26.5.15

[New Word] Sociogenyaesthetics

The art of knowing how things (bodies, materials, discourses and performances) became this way and how they can change.

[New Word] Occidenteering

The practice of learning how to understand and navigate in a world that has been configured by white supremacy for 500 odd years.

1.5.15

The Tower Hamlets Coup Resource Page: What is to be done?

THIS PAGE WILL EVOLVE AS THE SITUATION EVOLVES

A lot of money and influence has been invested in a Election Court Coup against Lutfur Rahman, the recently reelected Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which has an interesting tradition of demonstrating that the established political order is not the End of History. It is necessary, but fiendishly difficult to improve under fire, but that is what post Labour political formations need to do.

Journalists and politicians, usually all white ones, from left and right are revelling over the judgement of election court engineered to produce this coup. Grinding axes are coming out to play, and yes we have seen most if not all them all before. Corrupt developers not unrelated to the Shirley Porter moment stalk the borough, local housing organisations hardly inspire confidence and the local authority is mired in revolt and institutional dysfunction, thanks largely to the behavior of the local Labour party over recent decades.

Are the Greens for Real?
The Tower Hamlets Green Party has been quite a disappointment on the issue so far, with a whitewashed statement legitimising the re-election and contradicting their own anti-elected mayor policy. On this, the central party, as I understand, didn't guide such a statement and feels it isn't their place to impose a view.

The party has been trying to make itself less white, established a Greens of Colour caucus with a BAME Manifesto, and a highly ironic Brick Lane Launch. Yet this is all academic in the shadow of the Tower Hamlets Coup, which is a twisted cross product of the colonialism and racism of the British Right and Left. The authorial powers of Private Eye, Gilligan, Jeory and Ware have all had an effect here, an issue I will discuss concretely later.


Reducing the coup to an internal Labour party problem, as the TH Greens have done, whitewashes the issues of racism, the standing of the country's then premier anti-austerity executive, and the decades long struggle for political representation from Bangladeshi people in the borough. Secondly, running candidates looks like running over corpses after a political massacre, it legitimises the establishment's war on post Labour alternatives, puts the Greens in the ring as the anti-politics option and sits weirdly with the green position against elected mayors.


An Actual Way Forward.
There is a postLabour position of challenging the prejudice and injustice of the judgement, critically appraising Lutfur's record (warts and all) and pointing to a future of mass participation and resistance to social cleansing.  Unfortunately it is difficult to step into that space, and narrow interests threaten those who pose the possibility.

40 odd years of political struggle

Central government meanwhile has triumphantly usurped much of the power of the local authority. Looking forwards, in a few years there may not be a Tower Hamlets, and the area may be socially 'cleansed' to make way for gentrification and the hipster insurgency. 

People of justice identify with the area because of the vast inequalities that are historically at play .  Deshis locally have struggled for political representation for over 40 years, against the racism of the Labour Party amongst other challenges. Deshis non-locally are involved via a myriad of psychic, economic, professional and historic interconnections.
  • We can't remember but we ask our elders about how Labour refused to include and represent Bangladeshis until Nurul Hoque's victory in Spitalfields as an Independent in 1982.
  • We remember booting out Oona King who voted for Tony Bliar's criminal war on Iraq, which was pivotal in the production of ISIS.
  • We remember booting out Labour's councillor and academic Micheal Keith, puppet master of Labour's Bangladeshi puppets, and whose record of dealings with developers and contracters remains underscrutinised.
  • We remember Helal Abbas and the Labour NEC's putred dismissal of Lutfur Rahman's Mayoral candidacy in 2010, how they played the terrorism allegation card.
  • We read the patronising, Orientalist and 'clever' text of the Election Court (Deputy) Judge as he played his role in a game that involved the entire political and media establishments.
  • We follow the deep connections between the Labour Party and the Bangladesh Awami League and are 'post' both.
  • We reflect on our own human shortcomings and the dignity of others.

Why is a resource page necessary?

