Steel Pulse – “Put Your Hoodies On [4 Trayvon]” (3rd Anniversary Edition) (Official HD Music Video 2015)

I was still in Amerikkka when the innocent 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot down.  I had attended a candle lit vigil in his memory at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, where the violin was played and certain professors made speeches about injustice and racism.  The moving speeches aimed to remind us that brutal incidents such as this are not a new phenomenon (remember Amadou Diallo?) but neither a thing of the past.  Indeed, police brutality has been in the forefront these last couple of years all over the world. I take this opportunity to send my prayer for the end of unjust human suffering that plagues the earth today.  Big up David Hinds and Steel Pulse for paying a tribute to Travyon and spreading the positive message of unity and equality against injustice…

“Steel Pulse originally released this track and music video on the second anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, which occurred on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, FL. This is an updated version released to mark the third anniversary of his slaying. Gone, but not forgotten.

This song marks the first official contribution to a Steel Pulse studio track by Baruch Hinds, son of Steel Pulse lead singer David Hinds. Shot on location at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington D.C., and in Sanford, Florida.”

Directed by Yonathan Gal // Cinematographer: Trishul Thejasvi // Editor: Rory Gordon // 1st AC: Raul Rivero // Camera Assistants: David Revenkov & Brandon Gordon

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“Censorship and the Third Section: How thinking became dangerous in 19th Century Russia”, an original history research paper by rootsnwingz

Introduction

When Nicholas I succeeded his older brother Alexander and became the tsar of Russia in late 1825, the attitude of the state towards its subjects changed dramatically. Nicholas’s thirty year long autocratic rule is characterized by oppressive reforms aimed at maintaining the status quo and preventing dissent in a time of socio-political instability and uncertainty. Any kind of unconventional thought or criticism of the state had to be considered a threat to the tsar’s authority and, as a consequence, Nicholas sought complete control over what could be safely published. Strict censorship laws were enacted, while a secret police, which became known as the “Third Section”, was re-established in order to regulate the press. Writers who refused to obey the tsar’s guidelines and wished to be the sole authority over their writings’ style and content were ruthlessly persecuted.

But was Nicholas’s austerity paranoid? In fact, Nicholas had real reasons to be concerned about his position on the throne and to worry about dissent. First of all, when he came to power, he immediately had to deal with the Decembrist Uprising. This uprising is generally understood as the manifestation of the educated elite’s disappointment with Alexander’s liberal, yet ineffective, government. More notably, it “produced the first open confrontation between the autocracy and members of the intelligentsia.” (Shatz, 31)

Despite the fast suppression of the Decembrist Uprising, Nicholas was left convinced that he had to adopt stricter policies. Moreover, keeping in mind that at the same time in the 19th century, revolutionary movements were blooming all over Europe, he must have been terrified by the possibility of the creation of an influential movement of dissent. “The very foundations of autocratic rule were menaced by the changes in social thought brought about by the growth of revolutionary successes abroad and their influence on internal politics at home” (Squire, 48).

As a result, the priority of Nicholas’s reforms was to ensure that public opinion agreed with the government’s views and thus, censorship and persecution on the grounds of crimes of thought reached unprecedented heights in Russian history. The success of the French revolution was also the reason why Nicholas denounced French philosophy and the Enlightenment ideas, which had been propagated in the 18th century by Catherine the Great. In the 19th century, however, such ideologies were considered dangerous. Nevertheless, Nicholas was not afraid of all Western thought. In fact, he was particularly fond of German philosophy, such as Hegel and the other “Idealists”. Therefore, the cultural shift from France to Germany reflects that the tsar had carefully observed the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and had thus witnessed the double risk of overexpansion and fall of autocracy, which were probably his two biggest fears.

The Decembrist Uprising played a vital role in ascertaining the divide between the government’s interests and the interests of the people, especially the educated elite. In this sense, Nicholas’s adversaries were now identifiable; they were the writers, poets and playwrights who dared to challenge –either directly or subliminally- the state’s authority over the people. Therefore, perhaps for the first time, the intelligentsia was recognized as the most influential threat to the existing order in Russia. The fact that Nicholas now regarded the intelligentsia as the state’s visible internal enemy explains the abundance of repression that freethinking intellectuals faced in the second quarter of the 19th century. In other words, the absurdity of the censorship laws and the birth of the secret police affirm Nicholas’s fearfulness of the intelligentsia.

