Friday 14 April 2017

The Truth About Weapons Of Mass Destruction - Fourman Films (Full Movie)

Fourman Films debut documentary, 'The Truth About Weapons of Mass Destruction', which was shortlisted in over 30 film festivals worldwide and won Best International Documentary at the Queens International Film Festival (New York) and won Audience Award at the Global Peace Film Festival (Miami Florida)


Glastonbury Music Festival

Michael Eavis cold called me in 2007 wanting to see the film and then once I had sent hom a copy he had called me back saying he wanted to play the film at Glastonbury Music Festival in the main Cinema in 2007 on the Saturday night, as part of his three documentaries that changed the world.

He does this each year and told me that the Friday and Saturday documentaries for that year would be John Pilger's War on Democracy and Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth accompanying our film on Sunday as part of that years trilogy. 

When I asked him if he could get me a ticket to come and see the screening and if I had to sign a release and a contract he went apeshit at me and descended into a tirade calling me every name under the sun including c?*nt. 

I explained the documentary cost a lot to make and if he could help me with some of the costs it would help me and that it would be good to come and see the screening. I remember him screaming, 'how do you expect me to get you a ticket to the festival when it is six weeks until it is on'. I responded, 'you run the festival Michael I'm sure it would not be to hard'. 

The man who claims to support emerging talent told me to f*"k off and that as he already had my film he would play whether I liked it or not for free. He did exactly that and friends tell me there were a few thousand watching our film on the night. 

He paid nothing. The man is a thief and there is no point going to his festival as you are highly likely to have a pint of piss thrown over you by some Eton yuppie. Michael Eavis is a multi millionaire who I presume became such by being a bully and an aggressive man. I have no doubt he has behaved this way to many people and only cares about himself. 

I'm sure the Vice President of the United States Al Gore and Britain's most award winning Journalist John Pilger got paid for their films appearing. We did not. See the films listing on the Glastonbury Page Here 

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Thursday 3 May 2012

Can't Pay Won't Pay Solidarity with the People of Greece - The Movie

Can't Pay Won't Pay! - Solidarity with the People of Greece!

Responding to a call for international solidarity, the Coalition of Resistance and the People's Charter brought together a delegation of trade unionists and campaigners to visit Athens in March 2012. 

This film documents their trip. With interviews with striking steel workers, an anti-austerity MP, a homeless shelter psychologist, an archaeologist and a hunger striking Mayor.

It is a whistle stop trip around the devastating economic crisis in Greece. It also gives an inspirational insight into the ways in which people are struggling to reclaim their lives and serves as a stark warning to all those in Europe who now face similar threats of Austerity.

This film saw Tansy E. Hoskins & Claire Solomon Join the Fourman Films Team.

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Monday 30 April 2012

Picket at Christies against the looting of Greek antiquities by Tansy E Hoskins

 Campaigners from Greece and London gathered at Christies today to protest against the sale of looted antiquities and against the cuts faced by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Austerity measures in Greece have undermined public services, the welfare state, and social cohesion. 

  Staff cuts at the Ministry of Culture have led to security being compromised at museums and archaeological sites across Greece, as a result illegal digging has increased and armed robberies have occurred. 

Greek archaeologists, Fotis Georgiadis stated: "There were objects being sold at Christies today that can only have come from the Aegean Islands and the Peleponese in Greece, so they probably are the result of illegal excavations. Antiquities will be stolen as long as there is a market for them, the market is the cause of illegal digging." 
 Paul Mackney, Vice Chair of Coalition of Resistance and former General Secretary of UCU stated: "It is obscene that the mega-rich are spending large sums of money on Greek artefacts for their private collections, whilst in Athens austerity measures have led to people queuing at soup lines and scavenging for food, and the troika (the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank) is pressing Greece to sell off its treasures."

Saturday 28 April 2012

Cant Pay Wont Pay! - Stop the Crisis in Greek Archaeology! Stop the Cuts Restore Democracy!- Direct ActionBritish Museum 24.04.12

 Counterfire and Fourman Films took Despina Gasputsa Greek Archeologist who featured in our documentary 'Cant Pay Wont Pay Solidarity with the People of Greece', to the British Museum to see if the Elgin Marbles are being looked after, what exactly they mean to the Greek people as explained by Neil Faulkner and stage a protest asking for them to to be returned and the Greek Debt forgiven. 

 Pictures of the Banner Drop featured in this film appeared on dozens of Greek Newspaper's front page the following day.

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London's Burning

  London's Burning by Paul Hanes on Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 6:29pm · As published in Read Magazine Germany. 

  London is burning. People set it on fire. Shops are being looted and whole streets of residential homes are being raised to the ground. Thousands of the city’s poor and disaffected have kicked off in a spectacular and frightening way. 

  What the London riots lacked in the revolutionary direction of the Arab Spring, it made up for in the violence and chaos of the angry and alienated. The riots were on a large scale, dangerous; untargeted in those they attacked. Truly frightening. Unusually it all kicked off at the same time across London and as police reinforcements were being redirected to London cities from across Britain, its citizens began to trash and burn their streets.

  It began on Saturday 6th August after a vigil outside Tottenham police station for Mark Duggan, who was fatally shot by police. It led to a riot of over 200 youths, which built and continued the next day. By Tuesday London was ablaze and wide spread looting had caused over a hundred million pounds worth of damage and violence had fatally wounded five people. Most of the media look to the shooting of Mark Duggan for the reason that widespread criminality and anarchy broke out. The media are also quick to accuse people they interview of supporting the riots, should they try and examine the reasons behind the outbreak of an alarming amount of violence on mass. 

  For the truth of it all, Mark Duggan and London may have to wait for the details of the investigations which the Independent Police Complaints Commission will no doubt carry out. I do not wish to pre-empt the outcome of that investigation. However whilst rioters claim they are reacting to Duggan’s shooting, Mark lived within a London youth culture where young people turn on each other over something as simple as where they live or the colours they wear. In fact the majority of victims of crime in London are under 18.

