Saturday, 26 October 2013

Radio Straka - Second Transmission

The second transmission of Radio Straka started at 9am in the UK and is as before an eclectic mix of information and music.

This time the underlying theme is of workers rights and unions, but as before the theme weaves it's way through other related subjects.

@RadioStraka is on hand of course to add some extra detail, and I think any listen to the transmission should also include a read of the tweets that were happening at the same time. The first picture shown here was tweeted at around 25 minutes in and is entitled "An Idyll"

One thing that cropped up early on was alluded to after the first broadcast which said the second broadcast would be in 9 hours 19 minutes. One of the first things said in the second transmission was "This broadcast should be occurring 19 days and 19 hours after the last one" so 19 seems to be a significant number.

We also asked @RadioStraka about the eclectic music tastes and this is the reply we got back.

I am not sure if this means the answer to the songs will be on this page or whether this is another wider mystery, but I can't wait to find out.

We will get a transcript up as soon as we can, if you can help with this please get in touch, but in the meantime have a listen to the broadcast on or on

If you need something else to convince you to listen to the broadcast then how about this picture.

The next transmission is scheduled for the 27th of October (Tomorrow) at 2pm and we are assuming that is GMT as the other broadcasts have been UK time.

Now follows a Transcript of Transmission 2 - 26/10/2013

While this is a useful resource the original transmission should be listened to for the intonation and cadence of the spoken word, plus some of the music is quite funky !

(Birds sounds and waves)

Music: “Doina and Hora” by Jacob Hohlman, Kandel’s Orchestra

Ah, welcome, welcome again to Radio Strake. Thank you for listening so far. I thank you for listening again. 

Now bearing in mind the topic of todays show, this broadcast should probably be occurring 19 days and 19 hours after the last one. This show is about deeds, about a labor movement and the struggle.


Now, today only marketeers still believe in propaganda by the deed. One hundred years after the dawn of World War 1, a century after the great strikes of 1912, propaganda par le fait from the French, of course, in its non-violent form is activity marketing. OK? So, how ironic it is that the techniques of anarchists and anticapitalists, activists 150 years ago should now be co-oped by capitalist itself. I give you some quotes. I give you some quotes now from the fathers of the struggle. Carlo Pisacane, this is 1857, "Political Testament,” "ideas spring from deeds and not the other way around." OK?  Ah, anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, 1870, in his writings "we must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda." 

Ah, now, it was Paul Brousse who, B r o u s s e, not B r u c e, Paul Brousse, who popularized the phrase propaganda par le fait, in 1877, and it came to be used in reference to bombings, ah, regicides and tyrannicides - violent criminal insurrections that were mean to ignite imminent revolutions. Now, dynamite, the new technology of the age, was a tool and the use of the bomb as a weapon to strike directly at discrimination began then. So, in 1883, the London Metropolitan police formed the Special Irish Branch (SIB) or Special Branch to combat the Irish Republic Brotherhood which was formed in 1867 as a revolutionary organization fighting for, of course, Irish nationalism. Now, from 1894 to1896, the President of France, the Prime Minister of Spain, and the Russian-Hungarian Empress where, guess what, yes, they were killed by anarchists. So, so, so… question, another question for you. Not all bombs in history were placed by those who ended up shouldering the blame. Or where they? That is the question. Or where they? That’s my questions. OK?


This remote broadcast is brought to you by

Ah, now, so, so, why were hundreds of starving children sent to New York, to New Jersey and to Vermont from Lawrence, Massachusetts in the winter of 1912. Starving like children evacuated from the blitz in London 30 years later. Eh, they came to stay with sympathetic families while their parents struggled for their simple rights to fair pay. Ah, now. January 11, 1912, the Polish women at the Everett Cotton Mills in Lawrence Massachusetts opened their pay envelope and found that they had been short changed by 32 cents. Now, this missing 32 cents would have bought three loaves of bread, that’s how much it would, that is the value of 32 cents. Now these women they shut off their looms and they left this mill shouting, “short pay, short pay, short pay, short pay, short pay…….short pay!” (diminishing volume, and a pause before the last). Ah, and this was the beginning of the Great Strike, the greatest labor management conflict that the United States of America has ever seen. Now this strike would drag on for ten weeks and make the headlines in newspapers across the country. Ah, it would involve labor radicals, the First Lady, two congressional investigations, bomb threats, fatal shootings and uh, and quiet bizarrely, a mass exodus of children. Ah, this is another question. Can you imagine a strike today, perhaps over Vodophone call center workers pay and Samantha Cameron or Michelle O’Bama becoming involved in this? Now, I ask this with a smile, but 1912 and 2013 are not so similar. But within a day, workers at other factories have joined the strike and soon 25,000 people were on strike, this strike that last for two brutally cold winter months. It was a strike that started with Polish women in Massachusetts and it spread around the whole of the United States of America. Now the power of the strike and it’s legendary name, “The Bread and Roses Strike” it spread because of the organization of International Workers of the World. Ah, a bystander died at a protest late first month and the IWW organizers were arrested and charge as accessories to the murder. This is what the powerful do to silence the stories of the weak. 

