Ton Sai, Thailand: the destruction of paradise

“No Entry!! MOVE ON!” a security guard yells at us as we jump off the longtail boat at Railay beach. He is guarding a new, expensive resort, meaning that the ‘common’ public have to wade through the sea, waves crashing up to our waists, rather than step on the resort’s swimming pool grounds. Heaven forbid…

Problematic backpacker tourism in northern Thailand

The below blog post addresses just some of the problems of (mostly white European) backpacker tourism. When I first travelled in south-east Asia ten years ago, I did not see that my presence could be detrimental to the communities that I was visiting. My awareness of this has grown and evolved over the last few…

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 2): Kobanê

“All religions have the same heart. We’re all one,” a man says to us warmly as we drink tea in his home. We are in the city of Kobanê in Rojava, an autonomous and democratically run region in the north of Syria. In late 2014, Kobanê became the focus of the world’s media when ISIS…

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…

friendliness versus hostility: a visit to Italy

“WHORE!” a man yells out of his car window at Nicol, as she stands at the side of the road with a sign for the next town. She screams something back at him in Italian. “Welcome to Italy,” I think to myself. Chris has joined us on our roadtrip. Unfortunately for him, both Nicol and…

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…