 In fact there have been 333 deaths in police custody in the period between 1998 and 2011 and not one conviction of a police officer in this time. Rarely are there such wide spread disturbances following an incident like this even when police malpractice is evident. 

So why now?

  In the words of Labour Member of Parliament John McDonnell, the parliamentary debate he witnessed over the riots demonstrated ‘absolute hypocrisy’. The politicians were sharpening their claws for their people by authorising water cannon and baton rounds to be used on civilians. Water cannon has never been used on the UK mainland. 

  Our House of Commons representatives were promising tougher sentences and criticising the uncontrolled greed of the rioters. This less than a year after widespread looting of the Treasury by MPs during the expenses scandal. Millions had to be paid back after MPs were caught red handed ripping off the taxpayer. 

   One MP who claimed for eight laptops was actually allowed to keep the money as a legitimate personal claim. Other MPs were falsifying expenses and claiming for repairs and refurbishments on second homes they didn’t even live in. Overnight accommodation costs were also claimed by London MPs who could get a £10 cab fare home, as well as adult movie rental. 

  John McDonnell goes on to say that: ‘nothing I say condones or excuses violence but if we are to have a proper debate about what happened there needs to be some kind of home truths spoken in the House of Commons…One of the basic home truths is that for three decades now the major political parties in power have allowed to be created a society of looters at every level of society.’ 

  He also asserts: ‘today in parliament I sat with the MPs who looted their expenses, there were other MPs there including the Prime Minister David Cameron who had to pay back millions for dishonest claims for mythical costs. Some ministers have gone to jail, some are now consultants and directors for companies who they awarded contracts to whilst they were in office.

  That’s the moral example given by consecutive governments for the last three decades. Then you come to the real looters. They didn’t wear hoodies; they didn’t smash up the streets. They went into the City of London, pressed a few computer buttons, wasted our money and destroyed a whole economy which put two and a half million people on the dole as a result. 

  The MPs sat there today talking about restoring a sense of moral place in society: MPs who have links to companies who do not pay their taxes. They avoid and evade taxes to the tune of £150 billion a year’. Journalists have been caught illegally hacking peoples’ phones. The head of the News Corporation Rebecca Brooks lives next door to the Prime Minister, whom he considers a friend. It is clear to many in the public that the hacking was so widespread that even Rupert Murdoch himself must have known about this vile practice.

  Nonetheless, they are yet to be questioned by the police about this. The same police who took bribes from journalists for information, including the mobile number of missing school girl Milly Dowler, whose phone they subsequently hacked into and deleted texts. Milly Dowler’s parents believed it was their daughter who was utilising her mobile during this time and therefore, that she was still alive. She had been murdered. 

  Even dead soldiers’ families had their phones hacked - such was the morbid immorality of the Murdoch News Corporation (and their uncontrolled greed). So what has happened is that the rioters have come along this week and said to the ruling elite and the rich, ‘we have the same morals as you: we will take and grab what we can, we do not care about the consequences and if we can get away with it then good’. 

  It is a cri de coeur from the generation who – largely unwittingly – buy into Thatcherite consumerist ideologies which denote and delimit an individual’s self worth through their consumption. The question is how long can the elite rule with water cannon and bullets before it addresses societal inequalities, support those it should and tax those who can pay. 

  Was it the shooting of Mark Duggan or the fact that the poor and dispossessed are now receiving cuts to their benefits which will force them to move out of London. London, where they had once worked, lived and grown up. Is it that they can see the rich filling their pockets, offending without consequence and driving the poor out of London with redundancies, repossessions and lack of adequate support from the state to deal with this?

  Is it a mere coincidence that the housing benefit cut letters are arriving en masse in the weeks preceding the violent outbreaks? If society does not grasp this and hear these people then the war on our streets will sadly continue. What the rank and file rioters did is inexcusable criminality, however the looters and rioters in government and the banks need also to take responsibility for their crimes and be tried in the same courts. 

  Whether or not the media who are part of the ruling elite allow this to be debated or are even able to discuss this honestly remains to be seen.

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Willy Walsh CEO of British Airways - Service and Safety with A Fuck You!

Willy Walsh CEO of British Airways - Service and Safety with A Fuck You! by Paul Hanes on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 11:21pm · As published by Read Magazine.

  The British Flag Carrying Airline British Airways in in turmoil, or so we are told. It posted pre tax losses of £401m in the 2008/9 financial year. Through Willy Walsh its chief Executive who oversaw these 'losses' British Airways has now come into conflict with its workforce of Cabin Crew represented by The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association a division of the Unite Union. 

 In order to address these losses Willy Walsh in 2009 wrote to Cabin Crew asking them to save the airline by working for free and to volunteer for unpaid work. At the same time he implemented a drive to reduce British Airways Cabin Crew Workforce of 14,000 by 4000 workers and to reduce Cabin Crew Numbers on each flight to potentially unsafe levels as the evacuation of an aircraft is one primary function the crew undertake apart from serving refreshments.

  A 2.6% paycut followed by a two year payfreeze was also imposed and accepted by the Union. As part of his proposed measures New Staff are to be offered basic contracts of only £11,000 per annum with a £2.40 hour flight bonus when in the air. This is compared with £14,400 at Virgin Atlantic and £20,200 at easyJet. 

  Considering that British Airways operates primarily out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick, the transport hubs for one of the most expensive cities where the London Average wage is £34,762. 

  It is not hard to see that on BA Cabin Crew wages it would be difficult to live in Britain which enjoys an average wage of £24,603. As such British Airways has actively recruited staff from its destination countries and many of its staff have moved away from London to live close to British Airways Destination Airports as the cost of Living In London rises. 

  To do this staff rely on free travel provided by British Airways in order to travel to their working shift starting point in London. BA’s pilots earn an average of £107,600, compared with £89,500 at Virgin and £71,400 at easyJet.

  This is something that Willy Walsh is also seeking to address and Pilots at British Airways have offered £26 Million in savings to the company which was accepted. Similarly the Cabin Crew through their union Unite also offered £51 Million in savings which Willy Walsh turned down. They have since offered 63 million pounds in savings which has also been turned down. 

