Tag Archives: Arts & Culture

War Party

– Poem by El Jones –

Composed on the occasion of on the occasion of this year’s 12th annual rally and webinar in opposition to the Halifax War Conference

For audio, click below or here




A woman’s going to send the drones
So ready the covers of your Vogues
The food bank lines are now miles long
But a woman’s the one who sends the bombs
Liberal feminism can’t be wrong
When a woman’s the one who sends the bombs.
Can’t get workers PPE
But you go girl Nancy Pelosi
All hail the bipartisan war parties
Now Trump is gone we all agree
George W. Bush has been redeemed
The war criminals are on our team
And there’s a Black woman on my TV screen
And when she bombs I’ll yell yasss Queen
We’ll force your countries to be free
And little Black girls can finally see
Themselves in drones and F-16s
And this is MLK Jr’s dream
Brought to you by Wall Street
Brought to you by the elites
We’ll never ever give you peace
Fund military and police
But a woman could be commander in chief
See what can happen when you believe?
This is gender equality
So everybody take a knee
The resistance heroes hip hip hooray
The FBI and CIA
The generals and NSA
So please enjoy your new air base
We’ve all forgot Abu Ghraib
We all forgot Guantanamo Bay
And none of them will see the Hague
The Patriot Act’s so yesterday
We‘re all in love with John McCain
Make Lockheed Martin great again
Centrist neo-liberals all the rage
Kids still living in a cage
The war party is here to stay
And let’s lock Julian Assange away.
We can’t let him expose the truth
We’re never bringing home the troops
Obama’s so cool shooting hoops
You’ll all be crushed under the boot
We’re plotting out another coup
Billionaires we won’t prosecute
We save that for moms of truant youth
Those Timberlands were looking cute
So let the oil companies pollute
He’ll put them in the cabinet
Add bankers to make up the set
We’ll regulate the internet
Corporate news is all you’ll get
But a woman’s going to send the jets
Are Yemeni women happy yet?
This moment gives me all the feels
A woman’s making weapons deals
A woman’s making refugees
A woman’s going to rob and steal
Last week we were environmentalists
But now wars for oil are feminist
And history will reminisce
How all the donors benefit
Orange man is out the door
Things can go back to how they were before
Biden voted for the Iraq War
How dare you ask for any more
Your kids still super predators
And his kid’s on strike number four
But prison’s just for you and yours
And really the crime bill’s all your fault
This is the time for unity
Bow down to oil and energy
And let’s be friends with GOP
And white suburban families
There’s no more white supremacy
Black woman deliver us the vote
We’ll still be kneeling on your throat
But a woman’s going to send the drones
So volunteer to work those phones
So we can bomb some woman’s home
And probably waterboard her son
They’re back in fashion neo-cons
So four more years of settlements
War parties are in agreement
And let’s hashtag Black excellence
Kamala is Vice President.
The ladies join the gentlemen
In sword, famine, wild beast, pestilence
The four horse persons of apocalypse
These days we call that feminist
Is this the dream of suffragists?
And I heard her bombs never miss
And don’t forget to call her Ms.
Madame, her honour, she or ma’am
Get ready those detainment camps
Muster the troops line up the ranks
A woman’s going to send the tanks
And all of us will give her thanks
Especially weapons manufacturers, banks
And thanks to those suburban moms
A woman’s going to send the bombs
I’m glad a woman is so strong
To send our countries all those bombs.

(November 19, 2020)

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The name’s Connery … Sean Connery.

Sean Connery died today at the age of 90. Much is being written on behalf of Hollywood with little reference to the famed actor’s ardent support for the just cause of democratic renewal, the right to self-determination, and Scottish independence. Reflecting his Scottish working class roots, he put his sentiments into action.

In 1992 he read the now-famous “Democracy Declaration of Scotland” before the massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992 (pictured below). More than 30,000 people participated and endorsed the Declaration by acclamation. The Democracy Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s. Continue reading

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50th anniversary of War Measures Act (VI) – Film Les Ordres by Michel Brault (1974)

Sixth in a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.

Image from the film Les Ordres

Michel Brault’s film Les Ordres (The Orders) was made four years after the events triggered by the proclamation of the War Measures Act in October 1970. The film focuses on the repercussions of the War Measures Act, and more precisely on the resulting arbitrary arrests. At the time of the making of the film, the frustration among the people arising from the events of October 1970 was still palpable as a result of the flagrant violation of the individual freedoms of citizens. The film deals with this legislation and the reaction of the government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau to trample the rights and freedoms of citizens in the name of public safety. The message conveyed by Michel Brault is clear. He explains that he “didn’t want to make a film about the October Crisis, but rather about humiliation.”

To view the film click here

For a trailer of the movie Les Ordres with English subtitles, click here.

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Let Music Live

Professional musicians speak out

Musicians united in London’s Parliament Square and in Birmingham on Tuesday, October 6, at 12:00 noon to speak out on the value of music professionals, as well as others in the arts culture sector.

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Throw out ‘Rule Brittania’ & empty the dustbin

Scottish journalist and historian John Wight says Britain’s historical songs and national anthem bear false witness to history, with ongoing diabolical consequences.   

A nation state’s identity is reflected in its national anthem and the songs it sings in celebration of and in tribute to its history. In the case of Britain, those songs bear witness to a regressive and false rendering of a history of mass murder, colonial oppression and super exploitation. It is a false rendering that continues to have diabolical consequences today both at home and abroad. Continue reading

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When music – and the fiddle – matters

From Columbus, Ohio (Click to enlarge)

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A reflection: Canada’s collaboration with the fascist forces and their snipers

By TONY SEED

A poignant post which I have reposted on this blog by Ukrainian journalist Dmitriy Kovalevich struck a chord with me. I had heard about those snipers he mentions, responsible for inciting Ukrainians against Ukrainians. One of them was in Canada just four years ago on a cross-country recruiting and propaganda mission sanctioned by the government of Canada. [1] 

On February 22, 2016 the so-called documentary film “The Ukrainians/Les Ukrainiens: God’s Volunteer Battalion” (Leonid Kanter and Ivan Yasniy) was shown at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. Continue reading

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Toronto Palestine Film Festival — Nakba Commemoration

Documentary film 1948: Creation & Catastrophe
Sunday, May 17 — 4:00 pm
TAHA
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Invasion: A film on the Wet’suwet’en nation

In this era of “reconciliation,” Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. Invasion is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.

The film was produced by the Unist’ot’en Camp. The film, including versions with subtitles in French, Spanish or Portuguese, along with information on using it for community screenings or  fundraising to support the Camp, can be found here.

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Netflix’s Mossad propaganda

Hailed in the Globe and Mail for “startling work” by an actor! Pushing back against the distortions and fabrications in “The Spy,” a new series based on the supposedly true story of Israeli spy Eli Cohen and his exploits in Syria. Cohen was a failed spy who was not able to secure access to the government or the military of Syria but who sent Syrian newspapers to Israel and ran what appeared to be a brothel in Damascus | As`ad AbuKhalil

Netflix “The Spy” trailer – hardly credible.

For too long, Israeli propaganda has gotten away with tall tales about the story of failed spy Eli Cohen. 

Cohen was inserted into Syria in 1961 (under a false name) and was discovered and hanged by Syrian military intelligence in 1965.  In another context, this story would have been deemed a disaster for the intelligence agency which recruited this spy. Instead, Israel has managed to spin and fabricate a large volume of lies about Cohen’s ostensible exploits. Continue reading

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Gabriel García Márquez, your word is life

Fidel and García Márquez, two men who will never leave us | Granma Archives Continue reading

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Raven Wilkinson fought racism

On December 17, at the age of 83, ballet icon Raven Wilkinson, the first black woman to sign a contract with a major company, passed away | PEDRO DE LA HOZ

raven wilkinson in costume at the ballet russe de monte carlo.historicheroines.org

Raven Wilkinson in costume at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo | historicheroines.org

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Syria, The Challenge

Syria The Challenge Movie

This post is about an engrossing film produced in 2015 by a Syrian-Lebanese film-maker, Olga Naccache*, of the war on Syria, now in its 7th year. I just came across it thanks to a post on Facebook by Intibah Kadi. It is over one hour long, with English subtitles. It is gripping and many times elegiac. The music is vibrant. Continue reading

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Lebanon in US action movies: Beirut starring Jon Hamm

By AS’AD ABUKHALIL*

spyLebanon often provided a venue for American and Western action films.  In the 1950s and 1960s, it was a place of international intrigue and espionage where spies intersected with other spies, and where car chases on mountainous roads provided for good movie scenes.  There were so many US and European movies shot in Lebanon in those times, with such titles: The Sell-out, Masquerade, Man on the Spying Trapeze, Agent 505, Embassy, among others. But that so-called peaceful Lebanon (where successive Israeli invasions and massacres don’t get a mention in Western movie accounts, and are rarely listed as the reason for undermining the old Lebanon—with all its flaws, inequities, and injustices) does not exist anymore.  The Lebanese civil war provided a totally different venue for American action films that were to come in the 1980s. Continue reading

