protest

A Forgotten Rebel

Every act is ephemeral

To Rebel is an act

All Rebellion is ephemeral?

Seventeen years ago, I served in northern Iraq as the Field Coordinator in a UN project providing aid to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). Some 66% of the population in the northern Governorates of Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Duhok had been displaced at least once in their life, resulting in an effective breakdown of societal structures and community support networks.

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Smells like teen spirit

I raced home as fast as my ugly Dolcis shoes would carry me, though the chunky heel, fashionable in the 90s, really impeded my speed. I had a mission: to prove my teacher wrong. Because if he was right, then the world was a terrible place. 

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The Woman in the Hat (for Emily)

The bit is between her teeth
But she’s not bridled
Not saddled
And yet, this burden, for her
Is intolerable.
The race she runs in
Can have only one ending
Another may be declared winner,
But she will win.
We all shall.
But, at what cost?
To her the price is final;
No more can she pay, in pursuit
Of this prize.
To those that have come since
A debt will always remain
To the woman in the hat
With the bit between her teeth.

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Rebel With Good Vibrations

The year was 2005 and I was working in a well known high street sex shop on Princes Street Edinburgh. The pretty girls with good boobs stood at the front of the store selling lingerie while my quirkily dressed 20 year old self, who could sell a rubber dildo to an old woman without blushing, worked in the back, beyond all the novelty hen party items, with the sex toys, porn, specialist underwear and bondage wear.

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Having words

I had to ask six people for directions to the Samuel Johnson Museum before I found it. 'I'm shocked,' I told the hapless museum attendant, 'no-one seems to know where you are. There's not a sign in sight till you're almost outside. And twice I've been sent to the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital.'

He shrugged. 'I know. We've been on to the Council to do something.'

'But he's Lichfield's famous son,' I protested, 'born in this very house. People must come from all over the world. They need to find it.'

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Rebel with a Cause

Warning: this piece contains strong language

I am a rebel with a cause

I never pause to think

I dont shrink

the words simply slink from my mouth like angry ink

I splatter them on everyone 

I can't lie, it's kind of fun.

people roll their eyes as i cry,

but what about animals lives? black women, trans and gay, lebsian and bi?

I'm not afraid of a fight.

I need to do what's right, it's my responsibiliy as a cis, straight white. 

I might be a witch

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The Nelson Mandela Freedom March

Nelson Mandela was to be 70 on 18th July 1988. I proposed the motion at the ANC International Solidarity Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, the previous December that the world should celebrate his 70th birthday by demanding the release of Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners from apartheid prisons. So I was committed to joining the Nelson Mandela Freedom March on its way from Glasgow to London, mobilising the people of Britain in the campaign against apartheid.

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We r i people

Ma legs were shakin’ under the table as the community hall filled tae capacity in front a mae. A wiz reminded a midnight mass in the seventies except that a wiz at the tap table, and the priest wiz among the congregation. This memory came back tae me as a read wan a the flyers blowin’ aroon’ the car park where the lock up garages wir bein’ demolished. "NO SHERIFF OFFICERS" wiz the bold message they told, n it star'l'd me ae think how long they'd been layin there undisturbed.

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Rebel Schooldays

I was always at least half in love with my English teachers. Except one. I'll call him Mr. Mann. I think it was the hirsute-ness that intimidated us girls. The boys had nary a whisker between them, but Mr. Mann had hair escaping all over the place. Did I mention? It was the year An American Werewolf in London came out.

Try as I might I couldn't stop staring at his nostril jungle that first day. I was new to the phenomenon of a moustache that started somewhere up in the sinuses.

"Do I know you? I don't remember you from last year." He demanded.

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Fair Fares

I was a young rebel aged 16. It was the early 1970’s and I had been interested in politics at school and joined a political party which I though best represented my views.

After being informed that I had been selected to go to a major conference in my home town of Glasgow, I chose to speak on a subject that was close to my heart: public transport.

The bus fares had been rising progressively for some time with no apparent improvements in the quality of service. I decided that radical, direct action was required to bring this to the forefront of political debate.

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