There is something Special about Station Support


So when the protesters and activists have long gone home and the legal observers are enjoying their well earned and deserved pint the next phase of the back office is initiated. Step up the unsung hero’s of what we do station support. There is something special about the people that turn up for station support. You haven’t got the chanting and excitement of a demonstration/protest, you haven’t got the adrenaline rushing through you as a legal observer. These people have more than likely been standing shoulder to shoulder with those that are now in the cells. They may not know the people in the cells but they are showing solidarity. They sit in the station waiting sometimes for hours, waiting with coffees that may have gone cold and been replaced with beers and crisps and the cost of a fair to get the person home. As they sit for hours they constantly keep at the desk to get news of arrestees they get messages to friends, family and solicitors. they feed back to the GBC back office to continue the time lines. To sit in a police station not knowing how long it will take to be fed bullshit by police officers and refusing to be fobbed off is a truly selfless act of solidarity.

To come out of your cell to be greeted by people with smiles, hugs, friendship and solidarity is something you can not put into words or put a price on. For arrestees to know that there are people waiting for them and they are not on their own is one of the strongest forms of solidarity we can show our comrades in these situations. I remember walking out of my cell and seeing people asleep on the police lobby floor waiting for me. I can’t put into words how important this act of solidarity is and the act of letting comrades/arrestees know that they are appreciated.

Appreciating the work of all the support systems involved in protest but today it is a big up for station support. YOU FUCKING ROCK !!!


In appreciation

Hampstead Mum

An Anarchist conference – Just what the Dr ordered.


If there is one thing we need to do is to strengthen ourselves is an anarchist community. On the day that London holds it yearly Anarchist book fair with some amazing speakers and inspiring stalls and projects there is still the ever present sectarianism. We need to move past this to be able to grow in strength and numbers and find common ground. If those that can’t see the separatists amongst us our own worst enemy we will never progress. We can  read all the books and talk the talk but to move on we need to remove the self imposed divisions of our minds.

The swing of support towards Labour with the grassroots groups believing change is upon us in the form of Corbyn have surprised some of us in the Anarchist quarter where we have seen anarchists enter the political realm. Watching the reformists appear amongst us show how much work still needs to be done. To be all inclusive and not so purist maybe hard for some but sometimes we have to step aside and allow things to happen even if we as an individual may not agree. We have to allow anarchism to progress through discussion and implementation to each of our capabilities and needs.

To enhance and compliment each other may sound a little fluffy but we do not realise how much we already do this. The cross over being too close to notice, Sometimes we can not see the wood for the trees. And we have to be a little more forgiving as this is a work in progress.

So we may have been given a chance here, our friends and comrades in Wales the Libertarian Communist Group (Grŵp Gomiwnyddol Libertaraidd) have made some proposals worthy of serious consideration:

Libertarian Communist Group: An assessment and an appeal

About ten months have now passed since the Libertarian Communist Group (Grŵp Gomiwnyddol Libertaraidd) was formed in Wales, in November 2014. The decision to launch a new organisation last year was borne out of disappointment at the demise of both Collective Action (CA) and its short-lived follow-up, the Libertarian Communist Initiative (LCI). Our consequent frustration was compounded to some extent by the fact that one of our comrades had also been a member of the previously defunct Liberty & Solidarity (L&S). In retrospect we can discern that both of these erstwhile projects – CA/LCI and L&S – failed due to a lack of ideological cohesion and a confusion of political direction. From our perspective such failures can fairly be viewed as epic if one takes into account that these organisations were, on separate occasions, the products of would-be “platformist” splits from the Anarchist Federation (AF). Be that as it may, in the case of CA/LCI, having seen various members and associates drift away, and with our remaining England-based cadre not unreasonably opting to become involved in an accessible and potentially worthwhile enterprise, the Welsh contingent was simply left with a fait accompli.

From the outset, the Libertarian Communist Group (LCG) was, for the most part, determined to carry on from where CA had left off. As libertarian communists we identify with the “platformist” tradition of social anarchism, its core concept being the need for a praxis that seeks to develop: Theoretical Unity, Tactical Unity, Collective Responsibility and Federalism. In contemporary terms we believe this tradition is best represented by the especifist conception of anarchism, and so it is this particular conception that we actively strive for. Especifism can be summarised as: (a) the need for specifically anarchist organisation built around a unity of ideas and praxis, (b) the use of the specifically anarchist organization to theorise and develop strategic political and organisational work, and (c) active engagement in and building of autonomous and popular social movements by way of involvement and influence (social insertion). In essence, social insertion entails the building of a base for anarchist objectives through participation at rank and file level over time in workplace and community organisations and struggles.

