David Cameron forcing militarist propaganda down British five-year-olds’ throats


This video from Britain says about itself:

The British Armed Forces: Propaganda in the classroom?

2 March 2015

A critical review of The British Armed Forces, a “learning resource” produced by the UK government and sent to schools. Read a full analysis here.

By Luke James in Britain:

PM ‘forcing’ pro-military propaganda into schools

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

PEACE campaigners accused the Prime Minister yesterday of forcing teachers to push poor-quality “military propaganda” in school for children as young as five.

Activists published a scathing assessment of the British Armed Forces Learning Resource, which features a smiling squaddie and a pilot giving a thumbs-up on the front page of the document.

Launched by the Tory PM’s office last September, it has been promoted to all English schools by the government.

The lesson plans are described as an “immersive resource” designed to “educate children about the work of the UK armed forces” in history, English or citizenship classes for children aged between five and 16.

But an analysis of the Downing Street scheme by Forces Watch and the Quakers blasted it as a “politically driven” attempt to promote military values in schools.

“We consider that the document amounts to political interference in children’s education and that the Department ofEducation is failing in its legal duty to safeguard education,” said Forces Watch spokesman Owen Everett.

The groups claimed that the resource was penned by former military personnel in a month and that not a single teacher was involved in its production.

According to their report, that is reflected in the “largely one-sided” representation of controversial topics.

“Many of the questions that it asks are introduced in a leading way and the material that would be required to explore them fully is not provided,” the report says.

The Quakers and Forces Watch also raised concerns over the “uncritical history of British involvement in war.”

The Star asked the Department for Education for a comment but did not receive one.

Former Citizenship Foundation director Don Rowe, who contributed to the critique, described the document as “demonstrably biased.”

Calling for its withdrawal yesterday, he said: “This is the kind of resource one gets in countries with less-than-democratic structures where civic education is used by governments to manipulate citizens into an uncritical attitude towards the state.”

Newcastle, England demonstrates against Pegida nazis


Pegida National Front demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic movement in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the neo-nazi National Front party.

Pegida Golden Dawn demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic organisation in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the Greek neo-nazi Golden Dawn party.

So much for Pegida’s claims to be really cuddly and supposedly not nazi at all. Claims already made doubtful by the Hitler copycat behaviour of Lutz Bachmann, the German leader of Pegida.

Lutz Bachmann posing as Hitler

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

THOUSANDS STAND UP TO THE PEGIDA THUGS

Monday 2nd March 2015

People of Newcastle turn out to make a stand against just 200 red-faced fascists

THOUSANDS of anti-fascists took to the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend to oppose a demonstration by racist and Islamaphobic gang Pegida.

While around 200 Pegida fascists were protected by a phalanx of police, 3,000 to 4,000 anti-fascists staged a march and rally, dwarfing their demonstration.

Under the banner Newcastle United, they made a clear statement of the broad base of opposition to the racist group.
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of no faith, trade unionists, students and political activists stood shoulder to shoulder against Pegida.

Unions represented with their banners and flags included Unite, Unison, transport union RMT and the National Union of Teachers.

Pegida — whose German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West — peaked last month in Dresden when 25,000 people attended a rally, but its popularity has dwindled following leadership scandals.

Far-right activists in Britain were trying to import its racist beliefs in the forlorn hope of creating a mass movement of their own.

But their turnout in Newcastle on Saturday — and the massed ranks of local people who opposed them — was a major knock to their hopes.

Speaker after speaker denounced Pegida at a rally that followed a march by the anti-fascist protesters.

Among them was Durham Miners Association secretary Davey Hopper — a lifelong campaigner against racism and fascism.

He told the exuberant crowd that the association is restoring a banner of the International Brigades, created in honour of people from Newcastle who went to Spain to fight in the country’s war against fascism in the 1930s.

“When I came here today I thought there would be a few hundred people scattered about,” he said.

“I have been on many demonstrations over the years but today has lifted me.

“The National Union of Mineworkers has never been found wanting when racism and fascism shows its ugly head.

“When you look over there and see the small number of absolutely despicable people, and you look up here and see 3,000 to 4,000 people, it gives you a lift.

“My union has fought fascism through the whole of its history.

“Today’s demonstration must tell those 200 people down there that there is no place for them in Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland, and there should be no place in the country for scum like that,” he said to cheers.

Messages of support were read out from Sunderland and Newcastle football fans’ organisations. Among other speakers was the Lord Mayor of Newcastle George Pattison.

Five people were arrested, including for drunkenness and public order offences.

See also here.

England: MATT WILLGRESS talks to leading lights in the movement for racial equality about the importance of taking to the streets in the run-up to UN Anti-Racism Day: here.

Italy: Racist protest dwarfed by opposition on the streets of Rome. TENS of thousands of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists confronted Italy’s far-right Northern League on the streets of Rome on Saturday: here.

Harbour porpoises studied in England


This video from England says about itself:

Thames Timelapse

2 April 2014

R/V Song of the Whale travels up the River Thames, in search of harbour porpoises.

From Wildlife Extra:

Whale research vessel begins porpoise survey in the Thames Estuary

A research team on board the unique, non-invasive whale research vessel Song of the Whale will carry out the first ever comprehensive scientific study to assess the population of Harbour Porpoises (the UK’s smallest cetacean) in the Thames Estuary between March 5 and 14.

In all, the survey will cover the area from Ipswich, travelling up the Thames through central London to Tower Bridge, the Thames Barrier, Teddington Lock and the Outer Estuary.

Marine Conservation Research International (MCR), which owns and operates the boat, will carry out acoustic and visual surveys using underwater microphones (hydrophones) and visual techniques, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and with help from conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The aim is to find out more about where this shy species is located in the tidal Thames and the threats porpoises face from human activities such as man-made underwater noise and litter.

This essential information can help in efforts to conserve the species.

An open day for members of the public to visit the boat will be held on Sunday March 8 at the Hermitage Community Moorings, Hermitage Wharf, Wapping.

The survey events will be as follow: March 5, when there is a training day in Ipswich; March 6, departure from Ipswich to Southend; March 7, Southend to Tower Bridge (day) and Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier (night); March 8, 1-4pm, open afternoon for public, media and politicians; March 9, surveying Outer Estuary and Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock; March 10-14, further surveying of Outer Estuary and return to Ipswich.

Shore-based surveys involving members of the public will also take place at Rainham Marshes and Thameside Nature Park in Essex from 10am-4pm on Saturday March 7. These will be coordinated with assistance from the RSPB, Essex Wildlife Trust, Kent Mammal Group and ORCA.

For more information visit www.marineconservationresearch.org.

Beached harbour porpoise rescued in England


This video from British Columbia in Canada says about itself:

Helpless Porpoise Rescued

30 April 2011

On April 26, 2011, a rare live stranding of an adult Harbour Porpoise occurred on Salt Spring Island. Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre, a local non profit marine mammal rescue centre responded to the stranding. Staff members guided the struggling animal ashore, administered some basic, supportive care, and transported the porpoise to the Island Wildlife facility where the porpoise was kept afloat in one of its marine mammal tanks.

The porpoise was later transported to the Ganges Coast Guard Station and loaded aboard the Coast Guard hover craft, Siyay, which rushed the animal to the Vancouver Aquarium who have more Cetacean rehabilitation expertise.

From the Lincolnshire Echo in England, with video there:

Porpoise rescued from muddy river bank at Gibraltar Point

February 20, 2015

A porpoise became stranded in a muddy river bottom at Gibraltar Point near Skegness today.

Volunteers from Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness came to its rescue after it became stranded when the tide had gone out.

The rescuers had to be roped up for their own safety due to the muddy conditions on the riverbank.

They managed to get the porpoise onto a stretcher before transferring it to the beach.

They then waded through the sea water until it was deep enough to release the porpoise.

New ichthyosaur species discovery in English museum


This video from England says about itself:

Ichthyosaur Doncaster – ITV Calendar interview (19.02.2015)

Interview with ITV Calendar, discussing the newly described species of ichthyosaur from the collections of Doncaster Museum (Ichthyosaurus anningae – Lomax & Massare, 2015).

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Museum staff thought this fossil was a plaster model, but it turned out to be a new species

By Rachel Feltman

February 23 2015

The BBC reports that a newly discovered species of ichthyosaur — an aquatic reptile resembling a toothy dolphin that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs — languished in a British museum for 30 years. And it wasn’t mistaken for the fossil of another species, but for a plaster cast of one.

Paleontologist Dean Lomax, an honorary scientist at the University of Manchester in England, was studying the fossil collections of his hometown museum in Doncaster when the education director offered him the use of an ichthyosaur copy for a display he was putting together.

But it was no copy — and it wasn’t a known species of ichthyosaur, either. Unusual features in the limb bones of the 189-million-year-old creature set it apart from other ichthyosaurs that Lomax had studied.

