Rihanna’s new music video and Eric Garner


This music video from the USA says about itself:

16 April 2015

American Oxygen” from Rihanna’s upcoming eighth studio album.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Is Rihanna’s American Oxygen an anthem for Eric Garner?

With lyrics “breathe out/breathe in”, Rihanna gets serious, while the music video collates the most emotional moments of US history. But does it work?

Mike Leigh will make Peterloo massacre film


This video says about itself:

9 September 2012

A short video about the Peterloo Massacre. (Song starts at 0:32)

I’ve added the lyrics as annotations because a few people from outside the local area have expressed difficulty understanding parts.

For more information you could or visit the amazing People’s History Museum in Manchester or if that’s too much of a journey for you then you could just read the Wikipedia article, though I’d still recommend trying to make an effort to visit the museum,

I do not own the rights to the music or any of the pictures in this video, it has been created for educational purposes and is therefore protected under fair use.

Historical figures in the video:

1:22, 3:04 and 4:51 – Henry Hunt (British radical, advocator of free trade and Parliamentary reform; organiser of the meeting. He was imprisoned for thirty months for ‘inciting a riot’).

1:56, 2:38 and 3:47 – William Hulton (Chairman of magistrates who gave the order for the Yeomanry to charge the crowd).

2:00 – Thomas de Trafford (commander of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry)

2:05 – Hugh Hornby Birley (local factory owner, captain of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry and leader of the charge).

2:14 and 4:55 – Samuel Bamford (British radical, leader of the Middleton contingent of the march. He was imprisoned for a year for ‘inciting a riot’).

4:26 – John Bright (Quaker, radical and Liberal politician. He was one of the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League and a strong critic of British protectionism and foreign policy).

4:27 – Richard Cobden (Manufacturer, radical and Liberal politician. He was one of the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League and a strong critic of British protectionism and foreign policy. He has been referred to as “the greatest classical-liberal thinker on international affairs”)

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Mike Leigh to make movie of Peterloo massacre

Veteran British director to return to 19th century for a film based on the 1819 Peterloo massacre in Manchester

Catherine Shoard

Friday 17 April 2015 09.45 BST

The director Mike Leigh’s next film will be Peterloo, a drama about the infamous 1819 massacre in Manchester, which killed an estimated 18 protesters and injured up to 700.

“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo massacre,” Leigh told Screen International. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”

The massacre occurred when government troops – including local yeomanry – charged a crowd of around 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

The rally was organised by the Manchester Patriotic Union, who commissioned radical orator Henry Hunt to speak. But he was arrested shortly before the rally begun, and cavalry drew their sabres to try to disperse the gathered crowds, leading to confusion and loss of life.

The massacre – christened Peterloo as a nod to the Battle of Waterloo, which occurred four years before – preceded further government crackdowns. But the outcry sparked was one of the key contributing factors to the establishment of the Manchester Guardian.

Leigh’s previous film, a biopic of the artist JMW Turner, was a much-acclaimed return to period drama. It took four Oscar nominations and made more than $10m (£6.65m) in the UK and $3m in the US.

Peterloo will be shot in 2017, with Leigh reuniting with cinematographer Dick Pope, producer Georgina Lowe and executive producer Gail Egan. Leigh is currently in rehearsals for an English National Opera production of The Pirates of Penzance.

New Rihanna music video about Ferguson, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys: Superstars react to Ferguson grand jury decision

5 November 2014

Social media has been set ablaze after the police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown was not indicted by a grand jury in the murder trial in Ferguson, Missouri yesterday and big stars are now reacting differently from all over the world. Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson, Katy Perry, Michelle Williams, Ludacris and many more jumped on social media to air their views on the shocking verdict which has now left the city of Ferguson in complete violence.

RiRi posted a picture on her Instagram of a board which read: ‘Justice for – (I left it blank) because I’ll probably need this next year’ and captioned it “Fact”. Nas wrote on Twitter: “You were put here to protect us but who will protect us from you? – KRS One” Pharrell Williams wrote: “I’m brokenhearted over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let’s all pray for peace.”

Keri Hilson wrote: “So disappointed . I can’t quite find the words but my heart weeps. I thought “we” had finally begun to matter. #MikeBrown #Ferguson” Jazzmine Suillevan wrote: “Being unarmed is not enough to receive justice I guess”. Gabrielle Union wrote: “Heavy Heart, Angry Soul… we matter. All our lives matter. Hear us, Feel us, Respect us… ALL”.

Former Destiny’s Child stars LeToya Luckett: “I could care less about a rule or a reason. It is NEVER ok to kill an UNARMED Human Being!!! And yet again #Nojustice” Meanwhile Michelle Williams wrote: “#mikebrown #ferguson #peace #justice #answers #trust #love” Ludacris wrote: “A system cannot fail those it was never designed to protect”.

