Easy Tips to Keep Your Yoga Mat As Clean As a Whistle

Cleaning your yoga mat is quite simple, but there are certain things that should be kept in mind if you want to get the best life from your mat. The most obvious thing is to read the manufacturer's instructions very carefully. This is of course common sense for any item of clothing since different materials require different approaches. The problem for some is that they lost the original washing instructions. The best course of action is to make use of non-abrasive cleaning methods.

Washing your yoga mat is very important. Hygiene is always a big concern and dirty mats give bacteria chance to grow. Furthermore, never share your mat. Sharing your mat with a sweating partner can result in an unwanted fungal or bacterial infection.

Using your mat on the floor, or outdoors cause it to become dirty. Also, some yoga sessions can lead to excessive sweating, which are absorbed by some yoga mats. Most people simply wash their yoga mats themselves and hang them in the sun to dry. Others prefer to send their mats to the dry cleaner. Most sticky mats are made of rubber and therefore, quite easy to clean. If it is slightly soiled, simply use a spray bottle and lightly damp your mat. Use a simple soapy solution of three cups of lukewarm water and four drops of dishwashing liquid.

Wipe the mat and let it dry thoroughly. For tougher stains, simply wash them with soapy water and a soft brush, similar to washing your car mats. Sometimes it may be necessary to soak the mat in a solution of warm water and mild soap. Just be careful. Do not use too much soap, since it can cause problems. Even if you thoroughly dry your yoga mat, using too much soap can cause an invisible residue that makes the yoga mat extremely slippery when you start perspiring. Rinse the mat well to remove soap and hang in the sun to dry. You can also roll your mat in a large towel and leave overnight before hanging to wind dry.

Some people claim that the following can be used instead of soap to clean your yoga mat: (1) mixing 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of baking soda, (2) hydrogen peroxide, (3) a few drops of tea tree oil with water and my favorite (4) a 1/2 teaspoon of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap in a bowl of water. It smells great.

Cotton yoga mats can easily be cleaned by throwing it into the washing machine, or wash it by hand. When using a washing machine, remember to remove it before the spins cycle since this can damage the shape of certain mats. Furthermore, do not tumble-dry your cotton mats, since the heat can damage the fibers. Rather let it dry out naturally in the sun or wind.

Prevention is always better than cure. Carry a handy spray bottle and some wipes with you to class. A very effective all-natural mat cleaning spray can easily be made yourself. Add three drops of tea tree oil, two drops of peppermint oil, and two drops of lavender oil and mix it thoroughly with water in a spray bottle. After each workout, quickly spray your mat and wipe it down. Avoid using any wipes that are alcohol based, rather choose natural wipes.

Sometimes, not matter how well you look after your yoga mat, cleaning it is no longer feasible. It would simply be better to throw it out and buy yourself a new mat. These quick cleanings will decrease the need for heavy cleanings dramatically. Always consider the condition of your yoga mats carefully. At times it may be best to discard your mat and rather buy a new one.

With these tips, you can however make the best of your yoga mat and keep it in pristine condition for many months to come.
SJP Babrevian

Computer Bags - What's the Best For Your Laptop?

The computer bag industry is booming, with customers no longer having to stick to the standard black nylon carry case. Computer bags have now become a fashion statement, with an endless selection of style and design. Making the right choice is essential, to ensure a purchase that suits your lifestyle and travel needs and most of all keeps your precious lap-top safe.

Size Really Does Matter! 
When selecting your computer bag it's essential you get the right size as many of the latest designs don't cater for wide-screens. If you don't know your lap-top size, measure the screen diagonally, it should be between 10 and 20 inches. Once you've narrowed down the correct sized bag, also make sure there's enough space for your cables, files, adapters, pens, paper and phone. The last thing you want is another bag to house all your accessories!

Some tote style computer bags designed especially for women offer the ultimate handbag all-in-one. With luxurious leather in fashionable designs, they come equipped with a myriad of pockets and hidden compartments to house everything a woman needs.

