Category Archives: Politics

Kill The Poor

“Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the official DWP 1st annual “piss on the poor” party and karaoke night. Tonight our first song is dedicated to a very special person, Mr Ian Duncan Smith.

Please stand up Mr Smith.

Can we shine a spotlight on him …….. no no it’s not that man, the one behind him with the bald head that looks like a SS concentration camp guard, yes that’s the one.  A round of applause for the man who is single-handedly responsible for the funding of tonight’s party.  All paid for from savings made due to the massive increase in sanctions handed out to the peasants by this man. Thank you Mr Smith. Sieg Hail Sieg Hail!!

And so on with the festivities.  In honour of your achievements we would like to dedicate this song to you Ian, I know it is one of his favourites…..”

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The Zapatistas’ first school opens for session

 

ast December, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized, peacefully and in complete silence, to occupy five municipal government office buildings in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. That same day, which coincided with the end of one cycle on the Maya calendar, Zapatistas released a communiqué, asking, “Did you hear it?”

It appears that the answer was yes, because this week thousands of people from around the world are descending on Chiapas for the Zapatistas’ first organizing school, called la escuelita de libertad, which means the little school of liberty. Originally the group allotted for only 500 students. But so many people wished to enroll that they opened an additional 1,200 slots for the weeklong school, which begins on August 12.

Just as the Zapatistas have, for two decades, rejected hierarchical systems, the escuelita will also eschew traditional teaching models. Instead, it will be an open space for the community to learn together.

“There isn’t one teacher,” wrote Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesperson for the Zapatista movement. “Rather, it is the collective that teaches, that shows, that forms, and in it and through it the person learns, and also teaches.”

While attending the escuelita, students will live with a family in a rebel zapatista community and participate both in the school and in the daily life of the community. Participants will cut wood, work in the cornfields and cook and eat with their host families.

Subcomandante Marcos acknowledged that attending this type of school requires shifting one’s way of thinking about learning and indigenous communities. As he asked in a communiqué:

Would you attend a school taught by indigenous teachers, whose mother tongue is typified as “dialect”?

Could you overcome the temptation to study them as anthropological subjects, psychological subjects, subjects of law or esoterism, or history?

Would you overcome the urge to write a report, interview them, tell them your opinion, give them advice, orders?

Would you see them, that is to say, would you listen to them?

Leading up to the school, the Zapatistas published a series of seven communiqués entitled “Them and Us.” These essays illustrated the absurdities of “those from above” — those who hold coercive and repressive power — trampling the freedoms of “those from below.” The writings also spoke to the need to learn by observing and listening in order to build an alternative world. But more than abstractions, the seven publications were a collection of lessons about how everyday life in the Zapatista communities, including how people resolve problems and how they organize themselves into an autonomous networks in which the people rule and the government obeys.

The last installation of this manual, published on March 27, also announced the upcoming escuelita and outlined three requirements necessary for any applicant: “an indisposition to speaking and judging, a disposition to listening and seeing, and a well-placed heart.”

The Zapatistas are unique not only for challenging power or maintaining their resistance for nearly 20 years. What sets them apart is their ever-evolving definition of liberty, and this topic — liberty according to the Zapatistas — will be the central focus of the school. According to Subcomandante Marcos, liberty is “to govern and govern ourselves according to our ways, in our geography and in this calendar.” But the definition also shifts from generation to generation, and Marcos explains that new generations must find their own paths through rebellion and dignity.

The experience of living with Zapatistas and other indigenous families will be another central part of the school. Some students will stay with families living in autonomous rebel communities, while others will be with nearby non-Zapatistas, or even anti-Zapatistas families. These hundreds of families have all agreed on a votán, a person who, in the Zapatista movement, represents a guardian and the heart of the community. The votáns will translate for the families and the foreign students, although Marcos acknowledges that translation itself is an imperfect process.

“In legal cases, do cultures translate?” he questions. “In that sense, one understands that what they call ‘equality under the law’ is one of the greatest travesties of justice in our world.”

