Dear Terrorists #WeStandTogether

For Manchester x

Dear Terrorists,

You can never win.
Your hate, anger, rage against us is in vain,
You try and then you try again.
But each time we come back stronger and more humane.

Your acts are nothing more than cowardly deeds,
The aim – to plant the hatred seeds of doubts and fears,
Reduce the country and the people to tears.
But every time you rear your ugly heads,
We meet you face on with love instead, and hope and togetherness.
Class, religion and politics get cast aside,
People of all faiths, religions and beliefs side-by-side,
Together we come and in plain sight we stand, not hide,

We do not cower and we will not fear you,
We are humanity, we are one, we belong to something much bigger than you.
And what you fail to grasp,
And what you fail to see,
Is your actions bring out the greatest and best of humanity,
A stronger, more loving society.

Your terror and fear are short lived,
We respond with the love we all have to give.
From the angel of Manchester rescuing fifty kids,
To everyday folk offering up their beds.
Taxi drivers giving rides for free,
Thousands giving blood and hospitality.
All religions, ages, races and creeds.
To the man without a house or home,
Who lept to his feet and raced into danger,
Pulled people out, risked his lives for strangers.
For someone who has nothing to give so much, so freely,
And expect nothing back because “it’s just what anyone would have done”.
Emergency services, our police, paramedics, firefighters and nurses,
To venue staff, who reacted with calm and saved many more people from coming to harm.
Small random acts of kindness – hotels throwing open their doors,
People offering food and sandwiches,
Buskers playing music & singing songs of hope.

The aftermath, a vigil attended by thousands in solidarity,
United as one, a whole,
And that’s the reality.
Although we shed tears, come together and grieve,
And our love and thoughts go to all of the families,
You can never accomplish what you hope to achieve.
Their memories live on, in our hearts, spirits and minds they will never leave.
The fear you seek to create bonds us closer and stronger.
And the one thing we all know to be true,
Our lives will not stop just because of you.
We rise above hate, above racism, religion, above blame.
We see you for what you are and refuse to call you by name.

Dear Terrorists,
You have not won, for tonight the world is united and we all stand as one.

  

  

Collage

   

Have a look at some of the amazing acts of kindness happening in and around Manchester today:

http://bzfd.it/2rdwkpl

The Lonely Refugee (work in progress)

I’m not entirely sure if this is a poem or spoken word or a song. It’s a work in progress at the moment whatever it is.

It’s about refugees and being displaced from your home.

Words and music by Luke John Emmett.

   

  

Lyrics:

Running away from all they know

Each new day a new war zone

Piles of rubble, pools of blood

Death is raining from above.

Streets of terror, human debris

What remains of family?

Nothing left of the place they called home.

  

  

Chorus:

Searching for a place to call home

Travelling down the roads unknown

Hoping that the world will begin to see.

There is nothing different between you and me

Just another lonely refugee.

  

  
Home is more than bricks and mortar

As they make their way across the water

Young Aylan lying dead on the beach

Shipwrecked signs of humanity

Leaving all they know behind

History and piece of mind

Struggling for the right to be free.

  

CHORUS

   
A whole life, condensed to a rucksack

Give them the strength, they need to get back

Keep on going, down that lonely road,

Never knowing what the future holds

Will they make it, to sanctuary

Or will they be drowned on the ferry?

Put on show for the whole world to see.

   

CHORUS:

  
Just another lonely refugee

Just another lonely refugee.

  

  

  

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW MCCONNELL / PANOS

Dear Prime Minister… #ArtsFightBack

I haven’t performed in many years, it wasn’t a conscious choice but it simply did not fit around working professionally in the industry. 

I miss the stage and performing and I feel that it’s time to come back out of hiding backstage and become more than a few carefully written words on a blog page. I can no longer sit in the background being just another disgruntled voice. It’s time to make a stand and be counted. So here is my first “performance” piece for many years.

Written fairly quickly today, the words were swimming around in my head from the moment I opened my eyes and I knew that they had to be written down. But that wasn’t enough, seeing them sitting there on the page before me, these words demanded to be spoken, to be given a voice,  my voice. I just hope I do them justice.