Therefore, the present research paper is an examination of Nicholas’s censorship laws and the “Third Section’s” activity. I primarily aim to demonstrate how the intelligentsia had a real effect on the society they lived in and belonged to, which in turn became a serious cause of concern for the authorities and has led to atrocious and oppressive government responses. In addition, I intend to look into the ways “intelligenty” overcame or eluded national policing, as well as the cases where they were less fortunate and paid a heavy price for their mental freedom. Specifically, illustrative examples from the lives of Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin will be provided to help the reader get a clearer idea of the limitations and sufferings they endured due to Nicholas’s repression. The fact that poets and novelists were exiled or sent off to mental asylums suggests that, historically, Russian authorities have been deeply troubled by the intelligentsia’s activity, especially its capacity to change sociopolitical structures and express dissent from the autocracy. This is why I believe that an inquiry into the censorship laws and the “Third Section” will serve to contextualize the intelligentsia’s experience under the rule of Nicholas I.

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“Babylon Brutality” – Marlon Asher (New Official Music Video 2015)

marlonasher
Best known for his hit tune “Ganja Farmer”, Marlon Asher, the Trinidadian reggae singer from Enterprise, Chaguanas, returns to the frontline with a brand new powerful song and video against police brutality. Marlon Asher’s perfect flow, positive vibes and conscious, original and notably relevant lyrics depicting the sad, unjust sociopolitical climate, combined with a big sound, reaffirm his singing talent and ability to create reggae masterpieces. “Babylon Brutality” is the first single off Marlon’s upcoming album “Illusions”, out January 13th 2015. I am happy to see Marlon making quality productions once again and getting the recognition he truly deserves. I await the new album’s release in anticipation and with high hopes. Enjoy & share the excellent reality tune & video here!

“Hands Up I Can’t Breathe” – Steel Pulse (New Single December 2014) Listen & read full lyrics!

Brand new tune by the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse and David Hinds, livicated to the lives that have been recently unjustly taken by police brutality and racist discrimination, in particular the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this past August. Once again and after all their years of making music, Steel Pulse always deliver a notably strong and relevant message. Still chanting down Babylon as 2015 approaches… Listen and read / share the full lyrics below!

Lyrics (transcribed by rootsnwingz):

Should I run away

Don’t get disillusioned
By this racist institution
The bigots are out there with their weapons too
Yes they’re aiming just to gun down our children

So let me tell you this time around
Yes, we’re gonna draw this line right now
Our common goal is to stand our grounds
You got the city on lock down

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
Shoot I to keep my mouth shut
What do you want from me?

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
No doubt, you got the handcuffs
I’m choking, I can’t breathe

Why should I run away? Curfew!

Do I lay dead as a victim
Another statistics to the system
All kinds of crazy shit flow through my mind
Do I left to raise my children
So I’m gonna tell you this time around
What goes around, yes will come around
Is it defiance that has me bound
You got this whole town on lock down

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
Shoot I to keep my mouth shut
What do you want from me?

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
No doubt, you got the handcuffs
I’m choking I can’t breathe

I’m down on my bended knees
I’m choking I cannot breathe
I beg you don’t tazer me

Why should I run away?

Is it because I’m happy?
Why you so trigger happy?

Don’t shoot!

police brutalityUndercover cop pulls pistol on unarmed civilians in Oakland, California.

“Ασφάλεια” – Κακό Συναπάντημα (Unofficial Lyric Video by rootsnwingz)

Unofficial lyric video of a great song by Greek reggae band “Kako Synapantima”, on the classic “Solomon” riddim.  The lyrics are a clever and ironic commentary on city life and particularly the current tragico-comic security measures in Athens and Thessaloniki (The increased presence of police and army in the streets, discrimination, abuse of power and especially undercover informas). Video made by rootsnwingz, lyrics are in Greek and were transcribed by rootsnwingz.

Ανεπίσημο lyric video ενός άψογου και επίκαιρου κομματιού από την ελληνική reggae μπάντα ¨Κακό Συναπάντημα”.  Έξυπνοι στίχοι γεμάτοι ειρωνία και χιούμορ για την τραγική πραγματικότητα της ζωής στην πόλη. Δείτε το βίντεο για να ακούσετε το κομμάτι βλέποντας τους στίχους. Καλή Απόλαυση!


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