Sunday, 30 June 2019

Don't Call The Cops.

       Perhaps cops in this country don't kill as many people as they do in America and some other countries, but they are still the authoritarian minders of an unfair, unequal, exploitative system. The powers that be try hard to present the police as your friendly neighbourhood protectors, and encourage you to call them to every neighbourhood/family crisis, incident and/or dispute. The end result quite often is violence, and someone being unnecessarily "criminalised". Perhaps we should work more at trying to resolve most of these matters in a reasonable supportive neighbourhood manner, not easy, but better than playing into the hands of those that attempt to control your every action by mass surveillance and threat.

        In the early morning of Monday June 10th, the Montreal police shot a man. A neighbour was having a crisis. Instead of doing anything helpful, they harassed him for hours. They had guns pointed at his head. They finally shot him in the leg through hs own apartment door early monday morning. On Sunday June 17th anarchists in the St-Henri neighbourhood of Montreal put up posters reminding our neighbours to think twice before calling the cops.
       St-Henri is famously undergoing a rapid and brutal gentrification process. Gentrification is fueled by social cleansing. This means arresting and relocating people with mental health issues, the poor, drug users, sex workers, and all of us trying to get by in a cruel world. One way to resist the over-policing and gentrification of our neighbourhoods is to stop calling the goddamn cops. We made posters that name all the unarmed people who have been killed by the SPVM in the last few years, because this is fucking serious. Cops will always escalate the situation, we can’t trust them. Instead let’s build relationships of trust between neighbours — Let’s make police obsolete! Please download and share these posters — let your neighbours know that COPS KILL, and share some alternatives to calling the police, so no one else has to have their neighbours blood on their hands.
 COPS KILL (to print, 11 x 17″)

12 Things You Can Do Instead of Calling the Cops (11 x 17″)
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Saturday, 29 June 2019

And What The Fuck Are We Going To Do About it?

        What can be more refreshing than the truth spoken with due emotion and anger. If only our so called journalists on the mainstream media spoke with such true feelings and spat out the truth untarnished by "diplomatic" niceties, distortions, and fabrications. Of course the US is not the only tarnished state with blood on its hands, glance around the world and see a similar pattern, it is just that the US is bigger and stronger than the rest, so is better at the bully-boys tactics. Yet we tolerate this endless brutality, no matter which state holds sway over our lives.  Thanks Loam for the link:

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An On Going Battle.

A Battle Yet To Be Won.
At the crack of dawn with weapons drawn
We seek that better tomorrow
where freedom blooms like flowers in a wild meadow
Justice drips from ever leaf on every tree
Heart’s desires run wild, a herd of prancing fawns
Unchained, unfettered, imagination hurtles us
Towards a better world, of bright sparkling dawns.
In the stream of liberty we cleanse our minds
Of wars, fear, violent death and anguish
Heal the scars of alienation, poverty and exploitation
Hand our children the heritage they desire and deserve
A life of freedom, peace and plenty
Unshackled potential guarded by friendship and co-operation.
The battle is not yet won
So, each day we must
At the crack of dawn with weapons drawn
Seek that better tomorrow. 
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Friday, 28 June 2019

Glasgow Winter Gardens Protest.

           In today's world there is so much the ordinary people can get angry about from austerity cuts, diminishing social services, vanishing libraries and disappearing public spaces. That's not mentioning the sabre rattling by corporate governed politicians. Glasgow, like other cities has its own areas where angry mass protest is the only voice we have left.
      One area where the Glaswegians are up in arms is about the sabotage of the People's Palace Winter Gardens. A historical landmark, part of the Common Goods, on the Glasgow Green. For many, many years it has brought pleasure and education to countless Glasgow citizens and visitors alike. However in line with the business dictated agenda in the city chambers, some times referred to as The Kremlin in George Square, such places are seen as a burden. So through a policy of neglect the Winter Gardens have fallen into a state of disrepair, the business orientated council now sees the only way to keep the site is to turn into a money making entity. The council's answer to all its ills is to usher in the white knight of private capital. That is not what the people of Glasgow want, we want our Winter Gardens to stay as they were intended and have always been, free for all to enjoy for future generations.
      Thursday saw some of Glasgow's finest, the ordinary citizens, make a loud and colourful protest outside the City Chambers, demanding the council listen to those who pay their wages, and remember they are there to serve those citizens. Those citizens are demanding the Winter Gardens receives the repairs it needs and stays as it is for future generations.
     Some photos and a video from the protest:


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Mozart, Mahler And Palestine.

         A wee treat for lovers of freedom, lovers of music and friends of Palestine.
         Scottish Friends are supporting 3 concerts by Palmusic UK Ensemble who play Mozart and Mahler piano quartets and a range of Arabic folk music .
        The concerts are on the following dates -
       Friday July 5 at 1pm in Stevenson Hall , Royal Conservatoire of Scotland -100 Renfrew Street Glasgow G52 3 DB

      Saturday July 6 at 3pm - St Andrew’s Church and St George’s West Church -13 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2 PA

       Sunday July 7 at 7:30 pm - St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral - 1 High Street Dundee DD1 1TD

         Please pass the word round and help get a good turnout . Be really good if you could circulate information in your networks .
        Entry to concerts is free and people can just come along on the night .
        A voluntary donation will be taken at the concerts for the charitable work of Palmusic UK and the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine .

