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Showing posts from June, 2019

How can we do activism if we don't have community?

This week I went to a climate action meeting. Over fifty people gathered and there was an organised conversation for two hours about the climate crisis and environmental issues. The discussion covered so many different things: food waste, recycling, vegetarianism, nuclear weapons, education. But what does it add up to? A list of things that "we" could do, or that "someone" could do. The trouble is I come out of such meetings thinking "we" haven't really committed to take any definite action, because no one said "I will do this (with some help)." I didn't say that either. So there's just a list of things "we" could do, and no one to do them. The meeting ended and we all went home. So what was the point? My cynicism is partly due to the fact that I went to a very similar meeting about two months ago, organised by a different organisation, that did almost exactly the same thing. Again, without any actual outcome. And it&#

Knowing the reality of God's love

I want to write about how it's possible to know the reality of God's love. I find this challenging as for a long as I can remember I have had a relationship with God. Growing up going to church I discovered God amidst the music, the hymns, the ritual. I talked to God and I always felt God was there. This is not to say that it's always been plain sailing and there's not been times of doubt and dullness. That have been, but my relationship with God has remained. But I want to try to write something that might be useful to someone who hasn't had that experience and who might find the idea of God rather puzzling or mystifying or just plain weird. Ralph Waldo Emerson advised his contemporaries to “dare to love God without mediator or veil”. I think this points us in the right direction, even though it's advice that many religious people have not taken. But God (according to the radical mystical tradition that Emerson represents) should not be something experi

The 1919 Cardiff Racist Riots

I only just found out about the riots that took place 100 years ago in Cardiff, that killed several people. I wish I could link to one comprehensive webpage that gives the full history, but I don't think one exists. It's a surprisingly hidden piece of history. The 1919 Cardiff Racist Riots lasted several days with white crowds attacking black and minority ethnic communities, and homes. I feel like we should call them "racist riots" rather than "race riots" as "race riots" suggests a neutrality with blame equally on both sides when this was clearly primarily an attack from the white population on the black and middle eastern populations of Cardiff. Particularly targeted were mixed race families and white women who has married black men. Cardiff was not isolated but this was part of a pattern that affected Barry, Newport, as well as English and Scottish port towns where there were ethnic minority populations. High unemployment, newspapers w