ShoutoutUK - all we need is a chance!

Shout Out UK provides a voice for those ignored by traditional media; we stand for the oppressed, the disenfranchised and the misunderstood. We need young people in politics; we wish to bust the myths in politics and make that happen!

Bullet Reports

Our Bullet reports give you clear, jargon free information. All reports can be found on the website.

A New World

Shout Out UK operates on various social media platforms, offering a voice for all the disenfranchised masses

Campaigning

We have experienced campaign managers ready to launch effective, professional campaigns. These same professionals offer guides on how to join front line politics and campaign. All guides can be found on our site.

Wanted - Young and ambitious!

ShoutoutUK offers the opportunity for anyone to work and write for its on-line platform in the hope of helping budding journalists and political activists. We wish to one day be able to offer a wider range of opportunities for today and tomorrows generation.

The Left Parallel Society

The LPS is a society directed by ShoutoutUK. LPS is a project which promotes a society with out division and a different economy, where members trade skills and products for other skills and products.

SHOUT OUT UK: Providing an alternative voice. Support US

Monday, 3 September 2012

24 hour Count down for new site up grade



24 hour count down to new site launch!!!

Soon we shall be launching our new and dynamic site. News will never be the same.

We have aimed for it to be concise, readable and user friendly. Our new breaking news system will examine a variety of news sites to bring you a more informative and fact filled news update.

Spreading information = spreading progress 

Shout Out UK Team

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Pussy Riot, down for 2 years



The news last week that the three members of the Russian Punk feminist band Pussy Riot have been sentenced to two years in prison has come as a shock to the many who have petitioned against their charges; in the words of Amnesty International: “Free speech has just taken a huge blow”.

However to many the verdict has come as no surprise. Some British and American journalists have already condemned the west’s reaction as hypocrisy, with some citing last year’s prison sentences for rioters as being equally ‘disproportionate’. But mostly this is a result anticipated by Russia’s citizens themselves, few of whom seem to have been following the trial closely, if at all (despite the image created by news reports of protestors outside the court in Moscow). The general response from the Russian public has reportedly been disagreement with what they consider an offensive act and invasion of a place of worship. This disagreement has been illustrated in a survey by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center (a Russian non-governmental research organization) in which 1,600 people from 45 regions of Russia were questioned on their feelings towards the members of Pussy Riot, to which a large majority (51%) responded negatively and 20% were neutral or indifferent; only 6% were sympathetic towards the group.

The argument that the group’s illicit concert was politically motivated has been rebuffed by both the court and much public opinion. In the same survey, the response to the question “Who do you think Pussy Riot’s actions were directed against?” showed votes were almost equal for “Against the participation of the church in politics”, “Against the church and the faithful” and “Against Putin”.

The court, on the other hand, was decided in their verdict that they did not find the actions of Pussy Riot to have political motives, rather they “clearly expressed their religious hatred and hostility toward Christianity.” Judge Marina Syrova stated that according to the Russian constitution “Any form of limitation of the rights of citizens based on their gender, and so on, is banned by the Russian constitution ... [Feminist] activities are not considered criminal in accordance with the Russian law”. She then continued by saying that “[However] Orthodox Christianity, Catholic Christianity and other denominations do not agree with feminism and their own values are not in line with feminists”, insisting on the importance of mutual respect between groups and the rights of differing opinions.

Despite the somewhat contradictory nature of the judge’s speech, it is easy to see why, in the eyes of the church and public, the actions of Pussy Riot were considered offensive and amounted to hooliganism. As the UK would like to pride itself on its ability to be sensitive to the views of different religions, so it is not unreasonable for the members of the Orthodox Church to ask the same of their own country. The anger towards ‘hooliganism’ protest methods has been aggravated by the actions of Femen, a Ukrainian feminist group who has made the news with its topless protests and anti-religious stance. Its reaction to the imprisonment of Pussy Riot was to cut down a crucifix monument (erected as a memorial to the millions who suffered under the oppression of Stalin and the Soviet Secret Police) with a chainsaw as an act of ‘solidarity’.

The existence of other political singers who have directly criticised the Russian government, and who enjoy popularity, appears to confirm that the guilty verdict is based on the offence caused and negates the perceived limitations on free speech in Russia. In early November 2011, a video of the song “Pismo Schastya” (Letter of Happiness) was posted on YouTube by the popular self-made Russian singer Vasya Oblomov and another well known Russian rapper. The lyrics of the song tell of drunks who write a letter to Putin in mock praise of his actions, including the lines:

“As we say, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to you what it yours.”

“To be honest, in the elections none of us voted / People chose you without us of course / If not you then who else?”

“Vladimir, for Russia – you are the dearest!”

Then earlier this year, an independent Russian TV station premiered Oblomov’s latest song "Poka Medved!” (Bye, Bear!) which accuses President Dmitry Medvedev of election fraud (the word medved means "bear" in Russian and the surname "Medvedev" means "of the bears"); the video reached more than a million hits in the first day of its release. Other popular musicians who have spoken out about politics include rapper Noize MC, who writes about social issues, and Yuri Shevchuk, singer and founder of the rock band DDT, who has openly criticised Putin’s undemocratic government, demonstrated against the 2008 presidential elections and organized peace concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg to protest the Russian-Georgian war.

However, it should not be said that the fact that Pussy Riot's actions have been condemned means that their motives are not valid; the fight for political freedom, less corruption and more equality still needs to be fought. Femen, who also protest against sex tourism, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social issues, have hit back against comments that they are “provocative” and “tasteless” by saying "This is the only way to be heard in this country. If we staged simple protests with banners, then our claims would not have been noticed". On many occasions the voices of the Russian public have gone unheard in a country tarnished by corruption within its government and institutions (although many were against Pussy Riot, in response to the question "Do you think that the court is objective and impartial?" only 11% of people voted “Definitely yes”).

