Liberty

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Steve McAuliffe 

And now, as we all anticipated
The Eton/Oxford frat-boys
Pass through the historic heraldic gates
And line up to be ennobled by the figure-headed head of state
-She’ll raise the blade
As they bow their brylcreemed heads
For services rendered
Rendered, surrendered, put out to tender
Tenderised and privatised
A job well done, stealthily accomplished
And we, the hapless ingrates
Are commanded to wipe our noses and turn our backs
Wipe your nose and turn your back
Or we shall speed up the bleeding process
You gormless hack
You sack of accumulated realities we deigned to heap upon you
Shame on you
Callow serf with bended back
Return to the hessian sack we assigned for you
Go back
To the liberation of your weekly tithes and toys
For unbeknown to you, it is your struggles
And your neighbour’s struggles
That keep us predatory and alive
Alive-alive-ho my boys
For whilst you struggle with your back-tax
The fat-cats
Send pictures of their back-cracks
Via snap-chat
To the teenage daughter
Of some billionaire technocrat
And though we continually ennoble them
-These oh-so ignoble men-
Still you ghoulishly line the mall
Like lobotomised lab-rats
With your idiot smiles
And plastic Union Jack hats
Waving from behind your glass cages
At the fattest of all the fat-cats
Some of you even hold aloft your sacrificial children
No so much Porton Down then, more Stockholm syndrome
Lives lived vicariously it seems
Through the PR departments of your cold oppressors’ stage-managed dreams
Gleefully beamed and narrated by the fawning media correspondents
Themselves hopelessly co-dependant
On the endless pitiless stream of kings and queens
They are forced to report upon
It seems – at least for those with eyes still to see
Like some Japanese sci-fi film from the 1960’s
The giant octopus lashes out its awful tentacles
Whilst the fearful denizens of the great metropolis
All cower in their living-rooms
And a single-mother on meagre benefits
Serves up a paper plate of crinkle-cut chips
To her hungry child in some far-off bed-sit
Whilst the head of state merrily extracts 369 million quid
From a worn-out, clapped-out populace
And so few stricken minds it seems are even appalled
By the sight of the tears that run like blood down palace walls
For hidden beneath the mask of democracy –
Is the greatest serial killer in the whole of human history
And what of the heroes at Standing Rock
Standing firm around the clock
Against the mass-ranks of tanks and robo-cops
Who club and shoot the proud survivors of so many decimated nations
Enforcing their own warped version of neo-liberal liberation
To a world that doesn’t want them
A world that does not need them
A world that curses their corporate blood-lust
See, they would steal the sovereignty from all of us
If we merely accept their twisted visions on trust
For the chink-chink-chink
Of the links of the chain
Grow ever longer
The longer we accept their atrocities
I don’t know about you
But I refuse to accept their monstrosities any longer
In fact my conviction grows ever stronger
Liberty, fraternity, egality
Liberty, divinity and sovereignty
Liberty, fraternity, egality
-Liberty, divinity and sovereignty.

Mara Leverkuhn

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Mara Leverkuhn
Far away in Oriental Europe, there was a castle and in that castle I was born. Confiscated by the communists at gun point, left to rot and turned into “social housing”. Hello, Romania. The glory of the event was unmatched by the land, as a black and white reality welcomed me–a tyranny that feared not speak its name. A rare sincerity that new tyrannies lost, in this age, when they so thrive.
Shops were empty and TV lies see-through. People had two realities, one at home, and a lie front. Then they shot Ceausescu on Christmas day and I was watching from beneath the tree. Bullets flying, students murdered. And the students died in vain because the new regime was the same old people with new haircuts and NEW, PROGRESSIVE WORDS.
“So what, bitch, this isn’t the third world, this IS BRITAIN”; yes, but: 1. Eastern Europe is the SECOND world, thank you. Second; and 2. all the signs of tyranny are here, in the first world. Scarier than the afore-mentioned, because capitalism makes this economically STABLE. This caring face and soothing lies, I’ve seen them before, I know what they hide. “You’re worth it” and “impossible is nothing” ring hollow when you peek at backstage machinations. No, it rings sinister. The words have been compromised. Our vehicles for thought have been hijacked, and now they’re vehicles for mind control.
I joined Labour not because I’m a communist, but because what you call hard left is but common sense and my survival needs, unperverted by the jollies of consumerism, tell me it’s time for Corbyn.
Initially embraced neoliberalism in my student days, fed to me through the University funnel. Come to Britain a hardcore anglophile, it took me 5 minutes to see the fraud.
Prefer an existence in Cassandra’s curse than docile worker bee on a race to the bottom. I don’t believe 100% democracy ever existed but I believe in the democratic spirit, and Corbynistas give hope. If only more of them realised the dangers more insidious and clever than apparent. It’s a mortal error to not correctly identify your threat. My own crusade: show people how they’re being manipulated, so that they might take right decisions out of the predicament bondage we’re in.
You can follow Mara on twitter
Follow her Facebook
Or read her blog
Or read her Ungagged Articles