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10 years of resistance to the US-led Halifax war conference: ‘We built this city’, 2015

By EL JONES

We built this city
We built this city on land we stole
Built this city
Built this city on land we stole Continue reading

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Poems on the Occasion of the Centenary of the End of World War I – Moments of Quiet Reflection

Monuments in Saskatchewan (left) and Alberta to the people unjustly interned by the Canadian government during World War One, reminders of the repression at home that accompanies imperialist war abroad. 

Today we will hear a lot about Remembrance Day and what to remember on Remembrance Day. For instance, we are told that Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will be in Paris, France for a special 100th anniversary Armistice Day service followed by a “Peace Forum.” British Prime Minister Teresa May, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, U.S. President Donald Trump and “more than 70 other world leaders” are also invited. The “Peace Forum” will discuss “issues of international security.” Continue reading

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Anna Burns may have won the Booker, but monopoly publishers are the real victors

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This day. Jean-Paul Sartre rejects the Nobel Prize

Claude-Lanzmann-Jean-Paul Sartre-012

Jean-Paul Sartre (centre) dining in Paris with filmmaker Claude Lanzmann (left) and Simone de Beauvoir in 1964 | Bettmann/Corbis

On October 10, 1964, the French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre rejected the Nobel Prize for literature. Continue reading

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For your information: NAFTA becomes USMCA

NotInOurNameThe supranational oligopolies that control the economies of North America and seek global hegemony have tightened the screws of their domination over the peoples of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in becoming the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) have both strengthened and loosened the rules of international trade on the continent to favour the most powerful oligarchs. Continue reading

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Ireland: A ‘secret massacre’ emerges from the shadows

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Cultural genocide: National Museum of Brazil destroyed

(September 3) – Very sad news. The 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil has been virtually destroyed by fire.

The museum in Rio de Janeiro had 20 million items, including Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts and a 12,000-year-old human fossil, the oldest found in the Western Hemisphere, known as “Luzia”. Connected to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the museum has expositions that include anthropology, archeology and paleontology, among others. Continue reading

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How the New York Times partook in the plunder of Iraq

Who gave permission to the New York Times to remove thousands of ISIL files from Iraq? | SINAN ANTOON*

A US soldier hauls documents during a raid conducted at a community centre in Baghdad in June 2003 [AP/Jim Krane]

A US soldier hauls documents during a raid conducted at a community centre in Baghdad in June 2003 | AP/Jim Krane

Many of the precious objects displayed in the global north’s major museums were plundered from their home in the global south. The dubious itinerary and the illegal and unethical practices that facilitated the plunder cannot be found in the laconic texts accompanying these exhibited objects. Continue reading

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This Day. Year of Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) |RIA Novosti:Guriyano)

(April 8, 2018) – Recently, Russia solemnly celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Battle of Stalingrad. The year of the anniversary of this victory is declared the year of Solzhenitsyn. In a country where the Great Victory is celebrated, there should be no honour to a person, to the one who spat on this victory without shame. But now in power is the oligarchy, for which there is nothing sacred, except for its own profits and power. Therefore, another important anniversary fell under an unofficial ban, was in the information blockade. Continue reading

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Palestinian Museum’s digital archive project to preserve heritage

A three-year project by the Palestinian Museum will enable Palestinians to find and archive key historical documents | Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor

The Palestinian Museum’s digital archive will include photographic treasures Palestinians kept in their own homes to document them for future generations.

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Erasing history: Israeli state archives kept secret

Files in the Israel State Archives|Ofer Aderet

Ninety-five per cent of the Israeli state archives are concealed from public access. The suppression of history is a precondition for the all-round falsification of history of the enforced dispossession of the Palestinian people – “to make possible the Zionist lies about ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’ and to weaken Palestinian resistance as much as possible.” The state’s own chief archivist has condemned the widespread censorship of historical documents containing information that the public has a right to know about | Four articles 

Haaretz Editorial (January 18) – It was hard to believe that the manifesto posted this week on the website of the Israel State Archives was written by a state official subordinate to the Prime Minister’s Office. The text, by the outgoing chief archivist, Dr. Yaakov Lazovik, gives expression to all those values that the state has been trying to destroy in recent years – democracy, liberalism, humaneness and transparency. Continue reading

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Today is Robbie Burns Day

Today (January 25) is Robbie Burns Day. 25 January 2016 marks 257 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet was born. His polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.

burns_statue_Halifax.600x840

The statue of Robert Burns in Halifax’s Victoria Park Square is the centre of innumerable political rallies., as this one in October 2006 against the apartheid wall in Occupied Palestine | Photo courtesy of and copyright 2006, Howard Harawitz, All rights reserved.