Material Matters 
The cheapest computer bag on the market is a simple rubber lap-top sleeve that will only set you back around 20 bucks. But how easy these are to carry and how much protection they afford your precious laptop is another matter.

Traditionally computer bags were made from hard-wearing black nylon in a brief case style, which is still a brilliant way to carry your lap-top with plenty of space for accessories and protection for your computer.

Plastic hardshells are also now available in wonderful bright colors. These can be carried alone or placed inside your bag to prevent your lap-top from getting scratched. Hardshells are great for frequent flyers as they protect your computer from bumps and scratches and can also be securely locked.

Printed fabrics are a great fashion statement but be sure to check the quality and edge-stitching for durability. Finally leather provides a computer bag that is professional, fashionable and durable and will last you for decades. Make sure you check the quality and grain of the leather.

How Do You Travel? 
The final consideration when buying a computer bag is to make sure it suits your travel needs. Do you go to work by train everyday? If so, you'll need some padding for protection. If you travel by car, then you probably won't need such a padded bag. Are you a frequent flyer? Then opt for a hardshelled computer bag or padded backpack. Or if you walk a lot, a computer tote bag might be the latest fashion accessory but is it really going to be comfortable over one shoulder? A bag with adjustable padded straps might not look so hip but could save you painful backache! In the end, if you're still in doubt break out your laptop and look it up on the internet!

Nanowire Batteries - The Most Exciting Technological Advancement In Recent Years

For many years Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries were the only choice for users of cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices. Each Lithium-ion battery consists of two sides: the anode made of carbon, and the cathode made of metal-oxide. Charging the battery, causes lithium-ions to become positive and flow from the cathode to the anode, while an electronic circuit uses electrons to balance the charge. Discharging the battery reverses the whole process. These batteries have remained unchanged for many years.

The capacity of the battery is determined by the amount of lithium-ions that can be stored in the anode. Since anodes are currently created from carbon, the maximum capacity has been reached. Newer methods are being studied, and the most promising appears to be nanowire batteries. This research, led by Yi Cui, assistant professor, has shown that silicon has the ability to absorb ten times more energy than carbon. Unfortunately, silicon has the disadvantage of swelling dramatically when charged with energy. This creates a constant swelling and shrinking while being used. Eventually, this process causes the silicon to break.

A solution has been found by Yi Cui and his team. Making use of nanotechnology solves the problem. Creating very thin silicon wires called nanowires, turned out to be the solution. For some unknown reason, the nanowires can still expand and shrink, but they do not break like the silicon layers. Unfortunately, creating these ultra fine silicon wires are still extremely expensive. One of these wires is a thousand times thinner than a human hair. Luckily, as with all new technology, costs will drop with time.

The expected capacity of 10 times that of standard Lithium-Ion batteries have not been reached yet. So far, researchers were able to increase capacity four times. This is already excellent progress, and it shows a bright future for nanowire batteries. There is however, still one kink in the cable. The silicon wires offer a great improvement on the anode side of the battery. The cathode side still needs to be improved before the full capacity of silicon batteries can be achieved.

Those who will benefit the most are any user of an electronic device that currently uses Li-ion batteries; like iPods, laptops, cell phones, video cameras, digital cameras.  The advantages do not stop with electronic devices. Especially research in electric vehicles will find great support in nanowire technology. Patents have already been filed so we ought to see improvements in battery life really soon, maybe as soon as 2012. Although there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done, just thinking about the possibility of running a laptop from a battery for two days makes me giddy.

SJP Babrevian has been writing online articles for more than 3 years. He writes on various subjects. He also likes building small information websites on different subjects.

Proper Fasting

Fasting is commonly heard of today with the multitude of 'health' suggestions we hear, read and see being advertised. There usually is a dichotomous result during discussion though. People are either for or against it. Interestingly, there are many products online, in health food stores and usually in our friends and family's houses which can make coming to a knowledgeable conclusion difficult. Hopefully after you finish this article, you will be more able to fast healthily.

