Tuesday, 30 August 2011


The British left spreads misinformation about Libya


The other day a friend recommended an article by Seumas Milne in the Guardian on the events unfolding in Libya. Of course, it was a good article in many ways, well written and clearly taking an anti-NATO stance as perhaps you would expect from a leading leftist columnist. Nevertheless, I dismissed the article as propaganda on account of a statement which I thought was as unfounded as it was helpful to the NATO cause. This is the offending sentence:

“None of that means the euphoria on the streets of Libyan cities at the fall of a regime long decayed into dynastic despotism isn’t entirely genuine.”

NATO doesn’t look for love letters since the fact that they are psychopaths is fairly well known. The Milne article is addressing a readership which is only too aware of NATO criminal tendencies. But NATO would be delighted that the opposition had concede two fundamental pillars of its propaganda on Libya. Firstly, that Gaddafi had fallen and secondly, that this was grounds for popular celebration in Libya. Those two assumptions give NATO all they need for the next stage of their campaign, the installation of a virtual government in Tripoli which can be declared legitimate because Gaddafi is no more and because the people support it and which can invite a NATO stabilisation force into Libya to help defeat the Gaddafi forces

I also argued to my friend that this kind of article serves as a template for the British left where for all the fine points, the sophistries of left-think, the anti-NATO and anti-imperialist sentiments, these two lies would always be there, hidden, as in the Milne article or in plain sight.

I said lies since there is no evidence for the claim that Gaddafi regime has been defeated. The fact that a fierce power struggle is still going on in Tripoli is one reason why the African Union said they could not recognise the TNC: it would have to be in power. Also why would the TNC invite in NATO ground forces, as reported by TeleSur, to support them if they had won. Why would revolutionary Tripoli be subject to a media blackout if it was in the hands of triumphant revolutionaries and its euphoric supporters.

It is also a lie that there have been mass celebrations: even the media montage which showed “Green Square” being taken over only showed unsavoury looking militants. Where were the people? Could you have imagined a total blackout of Tahrir Square in the midst of those great events in January? Where is Aljazeera to show us jubilant Tripoli. There are no scenes of joy in Tripoli: only a descent into hell.

Of course, there was certainly confusion last Monday about what exactly had happened. There still is, but at the moment of writing in response to the declaration that the rebels had taken Tripoli our leftist editors would have known that NATO had bombed and provided aerial support for the rebels for nearly 6 months without them being able to achieve any real progress. They would have been aware, therefore, that even with massive NATO backing they were militarily incapable. They would have been aware that coordinating with air cover would require special froces with the training to do that.

Common sense would have told them that a popular revolution would never have called in NATO in the first place. Common sense would have told them that anti-NATO sentiment would be almost universal and was reflected in massive armed rallies in support of Gaddafi, which even made it into the mainstream media, and massive rejection of those associated with NATO. Common sense would have told them that the liberated women of Libya would not seek the introduction of Sharia law. They would have known of the declaration of the tribes rejecting the TNC. They would have known that even in Benghazi the grip of the TNC was in question after the killing of Younes and outburst of infighting. They would have been aware of the ethnic cleansing against black Libyans, supposed “African mercenaries”, which had also reached the MSM. They would have been aware that many of the claims of acts of brutal repression carried out by Gaddafi had been rejected by NGOs on the ground. They would have been wary of all such propaganda anyway as seasoned campaigners against Western interventions in Kosovo, Iraq and elsewhere. They would have written PHDs about media manipulation.They would have recalled the case of the KLA, another gang of thugs hailed in the West as liberators. They would have been aware of the historic connections between Al-Quaeda type radicals and the CIA. They would have been aware of reports by whistle-blowers David Shayler and Annie Machon that MI6 expected them to collaborate with Benghazi based Al-Qaeda type elements in an attempt to assasinate Gaddafi. They would have recalled the vicious attack on Libya in 1986 on the flimsiest of pretexts, aimed at killing Gaddafi. They might even have marched trough London in protest holding a picture of the Libyan leader. They would have been aware of a pattern of imperial intervention throughout the world: the attempts to overthrow Chavez, to divide Bolivia, to surround Russia and China. They would have been aware of the inexorable growth of militarism and militarist sentiment. Of the tendency of the West to resolve its problems using force alone. They would have been aware of the ongoing attempts to destabilise Syria and Iran, using armed groups infiltrated into these countries, all the time being presented in the media as democratic movements. They would have been aware of the exaltation of NATO as the instrument of the extension of western power throughout the world through war. They would have been aware that there was no sign to the end of the NATO struggle in Afghanistan despite the manifest failure of its military campaign and the endless destruction and death in its wake. They would be aware that NATO bombs and kills indiscrimately, most famous bombing a series of 5 or 6 wedding celebrations in Afghanistan. They would have been aware of this and much more. They would then have considerable background, more than any other section of the population, to help them assess the events of the past week.

