memorials War

I will not fight for Queen and Country

On 7th February 2013 The Oxford Union held the debate “This House Would Not Fight for Queen and Country”. it was the 80th anniversary of the original debate in 1933 in which The Oxford Union voted in favor of the motion. Speaking for the motion were Ben Sullivan (Christ Church College), Ben Griffin (Former SAS soldier) and Gareth Porter ( US Historian). Speaking against were Rory Stewart (Conservative MP), Nikolai Tolstoy (International Monarchist League) and Malcolm Rifkind (Former Foreign Secretary).

On the night the motion was defeated as it has been on every occasion that it has been held since 1937.

Below a transcript of the speech given by Ben Griffin of Veterans for Peace.   I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country

Fight for Queen and Country, what does that mean? It is a jingoistic phrase dream’t up by some propaganda merchant intent on stoking the fire of that false religion patriotism.

The idea of fighting for Queen and Country is held tight by those who never have and never will actually fight.

It is held by those who long to bask in the reflected glory of war.

It is held by those who have no experience of the suffering that war inflicts.

It is an idea held up by those who gain the most from war, Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.

It is a phrase that is dredged up again and again to stifle dissent and build unquestioning support for the aggression we choose to unleash. We must look at what lies behind this decrepit phrase.

Drones education War

Bristol maths boffins in pay of the military

The militarisation of education has even taken place within the Bristol University Maths Department. To stay ahead of the game, GCHQ  at Cheltenham fund 50% of the  salaries of about 30 staff working within Bristol Uni maths department. The staff are based at The Helibronn Institute near the BRI hospital. A major part of their work is encryption.  Communication between computers, mobiles etc is kept secure by using encryption.   The most famous cryptography machine was the Enigma machine used by the Germans in WW2.

GCHQ spies on everybody, using satellites and mass surveillance of mobile messages.  Anybody deemed an enemy of the empire can be monitored. Also internal enemies are watched for. The police called for GCHQ assistance when they found the participants of the  riots of 2011 were using Blackberry’s to communicate their movements. This was done in real time to keep up with the rapidly changing situation.

It was recently reported that GCHQ provides targeting information for US military drones to attack  the Taliban.

Most of GCHQ’s work is secret and involves intercepting communications. A recent Times article  reported that legal action is underway over GCHQ giving information to the US military which helps them target ‘insurgents’. Another part of the drone war being carried out by the military. An old Guardian article highlights the commercial value of encryption.

The Bristol Maths Department/cryptography has special expertise in an area known as side channel attacks. A category of attack that involves finding ‘leakages’ from what we probably think of as secure transactions. A mobile phone uses clever cryptology via a computer program that consumes power and emits electromagnetic signals.  If you know how to ‘read’ the power consumption then you can decode certain pieces of information. This was well known to the military and in the 1970’s led to the construction of shielded rooms  where communication could be carried out but without leaking electro-magnetic radiation. The rest of us were wide open until the late 1990’s says Elizabeth Oswald, Senior Lecturer at Bristol Uni.


Activism War

Letter from ISM activist inside Gaza

Dear All. I am calling on all your support for the besieged people of the Gaza Strip.

Here in Gaza, more than 10 people have been killed so far in the Israeli operation named “Pillar of Defence” within the last 7 hours, including children such as 7-year-old child Ranan Arafat and an 11 month old baby. We’ve seen charred bodies of dead and injured children  pouring in to Al Shifa hospital of Gaza City and the other depleted hospitals around the Gaza Strip. 50 airstrikes all over the Gaza Strip so far. Deafening explosions shook us all as bombs landed close to us in the streets near the Universities. Huge explosions are landing all around us in Gaza City now as I write, some entire families have been injured. We can also hear the shelling of Israeli Gunships. Announcement of possible Israeli land invasion very soon.

More than 330 children were killed in the last bloody operation like this in operation Cast Lead, killing over 1400 in total the vast majority civilians. We are reporting from hospitals, streets and bombed areas. How many, terrified in there homes will have their lives shortened by tomorrow, or after the days of airstrikes, tank shellings and Gunship missiles Israel has announced. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. MOVE. ACT NOW TO STOP ANOTHER GAZA BLOODBATH. INACTION AROUND THE WORLD HAS LEAD US TO THIS POINT. ACT NOW.
The lie of who started it, from
Activism War

‘Operation Pillar Of Cloud’ Gaza mourns, while expecting worse.

Israel has launched fresh strikes over the Gaza Strip, named ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’, with an Israeli General, Yoav Mordechai, stating there will be ‘protracted days’ of fighting ahead.

Israel is claiming the fighting has begun because of rocket-fire hitting Israel. Infact the spark of this new wave of fighting could be said to have started anywhere, last week, for example, Israel agreed to the construction of over 2,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem, the proclaimed capital of Palestine, within UN borders.

Could the violence be said to have begun last Friday when another child, 13 year-old Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa, was shot  by the Israeli army with a machine gun from an helicopter, in ‘Abassan al-Kabira. Hamid was killed in front of his home whilst playing football located around 1km from the Green Line. There is no shortage in the number of these lethal strikes that show an open defiance to international law.

Also in the last week Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has also urged that the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, should be toppled from his seat of power in the West Bank if he presses ahead with UN observer status recognition of the state of Palestine.

Whether Israel looks to the Fatah-controlled West Bank or Hamas-controlled Gaza, whether Palestinian resistance is diplomatic or armed; Israel is waging all out war into Palestine, violently opposing the Palestinians lawful right to a homeland.

Bristol Against The Arms Trade calls for actions against weapon manufactures and high street investors profiting from these horrific war crimes in Palestine.

Activism War

Racism Fuels War – Oppose The EDL in Bristol.

Racism continues to ignite and fuel violence and conflict in different parts of the world, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are often among the root causes of internal and international conflicts, including armed conflicts. This is due to the discrimination and sometimes dehumanization that they stir up within societies and between population groups.

“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, well everywhere there is war”.  Bob Marley

Anybody who knows a little about the English Defence League knows that their claims to be merely against “Islamic extremism” is just a front for their deeper, more sinister agenda. While the EDL may claim to be non-racist and anti-fascist, the core of their movement is made up of racists, fascists and Nazi sympathizers.