Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Swing Riots

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Swing Riots

Swing riot
Named after the infamous Captain Swing who was said to have organised them, the Swing Riots were a more militant attack against mechanisation in the early nineteenth century.
The advent of mechanisation, such as the threshing machines, had reduced the need for labour. Because of the surplus of labour the bosses had seized the opportunity to reduce wages down to subsistence levels. People were starving and desperate with poor wages and unemployment and no welfare.
Unlike the peaceful Tolpuddle martyrs who came a few years later the workers of Kent organised in a more militant manner, threatened the landowners, burnt barns and threshing machines and demanded a fair wage. The riots spread through Kent and the South of England.
Eventually the landowners relented and raised wages.
But two thousand arrests were made with 252 sentenced to be hung. Of these only 19 were hung. Over a thousand were imprisoned or deported to Australia.

It is worth remembering that fair wages are the product of much blood. Our rights and freedoms were not given freely; they were fought for and paid for with lives.

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Terrorism – Parallel to the Southern American terror of the Ku Klux Klan depowered by the Civil Rights Movement.

Terrorism – Parallel to the Southern American terror of the Ku Klux Klan depowered by the Civil Rights Movement.

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The aim of the terrorists is to impose their narrow view on the population, create fear and vent their hatred.

Back in the 1960s the black population of the Southern parts of the United States were subjugated through terror. There were beatings, shootings and killing.

At night men in robes and hoods would ride through a community and place a burning cross in front of any house that had someone who was getting uppity. It was a chilling warning. If unheeded fire-bombing, shooting and murder would result.

The people were terrified.

But after a while brave members of the community began to raise their heads and demand justice. Many of these were shot or lynched. More came along to take up the cause until there were too many marching for the terror to work anymore.

I salute the bravery of those early black activists and the white activists who came down from the North to support them.

Here’s to Martin Luther King, Medgar Evans, Michael Schwerner, James Earl Chaney and Andrew Goodman and all the hundreds of others who died in that struggle.

The virulent racists of the South were defeated just as the hate-filled Islamic jihadists will be.

Heroes of our age – Martin Luther King – We’re all equal; all one species.

Heroes of our age – Martin Luther King – We’re all equal; all one species.

martin luther king

As short a time ago as the 1960s segregation held sway in the United States. Whites were considered superior and supremacist groups, such as the Klu Klux Klan, were widely supported. They might have been forced to do away with slavery through losing the Civil War but the notion still prevailed – They viewed the Black Race as inferior and were determined to keep them down. The idea of equality was repugnant. It is a Racist ideology that persists to this day and results in the situations that are occurring in US cities where black lives are considered cheap and blacks are being shot by police.

We’ve still got a way to go.

In the 1960s segregation was apartheid. Blacks had different buses, water taps, cinemas, music, housing and even concerts were segregated. To be black was to be second class. They were actively prevented from voting.

Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister and Humanitarian. Born in 1929 he lead the Civil Rights Movement (SCLC) and fought for equal rights and the vote. He fought for desegregation – the rights for schools, jobs, transport and utilities to be shared by all. He inspired mass protest and based his tactics on those of Mahatma Ghandi.

There were sit-ins, marches, bus boycotts and protest. Protestors were beaten up, murdered, harassed, threatened, abused and arrested. They remained non-violent and defiant.

In 1963 Martin Luther King called for a march on Washington. A million white and black people, side by side, marched on the Capital and were roused by the incredible oratory of Martin’s as he delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

He was an incredibly brave man. The FBI and CIA did their best to discredit him. He received death threats. On the march between Selma and Montgomery in 1964 he was expecting a bullet with every step. He marched regardless.

He was condemned by black radicals such as Malcolm X of ‘The Nation of Islam’ and members of the Black Panthers for being non-violent. They believed the only way to get equality was to fight for it and demand it. They were wrong.

Martin Luther King diversified his protest to fight for an end to poverty and to oppose the Vietnam War. He saw it all part of the same struggle.

In 1968 he was assassinated. A cowardly sniper shot him on his balcony at the motel he was staying in in Memphis.

