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Missing ☮ collaboration with THTC

The true capabilities of the WaWe 9000 Water Cannon the Mayor and the Metropolitan Police don’t want you to know.

I would like to start by referencing an article by Phillip Oltermann published in the guardian earlier this month; Phillip exposed how the German authorities are currently phasing out the WaWe 9000 due to safety fears”. Here is what I consider to be 3 key pieces of information obtained from his report: 


  1. An engineer at Ziegler with whom this recent deal has been struck told the Guardian that the cannons the government have just purchased have been built no more recently than 1995 and still use old-fashioned, pre-digital technology inside the passenger cabin”. 

  1. The German police have themselves admitted that several flaws in the design of the WaWe 9000 contributed to the death of left-wing activist G√ľnter Sare, who was ran over by a WaWe 9 at a protest march in 1985. German police officers also described the aiming of the cannons powerful water jets at a specific target as "a matter of luck" and that the vehicles suffered from engine noise and a cockpit layout which meant those inside had only a limited sense of what was happening outside. 

  1. Video evidence of Robert Booth, a reporter invited to take part in a military training exercise in Belgium to demonstrate how water cannon could be used to peacefully disperse large crowds. Despite assurances from everyone involved that officers “never aim for the head” as a matter of policy, Robert was unexpectedly and unintentionally hit in the back of the head during filming. Robert was clearly unnerved by the experience and concluded that “Despite their high tech systems, these weapons seem as capable of being miss-controlled as any other – and the fear is that if you can be accidently hit in the head during a simple training exercise, worse could happen in real life if they are introduced on our city’s streets”.  


It is important to bear in mind that this accident happened in a controlled environment, with water cannon equipped with technology far superior to that of the “pre-digital” WaWe 9000’s that Boris has decided are fit for policing in London. Sohow exactly are the police planning to minimize the risk of accidents of this nature - given that they will be operating outdated and now unwanted weapons based on pre digital technology?  
With some of the most vulnerable people in this country the most at risk from austerity measureshow long is it before someone is innocently struck down by one of these monsters and is seriously injured or [god forbid] loses their life as a resultTaking this hypothetical a stage further, what if the police were to deal with this incident in the same irreprehensible way that they dealt with the case of Mark Duggan? Then the powers might actually have a riot on their hands.  

As if the incredible force behind these weapons was not enough - something that nobody in power is telling us about is that these vehicles are also designed to be filled with tear gas and are capable of delivering this upon demonstrators with just as much devastating ease as they can water. While I am not at all suggesting that the second these weapons arrive in London the Metropolitan Police are going to have a field day and start dousing innocent protesters with tear gas, they will soon have the capability to do so. Such an act would of course require approval from the home office, however - given that Boris has already decided to purchase these weapons at the behest of the Metropolitan Police without waiting for a final decision from Teresa Ma how can we trust both him and the metropolitan police to respect these procedures in the future? It is also worth noting that any future home office approval could also lead to the use of “smart water”, which contains an invisible marking identifying an individual’s presence if hit or sprayed at a protest or demonstration.  

Yet another reason to oppose the purchase of water cannon that I am not hearing nearly enough about is that these vehicles are expected to last at least 5 years. With a general election looming on the political horizon, do we really want to hand over the potential power of these weapons to an as yet unknown ruling majority?  

Finally, it strikes me as somewhat ironic that in the very weekend following Boris decision to purchase not one, not two, but THREE of these dangerous and undemocratic monster’s to control future protests  against austerity - 50,000 people took to the streets to take part in the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – the demonstration, which brought central London to a standstill last Saturday involved a march from the BBC’s office at Portland Place and a rally outside the Houses of Parliament. Tens of thousands of people marched in unity from across the political spectrum to demand an alternative - and not one arrest was made. Yet further evidence that there really is no justification for the purchase of these weapons to tackle political unrest on this issue - which is probably why the BBC practically ignored the gathering on their doorstep – and why David Cameron declined to comment altogether. 

