Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Capitalism in Crisis - What falls Apart



You just can’t imagine how it is, but every morning, or sometimes every other morning. I ring-up and call my elderly mother; she is 75 and lives in Scotland which is quite a few miles from Canning Town, well the point is this comrades; I drive her nutty sometimes talking about my politics, and that I know, but just can’t help it really that’s the way I am and she know’s it too. Can’t say for sure whether or not she agrees with me on anything politically, she has always kept and played her cards close, but there are one or two things that she agrees with me on, and I know that mum would always be on the side of the underdog, and what is right and fair in society – she may not be a ‘revolutionary’ like her unrestrained son, but what she is (a very decent person) will always do for me!”

Over the bank-holiday weekend I asked mum during one of our early morning chats had she seen the news over the weekend? I don’t have a working TV in the flat, went off them years ago, and yet still I get visited by the licensing people every now and then; anyhow mum said she had. I inquired had she seen anything about France, Spain, anything about Greece, and anything about Egypt and had she seen anything about NHS protests in the UK- mum said she hadn’t.

Well the point that I am trying to make is that the distribution of news, really is about blue-pencilling, editing and cutting out the parts that may do more harm than good to the capitalists system. So many people don’t really know what is going on in the world because the owners of newspapers and the media are selective in what they would like us to read and take in at any given time.

And this of course is one of those given times, just look at the events that are occurring around the world spontaneously, and sometimes without or very little advance preparation, thanks is due to the Internet and social media sites. Greece comes to mind where about 30,000 people protested in Athens' central Syntagma square on Sunday evening against the government's tough economic austerity policies. The demonstration, larger than many others that have taken place during Greece's economic crisis, appeared to be the first that resulted from spontaneous calls over social media sites such as Facebook. Many others have been organized by unions or political factions. Officials with the European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Commission (EC) have been deployed to Athens this week to finalise plans with the Greek government for another round of savage austerity measures; in these circumstances I think we are going to hear a lot more about and from Greece in the weeks if not day’s to come.     

I think that these are the day’s when people power can come into its own and can really shake the world, and dare I say it, take that opportunity and even to - change it!”

When politicians repeatedly fail to make any impact upon homelessness, inner city decay, unemployment, poor health-care, rising crime and so on, they as we all now know, blame the state of the economy, either for causing the problem or for preventing enough money being available to spend upon solving it. For most of us these explanations are unanswerable. We tend to think of “the economy” in much the same way as we think of the weather, with its booms and slumps like summers and winters. Politicians hazard their careers on trying to time elections to coincide with its fine spells. So I gestate you could say that senior financiers of the world’s leading nations meet to discuss ways of tempering some of its storms, floods and frosts.

The only thing is that no one has control over nature, look at it this way. If you’re a homeowner, you already knew it was only a matter of time, but you’ve resisted admitting it, erosion has stated its callous attack, starting with your savings. Back when they told you what your house would cost, nobody mentioned what you’d also be paying so that nature wouldn’t repossess it long before the bank.    

Monday, 30 May 2011

‘Comedy, Socialism and Socialists, Performers, Writers and Actors’



There is nothing better in my book than a good old laugh, chuckle, giggle whatever you will call it; especially in these times of austerity and renewed and regenerated class conflict. You need to take a chill pill at time’s I feel or else you go mad and depression takes over, granted there may not be a great deal to laugh about when you're back is up against the wall and the Rottweiler’s, the government, the bosses are trying their level best to rip life apart, body and soul.

So it is only right that from time to time we escape and amuse one’s self in or occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion, as the clown amused the children in a manner of specking that is.

I have been planning to write something about comedy and laughter for quite some time but just haven’t got round to it until now. But what I want to look at is British comedy, socialism and socialists, performers, writers and actors.

I suppose I can guess, those of you reading this right now are thinking of Citizen Smith, that’s of course ‘Wolfie’ Smith, the young Communist "urban guerrilla" living in Tooting, South London, who was attempting to strive to equal, match and emulate his hero in a crazy sort of way the great Che Guevara. Wolfie is the self-declared leader of the revolutionary Tooting Popular Front (the TPF, which is simply a small crew of his friends), the objectives of which are "Power to the People" and "Freedom for Tooting". In actuality, he is an unemployed day-dreamer and petty malefactor whose plans fall through because of laziness and disorganisation and disarrangement, bit like the SWP of late (hay-up that’s a bit sectarian).     

John Richard Thomas Sullivan was the creator and screen-writer of ‘Citizen Smith’ he hailed from working-class roots in South London, Sullivan had worked in a mixed bag of low-paid jobs for 15 years before getting his first break writing Citizen Smith. However, it was for the sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003) that he is perhaps best known. Other sitcoms he wrote include Dear John, Just Good Friends, Sitting Pretty, Roger Roger, and The Green Green Grass. In addition, he wrote the comedy drama serial Over Here and the drama series Micawber for ITV, and co-wrote the comedy Heartburn Hotel. He won a number of comedy awards during his calling and career, including the BAFTA for best sitcom on three occasions, and he was awarded an OBE in 2005. His last work was Rock & Chips, a comedy drama prequel to Only Fools and Horses. The final episode of Sullivan's last comedy series aired five days after his death from pneumonia on 23 April 2011.

Unmistakably and obviously, it was ‘Only Fools and Horses’ which was his greatest sitcom hit, loved and very much still popular with working people all over the world; not surprisingly the show become one of the BBC's most popular programmes ever, however not wishing to focus to much on the Only Fools and Horses plot and it’s excellent actors, the thespians who played their parts so well will go down and take their place in telecasting history, and which after all, this sitcom is still very much fresh in all are memories, let me just say that its important to recognise that Sullivan’s work mostly focused on the lives of working people, that’s their up’s and their down’s in the struggle to survive and get on in life’s not so rich trappings, and the characters of Del Boy, Rodney, Granddad and Uncle Albert were fine examples of that struggle waged every day by ordinary people who’s only crime is to be happy and seek contentment even though they may fail to question the lifestyle they seek to emulate, for the truth is no matter how hard he tried or how much he dreamt and daydreamed of escape, Del Boy would always belong to the class he was born into, his wanting the privileged lifestyle of others, has been what has held our class back in some ways along with the divide-and-rule application of the boss class controlling everything including education, the media and so on.

