Thursday, 17 May 2012

Not the King's speech

At the recent alternative march to the presence of the EDL in Luton on May the 5th 2012, there were a number of speeches made by local people, trade unionists and MP's. I have been fortunate enough to get a transcript of one particular speech and have posted here in NNI.


And we are here today because there is an ever-increasing divide in the UK between people of different heritage. This divide is pushed on us by people such as Theresa May and David Cameron. Cameron who last February made a scandalous speech, whilst you were here standing against the oppression of the EDL, when he said that multiculturalism had failed in the UK. This divide and rule is accomplished through the mainstream media, whose sole purpose it seems, is to keep us in a perpetual state of fear and terror of each other.

A Fear and terror that is preyed upon by likes of Stephen Lennon and Saiful Islam.

The challenge is to rise above this daily indoctrination, led by the media, on how we should see one another. Like Martin Luther King I am proud to be “mal-adjusted to a sick society”, a society that stands by and watches as our liberties are eroded daily and the blame laid at the feet of Muslims.
I do not need to be a Muslim to know that Muslims are being targeted today, and let me be frank, it is white males like George Bush and Tony Blair, with the exception of Barack Obama, that have been the biggest terrorists and terror threat for the past 11 years, not Islam. We have to realise we all share a common heritage, the human heritage, that we have more in common with each other than we do differences and it is this fact that has led to me speaking here today.

There are no problems but human problems.

When we start to see ourselves as being human, not divided, not separate races, then we start to realise that we cannot sit idly by and watch as groups get singled out, and not stand in defence of them. It is all to easy to sit and point the finger of blame at everyone except ourselves for not making a stand, because we were too distracted by football or X-factor.

Once we have taken responsibility for the world we live in we have a duty to act.

Tensions in the town are high and it is everybody’s responsibility to do what we can, to undo the damage being done by a minority group of ignorant people that do not truly represent the people that they claim to.

Now I am going to say something that may not be popular but feel it is important. Hating the EDL will neither make them go away nor solve the problem. This goes for all extremist views. The leadership, if you can call it that, of the EDL have ignorant views on society and have been followed blindly by a misguided and ill-informed group of people.
Ignorance breeds fear, for you’ll always fear what you do not understand.
These extremists, like all people, are products of their environment. That is to say that if Stephen Lennon had been adopted at birth by a Muslim family, then I am sure his views on Islam would be vastly different to that of the rhetoric he spouts today.

This is human nurture over nature.

If the environment and experiences of these people are of a negative nature, with regards to different parts of the community, then the extremist views of people like Stephen Lennon and Saiful Islam will find a home to fester and grow.

So long as we continue to be conned into being divided up into groups we will change nothing, Muslims will fight for the Muslim causes, the nationalists will fight for their nations and the ignorant will fight for their idea of race.

Hate will only lead to more hate.

Positive experience is one way we can help to rebuild relations, in not only this town, but across the country. We are all connected in a way that no one yet fully understands and if we do not come together in brotherhood then we will perish as fools. As Jiddu Krishnamurti said “you have to be the light”, this means WE, have to be the light.
Which is why I am proud to stand here today with people coming together to make the change.
To demonstrate in a peaceful way is a much more powerful message than letting it descend into violence and confrontation, so I urge you evoke a spirit of non-violence today and on this note I will leave you with Martin Luther Kings view on non-violence;

"I am still convinced that nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice.” '

Nonviolence, the most potent weapon against oppression

Martin Luther King said that "nonviolence was the most important weapon in the fight for freedom and justice in the face of oppression." In these times of rising fascism and violence it might seem like 'human nature' to fight fire with fire.

An eye for an eye will only serve to leave the world blind.

On Saturday May 5th 2012 the English Defence League (EDL) held a rally in what they call their 'home', Luton, but faced stiff opposition from a counter rally taking place at the same time made up of people both locally and nationally. The counter rally was organised by a group of people that both live and work in the town from across all the communities.