Regards Arthur West
On behalf of Scottish Friends of Palestine
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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Concentration Camps, Detention Centres And Democracy.

        The Trump guy is flag waving America into raw fascism, his "America uber alles" comes with all the trappings and dangers of blind nationalism. There may be those who disagree with the label "fascism" in this case, but if we take the words of that well know fascist Benito Mussolini as a guide "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power", then there is no doubt that America is well and truly standing that vile dehumanising swap of fascism. Of course if we use Benito's quote as a guide, where does the UK or the EU stand? There is no doubt that the corporate juggernaut exerts considerable power over the states in both these cases. Have we sleep walked into fascism? America has already got its militarised police, its mass surveillance and its concentration camps, we in the UK have our mass surveillance and our "detention centres", places where those ever so nasty foreigners are locked up, before they can taint our purity. This in spite of the fact that we are all a form of mongrel human animal. Of course most people will agree that concentration camps and detention centres are an anathema to a free democratic society, but they are there.
        In my humble opinion, if we continually allow capitalism to exist it is inevitable that we would end up locked the tentacles of fascism. Capitalism is a system devoid of humanity, it does not in any way consider human well being. Its whole existence is for the purpose of amassing large amounts of wealth in the hands of the few. To do this it must conceal its true purpose from the public and control the legislation that allows it free rein to do so, certainly not the basis for a free and democratic society.  
        The following is an article  from "Birds Before The Storm" on America's concentration camps and the need to tackle these and other abominations head on. Of course it applies to our own particular patch of soil on this planet.
What Are We Going to do About These Concentration Camps?

        The first time I saw the Klan, I was ten years old. My brother and one of my sisters were in the car, and my dad was driving. We were stopped at a light and maybe five Klan members in full regalia were offering leaflets to white drivers. My father, a white man, rolled up the window, locked the doors, and grabbed the steering wheel in a death grip. When the light turned green, we drove away. “Those people carry guns,” he told us. He was excusing himself for not getting out of the car and physically confronting five large men, an action which could easily have put him in the hospital or worse. He probably did the right thing. He had three children in the car. There were five of those guys. The cost/benefit analysis of starting a fight was all wrong. But the Klan, wherever it shows its hideous face, should be confronted. Should be fought, through whatever means.
Sometimes we have to fight.

Which brings us to the concentration camps in America.
      My entire adult life, I’ve been politically active. I’ve gone to countless demonstrations. I’ve been in jail in two countries for fighting against things I consider deplorable. These past couple of years, I’ve been more of a cheerleader for antifascism than a street warrior, to be sure, but when Nazis come to my small town I’m out there with everyone else ready to tell them that it’s a shame their lungs are functioning. Yet this morning here I am, at home, just trying to live my life. I’m going to play a show later tonight, and I have to practice my harp.
       I have a lot of experience trying to just live my life while horrible shit is happening. Maybe you do too. Maybe you’re trying to drag yourself out of poverty while millions of people are in prison. Maybe you’re raising your kids while carbon pumps into the air and the US refuses to consider any agreement to limit the effects of climate change. Maybe you’re used to this.
       Every day, we make cost/benefit analyses and most of us decide not to do anything that would get us thrown in prison or gunned down by the armed forces of the state. We sit and think about that poem; you know the poem. “First they came for the communists and I didn’t say anything because I was not a communist…”
      That poem is derived from the post-war confessions of a pastor, Martin Niemöller. A conservative, he initially supported Hitler’s rise to power; he only decided to oppose the dictator when Hitler insisted the state was more important than religion. By the time Hitler came for him, of course, there was no one left to speak out.
        So what the fuck is wrong with our cost/benefit analyses? There are concentration camps on the border. By and large, they aren’t holding American citizens. So in the short term, it’s safer to do nothing. Maybe complain on Twitter. Maybe write articles like this. In the long term, though?

When is it time to act?
        It’s easy to feel like I have my hands full dealing with the local Nazi problem where I live. The paramilitaries that are crashing pride parades with guns and burning down community centers and doxxing antifascists eat up a lot of my brain space.
       It’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of problems confronting us. The war on people with wombs. The war on trans people. The war on people of color. Climate catastrophe. The United States has always been a Bad Thing, from when slaving colonialists founded it all those years ago to when it became the police force of the world a hundred years back to when it declared a “war” on drugs to when the prison system—and its literal, legal slavery—became a for-profit industry. It’s always been a Bad Thing and we’re kind of numb to that. We suffer from a kind of disaster fatigue. Our ability to be outraged has already been heavily taxed, and sometimes climate change and concentration camps are simply Too Much Problem for us to wrap our heads around. Problems have this way of terrifying us into inaction, into numbness. Collectively, right now, we’re a deer in the headlights.

I, we, need to work our way through that. Fast. Now.

       They’re not coming for me today. I’m a trans woman, so yeah the right wing is working its base into a fervor blaming me for all our social ills and to be certain I’ve gotten a lot worse attention from strangers since Trump came into office. But no one is trying to put me in a camp. I could keep my head down. A short term cost/benefit analysis says that I should.

