Monday, 24 December 2012

Dear all... some end of year sorrys & some thanks:

So this is Christmas and what have we done? Unlike last year I am not as physically conscious of those about me being in the cold, in the snow, in the street – but so many ARE still there – maybe not outside St. Paul’s Cathedral as part of a determined, stubborn and uniquely beautiful protest but simply because we have not succeeded in civilising our world.

I feel a huge sense of failure and I sense this in others too; those who although warm this year, have to accept that austerity, greed, bankers’ bonuses and bailouts, tax havens and loop holes, easily corruptible politicians and lobbyists... mean there is just not enough to go round. Those with the least have even less and maybe it is those who have nothing, who have noticed the worsening least.

Did we really think we could change anything with our Occupy? YES. Why wouldn’t we? It was not a naive hope, it was a striving for sense, truth and justice and none of those is illogical or foolish – simply what EVERY one of us should be demanding.

Every month we pay those in power to care for our country – and rather than ensure quality education and health care, sane energy solutions and prices that are fair – they buy weapons and pollutants and dance with lobbyists whilst re-distributing our hard earned funds to the bankers and corporate giants who are fuel to their egos, careers and retirement plans.

Rich getting richer and poor getting bugger all may have long been the norm – but WHY do we have to accept this? This is OUR government who work for US... and I don’t accept that it’s our fault because our votes put them there; our votes can only fall onto the choices presented and those are ALL bad options.  How can we expect change when all that are there to steer it, are the same types who have always been there?

So... this is Christmas and I have one wish:
I wish this current corrupted system of government would crumble and fall and in its place emerge a new method of governance that serves us all and reflects true fairness without bias. Not looking for communism, socialism, anarchism or bloody revolution... just the emergence of intelligence, creativity and positivity that I see exists but so far has been silenced by the selfish who have the power and will not let it go.

To those on the streets who shiver through another harsh winter – I am genuinely sorry we have not brought the solutions you deserve as fellow human beings. To those recently told they should work despite acute illness, pain and suffering that makes it impossible; to those separated from their families because of cruel laws and immovable regulations that seem to punish misfortune;  to those in other parts of our abused planet who are trying to protect their communities from the ravages of the unquenchable thirst for profit-at-any cost by industry and energy sector giants; to those not yet able to take part in standing up to all this because life is just too bloody hard – keeping food on the table, fuel in the car so work can be reached and heat in the house, eats every moment and what few are left are spent trying to find some joy to bring home; the world’s  problems just seem impossible to tackle on top of everything else...

...sorry, many of us are trying and although there are very few ‘bad guys’ – they have built the system around them so it protects them against opposition – each uprising is the same uprising and our fellow protesters in all parts of our world are cruelly stopped and harshly treated... being an activist requires guts. I can in all honesty and realisation say that I have never admired any profession or type of person more – than I admireActivists; and to you I send my admiration and love xxx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

PRESS RELEASE - Shale Gas & Osborne's Autumn Statement

RAFF's (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking) response to Osborne's statement on shale gas

RAFF to initiate legal action and tactics to prevent shale gas industry threat to Fylde

5 December 2012    George Osborne's Autumn Statement concerning shale gas said very few words but spoke of tax relief for the industry; indicating a green light to this controversial practice. The statement held no surprises. This government has continually turned its back on green energy, trumpeted 'a 'dash for gas' policy and surrounded itself with ministers and advisors who have more than a little vested personal interest in shale gas.

Osborne has repeatedly refused to listen to industry leaders who are demanding the Government commit to a cut in carbon emissions by 2030. Failure to do so will, they say, harm the economy and cause them to miss out on the commercial opportunities and benefits associated with a shift to a low carbon economy.

The government is taking advantage of the ignorance of the population as a whole. A recently commissioned survey, conducted by BritainThinks, on behalf of gas drilling company Cuadrilla, revealed that only 15% of respondents claim to know very much about shale gas extraction, and this is from a sample of the population where fracking is about to re-start and who have been offered plenty of opportunities to discover more on the subject.

There's little doubt that fracking will resume in Lancashire very soon. RAFF's requests for both health and environmental impact assessment reports have been ignored. Residents will be exposed to methane emissions, toxic chemicals, radioactive waste and much more.  They will be completely unprotected.

