#GazaUnderAttack – Israel might be winning the battle, but they are losing the war!

July 30, 2014

gaza kids

Today is day 22 of the Israeli offensive into Gaza. Yet again we see in this mornings news that ANOTHER UN school has been hit by Israeli rockets, 19 killed and 100 injured, as well as a busy city market, killing 15 and wounding dozens. So far, since this attack began there has been more than 1,200 deaths in Gaza, over 200 children killed, while 3 people have died in Israel. Is that proportional? So many children have been injured and killed that Jon Snow, a reporter with Channnel 4 in the UK, has gone as far as asking: Is this a war on children?

The photo above is of 3 of the 4 Bakr family, just seconds before being killed on the beach in Gaza on the 15th of July. However Israel may try to justify their actions, their hollow words are not being accepted by the Irish people. More and more “normal” people are standing up to voice their anger against Israels onslaught, including many people who, as they say themselves, supported Israel in the past. Of course there are those who will defend Israel to the end and who are not going to waver from their pro Zionist position (examples of endless dialogue on Brazil forum here and here), but what is of interest to me, are the millions of normal people who are seeing the reality from Gaza and from that taking a stand for Justice.

The nature of how we receive information has changed radically. Of course the main ways are still there: reading the newspapers, listening to the radio, watching TV. But now people are also getting news via their social media networks; they see disgusting images and videos in their Twitter and Facebook feeds of the reality from the ground. Not only do people see this, but they are also quickly passing on this information on their social media to friends and family in their social networks, little by little the critical dissemination of the truth is unfolding.

It has been claimed that Israel always fight their wars on two fronts; the actual battle ground but also the “communication war”, whose purpose is to sway public opinion to justify their actions. Many commentators have said we are witnessing a critical juncture; it seems that as the ground war goes on further, with all its death and destruction, that Israel is quickly losing the war for hearts and minds. We are seeing much of mainstream media, in the past absolute defenders of Israel, now allowing critical voices and opinions to be expressed. For more on this I would direct you to Paul Mason’s excellent article; “Why Israel is losing the social media war over Gaza” and “Why Israel Is Losing the American Media War” by Benjamin Wallace-Wells.

In regards to the Irish dialogue on Gaza and the shifting of public opinion, I would like to direct you to two very important radio shows that happened last week on the national radio station RTE, both on Liveline. For those not accustomed to Irish ways, it is the show where the nation phones in to “talk to Joe (Duffy)”, to moan about the problems of the day, air their grievances etc. Last week though much time was devoted to covering the reality of the suffering in Gaza, the reasons for the conflict and as to how peace can be achieved. Anyone who listened could find very very little credibility in Israel supporter spin and could only identify with the sheer horror being experienced by the people in the worlds “largest open air prison”; The Gaza Strip. Below are links to podcasts of both shows as well as some more background on the situation. So have a listen and make your own mind up.

Thankfully huge numbers of Irish people have already taken to the streets, are pushing at the government to take real steps in regards to diplomatic relations with the rogue state of Israel. Even Irish doctors have taken a firm stand in denouncing the criminal acts of Israel. In fact again Ireland is being recognized internationally for the high level of support it is making in solidarity with those in Gaza. Hopefully their actions will further inspire people in other countries to do likewise, like Brazil, where this Irishman finds himself, where he is still a little shocked to see so little commentary and support from friends, as well as the showing of actual solidarity in the streets.

Stop #GazaUnderAttack – No to Israeli war crimes – No the ILLEGAL siege of Gaza – Yes to a peaceful transition to the 2 state solution – FREEDOM FOR GAZA – FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE.

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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

EU must sanction Israel over its refusal to obey international law and must recognize the State of Palestine

http://www.romanoprodi.it/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/palestine.gif

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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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#IrishLegends: Philo – Irelands first rocker

March 16, 2014

Phil Lynott, poet, song writer, lead singer and class bassist with Thin Lizzy

philo big

Philip Parris “Phil” Lynott (/ˈlnət/; 20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish singer and musician. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, in which he was the founding member, principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He later also found success as a solo artist.

Growing up in Dublin in the 1960s, Lynott fronted several bands as a lead vocalist, most notably Skid Row alongside Gary Moore, before learning the bass guitar and forming Thin Lizzy in 1969. After initial success with Whiskey in the Jar, the band found strong commercial success in the mid-1970s with hits such as “The Boys Are Back in Town“, “Jailbreak” and “Waiting for an Alibi“, and became a popular live attraction due to the combination of Lynott’s vocal and songwriting skills and the use of dual lead guitars. Towards the end of the 1970s, Lynott also embarked upon a solo career, published two books of poetry,[1] and after Thin Lizzy disbanded, he assembled and fronted the band Grand Slam, of which he was the leader until it folded in 1985.

He subsequently had major UK success with Moore with the song “Out in the Fields“, followed by a minor hit “Nineteen”, before his death on 4 January 1986. He remains a popular figure in the rock world, and in 2005, a statue was erected in his memory.       (via wikipedia)

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#TheIdeaIsToOccupyFacebookWithArt

January 31, 2014

The idea is to occupy Facebook with art, breaking the monotony of photos of lunch, selfies, and sports. Whoever likes this post will receive an artist and has to publish a piece by that artist with this text.
(English)

La idea es ocupar Facebook con arte, rompiendo la monotonía de las fotos de almuerzo, selfies y deportes. Quien le gusta este post va a recibir un artista y tiene que publicar una obra de ese artista con este texto.
(Español)

Rudra Nayan Das said: you can choose anything you want dedicating it to Tania (my wife), let’s see what can you come up with

So artist: Stewart Brand
“artpiece”: Earth from space, by ATS-3 satellite, 1967

ATSIII_10NOV67_153107

#TheideaistooccupyFacebookwithart #LaideaesocuparFacebookconarte

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Bring Che back to Kilkee #HonTheBanner

September 5, 2013

Bring Che back to Kilkee #HonTheBanner #AnClárAbú #BackTheBanner #CLARE https://www.change.org/petitions/clare-county-council-re-instate-the-iconic-che-guevara-mural Re-instate the mural pic.twitter.com/3VVFqmroKQ

che 2

via Annual ‘Che Do Bheatha’ Festival, Kilke  Website here

#Che #AmericanTourists #Clare #kilkee #BackTheBanner

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