We carry the banner for hope and change ourselves

It is tnteresting times that we are living today, interesting that we would rather attack each other for being scroungers, layabouts or immigrants when there is a bigger picture here and that is of the financiers who are actually responsible for austerity, not the NHS, teachers, police, fire or armed forces; walking free and being encouraged to do it all over again.

These banks have had minimal fines, no one has gone to jail, they still get billion pounds worth of bonuses and Osborne has committed to the biggest spending cuts in over 70 years. Sticking together has never been more necessary.

No one has gone to jail… well if you are guilty of fraud, as was the case for RBS personnel (again) then the judge will let you walk away because you have “suffered enough.” Steal 15 Toblerone however and you go straight to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200.

This austerity will affect everyone in a way we have yet to grasp, if we think the last 5 years have been rough with the rise of food banks, return of rickets, 1 in 4 working poor and 90,000 children homeless this Christmas, we will be in for a shock. Which ever party wins the next election, we lose. Austerity is the ideology and we are the vessels from which they are generating their wealth. We can only rely on ourselves to make the change, no one else is going to carry the banner of hope for us.

J crawling

We are living in a moment of history, what we do next will define the lives of generations to come. Lets make it something to remember for the right reasons.

 

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Occupy: The philosophy of we won’t go home

Philosophy of occupy
Noam Chomsky on pressure and protest

“The philosophy of Occupy scares them (the government) the philosophy of we will not go home!” The Artist Taxi Driver at the last nights assembly at Parliament Square where a group of humans have been occupying land in a visceral demonstration of how democracy isn’t working in the UK.

This week we have seen the UK position itself just to the right of China, with its rules, regulations and byelaws that are impeding people’s rights to protest and hold corporate state to account. At Occupy Democracy (now dubbed the #TarpaulinRevolution as police ripped up the groundsheets people were sat on in the rain from under them earlier this week) the private enforcement group of ‘Red Caps’ have even found a bylaw which prevents someone from playing an acoustic guitar which was not the  Live Music Act 2012 and made their feelings known as those playing renditions of hallelujah receiving some hard words being served notices.No acoustic guitars allowed

Police Privatisation

Watching Boris Johnson’s private security firms give orders to the police we pay to protect us was a very sobering site. A piece of string attached to a sign and a bag to stop it blowing away was deemed to be a structure and so the red caps ordered its removal for believing it to be against the law, holding lengthy discussions with the MET Police about removing it. A woman was disturbed by the corporate mouth pieces for looking as though she was sleeping in a position of comfort under a tree, another law broken. One child no older than 3 started kicking a ball which hit a police officer by the fence which has been erected around both Winston Churchill and Parliament Square, I wondered whether there was a bylaw for this too and warned him so as I scooted passed on my way home.

We now live in a county that claims to have great freedoms of speech, expression and beliefs and yet a country with as chequered a history as China for those very things is seemingly more tolerant of the sight of sleeping bags on their streets or a tarpaulin to keep the rain off your head. They have even allowed tents.

Protestors have the luxury of a tent 'structure'
Protestors have the luxury of a tent ‘structure’

The size of the problem can be reflected in the comparative coverage in our news. Every day for the past few weeks the Occupy Hong Kong story has featured countless times online and in print news, yet a demonstration of equal importance in our own backyard has gone mainly unnoticed by our media as the image below shows.  The upside is that there are people there on the ground covering events as they unfold in real-time. There used to be a time when the mainstream media was accessed to verify news on the social media, today it is very much the other way.

Disparity UK
Disparity UK

Each day at Occupy Democracy has had a different theme and a selection of fine speakers, not least Russell Brand and Ken Loach as well as Vivienne Westwood and Caroline Lucas MP to date. If you are passing through the smoke before Sunday you would do worse than to stop by and catch a flavour of what is being discussed; it is peaceful, colourful and educational. Even if you were not planning to head to London, make the exception and catch the final day on Sunday.