With this in mind I decided to check my impromptu thesis of the two lie trick by consulting various online leftist organs

Brendan O’Neil writing in Spiked ( formerly “Living Marxism”) gave us the following

“Across the Arab world, recent upheavals have raised the question of power but have also failed to resolve it satisfactorily; they have put on the table the important matter of political legitimacy, but no forces have been able or willing to claim that legitimacy. This is the case in Libya, too, where it is clear that Gaddafi is finished.”

“And if you believe Libyan observers, many of whom are understandably excited by the momentous events in their country, then NATO forces were a hindrance and only the National Transitional Council (NTC) deserves congratulations for what has happened in recent days.”

So Gaddafi is finished and TNC not only has popular support amongst many but could have done the job without NATO at all. So not even a discreet lie here but a big one, a whopper.

Pulse Media Yassin-Kassab, a commentator who swears by Aljazeera, wrote the following:

“After six months of struggle, the Libyan revolution has arrived (again) in Tripoli. There may still be a trick or two up the megalomaniac’s sleeve, but the news coming in at the moment suggests a precipitous collapse. Saif-ul-Islam al-Qaddafi has been arrested. The tyrant’s daughter Aisha’s house is under the revolutionaries’ control, as is the military base of the formerly feared Khamis Brigade. The brigade in charge of protecting Qaddafi himself has surrendered. (The foreign supporters of Qaddafi and his supposedly ‘loyal’ subjects must be feeling rather silly now). Inhabitants of Tripoli’s neighbourhoods are pouring into their streets to greet the revolutionary forces.”

Again my thesis has been confirmed beyond all expectation

Patrick Cockburn writing in counterpunch offered this:

“As in Kabul in 2001 and Baghdad in 2003, there was no last-ditch stand by the defeated regime, whose supporters appear to have melted away once they saw that defeat was inevitable.”

“But many of those celebrating in the streets of Tripoli and cheering the advancing rebel columns will expect their lives to get better, and will be disappointed if this does not happen.”

Fisk in the Independent seems quite transported and can’t wait for further regime change starting, needless to say, in Damascus:

“The scenes in Green Square yesterday were painfully similar to the crazed adoration on display at the same location for Gaddafi just a few weeks ago.”

“How soon will the liberators of Tripoli metamorphose into the liberators of Damascus and Aleppo and Homs? Or of Amman? Or Jerusalem? Or of Bahrain or Riyadh?”

Socialist Worker has this headline

“As Gaddafi’s brutal dictatorship crumbles…’

Unbelievably they add that

“In Libya it’s too early to judge if all the people will welcome Nato with open arms”

They seem worried that some may not: maybe their not anti-NATO after all.’

Stop the War( I’m not quite sure now which war) seems a bit more guarded but still makes the two key concessions:

“The fall of the Gadaffi regime in Libya marks yet another turning point in what has been a truly remarkable year in the Middle East.”

“While many Libyans may welcome the outcome, and will be glad to see the back of Gadaffi, it has a number of negative aspects.”

According to John Rees, STW spokesperson, on RT

“They[the Libyan people] have got rid of Gaddafi and no one is going to shed any tears for that brutal dictatorship”

According to Worker’s Liberty

“For anyone who believes in basic human freedom, the fact that Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year long reign of autocratic terror in Libya is seemingly at an end must be a cause for celebration.”

They don’t actually give any evidence of celebrations but presumably the Libyan people believe in basic human freedom and must therefore have celebrated a rampage of drugged-up killers through their capital.

True to form, neither the Scottish Socialist Party nor CND bothered to update their websites but I’m confident that had they done so they would also have been sharing the celebrations of the Libyan people after the overthrow of the brutal dictator.

I rest my case. NATO must be pleased with opponents like these, the antiwar people to whom those of us who wish to actively dissociate ourselves from mass murder might turn. Now, wherever we turn we find that ourselves party-pooping at the celebrations of what, whichever way you look at it, NATO has done.

What can explain this?

Is the left despite all the professors and lecturers in their ranks, all their sinecures inside the “bourgeois” institutions they affect to despise, a rather silly group who just don’t pay attention to what is going on or are they a reserve propaganda arm of the militarists, a sort of B team to catch any who fall through the net of the mainstream media.

I personally desist from the temptation to call the left fools and therefore opt for the second point of view. When Lenin heard that the German Social-Democrats supported the war in 1914 he didn’t believe it. It should now be only too believable that the left will provide further backing for the destabilisation of Syria and Iran and who knows what NATO aggression beyond that.



Monday, 29 August 2011


IRA helped in one of the most important ANC armed operations

THE IRA helped carry out one of the biggest bomb attacks against the South African apartheid government in the early 1980s, according to the memoirs of former senior ANC activist and politician Kader Asmal.