I did say that I didn’t wish to focus on the plot, but can we not see people who are not so unlike these lovable characters around us, and at some time in all our lives, wherever we may live not just in Nelson Mandela House, Peckham, South London?”

Returning to ‘Wolfie’ then and the grate actor Robert Lindsay who played him so extremely well in fact superbly and I remember the programme so well now over 30 years on, even had a mate in the Labour Party Young Socialist that use to dress not too dissimilar.  

Lindsay became famous in the UK for his role as the very incompetent revolutionary Wolfie Smith, this role made him as an accomplished character actor in this country and for a while I think in the US on Broadway. The other most important thing that I like about Robert Lindsay is that he always been known for his left-wing politics. He describes himself as a staunch socialist, and has marched in the past in support of miners. He vehemently opposed Prime Minister Tony Blair's decisions to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now feels disillusioned with mainstream politics:

 "You see those images of Iraq and Afghanistan and Lebanon, don't you? And I suspect somewhere, when he goes home at night and the kids are in bed, he must go, Jesus, what have I done?"

The one other aspect that I wish to make in closing this particular post which is Part 1 as I have more to come on the subject of ‘comedy, socialism and socialists, performers, writers and actors’, it is the real talent that our class has that matters the most, talent that sometimes is not used, suppressed and pushed down the drain by the needs and dictates of the master class that rule over us all, the very few who profit when they see an opening to accumulate the wealth that we generate and they take out of greed not need.

I could not resist putting up this video hope you enjoy!” 


"Power to the People"

Revolution is in the air!"



Never surrender, never give up, never break down and just cash in one's chips and die; and so never will the hopes, aspirations and prayers of millions throughout the world ever evaporate or disappear like a pool of water left behind from a summer shower, if the events of the last 24 hours and a few weeks are anything to go by.

Thousands in France and Greece over the weekend have poured into streets to protest against government corruption, state of progressive putrefaction accompanied by an offensive odour of state aggression and the austerity measures, drawing inspiration from Spain's M-15 movement who in turn were inspired by the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

In Paris, hundreds took part in a protest rally at the Bastille Square, in solidarity and unity with demonstrators in Spain calling for a popular democratic uprising among Europeans, while some 20,000 Greek protesters gathered near the parliament building in Athens demanding similar endeavours.

French protesters also camped out in the cities of Toulouse and Bayonne to express their opposition to the rising unemployment rate and corruption in France

Greek protesters have been staging rallies for five consecutive days, demonstrating against the government's tight austerity measures imposed to rid the country of its debt of EUR 330 billion (USD 467 billion). Greece received an international bailout package of 110-billion (USD 157 billion) last year, and yet I am now reading reports that the IMF are not satisfied with the speed of the Greek government’s measures of implementation., they say the measures fall short of what they require.  

Meanwhile, Spanish protesters have vowed and pledged to stay put at Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square, until the demands of the people are accepted, whilst the demonstrators have been chanting (in unison) slogans in support of Greek and French protesters.

In Spain, protests began after the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodrigues Zapatero and his Socialist Party (PSOE) government introduced a series of austerity measures to reduce the national deficit. The massive protests have been reportedly inspired by recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

The measures include the cutting of civil servant wages, as part of a new plan to curb the budget deficit from 11 percent a year earlier to within three percent of the GDP, a limit set by the European Union by 2013

Egypt

Only yesterday I highlighted the return to Tahrir Square on Friday, and again on Saturday some declaring that they were ready to face martyrdom, less than a day after Egypt’s military rulers used force to break up a protesters’ camp in the place where their revolution began. Chanting slogans and calling for the removal of the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, likening him to ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The Council had made warning’s earlier in the day that troops would use force if necessary, to clear the square. A bloody pre-dawn crackdown on Saturday followed weeks of rising tensions between the pro-democracy movement and the military leadership that has run the country since Mubarak was ousted in February.

At least two people were killed, while the Health Ministry said one person had died. Hundreds of troops, firing into the air and attacking indiscreetly without discretion, wisdom or self-restraint protesters with electric batons, they swarmed the centre of the square to expel several hundred people who had defied a 2 a.m. curfew after a large but peaceful protest on Friday. Among those who had joined the overnight protesters in the camp were about 20 uniformed soldiers who had broken ranks to demand that the military council move faster to try Mubarak and former members of his regime on corruption charges.

Well one thing is for sure, and that’s what’s accruing in Egypt is ongoing and far from over, and it remains interesting and intriguing but understood as a silent tactic of support that the administration of Barack Obama which had so much to say in January/February along with the leaders of the EU remain supportive of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, no surprises there then!”

Britain

Here in Britain the weekend was full of activity as students and others played dead outside banks, and the police used force to stop and protect 'wrongfully' the property of the robbing parasites, spongers and leeches that have thrown us all into the crises that plagues us today in some way or another.        

So I say well done to those many youngsters and activists who stand-up for the NHS and those that were wrongly arrested – most dressed as hospital patients – lay down at locations like North London HSBC branch and as at banks elsewhere in the country.

Especially singer Billy Bragg who appeared at a bank in Newcastle dressed as a doctor and comic Josie Long ­protesting at Homerton Hospital, East London – a very big well done to you all comrades, and of course UK Uncut for organising and coordinating the demonstrations.

Clearly Revolution is a word that not only falls of people’s tongues these day’s – but gives us all hope and we can start to believe as a class that we are capable of judging all things for ourselves, and marching on to our emancipation under the guidance of our own avowed principles – victory to the working classes everywhere!”

Sunday, 29 May 2011

100,000 return to Tahrir Square



How excited was I and yet at the same time, really worried for the people of Egypt when they took to the streets earlier this year in their many tens of thousands, nope got that wrong, millions to demand the end of the dictatorship of former president Hosni Mubarak.

It was January 27, when demonstrators confronted Mubarak’s thugs in a pitched battle that left them in control of Tahrir Square, and fair to say winning the admiration of millions of us around the world, but let us not forget that 840 people were killed during the 17 days of mass struggle in or around the Square that brought down Mubarak and his tyrannous regime, well not exactly when you consider that the army now run the show.

On Friday just gone hundreds of thousands of Egyptians returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo and in cities throughout the country, demanding an end to military rule and the trial and punishment of officials of the dictatorship of the former president. The demanding of the end of military rule is a far cry from when the people were chanting ‘the army and the people are one’ back in January.

