Cultural Dissent

Chanting “I love Celtics”, Palestinians have released a video praising the fans of Scottish football team Celtic FC for “one of the biggest solidarity actions in European football history”.

It came as Celtic fans raised more than £100,000 by August 23 for Medical Aid Palestine — who deliver health and medical care to those “worse affected by conflict, occupation and displacement” — as well as to the Lajee Center for equipment to start a youth league, TeleSUR English said that day.

Radical Radio: Celebrating 40 years of 3CR
3CR.org.au, $49.50

I love this book. It is a showcase of four decades of Melbourne community radio station 3CR — one of Australia’s oldest and most progressive broadcasters, intertwined with the local and national landscape of political struggle from the mid 1970s until today.

Page after page of informative, entertaining stories make for great reading.


Howard Gayle during his time with Liverpool. Photo: Facebook/Howard Gayle.

The first Black football player for English club Liverpool, Howard Gayle, said he declined a nomination for the Member of the British Empire (MBE) honour because he felt he would be betraying his Black ancestors who suffered oppression at the hands of British colonialism.

During a August 17 European Champions League qualifying fixture in Glasgow against Israeli club, Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel, fans of Glasgow's Celtic FC flew the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Palestine's struggle for freedom. The action came in defiance of UEFA threats to punish the club if fans flew the flag, and even Scottish police threats to arrest fans who flew the flag.


Rafaela Silva.

There is joy in Olympic Rio, make no mistake about it. Maybe it takes two hours to travel 25 miles across the city; and maybe only 15% of the Olympic decorations were delivered; and maybe there are more soldiers on the ground, per capita, than the United States had in Iraq at the height of Bush’s war; but there is joy.

With the highest record of Olympic medals in Latin America, Cuba owes its sports achievements to its socialist revolution.

The devastating US blockade on Cuba, which has lasted for more than 50 years and includes restrictions on the nation's sporting industry, has not stopped the island from becoming the most successful Latin American country in Olympics history.


Celtic fans defy a UEFA ban and police threats to fly the Palestinian flag during against against an Israeli team.

During Glasgow-based football club Celtic FC's August 17 European Champions League qualifying fixture in Glasgow against Israeli club, Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel, Celtic supporters defied an explicit UEFA ban to fly Palestinian flags in solidarity with Palestine's struggle for freedom.

Five new books for green lefts and left greens — as compiled by ecosocialist site Climate & Capitalism, which is edited by Facing the Anthropocene author Ian Angus.

It features Cuban science fiction, the birth of the Anthropocene, agribusiness and disease, surviving catastrophe, rising seas and the private plunder of public assets.

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Fans at Olympic women's soccer hold “Fora Temer” (“Temer out”) signs. August 6.

Jorge Knijnik is a researcher at the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney, and specialist in sport and social justice issues.


Ibtihaj Muhammad.

An American Muslim fencer, who is the country’s first Olympian to wear a hijab, says she does not feel safe in the US due to the country’s increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, The Independent said on August 5.


Author Ian Angus at the launch of 'Facing the Anthropocene'. Sydney, May 13.

Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism & the Crisis of the Earth System
By Ian Angus
Monthly Review Press
New York, 2016

We are living in a time of unparalleled ecological breakdowns and the crisis is much worse than most people realise. There are other books that tell this harrowing story, but Ian Angus's Facing the Anthropocene is different.


Brazil has been hit by anti-government protests in the lead-up to the Rio Games.

When the 2016 Olympic Games began on August 5, it was the culmination of a harrowing, exhausting decade-long battle between the people of Brazil and the demands of those utterly unaccountable, scandal-plagued sports bodies, FIFA and the IOC.


Hebron’s Ahly al-Khalil plays Gaza-based Shejaiya in the 2015 Palestine Cup. Ahly al-Khalil won the title, which it successfully defended on August 2 after Israel caved in to let players travel for the match.

Stingray Sisters
Three-part film series
Directed By Katrina Channells
Released on August 9
Watch at www.stingraysisters.com

Stingray Sisters is a deeply moving three-part documentary highlighting the story of three Aboriginal sisters, Noni, Alice and Grace Eather, and their return to Maningrida in the Northern Territory, from schooling in Brisbane.


Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash.

Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash headed to the Rio 2016 Olympics despite the Israeli occupation making the West Bank-based athlete’s training extremely difficult.

Behind Enemy Lines
Provocalz Ft Ancestress
Released August 7, 2016
Free download
https://provocalz.bandcamp.com/track/behind-enemy-lines

On Monday July 25, Australia's ABC Four Corners program broadcast footage of Aboriginal children being abused in detention, bringing to international attention a story that had been largely ignored for years.

"Behind Enemy Lines" is the measured, heartfelt response from Aboriginal rapper Provocalz and Ancestress, a strong Dawson River Murri mother, singer, rapper, writer, poet, actor and visual artist.

Green Left TV's Zebedee Parkes has had his short film My Friend in Detention has been officially selected to be screened at the Washington DC-based Global Impact Film Fest later this month.


Hebron play Gaza Strip in the 2015 Palestine Cup final at al-Yarmouk Stadium, Gaza City.

Israel prevented at least nine footballers players from crossing from the West Bank into Gaza to join their team for the opening match of the Palestine Cup on July 26.


Gaza. July 2014.

A new short film, Gaza in Context, on the situation in Palestine takes aim at the corporate news media’s coverage of Israel’s July-August 2014 assault on Gaza.

Israel killed 2251 Palestinians during the attacks, including 551 children. About 75,000 people remain displaced two years later.


FBI raid in Miami gathering evidence on FIFA. May, 2015.

The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA
Andrew Jennings
Arrow Books, 2016
305 pages

The unravelling of the empire of Sepp Blatter, the multi-millionaire president of world football, began in 2014.

