Punk music police censorship in English football


This music video from Britain is called Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK 1976.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker in England:

Anarchy in the UK – but censorship in Gillingham

Thursday 5th March 2015

Now my autobiography is finished the gigs are beginning to start again. Today my wife and I are off to Lerwick for my first ever appearances in Shetland – hooray! Looking forward to that, and to sampling the ale from the legendary Valhalla Brewery — an extended report of proceedings will be in my next column.

And I had a brilliant show last Sunday at the Winter of Discontent punk festival in north London with Sunderland heroes and old mates Angelic Upstarts, Welsh anti-fascist legends The Oppressed and Edinburgh’s hilarious Oi Polloi.

Now a bit more from the book.

To set the scene — it’s 1997 and the crisis at my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion is at its height. Our Goldstone Ground has been sold to property speculators, we’re playing our “home” games at Gillingham, a round trip of 140 miles, and we’re second from bottom of the entire Football League.

To try and liven things up a bit, I’ve persuaded club chairman Dick Knight to let me be PA announcer and DJ, playing punk, reggae and ska. It’s Boxing Day 1997, at home to Colchester. A noon kick-off.

We’d obviously had to set off really early to get to Gillingham in time for the game and everyone was a bit bleary-eyed. So, for the first time, I decided to play Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. It had been on for about a minute when a policeman burst into the box.

“Take that off! Take that off! Now!”

“Why?’”I asked. But I could see that he was really angry. So I did, and put the Clash on instead.

This music video from England is called The Clash – Janie Jones (live at the Belle Vue, Manchester, UK 15. November 1977).

“You can’t play that record at a football match. It’s banned. It’s on THE LIST!”

“What list?” I asked. “No-one has ever told me there was a list of records I couldn’t play!”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it!’ he shouted. “It’s obvious!”

I stood there, the Clash playing in the background, perplexed. It evidently wasn’t “obvious” to me and the fact that he needed to explain further made him even more angry. “It incites violence in the crowd!” he exclaimed.

I thought for a few seconds. “Well, officer,” I said. “I bought two copies of Anarchy in the UK in the black sleeve on EMI Records on the day that it came out in 1976. I have played it and heard it many, many times since and not once has doing so given me violent thoughts of any kind whatsoever.

“I have also been to all 92 Football League grounds and every time I have heard In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins I have had to restrain myself from committing serious acts of criminal damage!”

He didn’t get the joke and, a couple of days later, Brighton & Hove Albion FC received a formal letter from Kent Police banning me from doing the PA at Gillingham any longer.

Dick Knight phoned me up. “I’m not having that, John!” He spoke to them and the ban was rescinded, on condition that I didn’t play Anarchy in the UK again. So I didn’t.

This music video is called The Damned – Smash it Up; Old Grey Whistle Test.

I did play Smash it Up by the Damned and I Fought the Law and White Riot by the Clash in the next couple of weeks though. No policeman appeared in the box. Obviously those three weren’t on THE LIST.

This music video is called The Clash – I Fought The Law (Live at The London Lyceum Theatre – 1979).

This music video is called The Clash – White Riot.

Van Gogh art for blind people


This 4 March 2015 video is by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.

It shows a special program at the museum for blind and visually impaired people: 3D reproductions of Van Gogh‘s paintings to feel, etc.

Bahrain opposition thanks singer John Legend


This music video from the USA is called Common, John Legend – Glory.

From the site of Al Wefaq in Bahrain:

Bahrain opposition thanks Legend for his support to freedom and justice

The National Democratic Opposition in Bahrain thanks and appreciates the international star John Legend for declaring support to the democratic and just demands of the people of Bahrain on March 2nd at the Arad Castle theater.

Legend had played an influential role in advocating the culture of freedom and tolerance through the art of music.

The words spoken by Legend before his audience in Bahrain reflected his civilized thoughts about humanitarian issues regardless of sex, race, color or belief. The opposition commends Legend’s call and prayer ”for the people of Bahrain. And for those who stand for justice, accountability, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom to organize without fear of retribution, please know that I stand with you”. The Bahraini opposition will continue its movement to achieve the humanitarian values it shares with Legend, wishing him more success in his support to rights and freedoms for all.

The opposition also takes the opportunity to urge the Bahraini Authorities to engage in the establishment of a culture of human rights and tolerance to prevent hate.

The National Democratic Opposition – Manama, 4 March 2015

This video is called Bahrain : Opposition demand to be truly represented through truly elected government.