Fuck that.
        When mass action is called for at these camps, consider going. If you can’t go, support the actions. Support the people who take action who aren’t taking the kind of action you might take personally. Support pacifists who lock themselves to the gates of these places. Support rioters who break glass, cut fences, or physically fight the forces who are locking up children. Support the activists who target every aspect of this murderous machine. Support them all vocally and support them all financially. Do not let them play us off each other. Do not let them divide us.
       Any study of successful social movements in history is a study of how peaceful strategies and militant strategies, which seem opposed both tactically and ethically, complement each other very well. We need people who resist peacefully. We need people who resist less peacefully. And most importantly, we need to not get caught up fighting one another instead of our enemies.
       We need to take action. To be clear, voting is not action. Voting, very specifically, is a way of asking someone else to act for you. Engage in electoral politics however you would like. But never let the state strip you of your agency. You’re a human. You’re a person. You have the capacity to take action, to effect change. You have the capacity to work with others to do… well, pretty much anything.
It is completely possible for tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of us, to surround these camps and force them to release the detainees. It could work with fewer people than that, too, though I have a feeling there’s an awful lot of anger, an awful lot of power, waiting to be unleashed against the machinery of oppression right now. Mass action is risky. It’s messy. It’s terrifying. It’s also the right thing to do, and it’s perhaps only way out of this mess. There are a million problems, but this is one of them. And to change everything, you pick one problem and start there.
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Saturday, 22 June 2019

Sabotage By The Kremilin In George Square.

               Glasgow Green has been a place of importance to the people of Glasgow through the ages. It has been the meeting place for, gatherings of all kinds, political protests and, among other events, May Day celebrations. It has also been under attack from the city council, my late friend Joe used to call them, "the Kremlin in George Square" there were talks of selling of part and now by neglect, that precious gem on the Green, the People's Palace and Winter Gardens is under threat. like everything we have, the Green included, we have to fight to keep it the way we want it to be.
       This latest fight is to safe the People's Palace Winter Gardens. Let's all rally round and defend what is ours, it is not the property of the city council to do with it as it wishes, it is ours part of the Common Goods.

This is ours.

From Bob Hamilton

          It is not called the People's Palace for nothing:
         A place of working class history, artifacts and memorabilia relating to the People who made Glasgow. Not for the first time it’s been under attack from the councils secret service. (When do they tell you anything? A. When places are falling apart due to the councils own negligence.)
        The first thing that needs to be understood is the Winter Gardens are part of the Peoples Palace, not a separate entity as the council would want us to believe. And as such should have been considered under the same repair scheme as the recent renovations to the museum part of this historic institution. Not blanked off and perhaps to be manipulated by Glasgow Life into another marketing tool the same way as the Green has been to promote disruptive and destructive entertainment spectacles.
        While we congratulate (with some critique) the work to restore the wonderful Kibble Palace, the renovations to the Burrell, the fancy pavements in Suchiehall Street and all of the other major developments given the green light for funding. But we look once again to the East End and of course the short end of the funding stick.
          Not for the first time we have had to battle the council in culture wars, concerning the Peoples Palace, (City of Culture1990) and historically the park it sits in in, (The Battle For The Green 1931) These events all relate to the history of the Peoples Palace and that history has been a struggle to maintain, the same as the present situation will take to resolve.
          We are asking the people of Glasgow (and beyond) to become part of that on going history by defending the maintenance and repairs to the Winter Gardens as an important part of the Peoples Palace and worthy of the same care and attention given to other historic projects in the city carried out in the peoples name.
         Join “Friends of the People's Palace, Winter Gardens and Glasgow Green” on the 27th 12:00 at the city chambers Bring some music make a day of it.
        It is summer after all. (I think:)

For May Day link

People live by bread, by economics, not politics.--

For a wee bit more on Glasgow's working class radical history visit;
Spirit of Revolt 's Strugglepedia.

 This is ours, defend it against the sabotage of the City Council 
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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Why I'm An Anarchist.

          I lifted this straight from Dog Section Press, there is nothing I could say about the article, except to say just read it.
Why I'm An Anarchist by Benjamin Zephaniah

