Heroes – Steven Biko – Freedom Fighter – Anti-Apartheid activist – Black Consciousness Movement.

Heroes – Steven Biko – Freedom Fighter – Anti-Apartheid activist – Black Consciousness Movement.

 

Steven Biko was a charismatic speaker who gained prominence as a student leader in the 1960s. He wanted equality for the black people of South Africa and spoke against the Apartheid regime that made blacks second-class citizens and severely restricted their rights.

Steven set up the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s and continued to speak out against the regime despite threats on his life.

That is bravery!

Because of the strength of his words and personality he was banned. No one was permitted to reproduce his speeches.

In 1977 he was apprehended at a roadblock and arrested. He was then taken to a police cell and tortured and beaten for 22 hours by five police officers until he passed into a coma. No medical attention was forthcoming and he died of a brain haemorrhage caused by the severity of the beatings.

The government released an absurd statement claiming that he had died of a hunger strike. None of the five police thugs who murdered him were brought to justice.

Steven Biko is a hero of mine because of his bravery at speaking out against injustice in the face of death threats. He knew what was likely to be the consequences and still he spoke out. He did not use violence or urge others. He sought equality and freedom.

I wish I had his strength and qualities.

A number of great songs were written to commemorate his life and highlight his murder. One of these was Biko by Peter Gabriel and another was the Biko Drums by Christie Moore. They both send chills through me!

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Burqas/Veils – liberating feminist attire or misogynistic throwback to primitive superstition?

Burqas/Veils – liberating feminist attire or misogynistic throwback to primitive superstition?

 

It seems that ISIS is selling the wearing of the complete female body veil known as a Burqa as a liberating, feminist experience. Women wearing this all-covering shapeless body garment are no longer sex objects so this is feminism in action.

Except it isn’t is it?

They might not be sexual objects per se as all of them of whatever age, degree of feminine perfection or shape are made equally nondescript. Though it doesn’t stop the single males in a sexually repressed society imagining what lurks underneath that shapeless mass of cloth. But is it feminism?

Obviously not. The sheer fact that there is no choice in the matter is sufficient to remove all of that notion. The fact that this is imposed on all women regardless of their wishes is not, under any guise, freedom. Some may prefer to remain ‘safe’ behind their masks, hidden from view, but that is no excuse for imposition.

The Burqa is a pre-Islamic uniform imposed on women by a repressive, misogynistic middle-eastern culture. It isn’t even Islamic. To claim that it is liberating is merely spin.

We will see feminism when women are afforded the same rights and freedoms as men. When they can drive, go out without escorts or permission, vote, participate fully in commerce, politics and religion as equals, and are not separated off as chattels of the men.

There may well be a reaction to the decadence of many Western females with their scanty attire, promiscuity and intoxicants but at least they are free to do what they choose; even if what they choose is crass.

The women being enticed over to Syria as ‘brides’ of the Islamists are taking a reckless risk. They are being ‘sold’ the idea of being married to a fearless, butch Jihadi warrior, but in actual fact are much more likely to end up as a sex slave of a bunch of ignorant savages.

What do you think?

Buffy St Marie – Power in the Blood – Buffy’s new album has all her old power

Buffy St Marie – Power in the Blood – Buffy’s new album has all her old power

 

Buffy has always been a positive force. Her songs about Native Americans, the genocide and her heritage, hit right in the heart. She is a major force.

This new albums pulls no punches. She aims at the bankers and tycoons, the government and policies that are creating war, exploitation, environmental destruction and suffering. The world is being polluted and raped for profit. The establishment are lining their pockets and selling our future.

There is power in the blood. We have to speak out. There are injustices to fight. There are issues to address. There are animals in need of protection. There’s a world that needs caring for.

Buffy shows that the older generation still has it. She’s pointing the way! Standing up for what’s right! More power to her!

Power In The Blood
© Words & Music Alabama 3.   Modified words Buffy Sainte-Marie.