For a fighting propaganda circle like the LCG, the actual application of these principles can seem daunting. For instance, the notion of “recapturing the social vector of anarchism,” i.e. re-inserting anarchist communism as a current of popular organisation within social struggles, is not as pertinent to working class political experience in Britain as it is in other parts of the world. In spite of this, we concur with a statement made by Collective Action on its foundation in 2012:

While the UK lacks an equivalent indigenous tradition of organisational anarchism to that of continental Europe or Latin America, it is possible to identify organisations such as the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, the Industrial Syndicalist Education League, the Shop Stewards Committees, even the Communist Party (British section of the Third International) and other such organisations as evidence of a popular libertarian current lost to the contemporary workers’ movement. It is with knowledge of this that we seek the “recapturing” of a social vector of libertarian organisation, in our case the anarchist communist current of libertarianism, as a principle aim. (CA, About Us – May 1, 2012)

Overcoming seeming difficulties is facilitated by our own take on the idea of thinking globally and acting locally. In this we are bolstered by our affiliation to the project which is a continuing source of theoretical and practical inspiration. For us local involvement is of paramount importance. At our inception we made it clear that we would work alongside like-minded groups and individuals in order to further the class struggle in Wales and beyond. And in our opinion, a key factor in bringing about future victories for our class will be the successful development of a myriad of diverse counter-hegemonic projects. As we outlined at the time:

The aim of the LCG is to focus on the key aspects of effective working class organisation which ultimately lead towards a libertarian communist society. These include workers’ self-management of the economy, grass-roots control of our communities, and a genuine commitment to internationalism. For such a society to arise out of the future ashes of today’s crisis-ridden system a fresh approach to theory and practice is required. As a part of the burgeoning nexus of freedom, all our efforts will be concerned with building proletarian counter-power. (LCG, Especifist organisation founded in Wales – November 8, 2014)

By working class we mean not only the vast array of regular wage-earners, but also precarious informal workers, the unemployed, and all those who can be described as being exploited, dispossessed, or otherwise excluded by capital. Nevertheless, we are cognisant of the need for a general reappraisal of class composition and all that may imply for future activities. Readers may be aware that, prior to its disintegration, CA/LCI pledged to undertake an investigation into the question of class composition yet regrettably failed to do so. In light of this, as far as we’re concerned an enquiry of this kind still remains to be carried out, though preferably by the anarchist movement as a whole.

On this theme, our comrades from the Brazilian Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (FARJ) previously opined:

Within our vision of social anarchism, as “a fundamental tool for the support of daily struggles”, we also need to clarify our definition of class. While considering the class struggle as central and absolutely relevant in society today we understand that the Marxists, by choosing the factory worker as the unique and historic subject of the revolution, despise all other categories of the exploited classes, while also potentially revolutionary subjects. The authoritarians’ conception of the working class, which is restricted only to the category of industrial workers, does not cover the reality of the relations of domination and exploitation that have occurred throughout history and even the relationships that occur in this society. Just as it does not cover the identification of revolutionary subjects of the past and present. (FARJ, Social Anarchism and Organisation, Part 2 – February 8, 2012)

The strategy now being promoted by the LCG encompasses a three-pronged approach. In short, we argue that the only way forward for our class is to construct a new workers’ movement – socially, politically and industrially – and one that is revolutionary through and through. Counter-power – including local, fully accountable forums or assemblies – must become widespread and popular. Moreover, as a minimum requirement, the perfidious Labour Party and its ilk have to make way for a dynamic anarchist and libertarian socialist confederation, and the moribund and collaborationist unions for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or similar rank and file combination where apposite. In our view, all of this is achievable with the application of sufficient will and determination.

To date our orientation has logically been to the anarchist milieu in North Wales, consistently encouraging the growth of such counter-power initiatives. This effort has already met with some success, with a grass-roots democratic assembly for Prestatyn and Rhyl (Denbighshire) in the offing. Associates on our immediate periphery are enthusiastic about this development and some have also joined the IWW in order to aid the struggle on the industrial front. For us this is a significant starting point.

