Citizenfour (Cornerhouse) a documentary about Edward Snowden, the man who exposed what is really going on by governments in their efforts to find out what we are doing in every aspect of our lives. He had access to that information because he was a NSA intelligence analyst and was so horrified by what he saw that he decided he would have to tell the world. He has paid a high price, he is stateless, living in Russia which is not a free society, and it is not certain what his future will be. For me the strength of this film is in its depiction of Edward. He is not a political activist but is a person who cares deeply about our right to liberty, something not to be confused with privacy. He is part of our radical tradition that opposes the tyranny of governments. For me, he is an inspiration. Find out why by seeing the film.
..the campaign to find 43 student teachers in Mexico. It reminds me of 70s Chile or 80s El Salvador…I could go on. On September 26 the students were returning from a protest about rural teachers when their vehicle came under fire. They were then taken away by the police and have disappeared. Their parents do not know what has happened to them. The police investigation has not produced any results. Across Mexico demonstrations have taken place. On 14 November at St. Peter’s House in Manchester there is a social to highlight what has happened and raise money for the students’ families. There will be food, a skype conference with student teachers from Ayotzinapa. Cost; £5 See
…. and watch Reem Keelani, a Manchester-born Palestinian singer, who performs all over the world connecting her Palestinian music with the cultures as diverse as Turkish, Afghanistan and ….the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow…not sure why she isn’t better known, maybe because of her politics. I saw her for the first time when she brought out this CD “Sprinting Gazelle – Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora” It is a fascinating insight into her life and those of the Palestinian community. Watch a clip at
And for something completely different...go see Palestinian Hip-Hop group DAM +poet Rafeef Ziadah +Katibeh 5 on Friday 7 November at 7pm at Kraak, 11 Stevenson Square, Manchester. The concert will support the work of the Children’s Mobile Library in Khan Younis, Gaza
Buy the tickets here
..and watch some films (for free) at the Cervantes Institute. It starts on 5 November at 6.30pm with Snow White/Blancanieves set in southern Spain in 1920, a story of fantasy, emotion and humour. For info on all the screenings see
to a poem; An Irish immigrant returned by Stephen L. Smith. His reflections on the queen’s visit to Ireland. Just came across it on Youtube and love it! See