Previously known as Libdemchild

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Young girl, Ahed Tamimi, Spends 17th Birthday in Israeli Jail

Imagine spending your 17th birthday awaiting trial in an Israeli military court where 99.74% of those tried are convicted. This is the case with Ahed Tamimi who celebrates her 17th birthday today from an Israeli prison for protesting Israeli expansion near her village. 

Ahed Tamimi is an extremely brave young girl who has been thrown into an Israeli jail because she stood up to Israeli soldiers. On 19th December 2017 she was arrested after throwing stones at the soldiers during a protest against Trump’s decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

The Israeli authorities' claim that their actions were a necessary response to violent protest from the Palestinians seems overly exaggerated as during the same protest they shot Ahed's 14-year-old cousin in the face. How on earth is this a proportionate response when soldiers shoot a 14 year old child and imprison a 16 year old? 

This brutal treatment of children is not an isolated incident of Israeli authorities' actions towards children. Since 2000 over 8000 Palestinian children have been imprisoned in the same military detention system as Ahed. This system, according to 'defense for children international', is "notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children."

According to Ahed's mother; "When I saw her in court she was pale and shivering, shackled and clearly in pain. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t, I have to stay strong so she stays strong"

Regardless of your stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the imprisonment of children without a fair trial and without the possibility of bail in a system where they face violence is undeniably cruel. Ahed Tamimi bravely stood up for her social and political convictions. It is time that those in the West who frequently boast and insist on freedom of speech actually extend these ideas for more than their own political gain.

Please sign the petition here

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

My strange visit to Trump Tower

If Trump Towers is anything to go by no wonder the man lives an alternative existence to the rest of us. Gold, gold everywhere and not a drop of substance. It's huge, imposing, gilded and FALSE.

I couldn't visit the tower without making my own personal stand. I had just bought 'Fire and Fury' from Barnes & Noble and I decided to take out the copy and be photographed with it all over the Tower. The photograph above is my two-finger equivalent salute to Trump and Pence whom I think are odious men.

Although Trump's election was beyond alarming it somehow always felt somewhat distant from the UK political climate, particularly with Brexit being the UK's focus. BUT there was something about my visit. Trump's ability to remain both financially and politically unscathed by his actions is manifestly evident in Trump Towers. All Trump fans must go there to die judging from the "oohs, ahhs" and "look at this, ahhh" emanating from people drooling over golf gold key chains.

Then there is a Gucci store. But didn't Gucci claim that they make efforts to champion and support "voices speaking out for women and girls around the world"?

Money talks louder though in Trump's world. Trump's sexual abuse allegations are no secret and even more famous are his comments claiming that fame allows him to "do anything" to women. In spite of all of this stores, such as Gucci who claim to care for social justice, enable Trump's financial
advancement and progress his image as a respectable businessman.

Trumpsters or just plain weird tourists were walking around with a puppy like admiring look on their faces. They were posing happily for photos and purchasing his merchandise.

Pictured below is the tower's directory where it can be seen that almost everything in the tower is named after Trump and below that is a baby grow that 'says when I grow up I want to be just like Trump'. Just like Trump? a racist, misogynist sexual abuser and genuinely stupid man. How the world has changed. When I was a baby I was put into baby grows that said innocent things like 'Santa's little helper'. Nothing controversial there.

One family even had a collection that they were adding to. I heard the Mother say to her teenage son about fridge magnet: "We should get one to add to your collection".  These people genuinely support and admire Trump. We may know better but they think that they know best.

It is easy to think that Trump is universally hated and viewed as a political moron but when I saw this merchandise and people looking impressed by the image of Trump presented by this tower it really hit home that his election was not merely a fluke.

The most alarming thing I saw in the tower was NYPD hoodies displayed next to the Trump merchandise. The NYPD  has a reputation for being corrupt, there is even a Wikipedia page solely on NYPD corruption and misconduct. This corruption comes in the form of disproportionate racial killings by police, sexual assault etc. It is not only the New York police that are guilty of this as institutionalised racism is rife throughout America with 25% of police killings being black people despite this demographic only forming 13% of the population. The link between the racism and sexual misconduct of the President and the institutionalised racism and misconduct of the American police force is obvious but I did not think that it would be so proudly and clearly displayed in the President's personal domain.

Another interesting thing in Trump's merchandise store was the display of leisure wear, golf wear and golf related products (see below a golf ball keyring). The president has been criticised several times for spending too much time on the golf course and prioritising it above political matters.

He spent today, Martin Luther King Day, on the golf course instead of honouring the civil rights activist. He takes pride in this sort of complacency and lack of consideration of American history. You can't make this stuff up. 

Below is another photo of me holding up Michael Wolff's book on the chaos and unprofessionalism of the White House. This felt especially mischievous but scary because I was VERY close to secret service agents who were holding with huge guns. After a second's hesitation I went ahead and thought I would take advantage of that famous American free speech. I had visited the Statue of  Liberty a few days before.

The parallel universe in Trump Tower serves as a monument to him. He may dislike Muslims but Trump Tower is the mecca for Trumpsters. Trump's ability behave the way he does and still gain admiration from people and endorsement from companies such as Gucci was beyond frightening and I saw it clearly at the tower. I no longer feel the safety of distance from American politics.

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