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Declaration 2 – Distinction; What We Each Bring To The Table

 

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Inspired by a tree, stung by a comment…. the declarations continue

Article 2. reads; “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.   Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty”.

Disability is of cause missing from the equation but then too is everything else that makes up our diversity. Here is my case for inclusion in local and national campaigns regardless of my strengths and weaknesses. That which we all bring should be welcomed by all. Just put your bag upon the table.

Distinction

The cold winter blows Irenee
And i’ve an opinion too
To bring to the table
To share with you

Note the table
The knobbly knees
The varnished oval surface
Note it will sit eight
Note the crocks
How they were made
The knives and forks too
The steel that forged them
Could you do that?
Do you know how?
Does not knowing how
Diminish the work?

Like our tree
They started in the ground
And grew to mean something else
New forms lost in history
Predating law and rules
Policy, procedure or practice
Essential to the way we live
Lived then, lived now.
Because you know;
Code, Logic and Reason
Are these things inessential
To you now?

Yet all these things
I have not bought
They lie already upon the table
My gift is spice
You might call it magic
You might call it fantasy
But not I
For I call it love
I call it what I have
What I can give
I bring an army
A troop of 700
Named and signed To the cause
And I bring myself
My strength, distinction
So, may I take this seat
Sit around this table
Vocal, articulate and wise
And share in this feast
We squabble for

 

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Declaration: Born Free

Human Rights

I photographed this tree the day before Chris Last mentioned its removal on facebook. My interest was in poetically exploring Human Rights from the perspective of an activist within the Disabled People’s movement. But i’m just as bothered about local conservation issues. There’s another here petition signers

The format below reflects on how poems are presented on Disability Arts Online

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Recently I noted, if not for the first time, a plaque recognising a celebration of 50 years of Human Rights. The plaque was by a tree on a green that is up for redevelopment, that stands before a community and arts centre that is likely to be lost, below a hill where Victorian Villas next to my home are likely to be demolished. The bulldozers and cranes are revving up in the distance and there are those who stand and wait before them.

Declaration: Born Equal

Rise Hornsey Rise
Rise for your Brothers
Their sisters and their mothers

Your Brothers Spirits are high
As high as the hill to the rise
As high as the tower they love

But your brothers spirits can be broken

Broken
When their reasoned objections fail
Broken
When the voices of these but few go unheard
Broken
When the conscience of those who
Act deaf to words
Act against the brotherhood

So act Hornsey
Hornsey rise and act
For you are free
And welcome
Within your freedom to act

Not rising Hornsey
Leaves your brothers squashed
Defeated and unequal
In the vice grip of potent power
That serves to beat resistance

Wherefore lies your dignity
Hornsey when Hornsey did not rise
And left the brothers in apathetic malaise
To lose
Their fight for freedom
What for your wasted tears now
As too late the edifice tumbles
And the monstrous towers rise

Too late then the right to speak

So rise Hornsey Rise
Rise high
As high as towers
As high as cranes
And speak your minds

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From Earl Haig to Hornsey Town Hall

A march, a demonstration, for conservation in Crouch End; home of the conservation blues.
If you appreciate these pictures please sign the petition

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DSC_0682DSC_0683DSC_0684DSC_0685DSC_0686DSC_0687DSC_0688DSC_0689DSC_0690DSC_0691DSC_0692Did you remember to sign the petition

Thank you

 

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The Lila Interview

It is a year since i photographed Lila for her 7th Birthday. She is nearly 8. What is her world like:

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Lila tell me is the world really upside down?

Yes. Antartica is at the bottom. It should be at the top.

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Is this you doing your impersonation of a clown?

No. I’m definitely doing a dance. Its the dance of lalaland. I don’t live there. I live in Altior Court. Sometimes I wish we had a swimming pool or a hot tub because on a hot day we all want to cool down. The balcony’s are really thin and when I was 4 and could walk I wanted them to be so much longer so I could run across them.

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What is it like not being in the picture?

Kind of like ermmm let me be in the picture. I don’t want to be in the picture all the time. I want to be in pictures that suit me. I don’t want to be in pictures of boring brown trees. I like designer stuff. I’d like the bark scraped off and marked with stars and stuff.

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A witch came by and put a spell on you. What do you hope she wished for?

I wouldn’t mind like a spell so at the end of the day I could turn into a frog but be human again in the day time.

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The witch looks like she is having a cackle. You look like you want to get her. Do you think she gave you the wish you wished for?

No. She gave me this kind of thing like where I have to be ordered by her. She would like me to do things things she doesn’t want to do herself like cooking and stuff.

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You look nearly as wicked as the witch in this photo. Do you prefer to be good or bad?

I like to be both. Good is like really nice to people but if you are mean to me then you are like really nothing to me. People come over to the house and they are like snitches.

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This is how you looked a year ago. You was going up the road for your 7th birthday party. Do you remember this?

I kind of remember it. I had a dance party. I also remember that i can’t think of anything else.

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Tell me about the last year. Did you have to be strong?

I had to be strong because when i was a baby i used  to eat a lot of stuff but now I am fussy.