Actor Will Ferrell posted a picture of a fully armed army in Ferguson and wrote: “I don’t have words. How can you plead for peaceful protest when you show us like this?” Katy Perry wrote: “Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now… Sending my prayers to Ferguson and praying for an equal America.”

And many more… What is your reaction?

From Contactmusic in the USA:

Rihanna Gets Political In New Video With Ferguson Footage

16 April 2015

Now, Rihanna has reminded fans of the troubled times in America with a politically-charged new promo, which was released on her mentor Jay Z’s new streaming site, Tidal, on Thursday (16Apr15).

The video also features footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other civil rights-related demonstrations and events.

The images fit the theme of the song – last week (ends10Apr15) co-writer Sam Harris told Billboard.com, “There’s a lot of turmoil going on in this country right now… This country is great and has the potential to be something really, really incredible, but there are a lot of problems that we don’t acknowledge and it’s important to shed light on both those things.”

Missouri National Guard called Ferguson protesters ‘enemy forces': here.

Oppositional journalist murdered in Ukraine


This music video says about itself:

Let Valentina Lisitsa play: Piano by Hussam Ezz Eldin

9 April 2015

Let Valentina Lisitsa play is a piano piece composed by Hussam Ezz Eldin just to stand with Valentina Lisitsa against any kind of controlling her political views.

I dedicate this piece for her and it is an objection for what happened to her.

Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa was paid by Canada’s Toronto Symphony Orchestra NOT to play.

No, it’s not about her skills, it’s about her political views. She’s been extensively twitting on Ukraine from afar and her thoughts don’t really fall in line with the western narrative. On Facebook the soloist appealed to thousands of her fans saying that her scheduled concert in Toronto was cancelled. Lisitsa says that an aggressive lobbyist group claiming to represent the Ukrainian community pressured the orchestra into banning her performance. Her tweets were used as ‘proof’ that she was inciting hatred and the orchestra bought it.

Open letter of Valentina Lisitsa concerning Canadians wanting to block her freedom of speech and embargoing her concern on Ukraine: here.

This video from Canada says about itself:

LET VALENTINA PLAY! Action in Toronto April 8. 2015.

In the week since the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) banned Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa from performing, the corporate media and its music critics have sought to downplay the ban’s significance: here.

From the BBC in Britain:

Ukraine conflict: Pro-Russia journalist Oles Buzyna killed

53 minutes ago

A Ukrainian journalist known for his pro-Russian views has been shot dead in the capital Kiev.

Oles Buzyna, 45, was killed by shots fired from a car, Interior Ministry spokesman Anton Herashchenko said.

Mr Buzyna is the latest in a series of allies of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former President, Victor Yanukovych, to die in suspicious circumstances.

His killing comes a day after MP Oleg Kalashnikov, who was close to Mr Yanukovych, was shot dead in Kiev.

Mr Herashchenko said he believed both killings were related to the victims’ involvement with Ukraine’s “anti-Maidan” movement, which opposed the popular overthrow of Mr Yanukovych in 2014. …

Mr Buzyna, who was an active blogger and briefly editor of pro-Russian daily newspaper Segodnya, was killed outside his home. …

At least eight other officials connected to Mr Yanukovych’s government have died suddenly in the past three months.

Authorities initially labelled some of the deaths suicides, but later they said it was possible that some of the people were killed or forced to take their lives.

See also here.

By Alex Lantier and Stefan Steinberg:

16 April 2015

On April 9, the NATO-backed regime in Ukraine passed laws rehabilitating Nazi collaborationist forces that carried out ethnic mass murder during World War II, while banning all communist symbols in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

The law, titled “On the legal status and commemoration of 20th century fighters for Ukrainian independence,” officially legitimizes dozens of nationalist groups, including the Nazi-collaborationist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). It requires that state and local governments provide social benefits to members of these organizations and to their families.

The law also makes any public criticism of organizations on this list a criminal offense, stating: “Public denunciation of the role of OUN-UPA in restoring the independence of Ukraine is illegal.”

In the lead-up to the May 9 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, there has been an accelerating wave of political assassinations targeting critics of the Western-backed, far-right regime in Kiev. Yesterday evening, a group calling itself the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—the name of a Ukrainian fascist militia that collaborated with Nazi forces in carrying out ethnic genocides of Jews and Poles during World War II—claimed responsibility for the killings. In a statement emailed to opposition legislators and political commentators, it also gave “anti-Ukrainian” persons 72 hours to leave the country or be killed if they stayed behind: here.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday that Canada will deploy 200 armed forces personnel to western Ukraine for two years to train the army and national guard of Ukraine’s rightwing, US-backed government: here.

Dutch soldiers killed unarmed people, government lied


This Dutch regional Drenthe province TV video says about itself (translated):

Torrent of bullets killed train hijackers at De Punt

Nov 30. 2013

De Punt – The train hijacking at De Punt in 1977 ended indeed in a hailstorm of bullets. This appears from secret documents from the National Archives, which daily De Volkskrant has seen.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Van Agt informed parliament incorrectly about train hijacking

Today, 11:37

Dries van Agt, then Minister of Justice, has misinformed parliament in 1977 on the termination of the train hijacking at De Punt [in Drenthe province; by South Moluccans]. This says Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice.