The former ANC cabinet minister and Trinity law professor, who died earlier this year, reveals in his memoirs published this week how volunteers recruited from Ireland carried out reconnaissance on one of the country’s most strategic installations – the Sasol oil refinery in Sasolburg, near Johannesburg, before it was bombed on June 1st, 1980.

The attack was carried out by Umkhonto we Sizwe, better known as MK, the military wing of the ANC, and struck a major blow against the apartheid state at the time.

In his book, Politics in my Blood , Asmal, founder of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM), also claims Gerry Adams provided the IRA volunteers to carry out the mission after he contacted go-between Michael O’Riordan, then general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland.

Asmal, who died in June this year aged 76, recounts how he was approached in the late 1970s to help arrange training for MK cadres in Ireland.

“I was very keen, but it was a delicate task because it would of necessity involve the IRA. None of us wished to place the ANC office in London in jeopardy or fuel the allegations of connivance between the ANC and IRA,” he writes.

“I went to see the general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, Michael O’Riordan, who was a man of great integrity and whom I trusted to keep a secret. He in turn contacted Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin and it was arranged that two military experts would come to Dublin to meet two MK personnel and take them to a safe place for two weeks of intensive training. I believe the expertise the MK cadres obtained was duly imparted to others in the ANC camps in Angola.”

Asmal says he was later approached again by the MK high command who wanted two people to conduct a reconnaissance operation on the feasibility of attacking Sasol, South Africa’s major oil refinery, vital to the maintenance of the apartheid state.

“Once again, I arranged the task with Adams of Sinn Féin, through the mediation of O’Riordan. Though I no longer recall the names of the persons who volunteered, if indeed I ever knew them, they laid the ground for one of the most dramatic operations carried out by MK personnel.”

Recalling the 1980 attack as one the most daring acts of military insurgency in the struggle against apartheid, he writes: “. . . while the damage to the refinery was, according to the apartheid regime, relatively superficial, the propaganda value and its effect on the morale of the liberation movement were inestimable. Yet only Louise (my wife) and I knew the attack on Sasolburg was the result of reconnaissance carried out by members of the IRA.”

He adds: “At the time of the Sasolburg attack, I was very much in tune with Ireland and with Irish needs and aspirations. I was a strong believer in Irish independence and in a united Ireland. But I never supported the IRA.”

He added: “The attack on Sasolburg had nothing to do with the IAAM, and nobody knew about the story behind it except Louise and me.

“When the plant blew up, we were so excited I suppose some of the other IAAM people must have wondered if we had any connection or involvement.”

A law professor at Trinity College Dublin for 27 years, Asmal returned to South Africa in 1990, and became Minister of Education after elections in 1999.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


Notting Hill: tensions high after recent deaths, say police

Met police spokesman says London residents are concerned over deaths of three men after police used Taser or pepper spray

Some Met officers have expressed disquiet over what they describe as a growing anti-police sentiment ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images
The recent spate of deaths following incidents involving police has stoked tensions among London communities ahead of the Notting Hill carnival, a senior Scotland Yard officer has admitted.

Commander Steve Rodhouse revealed that residents in the capital had raised concerns with the Met over policing strategy after the deaths of three men following contact with officers during the past 12 days.

Bodybuilder Dale Burns, 27, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, amateur rugby league player Jacob Michael, 25, from Widnes, Cheshire, and Philip Hulmes, 53, a delivery driver from near Bolton all died following incidents in which police used either Taser weapons or pepper spray.

Rodhouse, Metropolitan police spokesman for the carnival, said: "It is quite clear from talking to our communities that despite the fact that these deaths have actually been out of the capital and in the north, these deaths still resonate in our communities and we are aware of that when we are looking to test the tensions that exist within the capital.

"We try and take that into account to understand what is causing concern across the capital and the country."

Some Met officers have expressed disquiet over what they describe as a growing anti-police sentiment ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival, which begins on Sunday, and which will feature a record number of officers to counter potential trouble following the London riots earlier this month. The carnival, expected to draw crowds of more than 1 million, represents Scotland Yard's biggest public order test since the widespread disorder and coincides with high anxiety levels among many London communities.

In particular, details relating to the death of Michael who was pepper-sprayed after being arrested by up to eleven police officers have prompted concern.

Witnesses have described Michael being kicked and hit with police batons and officers sitting on him in the street near his home on Monday after being pepper-sprayed. The 25-year-old was taken to a police station where he became unwell and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead two hours later.

On Friday Rodhouse admitted that the death of Michael had been raised by concerned London residents during meetings with community organisers.

He said: "We spend an awful lot of time speaking to community members who can assist us with what is of concern and that incident has come up. We're very aware that incidents that take place in the rest of the country can still cause tension, uncertainty, in communities across London and elsewhere. So yes we are aware of that."