Studying the body, we know that the skin is the largest organ and second is the liver. The function of the liver is multifaceted but its largest task is detoxification. This is important to understand because it is not necessary to buy products, take supplements or flush anything out of the body with a particular substance. The liver has the ability to breakdown any and everything that enters the body. It can get overwhelmed like any other organ. So, for the liver to do an exceptional job at detoxifying our blood and tissues, the abstinence of ingesting food decreases its burden. When you buy any type of product to detox, understand that the liver is still the main laborer in the process of ridding the body of toxins. Nothing can take the primary position that the liver possesses in the body. The spleen and kidneys are also detoxifying organs but their function is not as abundant. The liver has already done some alterations and the kidney's responsibility is to extract the water soluble toxins from the bloodstream and eliminate them through the urine while the fat soluble toxins are excreted through feces. The spleen works to eliminate all cells from the blood which are not in optimal working fashion.

In addition, the amount of work that the digestive system does on a daily basis usually accumulates to the majority of the work in a day because the average American lives and works in a sedentary manner. There are studies that have suggested that digestion is directly related to aging. This would summarize that a person who eats multiple meals is aging each time they eat and the person who fasts regularly (no food in a 24 hour period) is resting their body and either suspending or reversing the aging process. When we eat, even if it is good quality food, we intake some toxins, we produce and absorb acid as well as the macro and micro nutrients from the food which activates work and storage in the body. This process of digestion and absorption is a process that produces an acidic nature in the body. This acidic phase is normal after absorbing acid but the body needs time to return to its alkalinic optimal working environment. Even eating alkaline foods requires acid to break down so the resultant state is that of an acidic nature for a period of time.

In conclusion, you can trust that there is no product that has a superior ability than the organ that was made to detoxify (liver). All of the elements on the periodic table are in the human body of course at varying amounts so the body has the ability to rid anything from it, given the time. When the chewing, swallowing, digestion, absorption and eliminating work being done by the digestive system is aborted for a day or a few days, the liver and other detoxifying organs can turn their full potential to their primary focus which is ridding unwanted toxins and byproducts so the body can concentrate on the 6 r's which are: repair, rejuvenate, remodel, renew and regenerate. If we rest (fast) our bodies, we will be decreasing the aging process, increase the optimization of its functioning and promote a healthy longevity.

Why IT Education Solutions Are Important

Technology affects all aspects of our lives nowadays, from the work we do right through to the way we do it. So much has changed in recent decades that generations at school today are far more adept at using these technological features than preceding age groups, and this trend is set to continue.

In education today, IT education is not only about teaching students and pupils what they need to learn to advance in the modern world, but is also about how various tools and techniques can help them learn more efficiently. Here are some of the main reasons why IT education solutions are so important.

Firstly, it is important to put in place an IT solution for schools as it can help students get the most out of learning. With many classes today utilising various devices and technologies to learn, ensuring that these are being used in the most efficient way possible to maximise the learning experience is very important.

Devices such as smart boards and tablets all have their role in the classroom, but being set up with right software and cloud computing options can make the difference between implementing new technology just for the sake of it - and often to great expense - and implementing it cost effectively and for maximum impact.

With more and more young people being extremely adept at using technology in the first place, having a solution that can meet their expectations can also make a huge difference for an educational institution. Whether primary, secondary or higher education, students can become more engaged in lessons where technology is used correctly and in an engaging, modern way.

The importance of great IT education solutions also rolls over into the independent research and leisure time of pupils or students at an educational institution. Although many devices used in the classroom can enhance learning, having great software and cloud computing options in place to facilitate independent study and research is extremely beneficial.

This can enhance learning in many ways and help the school meet its targets in many different areas of learning. Again, this can help encourage curiosity and motivation to learn for a technology-orientated generation.

The next way that IT education solutions are so important is for the impact that they have on teachers and other staff at school, improving their ways of working. Schools and educational institutions are busy, creative and constantly-evolving organisms, and any IT solution needs to be able to adapt along with the institution's changing needs.

