A couple of weeks ago Vivienne left a page torn out of The Week magazine on my desk. It was an obituary for one of the three founders of OZ magazine, Richard Neville who died on the 4th September this year. I asked her if she had any connection with him & she told me that she hadn’t, just that she liked him & thought that it might be interesting for this blog. Continue reading
On the 12th of May, this year I was asked to come to a recording studio nearby in Battersea to shoot some video of a collaboration Vivienne was doing with lyricist & rap artist Mic Righteous. Continue reading
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.
“PM Abe’s regime has been forcibly passing a series of undemocratic laws such as state secrecy law to legitimately hide information from the public and (highly likely unconstitutional) military bills to enable Japanese military to operate in foreign places for the purpose other than self-defense. Amending their own constitution was an ultimate goal of the ruling party LDP, and they have come very close to achieve it. Their draft of the constitution is highly controversial for including an article that can deprive the fundamental human rights in the times of “emergency.”
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!
One Love. Yohei Miyake”
More on Yohei here: http://flowerontheshit.com/yohei-miyake-the-election-festival/
& here: Twitter
& here: Facebook
This video from 2013
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.
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