Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Are you a Backer?

Hello everyone, I'll be a bit quieter then my average for a while as for the past several weeks the internet in my area has been poor to terrible, for those who don't know Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire are one of the worst regions in the country for internet connection speeds and stability. Recently the government greenlit an "improvement" drive for internet in a pale imitation of Gordon Browns proposed cyber "revolution". But just because I am cursed doesn't mean I can't still spread some love. The above vid is by Activist Dennis Trainer and his group No Cure For That a campaign group fighting against the domination of corporate groups in government, unjust wars and the rise of the military industrial complex. Dennis is raising funds for a new documentary about an upcoming protest in Washington DC's Freedom Plaza based on the occupation of Tahrir square in Egypt. At the time of writing they have received the minimum number of pledges with 10 hours to spare so if you'd like to contribute you still can here.

You might also like to check out the last Documentary the group made clocking in about hour and a half documentary detailing the long history of the cult of Manifest Destiny in America the above is a "teaser" Music video feature the documentaries footage and music.

Also supporters of independent films should take a few moments to check out kickstarters homepage and browse a few of other projects requesting funding to see if any take your fancy

Sunday, 14 August 2011

My fellow Americans (sort of)

Hello all, in response to my post about the criminal actions of Anders Breivik in particular the absurd and shameful knee jerk assumptions that the Oslo attacks where carried out by Muslims with no proof, I suppose that might be forgiveable from Americans as there experiences of terrorism have been overshadowed by the Islamic variety, though it was sort of strange to see the actual culprit resembled America's most well known non Muslim terrorist McVey the Oklahoma Bomber. But for Europeans with practically each nation having along list of terrorist groups and actions -an exception to that was sadly Norway-it was inexcusable. Anyway in response a reader got in touch with me through the email and let me know about the above video and the website that produced it My fellow American, asking if I would be kind enough to help promote it and them on the internet. I'm quite touched that anyone thinks this little blog can be of help in that regard and naturally agreed.

I think the video is very well made and the juxtaposition of sound bites from the paranoid ramblings of right wing radio jockeys with scenes of some normal Americans whom happen to be Muslims living normal non sharia conforming lives, clearly enacting on a plot of any kind to undermine the American way is quite a powerful if subtle reminder that Islam is not some sort of monolithic unchangeable entity with one vision and one purpose. It is rather a religion and as such has a broad base of interpretation with numerous levels of commitment, with followers capable of making rational choices without constantly scanning for a relevant Koran verse. My favourite part has to be around 1:17 mins into the video, where Radio starts ranting about Islam being the religion of hate, and you can actually hear some spittle hitting his microphone his so angry about its existence.

The site behind the video is a sort of Islamophobia watch site and invites viewers to send in pictures and share stories whether Muslim or not that show Muslim Americans being normal Americans and highlighting the importance of "interfaith" dialogue and stopping the spread of prejudice and discrimination based on religion and ethnicity. It also has a pledge you can take unfortunately since you have register the state you live in and terrible isn't on the list(I checked) that part is for Americans only. But according to every stat counter I have people from the US make up over 80% of my reading base so if your reading this that shouldn't be too much trouble. I wish My fellow American and initiatives like every possible success in checking the progress of bigotry of this nature.

Sadly anti Arab hysteria and suspicion of any and all "Mohammedans" is not a uniquely American trait, as the actions of Anders in Oslo proved when carried out his punitive strike on the "traitors" who have brought about the "Islamisation" of "Eurabia" (fun fact, Muslims struggle to make up 5% of the population in any country in Europe north or west of Turkey) have made abundantly clear. Which is why I'm trying to help get this video across to a wider audience.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

London's Burning (Again)

Given the divisive nature of this topic I think a quick disclaimer might be in order to let everyone know where exactly I stand and to pre-emptively answer any questions that may arise. I am not a pacifist, I'm actually an Amateur boxer, I do belief that violence especially politically motivated violence can be justified but that this very much depends on the circumstances around the act. That said I do not agree with rioting unless it has specific targets (you know where the politics comes in) I think rioting in your own town and city and by extension damaging it and its services is a bit like throwing your own television through your front window because you have a problem with the neighbours, in the end you only hurt yourselves and your family and friends. But I am aware that these situations are highly emotionally charged and are not planned out beforehand and so don't usually follow a rational strategy. I am also fortunate to have never been in a situation where I felt so victimised and abused that the prospect of lashing out at any and all I believed responsible became a burning need so I'll thank my lucky stars and will not criticise those not as fortunate, after all I'm not a Liberal.