         I got political after I suffered my first racist attack at the age of seven. I didn’t understand any political theory, I just knew that I had been wronged, and I knew there was another way. A few years later, when I was fifteen a marked police car pulled up to me as I walked in Birmingham in the early hours of the morning, three cops got out of the car, they pushed me into a shop doorway, then they beat me up. They got back into their car, and drove off as if nothing had happened. I had read nothing about policing policy, or anything on so-called law and order, I just knew I had been wronged. When I got my first job as a painter, I had read nothing on the theory of working class struggles or how the rich exploited the poor, but when my boss turned up every other day in a different supercar, and we were risking our lives up ladders and breathing in toxic fumes, I just knew I had been wronged.
        I grew up (like most people around me) believing Anarchism meant everyone just going crazy, and the end of everything. I am very dyslexic so I often have to use a spellchecker or a dictionary to make sure I’ve written words correctly. I was hearing words like Socialism and Communism all the time, but even the Socialists and Communists that I came across tended to dismiss Anarchists as either a fringe group, who they always blamed if there was trouble on demonstrations, or dreamers. Even now, I just checked a spellchecker and it describes Anarchism as chaos, lawlessness, mayhem, and disorder. I like the disorder thing, but for the ‘average’ person, disorder does mean chaos, lawlessness, and mayhem. The very things they’re told to fear the most.
        The greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself is to learn how to think for myself. I began to do that at an early age, but it’s really difficult to do that when there are things around you all the time telling you how to think. Capitalism is seductive. It limits your imagination, and then tells you that you should feel free because you have choices, but your choices are limited to the products they put before you, or the limits of your now limited imagination. I remember visiting São Paulo many years ago when it introduced its Clean City Law. The mayor didn’t suddenly become an Anarchist, but he did realise that the continuous and ubiquitous marketing people were subjected to was not just ugly, but distracting people from themselves. So more than 15,000 marketing billboards were taken down. Buses, taxis, neon and paper poster advertisements were all banned. At first it looked a little odd, but instead of either looking at, or trying not to look at advertising broads, I walked, and as I walked I looked around me. I found that I only purchased what I really needed, not what I was told I needed, and what was most noticeable was that I met and talked to new people every day. These conversations tended to be relevant, political, and meaningful. Capitalism keeps us in competition with each other, and the people who run Capitalism don’t really want us to talk to each other, not in a meaningful way.
       I’m not going to go on about Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism, but it is clear that one thing they all have in common is their need for power. Then to back up their drive for power they all have theories, theories about taking power and what they want to do with power, but therein lies the problem. Theories and power. I became an Anarchist when I decided to drop the theories and stop seeking power. When I stopped concerning myself with those things I realised that true Anarchy is my nature. It is our nature. It is what we were doing before the theories arrived, it is what we were doing before we were encouraged to be in competition with each other. There have been some great things written about Anarchism, and I guess that’s Anarchist theory, but when I try to get my friends to read these things (I’m talking about big books with big words), they get headaches and turn away. So, then I turn off the advertising (the TV etc.) and sit with them, and remind them of what they can do for themselves. I give them examples of people who live without governments, people who organise themselves, people who have taken back their own spiritual identity – and then it all makes sense.
            If we keep talking about theories then we can only talk to people who are aware of those theories, or have theories of their own, and if we keep talking in the round about theories we exclude a lot of people. The very people we need to reach, the very people who need to rid themselves of the shackles of modern, Capitalistic slavery. The story of Carne Ross is inspiring, not because he wrote something, but because he lived it. I love the work of Noam Chomsky and I love the way that Stuart Christie’s granny made him an Anarchist, but I’m here because I understand that the racist police who beat me have the state behind them, and the state itself is racist. I’m here because I now understand that the boss-man who exploited me to make himself rich didn’t care about me. I’m here because I know how the Marrons in Jamaica freed themselves and took to the hills and proved to all enslaved people that they (the Marrons), could manage themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love books (I’m a writer, by the way), and I know we need people who think deeply – we should all think deeply. But my biggest inspirations come from everyday people who stop seeking power for themselves, or seeking the powerful to rescue them, and they do life for themselves. I have met people who live Anarchism in India, Kenya, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and in Papua New Guinea, but when I tell them they are Anarchists most will tell me they have not heard of such a word, and what they are doing is natural and uncomplicated. I’m an Anarchist because I’ve been wronged, and I’ve seen everything else fail.
           I spent the late seventies and the eighties living in London with many exiled ANC activists – after a long struggle Nelson Mandela was freed and the exiles returned home. I remember looking at a photo of the first democratically elected government in South Africa and realising that I knew two thirds of them. I also remember seeing a photo of the newly elected Blair (New Labour) government and realising that I knew a quarter of them, and on both occasions I remember how I was filled with hope. But in both cases it didn’t take long to see how power corrupted so many members of those governments. These were people I would call and say, “Hey, what are you doing?”, and the reply was always something along the lines of, “Benjamin, you don’t understand how having power works”. Well I do. Fuck power, and lets just take care of each other.
           Most people know that politics is failing. That’s not a theory or my point of view. They can see it, they can feel it. The problem is they just can’t imagine an alternative. They lack confidence. I simply blanked out all the advertising, I turned off the ‘tell-lie-vision’, and I started to think for myself. Then I really started to meet people – and, trust me, there is nothing as great as meeting people who are getting on with their lives, running farms, schools, shops, and even economies, in communities where no one has power.

That’s why I’m an Anarchist.
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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Workers Rights Under Attack, As Usual.

       In this world awash with countries that call themselves "democracies", Labour Start comes up with some information that those at the front line of protecting and/or furthering workers rights are well aware, but perhaps facts with which the public at large are less familiar. A system that puts profit and continuous growth as its priority and only object for its existence, can never put workers rights on its agenda. Unless to find ways to whittle down the cost of that labour. The system and workers rights are incompatible, what ever rights we have as workers has been fought for and wrestled from the system, at a cost to those involved, sometimes the ultimate cost, their lives. Our rights have never been give, we have wrenched them from the system. Nothing will change until we change the system we live under.
 Today in Geneva the International Trade Union Confederation is releasing to the world the results of its annual Global Rights Index.