The day after Michael's death, Hulmes died after he was shot with a Taser during an incident at his home, although a postmortem concluded he died from self-inflicted stab wounds. Burns died on 16 August after officers reportedly shot him three times with a 50,000 volt Taser following reports of a disturbance at his Barrow-in-Furness flat.

Rodhouse, though, said that there were "no special arrangements" for the use of Taser during the carnival other than it remained an option as normal.

Met officers are also aware that another death following police contact, this time the shooting of Mark Duggan by a Met Co19 firearms officer, remains a simmering source of tension. The death of Duggan, 29, in Tottenham Hale, north London, was pivotal to triggering the UK riots. His funeral is scheduled for 9 September.

Rodhouse added that a petrol bomb attack on a marked police car patrolling Edmonton, north London on the day after Hulmes died was being looked at in the context of its timing before carnival.

Officers monitoring social networking sites ahead of the carnival say that online chatter is "similar" to previous years and are hoping that contingency measures such as the earlier than normal finishing time of the carnival would help minimise disorder.

Rodhouse added: "Historically and almost inevitably there is a degree of disorder every year at the Notting Hill carnival, what we see after dark particularly, is low level disorder."

Knife arches, stop and search and the use of "spotters" to identify troublemakers will all be in use during the carnival, Europe's largest street party.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


"You have to know that every brother is not a brother and every other is not an other. But you must know who your enemy is and on a major scale, a worldwide scale, the white man is my enemy"
- Jeru the Damaja


PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE WANTS TO RE-FOCUS PRO-WEST 'ARAB SPRING' INTO AN ANTI-IMPERIALIST/ANTI-ZIONIST STRUGGLE: One cannot understand Palestine without understanding nato/AJE/zionist moves against Libya, Syria, Lebanon. nato trying to make facts on the ground which arent there in these countries: LIES LIES LIES, with Jazeera helping all along.

In Libya nato *literally* bomb a path with their jets and apache helicpoters for the pro-nato slaves/rebels to then advance, only then to run back when Libyan army start to get them. For eg, last night AJE etc saying pro-nato rebels took Brega, bt now they saying Gadaffi's people has taken Brega back.

LOADS of lies in relation to Libya, AJE just before had a pro-nato Libyan guy in Ldn saying General Kweld Hamedi has defected under nato protection, I know his son and this is a lie and the family is gonna sue nATO for killing their children!

But they are lying about Libya to justify their actions against Syria, to show a nato operation can work and to garner mass support and momentum to now roll on Syria.

And see how Jazeera are reporting on Lebanon and justifying the war against Hizbullah which is about to come in the next year or so.


The most sophisticated sections of the Palestinian Revolution, esp the leadership of the armed movements understand all this very well, and have been for some months now trying to shift the mass attention away from allies of the anti-imperialist struggle (Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Algeria, Sudan etc) to re-focus it to the REAL enemies of the Arab and African peoples which is the zionist state and empire. Hamas' armed-wing the Qassam Brigades have called off their two year ceasfire with the zionist state and are reportedely firing rockets at the zionist state. This is the day after the probably the Palestinian resistance, possibly with the support of support from Arabs in Sinai fought a whole day fire fight with zionst forces in the popular sea-side resort of eilat in the south of the zionist state.

Major respect to the Palestinian Resistance for escalating the liberation war against the zionism and empire, and helping the Arabs understand that its not Assad and Gadafi who are the enemies of the struggle, actually they are progressive and radical allies, but the zionist state and empire.

I hope people like brother Ali Abunimah and others will understand that things like Al-Jazeera (BOTH arabic and english) and organisations like GYBO are integral to the empire and zionist project to justify regime change by other civil means, with the threat of military strikes from nato as back up. GYBO in Gaza have been protesting against Assad in Syria, ie., their protest is FULLY in line with zionism and empire, AND DOING THIS IN *GAZA*(!!) against and in so doing trying to criminalise Hamas more in the eyes of their friends. So obvious and dodgy.

I am all for peoples rights, but not for assisting the project of empire and zionism against Hamas, Palestine, Assad and Syria etc.

I hope our peoples will stay vigilant, and those high on jazeera and nato crack will get into rehab asap and recover.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011



When the whites became black...The Specials circa 1980


Speaking about the London riots last week, David Starkey told Newsnight that the big problem in today’s society “is that the chavs…have become black; the whites have become black.”

In a sense, he is right. One of the biggest problems for him and his fellow white supremacists* is indeed the danger that English youth begin to side with the Third World liberation struggle, rather than with their own government’s colonial aggression. And through the white youth’s adoption of black cultural idioms, that process has already begun.

All major forms of popular dance music (from soul and funk to hiphop and jungle) are creations of Africans and their descendants. And, although many of these artforms have subsequently degenerated since coming under the control of giant corporations, at the heart of all of them there was originally a spirit of militant resistance.

