News: Artists Come Together For 'Love Music Hate Violence' Compilation

Next month, the newly set-up LOVE MUSIC, HATE VIOLENCE organisation will be releasing a compilation album featuring acts affected by the recent Sony Warehouse fire in Enfield, including Enter Shikari, Trash Talk, We Are The Ocean and Rolo Tomassi.

Due for release on November 28th 2011, this download only compilation will feature PIAS affiliated record labels and artists.  

As well as the compilation, a one-off LMHV t-shirt will be for sale later this month, emblazoned with logos from some of the UK’s premier rock and alternative bands, festivals and magazines that have leant their support to the cause. The t-shirt is part donated by Merchandise For Life, and fully endorsed by Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, The Blackout, Young Guns, Architects, Funeral For A Friend, Your Demise, Last Witness, TRC and Feed The Rhino, as well as Hevy Music Festival, Hassle Records and Rock Sound magazine.  

Read more here!
By the symbolic cleaning, cleansing and casting out of the rioters from the community, the sweepers appear to enact the closest thing to popular fascism that we have seen on the streets of certain ‘leafy’ bits of London for years. I do not wish to denigrate people who want to help each other out as best they can or to express their social solidarity in some way, but this cannot be at the expense of further exclusion and segregation. Similarly I do not wish to applaud those causing suffering to people with whom they share their neighbourhoods, indeed their communities, often hurting those in an equally disadvantaged state as themselves. However, the rhetoric of ‘real’ citizen and non-citizen can not be allowed to stand unchallenged, opening as it does a certain state of exception – much like the discourse around the war on terror that has been so convenient for, and so enthusiastically embraced by, governments across the world – a discourse that legitimises a level of oppression against excluded groups.

Sofia Himmelblau, University for Strategic Optimism

Willow pattern latest

Just found this sketch I did last summer, for a plate to commemorate last year’s riots in London. Incorporates Union Jack, Tube sign, Olympics logo, and police helicopter in place of customary bird. The three figures crossing the bridge are a Hoody, a policeman, and a RiotCleanUp operative. Never actually made the plate, but slightly wish I had.

#riotcleanup: what i did next

Cleaning up broken glass is one thing. But what about the psychological mess?

Watching people in the audience on BBC Question Time last night - turning on each other to snarl and shout - I wondered if we need something like the extraordinary Moral Re-Armament movement (now called Initiatives of Change). MRA brought about a stunningly rapid reconciliation between France and Germany after world war two (and also, as it happens, directly inspired the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous) by the simplest means imaginable: they just got people talking to each other.

I know this works, because I had the privilege to meet the (victim) Will Riley and (offender) Peter Woolf, and to see for myself how they were reconciled by restorative justice. I strongly believe that something similar could help after this week’s riots.

As an individual, I can’t make offenders talk to victims, or police talk to MPs. But when I read Martin Kettle in today’s Guardian suggesting that we must listen to the rioters if we’re to understand them, I thought: that’s what I’ll do. I’ll write to one of them. I’ll try to give them a bit of encouragement, at a difficult time. If a correspondence develops, great. If not, nothing lost.

Of course, I would also write to other individuals directly involved in, or affected by, the rioting and looting.

I took advice on how to write the letters, which you can read below. If you think this seems like a good idea, you could try doing something similar yourself. If I’ve made a hash of it, please let me know how I could do better.

First, I wrote to Tariq Jahan, who lost his son Haroon in Birmingham.

Then I wrote to my local police, who were (I assume) called to get involved in the trouble down the hill in Camden.

Then I wrote to my local MP, encouraging him to do his very best.

Finally (for now) I wrote to one of the people involved in the looting. The first to come up in court, Alexis Bailey, got a lot of media attention because he was older than most others, at 31, and had a job as a classroom assistant in a primary school.

I told the inspiring Dan Thompson what I was doing. Dan’s been coordinating a lot of the #riotcleanup this week, and urged me also to write a letter to somebody who got out there with a broom.

I will try to do that soon.

#riotcleanup is not an organisation but an idea. During the August 2011 UK riots @sophontrack created the hashtag #riotcleanup in a tweet suggesting the public respond positively to the chaos. At the same time @artistsmakers was mobilising people to do exactly that. The hashtag was passed to him. @phoeberoberts compiled a list of planned riotcleanup events and notified police. @artistsmakers stayed up that night with a broken laptop and a whiteboard writing down the affected areas in London and planning clean ups in those places. Then the @Riotcleanup account was set up by a young musician, Sam. Within minutes, was set up and went live at 5:30am. Thousands of people (including some celebrities with rather large followings) tweeted about cleaning up and used the hashtag. A combination of these elements culminated in several hundred people turning up in various locations the next morning, brooms in hand. Cities outside London took the idea up and @Riotcleanupmanc, @Riotcleanupwolv, @Riotcleanupnott and @Riotcleanupbrum were set up. 1,000 people turned up to clean up in Manchester. The response was a fantastic example of a trans-idealogical consensus. Post clean up, a team including sixteen year-old web developers @carboia and @PatrickSocha as well as @Tonsko and @bl0ke improved the website, with @sophontrack writing bits here and there. Sam, tweeting under the name @Riotcleanup has been a constant support, having done a lot of groundwork connecting people in various affected communities.

click on source to check out their website! 

Las redes sociales heroes o villanos

Pasados los disturbios en Londres ya comienzan los arrestos y después de todo lo ocurrido la pregunta que queda en el aire es ¿Son las Redes sociales las principales responsables? ¿Son una herramienta para hacer el bien o para hacer el mal?

Como todos sabemos Londres no es el primer caso, ni será el último, en el que las redes sociales y otros sistemas de comunicación sean una herramienta clave para que la gente se manifieste a favor o en contra de algo que lo afecta directa o indirectamente: un recuento de los hechos ocurridos en el mundo en los últimos meses incluye Irán, Egipto, Libia, Túnez, España y otros países.

Estamos viviendo momentos históricos en el que la información, opiniones deseos e inconformidades circulan más rápido que nunca en redes y servicios como Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Skype, Messenger y el BBM.

Sin embargo así como se culpa a las Redes Sociales de ser en cierta medida las responsables de estas últimas revueltas, tenemos también el caso de “RiotCleanup”, un movimiento generado en Twitter, Facebook y BlackBerry Messenger en el que miles de londinenses y simpatizantes en todo el mundo unieron esfuerzos para limpiar las calles afectadas por las revueltas.

 Actualmente su página de Twitter @RiotCleanup, ya cuenta con 81500 seguidores, obtuvo más de 50,000 seguidores en menos de 10 horas, según y en ella transmite de manera constante información acerca de las ubicaciones y horarios de limpieza.

 Finalmente la reflexión que queda es que las redes sociales no son un fin, sino un medio, un medio de expresión en el que se le regresa el PODER A LA GENTE, el poder para generar tanto el bien como el mal.