Friday, September 5, 2014

Raymond Nat Turner's fine poem on the demonstrations in Ferguson

Raymond Nat Turner, a jazz poet who knows a lot about what I call democratic internationalism, the international wave of solidarity which often accompanies movements from below - for instance, Arab Spring, his "midWest Bank" is Gaza and Ferguson - has a list of ongoing police murders of black people, worth checking into one by one. The simplest way to think about this is: how many poor white folks have you heard of shot, unarmed, with a large number of bullets by police? See "poem: walking" here.

He also rightly speaks more generally of/for poor and working people.



Don't know if it's fine/do know it's mine:


Hail the heroic Mid-west Bank: Ferguson

Day 10 and heroic African-American youth,

Poor and working people of Ferguson are still

Standing tall, like Tunisians and Egyptians, like

Sowetoans, like Justice For Oscar Grant activists,

Like Occupy Oakland, like Occupy Wall Street,

Like the People’s Organization for Progress, like

Madison capitol occupiers, like Montgomery Bus

Boycotters, like Columbia University students,

Like 41st and Central Panthers, like Native Americans

On Alcatraz and at Wounded Knee, like ILWU Local 10

Still standing tall against SOBs — Sons of Bull,

Sons of Beauregard, Sons of Byron, Lester, George—

Robocop-clad confederates spitting tobacco juice-

Laced epithets, under Stonewall Jackson’s command…

Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still standing tall against

Judas Quisling Steppin’ Fetchit house Negroz telling them to

“Get off the streets,” “Go home, “ “Go back to sleep, watching

Oprah, Ellen, reruns of ‘Roots’” Judas Quisling Steppin’ Fetchit

House Negroz who—any minute—might grab a good ol’boy’s

Baton and whip some black militant ass— “Didn’t I tell you

To get your black ass off the street— Didn’t I? Didn’t I tell you

To get in the house— Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?!”

Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still standing tall, shoulder

To shoulder with activists from Motown, Chitown, Oaktown,

Philly, D.C., City of Angels, The Big Apple, like the

“Function At The Junction,” “‘cause everybody’s gonna

Be there/got people comin’ from everywhere—“ nothing

Sinister or conspiratorial, it’s solidarity, it’s proletarian

Internationalism, like when Chinese and Vietnamese

Issued statements supporting African-American struggles

During the 60s; like Abraham Lincoln Brigade fighters

Fighting side by side with freedom fighters in Spain; like

Cuban soldiers fighting shoulder to shoulder with Angolans and

South Africans defeating colonialism, weakening apartheid;

Like “outside agitator” King in Memphis in solidarity with

Striking sanitation workers, and “outside agitators” coming

With clubs, guns, teargas for anything Black & not crawling…

Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still marching, becoming

Clearer that Mike Brown is Melvin Black is Malice Green,

Arthur McDuffie, Eleanor Bumpurs, Eula Love, Leonard

Deadwyler, Gregory Clark, Jerry Lee Aime, Rosewood, Black

Wall Street, Tulsa, MOVE, Philly, Tuskegee, Eric Garner…

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