  It is difficult to see why this group of predominately female workers generous offer was not accepted whilst their predominately male counterparts the pilots lesser offer was accepted. The gender imbalance in pay continues. 

  Part of British Airways losses were due to economic conditions which saw operating costs rise by 13% due to the weaker performing British Pound and the fact that the airlines fuel costs are paid for in US Dollars. 

  It is however important to understand this £401 Million Pound Loss in the context that in the previous year British Airways posted a profit of £922 million pounds and due to the normally fluctuating bussiness of Airlines it has over £2 billion in Cash Reserves in which it operates its bussiness. 

  BA's Capital investment also extended to Terminal 5 which recently opened so by no means could this company bee seen in such charitable terms as its director Willy Walsh Asks for staff to work for free with a promise to those who do that they will face any incoming axe last. 

  So ignoring the doom and gloom reaction of the press and management to British Airways so called woes, the previous years massive profit of £922 million followed by the 2008/9 loss of 401 million it could be argued that a two year profit of £260 million shows British airways to be a profitable enterprise and it is difficult to see why such attacks on workers pay and conditions are now being enforced upon its workforce. 

  A common trend is occuring across europe with many workers being asked to reduce their pay by up to 30% with no real justification. This practice is currently evident in Greece. The pleasant workers of the British Airways Cabin Crew are not your usual militant Trade Unionists who you would expect to strike and they have balloted to undertake rolling stoppages in a series of 5 day strikes. 

  So far these strikes has cost the airline £7 million a day and the total is now about £70 million. During the strike any British Airways employee who speaks to the media has been suspended or sacked. 

  Over 50 have now been suspended one for writing OMG on her Facebook page about news within Negotiations. Others have been suspended for cheering at a union meeting and now face investigation and possible dismissal

  All staff who took part in the strikes have had their travel benefits removed permanently. The fear in which The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association the Branch of Unite when advocating for its members is palpable. 

  Whilst trade unionism remains a human right enshrined in the Human Rights Act this organisation has had to speak through retired cabin crew staff in order to get their message to the public and press. 

  Many Negotiations have occured between the Unions and British Airways Management. We are now told that all points of negotiation have been agreed between British Airways and The Unions except that Willy Walsh will not budge on the reinstatement of Travel Perks to the majority of 14,000 workforce who took part in the strikes. 

  The Unions position is that this benefit is vital to the thousands of its members who live throughout Europe and close to British Airway's, destination Airports. Without this perk they will be unable to travel to work. 

  Existing employees who have been on strike returned to work only to have to pay hundreds of pounds in ticket cost to commute to work. This benefit was part of the contractual agreement that British Airways recruited them and is having deep reaching consequences for those staff. 

  One staff member who traveled in from Ireland lost out further to the Volcanic ash crisis as she was unable to fly on two flights which she had paid full price for. She lost out on both occasions. This ash crisis shut down UK airports for almost a week and cost the Airline industry as a whole hundreds of millions of pounds. 

  The way in which Willy Walsh dealt with the Icelandic Volcanic in Late April 2010 gives us further insight into the man and the values he posses when it comes to profit over people. 

  The primary concern during the ash crisis was the danger of a wafer thin layer of micro ash floating in the air is that when it is sucked into a jet turbine where the operating temperature in the combustion chamber heats up to 2000 degrees Celsius (the maximum temperature of a jet fuel fire will reach, when constantly fed fuel) it sticks to engine parts in the form of molten glass. 

  The melting temperature of glass starts at about 1500 degrees. So when this glass laden ash melts in the turbines it coats it with a fine layer of melted glass which is hot and (importantly) sticky. Then other small bits of ash attach to the melted bits and build to form larger bits of molten hot sticky glass. These larger bits then can be flung a great velocity and temperature inside the engine causing terminal damage and mid flight aircraft malfunction. You know.... big explosion everybody dies.

  Additionally invisible to the naked eye ash can gradually hit the plane's cockpit windows causing a sand blasting effect which virtually sandpapers the windows or leaves sticky tar like volcanic debris attached to the windows and the pilot's vision can be totally obscured. 

  Not good with a 450 tonne 747 flying into London. On Thursday 17th January 2008, ice in the fuel lines of a jet engine brought a British Airways Plane down short of the runway narrowly avoiding rooftops and fatalities by pure luck and pilot skill. 

  A catastrophic scenario should not be so hard to imagine for Willy Walsh and British Airways. On 24 June 1982 British Airways Flight 9 out of Jakarta Suffered engine failure in all 4 engines and narrowly averted disaster after flying into an volcanic ash cloud which is invisible to radar. 

  The Civil Aviation Authority is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Through its skills and expertise it is recognised as a world leader in its field. During the Ash Crisis it had issued a ban on all air traffic operating in ash effected airspace. 

  It is the expert and it is put there to regulate this largely private for profit industry and ensure the safety of all of us. It is a government agency set up to protect us all. That's what we pay our taxes for. 

  This was in defiance of the Civil Aviation Authority in what was being reported as a deliberate attempt by British Airways to force a faster decision from the CAA on opening airports before the safety of passengers and Londoners could be guaranteed in the normal process. 

  In essence British Airways is loosing about 25 Million Pounds a day due to the volcanic ash and like a cash haemorrhaging junkie Willie Walsh was making decisions in defiance of and bullying the highest legal authority in aviation in this country. Seemingly for profit. 

  There are disturbing similarities between Willy Walsh's contempt shown toward his staff as he has with the safety of passengers and Londoners on the ground. To deny the safety issue of volcanic ash and to try and force an impasse which could put the lives of londoners and passengers at risk is representative of the lack of loyality British Airways and Willy Walsh has for the people of Britain.

  It was like witnessing was the most macarb bargaining chip in at a poker game in history. 26 planes full of people threatening to illegally enter potentially unsafe airspace. The Civial aviation authority was set up for the protection of public safety and is a function of the government. Safety is their primary concern. 

  British Airways is a shareholder owned company set up for the profit of its shareholders and led by a seemingly predatory CEO. Given the choice I know which one, I want making decisions in relation to safety both in the air and on the ground. 