One the clearest examples of this is reggae music. Reggae took the iconography of Rastafarianism – perhaps the most accessible and visceral depiction of colonial relations yet articulated – and turned it into a universal language of proud and defiant resistance. Even across the oppressor nations in the West, people fell in love with the beat, and soon began to absorb the message as well. Soon after arriving on these shores, it became a massive inspiration and influence behind the punk movement - another historical moment when ‘the whites became black’ – which briefly appeared as a genuine threat to the class exploitation system.

So black culture does tend to embody a spirit of defiance and resistance against the exploiters’, their state and its colonial system; white peopleare embracing this culture and it is a problem for David Starkey and folks like him.

But there are two sides to the ‘whites becoming black’ coin. Young impoverished whites in England are not only being drawn towards ‘being black’ – they are also being blocked from fully ‘being white’. To understand this, we need to get to grips with the political purpose behind the concept of ‘whiteness’ in the first place. Theodore Allen has argued convincingly that ‘whiteness’ as a distinct category was invented in the American colonies of Maryland and Virginia in order to prevent property-less Europeans allying with African Americans - by conferring certain privileges onto them. It worked very well – generally speaking, white workers did indeed begin to identify more with their own exploiters than with the black slaves; the edge was taken off their own exploitation by being granted access to a small share of the more extreme exploitation of the Africans. In the twentieth century a similar process has taken place across Europe through the combination of the welfare state and tough immigration laws. On the one hand, the welfare state for a long time enabled even the most disadvantaged citizens of the ‘white’ countries access to a relatively decent standard of living. On the other, tough immigration laws maintained full employment whilst preventing the vast majority of the global workforce any real access to the fruits of their labour. In return, English workers by and large gave their consent to the colonial (and neo-colonial) exploitation that underwrote the whole system.

Today, for property-less whites, those privileges are being obliterated. Since the 1980s, significant sections of ‘white’ society in the West have begun to lose, therefore, the very thing that makes them ‘white’ – their privileged status. Nell Painter put it clearly in her book The History of White People. For her, whiteness is “a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively”. For the white ‘underclass’ in England, it is a status that is rapidly being withdrawn.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the demonization of the so-called ‘chav’. The middle class stereotype of the ‘chav’ is much like the racist stereotype of the ‘nigger’ – lazy, stupid, violent etc. But in fact it also incorporates the more specific stereotype of the ‘uppity nigger’: a member of the underclass who ‘doesn’t know his place’; who gets ideas ‘above his station’; in other words, who refuses to accept his subordinate position in society. How else can we interpret the endless middle class mockery of the ‘bling’ worn by poor youth? Jewelleryitself is not condemned – what is being condemned is the right of the poor to wear it.

So, losing their privileged ‘white’ status, being subjected to old, racist, stereotypes in a new form, and attracted to the oppositional pride and defiance of black music and culture, white youth in poor areas are ceasing to be ‘white’ and are instead ‘becoming black’. On a cultural level, they are joining the ‘fourth world’ – those in the West with ancestral homelands in the third world, who by and large constitute the dispossessed of the West, and as such form the most potentially revolutionary class.

This all came to a head in the riots last week, where poor white youth joined with black people in what was originally an outburst of anger against brutal and racist policing. The fact that many then subsequently took the opportunity to stock up on the goods they have been denied, or even that some went on to commit arson or murder, should not detract from this fact.**

So we should perhaps be thanking Starkey for bringing the issue of race into the debate from where it had been conspicuously absent hitherto. But the real problem – from our perspective – is not that the ‘whites think they’re black’. Inasmuch as ‘white’ is a symbol of privilege and the ‘right to rule’, the real problem is that people like David Starkey think they’re ‘white’.

*By white supremacist, I mean here those who favour the continued domination of the globe by the European and European settler nations (the so-called ‘first world’).

** It is important to remember that gang violence and burglary were not something new, brought about by the riots – they were already taking place before the riots; in fact, gang violence may actually may have decreased during the riots (5).

With thanks to Sukant Chandan and Dr Lez Henry for making me think about these things...not that either of them necessarily agree with my views!


Saturday, 13 August 2011





I no longer live in London. I've been transplanted to Los Angeles by a combination of love and money; such good fortune and opportunity, in both cases, you might think disqualify me from commenting on matters in my homeland. Even the results of Britain's Got Ice-Factor may lay prettily glistening beyond my remit now that I am self-banished.

To be honest when I lived in England I didn't really care too much for the fabricated theatrics of reality TV. Except when I worked for Big Brother, then it was my job to slosh about in the amplified trivia of the housemates/inmates. Sometimes it was actually quite bloody interesting. Particularly the year that Nadia won. She was the Portuguese transsexual. Remember? No? Well, that's the nature of the medium; as it whizzes past the eyes it seems very relevant but the malady of reality TV stars is that their shelf life expires, like dog years, by the power of seven. To me it seems as if Nadia's triumph took place during the silver jubilee, we had a street party.

