to a 'non-occupancy' discount of 50% for four consecutive years, but had continued to claim expenses for the full rate of Council Tax. Included with the letter was a cheque for the amount he believed he had overcharged, which itself turned out to have been miscalculated, leading Straw to send a further cheque with a note saying "accountancy does not appear to be my strongest suit" There may be other traits that are not his strongest suit.
 If Only!!
       As for Rifkind, well he may have stated that he couldn't get by on £67,000 a year, but then does he need to? His list of interests are, very interesting. This from wikipedia:
       Non-executive Director of Unilever plc; monthly ongoing payment of £7,166 gross from May 2013 (£85,992 annually)[16][17]
  • Non-executive Director of Adam Smith International; Salary £35,000
  • Member of Advisory Board, L.E.K. Consulting; Salary £25,000
  • Director of Alliance Medical Holdings Limited, since January 2014
  • Director of the Amphion Group Limited, since June 2008
  • Director of United Holdings Limited, since July 2013
      A nice little list of sidelines to help him through these difficult times, when his £67,000 is running a bit short. The one that interest me is the Director of Alliance Medical Holdings Limited, now a man with that sort of interest might, just might, see benefits for him and his company if the NHS was privatised, but that's another fiddle. 
 All chums in the rich man's club.
     This brings us to the question of whether MPs should take a second job. In Rifkind's case he has at least six other jobs besides his full time, £67,000, day job, busy man. There is no worry though of them taking a REAL job, one that might be of help to their constituents. When have you ever known an MP to take a job in, say a pipe factory, or at take-away, or perhaps you might meet your MP in the supermarket as he/she fills the shelves. No, that's not on the cards, this thieving bunch of money grabbing parasites will only take a second “job” when it entails no other work other than companies using them for influence, and lining their pockets with unearned loot.
      The Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption, has never been other than a rich man's club, where they wheel and deal to grow and protect their own assets and privileges. Where they can legislate to protect their own power and wealth, and we are the stooges that vote them in, and pay their salaries, while they merrily fiddle their way through life. When will we ever learn?
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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Workers Know Your History, Tom Anderson.

        A wee poem from the past. Written by Tom Anderson, born Pollokshaws 1863, died 1947. He founded the first Socialist Sunday School, 1894, and in 1897 formed the South Side Socialist Sunday School. As well as a revolutionary socialist, he was a song writer and poet.
The Revolutionist

“We fear not their law, nor yet their great men;
We fear not their prisons or blood-gallows pen;
We fear nor their priests, or parsons, or their spies;
We fear not their land away up in the skies.
We laugh at their army, and navy, and king;
We laugh at the god to whom these thieves sing.
We laugh, and in earnest we strive for the day
We wipe out the tyrants who do our class slay.”
Tom Anderson
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In Fear Of A Loving God.

        Every time the ISIL religious nutters, rampaging through the Middle East, carry out one of their many sadistic be-headings, our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, splashes the details across front pages and on TV screens, condemnation rages against such a barbaric act, as it should. However, I couldn't find much coverage of the case of a man sentenced to be be-headed for tearing a Koran. The reason being, that particular case, was taking place in one of our “friendly” nations, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is allowed to carry out be-headings, public floggings, and stoning to death, with impunity, simply because it is a “friendly” nation.
      Just the other day, in another “friendly” nation, a young man and his wife were dragged from their bicycle rickshaw and brutally assaulted by a group with machetes. The young man died on the way to hospital, his wife is seriously injured and has lost a finger. His crime, he was an atheist blogger in Bangladesh, another “friendly” nation. I'm waiting to see just how much coverage our babbling brook of bullshit will give this barbaric crime, committed by the faithful of one of the world's largest religions.
      Across the globe we can put our finger on brutal and vicious killings, savage wars and community conflict, and at the same time, you will be putting your finger on the god loving killing the god loving. Day and daily, you will find the god loving killing those who have no god, all in the name of their particular “loving” god. Religion, insanity, and the curse of the masses.
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Blood For Wealth.