The picture it paints is not a pretty one:   

  • Trade unionists were murdered in ten countries - Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe. 
  • 85% of countries have violated the right to strike. 
  • 80% of countries deny some or all workers collective bargaining.
  • The number of countries which exclude workers from the right to establish or join a trade union increased from 92 in 2018 to 107 in 2019.
  • Workers had no or restricted access to justice in 72% of countries.
  • The number of countries where workers are arrested and detained increased from 59 in 2018 to 64 in 2019.
  • Out of 145 countries surveyed, 54 deny or constrain free speech and freedom of assembly.
  • Authorities impeded the registration of unions in 59% of countries.
  • Workers experienced violence in 52 countries. 
You can now download the full report here.

What can we do about this?

First of all, let's make sure that every single member of our unions knows about this report.  We cannot guarantee that the mainstream media will give it the publicity it needs.  But if every single person who gets this email message shares it with others, the impact will be enormous.

Please -- share this email, share the link to the ITUC Global Rights Index, post it on Facebook and Twitter.  

Together, there are millions of us.  Together, we can reverse these trends and ensure that the rights of all workers are respected, no matter where they live.

Thank you.

Eric Lee
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Friday, 14 June 2019

Don't Iraq Iran!

        My ears are now hearing the familiar beat of the drums of war. Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea and Iran have been on the US agenda for regime change for almost 20 years, perhaps more. They have destroyed Iraq and Libya, they have  decimated Syria, Though the Assad regime still holds the power, that battle is still ongoing, to America, it is unfinished business. That now moves Iran up the list of regime change by the US and its puppet regimes. The reason those Middle East countries were labelled "evil", was the fact that their gas and oil reserves were nationalised, that doesn't suit the big boys in the Western financial Mafia. That pool of wealth has to be brought into coffers of the Western corporate world. Another country that has felt the wrath of the mighty dollar is Venezuela, yes, its oil and gas is nationalised, that makes them "evil".


Dark malefic clouds crowd the sky
winds carry the stench of carrion to every nostril,
the crazy ape has followed the faculty of hawks.
All around stand crows, magpies, jackdaws, vultures,
edacious eyes anticipating their putrid feast.
A weary Cassandra laments;
doves, hearts weeping for a better yesterday
forsake their olive branches.

         The following is from Code Pink:

      BREAKING NEWS: Just hours after the attack on the Japanese and Norweigan oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Secretary of State Pompeo was already blaming Iran. He is using the attack to push his agenda of going to war with Iran, just like the Bush administration manufactured a crisis to go to war with Iraq. Take action right now. Tell Congress: Don’t let Trump take us to war with Iran.
        The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up his trip to Iran to help ease tensions between the U.S. and Iran. We don’t know who is behind the sabotage, but whoever is behind it wants to escalate the conflict between the two nations.
        The only REAL news here is that the Trump administration’s maximum pressure policy is pushing us closer to war. It’s the Trump administration’s bellicose actions, withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, imposing brutal sanctions, and deploying warships closer to the Persian Gulf to “send a clear and unmistakable message to Iran” that is driving this escalation. The facts of this latest attack on the oil tankers are not clear, but we know that we can’t trust anything warmonger Pompeo and serial liar John Bolton tell us about Iran without providing internationally verified evidence. And no matter who was responsible for this attack, the solution is mediation.
        What’s happening right now with Iran is all too reminiscent of the prelude to the war with Iraq in 2003, when Bush’s “intelligence” showed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — which turned out to be all lies. Now in 2019, Trump’s “intelligence” insists that Iran is responsible for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
       Key members of Trump’s administration, especially John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, have been looking for a pretext for war with Iran. So have their allies in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Israel. Against the will of Congress, the Trump administration is trying to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE under the guise of a national emergency — the emergency being Iran. And now the warmongers in the administration are using the incident in the Gulf to try to create that emergency. The Middle East is still coping with the horrible consequences of the Iraq war. Send a message to Congress now that they can’t let the Trump administration take us to war with Iran.
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Democracy, The World's Most Misused Word.

       Very often an arrest in this society is not just the loss of freedom for one person, it is a deliberate attack on the free flow of information. Especially information regarding the dealings of "our" representatives, a lot of which takes place behind closed doors. Decisions are made that dramatically affect all our lives, but we are not privy to those decision making processes. The government and the people are two entirely different entities, the government assumes the right to know everything about you, but you are not allowed to know all about the government. This arrangement is safeguarded by a vast array of secret service agencies, which work away diligently protecting the institution of the state, and the power and privileges of those who are in control. We, the ordinary people, will be fed misinformation, lies, trivia, propaganda, and overdoses of the culture of the celebrity, all bubble gum and candy floss to keep us happy and our thoughts away from what controls our lives, and in a lot of cases, our death. 
     Democracy is probably the most misused and most misunderstood word on our planet, our representatives will spout it as what we have, and what the state is trying to protect. However, democracy, if it ever has lived, is most certainly an alien land to the society we inhabit today, an anathema to the state.
      Those individuals who dare expose this subterfuge and duplicity, and to pass on to the public these inner dark dealings of the state are vilified, persecuted and in most case silenced. Lies and subterfuge are the daily tools of the secret agencies, and with the sophisticated surveillance techniques of the modern world, all of us are suspect, and can and are, monitored in our every day actions. The world of trivia and fantasy that swamps our lives is the state's propaganda wing issuing us with paracetamol to take away the pain, in an attempt to keep us happy and our thoughts away from the world we actually inhabit.
      Sorry George Orwell, we ignored you.
The following is an extract from an article by Chris Hedges:

         We have watched over the last decade as freedom of the press and legal protection for those who expose government abuses and lies have been obliterated by wholesale government surveillance and the criminalizing of the leaking and, with Julian’s persecution, publication of these secrets. The press has been largely emasculated in the United States. The repeated use of the Espionage Act, especially under the Obama administration, to charge and sentence whistleblowers has shut down our ability to shine a light into the inner workings of power and empire. Governmental officials with a conscience, knowing all of their communications are monitored, captured and stored by intelligence agencies, are too frightened to reach out to reporters. The last line of defense lies with those with the skills that allow them to burrow into the records of the security and surveillance state and with the courage to make them public, such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond, now serving a 10-year prison term in the United States for hacking into the Texas-based private security firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor. The price of resistance is high not only for them, but for those such as Julian willing to publish this information. As Sarah Harrison has pointed out: This is our data, our information, our history. We must fight to own it.”
       Even if Julian were odious, which he is not, even if he carried out a sexual offense, which he did not, even if he was a poor houseguest—a bizarre term for a man trapped in a small room for nearly seven years under house arrest—which he was not, it would make no difference. Julian is not being persecuted for his vices. He is being persecuted for his virtues.
        His arrest eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities carried by the Ecuadorian, British and U.S. governments in the seizure of Julian two months ago from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are ominous. They presage a world where the internal workings, abuses, corruption, lies and crimes, especially war crimes, carried out by the global ruling elite will be masked from the public. They presage a world where those with the courage and integrity to expose the misuse of power, no matter what their nationality, will be hunted down around the globe and seized, tortured, subjected to sham trials and given lifetime prison terms. They presage an Orwellian dystopia where journalism is outlawed and replaced with propaganda, trivia, entertainment and indoctrination to make us hate those demonized by the state as our enemies.
     The arrest of Julian marks the official beginning of the corporate totalitarianism and constant state surveillance, now far advanced in China, that will soon define our lives. The destruction of all protection of the rule of law, which is what we are witnessing, is essential to establishing an authoritarian or totalitarian state.
       The BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonell was locked out of WeChat in China a few days ago after posting photos of the candlelight vigil in Hong Kong marking 30 years since student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square were gunned down by Chinese soldiers in June 1989.
“Chinese friends started asking on WeChat what the event was?” he wrote. “Why were people gathering? Where was it? That such questions were coming from young professionals here shows the extent to which knowledge of Tiananmen 1989 has been made to disappear in China. I answered a few of them, rather cryptically, then suddenly I was locked out of WeChat.”
In order to get back on WeChat he had to agree that he was responsible for spreading “malicious rumors” and provide what is called a faceprint.
“I was instructed to hold my phone up—to ‘face front camera straight on’—looking directly at the image of a human head. Then told to ‘Read numbers aloud in Mandarin Chinese.’ My voice was captured by the App at the same time it scanned my face.”
        Governmental abuse of WeChat, he wrote, “could deliver to the Communist Party a life map of pretty much everybody in this country, citizens and foreigners alike. Capturing the face and voice image of everyone who was suspended for mentioning the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary in recent days would be considered very useful for those who want to monitor anyone who might potentially cause problems.”
This is almost certainly our future, and it is a future that Julian has fought courageously to prevent.
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Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Omnipresent Surveillance State.

        I, like many others have scribbled away, in anger, at the ever growing threat from the  onslaught of surveillance that is relentlessly entwining every fibre of our existence. It is spreading like a plague, it is insidiously multiplying in the background, growing in sophistication and increasing the state's power over us all. Worse still, it now works with and for the corporate juggernaut. It trolls your personal habits, likes and dislikes and targets you with consumer crap. What the corporate world knows about you will be shared with the state's policing agents. This will be building up a very detailed picture of you, you will be monitored, profiled and assessments made of your loyalty to the state's aims. You are all guilty until proven innocent, and even then, you will continue to be monitored and profiled until the day you die. 
     We have sleep walked into George Orwell's 1984, and we still haven't rubbed our eyes to wake up to this reality, time is running out.
     The following is an extract from a very detail article on the surveillance subject by John W. Whitehead. Though it refers to America, we would be naive in the extreme to harbour the thought that some how we are different in this country, we are not. The spider's web of surveillance, is at this moment monitoring and profiling you and yours. I recommend you read the full article.
--------Here’s what a lot of people fail to understand, however: it’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted. We’ve already seen this play out on the state and federal level with hate crime legislation that cracks down on so-called “hateful” thoughts and expression, encourages self-censoring and reduces free debate on various subject matter.

Say hello to the new Thought Police.
     Total Internet surveillance by the Corporate State, as omnipresent as God, is used by the government to predict and, more importantly, control the populace, and it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. For example, the NSA is now designing an artificial intelligence system that is designed to anticipate your every move. In a nutshell, the NSA will feed vast amounts of the information it collects to a computer system known as Aquaint (the acronym stands for Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence), which the computer can then use to detect patterns and predict behavior.