Early in that series there was an incident of excitement and high tension. The testosteronal, alpha figures of the house – a Scot called Jason and a Londoner called Victor – incited by the teasing conditions and a camp lad called Marco (wow, it's all coming back) kicked off in the house, smashed some crockery and a few doors. Police were called, tapes were edited and the carnival rolled on. When I was warned to be discreet on-air about the extent of the violence, I quoted a British first-world-war general who, reflecting on the inability of his returning troops to adapt to civilian life, said: "You cannot rouse the animal in man then expect it to be put aside at a moment's notice."

"Yeah, that's exactly the kind of thing we want you to say the opposite of," said the channel's representative.

This week's riots are sad and frightening and, if I have by virtue of my temporary displacement forgone the right to speak about the behaviour of my countrymen, then this is gonna be irksome. I mean even David Cameron came back from his holiday. Eventually. The Tuscan truffles lost their succulence when the breaking glass became too loud to ignore. Then dopey ol' Boris came cycling back into the London clutter with his spun gold hair and his spun shit logic as it became apparent that the holiday was over.

In fact, it isn't my absence from the territory of London that bothers me; it's my absence from the economic class that is being affected that itches in my gut because, as I looked at the online incident maps, the boroughs that were suffering all, for me, had some resonance. I've lived in Dalston, Hackney, Elephant, Camden and Bethnal Green. I grew up round Dagenham and Romford and, whilst I could never claim to be from the demographic most obviously affected, I feel guilty that I'm not there now.

I feel proud to be English, proud to be a Londoner (all right, an Essex boy), never more so than since being in exile, and I naturally began to wonder what would make young people destroy their communities.

I have spoken to mates in London and Manchester and they sound genuinely frightened and hopeless, and the details of their stories place this outbreak beyond the realms of any political idealism or rationalisation. But I can't, from my ivory tower in the Hollywood Hills, compete with the understandable yet futile rhetoric, describing the rioters as mindless. Nor do I want to dwell on the sadness of our beautiful cities being tarnished and people's shops and livelihoods, sometimes generations old, being immolated. The tragic and inevitable deaths ought to be left for eulogies and grieving. Tariq Jahan has spoken so eloquently from his position of painful proximity, with such compassion, that nearly all else is redundant.

The only question I can legitimately ask is: why is this happening? Mark Duggan's death has been badly handled but no one is contesting that is a reason for these conflagrations beyond the initial flash of activity in Tottenham. I've heard Theresa May and the Old Etonians whose hols have been curtailed (many would say they're the real victims) saying the behaviour is "unjustifiable" and "unacceptable". Wow! Thanks guys! What a wonderful use of the planet's fast-depleting oxygen resources. Now that's been dealt with can we move on to more taxing matters such as whether or not Jack The Ripper was a ladies' man. And what the hell do bears get up to in those woods?

However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in.

Unless on the news tomorrow it's revealed that there's been a freaky "criminal creating" chemical leak in London and Manchester and Liverpool and Birmingham that's causing young people to spontaneously and simultaneously violate their environments – in which case we can park the ol' brainboxes, stop worrying and get on with the football season, but I suspect there hasn't – we have, as human beings, got a few things to consider together.

I should here admit that I have been arrested for criminal damage for my part in anti-capitalist protest earlier in this decade. I often attended protests and then, in my early 20s, and on drugs, I enjoyed it when the protests lost direction and became chaotic, hostile even. I was intrigued by the anarchist "Black bloc", hooded and masked, as, in retrospect, was their agenda, but was more viscerally affected by the football "casuals" who'd turn up because the veneer of the protest's idealistic objective gave them the perfect opportunity to wreck stuff and have a row with the Old Bill.

That was never my cup of tea though. For one thing, policemen are generally pretty good fighters and second, it registered that the accent they shouted at me with was closer to my own than that of some of those singing about the red flag making the wall of plastic shields between us seem thinner.

I found those protests exciting, yes, because I was young and a bit of a twerp but also, I suppose, because there was a void in me. A lack of direction, a sense that I was not invested in the dominant culture, that government existed not to look after the interests of the people it was elected to represent but the big businesses that they were in bed with.

I felt that, and I had a mum who loved me, a dad who told me that nothing was beyond my reach, an education, a grant from Essex council (to train as an actor of all things!!!) and several charities that gave me money for maintenance. I shudder to think how disenfranchised I would have felt if I had been deprived of that long list of privileges.

That state of deprivation though is, of course, the condition that many of those rioting endure as their unbending reality. No education, a weakened family unit, no money and no way of getting any. JD Sports is probably easier to desecrate if you can't afford what's in there and the few poorly paid jobs there are taken. Amidst the bleakness of this social landscape, squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity. That daily, hourly, incessantly enforces the egregious, deceitful message that you are what you wear, what you drive, what you watch and what you watch it on, in livid, neon pixels. The only light in their lives comes from these luminous corporate messages. No wonder they have their fucking hoods up.