As for final evaluations, the school won’t, unsurprisingly, have an exam, a thesis, or a multiple-choice test. Rather, as Marcos explained, the school “will make its own reality,” and the results will be “a mirror.”

The school began after three days of festivals in rebel communities to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the councils of good governance, the Zapatistas’ autonomous governing system in which the community makes decisions and the government carries them out. During the celebrations, one could see empty buses and vans parked along the streets to Ocosingo and Palenque, waiting to transport the 1,700 students from San Cristobal de Las Casas into the rebel communities the following morning.

Earlier this summer, the Zapatistas announced that future escuelitas in the Zapatista communities will be held this coming winter.

reposted from : http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/the-zapatistas-first-escuelita-for-freedom-begins-today/

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“Australia’s Sarah Palin” The New Face Of Right-Wing Idiocy

 

If you thought right-wing racist stupidity was confined to the EDL you would be wrong. Not only does the world have to deal with the absurdity of America’s Tea Party, there is also the grandaddy of them all, Australia’s One Nation party. An extreme right-wing party formed in 1997 that spouts the same Islamaphobic, anti multicultural, populist shite we are seeing all over the western world these days.

In an attempt to kickstart their flagging support they have announced a new candidate, Stephanie Banister.  who some are calling Australia’s Sarah Palin,. She is a 27 yr old mother of two who ……. you know what? I think its best you just listen to what she has to say because words really  cannot do her massive factual inaccuracies justice 😛

 

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Balcombe Anti Fracking Protest Going Strong

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources are trying to start drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex and the community is trying to stop them. Over 250 people stopped 15 trucks bring on equipment on Day 1 (Thurs). On Day 2 more than 100 police were used to break the blockade and escort trucks onto the fracking site. On Day 3 the community continued to resist attempts to force trucks through the blockade but gave up early afternoon. On Day 4 Cuadrilla did not attempt to bring any trucks onto the site. On Day 5 Cuadrilla continued to try to push trucks through the blockade and the community have continued to resist. Camp is still going strong and renewed efforts are being made to defend Balcombe. See Fracking In Balcombe: A Community Says No for background to issues involved.

 

 

Day 8 Today we have seen a new tactic by the protestors trying to stop lorries into the Cuadrilla site. Say hello to Big Red 🙂

frqack

A permanently immobilized old fire engine sat in the entrance to the fracking site.  Its with a fond nostalgia that I look at these scenes. So reminiscent of the 1990s and all the anti road protests going on.  It is good what with the fight against austerity going on in so many ways that there are people out there who are still prepared to put their liberty on the line for environmental issues, that occasionally come out second place in hard times like this.

Of course the truth still remains that without learning to live on this planet in a sustainable and ecological manner then we are all doomed no matter what socio economic system we use.  This frackin is a perfect example of the crazy world we live in where profit is put before safety, community and sustainability. Instead if fracking is allowed wholesale in the UK we will be facing pollution of our water table on a massive scale nevermind all the droughts brought on by the sheer quantities needed to frack. Then of course there will be the earthquakes, the destruction of grren belt land and the inevitable health problems that will arise in highly fracked areas due to the radioactive isotopes and other pollutants that are mixed in with the water they use.

I saw a poll in the Daily Mirror a couple of days ago about if you thinking the government should go ahead with fracking or not. At the time of viewing I saw a resounding 93% said NO to fracking in this country. So there is hope yet. Lets hope we see that 93% turn from just opinion into action. The protest right now is needing more bodies and supplies so if you can help please get down there. Otherwise look up any  anti fracking groups near you or even form your own if you feel your community could be under threat from this latest attempt of the capitalists to squeeze mother earth dry.

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Tomorrow: Will Uruguay Be First Country To Legalize Marijuana?

 

As soon as tomorrow afternoon votes are expected in the Uruguayan House of Representatives which will cast the country into the lead to become the first country to official end cannabis prohibition.