  Even if the Civil Aviation Authority get it wrong and wait a little longer to ensure people's safety over profit they should be able to do so without the profit making companies CEO's interfering or lobbying our unelected Lords. It after all is the CAA's decision and process. It should be made in their own time. 

  It was reported by 8:30pm on the 20th April, 2010 several hours after British Airways launched the flights towards london that the airports would reopen at 10pm. Interestingly this decision was made by Lord Adonis, the 'Airlines' in the presence of Willy Walsh and the Civil Aviation Authority whilst 26 Planes were en route with a full house of lives on board.  

  Shortly after 10pm on that day the familiar rumble of jet engines roared over my house towards Heathrow. All were British Airways planes. All would have been in the air prior to the safety of Londoner's was determined or decided. 

  Let us make profit now or we will hold people to ransom regardless seems to be the all to familiar language of extremists whether capitalist, religious or otherwise which the Government should be protecting people from. 

  With a workforce on substantially smaller wages I am also concerned that the quality of life for working people dwindles across Europe that people like Willy Walsh will be the first to complain that it is not such a nice place to live in anymore. 

Paul Hanes 
Fourman Films 
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Willy Walsh CEO of British Airways - Service and Safety with A Fuck You!

Fuck Off Back to Eton

  Fuck Off Back to Eton by Paul Hanes on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 11:02pm · This Article was submitted to Read Magazine Hamburg March 2011.

  Since Britain's last election in May 2010, which saw the rise to power of the right in Britain in the form of the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government. Under the leadership of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, Britain is beginning to transform in a way which nobody could predict. 

  Since the coalition governments rise to power less than a year ago Britain is seeing fundamental changes in the structure of the society it has known since the end of the first world war. The Welfare State would conjure up images amongst the readership of mainstream news sources of single mothers and of the unemployed by choice. 

  In fact the welfare state set up by the generation who fought Works War Two is has informed the personality and landscape of Britain in every aspect from safety by ensuring the absence of extreme poverty, keeping the nation healthy with the NHS, to ensuring a productive economy through educating the best capable minds as apposed to only those who can afford quality education. 

  By definition the Welfare state is a model in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility in theory ought to be comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to citizens as a "right". As such Britons have enjoyed access to a good level of education, health care, suitable standard of housing, access to a minimum standard of subsistence when out of work through good quality public services available to all and targeted at those who need them most. 

  The framework for delivering this was set up at times when the ruling classes conceded to the citizens concessions which were popular to the working classes who had supported the continuation the the ruling classes and industrialists though their service and sacrifice in the Second World War.

  Additionally the terms in which we organise our societies and in fact the greater world was also part of the reordering as well as the rebuilding which occurred after. The United Nations which formed on 24th October 1945 in order to bring law and order where there had been war. In the Past 10 months of under what is being termed the CON/DEM coalition britain's welfare state is under attack from funding cuts the like of which it has never before been seen. 

  Thousands of public sector workers have been given notice that in March they will be joining the dole queues. The 442 Local Authorities across Britain are shedding £1.5 Billion from their Budgets with job losses of over 1000 jobs not uncommon and Manchester City Council announcing an attack on wages and conditions by giving notice to 25,000 employees. 

  The combined London Boroughs expected to shed around 35,000 jobs during its period of cuts. Oldham plan to cut 544 jobs; Northumberland is considering up to 800 losses. Newcastle and Tower Hamlets plan to cut 500 jobs, including 200 senior and middle management posts; Bristol plans to cut 400 and Westminster 200 permanent and temporary jobs. 

 All this at a time when the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland has stated that the western economies especially Britain and the United States must create jobs immediately to avoid an irreversible and catastrophic down turn in the economy into recession.

  The ruling classes of Britain consist of around 250,000 millionaires. The wealth of the rich has continued to rocket over the past 40 years and recently despite so called recession the division of wealth has continued to shift towards the rich with the United Nations acknowledging in a report, from the World Institute for Development Economics Research based at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world's population own barely 1% of global wealth. 

  The Condem Cabinet consists of 29 MP's of which 23 of them are millionaires. Of these three are women. They represent a divide between the rich and the poor. With an estimated 32 millionaires in the Conservative Party alone you would expect the traditional party of the worker The Labour Party setup up and supported by the Trade Unions would be significantly different. Unfortunately not. The Labour Party in opposition has about 26 millionaires. This is proof that the ruling class have significantly occupy senior government positions and it needs to be questioned if they are in touch with every day living.

  This group of predominantly men disproportionately went to the private school of Eton. 19 Prime Ministers have been there and some estimates are that 10% of ministers have attended Eton before. I cannot accept that such a school has significantly better teaching methods to produce more academic students, however such a school is a factory for the values and morals of the ruling class. 

  It is the networks formed at institutions of the ruling class which supports its power base and British Politics is infested with them. Prime Minister David Cameron's first cabinet features 13 chums from his old school, Eton. Having Graduated high school these predominately now middle aged privileged men went onto university which was for their generation free. 

  They also bought houses at a time when the average house price was about 2.5 times average annual income. They then went onto buy second houses and enjoy careers and wealth beyond most people. It is difficult to see how politicians from all three parties can have the empathy to rule over the majority of the population who share so little of the wealth.

  It is the Eton attitude of getting things done and not caring about anyone else which seems firmly entrenched in the Tory Conservative Party and something where their morals need to be examined more closely in the actions they take. 

  In 2010, the Condem's immediately started to pull apart the Welfare State. One of their first moves was to announce that unlike their generation, this generation will have to sustain huge debts in order to attend University. The Condem Mantra is that anyone can attend University and pay afterwards however young people will be saddled with fees of between £3,000 and £9,000 a year with many Universities initiating the top level of fees to their students in the first year of this fee hike. 

  These fees do not cover living costs which are also soaring with 25% increases in utility bills such as gas and soaring food prices all squeezing young people into higher debts than ever before. Leaving University with potentially £36,000 fees debt after living on a meagre existence and also indebt for living expenses has proved unpopular with young people in this country. So much that 50,000 students marched on London and preempting their egyptian colleagues descended on the ruling parties head quarters. They occupied it and trashed it.

