There is an Upper House Election on the 10th July & an effort is being made to prevent current Prime minister Shinzo Abe & his Liberal Democratic Party (which has been in power since 1955) from having the two thirds majority it needs to pass changes to the constitution of Japan in their next term after the election (they always win).
Japan, generally known for the populations political apathy does has its own activists & Green Party though & we here at Westwood want to help them as a new war with China & Russia as promoted by the USA is definitely not in the interest of any of the peoples of the world.
Yohei Miyake is the man we are supporting. A Japanese Reggie musician this is the second time he is standing for election. The first time was as a Green Party candidate, this time it is as an independent.
Yohei’s style is to do open air speeches in public which he calls ‘Election Fests’. The one he did on the 25th June was in the center of Tokyo in Shibuya & thousands listened.
Yohei is trying to encourage young people to vote as, as in other places in the world, they generally do not even though it is their future that is being written now & it is they that will live the longest under any new changes (or maybe not if there is another war).
These are some of the issues Yohei is is campaigning for:
・Stop changing constitution
・Stop radioactive Japan, stop nuclear plant
・Create a society where you can be the way you are ( for instance,the main party just suggested the idea of changing the constitution to say that the priority is not people anymore but the country)
・Free education (from primary school to University)
・Stop destruction but renewable public work (stop building just for building sake, aim for green society)
・Organic revolution (encourage to make organic food)
・Stop killing animals (we haven’t got many shelters for animals like the UK does)
To support Yohei, Vivienne has sent him a message…
…& this was his reply:
“Thank you so much Vivienne,
I’ll do my best for make better world with my lovely mates.
Connect the world to make true peace treaty.
Art is the power in any field, in any kind of time.
Vote our planet.
Power to the people!
This Sunday June 19th marks 4 years that Wikileaks founder & whistleblower Julian Assange has been unlawfully detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy here in London.
To mark the day a global event celebrating whistleblowers and freedom of expression will be held simultaneously in ten major cities.
The events will be simulcast on freeassangenow.org . ‘Before it is too late, the global event” First they came for Assange… “wants to stress that we live in a critical time in which everyone opposed to the political and financial powers might soon become a target’. Vivienne Westwood, long time campaigner for Julian’s situation, has her MAN SS17 show in Milan on the same day & has made a video which will be broadcast both at her show & the Assange event later.
The title ‘First they came for…’ comes from the famous German Pastor Martin Niemöller poem about the cowardice of intellectuals and purging of dissidents, in his case in pre-war 1930’s Berlin, but it is also a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy everywhere.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.
British filmmaker Ken Loach, one of many supporters taking part in the event says: “our legal system is being manipulated to keep a brave man in isolation” and that “all who care about freedom of information should demand that the threats made against Julian should be lifted. He should be able to leave his place of safety without fear of deportation or being handed over to those who intend him harm.”
So I just heard that my brother Joe is going to burn his collection of Punk memorabilia in disgust at the mainstream ‘acceptance’ of the movement, in particular because of the event later this year to ‘celebrate’ 40 years since the single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ was released.
I completely agree with him & think that his act is completely in the spirit of Punk.
The mainstream hated Punk when it happened & it still would hate it if it happened today as it confronted & held up a mirror to its hypocrisy. The hypocrisy that is still here.
Punk was anti-establishment & Joe’s act is to make sure that they know it still is.
Punk is not about the old songs, clothes & look. Punk is an attitude & wherever it exists today it does not look the same. Punk does not have a uniform.
If you want to be a Punk then fight for justice in the world & that is dangerous, like Punk was at the time.
Join Climate Revolution… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35819847
Politicians ARE Criminals! – I am not just referring to the petty pilfering that the recent expenses scandal uncovered or even the policy changes that they make whilst in Government benefitting corporations that the MP in question gets to work for after their term in office (if they are not already working for them whilst in office). I am referring to murder which most people think is one of the worst crimes. Continue reading →
guest blog by Ben Westwood A junior doctor, Dr Lauren Gavaghan contacted us last October regarding joining in with their opposition to a new contract being proposed for them by the Government.
Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt wants to reverse the gains made since the 1975 junior doctor’s strike by removing payment for working unsocial hours, re-classifying ‘social’ hours Continue reading →
On the 30th October & after 5000 days plus of unjust detention in the inhuman & soulless American Naval Base Guantanamo, Shaker Aamer was finally freed & flown back to his home & family in Britain. Shaker’s until recent ordeal must have been ‘beyond’ dreadful & it must be very strange & surreal for him to be free. As usual there are mixed messages from the press & public regarding his ‘reputation’, his religion & his future here in the UK & so I feel that it is very important especially regarding the present world situation to show that the people of Britain stand for true justice & equality under it & that Shaker Aamer, an innocent man detained for 14 years is truly made welcome here.
Above is the first interview with Shaker since his release, filmed for BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire program & released on the 14th December.
An hour & a half long it is fascinating to hear his story.
Quite simply it is the story of a sane man in a completely insane environment.
& don’t forget, there are still 107 detainees in that place..