This is an attempt at a rolling resource page, with articles, videos and official documents. It is a murky and complex arena to try and get one's head around.   There is a huge qualitative and quantitative inequality in knowledge produced by the subordinated sides of this very racist and prejudiced equation. Capital, Labour (R) and Liberal Hypocrisy are very eloquent and well represented.

Looking at the majority of the high profile content out there is can be misleading. Local blogger Ted Jeory is quite 'diligent', and does get quite a bit wrong. He needs to be read as he informs most white people on the issue. Meanwhile more powerfully, hack journalists like Andrew Gilligan and the Evening Standard's Robin de Peyer can be expected to 'do their jobs' and represent the worldview and interests of their class, informants, clients and employers.

There should be dozens of sharp bloggers throughout East London building audiences, debate and scrutinising the powerful, corrupt and autocratic. Maybe there are...



Audio

4th May 2015 | Talk and discussion with housing academic/activist Glyn Robbins, the TUSC candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow. 





Shamaj Views radio show on Tower Hamlets: History, Local Politics and the Trial of Lutfur Rahman




Videos 


Labour Mayoral candidate John Biggs appealing for consideration from the pulpit of Tower Hamlets mosque at Friday prayers (15th May) (relevant given double standards in spiritual influence debate)

Shibbir Choudhury, the secretary of 100 Roman Road Mosque using prayers to promote previously failed mayoral candidate John Biggs, the very same reason why Lutfur Rahman was 'criminalised'. Hypocritical system ?Oh another point.... The claims of ‘granting planning permission’ for the LMC (London Muslim Center) was under John Biggs leadership but there is NO mention about the many strong thousands of people who rallied from East London Mosque to the council demanding planning permission, you John Biggs had NO choice but to give in to the people, do not act all empathetic when you are not, LAIR!!
Posted by No to John Biggs for Mayor on Friday, 15 May 2015




Peter Oborne comment on the racist origins and applications of the spiritual injury law



Peter Obornes views on the Tower Hamlets and Luthfur Rahman case...
Posted by MEND - Muslim Engagement and Development on Wednesday, 13 May 2015



(From Defend Democracy in Tower Hamlets Event 30th April 2015)

Salma Yaqoob ( The Legend of Birmingham)




Ava Vidal (Comedienne and Writer)



Sean Raczka (Tower Hamlet's Resident)




Peter Herbert ( Society of Black Lawyers)



Alex Kenny ( Tower Hamlets National Union of Teachers)



Mayor Lutfur Rahman and Cllr Rabina Khan



Christine Shawcroft (of Labour National Executive Council)



Jonathan Rees


Nana Assante (Former Mayor of Harrow)



Lindsay German



Andrew Murray


Weyman Bennett (Unite Against Fascism)



John Allison (Resident of the Ocean's Estate)



George Galloway


What has Lutfur Rahman done for Tower Hamlets? ( 16 May 2014)

Lutfur Rahman Exposed! (28 March 2014 )


Articles

15 May 2015 | Guardian, Giles Fraser, Why is it one law for the Hindus and another for the Hindus?

11 May 2015 | Guardian, Rajeev Syal, Labour veteran suspended from party for supporting Lutfur Rahman

7 May 2015 | London Review of Books, Nadine El-Enany  The Judiciary and Institutional Racism 

6 May 2015 | Blog, Jen Izaakson Want to actually read the 101 Imams Letter?

4 May 2015 | 5Pillarz, Mevlana Marx Is Rabina Khan the best mayoral candidate to sort out Tower Hamlets?

4 May 2015 | East End News, Is this the man who can halt the Labour Shoo-in

2 May 2015  | 5Pillarz, Nishaat Ismail The battle for "democracy" continues in Tower Hamlets

30 April 2015 | RS21, Andrew Ward Twelve Reasons why the Lutfur Rahman judgement should worry you




26 April 2015 | Blog, Glyn Robbins Tower Hamlets Strikes Back!

24 April 2015 | Blog, Jen Izaakson Review of the Judgement in the Lutfur Rahman case

30 May 2014 | Guardian, Richard Seymour and Ashok Kumar  The Smear Campaign against Lutfur Rahman is an insult to democracy