If the powers that be are in genuine fear of violent unrest due to future austerity measures being announced – they need to start a genuine dialogue with the public and hold genuine opportunities for debate on the alternatives.  

We need to call on Teresa May and the Metropolitan police to service to reverse this decision and assure us that these dangerous weapons will never reach our shores, just as we have assured them that we are equally as fearful of losing our democratic right to demonstrate peacefully in Britain – and that nothing – not even 21,000 gallons of water will serve to dampen our spirits, our cleanse our commitment to justice. 


You can call Teresa May at the Home Office and voice your opposition on 0207 219 5206.




New poem, "Frack Off" recorded for Vivienne Westwood at Climate Revolution HQ on World Poetry Day 2014

Despite mounting opposition for its contributions towards climate change, over hyped economic benefits and links to water contamination in both the USA and in Australia - the present government, with David Cameron at it's head, has already started the process of selling off up to 60% of the UK mainland to the major oil and gas companies for the purposes of hydraulic fracturing. AKA Fracking. No public debate, no asking what we think before the beauty of our historic English countryside is potentially scarred forever - just kick-backs for local councils who decide to go along with the ride,

And a frack-friendly media, packing mouthfuls of lies served in a Bernays sauce. 

We need to demand a cleaner and greener future, based on the cutting of waste and the move to renewable energy sources - fracking is clearly not the way forward. The devastating effects of Hydraulic Fracturing in a number of countries has provided us with enough evidence to show fracking for it's true nature; 

Dirty, damaging, and downright dangerous.  






To find out more about the dangers of Fracking - or if you would like to become actively involved in the push back against it there are numerous sources (and resources) available online through Climate RevolutionFriends of the EarthThe EcologistFrack Off' and many other anti-fracking resistance groups and environmentally conscious publications around the globe. 

"Frack Off", which Vivienne kindly asked me to perform for Climate Revolution on World Poetry Day will be live Monday 24th March on www.climaterevolution.org.uk.


New poem for the "No Glory in War" campaign


Very pleased to announce that I have been commissioned by Jeremy Corbyn MP to compose a poem for the "No Glory in War" campaign - as this year marks the 100th anniversary of WW1. 


David Cameron wants a commemoration that captures our 'national spirit' like the Queen's Jubilee celebrations...

The campaign letter has already been signed by Jude Law, Billy Bragg, Alan Rickman, Vivienne Westwood, Brian Eno, Patrick Stewart, Carol Anne Duffy, Ken Loach, Tony Benn and many more. 



The Tories love their stories - but we're not going to let them re-write history - and ignore the devastating political, social and environmental effects of a world at war.


You can find out more about the No Glory campaign and sign the letter yourself by clicking HERE






"The Power of a Young Poet", article for the latest edition of Green Spirit magazine

Really pleased to post that I have written my first magazine article for Green Spirit. The team have kindly asked me to write a little about the major life events that have shaped my political and environmental ideals, poetry and activism. From the horrific attacks of September 2001 (Age 13) and the wars that followed, to growing up on the outskirts of beautiful Dartmoor.

An extract from my educational poem, "The Power of Young People" is also featured in the back of the latest issue which is entitled, "Youth, Tomorrow's leaders, today".




Green Spirit is available at various outlets throughout the UK including Watkins Bookshop in London. You can find out more about the latest edition of Green Spirit and how to get hold of a copy by clicking HERE.

"Green Spirit is an invaluable source of insight, information and inspiration" - Sir Jonathon Porrit.





Oxford Human Rights Festival 2014 - Anthony Anaxagorou, Azfa Awad and Martin Powell.

Join Anthony Anaxagorou, Azfa Awad and Martin Powell at Truck Store, 101 Cowley Road , Oxford, Wednesday 26th February 2014, 7pm. 

FREE event, tickets can be reserved through online here or at the venue. 









