Monday, September 29, 2008

Arise you prisoners of starvation !!

SEPT 29, 2008

Taped at the annual 4th of July party in Wilow.
'Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his/her place !

British/Irish Translation
Arise, ye workers from your slumber,
Arise, ye prisoners of want.
For reason in revolt now thunders,
and at last ends the age of cant!
Away with all your superstitions,
Servile masses, arise, arise!
We'll change henceforth the old tradition,
And spurn the dust to win the prize!
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.

Billy Braggs Revision
Stand up, all victims of oppression,
For the tyrants fear your might!
Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
For you have nothing if you have no rights!
Let racist ignorance be ended,
For respect makes the empires fall!
Freedom is merely privilege extended,
Unless enjoyed by one and all.
So come brothers and sisters,
For the struggle carries on.
The Internationale,
Unites the world in song.
So comrades, come rally,
For this is the time and place!
The international ideal,
Unites the human race.

U.S. Version
Arise, you prisoners of starvation!
Arise, you wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world's in birth!
No more tradition's chains shall bind us,
Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
'Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
'Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Enemy Combatants: The War at Home

There was a startling moment in 2005 at the World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul. Arundhati Roy was delivering her closing speech as the chair of the international jury. We had been listening for three days as medical doctors, environmental engineers, historians, lawyers, Iraqi victims, human rights activists and others detailed the gross violations of (as Roy put it) "this huge, enormous bloody thing." Her last words were:

" the end of it, today we do seem to live in a world where the United States of America has defined an enemy combatant, someone whom they can kidnap from any country, from any place in the world and take for trial to the US. An enemy cambatant seems to be anybody who harbors thoughts of resistance. Well, if this is the definition, then I, for one, am an enemy combatant. Thank you."

Watching the violence perpetrated against demonstrators and journalists in Saint Paul, I realize that the war has indeed come home. We who resist are, in the eyes of Homeland Security, of the Saint Paul Police and Secret Service, enemy combatants.
We can be shot at at will. We can be gased at their discretion.
LIke our counterparts in Fallujah, and Basra, and Baghdad, our homes can be raided in the middle of the night. Our children, our sisters, our grandparents, our uncles and aunts, our colleagues, our dear friends can be hauled off and held for days without explanation or reason. Kicked, beaten, cuffed and even tortured.

We have to resist. The enemy is us.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Lost Weekend

The Saint Paul Police and the Home Land Security Task Forces have run amok in the Twin Cities, raiding various activist centers and even private homes. They closed the convergence center on Saturday and when it was re-opened the next day, the raid team had taken down the Saturday sheet from the posted calendar of activities. It was truly a missing day. Instead of using the day to prepare for the week of demonstrations against the Republicans, many organizers spent time in hand-cuffs and then at meetings discussing a response to this repression. Perhaps the police removed that calendar evidence in preparation for their defense in what will surely be a wave of lawsuits against these actions.

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