November 13, 1887 saw one of the most notable demonstrations in history. Britain had created a difficult social situation due to a severe rise in unemployment and suspension of many civil rights, mainly affecting the Irish working class. After years of unrest it had finally reached a breaking point. Around 10 000 protesters marched on to Trafalgar Square, a symbolic meeting point of the working class and upper class. In response 2000 police and 400 troops were called in to halt the demonstration. As in every political demonstration where the working class rises to defend itself against the tyranny of government and the upper class, the police relentlessly beat down the innocent protesters. Using their fists and truncheons they beat not only men but women and children. Most were injured with at least 200 being treated at a hospital and 3 suffering from fatal wounds and dying.
I wish I could say this behaviour was abnormal. I wish I could say that this type of thing remains in the past but unfortunately it doesn't. Unfortunately it's not unusual for the government to silence its people. The working class were merely trying to bring attention to their cause. They were practicing the art of free speech and bringing to light the atrocities the government refused to acknowledge. What was their reaction? To beat down everyone who attended. It didn't matter the age or sex, they were quickly and viciously shut up.
You wish to hear examples of present day demonstrations where protesters are mistreated? They are countless but here are just a few:
- Battle in Seattle
- Quebec Student Protests
- FEMEN Protests
- Bolivia Revolt
- Occupy Wallstreet
You'll notice one thing when reading about protests, past or present, they blame the protesters. They claim that they're violent and dangerous. Sometimes the media even paints them to be anarchists. What a ridiculous notion! Just because you disagree with the government or corporation or IMF/WTO/World Bank or whatever it is doesn't make you to be an irrational anarchist. It seems like "anarchists" are the next "terrorist", the next bogeyman the government and media warns you about. Well guess what, those protesters are defending you and me. They're defending their rights. They're simply trying to bring to light an atrocity. The Bolivia Revolt is a perfect example. An American corporation attempted to privatize water in Bolivia, meaning that everyday people would have to pay for a necessity, how absurd! They were punished severely for speaking out but that didn't stop them.
Another great example is the Battle in Seattle. The WTO (World Trade Organization) was meeting to decide the fate of the world as we know it. So peaceful demonstrations took place to try and stop their globalization agenda. Yet the media reported violent protesters, which wasn't the case. Yet it made everyone assume that the protesters were evil and the WTO were innocent victims. If you knew what the WTO were doing, you wouldn't believe it.
I could go on and on about this but I think it's important that everyone does their own research. Make your own decisions. It would be your choice to decide whether or not the media evaluated situations correctly. Yet I would urge you not to believe everything you see and hear on television. Think about who controls the media, it's not the people. It's corporate entities, bending and shaping it to their will as they see fit. Makes you think, doesn't it?
If you're really interested, there are some excellent documentaries. There's one entitled "Battle in Seattle" about the 1999 protest I mentioned. More importantly there's one documentary you must watch called, "The Corporation". It's on Netflix right now (if you have an account). I highly recommend watching it.
Remember, remember the 5th of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.
Today is Guy Fawkes Day, a memorable moment in history for Londoners. In 1605 Guy Fawkes (Guido Fawkes) and accomplices, all Catholics, planned and failed an attempt to destroy Parliament along with the Protestant King James. They had disagreed with his heartless political actions so they sought to assassinate him and replace him with who they considered to be the rightful heir, his daughter Princess Elizabeth.
Guy Fawkes had been prepared to set alight barrels of gunpowder when Parliament was back in session however as left his station the night before he was arrested. Following procedure he was tortured until they were able to obtain a guilty plea under duress. His punishment would not be a merciful one. He was to be hanged, drawn and quartered along with some of his co-conspirators. (If you're unsure what that means, I suggest not looking it up. It would make most people squeamish. I can guarantee that it was the worst way to die.) Guy Fawkes knew of the horrible death that awaited him so with the noose around his neck, he jumped. This caused him to break his neck, killing him instantly.
In my opinion Guy Fawkes and the others must have had an excellent reason for attempting assassination and destroying the entire parliament. They were prepared to destroy the very symbol of their government, most likely in hopes that the government to replace him would be significantly better.
King James was by no means an innocent man. He was like most royalty: cruel, narcissistic and arrogant. For example, he was personally involved in torturing young women who were accused of witchcraft. He must have been a very unjust leader since in his first year of reign alone there were 2 separate conspiracies against him, one to kidnap him and the other to remove him and replace him with his cousin Arabella Stuart. One reason that Guy Fawkes might have been personally motivated to remove him from power were the heavy fines levied at Catholics who did not attend the Church of England (Anglican Protestant currently). Not to mention the Anglo-Spanish war that never seemed to end.
Guy Fawkes to this day has remained a notorious figure. On Guy Fawkes Day in England they commemorate the event with fireworks and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes. This serves as a warning that the treason will never be forgotten.