Protest groups, mainly comprised of young people, labelled Friday’s protests the “second day of rage,” the first having taken place on that January 27.  

Many demonstrators voiced calls for a “second revolution,” expressing widespread sentiment that the revolution that brought down Mubarak has not resulted in any fundamental improvement in the conditions of life for the masses of working people, small farmers and agricultural labourers.  

Tahrir Square was decorated and decked out with the photographs of many of the 840 people killed during the 17 days of mass struggle that brought down Mubarak, as well as placards demanding punishment of those responsible for the killings, and for the corruption and mismanagement of the 30-year Mubarak regime. I understand that there were banners declaring, “The Egyptian revolution is not over” and demanding “now, not later,” a new constitution and the formation of a civilian presidential council to oversee elections, replacing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military body that has ruled the country since Mubarak’s resignation on February 11.

Other banners interestingly called for democratic reforms like a free and uncensored press, the ditching and changing of crooked and corrupt officials, including governors and university heads, and an end to trials of civilians before military tribunals. Economic demands were also raised, including a minimum wage and higher living standards for workers.

According to reports in the Egyptian media by late afternoon, the crowd in Tahrir Square was well over 100,000, assembled around at least four separate stages where speakers addressed the audience on an assortment of political themes but manly demanding democracy.

Tens of thousands also marched in Egypt’s second largest city, the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, in Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, the main cities along the Suez Canal, and in many other towns and cities, including Fayoum, Mansoura in the Nile delta, and Luxor and Aswan in the south. The demonstrations were regarded with hostility by the military council, composed entirely of long-time Mubarak yes-men.    

Meanwhile, the military regime detained four activists for putting up posters calling for the Friday demonstration; they were arrested by military police, but later released.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s top prosecutor announced that Mubarak would be put on trial for conspiring to kill protesters during the movement against his dictatorship, a charge that could carry the death penalty. He is also to face charges of corruption in relation to his seaside mansion in Sharm el Sheik, and for helping steal $714 million in public funds in a deal to sell natural gas to Israel.

On Wednesday, the regime announce that it will permanently open its border crossing with the Gaza Strip on the weekend, ending the highly unpopular Egyptian collaboration with the Israeli blockade of Gaza, home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

At the Friday protest, demonstrators told the press that the charges against Mubarak were only brought to forestall further protests, and they expressed disbelief that the ousted dictator, now 82, would ever be put on trial.

Other measures taken by the military in recent weeks include: firing 10 provincial governors appointed by Mubarak; placing Mubarak and his two sons under arrest; disbanding his ruling National Democratic Party; filing corruption charges against former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and other top officials; and removing Mubarak’s name from hundreds of public buildings and institutions.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Class War or More Evil



Well comrades and what a week this has been in the class struggle, looking at Spain for a moment and we see that the mass demonstrations that began on May 15 pushed by the immense popular sea of red anger over the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) government. These measures are being carried out and implemented, amid widespread stinging hardship and unemployment, levels that reach close to 50 percent among 18 to 25-year-olds.

The protests characterised by a widespread rejection of all the major parties in Spain, the PSOE above all, as well as I am very sorry to say the trade unions, which have done goose egg nothing to oppose the attacks on workers and young people since waxing up a token one-day protest strike on September 29 last year. Neither has the Stalinist-led United Left (IU) benefited from the rising social protests, due to its long history of pushing through cuts wheresoever it has established a base in regional and local authorities.

The Barcelona camp has been the second biggest in Spain, after the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, and had been occupied ever since the national protests on May 15th. It is said that this camp is good-natured and spirited, a peaceful protest camp, shame on the powers that be then.

For as I write this post we learn that the authorities have ordered Police to clear the protest camp on the Pla├ža de Catalunya in Barcelona, firing rubber bullets at protesters and hitting indiscriminately, the sort of thing that gives the ruling Socialist Party (PSOE) a bad name and clearly cuts it as a lapdog of capitalism.

So when I hear and read these accounts, then I as one single individual understands that reforming or modifying or controlling capitalism can not give us freedom, and no matter what country we live in or where we come from initially. Its basic structure (capital) is designed the world over to overwork and exploit. It exploits all human beings and the world’s natural resources for the short term– in order to accumulate the maximum private wealth and power. It is the very structure which must be removed and replaced by real democracy if we are to stop the market’s blind scramble for “progress” and “growth” and apply conscious social control to our lives, our society our planet.

To be realistic, however, what are the chances of this coming about? The answer – none, if we do nothing. That’s why in my life I have moved along a winding road that say’s I must do something, and on that road I have had to change with what I started out with in the first place and reject reform as the answer to what after all are all our hopes and prayers, for our family, for our friends and for humanity. I have replaced reform with the belief that only revolution and participating in the class war will change our world for the better.

More Evil       

I can of course just imagine how horrified some people will be right now reading about what I am advocating here, class war and revolution, and I can hear them saying how violent is that, well that’s socialism and socialists and others for you, they will doubtless be muttering to one another, but hold on a moment, for I would say to them, ‘before you go off on one, stop and think about this, it is ‘socialists’ more often than not that assert and call for peace every time there is an escalation and a dash off to war in the world. And if you really wish to know, and then I tell you comrades, crime and violence is endemic and constantly present in our society it has a stranglehold on all our lives, even deliberately violent criminals such as the Mafia have homage paid to them by the film and publishing industries. Crime, and particularly armed, violent crime, escalates fairly steadily year by year, prompting the increase before cuts in police numbers and power, the proliferation of security firms, burglar alarms, closed circuit TV systems, metal detectors, and X-ray cameras. Time-locked vaults, armoured vehicles and short-range radio networks supersede or supplement the lock, keys and iron bars of earlier security systems. Prison accommodation, increasingly electronic in its security devices, expands continually but is always overcrowded.

Violence or the threat of violence is built into the foundations of our present social structure. It was established with violence and can only be maintained by it, however respectable it may be made to seem by age or strength.

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

As you may be aware Barack Obama the President of the US paid a state visit to Britain recently, you will also be aware that he has taken the credit for the liquidation of the most wanted man on the planet one Osama bin Laden, and Obama made one big deal of this, for it has to be said election purposes. No matter how repugnant the crimes of Osama bin Laden are or what you feel about him his killing and disposal of must be questioned by us all, Bin Laden was shot dead at a compound near Islamabad, in a ground operation based on US intelligence and monitored by the President. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the operation sent a signal to the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process".