Wales is a country with a rich history of resistance to domination and exploitation. Though perceived by many as a social and political backwater it has provided the setting for many notable anti-capitalist upheavals. Britain as a whole, of course, has witnessed some of the most momentous episodes in the annals of class war. The last great battle was no doubt the miners’ strike of 1984–85. Since that defeat the ongoing ruling class onslaught has generally resulted in retreat and disarray. Lately, however, we’ve glimpsed a few welcome signs of recovery. These ‘green shoots’ are exemplified by the likes of the Focus E15 group’s opposition to homelessness and social cleansing, and a growing willingness to fight back as manifested by protests against London’s notorious ‘poor doors’ and despicable Jack the Ripper Museum, or in the combative actions of militant anti-fascists.

Needless to say the euphoria surrounding the election of Jeremy Corbyn should be ignored. It may well be that his ascent to the Labour leadership can be interpreted as part of a wider renewal of socialist thinking and flourishing opposition to austerity, but it signifies nothing more. For the LCG it is merely another diversion. That people are fussing about Corbyn’s victory is proof positive they’ve learned nothing from the abject failure of SYRIZA. How many more defeats and disappointments must we endure until the penny finally drops? The days of plenty are over. Capitalism, ably served by the state, is now taking back every concession that it was ever forced to concede. The British Labour Party is therefore dead for the purpose of meaningful social reform. Moreover, as Red and Black Leeds explains:

It is not just that left-wing politicians are liars, cowards and sell-outs, although of course they often are. Nor is it simply that forces outside of and beyond the reach of national parliaments, from international bureaucracies like the EU to centres of financial power like the City of London, make the aspirations of socialist governments impossible. The real issue is more fundamental. Governments, of any political stripe, can act only by wielding the power of the state. To maintain a powerful state, governments need a strong economy, and that means managing capitalism and maintaining a capitalist social order. Different governments can try to do this in different ways, but they’re all bound by the same basic logic, and none of them offer any real hope of a way out of the cycle of capitalist domination and human misery. That’s why left wing and socialist governments routinely disappoint us. (RABL, This Is Not Our Victory – September 11, 2015)

The obvious lesson here is that another world is possible, but only if we fashion it ourselves. To this end, the anarchist conviction that it will take an autonomous and self-organising workers’ movement – from the base up – to usher in authentic social and economic change is historically delineated. However, as we see it, objective conditions alone – exploitation, oppression, poverty, racism, war, and an apparently inexorable lurch towards total chaos and barbarism – will not spontaneously lead a majority to realise the vision of a libertarian communist society. So to those on the left who argue in favour of a proletarian ‘leadership’ or vanguard party to show the way, social anarchists counterpose a “leadership of ideas” and, as previously discussed, a process of counter-hegemony leading to a situation of dual power as being the requisite components of revolutionary transformation.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the task of building a new world within the shell of the old will necessitate desire, initiative and passion in abundance. But as Collective Action once correctly observed: Unfortunately, a lack of ambition is not just something endemic within the traditional Marxist left. The anarchist movement has also failed to make a significant mark on resistance to austerity, as well as building momentum towards a general acceptance of anarchist ideas and methods. Historically the anarchist movement has shown itself to be distinct from the left, but in recent years – throughout the UK – it has failed to promote the richness of anarchist tradition and history or separate itself from the inertia of the traditional left, becoming nothing more than an appendage to it, content with fulfilling a propagandist role, or at times acting as the more militant wing of the austerity movement when required. The building blocks of an autonomous counter-power must consist first and foremost of an attack on the myths of austerity and class compromise and the building of confidence in self-organisation and direct action. Where anarchists have been successful in the past they have been vibrant and integrated parts of working class communities. This means abandoning the terrain of both activism and the left, and finding ways to speak to the experiences of, and more importantly finding ways of organising within those sections of our community who have, in many cases, already made the critical step of seeing through the illusions of representative democracy but still remain disconnected from politics. (CA, Where We Stand: Formation of a new anarchist communist project in the UK – May 1, 2012)

For us this remains the key challenge. Sadly we’re still in a situation in Britain where the popularity of basic anarchist ideas, especially among youth, easily outstrips the capacity of extant libertarian groupings to take full advantage of such interest and latent support. The vital need for cohesive organisation, with a concomitant strategic and tactical co-ordination across the entire anarchist milieu, is plain for all to see. Consequently, and as a matter of urgency, a more dynamic, cutting-edge movement is required.