Good to see the BBC maintain its high standards of journalism by accusing guests who give a viewpoint not lock step with the top brass of being criminally subversive once again, still they could of accused Darcus of orchestrating the riots himself as part of some Caribbean Communist Immigrant plot to lower house prices. But then I suppose that would bring them into competition with the Express and the Mail.

Anyway I'm not going to get in depth with the riots, because I didn't take part in them and my area had absolutely no problems with them at all. I was actually a bit surprised given how most of the towns from Caistor to Hull are job blackspots with large estates that have seen years of neglect and decay. Plus there's the local police force (Humberside) having little to no popularity with anyone in area rich or poor, black or white. Oh well luck of Irish I suppose.

Anyway what I found really odd was how few people in the "elite" by which I mean senior members of government the media and political system seem to have even considered something like this could happen. Why were they so clueless? its not like we're any strangers to riots, that is especially true in London the city that appears to occupy all of are nations leaders time and attention so why so clueless? It should be obvious that when parts of a society get systematic shut off and deprived from the opportunities available to the privileged, they tend not to respect the social mores and laws of the society that has given them little.

Even Disraeli a 19th Century Conservative politician and Prime Minister figured that one out "Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets: the rich and the poor." This thought was the foundation of his One Nation Conservative school of thought which was a very influential wing of the Conservative party until the rise of Thatcher to Party Leader, and even then senior members of the Tory Party and there associated social clubs continued to belong too and espouse Disraeli's views to the present day.

If a dead Tory from the days of Dickens for saw that soaring gaps in wealth status and opportunity get a nations shop fronts smashed and cars burnt out then why haven't his modern day "heirs" at least accounted for it? And the media is just as guilty, the last few months they have been obsessed with covering the events of the "Arab Spring" leap frogging from country to country reporting on every riot, uprising, sit in and march from Tripoli to Tehran to ensure are papers and news channels are full of tanks rolling down streets, and Arabs chanting and shaking there fists. And they had been covering the cuts and job losses pretty comprehensively, and noting the people affected where angry and disheartened. Surely the news controllers could pick up a warning sign or two before the shooting of Mark Duggin. Tension takes awhile to build up you can't just flip it on and off like a switch.

Just look at the in/famous riots in Brixton in 1981 that Darcus alludes too did happen overnight either they were a response to years of constant victimisation by the police (the infamous sus law more commonly known as the stop and search procedures, which were carried out with little to no justification) the confrontations during community events and parades and the lack of interest in the area and its residents shown by government, the area had very high unemployment and much of the housing was inadequate and crowded. The incident that sparked the riot was born out of this environment of distrust for between the police and the people of Brixton, a crowd had seen the police do an inadequate job of getting medical attention for a wounded youth and tried to intervene, the police resisted and spirited the injured man to a hospital however it was believed that the police just withdrew from the scene and left the victim to die somewhere, by this point few people believed official police explanations as these where usually pleasant sounded fob-offs to justify heavy handed policing, this widely believed of police brutality proved to be the straw that broke the camels back and a series of large and devastating riots followed.

Once the dust settled there was an investigation into the riot, crimes occurring, its policing and the causes etc. This was called the Scarman report which proved beyond doubt that a lot of the claims made by the rioters and people of Brixton was true and that the community had been the victim of systematic abuse and neglect by the state.

It will be interesting to see what a similar report into this months riots finds if they even bother to have one, or the government could just gesticulate from the pulpit on 24 hour news for a few days while the men in wigs reaffirm there masculinity by handing out heavy sentences which have almost zero use as deterrence-Brixton did have another quite large riot in 1985 after all and Northern Ireland actually has marching and rioting as an Honorary Fifth season- but will be vindictive enough to please the tabloid front page editors.

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