Tools such as Google for Schools mean that not only can students take advantage of the benefits of technology in the classroom, but so can the staff. This can assist the ease of lesson preparation for teachers, coordination of lesson plans between teachers managing the same classrooms, and accurate records for attendance and pupil performance maintained by staff at the school.

Many modern cloud based tools are extremely collaborative and facilitate greater information sharing and record keeping. For institutions looking to improve efficiency in the workplace for the benefit of the institution as a whole - students, staff and results - then implementing these solutions can make a huge defense.

IT education solutions have a huge role to play in modern education, and finding a service provider that can deliver these can make all the difference for an institution. For schools looking to make a huge difference for their staff and their learns, time should be spent looking for a company that is dedicated to helping your institution take advantage of all that technology has to offer.

This could include new devices, a new IT infrastructure and the integration of cloud computing into the everyday lives of students and staff. As technology and innovation constantly moves forward, this can help any institution reap great rewards in the present and in the future.

Smile Business Group offers a superior and tailored business solutions service to help their clients' companies succeed. With 75 years' combined experience in the IT, business and education sectors, the group delivers a range of services through its Smile IT, Smile Tel and Smile Consulting operations. Through proactively engaging organisational executives and owners, Smile IT aligns best of breed technologies and infrastructure to provide small to medium enterprises with a dynamic and robust platform to enhance their business and technology investment. Operating in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast in Australia, Smile IT is committed to their customers remaining at the cutting edge of technology and offers lightening quick customer support with no lock in contracts. To find out more, please visit: http://www.smileit.com.au/

Are VoIP Telephone Systems Reliable?

Sometimes, business communications choices seem baffling; there are now so many different technologies available that it can often be difficult to know which is best for your organisation. One technology, in particular, continues to grow in popularity thanks to its reliability and cost effectiveness. This technology is VoIP, which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, also called internet telephony. Early issues which impeded its implementation are a now a distant memory and VoIP is quickly becoming the industry standard. However, many business owners still have concerns over the reliability of VoIP and, as such, are hesitant to implement it within their organisation.

Using a computer-to-computer private network so there's no need for a traditional telephone system, VOIP offers businesses free, or low cost, but high performance voice and video calls with optimum security. VoIP telephone systems are also simple to use and manage. Although a decent internet connection is required, you may be surprised to know that the average uptime is above 99% and calls and data are very rarely dropped.

Installation of the equipment is quick, not as costly as fitting a traditional telephone system and a service provider normally assists the going live and programming of the system on day one and, thereafter, maintenance and costs are minimal.

VoIP telephone systems can either be owned outright or businesses can rent a hosted system. For hosted VoIP, it's imperative that you select a reputable service provider to maximise the service levels. Hosted VoIP telephone systems are generally better suited to SMEs, due to the per-user pricing structure. Additional benefits of hosted VoIP include all ongoing maintenance and support, which can be a huge money saver.

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) technology is frequently adopted for a VoIP phone system. SIP directs calls from a client's PBX in the VoIP network to a traditional PSTN. Traditional phones can be used to make VoIP calls, with the addition of an analogue telephone adaptor (ATA). Data is transferred in packets using the IP (internet protocol). The system offers the same high levels of performance as with a pre-programmed SIP phone.

Security is a primary concern and, as with any IT network, care should be taken over firewalls, encryption and access levels, but VOIP also has its own software if encryption is not desirable.

If there is an interruption in the power supply the better VoIP providers have battery backup or call diversion options so that operations are unaffected and, if the server goes down, an inbuilt intercom feature will be maintained too.

These are the common key benefits of a VoIP telephone system:
  • Low call drop rate.
  • Performance and uptime is over 99%.
  • HD standard video conferencing.
  • Maximum performance levels for voice conference calls.
  • Extensions are easily to find and operate.
  • Voicemail with message notifications.
  • Call diverts to a pre-set quantity of alternative numbers before it defaults to voicemail.
  • Transcribed messages, from voicemail to e-mail.
  • Hold music.
  • Door access system incorporation.
  • Do not disturb function.
  • Call screening abilities.
  • Comprehensive activity reports.
  • Call recording meeting PCI DSS regulations.
  • Barge and whisper options for on call assistance and training.
  • Lower cost communications.
  • Optimised customer service through better communications.
  • Easy to expand, add additional lines and cloud technology.
Check how ready your business is to adopt VoIP, many users have found it to be easily to install, extremely reliable and superior to traditional copper wired telephony. Why not join them and enjoy the benefits?

