Gaza Under Fire – video messages from the UK

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The past 4 weeks have seen a gradual mobilisation and outrage of society over the aggressive military action taken by the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza.

Demonstrators and campaigners have marched in their tens of thousands  to rally the UK government to action and end the siege of Gaza. Dejavusion Productions have tried to capture the essence of these marches with a series of videos found here.

Free Palestine – Why We March, July 19th 2014

Gaza July 26th, London – Messages for Gaza

Free Palestine – ‘Wallz’ – make art, not war

It’s a human issue

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What happens when the lights go out? #Gaza

The genocidal reign of Israeli fire continues in Gaza with the death toll currently standing at over 1800 Palestinians, the majority civilian and at least a third being children. The world sits by and watches disgraced but largely inactive with the exception of those marching in major cities around the world as people in Gaza list the names of the dead children on a wall.

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Following the news of another UN school being bombed in the past 24 hours, another dozen or so killed and many more injured, weeks of inaction and a refusal to condemn Israel – as though our governments were watching a natural disaster unfold in front of their eyes – there has finally been the faintest signs of movement from the UK government as they seek to review the £8bn arms deals they have in selling weapons to Israel, weapons that are now being used to kill civilians and children in the streets of Gaza beyond the ‘buffer’ zone. Perhaps someone in the upper echelons of our government had their Richard Feynman moment, watching their weapons of mass destruction wipeout an entire population and decided to call for a formal review of our arms policy.

The people largely at fault for the destabilisation of the Middle East are successive UK and US governments with their foreign policies in the pursuit of resources and in the case of Palestine/Israel for giving away something that was not theirs to give in the first place when they created the state of Israel. Our governments are guilty of showing contempt for life in Gaza with their inaction, they are as complicit in the murder of children in much the same way that the mainstream media would have us believe that Vladimir Putin is responsible for the rocket allegedly used by the Ukrainian rebels to shoot down flight MH-17.

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Across the water in the United States the blame for this aggression is a simple argument, it is the fault of Hamas, a terrorist organisation – not a government (as though this would somehow legitimise slaying children in schools and hospitals!) and Israel has the right to defend itself. Hamas have killed 60 odd people, the majority armed forces personnel, but it is Israel who are given $3bn a year in aid from the US, supplied arms by the UK and US, who hold the Gazans in an open air prison that is not that far removed from a concentration camp; it is Israel who are targeting UN schools and hospitals, indiscriminately bombing residential areas killing almost 2000 people in the process. This is nearly as many as were killed in 9/11 yet in the UK those trying to send aid to Gaza are having their bank accounts closed claiming that they fall outside their ‘risk profile’. HSBC are happy to launder money for Mexican drug cartels but not process accounts to help people being subject to extermination, you could not make it up.

The fight that Hamas is trying to put up is not all that different from the battles of the ANC in apartheid South Africa, a place where Nelson Mandela and the ANC were at one time viewed as terrorists, terrorist leaders that our leaders of today once wanted hung…in 2013 Nelson Mandela died a hero. The same might be said for Hamas in years to come, but the mainstream media is trying hard to convince us it is terrorism that they are engaged in, commentators such as Sean Hannity from FOX NEWS this past week a perfect example or as John Pilger put it on Russia Today, they are trying to create “worthy and unworthy victims“, no prizes for guessing which side the people of Gaza fall on in this case. Israel is losing the propaganda battle and now the IDF are blocking radio broadcasts, targeting media outlets and power stations – why? Because how else will they continue to get away with genocide if people continue to tweet and stream live images of dead children and obliterated schools into the palms of our hands?

We are living in a moment of history, we all play our part in what happens next – what we do will shape and define it, if we do nothing then the future will be written for us by the warmongers and aggressors wearing suits in public office and their financiers from the military industrial complex in the shadows in its corridors. What will it be?

New year, same story: No justice, no peace

I recently undertook a self-imposed sabbatical during the month of December, not because it was needed but just to take a step back and look at things from the outside in. With the new year approaching I decided to give it a week to see what we would see. Did I learn anything? Yes and no. What is sure however is that you quite literally could not make this shit up.

Firstly Nelson Mandela died, the world mourned and so did those who would have previously hung him for being a terrorist. Being on my sabbatical it was easy to focus on Mandela for his life, what he stood for – what he still stands for in death, and his achievements in the face of great adversity. Not getting sucked into comments highlighting how these people, who climbed out from under their rocks to shower praise on him, had previously turned their backs on him or how they took pointless ‘selfies’ with pretty blondes at his funeral and claiming that he helped shaped not only their politics but the politics for the generations. Even wet Ed Miliband saw fit to use the same words he used to eulogise Margaret Thatcher to capture his feelings on Mandela.

The man who shaped politics for generations they said and to “never forget.”

Never forget; the words used when discussing the Holocaust but of course we did forget, which is why apartheid happened in the first place. Never forget; used after Mandela was released from prison after almost 30 years and yet still we forgot which is why we have the Israel/Palestine apartheid happening, why Sudan and Syria is happening. Here in the UK we have let poverty and austerity take hold, strangling the working poor and watching, as our liberties get siphoned away – because we have forgotten the lessons of the past. “There is never a final victory” said Mandela, the fight is eternal.

Then came the new year, 2014 and I witnessed posts claiming it would be the ‘year of love’ but we have seen the sale of chemicals from the UK that form the basis for the very agents we almost went to war over in Syria, Fallujah has fallen into full-blown civil war and there was the announcement that 2013 was the bloodiest in Iraq for almost 10 years with nearly 30 people a day dying. Not a single name reported however, just a body count. Just yesterday, we saw the confirmation that being shot dead whilst unarmed, in the case of Mark Duggan, will be ruled lawful, setting dangerous precedents for the rest of us. The police have now stated in light of this incident that they intend to consider the use of cameras for armed police units to film events. We will of course of clamour for the additional security this will provide us as citizens, there is no risk whatsoever that anything will go wrong with the footage is there? There is also the new Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill being rushed through effectively making it illegal to protest or to be a nuisance. This will result in spot fines and bans from “localities” what ever a locality means, the definition has not been set yet.

So we are a week into 2014 and the story seems much the same, focus on benefits streets and scroungers whilst we are quietly dismantled from the inside but there is a change in the atmosphere. More people are awakening, sharing information and importantly talking to each other about these injustices. The next step is to get active and move beyond the confines of the social media and on to the streets, peacefully connecting these dots – making art, questioning everything, before the law makes it illegal and try to take our ability away from us to stand up for our rights and freedom. In doing so we will gain something much more worthy, unity and the realisation that there is no justice, there is just us.