RAFF will now take legal action and have initiated discussion with David Wolfe QC. Together with the increasing number of anti-fracking groups springing up throughout the UK, we will be employing delaying tactics, which will add to the already damaged confidence of investors in shale gas companies.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Poem : Art Of Mind

Tina Louise - Poem : Art Of Mind

There is a soul of all mankind,
One entity divine.
Fed and nourished on our thoughts,
Fertilised by battles we have fought,
Enriched with the wisdom of the meek,
Scratched by the claws of the greedy elite,
Marked and branded by all that we do,
Unable to portray anything,
But me and you.
Birthed by the soul creator,
Sustained by our human nature.
Formed without a choice,
Unable to ever voice,
Dismay or despair,
Just am,
The universal soul we made,
With all we thought was erased,
All the deeds we dutifully did,
All the secrets we secretly hid,
All the lies we deemed to tell,
All the cracks upon the shell,
All the frowns and laughter lines,
Etched on it for all of time.
It is the art of our minds. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Growing Mass of Us

Last night I became Anonymous for the first time:

The Growing Mass of Us

Hard to estimate the turnout but certainly over a thousand came to meet on 5 November 2012 in London’s Trafalgar Square with the intent to re-enact the final scene of the movie V for Vendetta

“The country needs more than a building right now – it needs hope”
V for Vendetta

 Anonymous is a group you can be in or out of at any point you choose, there is no membership list and like the Occupy movement, its cause is the many; from freedom on the internet, to anti-war, anti-cuts and a stand against the ugly attack on disability benefits as well as the control of bankers and corporate interests over our governments. 

At the demonstration on Guy Fawkes night talk too was of the currently breaking news about paedophilia; the government, judiciary and BBC are blamed for involvement and silencing of the victims over many decades and an unwillingness to act for those still suffering .

The sea of V for Vendetta masks was an incredible sight – anonymous yet character-full individuals of all backgrounds and for all reasons, gathered together to make themselves heard, make the government aware that they cannot act without witness and that these people are not going to sit back and take it quietly.

To those still not active with Occupy, Anonymous, UK Uncut, unions, environmental, disability and student groups – the country and indeed the world must look like a map of markers of uprisings perhaps seeming unconnected; they aren’t.  I was interviewed earlier in the day and asked what it was everybody was complaining about and the interviewer observed that we “can’t just keep saying things are wrong and not presenting a way to do it right.” My reply was:

“Each uprising large or small, here or somewhere else is essentially the same uprising – we the people no longer find the current system to be fit for the way we would choose to live our lives. From Tahrir Square to Kuwait, Bahrain, Wall Street and London – we the people KNOW what we want; social justice, a fair crack at life for all and not just the 1% with the power and the money.

“The very vast majority of the people in the world would never choose war as a tool of government, would never see poverty, hunger and abuse go uncared for and would never want to inflict misery on another – yet THIS is what our governments tolerate and even facilitate.”

So I went to join Anonymous and it was liberating to be so. The masks have been an almost comforting presence at every Occupy event and occasion and I wanted to support them in return; what I found was much more. 

Again I found myself surrounded by strangers as I did with Occupy the London Stock Exchange and againI found myself in familiar company. Whether it has been with the wise ones of Occupy London’s working groups on economy and environment , the creative and daring team behind the Occupied Times, the individuals enduring unbearable lives, the honourable and brave disability groups or the countless others with every personal reason or none – I found determination, guts and honour that commanded my respect more than any other.

Do any of these actions change anything?
Yes. They changed me and they changed the person next to me and others that listened. They change onlookers and viewers, they empower individuals and those individuals – connect across the world at a level not dictated by our politics, religion, location, wealth or status. We are united in our anger at the way things are and in a society disconnected – this changes everything.

Alan Moore who created V for Vendetta, released his first song “The Decline of EnglishMurder” on Occupation Records to coincide with the march.  This line is one that resonates with the truth of a society divided, cut, separated from its own humanity:

And the scabby grey anti-climb paint and withdrawn amenities
 ~ In case socialising promotes anti-social behaviour”

I find myself amidst a society re-shuffle where instead of gathering under our usual labels of job, gender, religion, politics and location – we are gathering a new kind of mass made up of otherwise unrelated individuals united by our determination to find a better way; not just for one group, party or type but for all.

Tina Louise

The Growing Mass of Us

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Absence of Seams...

