Saturday, 18 October 2014

Radical/Anarchist poetry especially Anti-war poetry.

"That ordinary men and women might have their own goals is conveniently ignored by historians whose vision is restricted to the ambitions and strategies of those in power or seeking to achieve it. This, to a certain extent, is understandable since the historian is very much at the mercy of his sources (press reports, autobiographies, and institutional minutes are usually the expression of the point of view of those who have made them). It is easy to deal with the memoirs of a Haig, a Petain or a Ludendorff. Conversely, it is 'uninteresting' and difficult to record the aspirations of those millions of Russians who collectively destroyed centuries of Tsardom because of their decision to return home, and their willingness to disobey and even kill their officers in the process." -From Mutinies by Dave Lamb.

 "The ‘war for democracy’, the ‘war to end war’ proved the greatest sham in history. As a matter of fact, it started a chain of new wars not yet ended. It has since been admitted, even by Wilson himself, that the war served no purpose except to reap vast profits for Big Business. The World War built huge fortunes for the lords of finance — and tombs for the workers.......In times of peace you slave in field and factory, in war you serve as cannon fodder — all for the greater glory of your masters"-Alexander Berkman.

"I support the troops by being anti war. anyone who does anything different is a fucking sham - you can tie all your yellow ribbons up and call yourselves patriots, its like putting a band aid on a bullet hole."

 
  Alistair Hulett ,  Workers Song

 

Workers Pledge in Time of War


Workers Pledge in Time of War.
(from “At Grips With War” by Guy Aldred)
I refuse to kill any child’s father.
I refuse to slay any mother’s son.
I refuse to plunge the bayonet into the breast of any
                woman’s brother, lover, or mate.
I refuse to murder and deem the slaughter glory.
I refuse to butcher with the hands that were intended to
                serve and to caress.
I refuse to soak the earth with blood and blind my reason
                with obedience.
I refuse to assassinate another man and then hide my
                 stained fists in the folds of a bloodstained flag.
I refuse to be flattered, cajoled, or driven into hell’s
                nightmare by a class of well-fed snobs, crooks
                and cowards who despise my class socially, rob
                my class economically, and betray and oppress it
                politically. Let militarism do its worst, I refuse
                to serve, I decline to kill.
 
 
Red November, black November,
Bleak November, black and red.
Hallowed month of labor’s martyrs,
Labor’s heroes, labor’s dead.
Labor’s wrath and hope and sorrow,
Red the promise, black the threat,
Who are we not to remember?
Who are we to dare forget?
Black and red the colors blended,
Black and red the pledge we made,
Red until the fight is ended,
Black until the debt is paid.
-Ralph Chaplin (American writer and labour activist, IWW member and editor of the Industrial Worker from 1932-1936)


Nov. 5, 1916, over 200 Industrial Workers of the World members were headed to the docks of Everett, Washington, on the ship Vernoa to participate in a Free Speech Fight in support of the rights of union members to speak on the street corners. While they attempted to dock, a group of over 500 deputy sheriffs opened fire on the peaceful unarmed crowd, killing 11 and wounding 27. This is known as the Everett Massacre.
Nov. 11, 1887, four of the anarchist leaders of the Chicago eight-hour movement were executed because they advocated ideas of workplace justice. Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engle, and Adolph Fischer are now forever known as the Haymarket Martyrs. In June of 1893 Illinois Governor John Peter Atgeld issued posthumous pardons to these men, proclaiming them victims of a biased judge and a packed jury.
Nov. 11, 1919, a group of Legionaries marching to celebrate Armistice Day attacked an IWW union hall in Centralia, Washington. The IWW members fought back, killing four of their attackers before being captured and taken to jail. That night Wesley Everest was taken from his cell. He was castrated, then taken to a bridge and hung. While hanging over a river he was shot full of holes. Then his body was taken back to the jail and laid out in view of the other prisoners for several days. This is known as the Centralia Massacre.
Nov. 13, 1974, union activist Karen Silkwood was killed when her car was mysteriously run off the road. There was enough evidence to suggest foul play.
Nov. 19, 1916, IWW organizer, songwriter, and troubadour Joe Hill was executed by the State of Utah after being convicted of murder on flimsy circumstantial evidence. A worldwide movement to free Joe Hill included the Swedish Government and a plea from President Wilson for a “thorough reconsideration of the case,” to no avail.
Nov. 22, 1886, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, by some accounts between 30 to 100 striking black sugar workers were massacred. A newspaper of that time recorded, “Lame men and blind women shot. Children and hoary-headed grandsires ruthlessly swept down! The Negros offered no resistance, they could not as the killing was unexpected…”
Nov. 29, 1919, in the town of Bogalusa, Louisiana, once stood the world largest lumber mill, owned by the Goodyear Corporation. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters attempted to organize the mill, with wide support from the mill hands. After a lengthy campaign of intimidation, terror, and beatings the company goons attacked the union hall, killing four Brotherhood organizers. Lem Williams, Stanley O’Rourke, J.P.Bouchillon, and Thomas Gains were cold-bloodedly gunned down as they sat in the office of the Bogalusa’s Central Trades and Labor Council.
 
 
 
"This goes out to those who who died in, and all those who resisted and continue to resist, the capitalists’ wars. To those who mutinied, went on strike, shirked, refused to kill. For all those they executed for deserting. No more “future soldiers” or sycophantic, slavish patriotism.
Let’s take the fight to the bosses! For disobedience and class war!"

http://leicesteraf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/11-11-2013-remember-with-black-poppy.html?spref=fb

 see also Lewis, Roman (Ed.). Der gezetslekher mord in Shikago fun 11 November 1887. [The Legal Murder In Chicago] Nyu York: Pioniern der Freiheit und Vereinigte Ritter der Frayhayt, 1889. [Max Nettlau p. 183; 'Anarchist Portraits', by Paul Avrich]
SOURCE http://raforum.info/article.php3?id_article=3313
EDELSHTAT, David. "Der 11-ter November".
Translated from Yiddish by Ori Kiritz
from, Kiritz, Ori. The Poetics of Anarchy : David Edelshtat’s Revolutionary Poetry. Vol. 88. Frankfurt : Lang, Europaischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1997. 210 p. ISBN:0820435341
Again the blood-red banners are fluttering !
Freedom’s holy voice is ringing !
Again the people are reminded
Of the fighters who lived and died for them !
In world history again we will
Turn over and find the page of martyrs
Which is still fresh with the blood of our brothers,
Murdered by money-sacks, church and state !
Five spirits stained with blood will hover
Over the people’s-tribune among suffering slaves ;
And they will give us invincible courage
To live and die for freedom and justice !
They will remind us of the will
Which they left for the workers :
"Fight for your freedom ! No evil beast
Should drive you away from the holy post !"
"Don’t be afraid of the hangmen and their gallows !
Fight and ring the freedom-bell !
And announce to the slaves of all the world
That that very day would be the day of liberation !"
And on both shores of the great ocean
The slaves of all the nations
Will give each other in friendship a brother-hand
And swear to annihilate chains and thrones...
 

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