September ’77Port Elizabeth weather fine

“September ’77Port Elizabeth weather fine It was business as usual
In police room 619.” This is the first line from a Peter Gabriel song titled “Biko” .

When I first heard it, I didn’t know who Biko was or what the context of the song was. Because I liked the song I made it my business to find out. What I discovered shocked me. I will not go too much inti the life of Steve Biko, but I will go into his final hours on earth.

He was a South African anti-apartheid activist. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s. His ideas were articulated in a series of articles published under the pseudonym Frank Talk.

On August 18, 1977, he and a fellow activist were seized at a roadblock and jailed in Port Elizabeth.

On 6 September, he was transferred from Walmer to room 619 of the security police headquarters in the Sanlam Building in central Port Elizabeth, where he was interrogated for 22 hours, handcuffed and in shackles, and chained to a grille. Exactly what happened has never been ascertained, but during the interrogation he was severely beaten by at least one of the ten security police officers. He suffered three brain lesions that resulted in a massive brain haemorrhage on 6 September. Following this incident, Biko’s captors forced him to remain standing and shackled to the wall. The police later said that Biko had attacked one of them with a chair, forcing them to subdue him and place him in handcuffs and leg irons.

Biko was examined by a doctor, Ivor Lang, who stated that there was no evidence of injury on Biko.

According to the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa” report, on September 7, 1977:

“Biko sustained a head injury during interrogation, after which he acted strangely and was uncooperative. The doctors who examined him (naked, lying on a mat and manacled to a metal grille) initially disregarded overt signs of neurological injury.”
By September 11, Biko had slipped into a continual semi-conscious state and the police physician recommended a transfer to the hospital. Biko was, however, transported nearly 750 miles to Pretoria—a 12-hour journey, which he made lying naked in the back of a Land Rover. A few hours later, on September 12, alone and still naked, lying on the floor of a cell in the Pretoria Central Prison, Biko died from brain damage.

South African Minister of Justice Kruger initially suggested Biko had died of a hunger strike and said that his murder “left him cold.” The hunger strike story was dropped after local and international media pressure, especially from Woods. It was revealed in the inquest that Biko had died of brain damage, but the magistrate failed to find anyone responsible. He ruled that Biko had died as a result of injuries sustained during a scuffle with security police while in detention.

Biko never advocated violence, yet he was murdered in the most violent way one can imagine. Murdered by so called officers of the law, who were supposed to protect and serve.

sources

https://www.thoughtco.com/stephen-bantu-steve-biko-44575

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Steve-Biko

Happy Birthday Eddy Grant

Composer, guitarist, and Reggae singer Eddy Grant was born Edmond Montague Grant on March 5, 1948, in Plaisance, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana, to Patrick Alexander Grant, a trumpeter. He has one brother, Rudy Grant. In 1960, he emigrated to London where he studied at Acland Burghley Secondary Modern at Tufnell Park, a school for artistic students. Grant concentrated in music composition.

In 1965, during his junior year, Grant formed the Equals, the United Kingdom’s first ethnically diverse pop group. He graduated in 1966 and two years later the Equals had two hit albums and a minor hit single “I Get So Excited.”

In 1968 Grant and the Equals released “Baby Come Back” which was their first million-selling record. Grant was the lead guitarist and primary lyricist for the song.

On 1 January 1971, Grant suffered a heart attack and collapsed lung, leading to his departure from the Equals to concentrate on production, opening his own Coach House Studios in the grounds of his Stamford Hill home in 1972, and starting Ice Records in 1974, initially distributed by Pye Records and later by Virgin Records.

In 1975 Grant became a solo artist. His 1978 Walking On Sunshine album, the first of his career as a solo artist, was released on the Parlophone music label and sold more than 500,000 copies. It was followed by the 1980 single “Do You Feel My Love” from his album, Can’t Get Enough, which peaked at no. 8 on the UK Singles Chart and reached 39 in the United States, 41 in Australia, and 43 in Germany. In 1982, the album Killer on The Rampage peaked at no. 10 on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold more than one million copies. It reached no. 9 in New Zealand and peaked at no. 11 in both Australia and Germany, no. 30 in Sweden and 45 in the Netherlands indicating that Grant was a major international record artist.