For VoIP telephone systems in Birmingham and the West Midlands, contact Midland Networks today. 0800 849 8585

The Microeconomics and Macroeconomics of Job Loss

It is true that some homeowners have purchased homes that were out of their range. Some mortgage companies in the subprime market have taken advantage of deregulations within the industry. That is not the complete story and only accounts for less than 30% of what is currently in foreclosure or default.

Jobs are necessary for people to earn money to pay for their homes. When one looses their job it affects more than just there lifestyle, it affects everyone to some degree or another.

Do not be fooled in the media hyped propaganda, that it was the mortgage industry that blew it all up.
For the last 3-4 years, there has been a steady stream of job loss in this country. Some of these losses are due to downsizing of companies and sending jobs overseas for cheaper labor. It is not just the auto industry that has sent jobs overseas, many others have followed suit.

Let me illustrate what happens when a person looses their job. The first thing is that they go to unemployment to file a claim. The next they start the tedious job of looking for work. The average time it has taken as per reports from the media is anywhere between 4.5 to 6 months or more to get another job.

Here is a person who is looking for work and the majority of employers evaluate, how long that person has been out of work and are their skills up to date. The theme of most employers if that person has been out of work too long, then they most likely will pass them up. If they are hired, usually it is for less money than there original salary that they made from there past job.

In the interim of time, unless that person has 6 months worth of money saved then they will be late on payments and may not be able to pay there mortgage in part or in full. They may be forced into bankruptcy on their credit cards. This obviously affects their credit and affects their employment, since credit in a majority of cases is also viewed as a qualification.

Now if you have one person, no longer able to make payments for basic expenses, it destroys their credit not to mention their self-esteem. Realize that this does effect their consumption on food, utilities and travel.

At these times with high cost of gas and basic utilities, it pushes the individual reduce the use of these most basic of needs. Though unemployment can assist some, it generally is insufficient to pay for all the basic bills, especially rent or mortgages.

Think about a homeowner who has to pay the homeowner insurance, mortgage, and car payments, car insurance not to mention health insurance. Investment in a 401K or Ira ceases and possible borrowing from these retirement account if one is lucky to have one, will drive them further into indebtedness.

The job loss influences the microeconomics of businesses that surround the level of earnings for this individual. Let us add to that those defaults on credit accounts of which this individual will be harassed by collectors. Now, let us add millions of Americans out of work. It is not just the blue-collar worker it also includes the white-collar worker. The combined incomes support a myriad of businesses from real estate to the mom and pop store down the block.

I recall my father who had bought a grocery store in the Bronx. About five months after the purchase 5 buildings in the neighborhood where condemned, this forced over 1000 people out of the area. The result was a $ 500.00 reduction in sales per day!

If you do the math, that is a decrease of $ 180,000.00 in business. My father then had to buy less inventory from the wholesalers, which affects their profit margins. The decrease in profit margins from the wholesaler had to adjust there wholesale purchases. Realize that this simple shift affected a chain of other businesses surrounding one action from the city.

This of course led to my father letting go of help in the store. He could no longer afford an employee; it took 3 years of working on his own with family helping out as they could, to finally hiring someone for relief.

Now when we turn into the bigger picture, that view of macroeconomics and expand to millions of people, this is quit an effect. If we take a view that the average person makes about $ 20,000 per year and we multiply that by about 14 million jobless, we arrive at $ 280 billion dollars out of circulation.

This affects all Wall Street and Main Street. Savings, Investment, Utilities, Mortgage, Apartment Owners, Retail facilities are all affected. Compound this with falling off the tax roles of the cities, states and federal government and you have a crisis.

