Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We. Ways of Seeing

'We' is a superb documentary. Arundhati Roy who won the Brooker Prize in 1997 for her novel 'The God of Small Things' presents us with her way of seeing.

Her opening lines in the documentary, which she also uses in the novel, include a quote from John Bergers book Ways of Seeing. 'Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one.'

My way of seeing her way of seeing is that she is joining the dots, scattered, it seems randomly, and makes an understandable meaning. Thats one of the things we humans can't help trying to do. Make meaning where there doesn't appear to be any. Her way of seeing resonates with many but it would make for a whole lot better world if more of us were able to join the dots and see the big picture.

Please watch it. It is free to download and copy and the makers want us to 'seed' this documentary wherever we can. So get out there and sow this wonderful and critical commentary on our times.

Try to find the time to read a bit of Bergers own words. You will find his way of seeing the Michael Moore Film Fahrenhiet 9/11 in this Guardian article. More here and here.

Craig Murray had won a few days more before he is supposed to take down the documents relating to his book Murder In Samarkand. He wrote a really well argued and humourous letter to the FCO. Check it out. Bloggers are doing their bit to help him.

From the ICH Charles Sullivans piece on Militarism and the Corporate Welfare State is a good read.

As is Chris Floyds, Diplomatic Deception: The Calm Before the Storm.

Taken together all these communicators are sending out a clear warning to us all. But WE have good reason to be optimistic. More and more peoples are becoming more aware of the deficiencies of our economic, political and social system. WE are dissenting, organising and resisting the oppressions, exploitations, and the destruction of our planet. WE are many. They are few. They have the power of the gun and the dollar and the oil. But they are losing their grip because of their rampant greed for more, at the expense of the vast majority of us, who just want to have a home, a job, and peace so that we may raise our children in health and happiness. WE have the numbers though and WE have the vision. WE are learning all the time. Learning that no matter how small you may think your word of dissent or act of non violent resistance is, it works. The totality of it all works. WE do make change happen.

An example of what just a few people can do to effect a change is the recent BBC reporting of demos in Scotland opposing the torture flights. Initially they reported that it was a failure and that few people turned up.
Peope who were there mailed them to correct them and they provided photogaphic evidence. The BBC altered their report. Or read this account of what a few people can achieve if they act to gether.

Don't know what to do? Once you start looking you realise that you are spoiled for choice.

You could join one of the anti war groups. Stop the War. In Scotland their site is here. These sites will keep you up to date on demos and lots of info. Military Families against the War is another. Gold Star Families for Peace are very active in the US, again, loads of info here too. Or Code Pink.

Visit sites like Amnesty, this page of theirs tells us that 1 in 3 women have been raped, beaten or abused. Shocking isn't it. CND, sign their petition against replacing Trident submarines, Reprieve. Read their response to the recent ruling of the US courts regarding the Guantanamo detainess and the Geneva Conventions.

All of these sites have links to others. Use them.Spread the word. Get Active. Do something. The task to change our world is a mammoth one and every act which is an attempt to challenge helps. The cumulative effect cannot be underestimated. It's particularly beholden on those of us who enjoy a relativly peaceful and comfortable life to stand up for the most oppressed and exploited. Those whose voices are ignored or silenced.

Peoples like the Palestinians, who are being slaughtered daily, or Iraqi children, ( these pictures are hard to look at).

WE are not powerless. WE have voices even though our governments are winding back our civil liberties. If we don't use our voices to speak out, we may end up screaming too.