Clinton’s statement in it self was a threat of violence a form of strong-armed domineered bullying by this so-called superpower. Put it this way or rather in the words of Selena Gray a black journalist from South London writhing for The Telegraph: 

“But I have just one question: in light of the execution of Osama bin Laden, is the President of the United States still such a good role model for these kids? In a borough (Peckham) where there have been 192 reports of gun crime in the last 12 months, and where “informal justice” reigns, I’m not so sure. The complexities of the War on Terror are lost on primary school children – but most will understand the concept of revenge killings”.

And then she makes these observations:

“For youngsters, who don’t follow US politics and who certainly have no understanding of a “state visit”, Obama is now best known for ordering the killing of bin Laden. And there are some who will now admire the US President’s achievement: having his worst enemy killed with a single shot to the face and then buried in the ocean”.  

Parents in the US were told that they can comfort children disturbed by the killing of Osama bin Laden by answering their questions honestly, so said psychology experts as the footage of revellers celebrating bin Laden's death may send a confusing message to children about the morality of killing.

So some food to chew over, especially when you consider that Obama On 2 October 2002, before a few hundred demonstrators gathered at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago, spoke out unequivocally against the invasion of Iraq:

"What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war....What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income.

Since 1973, United States Presidents have been required, by law, to seek Congressional approval prior to making use of the United States Armed Forces in any action or conflict. Recognising that there are circumstances where such prior approval will be impossible, Congress specified that no approval is required for “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” However, Barack Obama has now entered the United States Military into an action against Libya which lacks either Congressional approval or is a specific threat to the United States.

And just one other point that is worthwhile remembering is that Obama gave support to the Bush administration's pledge (the invasion of Afghanistan) to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance.

The Wall Street Trillions     

Obama has it should not be forgotten, directed by far the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, moving at least $12 trillion to Wall Street. And at the height of his popularity, still riding the crests of post-election euphoria, and under no real pressure from a demoralized Republican Party, Obama eagerly placed Social Security and other entitlements “on the table” for chopping. He endorsed the corporate/Republican line that deficits were the nation’s biggest problem, effectively sentencing the unemployed to damnation and inviting the austerity reign of terror that has descended. And these are just the highlights of Obama’s tenure.

I have given some space here to Obama because it was important to do so in the context of class war and his part in it on the ‘world stage’ as those commentators and cementers of global propaganda love to refer and denote the importance of capitalist leadership by executive governments. One thing is for sure then, and that’s Obama has not been a disappointment to them really. His interventionist foreign policy is anchored close to his predecessors, as seen in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and of course now Libya.

This is indeed a far cry from the call of ‘hope and change’ he advocated when standing for office, meaningless, worthless rhetoric, the language effectively to please or persuade, empty talk!”

Class War not More Evil or Reform

We may have different ways of electing governments around the world but the result is always the same to serve and preserve the capitalist system. In Britain Labour lost the general election just over a year ago now, I do wonder what if they had won and was now carrying out a program of cuts, would we be in a similar situation of loathing New Labour not so dissimilar to the Socialist government in Spain, because it hurts more when you pretend to support workers and fail their expectations, sticking that sharpened knife into the ribcage.

In opposition to Cameron’s coalition Labour has proven ineffective despite what any opinion polls may say. I can’t help thinking that there will be those Labour parliamentarians who are glad they lost now as the economic crises around the world and at home deepens – they believe that they live and survive to win power on another day.

Socialists must reject reform, instead wage a class war and build the real opposition outside of parliament and to some sense and extent that is happening. In it’s infancy, but up and down the country people are coming together in the class war, people from all backgrounds standing up to the cuts and austerity, to the job losses, the unemployment and the new poverty that’s starting to blight the lives of thousands.

What this tells us is that we live in a society of deep class divisions with conflict of economic interests between those who work the productive system and those who own it. This economic conflict can only be reconciled by the relationships of equality and cooperation that would integrate the community in socialism, in order to achieve that we need to revolutionise and throw out the capitalist system.

Whilst it is right to feel outrage at the great class divisions that exist socialists do not come to this question in a negative spirit of class hostility. The aim is to end it. Class conflict has gone on far too long; there has been too much strife and we have to heal the wounds of history through entirely democratic means.

In an earlier post on this thread comrade Chris H asks:

“Yes we have to win those dissuaded or deterred over to socialism, and to show them the inhumanity within capitalism, but how do you keep them to the idea and concept of 'socialism' without the rallying flag of a party, a doctrine or even a community common ground of some sort? Without that focus people have a habit of 'drifting”.

That is a very good point; my own feeling now is I am now warming to the idea of supporting a new workers party that involves all the traditions of the Labour and Radical Movement, as supported by the Socialist Party formally Militant.

I end this post the longest I have ever done for The Socialist Way; by saying that class society is both morally and materially indefensible. It need not linger on and on as part of an outdated system. An ethical society would be one in which all people would live their lives, free from the disadvantages of under privilege and class injustice.  To live in a classless society would be in the interests of all its members. Freedom for every person to develop his or her skills and talents on equal terms could benefit everyone. Equality has the potential to enrich all our lives and would be a basis for a true community of shared interests.

On with the class war!”                                        

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Class War and Upholding that System



As I write this post on my continuing theme ‘class war’ I am sure you are all aware of the Spanish situation where tens of thousands of protesters continue to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and have gathered in the main squares of another 162 towns and cities across Spain in protest over unemployment, government austerity measures and a political system that serves only the banks and big business.

Calling for “Real Democracy Now”, the protests are also known as the M-15 movement, after the day they were first called by social network and Internet groups, drawing a massive response from younger workers, students, the unemployed and broad sectors of Spanish working classes.

The protests continued in defiance of the Madrid Electoral Board, which banned demonstrations in the capital ahead of Sunday’s municipal and regional elections.

On Thursday, Spain’s central election commission passed a resolution forbidding rallies and mass meeting throughout the country for Saturday, which was designated as a pre-election “day of reflection”, and for Sunday, when the vote takes place for municipal and regional governments.

