End the slaughter in Gaza now!!!

July 18, 2014
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tonight is the 10th night in a row of the vicious attack on the Gaza strip by the Israeli state. Yesterday saw the horrific act of 4 little boys (aged 9-11) being blown up on the Gaza beach, as if followed by shells, the scene witnessed by western media.

This evenings reports said that there were over 230 deaths, mostly civilians, over the last few days. Just over an hour ago the ground assault started, so the casualty rate is expected to sharply rise. Just now, news comes in that the al-Wafa hospital has been attacked, here is how a witness tells it:

It started just before nine, they started it and it continued every other minute, firing at the hospital. They started on the fourth floor, continued to the third, then from the back of the hospital, then to the side, then to the front, then they cut the electricity, we have fuel everywhere, I don’t know the extent of the damage but it reached a point where my nurses were unable to function, unable to stand, unable to help the patients. So they left the hospital, and right now we are in the process of evacuating my patients to help with them and the handicapped.

When will this senseless killing end? How will it end? Will more people, normal people, stand up and say no, this is not OK? What can we do to stop the slaughter?

Little acts of solidarity are happening, people taking stands, taking to the streets, publicly declaring their solidarity with the Palestinian people. But, it is still just the few. Until the vast majority of us become incensed at the slaughter and the injustice, and with that, stand together to force change… the killing will go on.

Here in Brazil, there does not seem to be to many acts of solidarity. In 2010 Brazil Recognized the State of Palestine, with Pre-1967 Borders, perhaps social movements can build on this? And, just to make clear, this is not an anti Jewish, or anti-semite thing, in case some see it as that. I have Jewish friends and I support all Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists etc who are against the violence and illegal occupation that is happening in Palestine, including Jewish Voice for Peace, Jewish Boat to Gaza, Dr Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Dave Zirin

This post is to communicate how others around the world are standing up for those in Gaza right now.

Enclosed in that tiny strip of land, “The Gaza Strip”, the worlds largest open air prison, as the bombs rain down and now as the Israeli soldiers move through the streets under cover of darkness, there is nowhere to hide or run to. Imagine the sheer sense of hell that it must feel like. Horrifying. End it now.

Allow the 2 state solution, upon 1967 borders. Allow peace, justice and dignity to exist. The majority of the world wants it, it is only the few that stand in its way, Israel included. It is time to end the carnage.

FREEDOM FOR GAZA, FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE

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On the eve of World Cup in Curitiba, Opera came to the favela of Vila Torres

June 23, 2014

An amazing day happened on Sunday 15th of June 2014 in Vila Torres, Curitiba, the day before the city saw its first of four world cup games. Vila Torres is the most central and oldest of the many underprivileged Favelas of the city. Its a tough existence here, people with next to nothing do what they can, despite all the challenges that face them on a day to day existence.

Like all of the city and the country, people love their football. But unlike the more well to do parts of society, the community here had no means to get in on the excitement of the world cup. So the Brazilian student led movement #CheerForPeace decided to change that, to try to bring a little bit of the magic here too. What unfolded was weeks of building a movement, working with the community and pulling together whatever was available or possible to make a truly special day for ALL the football loving fans there. Huge thanks to all who supported, donated, came and shared in the day, hopefully all enjoyed the event. This was just the first of many more events. Huge respect must be given to the extraordinary women behind the local school, the Organização de Desenvolvimento do Potencial Humano (ODPH): Valdimê, Kauann and all the gang… With leadership, strength and love like these remarkably strong and resilient women have, the future will indeed be feminine!

The event was a great success, about 200 kids came, played, made juices from the peddle powered bike machine / juice maker, ate organic vegan food, played football, danced, got their faces painted… And a whole lot more, see the photos below and you will get an idea just how special a day it was.

Canadian students from Alberta and their teacher Nick arrived and donated a whole load of green tops, boots and footballs. Read their reports here: From Canada to the Vila Torres Favela. Also a coach from the local football ground Parana FC kindly came and gave a free training class to anyone who wanted, some great little players in the barrio, both boys and girls.

Equating healthy eating with a party… that’s a first for Vila Torres. A “Great Event with Great Food” (not Junk food) provided generously by the Organic Growers Association of the Mercado Municipal De Curitiba – ASCESME. Special thanks to the amazing chef Igor Oliveira and the man responsible for sorting all the great organic food for the event: Sebastiao Martins Coelho. Although some kids were not too happy, maybe preferring Cola and hot dogs, hopefully the event opened a wider debate about healthy eating, local markets and wider issues of a healthier local economy.

Although word was sent to a host of both local and international media, many of which said they would come to report the event in the favela, only 1 did come to cover the story. Subsequently there has been no reports of any the local or international media. The only communications with the wider world about the goings on, coming from a few brief blog reports by some small groups and individuals. The following day Irish radio did cover the story for 5 minutes on RTE’s Joe Duffy show Liveline.

