Archive for the education Category

Housman’s Bookshop Throw a Party For Chelsea Manning

Posted in Current affairs, education, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2017 by kathydasilva

At 7 pm this evening Housman’s Bookshop, opened its doors and celebrated the news of Chelsea Manning’s first day of freedom. All supporters, who had travelled to London for the party took part in the evening of entertainment and mirth. Poets and activists for peace stood with beer and wine in hand with a tremendous feeling of worth. Such a wonderful day for Chelsea Manning seeing her sentence of more than 35 years commuted to the six she has served with clemency from Obama as he left the Whitehouse for the last time.

Attendees, are as follows: Jim Radford, campaigner and activist for peace a veteran of WW2; Kirsten Bayes, from C.A.A.T. Campaign Against Arms Trade; Rod Langlands, activist and anti-aparteid campainer in Israel for the Palestinians; Susan Johns, who read the statement from Chelsea Manning on what had kept her strong whilst in prison; Pauline Sewards, activist and poet, who also read tonight her own poem thanking Chelsea for her bravery( she says she writes mainly for activism on the site ‘I am not a silent poet’;  the staff of Housmans including manager Catherine Barter. The whole shop was filled with the most amazing warmth, and feeling of purpose. I looked around and found titles of grand inspiration, including Naom Chomsky’s titles. The main purpose was to celebrate the victory of Chelsea Manning’s freedom, and the wonderful feeling of perhaps being part of it.

The shop aims to send to Chelsea Manning the photograph of everyone who came with the signatures and well wishes of the many who came to support this brave whistleblower. Thank you Chelsea Manning for standing for PEACE and TRUTH!

 

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I have now uploaded the small snack bites of video from the party you can hear some of the speakers to the above event on YouTube.com  …

 

Trolls

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, education, politics, Stories and reviews, writing with tags , , , , on April 11, 2017 by kathydasilva

Yes the title is appropriate.. I remember reading in a fairy tale, about trolls, or monsters, hiding under bridges and trying to cause harm, there ready to ‘gobble you up’.. yes this type of ‘would be’ nightmare, if you had them as an adult, would mount to horrendous proportions. A troll, being inevitably something ugly and unwanted even a bit demonic. The bad nature in some humans, have thus been likened to these fictional creatures. The darker nature of hate, and the negative nature of wanting to make the ‘hate’ known. It is at this point, I think that this is how I understood religion, because if anything, faiths globally tussle with the whole dilemma of human behavior the well behaved versus, total chaos. And then there is law and order, to add, to the considerations. Whilst media ‘trolling’, can to some degree be controlled by adding some policy statements and regulation, it still does not stop, the phenomena existing and like the old demonic bad spirit in a fairy story, there you have it again, a troll, to try to make a person feel uncomfortable, it is an easy going kind of expression for just plain nasty behavior. And how come, this all gets an airing? Well for the love of sharing, our thoughts, our arty bits and pieces, and promotions of books, there you have it the green eyed demons come out in the plenty. And some more insidious than others. The real bite, is whether it is indeed right wing factions or extremist views, saying what they cannot say clearly, that they feel fear. Fear of losing control, of a world that by chance or virtue of survival, still produces a level of unequal behavior. Someone sent me a link, on my academic site, about the history of the ‘elite’ schools and I imagine this includes places, like Eton, where if you have the money, you can purchase a really good education, something unforgettable, once you near adulthood, and indeed beyond. I have to say, that I only began to notice the difference in opportunity as an undergraduate, when public school child and state school offspring merge at the higher educational level of university. It is probably true, that if you look at people in the media and I mean the top papers, and news jobs, you might find a few of the ‘elite’ offspring well and truly using all the education life gave them to full success. So it is even more remarkable, when the odd one or two of the ‘ordinary’ people manage to get through the barrier! The story of Hans Christian Anderson, emerged through drama on our TV screens the other day, and indeed, he had been helped to an education having spent most of his childhood illiterate. Strangely powerful, the Emperor’s New Clothes, and other stories by his pen. He could tell the stories but not write them down. So wisdom is not only passed down through school, there are other sources, and parents, and libraries, can play their part. How wonderful God allows for such lessons. Trolls. I think too Shakespeare did suffer because of his talent, yet again not coming through a traditional scholarly upbringing, he the tanner’s boy, and secretly a Catholic, in a time when Catholicism was still forbidden to be openly practiced. Imagine all these hidden political forces. Imagine, if you were party to being ordered to ‘harass’, individuals, to essentially take the carpet from under them, to dissuade them from flying high, well higher and therefore toward potential success. Because success, means fame in part, and popularity, and influence. And possibly becoming wealthy. What happens then, should the egalitarian soul, succeed? The whole EU debate, has opened a hornet’s nest of thoughts. Strangely I was finding through various debates, especially about borders, and opinions, that there our neighbor Ireland, was showing potential above the British Isles, as it had no plans on leaving the EU at all. And too the debate over whether we should as a nation have made it to becoming a republic. The old debate of Kingdom. Had Cromwell decided to manage the country at the time of the uprising caused by an over indulgent King Charles, would we have managed to temper and balance out this surge toward elitism, that seems indwelling, an inherent snobbery. I am mentioning this, simply because the whole capitalist agenda is to get people to spend, and desire spending, usually on the basis of quite false promises. It will make us happy. Hilary Clinton herself, had also implied, that ‘everyone can be wealthy’. I think perhaps not and the only reason is that some people do work harder and longer hours, and still too, is that healthy, for our families. If both parents work, and then, children do not relate so well, with their parents for example and perhaps people in society? So why do people do this awful thing, this trolling behavior? And if it in some part is military, what does this suggest? Is personal hate allowed. King Charles’ son, had the body of Cromwell dug up from his grave, and decapitated, and the head was put on show I think hung from or on a spike, in the chapel that is next to Westminster. Somehow, this seemed to me a bit extreme as the man was already dead. He was a Christian Cromwell. And the issues of Charles I, who was accused of treason toward the nation. So too, how horrid, that this moment in time is presenting to us the British, public something so big, and perhaps too, on the scale of something to fight for. Imagine if your opinion, results in ‘action’ against the individual. It makes me outraged, that ‘assassinations’ go unchallenged. In America, other kinds of punishment, to me it seems illegal, but, the case of Barrett Brown, who was imprisoned, and charged with various indictments, some of which would have only resulted in a ticking off, in another land. Trolling? Some might call this harassment, some, might even say this is the insidious element of the ‘elite’, depending on the ‘target’. So, yes, the essays and writings, that try to make things like real change occur become more relevant. I have been gradually sliding back into my academic roots. They are good roots. I am painting. I am novel writing. And I am applying a good sense of knowledge. The miracle of language is enough for me.