Friday, 17 May 2013

Need You...



Our Government NEEDS us...

...it is a victim of abuse and WE must come to the rescue


Currently, daily and for the longest time - bullies, liars and thieves have sent sharp-suited, slick-talking Lobbyists into the place where our laws are made. These Lobbyists buy, cheat, manipulate, blackmail and bribe their agenda in – masquerading as democracy. 

THIS isn’t democracy – our democratic SYSTEM of government has been beaten out of shape - to serve the powerful, the wealthy and the greedy; it is now so broken and so ugly that only the worst, can function within it. 

Those lower-down the heirachy who claim to represent us are mere mouthpieces, part of the charade; feeble MPs, too weak, too threatened, too ambitious or too corrupted to do the job we trusted them with. They are NOT speaking out about the abuse and are therefore facilitating it with their compliance. Gutless and worse than ineffective; they serve as the phoney face of this fiction.

The system though is JUST a structure - NOT an ideology, NOT set in stone and NOT (yet) out of reach. It just requires fixing or redesigning so that it reflects the honesty, fairness and justice we should be demanding of OUR democratic system of government.

WE are the many and the bad are the few

Up until the internet came along, those holding office and wielding power had the loudest voices through control of media; now though, we connect, we broadcast, we get informed and are buoyed by the realisation that so very many share our discoveries and dismay...as well as our hopes.

We KNOW that trusting politicians is a stupid thing to do, we KNOW each government (all parties) will break their election promises, we KNOW that there is a revolving door that sees politicians end up with great roles in the private sector after complying with Lobbyists throughout their terms, we KNOW our academic institutions are having their research bought, tampered with and paid for by those industries with a vested interest in the outcomes and we KNOW we are lied to daily... so, WTF?

I often hear: “You know there’s nothing you can do to change it don’t you?”
THIS is the saddest thing because it reflects complete submission to a system we KNOW to be lying to us; an acceptance that the abuse can continue and that we WILL be passing this on to the next generation.

I also (more and more frequently) hear: “You know all we need is for the others to join us – then we CAN change this.”
THIS is the source of my optimism and certainty that our individual humanity (when combined) is the home of the solution. 

We are divided, fragmented and encouraged to turn on each other by applying labels and making assumptions and judgements we really have no right to make - but I KNOW when we come together with a shared need to solve a problem, a unique connectivity brings about unique solutions.

It IS time for each of us to be the honourable people we are at our core – time to get a whole lot louder and the only way to do that is to become an *activist.
(*Activist = someone who acts on their concerns).

So what DO activists do? They research, they gather with others who feel the same, they write letters to politicians, they put themselves in the way of bad acts, they dance in protest, knit in protest, chalk in protest, perform in protest, be loud in protest and sit in silence when that suits.

Knitting Protest

You can be the activist YOU choose to be... alone, in secret, in public, with others or at a mass demonstration. Recently I have seen noble individuals, standing alone with simple signs in simple acts of protest at appropriate locations; I have seen little knitted droplets shaped to represent water, hanging from trees in a town threatened by big energy; I have camped in the mud with 300 others because it was worth it for the opportunity to share plans, resources, humour and determination;  I have been amongst a mass of Anonymous-masked others taking to the streets because they ARE our streets and I have sat in deep conversation with a ‘Knitting Nanna’ from Australia who travelled across the world to help inspire and charge those facing a shared fight with a hugely powerful industry.

Deciding to do something about the wrongs you see is an individual choice 

~ but a universal obligation

Remember that scene in that movie where the angry newsman finally loses his ability to put up with the masquerade any longer and screams: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it!” I had this surge within me in October2011 – my own, personal ‘enough-is-bloody-enough’ moment brought on by bailouts and cutbacks that were so absurd - I felt it a huge insult to ask us to swallow it. 


Because our government isn’t OURS, it can watch the suffering of those facing ATOS assessments that de-humanise them beyond comprehension – all under the guise of weeding out the tiny, tiny fraction that are not legit; it can steal away OUR NHS that we and our parents and their parents paid for dutifully, imagining it would be our legacy, that the taxes and NI contributions might ensure it; it can turn a blind eye to the desperate needs within our communities for investment in the things that matter like respectful, dignified care for our elders, a more generous teacher-to-pupil ratio for our young and a way of meeting our energy needs that doesn’t sacrifice our health and well-being.

Today... is a good day to become the activist you choose to be

You are NEEDED x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Democracy doesn't look like this...



Every generation was in evidence at the event in Trafalgar Square, individuals as well as groups including Anonymous; People's Unity;  those fighting to survive on newly slashed disability benefits; mothers calling, imploring and pleading for the return of their children who are in the 'care' system; those hit by cruel cuts to benefits or additions to cost like the bedroom tax; lots of gorgeous faces I know from the tents at the steps of St Paul's during Occupythe London Stock Exchange; environmental activists, tax justice activists’ defenders of the NHS and those who, through social media like Facebook and Twitter... came to find their own way to share a desire for change to the way we are governed. We were not masses... but we were representative and numerous.

Everyone was there for a reason and each of us must have been questioning if we truly live in a democracy; as the female police officer stopped me and held me in place, it confirmed what I already surmised - THIS is NOT what democracy looks like. She had no cause and no right to stop me or anyone else on this perfectly peaceful walk from Trafalgar Square to Parliament and back; NO weapons, NO threats, NO militant groups- just people who can't get themselves heard in any other way.

Since 15 October 2011 I have been to quite a few events (demonstrations/protests etc don't really describe these gatherings)... and on EVERY one, it has been the same sense of 'them & us' with the London police. THEY come looking for trouble and end up ensuring it by their behaviour towards us.

Where is MY police protection? Why aren't THEY looking to facilitate my RIGHT to protest ...and ensuring aggressive behaviour is minimised by contributing to the atmosphere with co-operative, polite, respectful actions? I and those I had the honour to walk beside on 4th May 2013 in London... are NOT criminals and do NOT deserve to be treated as if we are.

Here is an insight into the lunacy of this common method of policing our democratic right to protest... I asked the police woman who was stopping my progress, why she was and she said: "you have to stay here" - I replied that I didn't want to and would like to carry on walking ...and then asked if there was a specific law or reason to stop me. She said she was stopping me under 'section 3' - I HAD to ask what this meant as she didn't say any more (must have assumed I was well-aquatinted with this sort of legal definition). She said it was because there was:

"...the possibility I might be going to commit a crime"

Let me just mention at this point that aside from being a five-foot grandma without a weapon... I was wearing a big pink sheet and a smile. There was no logic to her behaviour and her attitude was rude, dictatorial and aggressive - mine was polite, friendly and peaceable. Thankfully those of us there sort of propelled forward so that it wasn't just me breaking the police line that was attempting to kettle us ...more of a gentle yet sufficient surge.


The kettling attempts by the police kept happening over and over in the few hours from gathering and walking, to disbursing - YET there wasn't a single incident that called for kettling. My sister (also wearing a pink sheet and lovely smile) suggested to a young officer that it would make more sense to just let us get on as we would eventually finish walking, carrying signs, expressing our concerns and generally trying to make our demands of OUR democracy. He actually looked somewhat sympathetic for a moment. We understand that the police will be about at events ...but there was NO need at all, at ANY stage to kettle.

When they kept stopping us, surrounding us, herding us, rushing vehicles and manpower upon us... they made us angry, they made us certain and they made us more determined than ever to fight for our lost rights in this misshapen democracy.