So as I say tens of thousands of Spaniards angry over high unemployment rates have taken to the streets in seven day’s (at time of writing) of protests before Sunday's local elections, and here again as in other countries including our own we see the young at the forefront of struggle, a pattern of similar if not the same characteristics and a driving force that asks the one and same question do we have any kind of future?”

The ideal self image

In its ideal self image, politics sees itself as building a better world for all. But even granted the serious-mindedness of any such intention in practise, it is mostly about the pursuit of conflicting interests that’s why I personally hate the world of politics, and what a strange and foreign thing to say from someone who has now been involved in that world for over a quarter of a century. The political process is about the winning of power to secure those interests. I must have been very naive when I was young joining the Labour Party. I remember it as if it was only yesterday, but of course it was yesteryear, anyhow through the years I eventually realised that politics in the conventional sense was ceremonious and very much following accepted customs and proprieties in the established political world, two parties may oppose one another but in reality they compete to run the same system, the system of capitalism, therefore the two political parties have much in common really, in as much as upholding that system come what may.

Politicians’ are said to be ‘all the same’ and what is ‘all the same’ is now held by many in low esteem. Labour Party members of whom there are many good comrades, open genuine and sincere comrades, should give reality to substance and do more to realise that their leaders make promises and then like other political higher-ranking leaders often break them whilst hopes remain unfulfilled for those the votes were extracted from in the first place, and time after time.

So optimism gives way to failure and disillusion. At the beginning of the 21st century with fewer people voting there has been a withdrawal from the political process. Some may think that this may be a passing phase but what seems continuous is a mood of creeping cynicism which has spread from politics to a culture of pessimism in which book, drama and film depict moral decline, violence, social breakdown and the rule of brutal regimes.

To be continued…  

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Elliot Morley and I had no-part in his ruination!"



Friday morning was just like any other, got up turned the computer on looked at the world news then went onto my twitter account said the usual greetings ‘morning comrades all’. Then about mid-morning that news story that I had been waiting for weeks broke; former MP for Scunthorpe (my home town) and Minister Elliot Morley was jailed for 16 months for committing what was said to be the biggest fraud in the parliamentary expenses scandal.

The ex-Labour MP nibbled nobbled and carved-out for himself more than £31,000 for mortgage payments from the so-called public purse. Well I must admit that it would be wrong of me or anyone for that matter to gloat and dwell on with any sort of satisfaction at the downfall of the man, so I shall not be doing that now or at anytime.

But I cannot help wondering back in time; looking and chewing over my many dealings or rather clashes, clangourings and the frequent brushes I had with the man and his entourage of supporters in the Scunthorpe CLP leading up to and paving the way for Tony Blair and New Labour. Morley and his compadres and sidekicks had gained control of the CLP in the mid-to late 80s, they ran the local council of which Morley’s full-time paid assistant and adjunct general Ian Cawsey becoming Labour Leader and then Labour MP for an adjoining and bordering (lost the seat at the last election) constituency, and just to mention that Nic Dakin who replaced Morley at the last election as MP for the town was the CLP chair, all three New Labour men down to their toenails.

So what am I thinking of today, well just how back then I was reduced to ridicule, laughed at and generally put down for supporting and advocating socialist thoughts and principles which I had and have held dearly, affectionately and in a sincere and heartfelt manner for over 39 years now, never surrender was my motto and still is today and will always be, unlike Morley who came from Hull City Council with a reputation as a left-wing councillor worming, twisting his way into the seat and then taken-up the hollow New Labour baton.

I remember only to well Morley calling me an antiquated, obsolete and old-fashioned dinosaur and that the Labour Party had to a fault and would change. I organised meetings to support and retain clause four, at every given opportunity stood out and spoke out against the New Labour bandwagon, and furthermore I am proud to have done so even being in a minority has meant that today my conscience is clear.

In the end comrades, I left the Labour party I just could not stomach any more and went on a long journey, wondering along an independent socialist road, but stopping off first and starting up the Scunthorpe Socialist Labour Party, fielding a candidate against Morley in the 1997 general election which brought Blair and New Labour to power. I was at the election count that night in Scunthorpe old baths hall and will always remember the dirty looks that Morley gave me, but still I say this, I have no time to gloat and dwell on this man's fraud and downfall, for the biggest fraud of all has been New Labour and the complete desertion and abandonment of socialism, and of working people which has not and will not change under the current leadership, this is no time to feel bitter but a time to build with complete comfortableness, feeling no pain a new movement for real socialism and a better world – that fight continues comrades!  

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Class War Junkies and Free-loaders




Truly inspirational was a letter published in yesterdays Morning Star, and brought to my attention by comrade Chris H who made a comment on yesterdays post on Class War which I will deal with latter, probably now in part 3 sorry about that comrades, but I really do like to explore all avenues of argument. But first let me start this post off with that letter reproduced here:

Whether or not you are anarchist, socialist, communist, Trotskyist, feminist, inside or outside the Labour Party, I don't care.
As long as we're all fighting and we try as much as we can to end capitalism and patriarchy, you are my comrade. 
We share one thing which is class consciousness. 
I can't pretend that my strategy is the best and I want to respect all those who try - even if differently. 
I have time for debate and confronting ideas but not to fight among ourselves on this. 
If I can't have success in my life, at least I hope that my struggles will benefit a little to those after me.
We won't have done all that for nothing. The ruling class is trying to make us feel hopeless and to live in fear. 
Most people have lost courage and motivation. 
We need to stop that. 
We need hope. 
Change is possible. 
Thierry Schaffhauser
President, GMB entertainment branch I50
(Sex workers)
 
Right across the globe people; in fact we are all truthfully living in very irregular and unpredictable times. And I say unpredictable times because quite clearly the established political system of world capitalism and its executive governments have exposed themselves as failing the majority and serving the interests of a small minority. Merriam-Webster named ‘Austerity’ as it’s Word of the Year in 2010, Austerity, the 14th century noun defined as "the quality or state of being austere" and "enforced or extreme economy".

Well ‘enforced and extreme’ are very good descriptions to describe the raping plundering and ruining, nay devastation and destruction that’s causing so much damage to peoples lives here and right around the world, and I really fear that the worst is yet come.

Scholarly persons, social and financial analysts are and have been warning that the draconian austerity measures currently being prepared and implemented by governments in the west will cause riots and even revolutions as people react with fury in response to their jobs, savings, basic public services, pensions and welfare as money is now being seized and appropriated by the financial terrorists who caused the economic collapse in the first place.