One of his best poems, also the basis of the great German revolutionary song of 1848, Trotz Alledem:

Is There For Honest Poverty / A Man’s A Man For A’ That (1795)

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,

Shall brothers be for a’ that.
Translation
Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, an’ a’ that
The coward slave, we pass him by
We dare be poor for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp
The man’s the gowd(gold) for a’ that
What though on hamely(homely) fare we dine
Wear hoddin grey(course wollen cloth), an’ a’ that
Gie(give) fools their silks, and knaves their wine
A man’s a man, for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
Their tinsel show an’ a’ that
The honest man, though e’er sae poor
Is king o’ men for a’ that
Ye see yon birkie(fellow) ca’d a lord
Wha struts an’ stares an’ a’ that
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word
He’s but a coof(fool) for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that
A prince can mak'(make) a belted knight
A marquise, duke, an’ a’ that
But an honest man’s aboon( above) his might
Gude(good) faith, he maunna( must not) fa’ that
For a’ that an’ a’ that
Their dignities an’ a’ that
The pith o’ sense an’ pride o’ worth
Are higher rank that a’ that
Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a’ that)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree( have priority) an’ a’ that
For a’ that an’ a’ that
It’s coming yet for a’ that
That man to man, the world o’er
Shall brithers( brothers) be for a’ that

Preview YouTube video Is There For Honest Poverty (For A’ That) – Andy M. Stewart

Is There For Honest Poverty (For A’ That) – Andy M. Stewart

 

FURTHER READING ON THIS WEBSITE: 

Robbie Burns, Grand Falls, Mackenzie and Gaza

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US TV shows: Cultural expressions of civil war scenarios

nopolicestateOne new television show and the second season of another both start with potential civil war scenarios for the U.S. Both are on ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney. The shows are a reflection of the current reality of contending policing authorities in the U.S., like the military, CIA, FBI and Homeland Security, with contention between them and with the presidency. They also reflect the fact that existing governing arrangements are failing to sort out conflicts among the ruling circles and between them and the peoples here and abroad. Continue reading

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Event. Halifax’s Anti-War Movement: A Chronicle

A film screening event marking the 25th anniversary of the landmark 1991 documentary, No Harbour for War
Tuesday, November 1 • 7:00 pm • Room 105 • Schulich School of Law • Dalhousie University • 6061 University Avenue • Halifax • NS

No Harbour For War, chronicles the history of the City of Halifax and its intimate entwining with imperialist war, while also poignantly covering Halifax’s anti-war and anti-imperialist movement of the 1980s & 1990s. This event reclaims the historical memory and power of this broad and vibrant movement. A panel discussion featuring the film-makers and some of the more than 25 voices that appear in the documentary will discuss the legacy of Halifax’s anti-war movement and the current challenges that face today’s anti-war and peace forces. Continue reading

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An imaginary journey back to Spain’s Arab history

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We Only Want the Earth

James Connolly, 1907
Some men, faint-hearted, ever seek
Our programme to retouch,
And will insist, whene’er they speak
That we demand too much.
‘Tis passing strange, yet I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most modest are,
We only want the earth.
“Be moderate,” the trimmers cry,
Who dread the tyrants’ thunder.
“You ask too much and people fly
From you aghast in wonder.”
‘Tis passing strange, for I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.Our masters all a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask, that is, the earth.

The “labour fakir” full of guile,
Base doctrine ever preaches,
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day
When, with sword in its girth,
Labour shall march in war array
To realize its own, the earth.

For labour long, with sighs and tears,
To its oppressors knelt.
But never yet, to aught save fears,
Did the heart of tyrant melt.
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth
Of loyal soldiers’ needs
And our victorious rallying cry
Shall be we want the earth!

 

Reproduced from TML Weekly, April 23, 2016 – No. 17

Youtube: 

We Only Want the Earth – Cornelius Cardew

 

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