Grant released “Electric Avenue” in 1983 which peaked at no. 2 in both the UK and US and sold more than one million records making it the biggest hit of his career.

During the 1980s when anti-apartheid protest spread throughout the world, Grant supported the movement with his records “Police on my Back” (1980) and “Gimme Hope Jo’anna” (1988) both of which highlighted the racially oppressive South African regime. The South African government banned his songs but “Gimme Hope Jo’anna” reached no. 7 in the UK.

Grant continued releasing albums in the 1990s, including Barefoot Soldier (1990), Paintings of the Soul (1992), Soca Baptism (1993), and Hearts and Diamonds (1999).In 1994 he introduced a new genre, ringbang, at the Barbados Crop Over festival.Grant said of ringbang: “What ringbang seeks to do is envelop all the rhythms that have originated from Africa so that they become one, defying all geographical boundaries.” In 2000 he organised the Ringbang Celebration festival in Tobago. In 2001, a remix of “Electric Avenue” reached no. 5 in the UK and an attendant Greatest Hits album reached no. 3 in that country.

In 2006, Grant released the album Reparation.

In 2008, Grant performed at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert, and also played several dates in the UK, including the Glastonbury Festival.

In 2016, it was announced that Grant would receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the government of Guyana. He was previously honored with a postage stamp featuring his likeness and Ringbang logo by the Guyana Post Office Corporation in 2005.

sources

http://eddygrant.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=8

The slightly more bizarre Olympics.

Art competitions were held as part of the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. Medals were awarded in five categories (architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture), for works inspired by sport-related themes.

The Irish artist Jack Butler Yeats(brother of W.B Yeats) won the silver medal for his painting the “Liffey swim”, as seen above. The gold medal was awarded to Luxembourg artist Jean Jacoby for his painting “”Corner”, “Départ”, and “Rugby”.In fact he also won the Gold medal in 1928, making him the only artist who won 2 medals at the Olympic games.

During the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games Zambia became the first country ever to change its name and flag between the opening and closing ceremonies of an Olympic Games. The country entered the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics as Northern Rhodesia, and left in the closing ceremony as Zambia on 24 October, the day independence was formally declared.

Thankfully, this bloody sport only appeared in the Olympics once, at the 1900 Olympic games in Paris. The competition consisted of shooting as many pigeons as possible in the allocated time. The winner killed 21 birds that day, with an estimated total of 300 fowl killed in the entire competition.

Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by groups called clubs. A country could enter more than one club in the competition, making it possible for one country to earn multiple medals. This happened in 1904, when the United States won all three medals, and in 1908 when the podium was occupied by three British teams. Sweden was also among the top countries with two medals, one as a member of the mixed team.

Either the Olympic committee ran out of ideas, or desperately wanted to relive their glory days of screaming obscenities at kids in gym class. Either way, it was included from 1896 to 1932.

The 1900 Paris Olympics were probably the weirdest. At the 1900 Paris Games, the horse long jump featured as an event.

Even though the winning leap from Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck who was riding the Extra Dry was an impressive 6.10 meters, it didn’t have a patch on the humans taking the same leap of faith. It failed to impress and was axed from the events list afterwards.

In 1900, the Paris Olympics also included a swimming obstacle race. Just like a normal swimming race, except this one had three obstacles including pole climbing and boats to climb onto and swim under.