No information is sacred or spared.
       Everything from cell phone recordings and logs, to emails, to text messages, to personal information posted on social networking sites, to credit card statements, to library circulation records, to credit card histories, etc., is collected by the NSA and shared freely with its agents in crime: the CIA, FBI and DHS. One NSA researcher actually quit the Aquaint program, “citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.”
       Thus, what we are witnessing, in the so-called name of security and efficiency, is the creation of a new class system comprised of the watched (average Americans such as you and me) and the watchers (government bureaucrats, technicians and private corporations).

Clearly, the age of privacy in America is at an end.

      “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”—Orwell

So where does that leave us?          We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.
        It won’t be long before we find ourselves looking back on the past with longing, back to an age where we could speak to whom we wanted, buy what we wanted, think what we wanted without those thoughts, words and activities being tracked, processed and stored by corporate giants such as Google, sold to government agencies such as the NSA and CIA, and used against us by militarized police with their army of futuristic technologies.
       To be an individual today, to not conform, to have even a shred of privacy, and to live beyond the reach of the government’s roaming eyes and technological spies, one must not only be a rebel but rebel.
      Even when you rebel and take your stand, there is rarely a happy ending awaiting you. You are rendered an outlaw.

So how do you survive in the American surveillance state?

We’re running out of options.
       As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’ll soon have to choose between self-indulgence (the bread-and-circus distractions offered up by the news media, politicians, sports conglomerates, entertainment industry, etc.) and self-preservation in the form of renewed vigilance about threats to our freedoms and active engagement in self-governance.
      Yet as Aldous Huxley acknowledged in Brave New World Revisited: “Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.”
Read the full article HERE: 
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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Latest Tory Crooks And Liars Competition.

       I tend not to allow myself to get dragged into the the various machinations that go on in those smoke and mirrors corridors of the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption. I find all too sickening, the back stabbing, double dealing, self aggrandisement, the avalanche of false promises that are the stock and trade of the occupants, and their sanctimonious arrogance. However, sometimes the bile just builds up and I have to spew it out.
       I usually refer to all elections connected with the above establishment as "Crooks and Liars Competitions". A farce where the contestants flap about the country trying to prove they are the best crook and liar in the race.  This Tory party leadership affair is even more ludicrous than the norm. None of the contestants are actually elected, they with unbelievably astonishing arrogance, put themselves forward, stating, they believe they are the best person to "lead" the country. The pack of resident wolves then whittle them down to two. These two gods are then given to the sheep, (party members) to select one. This little band of approximately 150.000 faithful sheep then get to select the next Prime Minister of the UK. 
     To emphasise my point about it being a crooks and liars competition, I'll post an extract from an article by Counter Punch that describes the two front runners in this travesty of democracy.
The following extract from Counter Punch:

           Johnson began his career as a journalist and was sacked by The Times newspaper for fabricating a quotation to back up a story. Then in 2004 he told an outrageous lie concerning his sex life. He has the morals of a downmarket alley cat, and had denied reports that “the mother of his alleged mistress, Petronella Wyatt, said her daughter had become pregnant by him and had an abortion last month. Johnson, who is married with four children, had categorically dismissed the allegations . . . as an ‘inverted pyramid of piffle’ — and, crucially, had assured Tory leader Michael Howard they were untrue.” But they were true, and when he could no longer deny the truth he had to resign, but carried on up the political ladder, in spite of his glaring moral defects.
        As noted by Foreign Policy, when President Obama said he thought Brexit was unwise, Johnson “dismissed the US president’s position as an ‘ancestral dislike of the British Empire’ derived from being ‘part-Kenyan’.” He then declared that voting for the Conservative Party “will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW.” Apparently he thought this was terribly funny, and given his attitude to Obama and female breasts it isn’t surprising Trump told the media he thinks Johnson is “a very good guy, a very talented person . . . I think Boris would do a very good job [as prime minister]. I think he would be excellent.”
       Johnson’s main opponent in the leadership race, and former ally, Michael Gove, hasn’t arranged any abortions or insulted presidents or indulged in crass jokes. He has confined his dubious activities to ripping off British taxpayers.
       Ten years ago the UK’s Daily Telegraph conducted an inquiry into the outrageous expenses claims made by British members of Parliament, and it’s rattling good reading. One of the main cheaters identified was Michael Gove (net worth three million pounds) who, among other things, spent many thousands of pound of taxpayer’s money when he “furnished his house in [an up-market London suburb] . . . [buying] a £331 Chinon armchair as well as a Manchu cabinet for £493 and a pair of elephant lamps for £134.0. He also claimed for a £750 Loire table — although the Commons’ authorities only allowed him to claim £600 — a birch Camargue chair worth £432 and a birdcage coffee table for £238.50.” When he was found to have fiddled his expenses claims he paid back £7000, but nothing could be done about retrieving the cash he made by moving house when he “submitted a £13,259 bill for the cost of the move, including his local authority searches, fees and stamp duty. In between the house moves, he stayed [in an hotel], charging the taxpayer more than £500 for a single night’s stay.”
       Johnson and Gove are Britain’s main contenders to become Britain’s prime minister. One is a lying libertine, a lecherous adulterer who has sneered at colored people (“piccaninnies”), and the other is a cheap trickster who has all the charm, attraction and talent of a sock full of wet spaghetti.
       So, sheep, make your choice for the new Messiah, which crook and liar will it be. Both are well qualified to to hold the title of Tory's best crook and liar to date.
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Monday, 10 June 2019

Dare To Stand For freedom.

