MLK in the age of NDAA

MLK in the age of NDAA by Leila La Tres Sage

..When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Washington DC, August 28 1963 [1]

What were you doing on New Years eve?

Perhaps you were spending time with family and friends, reflecting on the year past, and making plans and resolutions for the one ahead, or letting your hair down and indulging a bit too much.

Meanwhile, President Obama – who had promised to shut down Guantanamo Bay [2] – instead signed the National Defense Authorization Act – the law which now makes it possible to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial, under the usual spin of national security.

But unless you’ve really not been paying attention, you know that anyone bold enough to critise or revolt against America’s corporate and military interests is quickly labeled a terrorist.

Case in point, there are already documented instances of the Occupy movement being labeled as terrorists by America and its allies [3]. Not forgetting the violent crackdown by police all over the world against people peacefully protesting against corruption and inequality. Terrorists?

People protesting against crimes against humanity. Against those profiteering from war, inflicting pain and misery onto billions of people. Terrorists?

People protesting against the plundering of the earth’s resources and the irreversible effects of carbon emissions spiraling out of control. Terrorists?

People standing up against US/Europe-backed brutal dictatorial regimes all over the world… and in the case of Palestine, nothing less than apartheid. Terrorists?

We are not terrorists. We have a dream, where people and the environment come before profit. Where our brothers and sisters all over the world unite as one, demanding peace and equality.

The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. His strength, courage and charisma inspired a nation, and the world, to demand change. His efforts succeeded, he but paid the ultimate price.

The passing of the NDAA is a blow to the vision that MLK, and all the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement worked so hard to achieve, so that we may have the freedom to live without oppression, irrespective of our beliefs or background.

[1] Transcript of the “I Have a Dream” speech
[2] Obama and Guantanamo: A chronology of his broken promise
[3] Occupy London and Occupy Wall Street on the Terror List


I’m so happy we live in a world without slavery and imperialism

Modern imperialism and slavery, Leila la Tres Sage

This is the version for sharing online. If you’d like to use this in print then do get in touch, as the original version I made is in higher resolution & without pixel fonts.

I don’t watch much telly.

But I turned it on yesterday, and saw a commercial for a sofa company where a woman filled her front room with sofas because at those prices, she’d saved so much money. Am I such an oddball? Does that not scream out that our society is in a really sick state? And by sick I mean that kind of desperate sickness brought on by addiction, where we find joy in bargains, and achievement in spending.

Our consuming habits directly create misery, poverty, disease, famine, rape and war the world over. It’s all well and good pointing the finger at the political and corporate sleazeballs and their addicition to money for wrecking the planet and people’s livelihoods. But none of that is ever going to change unless we STOP giving them our money.

From a practical standpoint, to make any change at all, we need to seriously cut back our consuming habits. To start with, we can all buy less STUFF. STUFF we don’t need, STUFF cheaply made that breaks the next day, STUFF we feel obliged to give as presents, STUFF that fill our houses and our lives with an empty sense of achievement.

The stuff we do buy, we should ensure is ethically sourced and produced. Or bought second hand. Then we need to look after our stuff, so that it lasts longer.

We shouldn’t be afraid to break convention, for example with diamond engagement rings. We’re made to believe that this is a tradition but diamond rings didn’t become common until the 1930s.

Question everything.

DW: “Labor conditions pick away at migrant workers’ rights”
VDare: “An Immigration Patriot Picks Apples And Gives the Inside Scoop On The New Slave Power”

Further reading:
Food First: “Migrant Farmworkers: America’s New Plantation Workers”

Guardian: “Gap, Next and M&S in new sweatshop scandal”
IHS Child Slave Labour: “Children in India Produce Clothes for the Gap”

IHS Child Slave Labor: “Child Slavery Should Not Be Forever” (with further references)
Wikipedia: “Child labour in the diamond industry”
Wikipedia: “Blood diamond”

“Forced child labour in Uzbekistan”, Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights
Cotton Campaign – Stop forced and child labour in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan!
Craig Murray: “Child Slavery in Uzbekistan”

Starbucks Campaign: “Coffee Production and Labor”
Equal Exchange: “History of Coffee in Guatemala”

LAPTOP “Where Computers Go To Die – And Kill”
Greenpeace: “Where does e-waste end up?”
ZDNet : “Is Apple’s suicide factory outsourcing to even cheaper Chinese peasants?”
Triple Pundint: “Report Details Abuses At Chinese Factories That Manufacture Apple and HP Products”
SACOM: “The Dark Side of Cyberspace”

Oxfam international: Chilean fruit-picking workers’ story”
Further reading:
Slave Labour That Shames America

Stolen Beauty
Further reading:
Palestine Solidarity campaign – Fact sheet
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: Fact Sheet

New Internationalist: “The Looting of The Congo”
Raise Hope for Congo
Enough Project: Conflict Materials
Wikipedia: Second Congo War
Oxfam: “No End in Sight: The human tragedy of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo”