Free Nelson Mandela
A song for Jules Radich, who referenced Nelson Mandela on his OAR interview.
The South African Embassy in Trafalgar square always used to have people protesting outside it back in the 80s due mostly to Mandela's popularity in left wing circles and the South Africa apartheid governments intransigence on his release. It was far more political in Europe back in the 80s, feminism, workers rights and racism were the main issues that I remember. As well as the poll tax riots and CND protests outside the American military bases. Thatcher, and much of the right of course didn't take too much to Mandela until after apartheid collapsed. If they had of, such songs as this one would never have needed to have been.
I wasn't asked who my real life hero was at Opoho (Phillip tended to miss some questions of all of us on occasion). I wasn't even sure who I was going to say at the time as I don't really believe in 'heros' as such but it probably would have been Chomsky for being so on song for so long despite the flak that he's had to put up with over the years. My wife certainly expected that was who I was going to mention and he was first to mind. Others might have been Magdalen Berns who died only a few days ago or the Suffragettes who were sometimes rather novel in their protest methods. But my focus changes often and I think 'respect' might have been a better question rather than 'hero'. Michael Joseph Savage and John A. Lee would be two from New Zealand a social reformer from Melbourne and a radical firebrand from Otago.... One remembered with fondness and the other somewhat forgotten despite the fact that the policies of Savage were often actually Lee's. But left wing politics these days is very much an identity parade. I can't even.
The fire today on Signal hill was arson by most accounts. There was much wind and sun today, so it did take off. Later tonight at Waitati there seemed much support for harnessing these two forces of nature, rather than just releasing them.
And as Peter from Waitati said tonight, we're one people now, no matter where we originally came or come from. Climate change is something that we can only do together in as he said 'the same waka'. After 180 or more years together it would be hard to separate us anyway. And we should not try to. I can remember being quite upset when Eva Rickard died, and I never went on a march with her. But I certainly grew up with her, and both of us were/are from the Waikato. Plus who is we exactly? We have mosques and temples as well as churches and maraes these days.