Palestinians are using the viral smartphone game Pokemon Go, that has taken the world by storm, to highlight their political grievances, News.com.au reported on July 19.

While seemingly innocuous at first, the game has been subject to a number of conspiracy theories, including in China and also among Egyptian security forces, which claims its links to the CIA threatens Egypt's national security.

Ghostbusters
Written by Kate Dippold & Paul Feig
Directed by Paul Feig
Staring Melissa McCarthy; Kristen Wiig; Kate McKinnon; and Leslie Jones
In cinemas now

Internet troll Zane Alchin will be sentenced in Sydney next week after pleading guilty to “using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend”, to wit 55 vile comments on a Facebook post.


Image via Jewish Voices for Peace.

Major literary figures are among more than 150 writers urging Israel to release Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who has been under house arrest since January for a poem she wrote.

Ten-time Grammy Award winner, US musician Pharrell Williams has cancelled his July 21 performance in Tel Aviv amid conflicting explanations.

Over the past year, the “Happy” pop star has faced sustained pressure from the Palestine solidarity movement. Last year, amid rumours that he would be scheduling a Tel Aviv performance, campaigners urged him not to go.

In an open letter, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said that by performing in Tel Aviv, Williams would show himself “indifferent to the suffering of Palestinian children”.

With Serena Williams' record-tying Grand Slam victory July 9, her claim to the best athlete of her generation — male or female — seems irrefutable.

But with the celebrity tennis player's Compton-to-Wimbledon narrative, and emergence as an outspoken and defiant champion of the African American community in the US, is the superstar athlete the most iconic since the late Muhammad Ali?

Professional athletes provide a flicker of hope during these agonising days by speaking out against police violence.

“Shut up and play” clearly doesn't fly when black bodies are falling at the hands of those whose job is to serve and protect. In fact, it's almost surprising now when football and basketball players — the two sports most dependent on black labour — do not speak out.

Tomas Young's War
Mark Wilkerson
Haymarket Books, 2006
225 pages, US$17.95

Tomas Young never even fired his weapon. He was gravely wounded on his fifth day in Iraq in 2004. What followed was a story of unimaginable grit, courage, love, inspiration — and tragedy.

American singer Alicia Keyes has produced a short feature that reimagines the current refugee crisis as if it were taking place in California.

The refugee crisis in the wake of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa has triggered many militant xenophobic responses. But for those on the other side of the world, it can seem a distant reality.

Thus, Keys’ musical short film “Let Me In” aims to put US audiences in the shoes of these refugees.


Jesse Williams used his award acceptance speech to denounce institutional racism and police brutality.

Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams has been attacked for speaking out against racism with an online petition that garnered a paltry 1600 signatures in two days, demanding television network ABC fire the actor.

By contrast a counter-petition in support of the star had received 11,000 signatures by July 4.


England lose to Iceland and “Brexit” from Euro2016, June 27.

What a time to be in London. My family's long-planned vacation has given us a ringside seat for the greatest humiliations suffered by Britain since boxer Frank Bruno tried to take down a young Mike Tyson.

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Jane Mayer
Doubleday, 2016
449 pages

Like “dark matter” — the vast amount of invisible mass that holds the cosmos together — “dark money” is the astronomical quantity of hidden corporate money that holds the conservative US political universe together.

Diet of Austerity: Class, Food & Climate Change
By Elaine Graham-Leigh
Zero Books, 2015

Like the author of this interesting book on food and climate change, I have been struck by the way that the question of diet, and in particular meat eating, has become central to debates on tackling climate change.

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
Presented by Sonny Liew.
Pantheon Books, New York.
322 pages, 2015.

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is the account of the life of a Singaporean comic book artist who started drawing at the age of 16.

From that point, his work depicts his life story in parallel to that of the history of Singapore. In reality, Chan Hock Chye is a fictional creation of Malaysian born comic artist Sonny Liew who has worked on comics such as the New York Times bestseller The Shadow Hero.

In this never-ending election campaign, with uninspiring candidates bashing refugees and the most exciting point of note is an ad that indicates the Liberals think tradies where gold watches, there seems little to smile about. So the satirical show Australia Votes 2016, which premiered at the Harold Park Hotel in Glebe, Sydney on June 24, provides some badly needed relief.

Past sick sadistic tyrants made each victim dig their grave,
Mowed them down without mercy, in wave after wave.
But now heat is the trigger set for the many by the few
Will you be ready when the climate comes for you?

In Karachi they'll be ready when the tide of death rolls in
When the poor and frail fall prey to the oil barons' sin.

The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically
By Peter Singer
Yale University Press, 2015
272 pages

Living up to his moral philosophical tradition of utilitarianism, with its “greatest good” principle, Australian philosopher Peter Singer's latest instalment is The Most Good You Can Do.

The book — endorsed by software monopolists and corporate philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates — is based on Singer's “Castle Lecture” at Yale University in 2013.

Zero K
By Don DeLillo
Simon & Schuster, 2016

Don DeLillo is known as one of America’s great authors, standing out for his effortless wisdom. So, now at 81, it is of no surprise that DeLillo tackles death and immortality in his recent novel Zero K.

Having foreshadowed the horror of 9/11 (Underworld), the Great Financial Crisis and Occupy Movement (Cosmopolis) and the anthrax scare (White Noise), Zero K is his literary prophecy of the commodification of the last dignity: death.

Everyone has a story about Muhammad Ali. For me it was as a young Black high school student in Detroit. I had already seen the wrongs of imperialism and its wars — and of course the racism Blacks faced in Detroit.

Ali as a Black man and Muslim was a powerful symbol of courage. His willingness to give up his boxing career in the 1960s to stand with the Vietnamese against the US government waging war on them reflected the stirrings of militant Black pride growing in Detroit.

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