Home values will continue to decline until this hole is filled. The notion that home values will return once the inventory of already defaulted properties decreases is faulty at best. The reason is that the inventories of defaults will not be reduced until jobs are restored once again. I have watched my home value drop from 425K to 217K and it continues to decline in value.

The only way to stop the downturn is to freeze all default properties for the next at least 6 months until people can get back on their feet. There is just no other way. If you want even more of a crisis, keep the foreclosures going and the problem becomes the homeless and major increases in crime.

In my own community, I have seen many businesses close. Furniture businesses, small video rentals, and even caf?'s have closed their doors. This is why the banking and financial institutions are in trouble. Giving them more money to loan homeowners is not a solution. Banks are now raising their standards to qualify for a mortgage. The current homeowner may not be able to meet the new requirements, which does nothing for a refinance.

Credit card companies are raising their interest rates and are lowering the credit lines for most card holders if not canceling their card altogether. The credit freeze continues while the card companies will enjoy the bail out money.

Investing in new technologies, energy and other alternatives will bring about more job stability. Working on Infrastructures from roads to fixing schools will bring about more stimulation to the economy at large then just bailing out failing companies.

I find it odd that the same companies that are being bailed out are still paying high compensation to their executives. These CEO's should at least make the gesture of cutting 20% of their executive pay to help keep personnel.

This problem was caused by the need of greed. The larger companies are always accountable to their stockholders. There ability to ship jobs overseas for cheap labor increases their bottom line. CEO's enjoy a blessed life with golden parachutes. The average American worker usually has only what they earn and that is it.

I have no problem with competitiveness. Corporations should do what they can to make their bottom line profitable. That is a responsible behavior. Yet, that is not what we are seeing. What we see is many jobs going overseas or being eliminated altogether, without retraining or assisting individuals for new gainful employment.

Greed has replaced social responsibility. The deficit has risen and government has abandoned its responsibility to the American public. The elite in government will not recognize any problem until it hits home.

Americans are much smarter than this past administration credits them. These current elections have given the new administration a mandate, to stop the bleeding and bring us back home to the America we know and love.

We are still that great experiment that was created many years ago. We are the creative and the most blessed country in resources and innovation. Let us put that to use and bring back the prosperity that we all truly deserve.
John Tebar Certified Life Coach, author and entrepreneur sign up for Ezine at http://holisticlifeplanningandresearch.com

More on the London execution

The Times has a piece that begins to challange some of the recieved wisdom on the London execution.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1707480,00.html

Another family member said that he had recently been attacked and robbed in that area by a gang of young white men and thought the plain-clothes officers were muggers.

By far the most controversial claim comes from a number of witnesses who have cast doubt on police statements that they shouted a warning or identified themselves to the suspect before opening fire.

Lee Ruston, 32, who was on the platform, said that he did not hear any of the three shout “police” or anything like it. Mr Ruston, a construction company director, said that he saw two of the officers put on their blue baseball caps marked “police” but that the frightened electrician could not have seen that happen because he had his back to the officers and was running with his head down.

Mr Ruston remembers one of the Scotland Yard team screaming into a radio as they were running. Mr Ruston thought the man that they were chasing “looked Asian” as he tumbled on to a waiting Northern Line train.

Less than a minute later Mr Menezes was pinned to the floor of the carriage by two men while a third officer fired five shots into the base of his skull.

Again, Mr Ruston says that no verbal warning was given.


I'm certain there is a lot more to this story that we have been told.

On Paris


Another exiled euro-lefty now resident in New Zealand, Joe, had written an excellent piece on the Paris Riots, well worth a read.

I was one of the coordinators of the Irish mobilization to the Second European Social Forum which was held in Paris two years ago, to the day. We had over a hundred people come from Ireland, and it was my job to head over early and co-ordinate accommodation with the ESF organizers there, as well as get the lie of the land and find out where everything was happening...