GMO GMO has got to go
Power in the blood Power in the blood

No time for spin-doctors’ medicine
Corporation government selling me some cover-up
Weaponizing pesticides; poison in my groceries
Nothing but another drug, a license they can buy and sell

I don’t mind dying
Well I don’t mind dying
I don’t mind dying
But when that call it comes I will say no no no to war

No time for backhanded compliments
From television anchor men desperate for an incident
Real estate assassins exploiting our predicament
Everything depends upon it being in their interests

No I don’t mind dying
I don’t mind dying
I don’t mind dying
When that call it comes, I will say no no no to war

There is power in the blood, justice in the soul
When that call it comes, I will say no no no to war
Power in the blood, justice in the soul
When that call it comes I will say no no no to war

There’s military interest, GMOs in paradise
bio-weapons high up on the call sheet
Young soldiers driving tanks
but old thieves they drive the banks
and you never see a uniform on Wall Street

There is power in the blood

I don’t mind dying
I don’t mind the dying
I don’t mind dying
When that call it comes I will say no no no to war

Linton Kwesi Johnson – All Wi Doin is Defendin – Lyrics that illustrate the passion on the streets in the Brixton riots

Linton Kwesi Johnson – All Wi Doin is Defendin – Lyrics that illustrate the passion on the streets in the Brixton riots

brixton2

In the 1980s, at the height of the Thatcher years of depression and oppression, the black community in London was suffering more than most. There was widespread unemployment not helped by the institutional racism of the day. The crime rates went through the roof.

At that time there were racist National Front and British Movement thugs on the streets who would attack blacks. The police were considered the enemy. They would hound and arrest black youths on Sus charges (Stop and Search) and were considered racist. It was felt that the police were stopping blacks without cause and treating them without respect. The black community felt threatened and under attack from all sides. There was anger.

There was a terrible fire at a party in New Cross in which killed thirteen black teenagers (another committing suicide later) and which was thought by the black community to be a racist arson attack.

The community was simmering with fury. Passions were high. None of it was helped by the Press who portrayed the situation from the establishment view and did not seem to consider the black community perspective. The flames were being fanned.

The spark was lit through a possible misunderstanding. A youth was stabbed and police went to his aid. The rumour was that the police were killing him or allowing him to die. It set a riot in motion.

Linton Kwesi Johnson was our foremost black poet. He put his poems to reggae music and represented the black voice. He intoned his dramatic words in his rich melliferous voice using patois. The results were stunning. Through his music he became the spokesman for the black community. He logged the emotions and perspective of the besieged people of Brixton.

All We Doin is Defendin
war… war…
mi seh lissen
oppressin man
hear what I say if yu can
wi have
a grevious blow fi blow

wi will fite yu in di street wid we han
wi have a plan
soh lissen man
get ready fi tek some blows

doze days
of di truncheon
an doze nites
of melancholy locked in a cell
doze hours of torture touchin hell
doze blows dat caused my heart to swell
were well
numbered
and are now
at an end

all wi doin
is defendin
soh get yu ready
fi war… war…
freedom is a very firm thing
all oppression
can do is bring
passion to di eights of eruption
an songs of fire wi will sing

no… no…
noh run
yu did soun yu siren
an is war now
war… war…

di Special Patrol
will fall
like a wall force doun
or a toun turn to dus
even dow dem think dem bold
wi know dem cold like ice wid fear
an wi is fire!
choose yu weapon dem
quick!
all wi need is bakkles an bricks an sticks
wi hav fist
wi fav feet
wi carry dandamite in wi teeth

sen fi di riot squad
quick!
cause wi runin wild
wi bittah like bile
blood will guide
their way
an I say
all wi doin
is defendin
soh set yu ready
fi war… war…
freedom is a very fine thing

Woody Guthrie – Vigilante Man lyrics – Protest song – A vigilante man is a vicious thug hired by the bosses to break strikes so that they can pay starvation wages and make bigger profits.

