Racist capitalism, Edward Colston’s statue and beyond


This 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Boots Riley – How Capitalism Needed Racism To Operate

Official 247HH exclusive interview with Oakland based Hip Hop artist Boots Riley, where you’ll hear about how capitalism used racism in order to gain a power. Check out how he explains how this is still relevant today in this time.

Malcolm X on capitalism

From daily News Line in Britain, 11 June 2020:

THE TORY leadership reacted in fury this week after the statue of the notorious slave trader

and Tory (Conservative) Member of Parliament

Edward Colston was torn down and dumped in Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter march in the city on Sunday.

Johnson condemned it as ‘criminal act’ while Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned those responsible as ‘thugs and criminals’.

Labour leader Keir Starmer was quick to say that it was ‘completely wrong’ to topple the statue but, in an effort to avoid the anger of millions of workers and youth who have risen up against racism and British imperialism, added that he thought it should have been ‘brought down properly, with consent.’

This fear of alienating themselves from the mass movement that is sweeping Britain, America and the world, triggered by the murder by police of George Floyd, has prompted Labour’s right-wing London Mayor Sadiq Khan to announce a review of all London statues and street names saying that any with links to slavery ‘should be taken down’.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) Labour group has also announced that Labour councils across England and Wales are to review ‘the appropriateness’ of monuments and statues in their towns and cities.

Even the police have attempted to hitch themselves to this mass movement, with Neil Basu, London assistant police commissioner, saying he was ‘horrified’ by George Floyd’s murder and in a message to police officers throughout the country, urged them to ‘stand up to racists, inequality and injustice’.

What drives the right-wing of the Labour Party, who have supported the Tory attacks on the working class and refused to lead any real struggle against them, is the fear of losing control over the movement that has erupted against the repression by the capitalist state against every single worker.

Blatant attempts have been made to keep the movement confined to issues of statues and avoid the main issue that lies at the heart of all the racist attacks and war conducted by the state against the entire working class.

While the News Line and WRP support the right to throw statues of slave traders and other historic representatives of British imperialism into the sea, this is not the decisive issue. It may satisfy some but it doesn’t address the burning issue of today – putting an end to capitalism in its final stage of imperialism once and for all.

The British working class have a long and proud history of anti-imperialism and anti-slavery going back to the American civil war.

When war was raging between the Northern Union led by Abraham Lincoln and the slave-owning Southern states of the Confederacy, a blockade of slave-picked cotton was imposed by the north.

The massive cotton mills in Lancashire were closed as a result of the blockade and thousands of mill workers thrown out of work and into crushing poverty.

With the mill owners and shipping companies demanding that the British navy smash the blockade and come to the rescue of the Confederacy, the working class stood absolutely firm despite the hardship and starvation.

At a mass meeting in Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1862, the workers voted for solidarity against slavery and support for Lincoln’s embargo. Their resistance made it impossible for the British ruling class to intervene, as they wanted, on the side of the slave owners.

In a letter sent to the ‘working men of Manchester’, Lincoln praised them for their act of heroism ‘which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country.’

This history is reasserting itself today, as weak imperialism plunges into its greatest historic crisis, a crisis from which it cannot hope to escape except through waging war on its rivals and war against its own working class.

The mass movement that has erupted cannot stop at gestures aimed at the symbols of imperialism that are used by the right-wing of the Labour Party as a cover for their support of the Tory government.

Instead, the fight must be built up to the overthrow of British and US imperialism and the establishment of socialism.

Dutch art historian Wieteke van Zeil supports the removal of slave traders’ statues: here.

Great crested grebes courtship dance


This 26 May 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

It’s hard not to be enchanted by the great crested grebes’ courtship dance. In spring, the birds face one another (sporting striking orange and black plumage) then flick their heads from side to side, bob in unison, and swim low and slowly towards each other in the water.

Find out more about the intriguing, impressive and quirky displays you might see in wetlands: here.

Pine martens do social distancing


This July 2016 video says about itself:

The pine marten was once common across much of Britain, but is now one of our rarest mammals. Today, the pine marten population is increasing its range in Scotland, but in the rest of Britain, it is considered to be functionally extinct. The Vincent Wildlife Trust has embarked on a major recovery project to bring the pine marten back to England and Wales.