     I have always held that wars are an economic tool of capitalist governments. They can start them and prolong them, to suit their own economic ends. There is lots of money to be made in destruction and re-building, plus creating chaos in your rival's camp. Think of all the public money that flows into the arms industry during conflict. Every bullet, rocket, shell, missile, fired has to be replaced, every damaged piece of equipment has to be replaced, and it is all tax payers money pouring into the corporate bank accounts. Think how much easier it is to control the assets in a region if that region doesn't have a strong local government. Chaos allows the powerful to walk in and dictate what happens to that region's assets.
      WWI was a brutal imperialist scramble for power and resources, a blood bath for markets and territory. WWII was a clash of empires as the British empire felt threatened by the resurgence of the German empire. All the blood that has flowed in the Middle East since then, has been for the control of its oil, none of it has been for the welfare and benefit of the people of that area.
      In all these brutal capitalist tactics for power and wealth, other forces hedge their bets until they think they can see a winner, or feel their power and assets are threatened, then they throw in their hand with this side or that side. In this insane blood letting for power, your ally in this conflict could be your enemy in the next, loyalty depends on wealth and power.
      Having said all that, I have always been puzzled how a band of vicious religious nutters, in this case, ISIL, can march through country after country, taking on the state armies of Syria, Iraq and the Kurds and win massive swaths of land. Even now, with the “coalition” forces bombing the shit out of them they still manage to hold and take territory. Remember our "air-strikes" managed to bring down the well armed Libyan state. Of course our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, will not shed any light on that, as all they do is pour out misinformation, illusions and propaganda, for their lords and masters.
      However, if the following report has and validity, which I see no reason why it shouldn't, it does help explain the long life and continued success of that rat-bag of religious nutters that go by the name of ISIL.
Iraqi Army Downs Two British Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL Terrorists
GR editor’s Note
      There are no reports in the Western mainstream media pertaining to this issue.
      This report is based on statements emanating from the Iraq parliament, with photographic evidence. We have not been in a position to corroborate this report by FARS News.
       Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior lawmaker disclosed on Monday.
       “The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
Read the full article HERE:
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Friday, 27 February 2015

Glasgow Council Plunders Public Spaces.

From Save The Steps campaign:
Another public space to become a private shopping mall.
To all our amazing supporters,

      You will have probably heard, through social media and local news coverage, that Glasgow City Council voted in favour of demolishing the steps at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 11 votes - 4 votes.
      This also means that the Donald Dewar statue will be moved further down Buchanan Street, just outside the Sainsburys on Cathedral Street / Bath Street.
Our team are inevitably gutted with the decision, with a demonstration of more than 100 people, over 2,000 individual objection letters and emails, 15,000 signatures (and rising) showing how unpopular their plans are for this valued public space.
      The appalling attitude of the council is clear in this radio interview, where councillor Liz Cameron dismisses our huge petition as unimportant compared to the Council's long-term plans. You can also hear our fabulous campaigner Aileen McKay expressing the outrage we all feel at the decision the council have taken. Thanks to Clyde 1 for giving us the air-time to get our point across - the BBC didn't even bother to contact us!
      We'd like to thank you for your ongoing support in signing the petition, the letters you sent to your local councillors and those who attended the demonstration on the 15th February. We could not have raised the awareness that we did or got as much media coverage.
      However, this is NOT the end of our campaign as we wish to continue to raise awareness of the Council's plans and the privatisation of public spaces within Glasgow city centre.
      Some folks, out-with of our team, have organised an “Occupy The Buchanan Street Steps” event, this Saturday 28th February at 12pm.
Details can be found on Facebook:
      Following on from the protest on the 15th February, it'd be good if supporters could turn up with “Hands off our public space” styled banners, placards, flags etc. Be creative!
      Demolition is not due for some time yet, so we still have an opportunity to show our opposition to the plans.
     Please continue to sign and share the online petition where you can and tell your friends and family.

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday afternoon.

Save the Steps Team
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Greek Referendum.

        Is Greece heading out of the Euro? I have always felt that the Syriza plan was doomed to fail, as it was asking the European financial Mafia to be compassionate and think of the people of Greece. That bunch of money junkies will not tolerate any form of “left” government in its patch. The so called “left of centre” yes, they will always play ball with the money thugs, but a government that puts the people before the markets? No way. The Syriza group may have a mandate from the people of Greece, but that means nothing to the low life forms that make up the Troika, (EU, European Union, ECB, European Central bank, IMF, International Mankind Fuckers), Theirs is a world of balance sheets and profit, and there is not a column on that balance sheet for “people”. Syriza was the Oliver, asking the fatcats for, more please, not a strong bargaining position.
      Up until very recently the thought of Greece leaving the Euro had not entered the consciousness of the people of Greece, however, having been booted in the teeth, and told there's plenty more where that came from, the “exit” is being discussed, with the thought in mind, who wants more of this?
      The people of Greece are being told to look to the horizon, and see more of the same, unemployment, poverty, destroyed social services, increase in mental and physical health problems, substance abuse, suicides and homelessness. And they are asking WHY?
      I believe that the next line of thought will be a referendum on the exit from the Euro, with a very strong possibility that it will be for a, get us to hell out of this shithole. They may fear the unknown, but they are now most certainly angry and sick of the known. 
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The Defence Of Public Spaces.