It is against this backdrop that the LCG calls for an all-Britain, class struggle anarchist conference in 2016, or as soon as one can be convened. The last conference, held in London in 2009, though moderately successful, ultimately failed to answer the searching questions it raised. This is undeniable if one reads anew its bold extended blurb in full:

As the world economy heads deeper into an unprecedented recession, the spectre of social unrest is again spreading across Europe and the World. In the UK we have experienced an extended holiday from wide-spread class struggle as social democracy and capitalism worked hand in hand to maintain social peace. But as the guarantees of the banks have gone, so too have the guarantees that the state can manage the emerging social conflict, which could potentially turn into social rebellion unseen in the UK for decades.

So, where does that leave the Anarchist Movement? Are we relevant? Do we exist in a form coherent enough to actually be called a movement? Are we progressing? The Anarchist Movement Conference is a chance to put our ideas on the table and rebuild ourselves. The barriers that exist need to be broken down, the experiences and ideas of those involved in anarchist politics need to be shared, discussed, critiqued and debated. The task is urgent, practical and necessary – are we as a movement mature enough to face the challenge?

How and where should we organise? Who are we are speaking to? How do we relate to the wider world as anarchists? These are some of the discussions that might happen during the course of the weekend. We want this conference to be a historical turning point, a point where we manage collectively to come together to look at the problems and work towards the solutions. Anarchists from every federation, network and local group, those involved in diverse struggles from environmental direct-action to community work, trade unionism to DIY projects – we invite you and encourage you: Claim your place at the table and help make a movement!

If we truly aim to be part of making history we need to remake ourselves as an organised, pragmatic movement to become an effective part of revolutionary change. If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past we are doomed to repeat them. The anarchist ideals of mutual aid, solidarity and the desire to live as equals have been echoed throughout our history, in every country, by women and men, regardless of race or ethnicity. We have a proud history; this conference is both about recognizing where we have come from and organizing where we want to go. Be a part of it! (Anarchist Movement Conference, London – 6/7 June, 2009)

To be fair, the aforementioned failure could be attributed to the fact that for most of the time attendees of the two-day event were divided into twenty discussion groups with the relatively brief finale proving to be inadequate and inconclusive. On the other hand, it may just be that an anticipated follow up conference in 2010 never transpired. Either way, we believe it was a lost opportunity.

For anyone who feels that our call for a fresh conference is in some way an attempt to demean or denigrate the campaigns and ventures they are presently working on, nothing could be further from the truth. We have the utmost respect for all of the positive contributions made by our sororal organisations. For example, we are aware of the sterling efforts being carried out locally by the likes of Glasgow Anarchists, North East Anarchists, Red and Black Leeds, South Wales Anarchists, Bristol Anarchist Federation, London’s Circled A Radio Show and others, while on a Britain-wide basis a mention must be made with reference to both Class War and the Anarchist Federation; the former because of its appetite for gutsy, high-profile actions, and the latter for the exemplary role it has played since the 1980s in consistently propagandising and agitating for anarchist communism.

At the end of the day, regardless of whether our arguments for a more congruous and effective nexus are accepted or not, it is certain that a long overdue coalescence of libertarian communist forces for the purpose of a reappraisal of our common strategies and activities can only be to the good. Therefore it is with this objective in mind that we make our appeal. Hopefully, anarchists – as well as libertarian socialists in general – will consider and discuss the possibility of endorsing and supporting our goal.

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I am really excited about this I like the tone, the commitment and the enthusiasm of the people involved. Whether this starts as local conference or a national I am seriously excited and will be there with every intention of seeing how we can progress and grow and become as strong as other international anarchist networks. Lets do this and create the room to make change.
The Hampstead Mum

Throw “Caution” to the Wind


Accepting a Caution  – An admission of guilt sometimes with no evidence presented.

I remember a conversation I had with my son a few years ago about the routine stop and searches that he and his friends had been subjected too from his mid teens till early 20 ‘ s. Or when they were old enough that one of them had a car and they weren’t walking from A to B. The tone of the conversation was that this was normal.

