This video was made in the Kruisstraat in the center of Utrecht city in the Netherlands this afternoon.
The first stage of this year’s Tour de France cycling race, a time trial, passed there.
The supporters of Dutch participant Laurens ten Dam had gathered. When the cyclist passed they loudly chanted his name and cheered.
Laurens ten Dam did not win the time trial. Australian Rohan Dennis won. Ten Dam is not a time trial specialist, but a mountain climbing specialist. He finished #91 of 198 riders. However, last year he was #9 overall in the Tour.
At #146 came another mountain stage specialist: Daniel Teklehaimanot. He started at 2pm as the first one of all riders. He is one of the first two cyclists ever from Eritrea participating in the Tour de France. Merhawi Kudus is the other Eritrean. They both ride in the first African (South African) team ever in the Tour. Like Ten Dam, they will probably get better results in later, steeper stages than on this first day.
This 27 June 2015 video is called Eritrean ERi-TV Tour de France interview Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus.
This video says about itself:
2 February 2011
This is the trailer for the inspiring new feature length documentary Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is possible now available on DVD from the charity WORLDwrite. The full film is packed with little-known facts, rare archive imagery, expert interviews and exclusive testimony from Sylvia’s son, Richard Pankhurst and his wife Rita. The campaigns Sylvia led embraced far more than ‘votes for women‘ as she uniquely understood the fight for democratic rights required a challenge to the system. For full details visit here.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
Matchwomen’s Festival: The teddy that fought un-bear-able conditions
Saturday 4th July 2015
A HUNDRED years ago, in 1915, a product was launched in a co-operative women’s factory in East London. Let me introduce you to the socialist teddy bear.
Our story starts in 1913 as war clouds are gathering. Many of the more right-wing Suffragettes are beginning to plan the suspension of their votes for women campaigning and throw their weight behind the jingoistic move towards winning the war.
Sylvia Pankhurst, a socialist Suffragette, decides she will spend more of her time and efforts working for the Independent Labour Party in East London. As well as political campaigning — including the battle for equal adult suffrage — Sylvia builds a network of various projects to actually improve the lot of East End women and their families.
She opened mother and baby clinics staffed by doctors who treated patients without charge. She established a milk distribution centre for babies, many of whom were too ill to digest their food. The clinics also distributed Virol malt, eggs and barley, as well as infant health leaflets and feeding charts.
Wartime food shortages and, panic-buying causing food prices to rise rapidly. This began to hit working-class areas like the East End hard. Sylvia’s response was to open a cost price restaurant.
It aimed to serve two-penny, two-course meals to adults and penny meals to children, at midday. Each evening a pint of hot soup and a chunk of bread was available for a penny. Food could be eaten at the restaurant or taken home.
The first restaurant was built by volunteers. Local builders, tradesmen and their families not only gave their labour but also china, cutlery and money. In 1915 they served about 400 meals daily and every day Sylvia was there helping to cook and serve the meals.
Also in 1915 Sylvia realised that children’s toys were no longer being imported from Germany. Pre-war Germany had been the toy shop of Europe. Sylvia reckoned a new co-operative toy factory staffed by women would both fulfil the demand for toys and also provide work for many local women who had been thrown on the scrapheap by the closure of many East End sweatshops.
Sylvia’s new toy factory employed nearly 60 women and paid them a decent wage compared with the pittance many other local workshops paid. Workers were paid a generous minimum wage of 5d an hour or £1 a week. Conditions were also much better in Sylvia’s factory.
The workers turned out a whole range of products. There were wooden toys of all sorts, but no guns, warships or other such hateful products. The wood came from another socialist, George Lansbury, who owned a yard in Bow.
Many of the workers were skilled needlewomen. They designed and made dolls of all colours. They made a whole range of soft stuffed animals. Last but not least, they made the first ever socialist teddy bears.