  Then when these people leave University all Young people live in increasingly rented accommodation as the price of a house has gone from costing 2.5 times annual average income which the generation of MP's who enjoyed free University education to almost 15 times average annual income. 

  As such the high cost of rents in Britain mixed with burgeoning debts of the young has seem two thirds of wealth in this country owned by the above 45's. Having enjoyed free education and affordable housing David Cameron's Millionaire pals also often went on to own second homes as an investment which fueled their wealth and increasing Housing prices which has disaffected the young into lives of debt and renting from the rich. 

  Cameron also has announced that Housing Benefit will be cut. Housing Benefit helps people of low incomes to pay for housing and rental costs. He has proposed to cut it to levels where rents in inner cities could not be afforded. Notably many people in receipt of these payments are also working full time. They have regular jobs however as the wages are so low the Government needs to chip in so that people can afford to live. 

  In some aspects it is supporting the status quo of businesses paying low wages which are below living standard and as such being subsidised by the state who supports company workers housing benefit. Not surprisingly there was uproar about this and in some cases, unusual sources with Conservative politicians Like Boris Johnson the current London Mayor Immediately described it as "a Kosovo Style Genocide which would condemn the poor to the outskirts of London or beyond".

  Additionally Tory MP's from satellite constituencies to London realised that such a move would flood their own communities with displaced citizens which would overwhelm their communities resources.

   The Coalition Government continues with its 'Reforms' which will impact on every aspect of life in Britain. The National Health Service is facing cuts at the same time as a reformation of the way the system works which is more suited to the U.S. style privatised health system. Doctors will not only treat patients however will also be responsible for contracting out and paying for specialist services which local health authorities usually run. 

  Some think the cost of this realignment is resource intensive at times of cuts to the health service. The morals behind these cuts are mind boggling however the glimpse into David Cameron's Morals through his actions has been breathtakingly lacking in recent months. 

  He for example has recently visited Munich Germany to deliver a speech about Multi Culturalism failing in Britain. It was not lost by many in Britain that he chose the platform outside Britain in a historically relevant geographical location and the fact he chose the same day as the English Defence Leagues' (a racist hate organisation) biggest rally of the year. 

  Recent revolutions and mass demonstrations across the Middle East in Libia, Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain has laid bare to the world the corrupt dictatorships which for many decades have been supported buy the United States and United Kingdom. The Brutal Egyptian Dictator has a firm grip over the citizens with a police state apparatus supported by £1.5 billion in donations form the U.S. Government a year. It was also heavily armed by UK companies whilst it went about oppressing freedoms and workers rights jailing thousands often for years without trial. 

  It also towed the line of its UN rule breaking northern neighbour Israel by keeping the Raffa Crossing to Gaza Palestine closed starving its citizens of trade, income and necessary life goods. Britains' new best friend Col Gaddafi of Libia last week ordered fighter jets to attack demonstrators with two refusing to carry out orders and flying to Malta to claim asylum. 

  With British Oil contracts secured, reportedly through the release of the the Lockerbie Bomber from a Scottish prison. This man who has terminal cancer and has so far alluded death, after his release from custody on compassionate grounds.

  With British armoured personal carriers deliberately running down people in the streets in Libia's capital and British Tear Gas burning the eyes of protesters in the middle east, David Cameron thought it wise this week to tour the middle east with no less than 8 British arms manufacturers including BAE Systems to sell military arms such as tear gas, shotguns, sniper rifles, howitzer artillery guns and machine guns and other light weapons.

  They were all on their way to the giant arms bazaar, IDEX, being held in Abu Dhabi. The Prime Minister's Eton created moral compass, even allowed him to do a walk through Tahir Square in Cairo without seeing the appalling irony in his actions. When challenged he stated that democracies have the right to defend themselves.

  Egypt has not had elections during the Dictatorship of Hussain Mubarak and Cameron said, "I simply don't understand how you can't understand how democracies have a right to defend themselves," adding that anyone not holding that view was at "odds with reality". What reality Cameron is in touch with is the £7.5 billion in arms the UK exports to the region each year, despite an increasingly appalled and concerned public back home. The Condem government of millionaires also have shown hypocrisy and deceitful corruption towards the people of Britain.

  David Cameron has appointed tax shy billionaire Phillip Green to manage where the cuts fall. With childcare, Youth Services, The NHS, Housing Benifit, schools the Police and many other areas now in decline due to his directional axe, many in the UK have been keen to point out that he owns several of the UK's largest High Street Chain Stores.

  Phillip Green owns clothing store Top Shop, British Home Stores and many others. He also once paid his wife a £1.2 Billion salary for one year. She however lives in Monaco and as such the British Tax Payer missed out on £400 Million in Taxes which would have otherwise have been paid. This all in the light of the MP's Expenses scandal where MP's were caught claiming millions in illegal claims at tax payers expense for which some are now facing the courts. 

  The head of the Conservative Party Lord Ashcroft is a non domicile resident of the UK. As such his company registered in the Camon Islands, pays no tax. Prior to the Tories being elected he promised to start paying taxes in his native Britain. He still has not done what he said he would do claiming that his company in the Islands is solely set up to raise charities. 

  Notably BBC reporters spoke with every charity on the island, of which none of them has seen any of the £58 million his company made last year. The UN gives the Camon Islands aid money as it is so poor instructing the Camon Islands to start taxing its residents. Many homes on the islands are empty shells acting as residential addresses for the rich. 

  The Coalition Government also protected its tax dodging leader Lord Ashcroft by paying the Camon Islands Government with UK taxpayer money, to not tax its residents. 

  Since the Bankers Bailout where the UK taxpayer gave 1.2 trillion to the banks or 1200 billion last year over half of the 900 or so hedge funds registered on the Camon Islands have turned up from London. The island is the money haven of the super rich where none of them want to contribute to their own native societies or that of the island. 