We recently revisited this conversation when talking about knowing your rights with his sister and some friends. I knew about the stop and searches but this time what came to light was the amount of cautions accepted by the group for really really small violations or none at all. From teenage drunken arguments to the smell of marijuana and being searched to find chip’s of half smoked joints. Not unusual teenage behaviour that most teenagers grow out of. They accepted these cautions without question. Being picked up in the wagon, charged and processed at the station being told how this would result in far reaching consequences. Criminal records, loss of job prospects, their parents disappointment etc etc. So when you 18 and being intimidated by authority worried about what parents would do being offered a caution presents itself as a “get out of jail free card ” A caution should not be offered until there is an admission of guilt but we know that is not the case and often are offered for an admission of guilt as the favourable punishment.


This summer at an activist camp I carried out a know your rights works shop in which one of the key messages is “Do not accept a caution”. when a man approached me afterwards and said he thought the training was invaluable and wish he had come across it a few years ago. The man was a retired probation officer and  had left when he had no fight in him left and how the system did not look out for the welfare of these minors and went on to tell me how  the majority of his case loads had arrived on his desk because of the misuse of cautions. He was based in the North where unemployment was the norm. boredom, no youth clubs, social and mental health issues, alcohol and drugs created the no hope social makeup. What he found was that cautions were used as a form of control and given to people for associations.  This was normal practice and by the nature of young people none would grass on a friend and silence was seen as guilt and collective punishment was used in the form of cautions for all. This isn’t the worst part of it it actually gets more sinister. His cases were a lot of young people that had been “known” to the police from this kind of policing and what was happening was when an arrest occurred and the youth went to court the cautions were used to prove bad character and therefore guilt by supposed previous behaviour. By the very fact that they had been issued made you guilty and a habitual criminal and the offender was more likely to be detained. So for some of his cases they had harsh sentences for what could in fact be a first offence. By the very act of accepting a caution, an admission of guilt with no evidence provided fast tracked them into the penal system. He said he saw it time after time.

There is no statutory basis for the formal caution, it is a discretionary procedure adopted by the police under home office guidance. A caution offered usually means they have little or no evidence to be able to charge you for the offence of which you are being accused and get a conviction. The police use cautions to pump up their crime result statistics and a caution should really never be accepted. (The exception to the rule of course is if your solicitor advises otherwise). But that’s the other thing most of these teenagers don’t assume solicitors to be on their side and rightly so as most Duty solicitors do not have the best interests at heart either and will advise this “Problem teenager”  to accept the Caution as the easiest option. Police are increasingly using cautions against people that don’t know the law. With the changes in legal aid and court costs sometimes no lawyer will be present at all and the result is people going to prison for next to nothing or nothing at all. Cautions do create repercussions, unlike a conviction a caution is never spent and can be used against you at any time. Cautions can ruin peoples lives.

We need to be teaching our teenagers is “No Caution” ” No Duty Solicitor”. The criminal Industry is creating an income from our teenagers and their best interests are furthest from their minds.

Keep your hands off our teenagers and stop criminalising them for your statistics and financial gain.

The other side of the coin is that cautions are also being used for serious crimes such as violence and rape. Now what message is that sending out?  A fucked up one.

The Hampstead Mum

Elderberry Syrup

I have always been a great fan of elderflower, mainly in cordial but recently tasted it in cakes. But this time of year it’s the berries on the Elder that are in such abundance.  Along with blackberries Hampstead Heath produced shed loads of elderberries this year. I have never really done anything with the Elderberries before. Out walking the dog yesterday the elderberries were so heavy they were making the branches dip under the weight. I had been out gathering other wild fruits such as Damsons, Plums, Sloe, Rosehips and Apples in the countryside a few days before so I was in full on foraging mode. I couldn’t resist and decided to harvest some. They glistened in the sun, some still green looking like peppercorns. Something about harvesting from the hedgerows makes me feel very human. To be doing something I know that my ancestors did for thousands of years before me. That I am participating in the very same act is somehow reassuring. I got myself a good sized carrier bag full and took them home.


So a little bit of research and an Elderberry syrup it was then.

I washed and de-stalked the berries which took a little concentration but I listened to a programme about the party political conferences and the in fighting of UKIP so that made it a lot more enjoyable but I still managed to miss some stalks. I boiled them for about half an hour mashed them with my spud masher and then drained them. I put the liquid back on the heat and added a few slices of fresh ginger and a few pieces of cinnamon sticks and reduced the liquid. I tasted it at this stage and really thought it wasn’t going to work it tasted earthy and watery. I carried on reducing it until it was about half the amount of water. Then as it was cooling stirred in some raw honey.  I use local honey ( from having allergies in the family) which is a bit expensive but worth it. This one I use is from Regents park.



