Category Archives: political demonstrations

An Epitaph for Martin Luther King and Memphis Today –when Black Lives Matter

Jane Russell, reviewing Stuart Cosgrove Memphis 68:  The Tragedy of Southern Soul,” Polygon Press Oct. 2017

This book is the middle section of a critically acclaimed sixties ‘soul’ trilogy by Australian-Scot Stuart Cosgrove, award winning broadcaster for Channel 4 and long-time writer for UK music media, Echoes and New Musical Express.  It follows on from Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul and anticipates the forthcoming Harlem 69: The Future of Soul (October 2018).

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Smashing Statues: Issues of Sense and Sensibility … and Nonsence

Rihaab Mowlana, in Lifelk, 19 June 2020, where the title runs thus “Are We Erasing History?”

The statue of Thomas Jefferson, the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people, was toppled in Oregon, while the statue of navigator and coloniser Christopher Columbus was ‘spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake’. In England, the Statue of Edward Colston suffered a similar fate, resulting in ‘the boarding up of the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square’. In many parts of the world, the predicament will befall many such monuments.

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A Statue Obliterated in Bristol: Radicals for Floyd in Righteousness against the Slave Trade

Gurminder K. Bhambra, in New York Times, 12 June 2020, with this title “A statue was toppled. Can we talk about the British Empire? “

The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston falling into the water on Sunday after protesters in Bristol, England, pulled it down.Credit…Keir Gravil, via Reuters

BRIGHTON, England — Tens of thousands of people protested in British cities in solidarity with those rising up against police brutality against black Americans in the past week. They highlighted similar injustices in Britain. Protesters in the city of Bristol drew connections between a white police officer’s killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, and the histories of colonialism and the slave trade. On Sunday, they toppled the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader, trampled over it and rolled it into Bristol Harbor.

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Trumping TRUMP with Cartoons

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Ceylon’s First General Election in 1947: Reflections … with An Eye on Today’s Situation

Gerald. H. Peiris, presenting here a more complete article than that featured in The Island of 16th June 2020 under the title A National Election in a ‘Time of Troubles’. ”

The phrase ‘Time of Troubles’ is borrowed from the title of a classic sociological study of 19th century ‘Ceylon’ by Professor Ralph Pieris (1952). Here it is intended to highlight the fact that, although the imperial sunset over our island has often been described as a “peaceful transfer of power”, it occurred at an extraordinarily stormy time – politically, economically and environmentally. The calamities that had plagued the country in the ‘Donoughmore era’ ̶  the pauperising impact of the ‘Great Depression’, Malaria Epidemic of the mid-1930s with about a million people (one-fifth of the population in 1931) infected and 60,000 deaths from November 1934 to April 1935 (Briercliffe & Dalrymple-Champneys, 1937), the acute food-scarcity during the Second World War  ̶  seemed to climax in the months leading up to the elections of 1947.

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Browns for Black Americans

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June 6, 2020 · 1:36 am

A Chilling and Terrifying Word-Picture of USA Today

David Kilcullen, in The Inquirer, 30 May 2020 and the Australian, 4 June 2020, with this title Home of the hateful, fearful, heavily armed” …..

Coronavirus is threatening to ignite a tinderbox of grievances in the US. The growing parallels with Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia are real and disturbing.

The rise of militias and armed protesters across the US is sometimes seen as a fringe right-wing issue, but it is much broader. Armed groups have formed across the political spectrum, worsening divisions the coronavirus has exposed in American society.

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Imagining Minneapolis Elsewhere

Karen Attiah in  Washington Post, 30 May 2020, where the title runs “How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country”

If we talked about what is happening in Minneapolis the same way we talk about events in a foreign country, here’s how the Western media would cover it. The quotes and those “quoted” in the piece below are fictional.

In recent years, the international community has sounded the alarm on the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the United States under the regime of Donald Trump. Now, as the country marks 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the former British colony finds itself in a downward spiral of ethnic violence. The fatigue and paralysis of the international community are evident in its silence, America experts say.

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Anti-Chinese Racism flares up in Australia

ONE: A Note from Fair Dinkum in Melbourne, 17 April 2020

There have been over 178 attacks on Chinese people and anyone of Asian appearance in the last weeks in Australia which began after the Australian government launched a vicious attack on China, for political reasons. Note that the New South Wales govt has been anti- China for quite a while.

If you follow the Australian media, they simply replicate the government’s discourse on China. The government and the media work together.  So, it is right to blame the government.

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FOR Sri Lanka: Engaging Lord Naseby and His Journeys in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018,[1] I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.

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