That is simply the tall and short of it all – we the majority who create all wealth in the first place, get the short pale yellow straw, whilst that minority who own and control the worlds wealth  live as normal, lofty in style overblown and grandiloquent as ever.

Just the other day an adventure playground for children set in a lovely park near where I live was closed down and the staff I presume made redundant, deemed surplus to requirements, they will not be the first or will they be the last. However it dose beg the question, why do our children have to suffer because of the greed and lust for money that led us all to this place a hell cakehole made by capitalism.

A couple of day’s ago I had an interesting and stimulating conversation with a comrade on Twitter, and I must say a really great comrade at that, but some of the things he was suggesting did not sound reasoned or right to me, so I attempted to put him as far as it was humanly possible and with the aide of my keyboard and computer right on one or two things, for instance he came out with an astonishing statement about ‘junkies and freeloaders’. I think that he was under the impression that he was paying to keep them, or at least that’s what I thought he meant and this accounted and amounted to a drain on money and resources. But of course drug addiction any addiction is a real problem in our society and especially for those addicted, but that is no excuse to condemn and lay blame or call people who are after all members of the working classes freeloaders – are we really in accordance with truth, fact and reality looking in the right direction, what about the bankers and the city spivs and do-nothings, not to mention the freeloaders in the House of Commons.

Just for the record, a little research and I have found that more people die from smoking and drinking which is as you know are all drugs legalised and sold in any mini-supermarket or shop near you.

Number of deaths England and Wales in 2003 and 2004

Cocaine            575
Amphetamine   384
Ecstasy 227
Solvents           246
Opiates (heroin, morphine & methadone)          4,976
Alcohol            25,000 - 200,000 approx.
Tobacco           half a million approx

If a drug is legal, that does not mean it is harmless. In the UK each year as I have said, cigarettes and alcohol kill more people than all the illegal drugs put together. I would like to look into drugs and there use in a future post.

But back to the job in hand which is looking at the class war and its progress particularly here in the UK. So let’s look at it this way; in 2006-2007 alone the number of billionaires in Britain grew from 54 to 68. Since 1997 the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in the UK has increased by 260 per cent, as compared with a national average of 120 per cent. One per cent of the population now controls 23 per cent of national wealth, while the bottom half of society controls six per cent. Even these figures understate the gulf between the super-rich and the rest of us, because 'wealth' includes the value of assets - in other words, house prices. But most people have funding their home purchases with hefty mortgages. The super-rich own their wealth; the rest of us have just borrowed it.  

When I think of these statistics I ask often the burning question what oh what is to be done, who specks for us in the so-called corroders of power and amongst the political mortals, and the answer that keeps coming back nobody.

To be continued…     

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Class War



The older I become, the richer in experience, for the good or the bad; it’s life’s general accumulation of what we all go through I do suppose and in our many different ways; on a winding road, over a hill, down in a valley even sometimes dampened and washed out to sea our dreams may appear to float away like drifting discarded wood tangled-up in the green sea grass, a confused mass and mess to a great many.

The trouble is for most of my own political life I have run into more foes than friends as a socialist; even had a fight with someone who called me a communist in a uncomplimentary manner which is something I’m not really proud of even today all these many years latter. But I have become accustom to the cat calls; he’s a communist, and as it used to be in the 70s ‘why don’t you just fuck off to Russia’ (Soviet Union as it then was), but glad to say not so much now following the demise of the latter. It made things hard work explaining that I really didn’t support the Soviet model as a blueprint and plan for others to follow. Those of you that were around in the 70s may well recall the vilification of people like Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and many others at the hands of the Feet Street paper barons.

Do you remember how the trade unions were supposedly holding the country to ransom the capitalist press wrote about it all the time, like the winter of discontent?  The ingredients that provoked the widespread stoppage of work by thousands of British workers in the winter of 1978-79 began with the Labour government of James Callaghan's attempt to enforce limits on pay rises to curb inflation. Inflation had reached a height of nearly 26.9% in August 1975. In the same year Harold Wilson's Labour government, wanting to avoid increasingly large levels of unemployment agreed a voluntary incomes policy with the TUC that would cap pay increases for workers at limits set by the government. We all do well to remember that the government of that time and Labour announced a limit on wage rises of £6 per week for all workers earning under £8,500 a year on July 11 and the TUC general council voted in favour of the proposals. Further limits on pay increases were proposed by the government through 1976 and in July of 1977 it was announced that free collective bargaining between employers and unions would be slowly phased back in. I have to laugh when I hear people go on about ‘Old Labour’ but the truth is that they were no different in some respects to ‘New Labour’.

Now this post is not really about knocking New or Old Labour about in the political ring, after all they do a good enough job themselves and without my help.

My last post a guest post that I felt I had to simply put up in regard to the preparations being made to nail down to the floor the most venerable in our society, and along with those many more possibly tens of thousands who through no fault of their own have fallen onto the propellers of hard times, and what an indictment of the class war now being waged, that the government anticipates a wave of possible and potential suicides because of mass unemployment and austerity.    

But what I really want to talk about, or rather write about is the impact of the hardship that is now coming down on people that I move and live amongst here in Canning Town, which for those that don’t know is in Newham, East London. I have sat here behind my desk and in front of my computer frequently and regularly for the last four years writing, blogging, tweeting and trying to propagate the Socialist case which is not by any means a waste of time, but it’s not the same as the physical contact, the engagement to be had with those on the receiving end, and of course the gathering of information, understanding and hearing from the downtrodden, abused and oppressed. Science and Socialism have always gone together, how can we start to build a movement or advocate a better world without first understanding how the modern inequalities of capitalism affect those around us? To build a case we must first research our project the world of capitalism in our community or wherever we are, at work, school or college, all part of the great design and scheme of things, and then plan with others a strategy the aim to make an effect that will bring about action for change that hopefully wins over many more to our side and Socialism. This of course is no easy route, time consuming and much patience along with good-natured tolerance is required. What I am talking about is reaching-out to those whom may not normally get involved or put it another way have been dissuaded and deterred.

There is a class war going on and being waged against those that have nothing in comparison to those that have everything the best homes, food, medication, education and the material wealth at the expense of the majority, and further more they intend to hold on to it, and we the majority will pay a very high price unless we fight back, we must organise we must come together like never before.