The country’s president, José Mujica, and the ruling party in the Uruguayan Senate, Frente Ampli, are also public supporters of replacing cannabis prohibition with a state monopoly on cannabis commerce.

Since President Mujica’s public support for legalization was made public in Uruguay last year, a concerted effort to reform the country’s cannabis laws has been underway featuring national TV ad campaigns: with well produced ads featuring mothers, doctors and lawyers.

For more info about efforts to legalize cannabis in Uruguay, contact the Drug Policy Alliance coordinator for South American, Hannah Hetzer: +59891855163 hhetzer@drugpolicy.org

 

Full respect to the president of Uruguay Jose Mujica. Not only does he see sense about the disastrous effects on both his country and the world from the so-called war on drugs but he is also a damn decent kind of chap who drives around in an old Volkswagen and gives most of his salary away to the poor.

Uruguay president

I would suggest the politicians of our corrupt western societies take note, this is the future.

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So Camerons New Porn Blocker Is Only Going To Block Porn ….. Right?

internet-censorship-kyrgyzstan

WRONG

In fact due to the complexities of the internet and to be honest the complexity of most things. No one really knows what may be caught up by their free speech free information blockers.  Though you can be sure that the false positives getting reported will be massive.

By default they are turned on to block porn  ( or whatever some board says is porn )

But also from speaking to ISPs it has been found out that many other things also will be by default censored.

This is the list so far of what is known to be being censored :

☑ pornography
☑ violent material
☑ extremist and terrorist related content
☑ anorexia and eating disorder websites
☑ suicide related websites
☑ alcohol
☑ smoking
☑ web forums
☑ esoteric material
☑ web blocking circumvention tools

So already it has gone from just porn to many different topics. I understand the reasoning for most of these choices if taken at face value. The problems begin when defining these choices. Who gets to choose? what are the criteria? Is there oversight? What about false positives?  What about the right to appeal? aswell as many more questions.

Lets take a closer look at these potential victims topics :

Number 1  Pornography.   Does it mean hardcore porn, full nudity, erections, page 3 topless, sexually explicit MTV superstars performing fake oral sex on video. What about sex education websites?  What about Hentai and other animated styles?  naturist websites?  Art?

Number 2 Violent material.  So what is that going to be then? banned from seeing the collateral murder vid released from wikileaks. Of maybe of watching any of our troops when in active war zones. Maybe it will include a lot of so-called violent video games too?  Animated violence like Tom And Jerry gonna be banned too?

number 3 Extremist and terrorist related content.   Main question I want to ask here is who gets to choose who is a terrorist?  Some people would apply it to Jihadist group or far right groups.  Some people may find other groups could be classed as terrorists. From things like animal rights activists, to oppressed minorities fighting for their land back.  One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

Number 4 Anorexia and eating disorder websites. Okay so straight away it could be sites that are trying to help anorexic people will end getting blocked.  But on the plus side maybe McDonald’s will be blocked for causing obesity in people, Or maybe the whole supermodel and fashion industry could be blocked for showing  anorexic women as role models….

Number 5 Suicide related websites. I suppose this is aimed at how to kill yourself type websites but could also include an assortment of goth and emo sites or informative or counselling sites for bereaved families after suicide.

Number 6 Alcohol    LOLOLOL I wish them luck with that,:P  I figure about a third of the internet could be blocked if it mentions alcohol

Number 7  Smoking  Now this is getting to serious nanny state behaviour. Smoking FFS  This is not only censorship but social programming.