Defend voting rights in the USA, Martin Luther King letter


This video from the USA says about itself:

Selma Interview Special

6 February 2015

Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo take us behind the scenes of their acclaimed drama about a crucial episode in the struggle for US civil rights: Martin Luther King‘s anti-segregation march of 1965.

From Member of Congress John Conyers in the USA:

Friend,

Thank you so much for helping progressives show their strength last weekend ahead of our budget deadline. The extraordinary response proved that Americans want to see action from Congress that expands opportunity for all.

In 1963, I registered voters in Selma, Alabama, where two years later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would lead the historic marches that led to the passage of the critical Voting Rights Act. Back then, the inequality and violence that African-Americans endured on a daily basis greatly crippled our community.

Despite the progress we have made, present injustices are often times still overt. As a result, the rights we fought so hard for are being undermined by people who have chosen to forget our history. The most recent and profound example being Congress’ failure to renew critical sections of the Voting Rights Act.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches, we must recommit to this fight. Voting rights must be restored for ALL Americans. That’s why I’m asking you to stand with me and demand voting rights for all.

Will you add your name here?

After my visit to Selma and during my first year in office, I helped pass the Voting Rights Act. My father taught me that if the door of opportunity cracked open, we must dare to open it wider and hold it wide enough for as many people to go through as possible.

And that’s what I need your help doing. Add your name to my petition demanding Congress restore voting rights and honor our history.

For jobs, justice, and peace,

John

P.S. I wanted to share something very special with you. Below is a letter from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urging me to pass legislation ensuring African-Americans received the right to vote. This letter continues to inspire me to keep up the fight for expanding and protecting rights for all. I hope it does for you as well.

Letter from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mr. Conyers. Add your name to his petition.

Graphic novel on history of protests in English-speaking countries


This music video from the USA says about itself:

Public Enemy – Fight The Power (Full 7 Min. Version)

From 1990 Album: “Fear Of A Black Planet“. Song first appeared on the 1989 Soundtrack: “Do The Right Thing”.

By Michal Boncza in Britain:

Framed for posterity

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Fight The Power, a history of popular struggle globally, makes highly effective use of the graphic novel format, says MICHAL BONCZA

Fight The Power: A Visual History of Protest Among English-speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson, Benjamin Dickson, Hunt Emerson, John Spelling and Adam Pasion (New Internationalist, £9.99)

“FIRST they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you and then you win,” Mahatma Gandhi once remarked about political struggle.

His words come to mind when reading this inspiring book in the graphic novel format, particularly in a period when there’s a dearth of epoch-defining popular struggles in the Anglo-Saxon world. It’s a salutary reminder of what has been achieved so far but which is often and unwisely taken for granted.

Gandhi’s words about the protracted and open-ended nature of struggle are borne out in all the histories recorded here.

As early as 1776 the founding fathers of the US bestowed on its citizenry the largely nominal right to dissent. But it was exercised to spectacular political effect by Rosa Parks in 1955, when she stood up to bus segregation, kick-starting the historic civil rights protests.

In New Lanark in 1817, the socialist Robert Owen propagated a day divided into three eight-hour periods of work, recreation and rest — it would, however, take well over a century for this goal to be achieved.

Other histories include the Peterloo massacre, rebellions in Ireland, the Suffragette movement, the trial of Nelson Mandela and the 1990 poll tax riots.

The concise graphic novel narrative makes each story easy to grasp and as such the book is an ideal teaching aid for the history curriculum in schools or further education colleges.

Graphic novels resemble film shorts where frame management and composition is as important, if not more so, than the words in speech bubbles.

It is the harmonious balance of the two that impacts and Hunt Emerson is in a class of his own in his work on the Luddites, the Swing Riots and Fragging, the practice of enlisted men shooting superior officers which was so prevalent during the Vietnam war.

His attention to detail within the rigorous demands of the larger tableaux, the organisation of movement and a mesmerising ability to render emotions both individual and collective, along with the textures and vigour of line, are outstanding.

In The Battle of Toledo and The Trial of Nelson Mandela, John Spelling’s sparser composition records the action news-camera style, with sudden changes of angles, unexpected “freeze” frames and long-shots that are real page-turners. The sketchbook drawing style aptly mimics the dynamism of those pivotal events.

They’re typical of the stimulating work throughout the book, which is well worth snapping up.