I remember Cameron saying "hug a hoodie" but I haven't seen him doing it. Why would he? Hoodies don't vote, they've realised it's pointless, that whoever gets elected will just be a different shade of the "we don't give a toss about you" party.

Politicians don't represent the interests of people who don't vote. They barely care about the people who do vote. They look after the corporations who get them elected. Cameron only spoke out against News International when it became evident to us, US, the people, not to him (like Rose West, "He must've known") that the newspapers Murdoch controlled were happy to desecrate the dead in the pursuit of another exploitative, distracting story.

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, "mindlessly", motivated only by self-interest? How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that's why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron's mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there's no such thing.

If we don't want our young people to tear apart our communities then don't let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.

As you have by now surely noticed, I don't know enough about politics to ponder a solution and my hands are sticky with blood money from representing corporate interests through film, television and commercials, venerating, through my endorsements and celebrity, products and a lifestyle that contributes to the alienation of an increasingly dissatisfied underclass. But I know, as we all intuitively know, the solution is all around us and it isn't political, it is spiritual. Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

In this simple sentiment we can find hope, as we can in the efforts of those cleaning up the debris and ash in bonhomous, broom-wielding posses. If we want to live in a society where people feel included, we must include them, where they feel represented, we must represent them and where they feel love and compassion for their communities then we, the members of that community, must find love and compassion for them.

As we sweep away the mistakes made in the selfish, nocturnal darkness we must ensure that, amidst the broken glass and sadness, we don't sweep away the youth lost amongst the shards in the shadows cast by the new dawn.


Thursday, 11 August 2011



‎"[T]he unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps."

— Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)



The cause of rioting in the UK is the failure of the British government in reaching millions of young Brits across the country.

These youngsters, from black and working class communities, have legitimate demands to have better representation, better education and health services, better housing, jobs and more and equal opportunities.

The recent events have made Cameron unfit for the job, because of his policy failure not to respond positively to these demands. He described his own people as criminals in statements today. Instead of investing taxpayers money in areas underfunded, he is spending it on waging a savage war on Libyan people.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Written by Fahim, an old Brother of Sons of Malcolm:

1. We must get out on our streets and make sure that no one is brutalised by the police or our young people, that no homes are threatened by fire, and that the elderly, disabled, sick, pregnant and young are protected.

2. We, the community, must take RESPONSIBILITY for solving our problems.

3. We must promise our young people that we will listen to them and nurture them, and build hope for the future.

4. We must demand that the police drop charges against everyone being prosecuted, and declare an amnesty on all those who are being investigated. It will be a disaster if we let hundreds of children and teenagers go to prison. It is not a safe or positive place for them.

5. We must demand that the police stop killing our people, and end the culture of lying whenever they do kill our people.

6. We must demand that the police publicly admit the unlawful killing of Mark Duggan, Smiley Culture, Kingsley Burrell, Demetre Fraser, Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles De Menezes, and the hundreds of others they have killed over the years. They must apologise to the families & pay reparations.

7. We must help the police to purge themselves of racist and ageist attitudes. We must encourage people to come and criticise the police constructively. We must hold the police accountable to the community.

8. We must demand funding for youth projects, youth clubs, better education, and investment in industry and infrastructure regeneration projects. This must be provided by the financial industry, especially the banks bailed out by public money.

9. We must demand the prosecution of politicians for engaging in illegal wars and committing expenses fraud, bankers and brokers for massive financial fraud, the tabloid media for phone-hacking, and police officers for killing people unlawfully and colluding with the tabloid media in phone-hacking.

10. We must believe in our strength, our ability to solve our problems, and our ability to negotiate these demands from the government, financiers, media and police.



These youth are of a forgotten generation.

They were born mostly in the 1980s and early 1990s.

They have increasingly little job and housing prospects, come from the poorest and most discriminated communities (mostly black and Asian)

They have seen no one of the older generations come to support them in any way, actually they feel, rightly to some extent, that they have been dumped on the scrap heap socially, and they are constantly admonished by their elders in their families, communities and society in general

They have seen guns and drugs swamping their community with no protection from the police, with many allegations that the police are complicit in this situation

This mass rebellion of the poor and black is historic, in as much this hasnt happened for over a generation.

Cameron talks about law and order and criminality, but just last night nato killed over 85 civilians in Libya including many children, who are the real criminals and who is really violating law and order?

If Cameron uses rubber bullets against the youth, the youth are largely armed with handguns and other semi automatic weapons, militarising the social riots will result in a very bloody mess.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


Good on elder Brother Darcus Howe for putting this stupid BBC presenter in her place





Monday, 8 August 2011



This morning I woke up in a curfew;
O God, I was a prisoner, too - yeah!
Could not recognize the faces standing over me;
They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality. Eh!