Number 8 web forums    W    T    F !!!  Seriously, no need for them to be about anything that is harmful in any way, just any web forum that may contain info that some unknown censor deems to be offensive  and it is gone, Blocked!  There goes politics, debate, free speech and free thought.  This is basically sneaking into a law about porn the option to block ANYTHING that TPTB don’t want you to see. MP caught in embarrassing situation … suddenly website blocked

Number 8 Esoteric Material. Ahh they are protecting us from demons witches and the  mysteries of the universe.  Hmmm would that not be in direct contravention on the freedom of religion in the universal declaration of human rights? Not just for the Wiccans but after all Religion full stop is esoteric by its very nature. So all religion blocked by default

Number 9 Web Blocking Circumvention Tools. LOL well of course. be foolish to lock the door then leave the key in the lock 😛

Anyway what I am trying to say rather badly is that we have to stop this stupid stupid idea of Cameron’s. Otherwise it will end up in the wholesale censorship of the free internet, one step at a time. They will nudge and nudge and keep on nudging along until everything they want is censored. I.e ANY political dissent or views that do not coincide with the moral majority.

Am I being paranoid and taking this too far?  I really do hope so, but you only have to have a passing knowledge of history and politics and you will know that this is how change is brought about in this day and age. It is the age of Orwellian doublespeak, of spin, of saying one thing and doing the opposite, of giving an inch and taking a mile. It is also true that this government building on the work of new labours spin masters have pushed and perfected this technique of slow creep and mass distraction to a new limit, until it gets to the point that when I hear a government minister say one thing I automatically assume he is lying and look for the real reason behind his words.

censorship1

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Man Faces Jail For Calling MP A Coward

 

Almost everyday now I read something that makes me realise just how much of an insane society we are becoming,  Be it police handcuffing 6-year-old children or women getting sent to prison for being raped

So todays story is no different.  Apparently using none offensive words to describe a person’s action if said loudly and to that persons face is now a crime :

A university lecturer could be sent to prison for calling a city MP a “coward”.

Alex Cline faces a two-day trial after a court heard Hove MP Mike Weatherley complained to police about the name-calling in November.

The incident took place during a protest at the University of Sussex.

At the time, Mr Weatherley complained he and his staff had been pelted with rocks by “anarchists” before a planned debate on anti-squatting laws.

But during yesterday’s hearing, Brighton Magistrates Court heard the only person charged with any offence was Mr Cline, for calling the MP a “coward”.

The 25-year-old faces one count of ‘using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress’.

He could be handed a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment, a fine of £5,000 or both.

Mr Cline denies harassing the MP or causing him alarm and distress.

‘Free speech’

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Cline’s solicitor Lydia Dagostino said: “Mr Weatherley has probably been called worse in the Houses of Parliament.

“We’ll be vigorously defending this case and the defendant’s right to free speech.”

Cases heard in magistrates’ court cost the taxpayer around £900 a day.

Mr Cline of Wenlock House, North Street, Brighton, is a former University of Sussex postgraduate student who graduated from the university in September.

He now lectures at the Angela Ruskin University, teaching “Video Game Contextual Studies” and “Architectural Gaming”.

Mr Weatherley and his colleagues previously told how the crowd turned on them at the university.

He was due to give a talk to the university’s Young Conservative group when he was allegedly chased out of the lecture theatre and across the campus.

Mr Weatherley said: “I have given statements to Sussex Police relating to the way in which my staff and I were physically assaulted at Sussex University. I have faith in the police and have no doubt that those responsible will be held to account in due course.”

 

Now the thing that really gets me about this story is not just the slap in the face to free speech in this country or the abuse of power by an MP to assuage his hurt feelings, but that what the defendant is accused of saying is nothing but the truth.  Look at it, the guy calls this MP a coward.  The MP  responds by running away and then getting the police to arrest the big scary man for calling him names! You can almost picture the MP clinging to a policeman’s legs from behind and raising a trembling finger to point out this big bully who dared to address him so.

What the hell happened to stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?

Oh well if these politicians don’t like being called names maybe its time that we just went back to communicating our feelings to them using sticks and stones instead 🙂

 

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Dying cancer victim faces eviction from Birmingham home in bedroom tax row

veronica-kenning-5167279

The first evictions over the government’s controversial “bedroom tax” are set to begin as notices and final demand letters are being put through the letter boxes of social housing tenants around the country.Including that of Veronica Kenning a 57-year-old cancer sufferer :

A wheelchair-bound mum dying of cancer is facing eviction from her council house in a bedroom tax row .