    The privatisation of public spaces is an ongoing affair, in country after country. It matters not what particular party you vote into the cesspool of power, they all behave the same, public bad, private good. Of course this is not what the people want and there is a continual struggle to hold onto what public spaces we still have. In Glasgow we have seen the private encroach and gobble up, little by little our public spaces. Not so long ago, a slice of St Enoch Square was added to a shopping mall, before that a part of Pollok Park became a motorway, and the council's latest venture is to take away the Buchanan Steps, a popular meeting place, and turn it in to an addition to the Buchanan shopping mall, and so it goes on.
      However it doesn't always go the way of the money addicts, and it swells the heart with pride when the private is shown the door and the public triumph.
      On one of my visits to Athens in 2009, a story unfolded of the park in Athens that the council decide to turn into a car park, ripped up the trees with the intention of concreting the space, but the people decide otherwise, and proceeded to replant the area with trees. Thanks to the continuing effort and solidarity of the ordinary people, it is still, in 2015, a park and a meeting place for the public. We could all learn from the people involved.
      On January 26th 2009, Athens Municipality crews on the orders of the then mayor N.Kaklamanis destroyed the park located on Kyprou Street, uprooting its perennial trees with a view to handing over the space to a private parking company.
     Its cementing was prevented thanks to the immediate mobilisation and combative resistance of local residents and people in solidarity, who put in collective efforts to regenerate the park, planting 150 new trees and shrubs, and transformed it once again into an open public green space and a focal point of social struggle.
     Six years after the park was destroyed, and despite the systematic machinations of the municipal authority and the state, we continue to resist in a collective, self-organised, anti-institutionalised and self-determined manner against its commercialisation, ghettoisation and antisocial use, and we keep defending its open, social character.
Nowadays, when the largest part of society suffers the consequences of an all-out attack by the state and the bosses, we continue to defend every focus of resistance against poverty, fear, exploitation, racism and repression, for a society of equality, solidarity and freedom.
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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Creationist And Other Nutters.

        We all know that religions can come up with some weird and wonderful beliefs and statements, but top of that crazy heap are probably the "creationists", who come up with the most bizarre and irrational statements, making it extremely difficult to grasp the true idiocy of their "philosophy". They can take science turn it on its head, make few miraculous miscalculations, add in a guess or two, stir with fantasy and wishful thinking, and proclaim the outcome as irrefutable truth.
       With this in mind I really enjoyed this wee tongue-in-cheek article from Satire Wire:
PETERSBURG, KY ( – Creationists using a deep-faith telescope said today they have discovered a galaxy formed at the very beginning of time, nearly 6,000 years ago.
     The galaxy, which they named “Michael” after one of the earliest angels, is about 6,000 light years from Earth, but not more, “because light did not exist before that time,” researchers explained.
A telescope (above) is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation. A creationist telescope (below) is the exact same thing, but with the lens cap on.

       The team’s discovery was immediately condemned by the American Astronomical Society, which said “Michael” is actually the Andromeda galaxy, which formed 9 billion years ago. In response, Bertram Hill, lead theophysicist at the subbasement Creation Science Observatory in Kentucky, said, “No it isn’t” and called the debate a tie.
Hill and his colleagues made their observations using a specially designed Deep Faith Creationist Telescope, which is a standard wide-field, Ritchey–Chr├ętien hyperbolic telescope, but with the lens cap on. From there, calculating the age of Michael, and the Universe itself, was simple, Hill said.
       “We know this galaxy is about 6,000 years old because we know the Universe is 6,000 years old, and we know that because, contrary to what non-believers say, we’ve done the math,” said Hill. “Specifically, we’ve taken the ‘supposed’ age of the Universe – 13 billion years – and multiplied it by .000046, which gives us, as we suspected, the true age of 6,000.”
     But why multiply the age of the Universe by .000046?
“Because that gives us 6,000,” said Hill.
      Using this same multiplier, Hill said creationists plan to further shake up the scientific community by announcing that dinosaurs died out 3,000 years ago, Jesus was born last month, and Pittsburgh was founded on Tuesday.
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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Net Neutrality, Is Almost There.

       The fight for net neutrality is starting to look like a success story, not quite yet, but it could be in sight. All because of world wide solidarity and mobilisation. Together we can change the world, on many more fronts.
The first thing I read this morning gave me chills.

      The New York Times ran a front page story about how enemies of net neutrality are on the retreat, and that tomorrow, we could see the biggest open Internet victory of our lives. [1]
Bottom line: together, we are on the cusp of an absolutely unbelievably epic victory for net neutrality. Do you want to savor it? Watch this video we made!
      We whipped up this fun little video to mark the “final” moments of the Internet Countdown, and to look back on how we got here, together. It’s so mind blowing to think how all these online protests, real life camp-outs, calls, emails and epic stunts snowballed into what could be the biggest win of our lives. It could be even bigger than defeating SOPA. [2][3]
      Keep an eye on the news tomorrow, and remember: activism works. When tons of people come together with a clear vision, nothing’s impossible. Really! Getting to where we are right now was supposed to be impossible!!
Can’t watch a video right now? Would you rather be scolding some politicians on the phone? Then click here to start making phone calls!
      The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee just had a hearing today whose sole purpose was to kill net neutrality with partisan confusion. That’s what we’re up against now, and we need to smack it down hard if we want to defend any victory. Click here to call these committee members, and stay on the line for as long as you like; we’ll keep connecting you with more of them… until you hang up or your phone runs out of batteries :)

     Thanks for everything you do,
Holmes Wilson, Tiffiniy Cheng, Evan Greer, Vasjen Katro, Jeff Lyons, Laila Murad, and the whole Fight for the Future team.

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