I visited that balcony, stood on that spot and was grateful that we had people as brave, fearless, intelligent and outspoken. Without such people we would be oppressed and still in the Dark Ages. They gave us light and hope for a world of real equality.

Where are our leaders now?

Richie Havens – The Klan – lyrics about the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.

Richie Havens – The Klan – lyrics about the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.

ritchie_havens_650Featured Image -- 1991

In this day and age it is easy to think of terrorism as something perpetrated by religious fanatics, brainwashed and packed off with their bombs to blow up innocent people in trains, planes, mosques and buses. That is not always the case.

The Ku Klux Klan were a terrorist organisation with the sole intent of maintaining White Supremacy by instigating terror in the Southern Black population.

They used hoods, burning crosses, pseudo-Christian rhetoric and gibberish and weren’t above threats, beatings, shootings, arson and lynching to make a point. They ruled through terror.

It took a brave man to stand up to the Klan. Their reach was long, forgiveness none and retribution vicious.

Where evil lives it is up to all good people to stand up and oppose it!

The Klan

The countryside was cold and still
There were three crosses upon the hill
Each one wore a burning hood
To hide its rotten heart of wood

And I cried
Father I hear the iron sound
Hoofbeats on the frozen ground

Down from the hills the riders came
Lord, it was a crying shame
To see the blood upon their whips
And hear the snarling of their lips

And I cried
Mother I feel a stabbing pain
Blood flows down like a summer rain

Each one wore a mask of white
To hide his cruel face from sight
and each one sucked a hungery breath
Out of the empty lungs of death

And I cried
Sister raise my bloody head
It’s so lonesome to be dead

He who rides with the Klan
He is a devil and not a man
For underneath that white disguise
I have looked into his eyes

Brother, stand with me
it’s not easy to be free

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Peterloo Massacre.

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Peterloo Massacre.

Peterloo massacre
You can only have real democracy when you have transparency, fair representation and a vote for every man and woman. That was far from the case two hundred years ago.
Women were denied the vote. Only landowners could vote. Some towns with only a handful of voters were electing two MPs. Two towns electing two MPs each had only 1 eligible voter. Half of the MPs in the House were elected by a mere 154 votes. Cities with hundreds of thousands were grossly underrepresented.
The economic and employment situation in the North was dire and people felt they had no recourse to justice. They had no vote and no representation.
At St. Peter’s field near Manchester between 60,000 and 80,000 gathered to hold a peaceful public meeting and protest. The establishment was rattled. They thought it might develop into a riot, ferment general unrest and lead to a revolution. They banned it. But the protesters still met.
The cavalry were called to charge. People were trampled and slashed with sabres. The crowd was eventually dispersed. They left 11 to 15 dead and over 600 to 700 badly injured – 168 of which were women. The first to be killed was a baby knocked out of his mother’s arms by a charging cavalryman. Witnesses claimed the cavalrymen slashed out indiscriminately at anyone they could. The area was sodden with blood.
It became known as the Peterloo massacre in ironic contrast to the recent battle of Waterloo.

It led to renewed impetus for justice and the Chartist Movement who fought for the right to vote.

Freedoms and rights are not freely given. They are paid for with lives and blood and can so easily be stripped away again.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs – Pride in the fight for social justice.

Tolpuddle Martyrs

Tolpuddle Martyrs%20colour
In 19th century Britain it was illegal to organise in order to gain better working conditions and pay. In the 1830s the industrial revolution had created a surplus of workers which had resulted to wages being lowered to starvation level.
In Tolpuddle, a small village in Dorset, a group of farm labourers formed a collective to argue for fair pay. They refused to work for the reduced rates.
Six of them were arrested and charged with organising. They were sentenced to seven years deportation to Australia.
There was a public outcry, a petition signed by 800,000 and a march on London.
It was the first successful protest.
The sentences were commuted. All but one (with a previous criminal record) were released.

It is right to remember that our rights and freedoms come at a price. Our unions had to be fought for. The establishment gives neither wealth nor power freely and just as readily takes it back given a chance.

Ken Loach Quotes – Britain’s greatest Film Director!