'Official Documents'

16.4.15

Tuliberation

A vote for Tulip
Is a vote for Hasina's brutal dictatorship.
She who spoke in the capacity of that state.
Now feigns innocence and ignorance 
The Labour fake.
A vote for Tulip,
Is not a little respite from austerity,
It is a shot in the arm,
For the one party state of Bangladesh
That massacres its Officers,
Workers and Protesters,
With bullets, rubble and lies.

A vote for Tulip,
Is not a vote for parochial concern,
For Hampstead and Kilburn,
But a dodgy dossier all of its own.

There's a Brown Girl In the Ring
Tra lala la la
There's a Brown Girl In the Ring
Tra la lala lala
There's a Brown Girl In the Ring
Tra la lala la.
It looks like Labour knows they're dumb.

A vote for Tulip,
Is a vote for STOPKONY,
Asif Zardari and Chemical Ali,
Their worst qualities, all rolled into one.
Try to resist the left white liberal moronarchist drum.
With thought for those in desh at the end of the gun

A vote for Tulip
Plays Labour's BAME game
Which helps keep us lame.
Didn't Sadiq Khan's dirty tricks
During last year's Tower Hamlets theatrix
Give you your fix?

A vote for Tulip
Is a banana to Macaulay's monkeys
An apple Macaulay's donkeys
A promotion to Macaulay's flunkies,
and a five year Freedom Pass to Macaulay's junkies.

A vote for Tulip,
Is a vote for an actual Trojan Horse,
Who will say anything to get you on side,
Just a shot of Pussy Riot pride, 
'I challenged Vladimir Putin on Gay rights'

Raaaaight.

Our votes, Our words, Our song and our hearings on Tulip,
Are generative, not at all foolish.
May we raise the game
Of Action and Creation.
Fundamental transnational Chetona destabilisation.

We, the fundamentally undermined, hereby give notice, 
Of our absence and rejection,
Of this political coronation,
We affirm the value and dignity of lives in Bangladesh.
With our resistance,


9.4.15

B ( A) M E

B (A) M E
Reduces your coloniality
Forces me to minority
False and tricksy white supremacy
have some fucking humility

When I see your letters
In the environs of my name
I duck and run for cover
From the indignity in your frame.

6.4.15

Tulipvangilism

Political Fact
Or not.
It is from the head
That we rot.

There is no such thing
As Original Sin,
It's the conscious spin,
With unnaccountable transnational ring,
That makes this Political Fact detestable.

A not entirely unattractive prospect
Politically, quotically, such trickery.
Female, Asian and Muslim
A White Liberal's wet dream
On Hampstead and Kilburn hallowed grounds.

The British establishment
Has always had
A soft spot for
A South Asian dynasty

A granddaughter,
That Bangladesh begot.
Chewed the bones of the 2009 Pilkhana massacre,

Six years down the long game,
The return into autocracy,
Is clearer to us.
Like watching an implosion in reverse.

The first move was the boldest one,
Mutually beneficial to both partners,
On each side of the border.

Lights camera action.
With socialist blusher,
A sepoy's revolt.
Sends dissent through the Bangladesh Rifles,
A blusher to mask
Assassination's marks.
The first powerplay of the session.


Meritocrats argue
While tonight the meritorious await death,
And the mediocre and privileged await election.

2.4.15

[New Word] Voetry

You my dear are so much more
Than a cross in a box
A nose counted
Quantified
Normalised to zero

Commodifying you
Is so easy.
welfare nostalgia
Where the virtual should be
Imperious mistake
Excluding the worms and bees

31.3.15

Hacking Bangladesh to Pieces with Representations of Inequality

An  Islamic blogger (Dark Malekith) and an allegedly atheist blogger ( Washiqur Rahman AKA Kutshit Hasher Chhana) are attacked by assailants with machetes within days of each other in Bangladesh.

