British women punk rockers in concert

This music video from Britain says about itself:

Argonaut – Touch Electric – Official Music Video (Criminal Records)

Argonaut – Touch Electric – Out Now – Album Out Monday 19th November, 2012

Argonaut were snapped up by Criminal Records in late 2011. Their sound combines super sweet sexy vocals with rocktastic guitar riffs, shrill synths and the occasional harmonica for a rock mix with an alternative edge.

‘Argonaut put forward a good case for being brilliant….. Sounds like Siouxsie And The Banshees, while their commitment to youth, ideas and passion should be lauded and rewarded’ James Jam NME

By Bob Oram in England:

Punk witches cast potent hexes for Halloween

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Dream Nails + Argonaut + The Ethical Debating Society
Veg Bar, London SW2

4 stars

LOUD, proud and angry, these feminist women make music for a packed — and mixed — audience who love every minute of this Veg Bar gig.

Dream Nails, activists who formed their band only three months ago, are self-proclaimed “punk witches from hell” and seeing their third gig is like witnessing history in the making.

“These are not songs but hexes,” says lead singer Janey and they certainly bewitch, overcoming a poor PA to wow the crowd with a glorious riot-grrrl set.

Guitarist Anya is on fire and Emmett and Judith maintain a perfect rhythm platform for Janey to show vocal anger and passion in a set that includes Vagina Police, Not abt U, DIY, Joke Choke, Bully Girl and the superbly catchy and danceable Deep Heat.

With no stage, the bands are right up close, in and among the audience and nothing suits Argonaut better.

New drummer Omz is a revelation, gelling neatly with Joules to power a great performance that sees Abby and Lorna clearly enjoying the moment.

Layered with intricate keyboards and guitars, the sound is a soundscape for Lorna to embellish. Lost in the moment, she dances, shakes and jumps while still singing perfectly.

Touch Electric, Seven, Owners and Vintage Dress, drawn from their two albums, are stand-outs in what’s a classic show.

The unique Ethical Debating Society are informed by a DIY sensibility that says “anyone can do this” and they even get an audience member up to have a go with them.

They’re scary, not just because it’s Hallowe’en but for the rare intensity of the two-guitar aural assault by Tegan and Kris.

Their yelled, call-and-response vocals blur the lyrical content in the heartburn of the sound but a set drawn from their New Sense album showcases their glorious riot pop perfectly.

Their blasts of Oh Bondage Up Yours at the end is a perfect nod to previous generations who blazed this trail.

If Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna had come down to the Veg Bar she would have been proud of what these amazing women are doing.

This 2013 music video from Britain is called The Ethical Debating Society – Creosote ideas.

This music video is called X Ray Spex – Oh Bondage Up Yours (TWNDISH 1978).

This music video is called Siouxsie And The Banshees – Love In A Void. Live on Something Else 1979.

Kew Gardens, London, pirate game for children

This video from London, England says about itself:

The Kew Gardens Great Spice Heist – October Half Term 2015

24 October 2015

This half term, something is afoot in Kew Gardens!

Pirate Pepperbeard and his dastardly crew are plotting to steal Kew’s valuable spices.

Help us to save our plants by joining us on an exciting adventure around Kew Gardens, chasing pirates and foiling their dastardly plot to steal our spices.

This activity is included with day entry to Kew. Book online to save. Free entry for Friends of Kew.

Head to the Spice Exchange, located at the eastern end of the Princess of Wales Conservatory to pick up your map.

British gay Muslims against Islamophobia and homophobia

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders & Keith Ellison Call Out GOP Islamophobia

1 October 2015

Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison called out the homophobia of Republican presidential candidates. Donald Trump said we have a Muslim problem in this country, while Dr. Ben Carson asserted that he would not vote for a Muslim president. These are inherently bigoted statements, and we break down why Bernie and Keith are 100% right.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Gay Muslims break down barriers

Thursday 22nd October 2015

Activists urge unity between communities

GAY Muslims took to the streets of east London yesterday to launch a new campaign calling for unity between LGBT and Muslim communities.

A group of activists stood outside Whitechapel station — an area with one of Britain’s largest Muslim populations — in an attempt to “build bridges” between the two groups.

Campaigners told the Star their traumatic experiences in seeking acceptance from their families.

Others held signs stating: “Gays and Muslims unite. Love all not hate.”

Event organiser Peter Tatchell said gay Muslims had contacted him about the campaign in a bid to open up discussions with locals who may be homophobic.

He told the Star that the campaign attracted “mixed responses” but that the activists prefer to have open discussions rather than keeping them “behind closed doors.”

A Muslim man aged around 50 stopped to talk to the campaigners and it soon turned into a heated debate.

He told campaigners: “If I am a Muslim, it does not mean that I hate gay people. Many Muslims do not approve of homosexuality but we would not hate them.”


The 23-year-old physics student grew up in a ‘radical Islamist family’ in London

His Pakistan-born parents taught him that gay people are “disgusting and evil” and should be killed.