“When I looked at it, I realized this wasn’t a cast at all. It was real,” Lomax said in a video for the BBC. In fact, Lomax found that the fossil had preserved the ichthyosaur‘s final meal in its stomach. He thinks that the fossil shows bits of tentacle from a squid.

Since that first examination in 2008, Lomax and his colleague Judy Massare, a professor at Brockport College in New York, have compared the fossil with nearly 1,000 other specimens to make sure the discovery was unique. Last week, they published their official findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Lomax and Massare have named the new species Ichthyosaurus anningae in honor of Mary Anning, a 19th-century British fossil hunter who found the first confirmed ichthyosaur fossil.

“It is an honor to name a new species, but to name it after somebody who is intertwined with such an important role in helping to sculpt the science of palaeontology, especially in Britain, is something that I’m very proud of,” Lomax said in a statement. “In fact, one of the specimens in our study was even found by Mary herself!”

It’s shockingly common for new species to be discovered dusty and forgotten in museum collections, which is why it’s so important that they receive enough funding to store and protect their extensive collections. Every time a researcher goes diving into these neglected archives, they’re almost sure to surface with something new and exciting.

Read More:

Long-forgotten secrets of whale sex revealed

Forgotten for a century on a museum shelf, a ‘new’ cricket is discovered

Museum fossil find pushes snake origins back by 65 million years

New cricket discovered in long-neglected amber collection<

Malcolm X in England


This video is about Malcolm X, interviewed in Britain.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Malcolm X – black power in Britain’s Black Country

Friday 20th February 2015

Fifty years ago this week, Malcolm X visited Britain’s then most racist town, Smethwick. A few days later he would be murdered. Peter Frost tells the story.

Smethwick, an industrial town sandwiched between Birmingham and the Black Country, can be a cold and unwelcoming place in February.

That was particularly the case half a century ago. Post-war immigrants more used to the warm and sunny climates of their native Caribbean or Indian subcontinent homelands had arrived to work in Midlands hospitals, on public transport and in the dark and dirty foundries that had made Smethwick famous.

Smethwick has an interesting, if turbulent, political history. In 1918 Suffragette leader Christabel Pankhurst missed becoming Britain’s first woman MP after being narrowly defeated by Labour.

From 1926 the Labour MP was Sir Oswald Mosley, who would go on to found the British Union of Fascists. Mosley resigned the Labour whip in March 1931 but continued to represent the constituency until it was taken by the Conservatives at that year’s general election.

Labour won Smethwick in the general election on July 26 1945. However the victorious Labour MP Alfred Dobbs was killed in a car crash the very next day. He is still the shortest-serving MP in British history.

Labour’s Patrick Gordon Walker won the resulting by-election for Labour later in 1945. Walker held the seat until the 1964 general election. In that election Gordon Walker, by then shadow foreign secretary, was defeated in perhaps the most disgusting racist Tory election campaign ever.

Harold Wilson narrowly won the 1964 election with a 3 per cent swing to Labour. In Smethwick however the Tories, playing the race card, won with a 7 per cent swing.

Tory candidate Peter Griffiths ran a hugely racist campaign attacking the government’s immigration policy. Posters and slogans appeared all over the town with the crude message “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.” This obscene approach would win Griffiths the seat.

It was in the aftermath of this October 1964 election that black activist Malcolm X visited Smethwick. He was perhaps more closely associated with “black power” than anyone else.

That contentious phrase was first coined, in 1850, by pioneering black activist and escaped slave Frederick Douglass — but it was Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC), who helped to make the term popular.

In a 1966 speech in Mississippi, after the shooting of James Meredith, Carmichael said: “This is the 27th time I have been arrested and I ain’t going to jail no more! The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin’ us is to take over. What we gonna start sayin’ now is ‘black power’!”

Malcolm X knew all about racial intolerance. Even before he was born his pregnant mother was set upon by white racists.

He was born Malcolm Little in 1925. His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and civil rights activist. This bought death threats from the white supremacists, forcing the family to move house twice before Malcolm’s fourth birthday.

In 1929 their Michigan home was burned to the ground. Two years later, Earl’s body was found lying across the town’s tram tracks. Police declared both incidents accidents. In fact it was racist arson and murder.

Malcolm’s mother Louise suffered a breakdown and was committed to a mental institution, and the children were split up among various foster homes and orphanages.

Malcolm ended up in Boston. In 1946, he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 10 years in prison. While incarcerated he caught up with education as well as becoming a Muslim and studying black activism.

He joined the Nation of Islam (NoI), perhaps the most militant and extreme arm of the civil rights movement.

