Artist and activist Sampsa witnessed a terror attack in Paris. And it wasn’t the first time.
When you’ve heard gunshots and had proper training, that sound never really goes too far away from the ear. I remember once a Cessna plane crashed in-between two houses and we could see the flames and smoke from the window. The explosion sounded like an artillery shell. And last night, the sound of guns spraying bullets was unmistakable – so we opened up the bedroom window which faces a courtyard on the street of the bar Le Carillon and restaurant Le Petite Cambodge.
I paused, remained still to not make noise, was listening for screaming, car tires screech – but nothing – just spraying of what sounded like auto gunfire. In fact, it went on for so long with no other noise that I thought it’s either fireworks or a film set, and closed the window.
Then messages began pouring in ”Where are you? What’s happening? Are you safe? Don’t go outside! Kevin ducked behind a car dodging bullets but everyone at the Factory is ok”.
And then it occurred, it wasn’t a film shoot outside. Within two clicks on the web I could see people lying dead at the two places I frequently pass by daily. I shop at the Franprix next door sometimes for better deals.
And that wasn’t the end of it.
I have a studio in a small factory next to Rue Charonne. It’s a 5 minutes’ bike ride from my apartment. That’s our Factory, originally taken over by a group of painters and activists, and it also got hit by gunmen. That’s is why Kevin apparently was dodging bullets.
Few more clicks and there was a hostage situation which, as you can now read, ended tragically.
People will invariably ask me today ’how is Paris?’ The answer in short is between ’sad and angry’. Same with Charlie Hebdo, same with Twin Towers.
Media blitz is in full swing with virtually every media globally reporting the ’TERRORIST ATTACK’ to the point where you just know either more people died elsewhere last night, or that the Trans-Pacific Partnership ending freedom as we know it is inching ever closer to a reality. It’s not as alluring to report about the Lebanese suffering similar attacks in Beirut just days ago – folks up top prefer to flash ”TERROR ALERT, yes, THEY are now coming for YOU” never mind the other families being bombed, murdered, liquidated hourly in the Middle East.
With Charlie Hebdo, 12 people were killed, it dominated news media, but within days 2000 were killed in a similar terror attack in Nigeria and it received bleep, bleep, bleep coverage
This is called selective grief. It’s a form of training. Media presses an ”EMPATHY NOW” button and it floods, then the empathy tap is quickly sealed and all those folks dying quietly in wars, dying quietly for the products we voraciously consume, is cut clean off. Pff. No more empathy for the kids dying in tin mines for your iPhone, it disappears like it was never there. We are clean and new again.
Because, make no mistake, in 2015, it is all traceable. You want oil in your gas tank, go ahead, but don’t think for one moment there isn’t a ratio of red to black with each litre. Even if the oil was coming from Norway we would have to go back into the 1970’s where deep sea divers were being sacrificed like exploding frogs because technology wasn’t were it needed to be in order for a human to dive at 500m, not to mention the starting technology for those depths and a trip to the moon came directly from German concentration camp testing of prisoners. European prisoners.
Your phone, your computer, your sneakers, your close – most, if not all of it will be traceable to pain and suffering at this point.
How deeply do you feel about the tragedy last night? Because with all of my friends in Paris who never took a moment to pen political work, 95% of them slid comfortably back into drawing butterflies after keeping their Je Suis profile picture for a month. When Hebdo is discussed in Paris, it’s discussed as a joke how the public reacted ’we care, we care, oh, there it went, sorry there was a two for one sale, wait, I’m back – EMPATHY NOW’
I could continue with sarcasm, but to be fair my fucking stomach is turning.
So, I have an idea. If we want to stop the flood of immigrants dumping into Europe, if we don’t want suicide bombers on our collective street corners, then we have to do something. Finland like no other country in the world has the network, education and the binding citizens’ initiative to make an action that could be heard around the world today. We’ll click 150,000 to shun multiculturalism, another 150,000 for Ville Valo, how many clicks do you think we could get for a referendum to stop Finland from purchasing arms from Israel? We have weapons contracts for a few hundred million euros with Israeli defence contractors and last year we witnessed 1200 dead, 450 of which were children. That’s 10 times more than the people that died in Paris last night. Our money is our compliance and since Israel is one of the few countries guilty of breaking UN Security Protocols, such a referendum is clear: Finland neither trades military technology with nor purchases weapons from a country found guilty of breaking UN Security Council Protocols.
The Middle East is being flooded with European weapons, Finnish ones too, like the Sako TRG sniper rifle ordered by the Egyptian Army and probably very effectively used on August 13, 2014 when 900 died. The French too are selling arms into Middle East. And so are Germans, British. The arms industry is making out like bandits while we’re now getting blown up in the streets because the people over there are finally fed up and willing to come here to remind us that they have families too.
I do not condone the actions of assholes last night. Which is to say, this needs to stop.
Finland can send a very powerful message, our government has no business buying or selling weapons where mass murders are occurring. We do this and the rest of the Europe can follow. Our voices can be heard throughout the Middle East. It’s time we put arms manufacturers on a leash for the sake of all our children.
There is a lot wrong with the world. Watch your foot print (which includes your government) and make sure you’re not stepping in shit.
It’s not cool anymore.
Apple can make products that don’t enslave and kill, just as Finland doesn’t have to buy weapons from countries that shamelessly murder 450 children within days. Pretty simple when you think about it – it’s just a matter of us, in uniform saying, cut it out already.
Public servant, Sampsa