  The Chancellor of the exchequer who sets the Budget also gave Vodaphone a 6 billion release from taxes owed. A massive movement of resistance has grown from grass roots actions and this has seen actions to occupy stores and banks throughout the UK. UK UNCUT now operate all over the country and have been keen to link the cuts and tax avoiders of the elite to their campaigns.

  Barclays bank who recently was exposed for paying only 113 million in tax which represented about 1% of its income. It also made profits of 11.6 billion and paid 1.5 billion in bonuses. This is completely unpalatable to ordinary folk in the UK many of who are now losing their jobs. 

  This weekend some 50 branches of Barclays were occupied by protesters who decided to run their own services such as childcare centre from the bank's branches. Schools and universities all inside the branches of Barclays sprung up run by ordinary people in disgust at their uncaring practices of tax avoidance. 

  The giant of the Trade Unions Council is awakening. A national demonstration is called for the 26th of March. A broader and more angry and sophisticated protest movement is mobilising to take on the ruling class and challenge the free for all they are enjoying at our expense. There is arguably no need for cuts in services, if the priorities of ending war, taxing the rich properly and stopping the replacement of the Trident Nuclear Missile System (£87 billion) and the submarines to carry Trident (£200 billion) were all implemented.

  The rich need to pay their fair share of tax and notably the next wikileaks will feature the Swiss Bank accounts which were leaked by Swiss banker who states he was morally compelled to do so as these accounts totaled 12 trillion dollars hidden from taxes by the richest people on the planet, who scandalously do not support the communities they live in. 

  The mood in Britain is changing. Openly people are preparing to take action. It fills the conversations people are having in the workplace. People are organising and preparing to resist this cruel attack on the society that the welfare state created all those years ago. 

  People understand that it is our generations time to defend the gift given to society by our forefathers who won these concession from the ruling elite. David Cameron's moral compass and values are not fit for purpose and just like Gaddafi and Mubarak we must ensure that all of their departures, also include those who formed part of their regimes and the ruling elite who have avoided paying their fair share. 

  British activists have made links with activists from all over the world and on the 26th March 2011 when they March no doubt this will also include those activists coming to London to show the growing solidarity which is growing amongst working class people from all over the world and tell them to fuck off back to Eton. 

Paul Hanes
Fourman Films
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Masters of War

by Paul Hanes on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 8:02pm · Article Published by Read Magazine Germany. 

  The heralded anti-war song by Bob Dylan 'Masters of War' clearly takes aim at those who profit from war and produce its weapons. In its opening verse it lays out the distaste that Bob Dylan was feeling when he wrote the song in 1963 and represented the anti-war sentiment of many for decades to come.

The opening verse lays out the targets for his wrath:
'Come you masters of war,
You that build all the guns,
You that build the death planes,
You that build all the bombs,
You that hide behind walls,
You that hide behind desks,
I just want you to know,
I can see through your masks.'

  The song continues its venom towards those who choose to make a living and profit from the destruction and killing which is carried out with their weapons and notably weapons which are not fired in the neighbourhoods in which they, the war profiteers live. 

  Dylan finishes the song with the overtly threatening verse: 

'And I hope that you die, And that your death'll come soon, I will follow your casket, In the pale afternoon, And I'll watch while you're lowered, Down to your deathbed, And I'll stand over your grave, 'Till I'm sure that you're dead.'

  The resonance of the sentiment of Dylan's 'Masters of War' has made it an anti war anthem for the people. It is one of the most covered songs having touched the emotions of many over the almost 50 years since its release.

  Dylan clearly is goading the war manufacturers into a confrontation with the opening line. The war machine is a formidable opponent, a complex industrial and capital structure spread out across the world producing weapons. We in the west rarely see the consequences to families who live far away in commonly NATO, USA, UK or Israeli targeted countries. 

  Increasingly we are becoming aware of the atrocities, which our governments commit on our behalf on the pretext of some poorly constructed excuse (believable only to the non-thinking population and my local Member of Parliament Greg Hands) that 'the war on terror is making us safer'.

  The Wiki Leaks expose told us what we had known about war all along. The US government's assertion that the leak had put US troops in danger was laughable. I am fairly sure that the average Afghan knew for years that the school bus got shot up and their kids are dead as apposed to travelling 100's of miles to an internet point to discover it on Wiki Leaks. Assange was right in that he said the object was not a quick war however a long war to drain the vast resources of the Western Taxpayers.


 What the war establishment fears most is that their terrible deeds will come to light and the people will put a stop to their war profiteering. Even the most cursory examinations of tactics in Afghanistan shows that the NATO operation which has failed to shut down resistance from one of the poorest nations on the planet (in more time than it took to conduct World War I and World War II put together) shows that an extended war is more about extended profits for companies than any clear mission objectives. 


 For example one of the US governments main military contractor, The Carlyle Group who's owners include the Bush Family who through George Bush II had direct say over the disastrous tactics employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

  Such decisions like sacking the Iraqi army against military top brass advice and leaving the arms dumps of the Iraqi Army intact and unguarded lead to a greater conflict and taxpayer paid profits for Bush administration owned companies. 

  The other major company Halliburton had Dick Cheney as CEO. Enough said? President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, during his farewell speech of 1961 put it this way,

 'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together'.

  In Britain the alert and knowledgeable citizenry is taking action against war profiteers with some extraordinary results. Take the popular seaside town of Brighton. A relaxed and traditionally British holiday town noted for its pier, family entertainment and stone covered beaches. 

  It is also home to the EDO MBM Corporations factory which manufactures components including 'racks' for the transportation and release of bombs from a variety of military aircraft such as the F-16 and Tornado aircraft commonly used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Protesters, part of an organisation calling itself Smash EDO have been targeting the factory since 2004 on a weekly basis conducting noise demos outside the factory and providing information to staff about how the efforts of their labour are being used by armed forces complicit in war crimes. 

  This has led to many staff making an informed decision not to work at the factory on moral as well as legal grounds, costing the company dearly. In what would seem a hot potato move the factory is now owned by ITT. Smash EDO say EDO MBM's supply of weapons systems for the illegal aggression and subsequent war crimes committed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine makes their directors war criminals.

