Mac Urata Photography © 2010 – 14 All rights reserved.m.urata@btinternet.com

Mac Urata Photography
Children of Yezidi, kids from Kobanî
Children of Yezidi, kids from Kobanî

It stopped raining during the night and a warm morning with a big blue sky greeted us in Diyarbakir. As our minibus drove out of the city, green fields spread endlessly along the roadsides in this south eastern province of Turkey. From our car window, life here seems simple and quiet. How long did we [...]

Until the bottom of the bucket falls
Until the bottom of the bucket falls

I met a worker in Charleston, South Carolina who had to drive her school bus with a temperature of 102°F. The management often refuses to take drivers off the roster when they are ill, claiming that no substitute is available. A few days later in Pensacola, Florida, another driver employed by the same company told [...]

Sunflowers in March
Sunflowers in March

The spring is around the corner in London. Snow drops and daffodils are blossoming. I saw them in Hyde Park today. However, I did not have the time to take those pictures. Instead, I followed the sunflowers. Those were the men and women who marched the streets of London in solidarity with the people in [...]

Steve Edwards (1950 – 2012) A tribute
Steve Edwards (1950 - 2012) A tribute

The  ITF is greatly saddened by the tragic and unexpected departure of Steve Edwards. He passed away on 3 December 2012, aged 62, after a short illness. Steve has been based in Maryland, USA  for a decade, first working as an SEIU staff member and later becoming an advisor to the Teamsters Union on their [...]

Mic check! Mic check! – echoing voices of outcasts
Mic check! Mic check! - echoing voices of outcasts

It is only a small park of 3,100 square meters. If the place is empty, you can walk across the concrete ground in 2 minutes. Today, the Liberty Square or Zuccotti Park is crammed with people. I’d say 40% of the premises is taken by the occupiers and their tents. A people’s library was recently [...]

Summer of riots and what people say
Summer of riots and what people say

On my way home from work last night, I stopped over at my local Tesco Superstore. In principle, this place is open around the clock but the doors were closed. I was told the reason being “a riot in the nearby town”. Its car park is huge but was empty. I was shocked. Even in [...]

Dear Janek, Osanloo is free at last
Dear Janek, Osanloo is free at last

Dear Janek I am sure by now you know the good news. Mansour Osanloo was released from prison yesterday! It is almost four years from that abduction on 10 July. We were shocked and outraged. If you add the previous arrests, it is five years of imprisonment. And the only “crime” that he committed was [...]

The Silent Spring
The Silent Spring

“The only thing missing from these pictures are bullet holes” said my father. “So you’ve been to hell and back” was my mother’s response. Last weekend, I went to see them after visiting Japan’s Tohoku region on the Pacific-side where the recent earthquake and tsunami caused major destructions. They saw my photos and film. My [...]

Speaking at Fukushima Vigil
Speaking at Fukushima Vigil

[Translation from Japanese] About a hundred people took part in the Vigil for Fukushima that Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) organised today in front of the Whitehall, opposite 10 Downing Street in London. CND is a UK-based anti-nuclear and peace organisation that was founded in 1958. The vigil was attended by Labour Party MP Jeremy [...]

How my ‘teach-in’ started in Mersin
How my 'teach-in' started in Mersin

“Tell us about the history of your organisation, then?” said Esin. I had a few hours before my departure. Our rally was over and she said we could visit some places in the city.  I said, “no thanks”. It was OK for me just to hang around at the picket-line in front of the Mersin [...]

MaQuiz – The heart that I left in New York
MaQuiz - The heart that I left in New York

It was the summer of 1989 that I visited the Big Apple. I used to live in the Bronx for several years in the 70s and this was my first return to the place which meant so much to me. At school, you were taught about equality, yet we treated each other with partiality based [...]

Album review: Folkways – A Vision Shared
Album review: Folkways - A Vision Shared

This is a tribute album to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly by a wide-rang of top recording artists, including Bob Dylan, U2 and Brian Wilson. Guthrie’s long-time business manager, Harold Leventhal produced the album in 1988. It won the Grammy Award – Best Traditional Folk Recording – that year. The full tracking list is available at [...]

Rhodesia crossing
Rhodesia crossing

As we were finishing our railway seminar in Lusaka, the news came in: “Mugabe deported the arriving trade unionists from South Africa at Harare international airport”. My next destination was Bulawayo via Harare. It was February 2005 and this was the second expulsion in 3 months by Mugabe. What shall I do? Veteran Nigerian colleague [...]

Trotsky’s vacation
Trotsky's vacation

It was during the short Easter break that our family visited Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy several years ago. At home, I am often at the receiving end of guided democracy in terms of deciding holiday destinations and what to do there. And since I am regarded as a seasoned business traveler, I am expected to [...]

River of pacifism
River of pacifism

It was a freezing cold that day in January 2009 as I joined the protest march that the Stop the War Coalition organised in London against the escalation of violence by the Israeli forces in Gaza. Our placards said “Stop the massacre”. The turn-out was huge despite the below-zero temperature weather and occasional flaky snow. [...]

Where Karl Marx sleeps
Where Karl Marx sleeps

Karl Marx died on 14 March 1883 in London. He was 65 years old and spent 34 years in Britain on exile. He was buried in High Gate Cemetery three days later. Only a dozen people attended the funeral there. They were all his close friends or members of family. His wife, Jenny, had already [...]