Over the last few days since the results of the election I have felt many things; anger, lost, fear, bewilderment and an overwhelming dark and foreboding feeling of discontent. I took a break from Facebook to try to escape the torrents of negativity…. but still there was a feeling inside me that I just could not shift. I realised I needed to express these fears in the only way that I know how.

So here is my reaction to Britain turning blue…

 

 

Dear Prime Minister,

A message from me to you. From us at the bottom who seek to imbue. From voices unheard, speaking words not blue, for those you forgot as your parliament grew.

This is not just an impassioned plea from a minority, we’re part of the 63% who don’t agree. The 63% that stand for common decency, a 63% who see others living in poverty as the food banks rise but are lost from the media’s deceitful eyes, ignored by the Westminster lies, covered up by the media that we buy. An inconvenience that you refuse to see is the result of your battering of the poorest in society.

You don’t speak for us but listen please. Zero hours contracts aren’t helping the economy, how can people expect stability when their pay and their hours don’t match their abilities and the cost, living life in uncertainty.

Education is not a privilege for the few, it’s the right of everyone. A chance to grow, to experience the world anew. Forcing students into spiralling debt, before they’re even employed and receive their first pay-cheques. Minds that are young and keen to grow, to progress with their lives to expand their minds and learn. Failed by you, the elitist few who look after your own and don’t have a clue.

And what about the vulnerable? The weak not the strong. Who depend on support and help to live their lives and get along? Disability is not a crime, not another section of society that will go away and disappear with time. 12 billion worth of cuts is the price we will pay. Leaving the poorest with nothing but an unfortunate fate. For trying to live, to survive in a system filled with prejudice and hate. How many more must die before you open your eyes to see, do we need to pile up the bodies of those lost in your big society? Your hands are stained with blood of the innocent dead who cannot survive in a world fuelled by your greedy and malevolent lies.

Cuts to our public services, the police, fire fighters and let’s not forget the nurses. But hey, when all the police have gone you’ll bring in private companies like G4S and let them carry on.

Cuts to social care effecting our elderly, you may have forgotten but I haven’t they all fought for me.  For us, for a future where their kids would be free. How can it be just to take away the services which near the end of their lives mean that they can no longer live with dignity?

And people who suffer from mental health, left out in the cold to look after themselves. They don’t fit into the boxes of the Britain you’re making, “mental health’s not an issue the scroungers are faking!” How can you force us to believe it is just, mental health’s a real issue that must be discussed.

Scrapping the Human Rights Act and keeping TTIP. Letting large corporations and businesses run our public facilities. All done in secret to keep us from knowing, the profits of your rich friends will carry on growing. Introducing a British Bill of Rights, separate from Europe that will keep us locked up tight.

But who needs the right to life, the right not to be tortured or treated in an inhumane or degrading way. The right to be free from slavery of forced labour, the right to liberty, the right to a fair trial, the right not to be punished for something which wasn’t against the law at the time, the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The right to freedom of expression. The right to freedom of assembly and association. The right to marry and found a family. The right not to be discriminated against in relation to any of the rights found in the human rights act. The right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions. The right to education. The right to free elections and the abolition of the death penalty…

Michael Gove, the new Justice Secretary, in 1997 said he wanted to bring back hanging. Stop and think about what you are doing and the lives of us, the people with which you are screwing.

There is a saying that our words are our weapons and our pens are our swords, our voices will unite, to fight, to try and make amends. Our messages will echo through your privileged halls, the words of the prophets etched into your walls. We stand for the voices that you fail to hear, for those living in poverty, despair and fear.

And we promise you this we won’t go away. Our art will become stronger and it will be us that lead the way. To save the country that we love from being your prey. Even the darkest of nights lead to a brighter new day. From the ashes of a country which you seek to decimate like a phoenix we will rise and open the floodgates. Our voices as one will sing once more in song, our theatres will be full because united we are strong. Our theatres are much more than buildings with walls, they are communities of people all standing tall, side by side with glimmers of hope and not fear in our eyes.

 

Dear Prime Minister please don’t relax and sit back… because the artists are speaking, and the arts will fight back!

 

Copyright  © Luke John Emmett 2015.

 

For more information about the Arts Fight Back get over to Twitter and search for the hashtag #ArtsFightBack