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, begged man, thief. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, begged man, thief. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, begged man, thief. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, begged man, thief.

But, the leaders of the International Workers of the World, they came to Lawrence. Bill Hayward and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn did not abandon the factory workers in Lawrence, in fact, they come to Lawrence, they came to Massachusetts. And they came up with a plan that made the strike famous around the whole country. So, the children went out and told the tale far more eloquently than any adult’s words could. Another questions. Why did they strike? The law makers had reduced the work week for women and children from 56 hours to 54 hours. Now that’a an hour a day longer than European laws allow today unless you give up the right to have a personal life. So the factory bosses responded by cutting the pay by 4 percent. Exploiters. Exploiters. But not as cruel as the greatest villain of Straka’s work, the capitalist exploiter, Euonymus Wineblood, who laughed at the smell of misery, and said, and I quote, “That’s the world burning.” [note: euonymus plant common name is Burning Bush].

Yeh, um. So, these children in New York and New Jersey in Vermont, they were not just hungry, they were striking for their own pay too. Now, can you imagine such a thing today. Where would your sympathies lie? I ask you this, I ask you this question. Where would your, you, you, your sympathies lies. That is my question.

Music: “The Age of Self” Robert Wyatt

This is the meditation of Robert Wyatt, “The Age of Self”

And not all wars are violent, some wars are fought with words and ideas. A war of narratives the ones written by the powerful and the ones written by those who posed the biggest threat to that power. So, Dorset, England, 1834. George Loveless was sentences to seven years transportation to the penal colony in Australia. He wrote on a scrap of paper the following lines:

God is our guide! from field, from wave,
From plough, from anvil, and from loom;
We come, our country's rights to save,
And speak a tyrant faction's doom:
We raise the watch-word liberty;
We will, we will, we will be free!


So, George Loveless was a martyr, a martyr, to his word and friend of his fellows, James Brine, James Hammett, his brother, of course, James Loveless, his brother-in-law, Thomas Standfield and his nephew John Standfield. He was a martyr who faced up to 8 months in the hold of a ship for making an oath that he and his friends would not work for less than 10 shillings a week, as their wages had been cut from 10 to 7 and soon to be cut to 6 shillings. Who could take a 40% reduction in wages and do nothing. Who could do that? And what did this man do. Well, they agree to work for a fair wage and were tried for swearing their oath and sent across the sea. The local land loaner, landowner, James Frampton did not want to pay wages which fairly competed with those city workers. His Dorset laborer should come cheap, he thought. Now, he, James Frampton, wrote to Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister, to charge the Tolpuddle men for swearing an oath to each other which the members of the Friendly Society had done.

These men did not have the vote and the overlords denied them the right to set a fair wage. These Tolpuddle men from Dorset, these Tolpuddle martyrs, were and are an example to the world. Still today people gather in their honor and they are heroes of trade unionism. Without them there would be no minimum wage, there would be no justice. We owe them worker’s right today and our world, our rights are shifting away and the world is turning. 
“Perhaps there is art to be found in the context of their actions, in their motivations, in the desire that underlie their doomed rebellion.” “Ship of Theseus” page 323. 3 2 3 
and now some music, “Whistle While You Work” 


(coughing) Pardon me. OK. Back on. 
In America in 1827, mechanics had form a union which sought not just to raise wages but free public education, the abolition of impressment for debt and the universal vote. Now imagine, 190 years later and the whole world is balanced on scales where value is measured in debt. And in 1827 you could be imprisoned for owing money. Your credit card bill could send you to jail. Yes. Now, by 1861 the value of labor was recognized by the American President Abraham Lincoln. I said, “labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and it served much the higher consideration.” Yet still people had to struggle for the rights we take for granted today, the two day weekend, a minimum wage, paid holidays and 8 hour day. All these, they all came to be because people stood up for a fairer world. 

Music: The Thing-Ummy-Bob (That’s Going to Win the War) Gracie Fields

And so, 1912 in Britain, there was no minimum wage. So the Miner’s Federation of Great Britain took action. The British government intervened and passed a minimum wage law. Now when we think of miner’s strikes in Britain, we think of those strikes of the 1980s, the strikes over the closure of the pits, as they were called, the mines, the pits, the dying flames of the industry. Fires burn. That’s what they do, and they resist our control. But in 1912, coal fueled the world. It fueled the world. It lit the fires in our hearths, the boilers of our railways, our steamships, it powered industry, and the British empire. And yet, the miners who brought the black rocks up from the bowels of the earth could be paid in pennies. Wages structures were complicated, mine owners were rich, the world would have grown cold, indeed. But the miner’s action fueled our future. There is a spiritual connection between flame and narrative. 

I would like to use this track to make a comment on that. 
Music: “Industrial Revolution” by Bernd Wahlbrinck

What? A "100-year-old video/song"?! Well, not really - actually I wrote and recorded this song myself a couple of years ago. It is dedicated to all those people who suffered in coal mines during the Industrial Revolution.

Here are the lyrics:

1. I ain't gonna work in this coal mine no more
I said, I ain't gonna work in this-here coal mine no more
I'm working all my fingers simply down to the bone
Here at this dark coal-face, always alone

There's coal dust in my lungs
And coal dust in my brain
"Why, that's all part of a revolution
Called Industrial", they claim.