Veronica Kenning could lose the only home she has ever known after refusing to pay the £23.57-a-week demanded by Birmingham City Council .

The 57-year-old said she would fight her case in court – but admitted any hearing would have to be quick as she was given a year to live last August.

Veronica, who has also suffered from ME for 26 years, said: “I told the council I was never going to pay because I’m dying.

“They shouldn’t be asking for it. It’s disgraceful.

“I told them they could take me to court – but they would have to be quick.”

Veronica was told in February that she faced paying out under the bedroom tax after her daughter moved out of their three-bedroom home in Brook Meadow Road, Shard End.

The controversial benefits shake-up, which cuts payouts for those with spare rooms, came into force on April 1.

It was blamed for causing the death of Solihull grandmother Stephanie Bottrill, who was hit by a lorry on the M6 on May 4.

Veronica, who has cancer of the oesophagus, has already received a letter warning the council intended to seek possession of the home where she has spent her entire life.

The document told her: “Your rent debt is now at an unacceptable level and we are serving you with a notice of seeking possession. This is a legal notice and should not be ignored.”

Veronica admitted she had rebuffed the council’s attempts to encourage her to apply for cash to help her pay her way.

She said: “I haven’t got enough time left to waste it filling out forms.

“I might not even qualify. I’m making a stand.”

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “We have been in regular contact with Mrs Kenning, urging her to apply for discretionary housing payment, which we feel, in her circumstances, she would qualify for.

“Indeed, we have told her we will take a telephone application to make things easier for her.

“Unfortunately she has refused on every occasion to make a claim.

“We are deeply sympathetic to Mrs Kenning’s plight and have written, phoned and visited her property in order to try to help her get the assistance available to her.

“However, her consistent refusal to allow us to help her has left us with little option as she has made it clear to us that she does not want to apply for discretionary housing payment.”

 

I would just like to salute Veronica for being such a brave inspiration to us all. Knowing she is dying she is using her own situation to highlight the evil and targeted discrimination against disabled people by this government.  Most people would have applied for the grant then shut up, do what they were told and used what little time they have left to try to come to terms with themselves and find peace and a  bit of happiness. Instead Ms Kenning  is setting an example and hopefully that example will be used to shine a light on the plight of many thousands of people being affected by these unfair rules.

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Rebel Music : Chumbawamba – the candidates find common ground

 

First of what I suspect will be many from those masters of the political polemic, Chumbawamba.   I have chosen this song first because despite being written in 1987 I think its lyrics are even more relevant today.  Truly an excellent song both lyrically and musically that gets me just as emotional today as it did as a wee teenage punk all those years ago.

 

Full employment, slave labor and scheme

An unemployed workforce, the capitalist’s dreams

But let’s keep Britain working

Either way we must keep Britain working
Conventional weapons to kill people nicely

Nuclear weapons to keep the peace

But weapons definitely

Either way we must defend ourselves
Nationalization, with one big boss

No, privatization, with lots of little bosses

But someone in control, of course

Either way there must be someone giving orders
A toast to democracy

The prison guard of this society

Sides in the voting game

Disappear into the same machine The same machine

A toast
To US bases and nuclear weapons

To stopping pickets pulling down fences

To the British troops in Northern Ireland

To the wonderful victory in the Falklands
To the plastic bullet and the riot police

To the UDM, to the TUC

To isolating gays and to law and to order

To richer bosses, to poorer workers
A toast to democracy

The prison guard of this society

Sides in the voting game

Disappear into the same machine The same machine

A toast
To longer hours and to less pay

To the courts for those who get in our way

To the beating of people who step out of line

To the use of troops to break a strike
To the expulsion of extremists And political witch hunts

To repatriation, to benefit cuts

To peaceful settlements and to no strike agreements

To authority, to power, to governments
One, two, three

To the annual rise in the MP’s wage

To vested interests, to privilege

To the party who wins the next election

By definition a victory to capitalism

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