German toymaker Richard Steiff had introduced a stuffed toy bear in 1903 and it had taken the world by storm. The German Steiff company had dominated the teddy bear market — they still do — but in wartime Britain German bears were both unpatriotic and unobtainable.
Sylvia and her co-op stepped in to fill the demand. The socialist bear was born.
To market the bear, Sylvia turned to Gordon Selfridge and his famous Oxford Street store. Selfridge was generally supportive of the suffrage cause. He was a main sponsor of the Suffrage Annual and Women’s Who’s Who, published in 1913. Selfridge’s advertised on the cover and along the foot of every page.
Selfridge’s also dressed its store windows in the purple, white and green — the colours of the Suffragettes.
Sylvia’s east London toy factory at was at 45 Norman Road (now Norman Grove), just over a mile from today’s Morning Star offices in Bow.
Amy K Browning, who would become a well-known artist, and Hilda Jeffries designed and helped to produce the toys.
Edith Downing, a talented sculptor who had trained at the Slade and later been force-fed in prison, modelled sets of realistic wax dolls’ heads for the works.
Arts and crafts socialist Walter Crane designed some of the toys. Indeed the tradition of the arts and crafts movement, rather than a slavish imitation of German toys, was the work’s underlying philosophy.
Dolls included baby girls and boys, fairies and lifelike wax-headed dolls. The workshop also made dolls’ house Chippendale furniture.
Unlike many other suffrage societies, the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS) did not suspend its suffrage campaigning activities during WWI.
Alongside this campaigning Sylvia and ELFS members built an impressive local support network, clinics, nurseries, and restaurants all centred on their Women’s Hall on Old Ford Road, and also other centres.
A disused pub, the Gunmaker’s Arms on Old Ford Road, was refurbished and in April 1915 reopened as a mother and baby clinic, free milk depot and day nursery. Sylvia beautifully renamed it the Mother’s Arms.
Sylvia Pankhurst will be remembered for many things; as a militant Suffragette, a writer and painter, a socialist and a founder member of the British communist movement.
She was a brilliant organiser, a powerful orator and a talented artist and painter. Her paintings of working women are still among the best and most powerful of their kind.
As a journalist she founded and edited two of the best titles in the history of left-wing publications. First the Women’s Dreadnought and then the Workers’ Dreadnought.
She founded the Workers’ Socialist Federation in solidarity with the 1917 Russian revolution.
She was a great woman and a great revolutionary, but a fun-loving warm human being too. So I’ll finish by paraphrasing my favourite Suffragette and socialist slogan from the US: “Give us bread, but give us teddy bears.”
Saturday, July 4th, 2015
An extraordinary discovery in Salland [region in Overijssel province]. On cornfields the rare corn-cockle and corn marigold have been found. “Confirmation that the management by Natuurmonumenten is paying off,” says the Salland forester Marion Plagge.
Natural fields have almost disappeared. To turn the tide, Natuurmonumenten manages cornfields in nature reserve Eerde and National Park The Salland Ridge. The nature organization is working here together successfully with organic farmers. On these cornfields no poison or fertilizer is used, but only solid manure of organic origin.
This video from England says about itself:
Yarl’s Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News
2 March 2015
The treatment of detainees inside the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre is revealed in exclusive footage obtained by a Channel 4 News investigation.
Warning: this film contains offensive language from the start.
By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:
Yarl’s Wood medics out weekly to treat self-harm
Saturday 4th July 2015
Newly published figures show that in 2014 there were 61 incidents of self-harm which required medical treatment, while in 2013 there were 74.
However, the figures only cover those incidents in which medical attention was given, leading to concerns that they may only be the tip of the iceberg.
“What you have heard is true,” Ugandan detainee Juliette Akao told the Star by phone from Yarl’s Wood.
“The women here are very depressed and have many problems. Things like this happen every day. There is no proper healthcare or concern about what’s happening. The ladies have to help each other. The situation is very bad.”