We live in a class society. We can't wish that away or pretend like small children that if we can't see it that it can't affect us. Class politics remains the key to uniting the overwhelming majority of the world's people in the fight for a new and classless society. 


To be continued…                                      

DWP Guidelines to deal with suicide by the jobless



The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued official guidance on how to deal with a claimant who threatens suicide.

The guidelines were issued last month and obtained by the Guardian newspaper from a senior Jobcentre employee. The need for such a six-point plan graphically indicates the impact of the government’s austerity measures on the most vulnerable.

The “new policy for all DWP businesses to help them manage suicide and self-harm declarations from customers” states:

“Some customers may say they intend to self-harm or kill themselves as a threat or a tactic to ‘persuade’, others will mean it. It is very hard to distinguish between the two … For this reason, all declarations must be taken seriously.”
Such ghoulish advice is being given out in anticipation of the human suffering and despair due to the Conservative-Liberals government’s £100 billion cuts in public spending. Millions of people’s lives will be devastated.

The number officially unemployed in Britain now stands at 2.48 million. Young people account for a substantial section of the total, with 963,000 aged below 25 out of work. Nearly one in four young people (224,000) are long-term unemployed, having been out of work for more than 12 months.

Among the over-50s jobless, 46 percent have also been out of work for more than 12 months.

The suicide guidance information, along with a covering letter, was received by the Guardian together with a letter from the anonymous employee that read, “Absolutely nobody has ever seen this guidance before, leading staff to believe it has been put together ahead of the incapacity benefit and disability living allowance cuts.

“We were a bit shocked. Are we preparing ourselves to be like the Samaritans? The fact that we’ve dealt with the public for so many years without such guidance has made people feel a bit fearful about what’s coming.
“We’ve suddenly got this new aspect to our job. The bigger picture is people here are wondering how savage these cuts are going to be. And we’re the frontline staff having to deal with the fallout from these changes.”

The increase in the unemployment rolls takes place as the right to basic social security benefits is being curtailed. Hundreds of thousands of people are to be removed from benefits, including Incapacity Benefit. This is due to legislation first introduced by the previous Labour government and set to be extended in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Welfare Reform Bill. Last Wednesday, thousands of disabled people demonstrated in central London against these proposed changes and others.

Those currently receiving Incapacity Benefit are to be retested, as the benefit is to be replaced by the Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The government intends to transfer all claimants, some 2.4 million people, to the new system by 2015. Over a million people are threatened with re-testing. Five hundred doctors will carry out up to 10,000 assessments each week over the next five years. Hundreds of thousands of claimants will be driven off sickness benefit.

The DWP expect 50 percent of claimants who appeal to be found fit for work. They are then moved onto Jobseekers’ Allowance, a benefit dependent on the claimant actively seeking work and accepting any work that is offered. Many will lose up to £1,600 a year as well as the medical support they receive.

Hundreds of thousands of recipients of Housing Benefits will be made homeless as a result of the government’s proposals to cut the amount it spends on accommodation in the private rented sector. This will have the greatest impact in London, where more than a quarter of a million people could be forced out of their homes.

There is growing evidence that the occurrence and risk of suicide is growing, particularly among young people, in the face of the intolerable economic and social conditions they confront.

In March 2010, Vicky Harrison, a 21-year-old, took her life with a massive overdose of drugs. The young woman from Darwen in Lancashire had applied for around 200 jobs, and spent much of her time approaching supermarkets and local businesses as well as looking in papers, job centres and on the Internet to find work.
The day before she took her own life, Vicky had received yet another letter of rejection from a nursery school where she had applied for work as a teaching assistant. She committed suicide the day before she was due to sign on to claim her £51-a-week pittance Jobseekers’ Allowance.

The Guardian cited Julie Tipping, an appeals officer for Disability Solutions, a group that assists benefit claimants trying to overturn decisions made following “work capability assessment tests” that found them fit for work. In the last year, two of her clients have made “real attempts” at suicide. Both were taken to hospital and subsequently sectioned under mental health legislation. Tipping commented, “It’s real and true. A lot of people think these people are crying wolf to get their money, but that’s not the case. They are suffering from real problems and can’t face it any more.”

In February, the Guardian reported on a protest against the disability benefits cuts. A man there explained that his uncle, who had severe mental health problems, committed suicide after work capability assessment tests gave him zero points and found him fit to work. After appealing the decision and winning his case, he was called in for another assessment. Again he scored zero points and was told he did not qualify for disability benefits. He committed suicide a few days before another tribunal date was set to hear yet another appeal.

The leak of claimant suicide guidance by the DWP follows the news last month that Jobcentre Plus employees had been instructed to trick claimants into losing welfare entitlements. A member of staff revealed to the Guardian that workers at his jobcentre were given targets of three people a week to refer for sanctions, through which benefits are removed for up to six months.

After first denying the report, the DWP was forced to acknowledge this was taking place, but claimed that the government’s “message to be clearer about conditionality had been misinterpreted by a small number of Jobcentre Plus offices”.

In reality, in some Jobcentre Plus offices staff had been threatened with sanctions by management if they did not reach the targets. One DWP employee who joined in July 2009 said, “The first thing that happened is they took us to a presentation where we were shown a big league table of statistics, including sanctions. They pointed out the offices that were doing well—it’s like it’s a big competition.

“I was threatened by management for asking too many questions. I felt what we were doing in some cases was unlawful.”

The worker believed DWP offices had “their own take” on social security law in terms of the strictness with which they were sanctioning people. He added, “Management, and the culture of [Jobcentre Plus] -with only a few exceptions—viewed claimants with contempt.”

Post By: By Robert Stevens 



Monday, 2 May 2011

Democracy



In my post on Saturday, well, I attempted to express a real fear that the whole establishment, the politicians, the judicial system, as administrated by both the police and the judiciary have turned up the heat on working people who dissent and differ from and with the system; and, put quite simply are being targeted and hounded by the ruling class.

The apparatus of the state is designed to serve a specific function; priority is given to the continuation and control of maintaining the status quo, that existing state of affairs under – capitalism.

The new age of austerity, brought in by world governments following the near collapse of capitalism as an economic system right around the world, has in turn reverberated’ and its echo sound can be heard around the globe – denigration, attack and oppression, "the tyrant's oppression of the people", can clearly be seen in one country after another. The role of force, employed against people they then pretend to protect.