But according to Van der Steur he does not know whether Van Agt briefed parliament deliberately incorrectly when he said that no unarmed hijacker was shot.

The Parliamentary Committee for Security and Justice has today discussed the results of a study that Van der Steur’s predecessor Opstelten has commissioned about the end of the train hijacking. When marines ended the hijacking in 1977 six of the nine hijackers were killed. Also two hostages were killed.

Executed

This archive research shows, according to Opstelten, that killed hijackers were not executed, as claimed by the relatives of the hijackers. They rely on documents that have recently been released. These include the autopsy reports and a report of the Forensic Laboratory. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld of the relatives has meanwhile held the government liable.

The study did make it clear that Justice Minister Van Agt misinformed parliament in 1977 on a number of points. He then suggested in a debate that the marines had not fired any shots at hijackers who did not resist with weapons. The investigation revealed that at least the killed female hijacker had no weapon.

National anthem

According to Van der Steur that was clear already then, so the House was informed factually inaccurately, says the minister. But the question is whether Van Agt has done this deliberately. “Perhaps he based himself on false information,” says Van der Steur.

For the MPs Jeroen Recourt (PvdA) and Harry van Bommel (SP) it does not matter whether Van Agt misinformed parliament consciously or not. “As a minister, he was responsible. He has whitewashed the case”, said Recourt.

After the meeting in parliament some relatives in the public gallery sang the Moluccan national anthem.

In this music video you can hear the Moluccan anthem Maluku Tanah Airku.

Soul singer Percy Sledge dies


This music video from the USA is called Percy Sledge – When a Man Loves a Woman.

From the BBC today:

Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 73

US soul singer Percy Sledge, famed for his song When a Man Loves a Woman, has died aged 73.

Steve Green from talent agency Artists International Management Inc confirmed to the BBC that he died at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday.

“He was one of my first acts, he was a terrific person and you don’t find that in this business very often,” said Green. “He was truly a standout.”

Sledge had surgery for liver cancer in January 2014 but soon resumed touring.

Sledge’s debut single When a Man Loves a Woman reached the top 10 twice in the UK and topped the US Billboard chart for two weeks in 1966, when it also got to number four in the UK chart.

During an interview for the the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, he recalled his first recording of it.

“When I came into the studio, I was shaking like a leaf. I was scared,” he said, adding that it was the “same melody that I sang when I was out in the fields. I just wailed out in the woods and let the echo come back to me”
.
‘Signed away the rights’

He told BBC Radio 6 Music‘s Craig Charles in a 2011 interview that he came up with the melody for When A Man Loves A Woman, but signed away the rights of the song to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, because “I didn’t know any better”.

“I had the melody in my mind so I gave that song to them,” he said, adding they then created the lyrics.

Sledge did not contest the agreement, saying: “I felt like if God fixed it in my mouth to give it to them I won’t change anything about it.

“I’m satisfied with what I wrote but I cut my kids out of so much because I gave it to someone else – I just wasn’t thinking.”

BBC Radio 2 DJ Tony Blackburn was among those paying tribute on Twitter, and said: “Sad to hear that Percy Sledge has died. I wonder how many times I’ve played When A Man Loves A Woman. RIP.”

Musician Bootsy Collins paid tribute on his Facebook page with the words: “Just lost another legend funkateers, Mr Percy Sledge.”

Paul Gambacini told the BBC that When a Man Loves a Woman was “one of the all time classic songs”.

“This was the essence of soul, dripping with feeling. It never had a time, it was in a world of its own, so it was timeless,” he added.

The track reached number two when it was re-released in the UK in 1987 after appearing in Oliver Stone’s film Platoon, and was featured in several other films such as The Big Chill, The Crying Game and a 1994 Meg Ryan drama named after the song itself. It was also the soundtrack to a Levis advert in 1987.

‘Transcendent moment’

It was the first US number one recorded at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals studio, where Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones would later record.

The track also scored a first gold disc for Atlantic Records, whose executive Jerry Wexler called the song “a transcendent moment” and “a holy love hymn.”

It remained Sledge’s biggest hit and helped sustain a long touring career in the US, Europe and South Africa, averaging 100 performances a year. His other chart successes included Warm and Tender Love, It Tears Me Up and Take Time to Know Her.

The song found new life in 1991 when Michael Bolton’s cover of the song topped the Billboard chart.

Before his music career, Sledge worked in the cotton fields around his hometown of Leighton in northwest Alabama, before taking a job as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s.

A patient heard him singing while he worked and recommended him to record producer Quin Ivy.

The singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and was a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife and children.

See also here.