He has not spoken to his parents or his four younger siblings for around 10 months after they discovered that he was gay last year and put him through “exorcisms.”

The street campaign is “absolutely important” to him as there is Islamophobia within some LGBT communities and also homophobia among some Muslims. Racism is another negative factor.

He said: “In order for us to deal with these three weak points, we need to stand together to fight bigotry and hatred by having open discussions in a civilised manner.”

Mr Ahmed, who prays daily and fasts at Ramadan, said that he considered himself an atheist before reading works by progressive Muslims and now refers to himself as an “agnostic Muslim.”


Took part in the street campaign in memory of his fiance Naz, who killed himself two days after his strictly religious family confronted him about his sexuality.

Dr Naz Mahmood, a successful owner of three clinics, ended his life last year aged 34 after telling his mother that he was gay and planned to marry after being in a relationship for 13 years. She told him to find a “cure” for his sexuality.

Mr Mahmood-Ogston told the Star: “We want to build bridges between two groups that are considered to be diametrically opposed.

“Some people feel that you cannot be Muslim and gay. You cannot choose to be gay or not because I believe gay people are born gay.”

Pop art exhibition in London

This video from London, England says about itself:

The World goes Pop at Tate Modern

11 September 2015

Interview with curators Jessica Morgan and Flavia Frigeri about women in Pop Art and Evelyne Axell.

By Christine Lindey in England:

Consuming passions

Saturday 17th October 2015

Tate Modern’s The World Goes Pop reveals an art movement which was obsessed with the idealised stereotypes of advertising and packaging, says CHRISTINE LINDEY

POP art was never a coherent, tightly knit movement.

In the mid-1950s, unknown to each other, artists including Richard Hamilton in Britain and Robert Rauschenberg in the US reacted against Abstract Expressionism’s self-absorption, looked outwards and engaged with the blossoming mass visual imagery inundating the consumer society.

Their dialogue with the slick, immediate styles and idealised stereotypes of advertising and packaging became the subject of their art.

By the early 1960s they were grouped with figurative artists as disparate as Peter Blake and Andy Warhol under the name of Pop Art by dealers, critics and museum curators hungry for the latest “movement” to promote.

Those expecting a survey of these well-known US and British artists in Tate Modern’s current exhibition The World Goes Pop will be disappointed.

Intended to shatter “the traditional story of Pop Art,” the exhibition gathers about 160 works by over 60 artists active in the late 1960s and 1970s to “show how different cultures contributed, re-thought and responded to the movement.”

Following current art historical trends it widens its scope by embracing world art, especially that of eastern and southern Europe and Latin America, privileging female over male artists and favouring “political” content.

We are introduced to hitherto largely unfamiliar artists, many of whom appropriated mass imagery’s instant impact, simplicity and impersonal visual languages to comment on serious sociopolitical injustices rather than commenting exclusively on promises of consumer heaven.

In an uncompromising indictment of Franco’s brutal dictatorship the Spanish artist Rafael Canogar’s The Punishment of 1969 features a life size, three-dimensional figure being viciously beaten by the air-brushed silhouette of a baton wielding soldier or policeman.

Rafael Canogar, The Punishment

His compatriot Eulalia Grau’s 1973 photomontage of a gigantic terrified young woman’s face trapped in the boot of a sleek, pink American automobile screams of female oppression.

Martha Rosler’s equally biting feminist photomontages merge idealised naked women’s torsos with kitchen appliances in angry denunciations of the stereotyping of women as domestic and sexual slaves. It is she and Joe Overstreet rather than Warhol or Lichtenstein who represent the US.

The latter’s The New Jemima of 1964-1970 is an uncompromising assertion of black pride from this black US artist and civil rights activist. It challenges the American mass media’s hackneyed image of the plump black servant by depicting her wielding a blazing machine gun rather than a rolling pin or mop, while provocatively flashing her wide smile at the viewer.

Joe Overstreet, The New Jemima

Opposition to nuclear weapons, the Vietnam war, French colonialism in Africa, fascist Spanish and Latin American dictatorships and female oppression dominate the subject matter of artists from as far afield as Japan, Iceland, Cuba, Peru, Brazil, Poland and Czechoslovakia as well as western Europe and North America.

Others merge native folk traditions with those of the industrialised worlds. Marisol, who built her career in New York, delved into her Venezuelan origins to produce her sculpture My Mum and I of 1968 as a tribute to that country’s folk art.

The Colombian Beatriz Gonzalez confronted her ruling class’s subservience to European culture by recreating reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in the bold language of her native folk art. The Cuban artist Raul Martinez repeated identical folk art images of Fidel Castro in a witty riposte to Warhol’s repetitive media images of celebrities.

This well-intentioned exhibition is in danger of leaving the visitor confused and overwhelmed, rather than enlightened by introducing too many unknown artists and scattering their works among too many themes and it’s exacerbated by some ill-defined themes and glib or non-existent explanations of specific cultural contexts.