Victoria Långstrump

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Victoria Långstrump

Victoria Långstrump is a Karelian folk singer-songwriter. Born in born October 1988, Victoria started write her songs at early age, when she was 14.

Her music is inspired by Russian North, beat generation ideas and awareness of lost time. Every day, after she finishes working in flower shop, she comes home, takes her guitar and makes a long journey inside her mind and soul…

You can find out more about her on her VK page

Or  her Website

Or follow her on twitter

Battle of Backwater Bridge

Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Victoria Pearson

 

The situation in North Dakota took a significantly more sinister turn on Sunday, as militarised security personnel began to attack unarmed water protectors with water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets, and concussion grenades.

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In a move condemned by both the UN and Amnesty International, water cannon were deployed against unarmed peaceful protesters, including elders and children, during freezing conditions. Journalists on scene reported ice forming on the protester’s clothing and skin, triggering cardiac arrest in one elder, who is currently in a critical condition in hospital. Latest reports state that over 300 people are injured, with 27 needing hospital treatment for a variety of injuries including hypothermia, fractures, sight and hearing damage and injuries from rubber bullets. One unarmed 21 year old woman, Sophia Wilansky, suffered a direct hit from a concussion grenade which injured her so badly she is now facing having her arm amputated (you can help with her medical costs here ). She remains in a critical condition.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been protesting the pipeline since April, and during that time Ungagged has witnessed influential voices within the camp, including Ruth Hopkins, who gives us regular updates when she is able, repeatedly requesting that protesters standing with the tribe remain peaceful and unarmed, to prevent law enforcement using that to excuse excessive force. As she said on twitter:

“we stay unarmed while protesting because they’ll use the sighting of any weapon to kill us like they did at Wounded Knee”

Live streams from various media organisations, including Unicorn riot, show protesters either standing still, dancing, or trying to hide behind makeshift plastic shields, while they are attacked by police who stand behind a barricade of razor wire, concrete barricades, and burnt out cars.
Nevertheless, mainstream news organisations in the US have described the Protest as a “riot” and have unquestioningly accepted the sheriff spokesman’s explanation that the water cannon were used to try and put out fires set by the protesters.

The tribe insist that the fires were in fact mostly started by police, although they say some were started to try and combat the freezing conditions. Given that so many people in the camp are suffering hypothermia after being doused with freezing water during the coldest part of the night, this doesn’t seem unreasonable. Live stream footage clearly shows a few small fires, which are not out of control in any way, and water cannon being directed squarely at protesters, and journalists who are nowhere near the fires. At one point during the livestream, the water cannon trajectory is changed to aim the water blast at media drones streaming the atrocities to social media.
It seems self evident to me that if the police were bravely battling a violent riot without using excessive force, they’d have no problem with being filmed, in fact would welcome it. Instead, they are reportedly using signal jamming equipment to interfere with live streams and social media access. Police in the area have refused multiple requests to confirm or deny this.
The conflict began around 7pm (ET), when the Water Protectors made a further attempt to remove the blockade of burned out vehicles at Fort Rice on Highway 1806, erected by the National Guard on October 27th 2016, to restore access to the road. The police responded by forming a line to kettle the Water Protectors on Backwater Bridge, firing water cannon from one side and tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets from the other. Trapped in the crush and unable to escape the gas, which is designed to induce panic and reacts painfully with water, protesters were reportedly vomiting and losing control of their bladders in response. A journalist from Unicorn Riot was shot in the abdomen with a rubber bullets, which tore through their press pass.IMG_20161122_123053.jpg

Despite calls of condemnation from leading human rights groups, Mandan Sheriff Jason Zeigler is unrepentant about the use of water cannon, and won’t rule out using them again.