You can visit the Occupy Democracy website for daily themes, schedules and updates and if you want to see what Russell Brand had to say about the right to protest you can see him on last nights Newsnight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqsFp0J22Hc

Banking terrorists go from strength to strength

The wolf is certainly wearing sheeps clothing and he is stalking his prey with blood drenched lips. RBS have this week recorded a further loss of £8bn which now means they have lost every penny of the £46bn of tax payer money given to them by the government after their bailout in 2008. How has this been met? They have rewarded themselves with over £500m in bonuses.

Of course RBS are not the only bank to play ‘catch us with our pants down if you can’ as Barclays Bank have played a similar hand with respect to their 10% increase in bonuses worth over £2bn and announcing cuts to over 7000 jobs, presumably due to technological unemployment. This the same Barclays Bank who were complicit in the libor scandal, the fixing of interest rates, and also recipient of tax payer money to soften the blow of the economic meltdown of 2008.
The mainstream media are playing tacit dismay at these announcements, with only opinion pieces by people such as Owen Jones offering any real insight into the daylight robbery and daily economic terrorism being waged on we the people. The social media of course is full of it but that is information that you have to actively search for and not receive as part of your regular, daily spoon fed government message. Who really has the time or energy for that after 10-11 hours of being a debt slave?

Whilst these banks and politicians continue to bleed us dry, everyday people are being assessed by Atos, the SS arm of the DWP at the behest of Iain Duncan-Smith, and having their social security slashed and/or withdrawn. These actions have resulted in many people who are sick and dying being told they are fit to work. You literally couldn’t make it up. Why is all this happening? Because in 2008 the world found out that major banking corporations had played a dodgy game of roulette with public money and when it came up black and not red, they lost it all. Instead of cutting them adrift as any one of us would have been if we gambled our savings at the casino, or as Iceland did with their banking ‘elites’, Gordon Brown bailed them out with our money leaving us to pay for it. David Cameron and his side man Nick Clegg continue to make us pay for it, with some of us paying the ultimate price for this ideological austerity with their very lives.

What can we do to challenge and change what is happening?

Well firstly we have to become informed; this means not relying on the prescribed daily dose of hate given at specific daily intervals from the mainstream media, it means using the wonderful tool that is the Internet to find out more about the world immediately around us and the wider world too. We are all connected.

We have to question what we find; just as we should not blithely listen to and believe what the mainstream media tells us, we should be mindful of the information we find on the Internet. Cross referencing sources and claims is a must in a world full of disinformation, don’t believe me, look for yourself.

We have to share information – knowledge is power; but power to do what? The success of life and the evolution of species is hinges on co-operation, by communities working together to adapt, improvise and overcome. It is not about the survival of the fittest. That is not to say I am calling for a Tory-esque ‘big society’ but for us to use the tools at our disposal, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc to share information and not just cute pictures of cats and dogs (that’s not to say you shouldn’t as without enjoying life what is the point in fighting for a better one?) Oh and don’t forget the power of the old-fashioned word of mouth.

Get out there; as in once you have taken the first steps in finding and sharing information, you need to act on it. That might mean taking an hour or two out of your weekend to go to a rally, march or candle light vigil but it is an essential part of the process in making change, to get people together peacefully on the streets at events. You can and will meet some of the most varied and interesting people you will ever come across at events like this and it is where ideas start to grow.

Connect the dots – we’re in this together; as in once you have taken the steps to attend an event for something close to your heart look for the next one on a different topic. Joining each others causes is important, we have to build networks across the different campaigns being run from stop the war to save the NHS.

Take stock of your history; we are all standing on the shoulders of giants, nothing has ever been given to us, it has all been fought for over the centuries by people collectively and not won by individuals. The Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s was not Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, it was the collective will and actions of the people who helped to bring about change and gave these individuals a platform from which to speak and act.

Finally, believe in yourself; Collective and peaceful civil disobedience is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with mass economic withdrawal. None of these ideas are new and have been suggested in the past by the likes of Martin Luther King and Ghandi. What we have to do is believe that we can make change and we have to be daring enough to do so.

For more inspiration see:

Scriptonite Daily
The Artist Taxi Driver
Dominoes Falling Productions