The feminist message of Rosler’s photomontages from the US differs utterly from that of the Icelandic Erro’s fierce 1968 anti-Vietnam war paintings depicting the Vietcong invading idealised western homes, yet they are forced together into the Pop at Home section.

Feminism is identified as a “global political current” in the Pop Bodies section, which glosses over major cultural and sociopolitical contexts. Yet the obstacles faced by impoverished, illiterate, Catholic women in rural societies differ fundamentally from those faced by well-fed, educated, Protestant women in industrialised nations.

Ultimately, the exhibition’s title is deceptive as most of the works’ subjects and meanings have little in common with Pop Art.

But if you take most of the categories with a pinch of salt and focus on fewer works, rather than attempting to respond to them all, the exhibition offers rich rewards.

It provides an understanding of the ways in which artists worldwide appropriated the visual languages of mass media as a means of questioning major social and political issues.

As such, it makes a valuable contribution to art history.

Runs until January 24, box office:

Racist murder and police corruption in Britain

This 2013 video is called Stephen Lawrence murder 20 years on: what impact has it had on Britain?

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Lawrence Murder Police under Corruption Investigation

Saturday 17th October 2015

National Crime Agency probe ‘another blow to the Met’s tattered reputation’

THE Metropolitan Police is under investigation over claims that at least one officer was bribed to protect the identities of the racists who murdered Stephen Lawrence.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) was appointed in March to lead the investigation after Met received claims backed by “reasonable grounds.”

Mr Lawrence’s family have called on witnesses to come forward and campaigners said that this was yet another “full-body blow” to the Met’s reputation.

The black teenager was stabbed by a gang of white men while waiting for a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993.

Five men were acquitted of Mr Lawrence’s murder after a 1996 trial on grounds of insufficient evidence.

But it is now claimed that the names of the murderers were known by residents in the area but that police officers did not act due to bribery by one of the defendants’ fathers.

Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of the murder in 2012.

Mr Lawrence’s parents have always claimed that corrupt officers conspired to derail the search for the killers, which the Met denies.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced in July that a criminal investigation was “ongoing” into disputed allegations that former detective sergeant John Davidson was paid off by gangster Clifford Norris.

Mark Ellison QC, who was appointed by Ms May to lead that probe, said that there were “reasonable grounds” to suspect that Mr Davidson had acted corruptly.

The NCA is also examining the claims.

NCA deputy director for specialist investigations Roy McComb will head the investigation for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The senior investigating officer has already spoken with Mr Lawrence’s family, his friend Mr Brooks, who had been a Lib Dem councillor for Lewisham, and their lawyers.

Mr Lawrence’s mother Doreen Lawrence, who was made a Labour peer two years ago, said on Friday that her suspicions about corruption had grown over time despite “decades of official denials” from authorities.

She called on former police officers to “examine their conscience” and for those with information to “come forward so justice can be done.”

Police corruption has denied us, and others, justice. It is a denial of the trust the police and state have placed in them by citizens,” she told the Guardian.

The high-profile case brought to a head serious concerns of institutionalised racism within the police and spurred the partial repeal of the double jeopardy law, under which a suspect could not be tried for the same crime twice.

Race and human rights activist Lee Jasper, who was a witness during an inquiry that concluded institutional police racism was rife, said that suspicions of corruption were entirely evident.

“All officers connected with the wilful withholding of information should face immediate court action,” he told the Star.

London solidarity with Turkish terrorism victims

This video says about itself:

UK: Pro-Kurdish activists march through London in solidarity with Ankara victims

10 October 2015

Hundreds of Kurdish people and pro-Kurdish activists marched through the streets of London, Saturday, to show their support for the victims of the Ankara bombing that occurred earlier in the day.

Protesters held signs condemning the Turkish government and many waved PKK and HDP flags during the rally.

This video says about itself:

UK: Kurds shut down central London in solidarity with Ankara victims

11 October 2015

Over 3,000 protesters rallied outside Downing Street in London on Sunday, demanding an “end to state terror” in Turkey. The protesters then marched through central London, blocking Piccadilly and Oxford Circus.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thousands march in solidarity with victims of bomb massacre at Ankara peace rally

Monday 12th October 2015

THOUSANDS of people marched through London yesterday in solidarity with the victims of Saturday’s bombings in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Activist Peter Tatchell was along those showing their support for London’s Kurdish community.

Responsibility for the two explosions which took the lives of 128 people is still to be ascertained, but many in the march accused the Turkish state of abetting the massacre.

The bombs hit the Turkish capital’s main railway station as hundreds of opposition supporters and Kurdish activists gathered for a peace rally.

Sunday’s solidarity protest started at Downing Street and spread across central London, making a stop by the BBC offices.

TURKISH POLICE fired tear gas yesterday to prevent mourners laying carnations at the site of the previous day’s bomb attack on a peace march, which killed 128 people: here.