From the University of Exeter in England:

Pine martens like to have neighbors — but not too near

May 15, 2020

Summary: Pine martens need neighbors but like to keep their distance, according to new research.

Like newts and monkeys also do social distancing to stop contagious diseases from spreading.

Over three years, the cat-like predators were caught in Scotland and moved to mid-Wales by Vincent Wildlife Trust.

By attaching miniaturised radio-transmitter collars to 39 of the released animals, a tracking team followed them for a year as they explored their new home in Welsh forests.

The research, published today in the journal Ecology and Evolution, was carried out by Dr Cat McNicol from the Environment and Sustainability Institute of the University of Exeter with staff from Vincent Wildlife Trust.

Dr McNicol’s analyses have shown that the pine martens spent some time exploring their new habitats before settling into solitary territories, but that having pine marten neighbours helped them settle more quickly.

In the first release, when there were no other pine martens nearby, the new arrivals roamed long distances over two weeks before settling into their chosen territory — often close to the point where they were released.

The following year, when more pine martens were released in the same area, the new cohort established territories within a week, but further away from the release point.

Dr McNicol said “Although they defend solitary territories vigorously, pine martens depend on their neighbours when deciding where to set up home. Releasing martens near to others promoted rapid settlement. Using scent-marking as their main way of communication, newly-released martens can figure out which bits of woodland are occupied by other individuals and then set up home nearby. This behaviour results in a patchwork-quilt of new territories spreading across the Welsh countryside.”

Although smaller than a domestic cat, pine martens are highly mobile, and the tracked animals had an average range of 9.5 km2 (about 2350 acres).

The Scottish martens and their descendants are now thriving in Wales, where they are living and breeding in woodland habitats, mainly eating voles and mice.

The new arrivals are also tucking into grey squirrels.

In a separate study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and funded by The Forestry Commission, Dr McNicol attached similar tracking collars to squirrels as the pine martens were introduced.

She found that resident grey squirrels increased their ranging behaviour significantly in the presence of pine martens.

“The martens created a ‘landscape of fear’ for the grey squirrels, changing their behaviour to avoid predation,” Dr McNicol said.

The finding adds to a growing body of research showing that pine martens could have a negative impact on grey squirrels — which is good news for foresters and woodland owners.

British health care, poem


This 27 November 2019 British Labour party video says about itself:

REVEALED: the truth about the Conservatives, Donald Trump and our NHS.

By Sally Flynt in Britain, 3 May 2020:

21ST-CENTURY POETRY

Free for All by Sally Flint

i.m Doll Warner

Before she turned 10 they called her
Little Mother. The oldest of 11 siblings,
she knew about ailments — how to attach
string tight to a doorknob and extract a tooth.
She could tempt a TB victim with broth and starve
a fever. She knew diphtheria meant death,
that few people had money for medicine,
or a midwife. She’d race to a stranger’s house and boil
water, prepare rags and, often in the dark hours,
persuade a doctor to help for free. For years
she witnessed birth and rigor mortis, saved pennies
to put on dead children’s lids. If she was still alive she’d hunt
down her prayer book, find God and scream to Bevan:
Quick! Someone! Save the Nation’s Health.

Sally Flint is the founder-editor of Riptide short-story journal and Canto Poetry at the University of Exeter.

Aneurin Bevan was the Labour party minister who after World War II founded the National Health Service, ending a time when poop people could not adfford medicine.

British Conservative government neglecting PPE for doctors


Hospital workers take part in a protest calling on the government to provide PPE across Britain for all workers in care, the NHS and other vital public services

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 3 May 2020:

Almost half of doctors forced to buy own PPE or rely on donations

ALMOST half of doctors have bought their own personal protective equipment (PPE) or relied on donations from charities and firms, according to the biggest survey of front-line staff during the crisis.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said its survey response from 16,000 doctors published today was a “damning indictment of the government’s abject failure” to supply front-line staff with life-saving protective wear.

It revealed that 48 per cent of doctors surveyed had directly purchased PPE for themselves or their department or had received donations from a charity or local firm.