Which incident has gone global? and why?

Whether they are bloggers in the sense of having their own sites, or worked within a very Facebook based ecology is probably not a productive angle of enquiry. They were young men on journeys who communicated with audiences by pressing electronic keys. There lives are deemed expendable fuels for the flames of ignorance.

Inequality of representation

The inequality of the worth of human life and representation is essential to challenge here as it warps analysis and feeds the nonsense engine that haunts and taunts Sally and Sam Rahman and their quest to survive and thrive in Bangladesh.

To collide a Spivakism with a Fanonity, unless you are a well placed individual, you inhabit the zone of nonbeing.

The first attack is said to have occurred Lalmonirhat, a border district town in the north west, we don't know much about it yet.  We won't from the corporate press as there is no money in the Muslim victims of apparent secular violence sector. I invite people to post any details/ here.

The second attack occurred in the capital. Washiqur Rahman was 27 and the usually useless Dhaka police say that have apprehended 2 of the 3 culprits, extracted confessions from them and have the name of the third.  Late Washiqur Rahman's slashed body circulates the social media, slashing all those it comes into contact with, those who haven't been numbed already by the ultra violence of this society which nobody seems able to address.

Condolences to the families and justice for the victimised.

Difficulty Trusting the Police and the Awami League narratives

Luckily for the police, their two detainees come from the community madrassas that they committed massacre against on 5-6th May 2013.  It is as if someone wants to open up and benefit from a new front in the war on terror.

As we speak, this same police force is regularly torturing and disappearing people as part of the government's general programme of not just ensuring its survival, but crushing even the possibility of something alternative growing.

Delivering results to political masters is very good for your career. The Dhaka Met Police is packed full of Awami League loyalists and people from the Prime Minister's home district Gopalganj. Exceptional performance is rewarded with promotion, as we saw from the Commissioner Benazir Ahmed's rise to directing the Rapid Action Battalion. He had command responsibility for the Motijheel Massacre that nobody has forgotten and that nobody speaks openly about.

The FBI are in town investigating the murder of another atheist blogger Avijit Roy who was an American citizen, and there is growing concern with the integrity of the story lines being pursued.

Berk: Cockney Rhyming slang for Berkshire Hunt

International reporting on this stuff has been atrocious. As we might expect, the Shahbag movement are calling for the hanging of the perpetrators and appearing all over the place and nobody else is getting a look in.  All the usual Indian outlets have suspended their critical faculties and atheist / secular / journalist / free speech affinity groups are doing their thing.

Jason Burke's piece in the London-based Guardian was really awful and misleading. There is something systematically wrong in that institution on Bangladesh affairs. It quotes the pro-government Dhaka Tribune's analysis of the victim's Facebook preferences and the Prime Minister's advisor HT Imam (who Ajmal Masroor challenged successful on Al Jazeera after the 5th May Massacre, earning himself a ban on travel to Bangladesh). It doesn't include a single voice that challenges the 'Muslim fundamentalist perpetrator' explanation coming from officials. Given the Guardian's role in helping the Bangladesh government to stitch up Londoner Samiun Rahman as an ISIS recruiter, this is not surprising.

The Rentu Memoirs: A portrait of Sheikh Hasina and her party/family

The envelope of possibility and impunity is huge in Dhaka.  I suspect that this horrible incident will turn out to be yet another sabotage attack from the Awami League. It follows the pattern of thought that I found in the Rentu Memoirs (English translation here) which were written by an ex-aide to Hasina, Motiur Rahman Rentu who blew the whistle on her and the Awami League about 15 years ago.

In the absence of a competent and honest investigatory team, or even the conditions to investigate, it is unsurprising that people shrug, switch off and struggle on with their lives. Bravery, like Rentu's but better is what Bangladesh needs now, between foolhardiness and courage. A creative bravery less bloody but in the ballpark of Col Farooq and Rashid's tank bluff in 1975.