“It depends on the circumstance, if it’s the force necessary to maintain control and order and to keep them from throwing rocks and burning logs at our police officers to try to, you know, maintain law and order, yes,” says Zeigler.

This would appear to be in direct opposition to their position two days prior to the use of water cannon, the 18th November, when the sheriff’s office put out a statement of concern for the protesters, citing the cold temperatures and wind chill as potential dangers, and offering advice to protect from hypothermia, frostbite and pneumonia particularly for “infants and the elderly” who they are aware are in the camp.
Morton County sheriffs office confirmed that there had been one arrest at the protest, and that one officer was bumped on the head with a rock.

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How to help:
• You can contribute money to the protester camp’s official GoFundMe account, which will go toward purchasing water, food, propane, blankets and other supplies. Cheques, cash or supplies (an extensive list of what they need is here) can also be sent through the mail to:
Sacred Stone Camp, P.O. Box 1011, Fort Yates, ND 58538
OR
202 Main Street, Fort Yates, ND 58538
Alternatively, you can also supplies via the group’s Amazon WishList. 

• You can also donate to the Sacred Stone Legal defence Fund
Protesters have set up a legal defence fund to help defray the legal bills of those involved in the protests. To save the group processing fees, you can also donate directly to their PayPal account at freshetcollective@gmail.com.
• You can call the people who have the ability to do something.

A. Jack Dalrymple, Governor of North Dakota: 701-328-2200
B. Army Corps of Engineers (demand to reverse the permit): 202-761-5903
C. The executives at Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline.
i. Lee Hanse
Executive Vice President
(210) 403-6455

ii. Glenn Emery
Vice President
(210) 403-6762

iii. Michael (Cliff) Waters
Lead Analyst
(713) 989-2404

• Or you can sign the petition here

Letters to my Comrades III

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Philip Kane

We have to change all this.
We have to start changing it now.
It’s no use pretending the world can carry on,
it’s no use pretending we can carry on this way,
and if we try then everything will crash down
and nothing will wait for us but barbarism,
and nothing will wait for us.
This may be the time on which history hinges,
this may be the time when all falls apart
and when it can all come together.
Look at it this way, yes,
look at it this way.
There are times when so many strands are woven together,
there are times we can look into the eyes of the future,
and we may stand at that point today,
and we stand on that edge wishing to fly,
but still too many are afraid.
Still the past is a pitiless mother who won’t release us.
There is no time to look back at those who gawp at us,
there is no time for those who turn their backs on us.
It’s no use pretending the world can carry on,
it’s no use pretending the world can carry on this way.
We have to change all this.

Letters to my Comrades I

Reading Time: 1 minute
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Philip Kane

Those we need now are warrior artists,
poets with the hearts of urban guerrillas,
who know how to create and fight in equal measure;
who understand Che’s dictum that
revolution is an act of love;
who can also use Musashi’s teaching
that the pen/brush must be held
in balance with the sword.
For we are going into battle,
and this is no time
to sit proudly in your kitchen
cultivating your moustache.
The moment in history has come
when poetry must be a weapon of love,
a bomb planted in the heart of the enemy.

Looking Backward…

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

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On this equality themed episode we have Debra Torrance speaking about the iniquity of lack of action on tax avoiders and the punitive measures on the sick and disabled, Julie Bindel talking about surrogacy, Amber Daniels discussing gender inequality and a confession from Victoria Pearson.

Tommy Ball tells us his Reasons to be Fearful, Chuck Hamilton speaks about Bellamy and his descendants, Sandra Webster  updates us on the fight for her local children’s ward, Eric Joyce discusses transgender  equality, Allan Grogan asks ifor we are sleepwalking to the abyss, and Thomas Swann talks about anarchist organisation, social media and cybernetics.

Featuring Red Raiph, and with poetry from Steve McAuliffe and John McHarg, this episide has music from Jackal Trades, Roy Møller, Derek Stewart Macpherson, The Ethical Debating Society, Bastard Killed my Rabbit, Suzen Juel, Grace Petrie, Desperate Journalist, Thunder on the Left, Effa Supertramp, Bratakus, and the Wimmins Institute.

 

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