  International law is very clear on this point, in the 1947 trial of Bruno Tesch, a German industrialist, the court acted: "on the principle that any civilian who is an accessory to a violation of the laws and customs of war is himself also liable as a war criminal". Tesch was convicted even though he did not supply products for specifically criminal purpose, because he carried on supplying them when he became aware they were being used to commit atrocities.

  Release mechanisms may not be as 'glamorous' as warheads, but they are just as crucial to the committing of the atrocities in Iraq. Dave Jones, EDO MBM's Managing Director has said under oath that he is "fully aware" of what his products are used for. 

  The protesters tell me, 'We have read out testimonies from the survivors of the Fallujah massacre over a megaphone outside EDO. We have read out the names of the dead in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. We have shown pictures of those killed or wounded by the bombing campaign. 

  We have directed their attention to the report in the Lancet which estimates over a million people have been killed during the US/UK occupation of Iraq and the UN's Goldstone report which catalogue's war crimes in Gaza.' Yet EDO MBM continues its complicity. 

  Campaigners have been calling for the closure of EDO MBM/ITT and the campaign was started with a roof occupation and lock-on at the factory in May 2004 and demonstrations have taken place every week since then. Several protest camps have been held outside the factory and recent mass demonstrations at the factory have attracted thousands of people. 

  At last years Mayday demonstration the cost of policing this peaceful protest was £560,000. Early in the group’s existence, what was then known as EDO MBM Technology obtained a High Court injunction banning protests outside its factory in Home Farm Road, Moulsecoomb. An attempt to create a half-mile exclusion zone around the site failed and the company was forced to pay the Smash EDO campaign's legal costs of £200,000.

  Then on 16th January 2009 during the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza which killed and injured thousands of innocent Palestinians six activists broke into EDO MBM's manufacturing facility. For an hour they wreaked havoc with hammers. Filing cabinets and computers were hurled from top-floor windows. Machinery was also sabotaged. One of the reasons that the six had so much time in the factory was ironically that Sussex Police somewhat colluding saw a bomb in the car park and cordoned off the area for specialists to arrive. 

  The 'bomb' was in fact a dummy, a prop for EDO to display at trade fairs, precision guided out of an upstairs window by the decommissioners. Sussex Police are well versed in the issues according to protesters having attended Smash EDO protests for many years monitoring the campaigns leaflets and information. One of the decommissioners Elijah Smith in a pre-recorded statement said, 

'I don't feel I'm going to do anything illegal tonight, but I'm going to go into an arms factory and smash it up to the best of my ability so that it cannot actually produce munitions and these very dirty bombs that have been provided to the Israeli army so that they can kill children. The time for talking has gone too far. I'm not a writer, I'm just a person from the community and I'm deeply disgusted'. 

  The following day the Police issued a statement that they estimated that over £180,000 in damage had been done to the factory. Hilariously the de-commissioners retorted the police assertion with now an infamous statement, 'That is not true. It was much more damage than that'.

'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.' - Mahatma Gandhi

   With all six decommissioners charged with Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Damage which carries a 10 year maximum prison term the trial began and it was EDO MBM in the shape of the now managing director Paul Hills who found himself in the dock. He had come to court intending to represent a company primarily manufacturing in-flight entertainment equipment. He was presented with a dossier of evidence painstakingly built up over the years by campaigners, which pointed firmly at the company's complicity in war crimes.

  Hills revealed that the company has owned the rights to the main bomb rack used on Israeli F-16s VER-2 since 1998. He admitted removing website evidence of his company's dealings with Israel as early as 2004, the date of the first protests. He admitted having interfered with the crime scene, retrieving debris and papers, before police photographers arrived. He claimed to have police permission but no police statement backed him up.

  There has been speculation that £189,000 is actually an underestimate of the damage caused and that more controversial evidence may have been spirited away. After being warned at one stage by the judge that he was at risk of perjuring himself if he contradicted evidence he had produced in earlier court cases, crucially he ended by admitting that anyone looking at the evidence presented to him in court would form the reasonable belief that his company was involved in arms sales to Israel. 

  It was this that the defendants needed to convince the jury of - that there was an obvious link between this factory and the bombardment of Gaza. A witness, Sharyn Lock, provided the background necessary for the jury to understand the full scope of the horror then unfolding in Gaza. 

  Now a trainee midwife, in 2009 she was a human-rights volunteer in Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City. She was in the Gaza strip for the whole of Operation Cast Lead, and able to show footage of a missile strike on the hospital, just metres from the maternity ward.

  The jury also saw news reports of the white phosphorus attacks on the UNWRA compound, which incinerated much-needed food and medicine. Sharyn closed her evidence by saying she had no doubt that those who armed the Israeli Air Force, 

'had the blood of children on their hands'. 

 After hearing the verdict she told the press,

 'Brilliant news. I am so proud not only of the UK civilians who risked their liberty to protect fellow civilians whom they may never meet - but also of the jury who recognised that it is everyone's responsibility to uphold international law, even if that means decommissioning the weapons'. 

   The decommissioners were also congratulated by Noam Chomsky, who said, 'I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in Israel's cruel crimes in Gaza'. 

  The Smash EDO victory is not an uncommon tale in Britain for companies who profit from war crimes. The British Public is willing to stand up and take on the companies who immorally profit. Other examples of citizens targeting such companies are abound.

  The AHAVA Cosmetics Company an Israeli Cosmetics firm operating on stolen land in the occupied West Bank of Palestine is one example where campaigners locked themselves onto concrete-filled oil drums inside the central London shop, closing it down for two days in September and December of 2009.


  AHAVA now joins a group of companies such as Carmel Agrexco, EDO Corporation, Raytheon and Veolia who have all been targeted and have lost billions in business for their complicity in war crimes either through direct action or lost contracts. 

  The AHAVA campaigners insisted that they are legally justified in their actions as the shop’s activities are unlawful. All cosmetics on sale in the shop originate from Mitzpe Shalem, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, and are deliberately mislabelled “Made in Israel”. To date, no campaigner has been successfully prosecuted and AHAVA has consistently refused to cooperate with the prosecuting authorities. 