Two poems to be published in May by Editions Hatier, France

Really excited to post news that both “Global Warning”, and another of Martin's poems, “Affirmations”, are due to be published by Editions Hatier in the Spring. They will be featured in the "Green Art"  of section of a new English Learning textbook "Meeting Point 2" and will be available to over 40,000 students in France.

Featured alongside one of Bansky's environmental works, Martin's poems will be stimulus for an interactive learning project encouraging students to - among other things - improve their vocabulary, create varied works of environmental art including their own rhymes with "5 personal resolutions to save the world" in preparation for Earth Day 2014.






Resurgence & Ecologist - annual Festival of Wellbeing: The shift from economic growth to growth in wellbeing.

The Resurgence & Ecologist - Festival of Wellbeing explores 'wellbeing' from from environmental, personal, political and economic perspectives.

Speakers this year included: Alys Fowler, Tony Juniper, Satish Kumar, Ruth Padel, Vandana Shiva, Edward Skidelsky, Ben Okri and Rowan Williams.

 Martin was spontaneously invited onstage by Vandana Shiva, where here received a standing ovation for his first public performance of "Recipe for Disaster", a new poem on GMO food giant, Monsanto. 

Later that day, he traveled with Vandana to perform at the "Worldwide March Against Monsanto" outside the Houses of Parliament








"Martin's Monsanto poem holds devastating power. I heard the first public reading at the Festival of Wellbeing in London. It brought truth with clarity, not least with a kind of conviction and passion that is all too rare." 

- Tony Juniper 

Watch Martin performing Recipe for Disaster HERE.


Missing ☮ collaboration with THTC

 "Missing Peace" t-shirts, based on Martin's poem "The Missing Peace" are currently produced by THTC, recently named the UK's most ethical menswear brand in a report by Ethical Consumer. THTC are far more than just a clothing company - they are also committed activists who raise awareness on a number of issues, from tourettes to human trafficking, youth depression to medical cannabis, police brutality and corrupt governments.

Missing Peace t-shirts are sold throughout the UK and Europe, made from recycled plastic bottles, hemp and 100% carbon neutral organic cotton.  Martin does not profit from the sales of Missing Peace clothing, which he created to draw attention to the ongoing construction of the "west bank barrier" in occupied Palestine.


"The Missing Peace", Free Palestine Protest, Downing St, 14/05/2011




Footage: "The Missing Peace" at National Demonstration: End the Siege on Gaza. On 24/11/12 over 10,000 people turned out in the pouring rain to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza and to march peacefully in support of a free Palestine.



Spreading the spoken word...




Mobo award-winning Alborosie's band onstage at Brixton Electric in "Missing Peace" t-shirts


Shlomo,World Record holding Beatboxer and World Looping Champion


Legendary UK Poet & Author, Prof. Benjamin Zephaniah 


Joe Glenton, the first British soldier to refuse to fight in Afghanistan on moral grounds. Anti-war activist and author of award-winning "Soldier Box". 


Oliver Heath, sustainable architectural and interior designer, 
TV presenter & writer. 


Fliptrix, Founder of High Focus Records 



Rupert "Bass6" Oldridge, Beatboxer, Compare, 
Events Organiser at UK Beatbox Championships








New poem for the #WISH20 campaign

 #WISH20

We’re living in hard times under the sun
The laws that protect us are coming undone
We’ve poisoned our land and we’ve blackened our soil
Paved the way for disaster with tarmac and oil

We can no longer live without thought to our fate
And it’s time to act now before it’s too late

So wish plenty for WISH20, make them with care
Wrap them in dreams, send them into the air
Because it’s clear in our atmosphere, it’s time to repair

George Orwell once said, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.

I say, in times of environmental defeat, a crime against peace is an evolutionary pact.

 

  Wish20 is a global citizens initiative which seeks to have Ecocide brought into law as a Crime Against Peace by 2020. This would sit alongside Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes & the Crime of Aggression.

By signing the Wish20 petition we can call on our world leaders to end the mass damage and destruction our planet faces every day, and together we can end this era of Ecocide.