The group are called 'We Are Luton'.

Lindsey German
We Are Luton (WAL) have been busy in recent weeks organising not only a counter rally but also a public meeting the week before, where big name speakers included Unite Against Fascism (UAF) Weyman Bennett, Yvonne Ridley from Press TV and Lindsey German from Stop the War Coalition. The evening was quite a success with all the speakers making valid points on the issues facing not only Luton, but the UK as a whole regarding the rise of fascism. Yvonne Ridley struck a chord with me particularly when she commented on the lack of positive news in the media when it comes to Muslim's and the creeping of Islamophobia in the news. Ridley also explained how the medieval laws that are being passed in Europe on the niqab have led to an increase in sales in London, where wealthy Saudi's now flock to do their shopping. I do not know if this has made it into the mainstream news but find it highly unlikely that anyone is going to report on a positive story of women wearing niqab.

Following the success of the public meeting the next target was the counter rally. It was well attended by people from Luton and areas around the country that have been affected by the presence of extremism at either end of the scale. People began gathering in the Wardown Park area from around 11am and talked amongst themselves whilst coaches began to appear with supporters from further afield, when the police then dropped a clanger by guiding in an EDL coach to the park. This was only a minor hiccup and they were quickly ushered away and to the far side of the town centre where they were due to congregate with the rest of the misguided EDL followers.

We Are Luton on the march
The first phase of speeches were held, followed by the march through town and back again, to the stage to finish up with more speakers. The speakers took to the stage with passion on the reasons why we had gathered and included local MP Gavin Shuker and Councillor Sian Timoney, who sported a rather fetching jacket. The WAL rally was well attended throughout, watching it on ITV in the evening gave a true sense of the numbers in attendance on both sides; these images seemed to suggest that the true figures in attendance were at odds with the police press release statement. The numbers quoted here of 3000 EDL to 1000 WAL have been hotly disputed by community members that oversaw the event from the central control area who believed it to be more the other way around.

The cynical amongst us may suspect that the police need to exaggerate the extent of the EDL numbers so that they can justify their claims to be left alone during times of austerity.

The press rounded up its coverage of the day with the police by focusing on a small group of United Against Fascism (UAF) protesters that broke away from the WAL march. In this small and misguided act by youngsters, the police and the media focused on the apparent disorder of the UAF, without having too much to say about the smoke bombs, flares and bottles thrown by the EDL at both the police and the protesters as they made their way under a bridge along their route.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bank holiday Monday ambush

There is a motoring myth out there whereby innocent motorists view a bank holiday the same as a Sunday, and so park accordingly, wherever they feel like it. Not so the Traffic warden, or Civil Enforcement Officers as they are now called, who this morning walked around the corner of my street only to find a line of sacrificial lambs waiting to be ticketed.
2 out of 12 unlucky motorists

Whilst most people were out enjoying their extra day off, the Enforcement officer was getting an early night ready for the bank holiday Monday ambush. In total 12 cars had been ticketed, including my own, which I am not going to pay.

Thankfully though the bank holiday will be a thing of the past, after all working maximum hours for minimum wage is they key to a long, healthy and joyous life didn't you know? 

'Experts' have worked out that the bank holiday costs the UK economy somewhere in the region of £18 billion a year, a cost that has been exasperated by the Royal 'distraction' Wedding and the upcoming Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I would rather work than celebrate either of those days at any rate.

The bank holidays, including the additional one for the Royal wedding, have been attributed to the stall in the economy, that subsequently led to the 'surprise' double dip that occurred in recent weeks. This happened in spite of the governments attempts to 'cook the books' by drumming up fear and panic buying at the petrol pumps and super markets leading up to the end of the last quarter. The fact that people have less purchasing power and technological unemployment becoming ever more present, of course had nothing to do with it.

So to the bank holidays, enjoy them whilst you can for I am sure your elected government will decide, in your best interests, that you are best served to work, work and work yourself some more, into happiness and prosperity.