       Another day, another country, another display of police brutality against a left thinking group. Forget the flag they wave, it is the same across the planet, anyone who dares to try to alter the status quo, is in for a rough time. We live in an authoritarian, unjust world, you stand up against its greed, brutality and injustice and it will bring down the full force of its mindless minders, the police and its biased judiciary.
The following from Enough is Enough:

         German territory: In the early hours of June 8, there was a violent police attack on the grounds of the AZ (Autonomous centre) in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Two members of staff were injured and taken into custody. In the further course of the incident, the police officers committed abuses, made far right statements and behaved in a sexist manner.

Submitted to Enough 14 in German. Translated by Enough 14.

         At the end of an event, an aggressive guest, who had previously been expelled from the premises, had called the police. The police calmly asked the staff to send all those present outside to check their personal identity. When this disproportionate measure was questioned, the police immediately escalated the situation by physically attacking two of the staff and fixing them with excessive force. First, Mr. O. was forcibly brought to the ground and suffered such serious injuries that the officers had to call an ambulance immediately. In the hospital, the doctors documented, among other things, a facial wound that had to be stitched, as well as numerous abrasions and bruises. There was also further abuse on the subsequent trip to the Essen police headquarters. The police officers used pain grips and even beat Mr. O. when he was already tied up. They also threatened him and tried to provoke him with far right statements.
       The AZ worker Mrs. L. was also forcibly fixed to the floor and taken into custody with the sentence “We also take in the dishy woman”. She suffered minor injuries and was at the mercy of the sexist practices of the police while in custody. With the cell door open, she had to undress and was exposed to the gazes of the male officers. In contrast to Mr. O., she was not allowed to put on much of her clothing until the end of her custody. Around noon both were released from custody.
        “I condemn the police violence against our staff* in the strongest terms and demand that the violent police officers be subject to disciplinary consequences,” said Stefan Gassner, chairman of the AZ association. “It is unacceptable that right-wing police officers are able to make an example of people who think differently with impunity. A public discussion about the anti-democratic structures within the police force, as well as ever tougher and more unconstitutional police laws, is long overdue.”
     As staff of the Autonomous Centre, we are horrified by this disproportionate police action. We understand this police attack as targeted harassment against a left-wing youth culture project. This incident is exemplary for the right-wing attitudes within the police that are becoming more and more apparent.

AZ Mülheim, June 09, 2019
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The Pyramid Of The Capitalist System.

      Spirit of Revolt's June "Read Of The Month" is around a poster created by an activist in the Hetherington Occupation at Glasgow University, 2011, held in the Spirit of Revolt Archive, The Pyramid Of The Capitalist System. It shows some of the variations on this poster developed over time. The text in the article was put together by one of Spirit of Revolt's volunteers, A Rice.

The Pyramid of the Capitalist System Read on line: 

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Sunday, 9 June 2019

Why I Decided To Fight.


       Why I decided to fight: 
       letter from a Yellow Vest prisoner
        Thomas P is just one of many Gilets Jaunes prisoners in France, locked up for their participation in the mass uprising against the neoliberal Macron regime. Below are some excerpts from an open letter he wrote from jail, after three months behind bars. 
      One is no longer innocent when one has seen ‘legitimate’ violence, legal violence: that of the police.
      I saw the hatred or emptiness in their eyes and I heard their chilling warnings: ‘disperse, go home’.
      I saw the charges, grenades, and beatings in general.
      I saw the checks, searches, traps, arrests, and jail.
      I saw people falling, blood, I saw the mutilated.
      Like all those who were demonstrating this February 9th, I learned that once again a man had just had his hand ripped off by a grenade.
       And then I did not see anything any more, because of the gas. All of us were suffocating.
       That’s when I decided not to be a victim any more and to fight.
       I’m proud of it. Proud to have raised my head, proud not to have given in to fear.
      Of course, like all those who are targeted by the repression against the Yellow Vests movement, I first protested peacefully and daily, I always solved problems with words rather than with fists.
      But I am convinced that in some situations conflict is needed.

      Because debate, however ‘big’ it may be, can sometimes be rigged or distorted. All that is needed is for the organiser to ask the questions in a way that suits them.
     We are told on one side that the state coffers are empty, but we are bailing out the banks with millions when they are in trouble, we are talking about an ‘ecological transition’ without ever calling into question the production system and consumption at the origin of all climatic disturbances.
     We are millions who shout at them, saying that their system is rotten, and they are telling us how they are trying to save it.
     The challenge of street clashes is to manage to push back the police, to keep them in line: to get out of a trap, to reach a place of power, or to simply take the street.
     Since November 17th those who have threatened to fire their weapons, those who brutalise, mutilate, and suffocate unarmed and defenceless protesters, those who are not the so-called ‘breakers’, they are the police.
      If the media does not talk about it, the hundreds of thousands of people who have been at the roundabouts and in the streets know it.
      Behind their brutality and threats, it is fear that is hiding.
      And when that moment comes, in general, it means that the revolution is not far away.

 Read the full English translation of the letter here.
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