Interview by

resurrected servant

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Stop the Blight

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Save The Villas – Save The Trees

Nudged back into consciousness by local campaigns to Save the Green, and Save Hornsey Town Hall, I started taking an interest in campaigns to save the neighbourhood. The Green was never my stand out thing but I had some sympathy for the town hall. I’d gone to a gig there. Taken a photo or two that pleased me. I had a connection. I began to learn that the town hall had been taken over by creatives; bringing dance, song and cheer to the community as well as providing a home for entrepreneurs. I KIND OF THOUGHT THIS MAY BE IMPORTANT. Developers moving in on community assets, listed landmarks seemed less important.

I never thought the issue would come home to roost next door to me or even in my street as it has with Save Highgate Library – another site that has brought me pleasure, resides in my history, but the Shepherds Hill Villas are up for grabs. I remember when we first started to petition for them. I felt quite shocked about the depth of feeling people had on the issue. Its not that they knew where the Villas where situated or why they are important within this particular conservation area, nor that anyone held any particular affection for them. It was more that they held a regard for the past, saw values in it, and indeed they  had been blighted in their own lives. Young children spoke about the horrible house. Their mother told me; locals had campaigned against it but lost and that the children where now afraid of the building – that it was ugly. I’ve talked before about an 80 year old woman who wanted copies of the petition herself so she could collect signatures for us. She didn’t owe us anything. The Villas were streets away. She was true to her word.

Last week I made contact with Stop The HDV -a Wood Green Campaign Group fighting for the houses that they will lose to yet another collection of developers. People wanting to remain in their community with their own people of long standing. On my way home from work I’d pick up my free copy of the Standard and read about Save Hackney Wick, come in, sit down to watch the news and note the efforts of another campaign group to Save the Sutton Dwellings. Today on facebook. I find Save Tin Pan Alley. Not that I ever felt any sympathy for the Soho nostalgics but really; is nothing sacred.

It seems to me that a Developers Blight is running right across London. One way or another it seems to be a curse of the filthy lucre. Developers and sellers profit. Councils invest and make money to preserve services. Its the way the world turns. Yet…. people are making a stand, people are making statements about what is important to them, we campaign using our own resources are own energies. The little people versus the corporations. And sad to report, save for those who occasionally win, it looks like we are losing, it looks like we lose and change happens and change is rarely,  development wise, an improvement on what went before.  And yet through our despair of loss we fight on.

Someone once said to me, the law favours property over people. I say, change the laws. Give the people more chance of living in the world they prefer to live in.

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Strickland Needs To Demonstrate

Protester by workerIn a letter to the Guardian Cllr Alan Strickland says; Haringey Council is doing what residents tell us what they want. Well, he may say that might-en he. But, can he demonstrate Haringey Council is doing what the people say they want.

From the top of our hill through to Wood Green there are groups that say Haringey cannot demonstrate they know what the people want. The Save Highgate Library campaign has attracted more than 1500 signatories. A local resident, has told us of his concerns for the future of Shepherds Hill Community Gardens. We have been leading on saving Victorian villas from demolition as a means to helping make conservation matter in Crouch End (more than 500 signatures). Down the hill, Crouch End became a fervent bed of protest when groups campaigned to save both the green (1700 signatures) and Hornsey Town Hall (2,500 signed) from the developers. Only last week Transition Crouch End were asking for a presence outside of the Civic Centre to challenge the council on its commitment to reducing the borough’s carbon footprint. And to top it all I understand there is a judicial review against Haringey’s plans to develop Wood Green.

The Civic Centre is also under threat. I am not aware of any campaign  seeking to protect the council seat. The local people therefore demonstrating by both their activity and inactivity that issues around literature, learning, leisure, conservation, the arts, employment, business and the environment; are of importance to the community and that there may not be a democratic agreement with the council has to how these issues will be resolved.

We have demonstrated what the people want. Cllr Strickland needs to demonstrate a lot more.

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Mind War

people power

Struck me today on visiting this exhibition at the Imperial War Museum that there is a war going on right now. Tired of taking our bodies the blood thirsty are out to capture our minds. Their weapons are lists of lies. Current top lie. Remainers have given up and are happy to go along for the ride. I don’t believe it.

A Carrion Crow pecks away at road kill. What’s that word. Headlines starting with the same letter. I forget it. Examples. Strong and Stable. Coalition of Chaos. Paltry Paddy’s Prop Up Puritanical Party. Alliteration. That’s it. Put out a simple message, put it into people’s heads. Far too may people will go with the lie.

Tony Benn said something sometime about democracy being elected by the media. The spin masters. Those who seek to terrorise with words. Semantics. Our sentences give meaning and the people follow.

Or do they? What went wrong for the May Queen? Why not a coronation?  Another message. Another line. Someone else commanding the social wave of media, giving a choice. Weigh up the options. Choose for yourself. Why go with the Daily Fail, the sickening current Bun.

But whilst there’s another message, another line, other singers singing other songs, choices cause confusion and no one seems sure of the why we take an option. For me there is one thing i feel strongly from the day, having started an exhibition with conscientious objectors….. there is no ground for another war with Europe.

Recent events have reacquainted my old soul with smiles, with laughter, ideals of love and peace. I am appreciative. I bask in this light. I know I should not rest much longer. I may not be stable but today I feel so much stronger.

 

 

 

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