2. My wife ain't gonna work in this coal mine no more
I said, my wife ain't gonna work in this-here coal mine no more
She's going down to the mine shaft all day
She's harnessed like a horse, so why should she expect more pay?!

There's coal dust in her lungs
And coal dust in her brain
"Why, that's all part of a revolution
Called Industrial", they claim.

3. My kids ain't gonna work in this coal mine no more
I said, my kids ain't gonna work in this-here coal mine no more
They're lowered into Hell before the sun begins to rise
Crawlin' out like rats they see the moon up in the sky.

There's coal dust in their lungs
And coal dust in their brain
"Why, that's all part of a revolution
Called Industrial", they claim.

This remote broadcast is brought to you by

While “Bread and Roses” were the words spoken across America, a crowd of people were attack by police and s? in Australia. 15,000 people joined together. Yet, the Police Commissioner William Jeffery Cahill, cried, “give it to them lads, into them.” Women, children, old people all ridden down. Batons bludgeoning bodies, on Baton Friday, Black Friday. Emma Miller, 17 years old, she fought back and stabbed the Commissioner’s horse with her hat pin. Why, why did she have to fight? Why do the weak have to struggle against the powerful? Not the general strike in Brisburne, that was not for ages but for the right to be a union. In January of 1912, 1912 again, 10,000 people joined a protest when men were dismissed for wearing their union badges. A general strike extended and shut down the city in the name of worker’s rights. The government reacted with violent and they suffered. Because the labor movement in Queensland, Australia strengthened, it became stronger. 

Music: Traditional Aboriginal music? Gonwanaland?

Very poignant.

And so to Callis, France in that same year, 1912, some more bloody deeds. more innocents armed in the name of securing the right of the powerful. Buchards Factory, now they made armaments. And worker’s took action against the conditions, pickets outside the factory, voices raised in the square and then, then blast, explosions (kerrr) yes. A bomb. A bomb. Many hundreds died or were wounded. And, of course, anarchists got the blamed, were blamed for it, which always happened. Anarchists, they are always blamed when civil action turns sour, always blamed the anarchists. And they would have been blamed in Brisbane too, if the batons hadn’t been clearly in the hands of the police. So, were the worker’s to blame or someone else? The remaining factory workers would understand what it takes to survive. And they were commit themselves to doing it, do nothing, say nothing, ask nothing. Comply, comply.

Music: “Spirit”  by Frederic Mercier

Now this was “Spirit” from Frederic Mercier. Now let’s see what someone else has to say:

Music: Worker’s Song, Dick Gaughan

So, so, so, so, 1912 is our year then. 1912. 1912, Harriet Crimby, she flew from Dover to Gray, and, as such was the first woman to to do that, to cross the channel, the French English Channel, by air, You have also in 1912, the Titannic struck an iceberg, or was struck by an iceberg depending on which way you look at it. That was April 15. Now, 1912, also Straka, of course, VM Straka, won the ? (award), but he did not go to accept it, he didn’t go, he, nobody saw he, he was never seen. It was a controversy because, did he send somebody in his place? Well, you could say so. It was a monkey. He sent a monkey to pick the Prix Bourchard. Then, of course, literary prizes in France were often a source of controversy anyway in those days. In 1912, also Andrea Souvengen ?  and as a sign of the time the ? had been established as a counter to ?
There was an all female jury against a jury of men. Now, now, what does it add up to this barrage of images and words and voice and lines and nonsense and roots and fevered dreams and soliloquies and abject lies. That is from “Ship of Theseus” 310, 3 1 0.

Music: “Renaissance” by Jean-Lac Ponty

There is much comfort to be taken from the twittering of birds, so Tweet me please at @radiostraka. Tweet me kindly that is a pun on tweet and Treat. Tweet me nice at @radiostraka. That’s a joke.

exit sounds ? bird warbling , more backward talking.


  1. This one seems to say the forces involved are those in power- government and business- against those not- especially the working class. It brings up Special Branch in the UK and questions who really set off bombs blamed on anarchists- implying those in power work in secret too against challengers. So Straka- who or whatever- against the world runners.

  2. 1919 was a year of many labor strikes throughout the US.

  3. I'm always behind on this. I seen the badrobot tweet and all of your tweets. I need to go to the Straka site and listen then come back here and read the posts and comments. I was starting to think this wasn't an ARG and wouldn't go anywhere. Looks like I'm wrong. :)

  4. I found the "Idyll" picture, it appears to be a stock photo, but it is of Dorset -

  5. Slightly odd, but amusing considering the name of our blog is the image name of the image at the bottom of the website - WriteDown-22.png

  6. I wish I had kept source information about there being 22 clues. Did you?

  7. I don't remember seeing a 22 source - ones I saw said "dozens" of photos, etc.
    @radiostraka did tweet back about Azores- may be worth looking there-

    Phyrrula Phyrrula ‏@RadioStraka 11h
    “@jst_thinking: @RadioStraka From first broadcast- are we meant to look for something "Ashore" in the Azores?” Do we have a connection?


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