  Carmel Agrexco an Israeli State owned flower and produce importer to the United Kingdom regularly faces the same predicament and is regularly shut down by campaign groups in London. For charges to stick it is up to the company to prove their business is lawful Something Carmel Agrexco is also unwilling to do and as such Police refuse to charge campaigners who target their premises.


  On the first day of the AHAVA four trial prosecutors dropped aggravated trespass charges. This would have required the prosecution to demonstrate AHAVA was engaged in lawful activity. Significantly, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that this was not something they would attempt to prove.

  The primary witness for the prosecution, AHAVA’s store manager, refused to attend court to testify despite courts summons and threats of an arrest warrant leading to the activist’s acquittal on all remaining charges. 

  Perhaps he had been advised that his appearance may implicate him in war crime. After the acquittal of the AHAVA four the celebrations continued on Saturday 14th August 2010 when activist from a variety of campaigns continued the fortnightly protests outside the store. 

  These protests are supported by the Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, International Solidarity Movement, Boycott Israeli Goods and other notable campaigning groups. 

  Interestingly whilst business was very limited for AHAVA during the protest, I was able to observe the shop continue trading for a about an hour and a half after everyone had left the vicinity and no customers entered the shop during this time.

  Clearly the message is getting through to the modern consuming public who are educated in the facts and actively seeking out goods, which are from sources, who operate ethically. Notably the £48 price tag for a facial reduced from £60 as advertised on their sidewalk board seemed equally as murderous. 

  With little support or trade going on for AHAVA on a Saturday things looked bad for them. At Covent Garden, in support of AHAVA the racist English Defence League turned up in small numbers and Unfurled their Flag adorned with 'EDL Croydon Division' and joined a smaller group of Pro Zionists in a counter rally with a historically unusual Fascist Zionist Coalition. Whilst all in this group could have done with a facial none seemed to be overly cashed up enough to afford the products.

  It was announced at the demonstration that AHAVA are now being investigated by the Camden Trading Standards Officers. It can only be a matter of time before the high rents in the area match up with poor sales and the illegality of the business - providing a three way pincer movement which will see it's Flagship London outlet close due to the protesters efforts.

  Similar successful actions have occurred throughout the United Kingdom on 11th June 2006, nine peace activists who broke into a Raytheon arms factory in Derry, Northern Ireland and destroyed computers causing damage valued at £350,000. All were found not guilty by a Belfast jury. Eamonn McCann, journalist and activist, was one of the first 'Raytheon Nine'. 

  On 12th January 2009, the second 'Raytheon Nine' struck during Israel's attack on Gaza. Nine activists had intended to bring down Raytheon’s computer to highlight Raytheon’s supplying missile software to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). They faced a jury at Belfast Crown Court and in yet another unanimous jury decision they found nine women not guilty of charges including breaking and entering into the Derry offices of the arms manufacturer. 

  They had chained themselves to doors inside the offices in an attempt to force a criminal investigation into Raytheon, apparently agreed to by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Raytheon reduced operations soon after and fully closed its facilities in Derry a year later.

  Clearly companies involved in war crimes are not welcome in our communities by citizens or the state. On 29th January 2006, three women entered a hangar on the site of the British Aerospace (BAE) factory in Warton, Lancashire, armed with household hammers and wrote off a £13 million Hawk jet fighter. They were acting to protest against the planned export of BAE Hawks to Indonesia, a repressive dictatorship that has invaded and occupied East Timor where a third of the population were killed. The Hawk Jet ready for delivery, with the Indonesian flag and serial number, sat on the tarmac.

  They disarmed the cockpit weapons systems, radar controls, nose cone and wing parts from which bombs are hung. They continued to paint the plane with slogans and peace symbols. The three un detected in the hangar for two and a half hours then rang the Press Association to tip off the world of what they had done and seek safe extraction form the heavily guarded site. 

'The panels were surprisingly weak and it wasn't difficult to actually make a hole when you thought you 'd just be denting it', commented Andrea Needham in a letter sent whilst on remand from prison. 

  Britain was the single most important supplier of arms to the regime in Indonesia, which is responsible for one of the worst genocides since the Nazi Holocaust. A third of the population of East Timor - 260,000 people - were slaughtered by the Indonesian army's killing squads, or by the famine they created. 

  The rest were terrorised by the occupying army, displaced from the land, their Tetum language and culture suppressed, their women raped and forced to undergo sterilisation as part of a systematic attempt to wipe out the Timorese and replace them with Indonesian migrants.

  Other British firms have also sent armoured vehicles and water cannons. The Bramshill Police College has, on the aid budget, trained the security forces of President Suharto to use riot-control techniques to keep his regime in power. The waters around East Timor are rich in oil however Britain is rich in ordinary housewives willing to take a crow bar and hammer to instruments of war crime. 

  All the women involved in decommissioning the Hawk Jet cost British Aerospace, Britain's largest Arms Manufacturer and probably best known company a multi-million pound price tag. All were found not guilty.

  To conclude my sentiment toward arms manufacturers and war profiteers in the words of Dylan's Song, 'Masters of War' I have changed one lyric.

 How much do I know 
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there is one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even a JURY would never forgive 
what you do.

 I am glad that the tide of popular sentiment to those, who commit war crimes is being supported by the courts in this country. After destroying resistance and dissent some of the most brutal regimes in history have gone onto kill millions.

  Without doubt Britain has participated in war crimes either complicit with or directly and needs to be brought to bear on these crimes. It is too clear to see so often when leaders and artists like Dylan talk about war and peace that its comments are relevant or directed at the arms manufacturers who feed of destruction.

 'Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of other human beings.' - Robert F. Kennedy 

 'If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.' - Frederick Douglass

  I would encourage anyone to install and demand the rule of law and seek justice. Join the protest movement, participate and be as effective as it has become. 

  As a community we cannot live in isolation and if we see crime we must report it. We have an obligation to prevent and its Hammertime

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