In recent years the image of Guy Fawkes has transformed from heinous conspirator to folk hero. This change in perspective is due to the popularity of a film entitled, "V for Vendetta" based on an American comic book of the same name. The story features a dashing, mysterious figure named "V" who seeks to undermine and uproot the fascist dictatorship in a futuristic England. He re-tells the story of Guy Fawkes, explaining the necessity to destroy government when it is working against the people. This film has become so popular that Guy Fawkes masks (featured on V) have been used in protests against governments and other organizations. Guy Fawkes has become a symbol for freedom from tyranny and oppression.
I simply love the movie "V for Vendetta". In honour of Guy Fawkes Day I will be watching it and remembering why the Gunpowder Treason should never be forgot. To my readers, always be suspect of your government, they don't always have your best interests at heart.
"Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villian by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengence; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."
- V for Vendetta (2005)
I've been asked this question numerous times before and I've answered differently every time. At one time I would say Mozart and at another I would answer Leonardo da Vinci. I still want to meet them but sometimes priorities change. As does life. Today if I was asked, ""If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?" Today my answer is Erzsébet Báthory.
Countess Báthory was a 16th century Hungarian noble infamous for allegedly torturing and murdering over 650 girls. When I found out that piece of trivia I just wanted to know more. Who is this woman? I suppose it peaked a strange curiosity. I was in disbelief. How could one woman have access to that many women and be capable of killing them?
In some circles she is known as The Blood Countess. She has been written about and talked about over and over. People have been obsessed with her for hundreds of years. She is a fascinating case, murderer or not. What's even stranger is what people believe she did with the girls. For centuries there has been a myth that Countess Báthory bathed in the blood of virgins in order to keep herself looking young.
Little wonder why there have been so many people intrigued with her life. Yet after countless hours of research I discovered many interesting facts often ignored or dismissed. There is no proof she ever killed anyone. There is a lot of speculation from peasants and some finger pointing at a trial from "witnesses", but no proof. Even if you relied upon the witness testimonies, they were taken under duress and only named 32 possible girls. In fact, there's something else entirely that's important to consider. The Countess was incredibly wealthy. She had multiple estates and wielded more power than any noble, even the King. Her husband and her were of the highest status, he leading men into battle and her the toast of Vienna.
King Mátyás II owed the Countess money. After her husband died, she needed the money since there was no longer a steady income from pillaging. She repeatedly asked the King through letters and appearing in the royal court. He denied her every time. Eventually she was forced to sell some of her estates. Guess who purchased them? The King. Suddenly he had money to burn. Another key piece of evidence to know, the King asked nobles loyal to him to help usurp the Countess of her power and her land. He was plotting behind her back.
Why would I want to meet this woman? I would want to find out the truth once and for all. Was she really a murderous narcissist or did the King set her up to be destroyed? Unless time travel is an option, we'll just never know.
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
The question remains: did Lizzie Borden murder her mother and father? Honestly, there's no clear answer. They never found the murder weapon or blood evidence yet they barred her testimony from the trial and excluded the prussic acid she purchased. Not to mention the dress she burned in the stove, claiming it was ruined from a paint smear. Sounds pretty suspicious.
Lizzie was 32 at time of the alleged murder. She was definitely mature enough to be able to cover up a murder but did she have motive? Let's just say that her father was a cheap, cruel bastard. For instance, Lizzie had been keeping pet pigeons in a barn, happily tending to them everyday, when one day she found them decapitated. He chopped off their heads with an axe because he didn't want boys coming around the barn. He also refused to upgrade to modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and bought cheap meat, leaving it on the stove for days while it spoiled. On top of that, she was never close with her stepmother, most likely resenting her for replacing her dead mother.
Then there's the motive of money. Her father was very wealthy. Relative to today, he would still be considered extremely wealthy. Upon her father's death, her sister and her split the assets.
Still not convinced? There was a theory that it could have been the maid but it doesn't seem to quite fit if you think about it. The maid was only 26, rather young compared to Lizzie and on top of that, lacking in clear motive. Another theory points to her father's illegitimate son seeking revenge but that doesn't seem plausible either.
In my opinion, she did it. The only reason they didn't convict her in 1893 was because she was a woman. Women weren't people. Women couldn't think rationally. Women couldn't even vote. The judge and jury probably just scoffed at the idea of a woman murdering anyone and decided to let her go. So she got away with it. She knew what she was doing. She got rid of the evidence and let the system fail on it's own. She knew they wouldn't convict a woman of murder nor would their investigative abilities be good enough to discover any real evidence. In fact they could have used fingerprinting but the police doing the investigation didn't trust it yet.
Times certainly have changed. If Lizzie Borden had murdered her parents today, I doubt she would have gotten away with it.
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