The event was held in the river Seine, so it was basically in seine(pardon the pun)

Some two dozen countries, mostly from Africa, boycotted the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal after the IOC refused to ban New Zealand from the Games. New Zealand’s national rugby team had toured South Africa, a country that had been banned from the Olympics since 1964 because of its apartheid policies. While the boycott did not succeed in banning New Zealand from the Games, it did have a significant financial and athletic effect on the Games. Most importantly, it brought worldwide attention to apartheid policies in South Africa. In fact, when the South African Springboks took their rugby tour in New Zealand in 1981, they were met with antiapartheid protests.

In 1908, the competition made its official debut in the London Olympics and it was also the last time it took place. The boats had to complete a 40-mile course around Southampton Water but it was a real challenge as the weather was bad and six out of the nine scheduled races were cancelled. The high winds made it difficult for the spectators to even see the action taking place.

sources

1964 – Last Day of Northern Rhodesia

https://www.thecoolist.com/strange-olympics-sports/

https://www.britannica.com/list/7-significant-political-events-at-the-olympic-games

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The “P” batch-The Nazi apartheid regime for Polish labourers

Polenabzeichen

The “P” badge was introduced on 8 March 1940 by the Nazi German government with relation to the requirement that Polish workers (Zivilarbeiter) used during World War II as forced laborers in Germany (following the German invasion and occupation of Poland) display a visible symbol marking their ethnic origin. The symbol was introduced with the intent to be used as a cloth patch, which indeed was the most common form, but also reproduced on documents (through stamps) and posters. The badge was humiliating, and like the  Jewish  yellow star , was meant to be a badge of shame.

Identity_(Ausweis)_card_for_Polish_forced_worker

Zivilarbeiter (German for civilian worker) refers primarily to ethnic Polish residents from the General Government (Nazi-occupied central Poland), used as forced laborers in the Third Reich. The residents of occupied Poland were conscripted on the basis of the so-called Polish decrees (Polenerlasse), and were subject to discriminatory regulation.

Verordnung_30_september_1939

Compared to German workers or foreign workers from neutral and German-allied countries (Gastarbeitnehmer), Polish Zivilarbeiters received lower wages and were not allowed to use public conveniences (such as public transport) or visit many public spaces and businesses (for example they were not allowed to attend German church services, visit swimming pools or restaurants); they had to work longer hours than Germans; they received smaller food rations; they were subject to a curfew; they often were denied holidays and had to work seven days a week; could not enter a marriage without permission; possess money or objects of value. Bicycles, cameras and even lighters were forbidden. They were required to wear a sign – the “Polish-P” – attached to their clothing.

In late 1939 there were about 300,000 prisoners from Poland working in Germany;By autumn of 1944 their number swelled to about 2.8 million (approximately 10% of General government workforce). Poles from territories taken over after the German invasion of the Soviet Union and not included in the General Government were treated as Ostarbeiters.(the designation for foreign slave workers gathered from occupied Central and Eastern Europe to perform forced labor in Germany during World War II)

WWII_OST

The history of Polish Zivilarbeiters dates back to October 1939, when German authorities issued a decree, which introduced mandatory work system for all residents aged 18 to 60. In December 1939, the system also covered those aged 14 to 18, with severe punishments for law breakers. The people who did not work were called by the local authorities, and sent to work in Germany. Since the Third Reich suffered from shortage of workers, as time went by also those Poles who had permanent employment, but were not regarded as necessary for the economy, were sent to Germany. Other methods were also used, such as the infamous roundups, called “łapanka”. Those who did not present a certificate of employment were automatically sent to Germany.

Lapanka_zoliborz_warszawa_Polska_1941

Most Polish Zivilarbeiters worked in agriculture, forestry, gardening, fishing, also in transport and industry. Some were employed as housekeepers. None signed any contracts, and their working hours were determined by the employers.

Anti-Polish_poster_published_by_Volksbund_für_das_Deutschtum_im_Ausland_(Association_for_'Germanness'_abroad)_Gauverband_Danzig_Westpreußen_(Association_of_the_“shire_or_county”,_G

In January 1945 the Central Office for Reich Security proposed a new design for a Polish badge, a yellow ear of corn on a red and white label, but it was never implemented