The unprecedented #CheerForPeace Give&Game Fan Fest for the Rest in Vila Torres, Curitiba closed on a high-note withe beautiful Opera from English-Brazilian artist Penelope belting out a few tunes, Albert hall it mightnt be, but all there felt it was a perfect end to a very special day.

While this event will not “change the world“, hopefully it might lead to connections, processes and movements that will.

#CheerForPeace Give&Game fan Fest – Vila Torres

LINKS:

PHOTOS: #CheerForPeace Give&Game fan Fest – Vila Torres (658 photos) + Eventos (Via Organização de Desenvolvimento do Potencial Humano) + Evento – Cheer for Peace (via Tático – Futebol de Tabuleiro) VIDS: Opera comes to the Vila Torres Favela, Curitiba, Brazil during #WorldCup2014 + Opera in Vila Torres Supporting Groups: Football for kidsBalls of GloryBATERIAC7RPC TV NEXT EVENT: ROCINHA, Rio de Janeiro EVENT INFO: Vila Torres CheerForPeace infos: Brazil + For a greener and socially fair World Cup – #CheerForPeace working with all of Brazil :: TWITTER TAGS: #CWB #worldcup #brazil #brasil #curitiba #everybodyPlays #WorldsFavoriteGame #TodoMundoJoga #futeboldetabuleiro #cheerforpeace #ongODPH

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For a greener and socially fair World Cup – #CheerForPeace working with all of Brazil

June 21, 2014

(Originally posted on June 11 here and here)

The eyes of the world focus on Brazil

Tomorrow the 2014 FIFA World Cup will begin in Brazil, who knows how it will go. Will it be a success, or not? Will they have the stadiums finished in time, or not? Will it be interrupted by violent protests, or not? Will it be a positive thing for the country, or not?

We already have, what has quick become, an iconic image of where much of the feelings in Brazil rest at present. Brazilian artist Paulo Ito posted this mural on the doors of a schoolhouse in São Paulo’s Pompeia a few weeks ago.

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Paulo Ito’s mural in São Paulo

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RIP Rik Mayall

June 11, 2014

RIP Rik Mayall, a mad creative genius who changed the face of comedy.

I was a huge fan of “Richie Rich” and the other madsers in Filthy Rich & Catflap, years ago, that was my first introduction, then some of The Comic Strip presents, then bottom and also The Young ones.

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Below are a few videos, examples of his madness and creativity:

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Red, yellow and purple elephants in Spain?´

June 2, 2014

In case why people are wondering why there are lots of elephants and a strange mix of colours: red, yellow and purple…

The Spanish king has announced he is abdicating. Many spaniards to move on and want an end to the monarchy, if they succeed it will be the 3rd Republic in Spain, last one ended with the fascist Franco launching his civil war.

1 political party has stated that it will vote NO to the process for the transfer of “king” from Juan Carlos to his son Felipe.

Why the elephants, due to the kings “trip” a few years back, off in africa shooting elephants (not cool) while spanish people suffering the horrific economic crisis and austerity cuts they are still battling against today.

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3 nights of fire + rage in streets of Barcelona, no mention in International press?

May 29, 2014

Last night, for the 3rd consecutive night, there were violent riots in Barcelona. Yet there has been no coverage of what is going on in the English speaking international press… Why is this?

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Twitter updates: #EfecteCanVies + #canviesnoestoca

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Sinn Féin leading a democratic peoples revolution in Ireland, again?

May 26, 2014

‘Sinn Féin hasn’t had this strength since 1918′ – Gerry Adams

Interesting times in Ireland again. Time to truly leave Civil war politics in the South and move on?

On Friday it was the local and European elections in Ireland, Sinn Féin have scored massively in local elections, especially in the cities. They are set to be the largest party in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork city councils. The mixed bag of independents and small parties also scored hugely. Sinn Fein are an island wide party, not the only one, as People Before Profit also are island wide and took seats.

The established political system has been given a massive shake up, with ex TD Joe Higgins on RTE radio calling it nothing short of a “democratic revolution for change”. Present Irish Fine Gael minister, Leo Varadkar went as far as saying he could see Sinn Féin leading the next government, something considered impossible only five years ago. No one was expecting such a sea change, who knows what it might lead to further down the line?

Going back to 1918, we remember what huge changes came from little sparks. As it is not the first time that there has been a huge surge in support for Sinn Fein. Soon after the failed rebellion of 1916, after executions and imprisonment of many Irish rebels, the party grew massively all over the island. They formed their own illegal government and fought a war for Irish freedom, the results of which were the half win of a partitioned island that led to a bloody civil war and the party’s demise. But the world took note; a small island nation stood up to the greatest empire the world had ever seen, the took them on and they forced change. Sinn Fein have done it before, might this weekend be the first step in another chapter in that story?

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