Woody Guthrie – Vigilante Man lyrics – Protest song – A vigilante man is a vicious thug hired by the bosses to break strikes so that they can pay starvation wages and make bigger profits.

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Most people are pleasant, helpful, caring and kind. A few are selfish and greedy. And some are spiteful vicious and mean.

There’s none worse that the black-leg, the scab, the vigilante thug.

Woody took his stance and sang his songs with the working men on the picket lines. He took his beatings too. He stood for justice and fairness.

It’s the same battle now.

Vigilante Man

Have you seen that vigilante man?
Have you seen that vigilante man?
Have you seen that vigilante man?
I been hearin’ his name all over the land.

Well, what is a vigilante man?
Tell me, what is a vigilante man?
Has he got a gun and a club in his hand?
Is that is a vigilante man?

Rainy night down in the engine house,
Sleepin’ just as still as a mouse,
Man come along an’ he chased us out in the rain.
Was that a vigilante man?

Stormy days we passed the time away,
Sleepin’ in some good warm place.
Man come along an’ we give him a little race.
Was that a vigilante man?

Preacher Casey was just a workin’ man,
And he said, “Unite all you working men.”
Killed him in the river some strange man.
Was that a vigilante man?

Oh, why does a vigilante man,
Why does a vigilante man
Carry that sawed-off shot-gun in his hand?
Would he shoot his brother and sister down?

I rambled ’round from town to town,
I rambled ’round from town to town,
And they herded us around like a wild herd of cattle.
Was that the vigilante men?

Have you seen that vigilante man?
Have you seen that vigilante man?
I’ve heard his name all over this land.

Pete Seeger – Which Side are You On? – Lyrics boiling with political fury.

Pete Seeger – Which Side are You On? – Lyrics boiling with political fury.

Peteseeger-adv-obit-slide-9WAT-jumbo Pete Seeger on stage 1960 Pete-performing-before-festival-goers

Well Pete was blacklisted. He was chased by McCarthy. He was a communist. He was an Environmentalist. He was a Trade Unionist. He was an activist. He stood with Woody Guthrie and he sang his songs. The establishment hated him.

He tried to build a better world for everyone.

He stood against the capitalist bosses who hired the thugs to break strikes and enable them to reduce wages to starvation levels. He fought for the unions to bring fairness and dignity.

He was lambasted, ridiculed, banned and beaten up but he stood tall and kept singing the same message.

In this land of austerity where the rich get richer and the poor get the blame it is time to ask the same question: Which side are you on?

Which Side Are You On?

Come all of you good workers,
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell.

[Chorus:]
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

My daddy was a miner
And I’m a miner’s son,
And I’ll stick with the union
‘Til every battle’s won.

[Chorus]

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there;
You’ll either be a union man,
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.

[Chorus]

Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can.
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

[Chorus]

Don’t scab for the bosses,
Don’t listen to their lies.
Us poor folks haven’t got a chance
Unless we organize.

Bob Dylan – Only a Pawn in Their Game – Lyrics about the cowardly murder of the civil rights leader Medgar Evans.

Bob Dylan – Only a Pawn in Their Game – Lyrics about the cowardly murder of the civil rights leader Medgar Evans.

 

Medgar Evans

Medgar Evans was shot in the back by a cowardly gunman who hid in the bushes. He was killed in front of his wife and children.

The aim of the murder was to strike terror into the community so that they would not rise up and seek their rights.

The aim of Islamic extremists is to impose their distorted view of religion on other people. They want to stifle free speech and the rights of the individual. They use hate, extreme violence and terror to get their way.

Like the Klu Klux Klan they will be defeated.

As Dylan pointed out the terrorists who are blowing themselves up or attacking innocent people have been duped. The people organising the killings are well away out of danger.

The perpetrators are pawns in the game.

The only way to deal with fascism is through education.