The colour in the pan was out of this world was even thinking I bet this was used at some point as a dye. I tasted it again and it was gorgeous. I tried it on anyone that passed by and they all loved it. I bottled what was left and I’ll be off to get some more at the weekend. For a tonic against colds or a slurp on some ice cream I must say I am chuffed.

Thank you Hampstead Heath for providing such a lovely harvest

Hampstead Mum

Wales V Israel Game and being followed by the domestic extremism unit.


On the 5th of September Wales met Israel in the European cup qualifiers in Cardiff. I had been invited up the day before to help in a skill sharing Know your Rights workshop with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign whom had organised a rally through Cardiff in solidarity the Palestinians. A lovely bunch of pacifists who spend their lives campaigning for the rights and freedoms of the Palestinians people.

The following day I observed the march and ended up in a park listening to the speeches and enjoying the sunshine when a friend asked me if I wanted to go and see the game. My friend being a full on footy fan and I too enjoyed the whole experience of football so snapped up the chance to go. As I left the park a friend asked me if I had a flag and I said it would be rude not to and stuffed the Palestinian flag with Bristol Anarchists written in biro along the bottom went in my pocket.  We lined up and shared some banter, the lines fed through the gates with searches taking place and alcohol being thrown away.

We all got searched and took to our seats, The game kicked off and the noise of the stadium erupted. I watched the game for a while before I realised that their was not one Palestinian flag in the stadium. I had just assumed that people would be showing solidarity through flags during the game. I realised at that point I still had a Palestinian flag in my pocket, it went through my mind that it was just me, one flag and a stadium full of fans, a stand of solidarity had to be made. I had the only Palestinian Flag in the whole of the stadium. It was not a matter of if but how and when. I thought about doing a streak across the pitch with the flag maintaining my dignity I must add that was just a fleeting thought lol. So I just took the flag out and the flag got waved like flags get waved, the response was a little unexpected.

Before we knew  it we were surrounded by aggressive stewards and police officers telling us we had to leave the stadium. I said that I wouldn’t wave the flag again now that they had drawn my attention to the fact that it was not allowed, they were having none of it. We were physically removed and once inside the stadium a police officer asked; ” Can I take your details please”  me: “No” and she asked again ” Can I take your details please”  me: “No” Then she said ” Well you’ll have to give them to me when I take you to the station” Me ” Now on what grounds would you be taking me down to the police station? ” “Racial intimidation of the visiting team supporters”  This argument lasted for a while as my friend got man handled out of the stadium. The officer still trying to get my details another officer whispered in her ear and the note book closed and the argument ended and I too was escorted off the stadium grounds. Fuck they were so pissed off. But at no point entering the stadium had I been told that I couldn’t wave a Palestinian flag.

When we left the stadium we realised that we were not alone. Behind us were 2 Domestic Extremist officers as we walked they walked to. We decided to have a chat with them and ask them if this is what they had been reduced to following people that had been thrown out of football games. They told us they were just doing their jobs. We told them they were wasting their time. They walked a while, we stopped occasionally, they saw us far enough away from the station, we went to the pub.


So here’s a question why is a country that isn’t in Europe be playing the European cup? But the fact that Israel is allowed to compete in any football international tournament is beyond me whilst illegally occupying territory in the West bank and Gaza, accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, detention of minors without trial, I could go on. Lots of people say football and politics should be kept apart. So lets keep politics out of this and keep it just on the subject of football.

The Palestinian football team was recognised by Fifa in 1998. They haven’t yet qualified for the World cup but as recently as September 8th played United Arab Emirates in the 2018 FIFA world cup Qualifiers. They first qualified for the Asian cup in 2014 and at the finals in Australia where eliminated in the group stage. They have also played in the Olympics and received the FIFA development award. But Israel has hindered the progress of the Palestinian football team all the way.  In April 2006, Israeli missiles destroyed the stadium in Gaza. Israeli authorities admitted that the stadium was specifically targeted – a war crime. Teenage footballers have been shot, one lad 11 times in the legs by Israeli forces as they returned from training. Members of the National team have been detained, one for a total of 3 years and others have had travel documents denied and travel restrictions making any training impossible.


So why is Israel not banned ? UEFA has the ability to ban Israel so why haven’t they? These are crimes against Palestinian footballers an established and recognised team. I mean they have banned teams before. They banned teams from the UK after the Heysal stadium tragedy in 1985. So why not ?

At the very least suspension of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) from UEFA and FIFA until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observers international law.

  • Exclusion of the IFA from hosting any Euro 2020 tournaments
  • Replacement of Israel as host of the UEFA 2015 Women’s U19  tournament.
  • Boycott by UK teams and players of any tournaments planned in Israel and of any matches with Israeli teams
  • Direct support of Palestinian football teams

In the current refugee crisis lots of football stadiums have displayed banners welcoming refugees the same can not be said for Israel were are a large banner was on display in  Tel-aviv with the words Refugees Not Welcome yet they take offence at my little Palestinian flag. COuiIpVXAAAf6nb

I have since found out the UEFA fines clubs that allow the Palestinian flag to be flown and to be seen as a provocative political symbol with large fines being dished out. What can you say to that? Apartheid

Solidarity with Palestine

The Hampstead mum

From the Arms fair to London Fashion Week

As London Fashion week kicks off tomorrow the tabloids are full of glam and high end fashion. An industry that spends 99% of the time trying to make people feel inadequate, An industry that plays to the low self esteem of the public and 1% of the time telling us how they can make us look like the model on the cat walk and therefore worth something. An industry the uses size zero models and has the ability and power to change that trend but chooses not to, to the detriment of the health of those models.


And hopefully we are all aware of the cost of fashion, the appalling factory conditions, long hours and low wages ,the beatings and the health effects. But that is only part of the story there is our own clothing footprint. Whilst researching some facts for this years Fashion week action I came acoross some food for thought.
Here is 10 interesting facts that we ourselves need to consider.
1 – The average Briton owns £4,000 worth of clothes
2 – 30% of the clothes in our wardrobes haven’t been worn in the last year.
3 – We spend an average of £1,700 on clothes every year, and £130 on washing them.
4 – 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes into landfill in Britain every year.
5 – Those clothes would be worth £140 million if sold on rather than binned.
6 – Half of the population admits to throwing clothes in the bin.
7 – Two thirds of us wear second hand clothes.
8 – 57% of shoppers say they consider durability and quality of the clothes they buy, while only 21% say they consider fashion trends.
9 – Producing and washing clothes makes up 5% of Britain’s carbon and water footprint.
10 – The carbon footprint of a British household’s clothing for the year is equivalent to driving 6,000 miles in a car.
Lets sort out our own wardrobes,  we need to stop unwittingly contributing to the footprint, adding to the problem. Think about the water used to produce the resources needed to make our clothes as well as the water used to wash our clothes, think about the chemicals used in the production of our clothes as well the chemicals we use to wash them………
We can reduce our own individual footprint, we can buy better clothes that last longer, we can upcycle and do clothes swaps, we can hang it up instead of on the floordrobe so we can wear it again before having to wash it. We can go back to the washing line. We can do so many things we can do our bit.


 The Hampstead Mum

Occupy Action takes to the tubes to oppose the Arms Fair #stopDSEI


Getting up before sunrise on a rainy morning is never appealing but this is a matter of life and death.  No rest for the wicked I hear say well I must have been well wicked, but not as wicked as the UK government and their continuing sales of weapons to countries guilty of human rights abuses, crimes against children, countries with child soldiers and the poisoning of our lands.  As London once again is host the DSEI arms fair at the ExCel centre again we took to the tubes to do some advertising for them as many people are not even aware that this is taking place.


So at 5.45 this morning we gathered discussed out strategy and were given our bundles and we set off across the tube system of London. No tube adverts were removed, no need to there were plenty of gaps to fill and fill them we did, On lookers watched and when seeing the adverts smiles and nodded. In and out the tubes crossing over platforms. The Jubilee Line specifically did well as it takes the dealers direct to the ExCel.


Over 100 subverts were placed this morning and every morning whilst this dealing of death and destruction is going on in our city. We demand an end to the Arms fair where the illegal dealings and the selling of torture equipment go unpunished. Yet our government wines and dines these tyrants and despots and sometimes they have tea with the queen.

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A message to the War mongers and Arms dealers. Stop selling weapons, stop buying weapons, stop making weapons, JUST STOP !!! The only arms we need are the ones to hold each other, hug each other and help each other.


The Hampstead Mum