Imagine the shock when most people coming to the ESF discovered that a lot of the sessions were happening thirty or forty kilometers out from what most of us consider Paris, that beautiful walled medieval city of the Commune, May 68 and the Revolution. I spent the first day going from Bobigny (end of the line) to St Denis, and the hidden Paris of the ghetto-suburbs blew me away. Looking back on it now, the French ESF organizers probably opened Europe's eyes to the hidden reality of 21st century Paris. At the time we thought it was stupid to spend half the day traveling, but now I think it might have been a stroke of genius...


Mile after mile of desolate estate-high rise ghettos reaching out to the horizon. The train stations were all covered with New York style hip hop graffiti, and when I got off at the second last stop (St Denis-Porte de Paris) I got a real shock.

It was Bastille Day, when France celebrates its revolution, and in the middle of this concrete urban bunker that doubled as the town's main square, a bunch of old (white) army veterans were holding up French Tricolor banners gilded in gold with the names of their legions and the battles they had fought inscribed on it. This did not look to me like a progressive bunch of Communards or Sans Culottes. Maybe some of these guys had seen action in Algeria with Le PEn's torturing paratroopers.

Around them were clusters of African and Arab kids, shouting out the names of towns and cities these old men had probably killed people in. Bwtween the two groups were a cohort of fully tooled up CRS riot police, with body armor, Alsatian dogs, tear gas weapons that looked like sawn off shotguns, and huge paddy wagons with armor plating on them. To me it looked like some version of the Orange Order insisting on their right to march provocatively in Derry, aided by their RUC racist police cousins... I remembered the Bob Marley song at the beginning of the cinema verite intro to the film La Haine, with his words "they were dressed in uniforms of brutality" echoing over a montage of riots in Paris.

We went on to meet a lot of the French and European left that week, with these suburbs as an ever hissing background. We crossed a bridge in one suburb where the CRS had massacred hundreds of Arabs in Paris when they attacked a solidarity march during the height of the Algerian War. We stayed with most of the North of Ireland crew in a gym in the old Jewish quarter of Villejuif, which was cleared of most of its Jewish citizens by the Nazis and the Vichy, and was now a bustling Arab section. It had been a stronghold of the French Communist Party, the PCF, and in a nice touch of Gallic solidarity, the old Communist mayor came round one morning and cooked a hundred of us an unbelievable French breakfast! (I'd date the revival of the French left from there!)

SOlidarity with their North of Irish comrades, no problem. But what struck me most about the French left was their lack of contacts with the Arab and African ghettos of Paris and beyond. A group of us North of Irelanders went out to an Arab cafe one night, and I'm nearly sure we were the first caucasian group EVER inside! IN our broken French we talked about the ESF- most of them had not heard about it. But they were amazed to learn that we were against the war, supported the resistance in Iraq and Palestine, hated the Front National and defended the right for Muslims to wear the hijab. We left that Arab cafe late that morning with a lot of new friends! Many of them will have been out fighting this week.

I am disappointed to see that the resurgent French radical left, that has been kicking neo-liberal ass with the defeat of the EU Constitution and the nearly monthly mass strikes, is nowhere to be seen defending the kids of the banluies. If there was a similar uprising here in South Auckland, I have every confidence in the radical workers movement in Aotearoa that we would defend the kids here. The problems are the same in the worlds big cities- poor working class youth, often immigrant and multicultural, lies fuming, festering, and forgotten in huge sprawling ghettos miles away from Sky or Eiffel Towers...

The French radical left needs to engage with Arab and black French youth. Supporting the government's crackdown on the hijab was disgusting, and revolutionaries should really know better.

There is now an uprising, an intifada, in urban France. le Pen's fascists have been along to some of the so called "peace marches", wearing tricolor sashes and talking about the need to clear the ghettos of "scum". In the weeks to come, the French radical left has a major part to play. Will they end up like the old CP in May 68- condemning the students whose bravery fighting the CRS led three weeks later to Western Europe's closest shot to a socialist revolution, with over 1o million on strike? Much better if they'd play the role of the students...
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