We’re hurting
Wounded deep to our souls
Out of control
No longer involved in the choices that mean

Too long a disease has raged
Torn through pages of history
To be - to be - to be
The dominant destiny

Through the divisions between us
At an alarming success rate
Dis-ease dominates
What should-be
With terrifying may-be’s
Wilfully dictating a dichotomy of
Terrorist/freedom fighter
Godly/lager lout

But away from the extremities...
You and me
No knowing the state of our selves
No healthful
Way to be.
Uneasy in our flesh

Distressed of truth
Proofed, in every symptom we display

Nursing our wounds
Exploring the tombs of our dreams
Un-weaving the believed
Making places and spaces
Where solace is

As True
Is un-suffocated
To gasp at last
And exhale
The real of what is
And will always be
...the absence of seams ~ between you and me.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Preparing for the dance…

Preparing for the dance…

The 20th of October felt like it was a about the gradual realisation of the need for unity; an acceptance that our grievances are many, our banners are many, our approaches are many and our participants diverse but action by all, is essential.  There was an obvious shared desire to make a statement about the state of our society and that statement, if it was encapsulated into a single sentence, would probably be something like:

“The current system benefits those who need it least...
...crushing the people and planet that need it most”

Amidst the multi-coloured banners representing unions and workers,  groups with a focus on peace, justice, education, welfare and the disabled as well as clusters of anarchists, socialists, communists, environmentalists, anonymous and too many more ‘ists to list – I found others from Occupy the London Stock Exchange woven throughout.

There we were:
-in and alongside wheelchairs blocking crossings, delaying traffic and raising awareness of the plight of those suffering so unjustly under ATOS. I put my foot on the corner of a street banner that was spread out over the crossing, to hold it in place; three more feet of passers-by appeared within a moment to hold the rest of it in place. Strangers smiling at each other because we know that this problem is a society problem and we are all truly (rather than sound-bitingly) in this together.

There we were:
-some of ours wore black; tapping police shoulders to engage in a game of tag and running through the shops most deserving of attention on Oxford and Regent Street. The target stores were easy to find even for those not aware of the vast sums of tax evasion by their owners or the abuse of the work schemes; the places that are criminal had a police guard, which made this educational and slightly amusing. I approached one of the police outside Starbucks and said how strange it was that they were there to protect the criminals but how convenient it was that they were showing us exactly who on the high streets deserved our attention.

There we were:
-standing with megaphones and informing parts of the march about the environmental issues that are too often ignored and down-played in the media. I personally was on the march both as part of Occupy the London Stock Exchange and as a representative of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking ( and set off from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral with the Climate groups... although I would have symbolically started there anyway because there is a certain ‘something’ about that place where we camped at the heart of the City of London.

There we were:
-banging drums, blowing whistles, shouting, dancing and chanting with others in Samba bands, big brass bands, a (surreal) Hari Krishna band on wheels and other noise making areas of the march.
The ‘official’ figures are saying something like 150,000 marched but one of the people counting at the gates to Hyde Park had said earlier that she was looking at 300,000+ based on density, depth and length of the crowd that was being counted at various points.

The night before the march I wrote;
“So... what's tomorrow all about? Well, for me it's A kaleidoscopic array proclaiming the sneezes, coughs, wheezes, rashes, tingles, cuts and grazes of society’s weeping ills, gathered in a display of dis-ease on the streets of London; as has been on so many other streets - near and far away on other days.

Symptomatic evidence blitz so loud, so clear, so proud... nothing left to fear the march embarks on an anarchical journey that will twist symptoms, from lines into genome spirals, wound and UN-rivalled into a woven mass of ‘we the people’. A gathering, a blossoming, a holy mother-fck*ing mass of bothering!”

...and it was.

Finding our unity is going to be a bit like getting the choreography right; we start with steps alongside each other before we can get to the bit where we embrace. We ARE many and each has been under the influence of their chosen media, their education, upbringing, race, religion and status in society – trying to fix the things that matter to ALL of us was never going to be a smooth ride with a clear route-map and destination.

Within the mass of people who are ‘Occupy the London Stock Exchange’ we have extremes and differences just like all the other groups and society itself and in those early weeks (I always consider the first 3-5 weeks as golden) we struggled, debated, argued and assembled in order to find the stuff we could agree on. Each time we hit a stumbling-block, a subject too hard to agree, we stepped back, paused, sorted a working group, engaged the different opinions and slowly edged forward from small points of agreement.

It isn’t fast, it isn’t easy and it isn’t even pretty yet – but one day we will have taken enough steps alongside each other to be dancing.

Mad Enough Yet?

Are we mad enough yet? Any of the headlines about the report by the IPCC on our damaged environment on this planet... could just have easi...