26.3.15

[New Word] Malalafication

To pulled out of the zone of nonbeing, brown and usually female, and rendered into a multifaceted toolbox of Empire. Truthful realisation and justice to the world.

e.g. 

A few days back pro Bangladesh government journalist hack Nadia Sharmeen was awarded for Courage by the US State Department, the same agency that helped to cover up the Dhaka Massacre after the Dhaka Blockade protest of 5th May 2013, and which trained the police afterwards on how to manage better next time.

Whatever happened, and what precipitated whatever happened to the Ekushey TV journalist during the Long March Protest in Dhaka on 5th April 2013, should be investigated. Given what we know about the bullshit in the air from NGOs like ASK and the press at the time, it is very likely not to coincide with the Shahbag movement orientated storyline fed to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. 

After the attack, Ms Sharmeen's migration from ETV to Ekkator TV, a very rancid pro Awami league channel, is quite telling.

Anyway, here is the interesting and celebratory text from the US state department, which beg questions of the ETV editor's side of the story and those people who associated with the protest who are alleged to have flouted the organiser's policy to return provocations with the names of God. As is probably intended by the Developmentor here, the targets for imperial transfromation and dehumanisation here are the comparative status of the multiple concurrently running norms of gender accompaniment practices in Bangladeshi society in the White Liberal Gaze.

Nadia Sharmeen is a journalist and fierce women’s rights activist. She had wanted to be a journalist since middle school, so it was not surprising when she joined the Bangladeshi press corps. Two years ago, Nadia was assigned to cover a rally on the streets of Dhaka organized by fundamentalist organizations whose platform called for putting a ban on men and women mixing in public. Nadia worked this event despite the hostile crowd and its platform of hate. But the respect she showed them wasn’t returned. Verbal lashes turned into violence as a crowd beat and kicked her. Nadia was nearly killed.

Some say that a writer is only as good as their editor. The opposite can also be true. Nadia’s editors refused to cover her medical expenses and forced her to resign. Nadia could have turned her press credentials in, but she didn’t. Today, she is back on her feet, working the crime beat for a different TV station. She has even returned to covering conservative rallies, undaunted by those who would rather see her battered and bruised than on the airwaves.

For her bravery in the face of condemnation, threats, and physical violence, we honor Nadia Sharmeen as a woman of courage. 


Read more: http://translations.state.gov/st/english/texttrans/2015/03/20150309313950.html#ixzz3VVd91XDN

25.3.15

From My Lai to Motijheel

And so
the white left
celebrate
the anniversary
of a white supremacist massacre
in Vietnam.

They call it My Lai

How?
by interviewing
the white lefty journalist
who 'broke' the news
to the white audience
participants in the killings
millions
which didn't stop
until they were beaten.

HypocrisyNow dot Org
the war and peace report
I love you Amy Goodman
But don't you see 
the systemic flaw here?

The same flaw
That helped you to ignore
Just days after 
The Rana Plaza disaster
That didn't suit 
A white lefty storyline.

Despite State Department's

Its not just you
Its my middle class tools.

So lets introspect
On the wolves 
In sheeps clothing

Oh My Golden Bengal

How will your 'progressives'
(Mis)remember that night,
And the hustling that ensued.

Will Jahangirnagar's journalists
Of 2023
Recall their selfless bravery

I
Think
Not

So, 
Here's to the progeny,
The timekeepers, 
Of the gatekeepers
Who covered it up.
We rage and wish truth to you.

Recognise these bastards for who they are.
What they have done
And what they have spun

And 
Do 
Better

Benazir Ahmed of the Dhaka Met Police
And his band of merry suchilists
Mahfuz and Tahmima 'Transcom' Anam
Rehman and Zafar 'Gencom' Sobhan
Doctor Kamal and Sara 'Skypegate' Hossein,
Bergman and Sabir Mustafa 
very much part of the game.

If you think for one moment
That this power elite
Wish equality
Then your mind
Is evidently
Full of shit.