Watch.…Silence (2012;DVD) …Eoghan, a sound recordist, returns to Ireland after 15 years of working abroad, to record silence in remote places away from the life of people and their sounds. But, as he travels around some of the remoter parts of the island, he meets people and places that remind him of his past and the people he left behind. Not much happens in the film and we only get glimpses of Eoghan’s life but the film forces you to become involved in the importance of land, history and people. It did not make me want to throw up my urban lifestyle, but it did remind me of my own family’s history in rural Ireland, where people and land are so intrinsically linked. A good film to start 2014 with!
Support the Cuban/Miami Five….five Cuban men were arrested in Miami in 1998 whilst trying to stop terrorist attacks against Cuban people. Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have died in terrorist attacks carried out by Miami based terrorist organisations, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner which killed 78 people, and a series of hotel bombings in the 1990s aimed at destroying the island’s economy and tourism industry. The Cuban government sent agents to Miami to infiltrate and monitor the groups. At the request of the US government, the information they gathered was passed to the FBI in 1998. But instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI used the information to identify and arrest the five anti-terrorists on September 12, 1998 in Miami, where they were illegally held in solidarity confinement for 17 months. An unfair trial and harsh prison sentences resulted in terms of between 15 years to double life for the men. As extra punishment, visitation rights for two of their wives have been denied and visa requests for other members of the families severely restricted. Human rights organisations have condemned the unfairness of the trial and the treatment of the families. Amnesty International has described the treatment of the Five as “contrary both to the standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and to a states’ obligation to protect family life.”
Furthermore, in June 2011, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the US government had secretly paid journalists to write prejudicial articles in the media at the time of the trial and therefore undermined the ‘defendants’ entitlement to a fair trial.
In London on 7-8 March 2014 an International Commission of Inquiry will be held to hear first hand testimony from family members, Cuban victims of terrorism, legal experts, international jurors, human rights campaigners, academics and politicians.
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Sign the petition against Amazon… calling for a living wage for its workers. The petition is not just about wages, its about the poor treatment of workers by a multimillon pound company. Over 45,000 people have signed the petition, it has featured in the Guardian but Amazon have not responded.To sign the petition go to
Read about… political activism amongst working class women in Political Women 1800-1830 by Ruth and Eddie Frow. They wrote it in 1989 to remind people that it was not just during the 1984/5 Miners Strike that working class women had been involved in political struggle, but there was a long history of struggle by women. Ruth and Eddie were radical historians, for them history was a tool to promote working class struggle, not a means to pursue an academic career. In this book they compiled previously unpublished source material and used the words of the women themselves to show their political commitment. Many of the struggles they highlighted from this period are still current today, including opposing government censorship, the right to protest, and women and their role in trade unions. It is now out of print but you can buy it from