Ms Akao, herself a victim of torture, rape and sexual abuse, said that a culture of disbelief that permeates the immigration system was a major problem.
“No-one believes you,” she said. “If you have gone through torture in your own life you think you are coming to a country that respects human rights. But this is an inhuman culture and people need to know what is happening.
“It is very sad that a country like this, which says it respects human rights and criticises others for abusing them, is doing exactly the same thing here.”
The removal centre, near Bedford, is run by profiteer Serco and houses nearly 400 people awaiting deportation, most of whom are women.
In March, Serco suspended two members of staff after a Channel 4 News investigation raised questions about standards of care at the centre, with one officer recorded saying: “Let them slash their wrists” and several others referring to detainees as “animals.”
Medical Justice sends volunteer doctors to see detainees and claims to have seen hundreds of cases of seriously inadequate healthcare.
“In many cases immigration detention exacerbates existing medical conditions and in some cases has been the cause of mental illness,” said co-ordinator Emma Ginn.
“There have been a number of fatalities including self-inflicted deaths and we fear that, with no improvement in conditions, there could be more.”
“The government is overseeing the worst of all worlds in the asylum system — more people detained, and for longer, with fewer deportations,” she said.
“Too many women are left in a hellish limbo in detention centres.”
This video from the USA says about itself:
California Desert | Pew & This American Land
17 August 2012
The desert around California’s Death Valley is rich with Joshua trees, junipers and wildlife. But mining and other industrial development threaten this fragile environment, which is why many want to see Congress protect some special places as wilderness, national park and national monument, and set aside other areas for off-highway vehicle use.
Follow local guide Tom Budlong, a date farmer and a member of the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe through the Mojave Desert in this episode of “This American Land,” produced in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.
By Solomon Hughes in Britain today:
I RECENTLY spent a couple of weeks in California, and one of the striking things you see is that the fantastic creations of the Hollywood dream factory turn out to be near-realistic depictions of things that can be found a short drive (in US terms) from the studios.
So if you drive a few hours west, along one of those straight roads that disappears in a vanishing point along an equally straight horizon and you will find yourself in the “cowboy country” of deserts and wind-carved rocks and tumbleweed and cactuses. Of course, a real cowboy would be mad to be here. It is far too dry for cattle — they’d be up on some grassy plain. But it is cowboy country because it was an atmospheric landscape conveniently near Hollywood.
The stable of characters in cartoons from Yogi Bear to the Hair Bear Bunch or any number of Disney films weren’t quite the mysterious, enchanting inventions I thought. The cartoonists just drove to their nearest national park with a sketchbook.
It also turns out “Scooby Snacks,” the impossible, piled-high sandwiches enjoyed by the cartoon dog — are only slightly exaggerated; huge sandwiches that must be held together with sticks are quite normal.
All US food comes either as giant-sized or extra-large. It is quite normal for stores to advertise drinks with words like “gulp” or “slathered in bar-b-q sauce.” But gulp and slather are not good words. They are associated with rabies, not dinner. Food is not really improved by being “slathered in buttermilk” — or was it “buttered in slather milk?”
Portions that are oversized and overstuffed with sugar, fat and salt are funny in the cartoons, but they are less funny when swallowed by a population. When you ride the buses and trams of San Francisco you get to see a lot of the public campaign against poor nutrition. Posters ask “big soda” to “stop targeting black and Latino kids” because “sugary drinks are making us sick.” Food has, in the hands of unscrupulous business, become an enemy.
They keep making the same science fiction film — from Soylent Green to the Hunger Games and Elysium — where the poor scavenge with broken shopping carts while the super-fit, super-rich people live separate lives. This looks less fictional when you watch super-fit middle class people jog past colonies of the homeless living under palm trees on Venice Beach.
I don’t want to give the wrong idea. I love both Hollywood and the US for their inventiveness and verve. The people are great, but there is something very wrong with the nation. This is worrying, because what happens in the US is usually remade here within a decade.