Here in Britain the ruling class are taking no chances, they have seen people in Europe and around the globe take and make a stand against the capitalist dictatorships, against the inherent greed, avariciousness the extreme greed and control of material wealth, at a cost to the disadvantage, and expense to the majority. They fear the wrath of people, who are being made to pay the cost of keeping a rotten system in place.

The royal wedding has given an opportunity to the British ruling class to try and divide the population and push (divide and rule) for two camps, separate into parts or portions – those who obey, and those who question and disagree and be of different opinions. On Friday morning as I went shopping for provisions on the Barking Road in Canning Town, the street was deserted and traffic on the road was noticeably missing, it was very much like an early Sunday morning except the shops and supermarkets of Iceland’s and the new Co-op were open for business as usual. Since the wedding the BBC and ITV claim more than 24m viewers in the UK watched the royal wedding. The BBC said a peak figure of 20m - a 70% share - tuned into the corporation's coverage at the end of the service in Westminster Abbey, and more than 34 million viewers watched at least part of the BBC's TV royal wedding coverage. I don’t know what one is to make of these figures and calculates, if anything at all, and if they really matter, they don’t tell me convincingly that the nation has rediscovered loyalty to royalty, although many that I’ve spoken to since the event have fallen for the well packaged presentation of a fairytale. I have seen children being picked up from school by their parents running excitedly home wearing paper crowns and waving classroom made flags, there is nothing like trying to get them young, but will it last as they go through their own lives, somehow I have a very derogating feeling of double-barrelled doubt and uncertainty.

A fairytale wedding is a real diversion and deflection from reality, a gift if anything to our coalition government who are fast tracking their program of austerity – cuts and job losses leading to mass unemployment, poverty and absolutely alienating more large sections of the working classes. Soon the government will have been in office for their first full year and entering the second, so much has happened in the world since they assumed office last year. And it is at home in the UK that I centre my focus on.

Towards the end of last year we experienced an explosion of dissent, and what seemed at the time a very adamant and impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests and anything but not reason from the establishment; this in turn became like a river flowing towards the sea as pleasingly many young and older people found voice in unity and came together.

Students and a new generation shocked the establishment and shook the ground and foundations; they not only exposed but experienced both the lies and falsehoods put about by the establishment politicians of all the main political parties, as demonstrations were held the enforcers of capitalist law homed in desperate to extinguish, annihilate and blow out this flickering flame coming from below.  Young people as is always the case were targeted, rounded up (kettled) and arrested, but much worse some have been incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure. On 26 March, 138 people ended up with charges of aggravated trespass after peacefully occupying a Fortnum and Mason shop in London’s West End. Police want to scare people so much that they won’t protest. Let’s not forget that they are all political prisoners, and that we should continue to give them our full support.

We have so much to be proud of comrades, our fight in many respects has been effective (in the beginning) and the capitalist class has been squealing and oinking as characteristic of the pigs they really are in high-pitch.

They the establishment have been not only vindictive; but determined to make examples of those who hold out in resistance to the rape and plunder of the hard won welfare made (The Welfare State) for the provision of all working people in times of hardship.

The unemployed are stigmatised, punished and belittled as this government wasted no time at all in following the Labour Party in attacking those in most need of support; the vulnerable always in a capitalist society susceptible to attack. We should always remind ourselves that a million people on the streets dose not equal the same quantity, value, or measure of the millions that are struggling on low pay or on mean and miserly benefits.

It is against this background comrades, which the government, the establishment and the agents of the state clamp-down on dissent and take issue with the needs of the majority. What an insult to the hundreds who sleep out on the streets of our capital city every night; that thousands of pounds have been wasted putting on this lavishness of a royal wedding at a time of growing and great hardship for many – that should not be forgotten.

But let me now turn to what I consider is a political clamp-down on those who are dissidents and the real champions of democracy in today’s modern society. In the run-up to the royal wedding the police swung into action and rounded up and raided the addresses and homes of known political activists, not just in London but up and down the country. The police have been using the royal wedding as an excuse to justify and take their revenge on activists. They launched a major crackdown over the past week up to the wedding - including raids on squats and social centres, made arrests and handed-out fresh charges for protesters.

Police commander Bob Broadhurst said that police were “looking specifically at the royal wedding” to prevent “disorder and violence” on the day. He added that “the threat to the wedding is a threat to democracy”.

The truth being is that the police clampdown is a threat to democracy and the political orientation of those who do not favour this government and a threat to the right to protest.

Police arrested six anarchists early in the week. Then they arrested and charged several student protesters—including Alfie Meadows, the student who had to have life-saving brain surgery after being struck by police at a protest last December.

Riot police arrived en masse at various sites across London the day before the wedding to raid squats. In Camberwell, south London, rows of riot vans filled the streets while armed police kept guard outside as they raided the Ratstar squat
.
And at Grow Heathrow, a community gardening squat in west London, at 7.15am in full riot gear. Witnesses describe how they pulled people from their beds and searched them—only to leave with nothing.
John McDonnell, a Labour MP who spoke in parliament against the raids, told Socialist Worker that officers “broke into the site, handcuffed one constituent and locked the others in another part of the site.
“Transition Heathrow campaigners took over a derelict site as part of the campaign against a third runway at the airport. They were reinvigorating the local campaign and the community.

In another raid police arrested protesters in London suspected of planning to behead effigies of royals and a guillotine was confiscated – what a shame.

In Stokes Croft, Bristol, police shut down a film showing in a park about riot in that area the pervious week. They set up a road block, circled the area in a helicopter and confiscated film cameras, telling the audience waiting to watch the film that they were at a rave.
When some left to watch the film in a house, police took over the area surrounding it and refused to let anyone else in, threatening anyone leaving or entering the area with arrest.
Squatters and their supporters were still defending the area from police attack on Friday morning the day of the royal wedding
.
The affright and the crack down show that protests have shaken the police and the state.

For all the propaganda, lots of people in Britain aren’t beguiled with the royal family. Lots of people are infuriated at the excessiveness of the royal wedding at a time when millions are facing savage cuts.

The police are panic-stricken that protest would be popular—that’s why they were so desperate to stop even the most minimal of action at the royal wedding on Friday last.

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