Ken Loach is my favourite Director. He is highly intelligent and his films always have a pertinent social message that I can empathise with. I like films that make you think. Ken is the conscience of the nation. His films should be compulsory – particularly for Tories who are usually incapable of appreciating human suffering.

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Maybe if we tell the truth about the past, we can tell the truth about the present.

I see the lies and despair. Brexit and Trump – a litany of hatred and lies. The media and politicians all have their agenda and no scruples. It’s getting worse. The sheeple are treated with utter scorn and manipulated.

A movie isn’t a political movement, a party or even an article. It’s just a film. At best it can add its voice to public outrage.

There’s a hell of a lot of injustice and rage to tap into.

About Thatcher’s death: Let’s privatise her funeral. Put it out on competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. That’s what she would have wanted.

Such with and humour. I’m glad they buried her. They just did it fifty years too late.

I turned down the OBE because its not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who’ve got it. Its all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest.

Not many people with that calibre of integrity. Too many money-grabbing, power-seeking selfish gits who take the money.

One lesson to learn is that the press and the broadcasters are not neutral. And it seems we have to learn it each time there is a dispute: they are actually committed to one side.

Orgreave taught me that even the BBC have their agenda. The bias is there. The establishment orchestrate out feelings.

In the end the privatisation of war is not acceptable. We shouldn’t be issuing these sub-contracts to these contracting companies because the people who run them are making millions. There should be no relationship between ex-politicians and them, like John Reid and Malcolm Rifkind, who are now associated with contracting companies having been ministers of defence. That’s unacceptable.

It is incredible hoe people like Rumsfeldt are raking it in! Should be a law against it!

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Woody Guthrie – Deportee – Plane Wreck at Los Gatos

I thought this was pertinent with the hatred being directed at migrants at the moment. Our economy depends on immigrant labour. They are brought in and paid poor wages. The bosses exploited them and still do.

In Britain we bring in tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans to pick crops.

In the USA they bosses exploited Mexicans. They paid them poor wages and they toiled in the fields. When the crops were picked they shopped these illegal immigrants to the feds who shipped them back to Mexico as illegal immigrants.

In 1948 a plane carrying a bunch of these immigrants crashed on the way back to Mexico. All the illegal immigrants were killed. All the papers took the stance that they were merely deportees. They didn’t even bother naming them.

It infuriated Woody. He saw them as people – husbands, wives, children – people who had lost their lives trying to gain a living for their families. He wrote a song to recognise that; to name them and give them dignity. He used the disparaging word – deportee!

I thought this was relevant today!

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos
(also known as “Deportee”)
Words by Woody Guthrie

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying ’em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees”

My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except “deportees”?

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Tolpuddle Martyrs

More struggle for freedom and justice.

Opher's World

Tolpuddle Martyrs%20colour
In 19th century Britain it was illegal to organise in order to gain better working conditions and pay. In the 1830s the industrial revolution had created a surplus of workers which had resulted to wages being lowered to starvation level.
In Tolpuddle, a small village in Dorset, a group of farm labourers formed a collective to argue for fair pay. They refused to work for the reduced rates.
Six of them were arrested and charged with organising. They were sentenced to seven years deportation to Australia.
There was a public outcry, a petition signed by 800,000 and a march on London.
It was the first successful protest.
The sentences were commuted. All but one (with a previous criminal record) were released.

It is right to remember that our rights and freedoms come at a price. Our unions had to be fought for. The establishment gives neither wealth nor power freely…

View original post 10 more words

Democracy and the media controlled by the establishment.

can we ever have democracy?

Opher's World

Orgreave
To have a democracy there has to be a fair structure. All people about an agreed age should have a vote. They should have free access to all the information necessary to decide who to vote for. They should have a range of political parties to choose from. The system should be free of coercion, rigging or corruption.

Clearly this is not the case. The establishment has organised things to ensure their power and wealth is not reduced by ‘common people’ wanting a fairer share.

The establishment consists of a loose confederation of the aristocracy, politicians, big business, media, police, chosen celebrities and wealthy individuals. Politicians freely move between the worlds of media and big business to walk into incredibly lucrative deals for doing advisory work or TV and radio shows. There is a lot of money to be made cosying up to the establishment. The whole business of who…

View original post 435 more words