The smirks on the faces of Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevitch and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova as the verdict was read out suggest that they were always aware of their impending prison sentence. Unlike other countries that have backed down to international pressure, Putin’s government, patriarchal and intimidating, would never have been swayed by western opinion, let alone the opinion of an all female feminist punk band. In an interview with Russian internet publication Private Correspondent a few years ago, Vasya Oblomov stated “I think that musicians do not have to fight social evils and the population itself, in principle, should not allow this evil ... The general state of affairs in our country is, for some, desperate. There is the feeling like at the end of the "Three Sisters" by Chekhov: ‘We have to live ...’”

BY: Bryony Cottam


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Friday, 31 August 2012

Hollande’s Promise of Change


Hollande’s Promise of Change: 
Waiting for the Fight against Racism

(Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood)


The small shops along the city quays are unusually quiet, their shutters pulled down early. These épiceries, or convenience shops, can be found across Bordeaux, often tucked away in the tiny backstreets, offering fruit and veg, toilet paper and toiletries, rotisserie chicken and spirits. Beside the shuttered shop fronts, light spills out onto the street from nearby restaurants where people are drinking on the terraces and the street.


The reason for the new closing hours: a recent spate of fatal accidents after several young men, in the early hours after a night of drinking, have fallen victim to the river Garonne which runs through city centre. In response to these incidents, Mayor Alain Juppé insisted that actions would be taken to control the “hyper-alcoholism” of young people in Bordeaux, targeting all alcohol retailers including shops, bars and pubs. So far, two months later, the only retailers on whom any sanctions have been imposed are the épiseries, largely owned by French citizens of North African origin, who have been ordered to close their doors at 10pm, four hours earlier than usual.

Shop owner Radhouane Ben Yarou stated in an interview with the newspaper Sud Ouest, “it’s discriminatory compared with other establishments like bars and clubs which will continue to serve alcohol.” The new rules are particularly perplexing in light of police reports that have stated accidents as having taken place immediately following a night out, often listing the names of numerous clubs where the young men had been drinking. Bordeaux, a word synonymous with alcohol, is host to many pubs, clubs, even companies which provide home deliveries of spirits and wines until 3am, making the source of the problem difficult to locate. As if to illustrate this, a sixth man has been reported missing after having been spotted in the river on Thursday 28th June, the first night of Bordeaux’s biennial Wine Festival which takes place on the quays. However, this will not help the case of shop owners as the new law will not be reviewed until the 15th November, by which time it will already have taken a financial toil on business; according to Ben Yarou the sale of alcohol alone after 10pm represents a minimum of 30% of their total sales.

As a result, many shop owners feel unjustly targeted by new rules, a feeling that is echoed by many citizens and councillors, some of whom suggest that this, and the planned redevelopment and hike in rent of one of the city’s predominantly Arab areas, reveal a growing trend to push Arabs from the city centre.

France, long known for its reputation for racial prejudice, has done little to dispel its negative image in recent years. It has been nearly three months since the controversial rise in popularity of the National Front, France’s far-right political party, threatened to make a greater impact on the 2012 presidential elections. However even less extreme parties have made headlines for prejudiced comments; the centre-right UMP have often come under scathing attacks from critics, most notably due to Nicolas Sarkozy who has been accused of inciting Islamophobia on many occasions, and recently due to the comments of the previous Minister of the Interior and UMP member Claude Guéant, who at a student conference earlier this year claimed that “all civilisations are not equal”.

In comparison, after his election as president, François Hollande vowed to “fight racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination” during his inauguration speech in May. He has even proposed giving non-EU residents of France the right to vote in local elections (currently the law allows EU citizens this right). So far we have seen little evidence of this from the man who, three months after elections, is still trying to establish his presidency. Although Hollande has made a reputation for himself as being ‘close’ to the people of France, reports published last week by newspaper Le Figaro suggest voters are now sceptical about his promises, with a poll suggesting 51% of people are already unhappy with the new president.

There are more issues behind the problem of racism in France than just voting rights and immigration. For many second generation immigrants identity, or a lack thereof, plays an important role. While most have grown up entirely in France and have no real link with the country of their parents’ birth, neither are they ever fully accepted by French society and are often referred to, particularly in the media, by their origins rather than their French nationality. Integration is difficult for many, especially for those from poorer backgrounds, and laws like the 2011 ban on the burqa, coupled with the continued reluctance of some French employers to recruit minorities and rampant racism within the police forces, have sparked resentment with many non-white citizens rejecting their own nationality in a country they feel has rejected them.

Problems such as these have caused friction even within Arab communities. Prior to the presidential elections in May, France 24 interviewed three French citizens of Arab descent, all of whom intended to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front. One stated: “My vote is an expression of my rejection of certain Muslim Arabs [in France], whom I personally consider ‘thugs’.” According to France 24, she went on to add that she was “furious at French-born citizens of North African origin who show no consideration for their country.”

While some people point to improved integration of minority citizens, signalled by a growing presence in organisations such as the French Armed Forces, others like Socialist Party spokesperson Benoit Hamon claim that the stance of politicians on racism and immigration, often used to sway voters, has lead to a France that is “perhaps more racist now than 5 years ago.” Despite the change in some attitudes and an increased acceptance in the public, French citizens of North African decent continue to be let down and disappointed by authorities. As summed up in an interview with Bordeaux7 after the creation of new laws for épiseries, one such disillusioned citizen comments: “The impression that this gives me is that they want to make us disappear, us the ‘local Arabs’.”

BY: Bryony Cottam

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