By the time he was paroled in 1952, Malcolm was a devoted and influential NoI member with the new surname X. He knew that Little was a slave name whereas X signified his lost tribal name.

Intelligent and articulate, Malcolm was soon appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the NoI. He wrote newspaper columns and appeared on radio and television, His charisma, drive, and conviction attracted thousands of new members. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing membership of the NoI from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 by 1963.

His high public profile did not escape the notice of the FBI. Agents infiltrated the organisation, with one even acting as Malcolm’s bodyguard.

In 1963 Malcolm was devastated when he learned that his mentor and NoI leader, Elijah Muhammad, was secretly having sex, and indeed babies, with many young women within the NoI organisation. Disgusted, Malcolm left the NoI in March 1964. He founded his own religious and political organisation.

That same year, Malcolm went on a pilgrimage to Mecca that would change his life. “I met blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers,” he said on his return.

He returned to the United States with a new outlook on integration and a new hope for the future. Now when Malcolm spoke, he spoke to all anti-racists, whatever their colour.

Perhaps that was the reason he visited Smethwick. He had been on a world tour and when he was banned from visiting and speaking in Paris he came to Britain.

Once here the BBC asked him to visit Smethwick with a view to him having a filmed public debate with Peter Griffiths. Griffiths chickened out at short notice and so an interview with Malcolm X was recorded on Marshall Street, Smethwick — a street that Smethwick Council had declared whites only, just like the segregated US housing he had fought against.

This was to be Malcolm X’s last TV interview before his assassination nine days later. The BBC has never broadcast the interview, but we do know what Malcolm said.

“I have come here because I am disturbed by reports that coloured people in Smethwick are being treated badly. I have heard they are being treated as the Jews under Hitler. I would not wait for the fascist element in Smethwick to erect gas ovens.”

Back in the US the NoI had not forgiven what they saw as Malcolm’s betrayal. Members made repeated attempts on his life. The FBI also turned up the heat. He rarely travelled anywhere without bodyguards.

On February 14 1965, while he was in Smethwick, his New York home was firebombed. Wife Betty and their four daughters luckily escaped the flames.

One week later, just after arriving home from Britain and speaking to a rally in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, he was ambushed onstage by three gunmen. They pumped 15 bullets into him at close range. Malcolm X was dead. He was just 39.

Were the gunmen NoI members seeking revenge, or FBI agents acting under orders from J Edgar Hoover? They were probably both.

A far greater truth is that the memory of Malcolm X will live on in the US and in the English Midlands as the long battle for racial equality is slowly being won and the bloody history of that amazing struggle is finally written.

British football fans against racism


Lutz Bachmann, leader of Pegida posing as Adolf Hitler, and his role model

This photo shows Lutz Bachmann, leader of the racist Pegida organisation in Germany, posing as Adolf Hitler, and his role model, the fuehrer of nazi Germany, 1933-1945.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Newcastle fans call for ban on Pegida UK rally

Friday 20th february 2014

NEWCASTLE United fans urged fellow supporters yesterday to demand a ban on far-right activists who are hoping to copy German racists with a “Pegida UK” demonstration on February 28.

Dozens of unions, anti-fascist and religious groups and politicians have already backed a counter-protest to snuff out attempts at building a new British fascist movement.

Now Toon fans, who will mass hours later for a scheduled home game versus Aston Villa, have added their opposition to the plans.

Branding Newcastle a “wonderfully diverse and glorious city,” supporters group NUFC Fans United urges: “The authorities cannot allow any of our community, whatever their race, creed or religious belief to be treated in such a manner in our city on match day or any other day.

“What kind of message is such a rally sending to players such as Papiss Cisse, Mehdi Abeid, Cheik Tiote and Moussa Sissoko as well as to our wider Muslim community?

“What kind of message does it send to those who come to study in our colleges and universities, or who visit as tourists to wonder on the splendour of our heritage history?”

The group urges “like-minded football supporters” to demand a ban on the event, adding: “This rally is unacceptable, uncalled for and not welcome on the streets of Newcastle.”

Pegida UK has adopted the name of an anti-Islamic movement that mobilised thousands in Germany before an “Adolf Hitler” photo of its nazi-loving leader surfaced, plunging it into chaos.

See also here.

The anti-Islamic group Pegida has been warned it is “not welcome” in Newcastle ahead of its inaugural UK protest this weekend: here.

ANTI-FASCISTS will be out in force in Newcastle today to fight back against the first ever demonstration by German Islamophobic group Pegida on Britain’s streets: here.