THE CARATACUS BLOG

Nam si vos omnibus imperitare vultis, sequitur ut omnes servitutem accipiant?
(Tacitus, Annales XII, xxxvii)

18 Nov. 2009

Duppy Conqueror

At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go!







Yes, me friend, me good friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend,
We deh a street again.

The bars could not hold me;
Force could not control me now.
They try to keep me down,
But Jah put I around. Yeah!

Yes, I've been accused many a times
And wrongly abused, now.
Oh, but through the powers of the Most-High,
They've got to turn me loose.
Don't try to hold me up on this
bridge, now.
I've got to reach Mount Zion -
The highest region.
So if you a bull-bucka,
Let me tell you this -
I'm a duppy conqueror - conqueror.

Yes, me friend, me good friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend, me good friend,
We deh a street again.

So don't try to cold me up
on this bridge, now.
I've got to reach Mount Zion -
The highest region.
So if you a bull-bucka,
Let me tell you this:
I'm a duppy conqueror - conqueror.

Yes, me friend,
Dem say we free again.
Yes, me friend,
Dem set we free again.
Yes, me friend, me good
friend...

Art by Pat Jones http://imagineii.typepad.com/imagineii/

17 Nov. 2009

Traitors, communists, bashings, and other weird stuff

I've regularly protested against funding of Private schools with taxpayers money. I protested against the Vietnam War, with tens of thousands of other Australians, and we were told we were traitors to Australia. For wearing a Vietnam Moratorium badge I was, walking alone on separate occasions, twice beaten up by Ross "The Skull" May and members of the Australian Nazi Party (REAL nazis, not yer armchair keyboard-tappers), and once by a group of RAN sailors. I protested against the Apartheid South African Springboks Rugby tour in 1971 and was told I wasn't a proper Aussie because I was against Sport (our local God), then spent a night in the cells for my trouble. I protested against the dismissal of the Whitlam government and was told I was a communist, socialist, gay (? -- I've no idea why this was supposed to make me gay) traitor (yet again). I marched against the Pinochet regime in Chile, the Junta in Greece, the illegal and murderous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq which have destroyed millions of lives. For caring enough to do that, I was told I was supporting terrorism.

In January 2009 I marched against the massacre of civilian Palestinians, especially women and children, in Gaza, and I'm now told I'm anti-Israel and indeed an anti-semite for doing that.

An anti-semite for protesting against the murderous treatment of the most oppressed and abused people on earth. When I marched against war-crimes in Gaza, I was not marching against the state of Israel, but against horrible, large-scale war-crimes. War crimes, past and present, condemned by Richard Goldstone, the world's premier War-Crimes prosecutor (himself Jewish and a Zionist), by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Gush Shalom, Bat Shalom, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, Harold Pinter, the huge numbers of Australian aborigines who marched in the Gaza protest (because they have some idea what it's like as indigenous people to be oppressed like this), countless courageous Israeli academics, educators and peace activists like Ann Baltzer and many others. Presumably all these people are anti-semites too.

Those who spray the charge of 'anti-semite' around indiscriminately bring their own cause into disrepute. Call everyone who criticises Israel an anti-semite and how are we to know the REAL anti-semites? The case is well put by Michael Neumann in 'Criticism of Israel'.

The most opressed people in the world

Yet the Western liberal-left, to their eternal shame, just let it happen without protest.

Palestinians Consider Going to the UNO for a State; Israeli Right threatens to Recognize its own Colonies in Retaliation

...A Palestinian state is important because the Palestinian people are stateless. Being without citizenship in a state leaves people vulnerable and without rights, since there is no state that will defend their rights. If someone just moved into your house while you were out watching a movie, you could ask the police of your town to remove them, with reference to the property deed that you filed with your municipal authorities. But if Israelis take over Palestinian land, the Palestinians have no one to complain to. The Israeli courts favor the colonizers and don't recognize Palestinian rights. Palestinians, being stateless, do not have the right to have rights. The children of stateless people often lack access to education and other services.

As such, the Palestinians are the most oppressed people in the world. There are other peoples who feel that they have the wrong citizenship and would like to secede, but at least they have a government and rights within that government's framework. They have someone to give them a passport, which Palestinians do not. There are other peoples that are in conflict and being killed in fair numbers. A not insignificant number of Palestinians has been killed by the Israelis, whether through often indiscriminate and disproportionate violence or through food and services blockades (a lot of Gazan children are stunted owing to the bad nutrition caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which is an illegal collective punishment of noncombatants,including children.) But of course there are other groups that are killed in larger numbers. But I would argue that the psychological toll taken by the imposition of statelessness on a people is more debilitating than the knowledge that some of the group has been killed by oppressors.

European Jews themselves were made stateless by Nazi decree, as were millions of other Europeans (leftists were denaturalized by Franco in Spain, e.g.). In the post-WW II world, citizenship has become recognized as key to basic human dignity and civil rights. There are only about 12 million stateless now, and the Palestinians are the single largest group of them....

— Professor Juan Cole, Informed Comment


US against unilateral Palestinian Statehood bid