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Monday, April 27, 2009

[Poetry] Utopia Calling

Current mood: Moody

The free market sold me
Improper visions;

Of poets, romantics,
Their various pipe-dreams

- Siphoned-off and destined
To legitimise
The myth that liberty
Can surpass Egality,

Enforced by crass belief
Echoed in deference
To Liberal ideals -
Legitimised through guilt.

Once accepted to be
An individual -
We've adopted the means
Of a passive tyranny -

 left clinging

To clutch at the belief,
That we're all bourgeois now;
Yet this democracy achieved
Can't silence, can't still
Our Utopia calling.

2:38 pm - 1 comments - 2 Kudos
Monday, April 27, 2009

[Lyrics] No Mean City

Current mood: Nostalgic

Here's one from the vaults, 2005 or thereabouts.

From Paris to Texas, you'll walk the line,
Never to your tune, though least you're still alive.
When you bite the bullet, you swallow it tough;
Another shot sunk, don't look into the sun.

This is my hometown;
It's no mean city

Hey you strangers, welcome to the city,
Clicking your heels, at ease with sitting pretty.
All you strangers, I'm just a sinner;
Trying to sell a story.

She ain't from my town, but she's walking the streets,
Like she was born in the cracks, and she's keeping the beat.
All you strangers, all you deadbeats,
Buy into my story.

Hey now strangers, there's dust in the air,
There's something on the streets, but I can't say where;
And all you strangers, you can't play fair,
So she sells you my story

If you came out of the town, another piece of meat,
With a hellhound on your tail, you're nothing on the street.
All you strangers, and you deadbeats
Buy into this story

This is my hometown
It's no mean city

Awrite now mister, in the Emperor's clothes;
You've made it rags to riches, but I'm the end of the road.
All you strangers, like you don’t know
Who’s swinging from the willow

Hey now strangers, there's dust in the air,
There's something on the streets, but I can't say where;
And all you takers, you can't play fair,
So she sells you my story

We’re livin’, livin’, livin’
In no mean city
This is my hometown
It's no mean city
Come down strangers, get your blood-on-blood.
The poet in the streets, said it ain't so tough,
And all you strangers, there whipping it up.
I say it's no mean city.
We’re livin’, livin’, livin’
In no mean city
This is my hometown
It's no mean city

2:38 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts on The April 18th Student Co-ordination.

So I went to the long-awaited, much anticipated etc national conference for the co-ordination of student struggles.
Not having a snappy name is a fucking pain, though of course I recognise that the minute you gave it a name the swoppies would jump all over us going "HA! you've set up a rival group; prepare to be obliterated!"


In the run-up weeks to the event, held at UCL case you were wonderin', was full of much to-ing, fro-ing and bor-ing by the libertarians, whom I won't give the privelege of labelling as anarchists.

- Their slavish devotion to the middle-class, single-issue mindset that their activist milieu molds them in very nearly derailed this whole process from the start. Would you believe that they genuinely didn't want to have a vote to approve a date to actually meet up?

Presumably they thought that if we planned far enough ahead and took into account everyone's diary commitments then no doubt we'd've been able to find a day. Foolish.

Anyway that's merely background and very much by the way.
I knew going into the conference that there would be two 'blocs' i.e. "us" - the organized and -dare I say it - bureaucratic, Leninist(!) Left and "them" the above-mentioned libertarians led principally by the two loudest mouths who seemed to speak for everyone opposed to taking any form of decision or approving any popular motion, when in fact they represented no-one but themselves. Still, this is a united front, and what was 'good' was that people could get up and discuss whether to vote on resolutions/proposals/tea breaks etc.

In the end, the choice to vote on resolutions was lost 35-30 to the libertarians, which is a shame as it meant that the valuable discussions we had throughout the day, had nothing concrete to capitalise on.

Having gone to the 'Fees/Cuts' workshop, I think that it was very good-natured, with voting, but principally decisions were achieved with (after hashing out the minutiae) virtually unanimamous consensus.

Points were raised by myself and a sister from LDN about the need to organize, radicalise and politicise school/college students who are criminally neglected by the NUS and university student politics at large.

The comrade is currently building a London School Students Union, which I think is an extremely important task, especially with the disgusting cuts and incompetence delivered on schools and colleges by the Labour government.

Having to pay back the billions they frittered away on banks and bankers' pensions the government now finds, mysteriously, that it has a £200m funding shortfall for 6th-form places this september, even though it is gov. policy to encourage as many students as possible to stay in education.

I presume that is because they don't want to have to provide employment, training or the dole to school leavers, instead forcing parents to maintain us.

Sadly I won't be playing much of a role in the LSSU though I'll definately keep a close watch on it, 'cause college is nearly finished. Apparently. I think there's about 6 weeks left, including 'study leave' and exams... so yeah, then summer, then uni. o_O
So yeah overall positive. 100+ attending making it the biggest non-NUS/SWP/StWC/ENS/ANIP student conference this year. It brought together what can loosely be called the progressive vanguard of the student movement even though that includes reformists, reactionaries, and even Zionists (yes, that's you AWL).

If it wasn't for the scheming, pre-meditated sabotage of the democratic process of voting at the end of the conference by endless debating and stalling by a minority of hardline libertarians, we could have counted it a rousing success.
As it is, we will definately have to look more closely at our approach in the next meetings, scheduled for early summer and autumn.

Student activism isn't dead, and slowly we're taking into our own hands and out of the bureacratic grip of the reformists, careerists and bureacrats.
Broadly the conference has agreed to:
- Fight all fees, and fight for universal free education
- Fight all cuts in education
- Use the tactic of occupations, but in a mass, co-ordinated fashion
- Co-ordinate for national days or weeks or direct action and protest
- To link up with Trade Unions in our struggle against job cuts, cuts in welfare, etc etc.

The conference communicated its solidarity with the brilliant struggle of the Visteon workers in Enfield, N. LDN who are picketing their factory, demanding redundancy pay after being sacked at 6 minutes notice.

We also extended our solidarity with the RMT Tube Workers who look set to go on strike very soon.
More on the class struggle as it comes in :)
In solidarity.

The official REVOLUTION report can be read here
2:38 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, April 27, 2009

Paris Students Barricade The Sorbonne

Current mood: awake

On Monday 9th of March, students forced the cancellation of lectures at one of Paris's top universities. A general meeting of students, lecturers and administrators voted to take action at the Paris 4 campus of the Sorbonne university. Students and staff then used tables and chairs to barricade the entrance. This action is in protest at the French government's attempts to cut costs in state schools, which critics say will lead to over-crowding in classes and a drop in the number of courses offered.

The protest continued peacefully into the afternoon before a meeting on Tuesday evening to decide whether to extend or lift the blockade. It comes in the aftermath of a similar action on Friday 6th outside the main entrance to the university where police forces dispersed a barricade and demonstration of teachers and students protesting against cuts in the teacher training program.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

These blockades are the latest in a string of demonstrations and occupations over the past months by those opposed to the neo-liberal cost-slashing refoms of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The initiative shown by the French youth and workers in defending their education provides a great example for the youth of Britain to follow. The Conservative party have recently announced their intention to allow every school to apply for Academy status (see
here for more on what that means). This blatant privatisation of our education into the hands of anyone looking to rinse a quick profit at our expense is disgusting, but part of a Europe-wide trend. With the privatisation of education gathering pace in Italy and France, and the Conservatives set to be elected in 2010, the urgency of our situation is clear.

The future of our education obviously can't be trusted to scheming politicians. Their attempts to sell off our schools to their capitalist puppet-masters becomes clearer with each passing day. This means that organising an effective nationwide resistance to their attacks is vital.
2:38 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

[Poetry] A Ballad of Two Kinds of Fool

A work in progress

A Ballad of Two Kinds of Fool
Seems each Tuesday we meet
With Shrapnel in our jeans
At the same storefront
With no better place to be
Than idling on a dream
Disappointed that we
Weren’t so hard done by
Yet evermore ill-at-ease
Why does a man like me
Have to be convinced
That I’m not the man
You promised I’d be
- If I could meet myself
I’d tell him the truth
There are two kinds of fool;
 Me and You.

Chance would be a fine thing
But I don’t have the means
To harness my soul
On a desire to succeed
Granted, I’d quietly
Nurture this guilt to breed
A crisis of faith
To crush a wayward esteem
Why does a man like me
Have no sympathy
For another man
Though brothers we’d seem
- If I could see myself
I would recognise
There are two kinds of fool;
 You and Me.
6:22 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eyes Wide 'Til Utopia

Tell me what y'all think

The free market sold me
Improper visions
Of poets, romantics
Their myriad schemes

To build a crass belief
That words chalked on walls
Would justify the means
Someday absolve me

Once discovered to be
Consider I'd merely
Entrenched that myth

That Liberty will free
You from deference
This tyranny of guilt
Only persuaded

To keep my eyes wide 'til
Utopia, and
These horse-thieves cannot still
Utopia calling
9:25 am - 0 comments - 2 Kudos
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

[Lyrics] Heaven

This knife laid bare my veins to deceit and pride,
While my lips clamoured for the cocktail's kiss;
No-one held my reflection as a friend of mine.
After each retreat from the nerves and guilt.
Within my broken shell, let loose denial;
And I convinced myself good boys don’t cry

When in heaven, it's cold after hours
Your noose solution ain't the answer-
And in heaven, it's cold after hours

As the cold seeps through when you're goin' under,
A mystery beat tears you from the brink.
Your fingers still numb; regret the damage you done.
After a million wide-eyed moments,
You'd think the signs couldn't be much clearer;
That's instinct beating; learn to trust it, kid

When in heaven, it's cold after hours
Your noose solution ain't the answer-
And in heaven, it's cold after hours.

They wouldn't believe,
But with this laughter in my footfall
Can’t shake this belief
That in heaven, it's cold after hours
Your noose solution ain't the answer-
When in heaven, it's cold after hours.
4:17 pm - 3 comments - 4 Kudos
Wednesday, January 14, 2009