“Only A Pawn In Their Game”

A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man’s brain
But he can’t be blamed
He’s only a pawn in their game.A South politician preaches to the poor white man
“You got more than blacks, don’t complain
You’re better than them, you been born with white skin” they explain
And the Negro’s name
Is used it is plain
For the politician’s gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
And the marshals and cops get the same
But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool
He’s taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
‘Bout the shape that he’s in
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.From the powerty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
And the hoof beats pound in his brain
And he’s taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide ‘neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain’t got no name
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.

Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
They lowered him down as a king
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He’ll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game.

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Abolition of Slavery in Britain.

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Abolition of Slavery in Britain.

 slavery2 slavery_quote slavery slave3

Slavery has been part of many cultures and still is. There are even slaves being used in Britain and America right now. Girls are being trafficked in the sex trade and threatened and cajoled. Domestic slaves are being brought in from the Third World. Slaves are being used in the Drug trade and in business.

It is not over yet.

In Britain the main use of slaves was to service the plantations in the British colonies during our years as an Empire. They worked on cotton plantations, in sugar fields, coffee and tea plantations and in mines – wherever labour was required. They created wealth and made vast fortunes for their owners.

Those slaves were purchased from Africa. But it was not just the wealthy British land-owners who had their hands dirty. Many of these slaves were the result of rivalry between Africa communities and tribes. They were captured and enslaved by other African tribes, sold to Arab slave traders and sold on to Europeans.

The Africans and Arabs had their fingers on the slave loot.

I live near Hull where we are proud of the efforts of William Wilberforce. He worked ceaselessly to have slavery abolished and the abolitionists, working on the principle that all humans were equal in the eyes of God, created such a stir that they caused a public outcry. The British people, with their feelings of social justice, rose up against the idea of slavery.

The poet William Cowper wrote in 1787 – ‘We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad? Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free. They touch our country, and their shackles fall.’

The antislavery movement began in earnest in 1783 and by 1807 had forced parliament to bring in an antislavery act that while not banning slavery made the slave trade illegal.

In 1833 slavery itself was abolished three days before William Wilberforce died. The public’s abhorrence, stirred up by Wilberforce and the other abolitionists had brought civilisation to the British Empire.

Between 1808 and 1860 the British navy captured 1600 slave ships and freed 150,000 African slaves.

The idea of tolerance, equality and social justice was born. It is up to all of us to take up the baton and take it forward until all the world shines with its light.

Slavery was the first step. Putting a stop to religious intolerance, political tyranny and social inequality must now be the aim of all civilised people.

One people – One future – Help change the zeitgeist!!!

Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business – Protest in Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business – Protest in Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Chuck_Berry_1971 chuck-berry chuck-berry-1__300x401 ChuckBerryxx

Chuck was the poet laureate of Rock Music. This was as good a Protest Song as any from Dylan. It’s full of Social Comment and it rocks.

Chuck was a genius. It was a great shame he was shafted by the establishment. They shut him up, locked him up and ripped him off.

Clearly speaking out is not tolerated.

Too Much Monkey Business

Runnin’ to-and-fro – hard workin’ at the mill.
Never fail in the mail – yeah, come a rotten bill!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Salesman talkin’ to me – tryin’ to run me up a creek.
Says you can buy now, go on try – you can pay me next week, ahh!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Blond hair, good looks – tryin’ to get me hooked.
Want me to marry – get a home – settle down – write a book!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Same thing every day – gettin’ up, goin’ to school.
No need for me to complain – my objection’s overruled, ahh!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Pay phone – something wrong – dime gone – will hold
I ought to sue the operator for spinning me a tale- ahh!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Been to Yokohama – been fightin’ in the war.
Army bunk – Army chow – Army clothes – Army car, aah!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Workin’ in the fillin’ station – too many tasks.
Wipe the windows – check the tires – check the oil – dollar gas!
Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
Don’t want your botheration, get away, leave me!
TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS FOR ME!!