How many rivers do we have to cross,
Before we can talk to the boss? Eh!
All that we got, it seems we have lost;
We must have really paid the cost.

(That's why we gonna be)
Burnin' and a-lootin' tonight;
(Say we gonna burn and loot)
Burnin' and a-lootin' tonight;
(One more thing)
Burnin' all pollution tonight;
(Oh, yeah, yeah)
Burnin' all illusion tonight.

Oh, stop them!

Give me the food and let me grow;
Let the Roots Man take a blow.
All them drugs gonna make you slow now;
It's not the music of the ghetto. Eh!

Weeping and a-wailin' tonight;
(Who can stop the tears?)
Weeping and a-wailin' tonight;
(We've been suffering these long, long-a years!)
Weeping and a-wailin' tonight
(Will you say cheer?)
Weeping and a-wailin' tonight
(But where?)

Give me the food and let me grow;
Let the Roots Man take a blow.
I must say: all them - all them drugs gonna make you slow;
It's not the music of the ghetto.

We gonna be burning and a-looting tonight;
(To survive, yeah!)
Burning and a-looting tonight;
(Save your baby lives)
Burning all pollution tonight;
(Pollution, yeah, yeah!)
Burning all illusion tonight
(Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord!)

Burning and a-looting tonight;
Burning and a-looting tonight;
Burning all pollution tonight.


"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government"

"A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard."

But Sons of Malcolm also would like to make clear that we must proceed from a reactive position of rioting, which brings with it the inevitable negative impact on our own communities with our local businesses and homes and families being adversely impacted. We need to move forward from this relatively lower level of disorganised and spontaneous resistance to a more organised, concious, and strategic resistance which builds our power gradually.

The models for this best suited to our situation are the Black Panthers, Sinn Fein and the radical mass movements of Basque Country youth. Especially Sinn Fein shows how a working class oppressed community from imperialism can resist and build up the revolutionary civil mass organisations of the communities.

The best community revolutionaries and grassroots organisers must go into serious discussion as to initiating projects and organisations to meet the demands of our times.

Seize the time.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Sunday, 7 August 2011



The Black Panther Ten-Point Program

1. We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine
The Destiny Of Our Black Community.
We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

2. We Want Full Employment For Our People.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the White American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We Want An End To The Robbery
By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.
We believe that if the White Landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

5. We Want Education For Our People That Exposes
The True Nature Of This Decadent American Society.
We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History
And Our Role In The Present-Day Society.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

6. We Want All Black Men To Be Exempt From Military Service.
We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black people, are being victimized by the White racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

7. We Want An Immediate End To
Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.
We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self- defense.

8. We Want Freedom For All Black Men
Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.
We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.

9. We Want All Black People When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In
Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People From Their Black
Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States.
We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that Black people will receive fair trials. The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been, and are being, tried by all-White juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the Black community.

10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education,
Clothing, Justice And Peace.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.



In a time where empire and its vassals (like Al-Jazeera) are promoting empire liberalism and its related culture to weaken the peoples of the Global South's independence and struggles, its important to revisit the cultural problem in our revolutionary struggles.

The bombing of Libya by nato could only have happened by making a significant amount of Libyan youth in the cities look towards the pro-empire liberalist political and cultural line of things like Al-Jazeera. Even the Financial Times admits this.

Losing our connection culturally to our ancestors and elders means losing our roots, and without roots, we cannot grow and be free.

The following is an interesting excerpt from the great African revolutionary Cabral.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

"The experience of colonial domination shows that, in the effort to perpetuate exploitation, the colonizers not only creates a system to repress the cultural life of the colonized people; he also provokes and develops the cultural alienation of a part of the population, either by so-called assimilation of indigenous people, or by creating a social gap between the indigenous elites and the popular masses. As a result of this process of dividing or of deepening the divisions in the society, it happens that a considerable part of the population, notably the urban or peasant petite bourgeoisie, assimilates the colonizer's mentality, considers itself culturally superior to its own people and ignores or looks down upon their cultural values. This situation, characteristic of the majority of colonized intellectuals, is consolidated by increases in the social privileges of the assimilated or alienated group with direct implications for the behavior of individuals in this group in relation to the liberation movement. A reconversion of minds--of mental set--is thus indispensable to the true integration of people into the liberation movement. Such reonversion--re-Africanization, in our case--may take place before the struggle, but it is completed only during the course of the struggle, through daily contact with the popular masses in the communion of sacrifice required by the struggle."


"In order for culture to play the important role which falls to it in the framework of the liberation movement, the movement must be able to preserve the positive cultural values of every well defined social group, of every category, and to achieve the confluence of these values in the service of the struggle, giving it a new dimension--the national dimension. Confronted with such a necessity, the liberation struggle is, above all, a struggle both for the preservation and survival of the cultural values of the people and for the harmonization and development of these values within a national framework. "