Brighton: the invasion of the cupcakes!

You know that a city is too gentrified when you start to see cafes selling cupcakes. I have a particular problem with cupcakes because they’re just fairy cakes, similar to those that we used to make in primary school and sold for 10p. But rebranded as cupcakes, they’re now sold for £3 per tiny cake….

Travels in Rojava (part 1): Cizîrê canton

“We’re solidarity activists,” we say to a man who greets us as we cross the border into Rojava. “You’ve come too late!”  he replies. Nevertheless, he smiles widely, welcomes us and shakes our hands. In a way, I agree with him. We have come too late. We are only visiting Rojava when there has been…

Travels in Kurdistan (part 1): Massacres in North and West Kurdistan

It’s June 2015, and we arrive in North Kurdistan (the part of Kurdistan within the Turkish borders) at election time. The Kurdish population is ecstatic, because for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey, the pro-Kurdish HDP party has won 80 seats in parliament. The HDP could only have any seats…

Smile like you mean it and it will be returned!

“Smile like you mean it and it will be returned.” – Nahko & Medicine for the People, Father Mountain I live in a society that is suffering from a sickness – a society where we are fearful and distrusting of our fellow human beings; a society where any sense of community has vanished and where…

to be an anarchist…

Having referred to myself as an anarchist in various blog posts, I thought I would write about what anarchism means to me. Anarchism means something slightly different to each anarchist, so this is a very personal post. “Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally…

Cluster Bomb Country: more travels in Laos

I’m in Luang Prabang. A man walks past in a T-shirt that says Same Same. The phrase, known to everyone in South East Asia, sums up the backpacker life in Laos. Everyone’s travelling to the same towns, doing the exact same route, staying in the same guesthouses, eating in the same restaurants, and reading the…

London: a rant.

I loathe London. I lived there for a decade. I did my time there, I lived on both sides of the river, I knew the city. So now I feel that it is my right to loathe it! Why do I dislike London so much? Maybe my views are tainted by the past – by…

Fighting to shut down Brighton’s arms factory

Since moving to Brighton, my second home has become the Cowley Club, a collectively-owned non-profit base for activists to meet each other, hold meetings, stage events and eat vegan cake! I have become involved with Smash EDO, an anti-arms campaign against the local weapons factory, EDO MBM. Admirably, Smash EDO has been campaigning constantly since…

Compassion, fascism and CCTV: rediscovering England

I have returned to England after spending most of the last three years in foreign lands. I want to keep an open mind and try not to let past prejudices cloud my judgements about England. Whilst travelling, I was pretty critical of the land where I am from, but was I being unjust? On my…

hitchhiking and dumpster diving into 2011…

The anti-capitalist journalist, John Pilger, says that politics in Britain has one meaning: “The replacement of democracy with a business plan for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope, every child born.” And Chris McCandless quoted in the film, Into The Wild, that “careers are a twentieth century invention and I don’t want…