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Tin Soldiers

May4LN-blog480Image of 4 young people, martyrs of the Kent State Massacre

By Emma Rosenthal
(bold text by Neil Young)

“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio.”

Tin soldiers are marching again
bayonets pointed at the multitude
Nicaragua
Vietnam
Grenada
Cambodia
Iraq
Afghanistan
El Salvador
Chile
Kent State
Jackson State

Tin soldiers point their weapons at the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so the tin soldiers, eyes glazed and without vision
at the command of the generals take aim
point their state of mind
their point of view
the eyes of the state
the words of the state
the will of the state

and

four lives hit the floor
thirteen lives hit the floor
one hundred lives hit the ground
three thousand lives are swallowed by the dust
one hundred lives disappear behind prison walls
two million lives are swallowed by the state
six million lives are burned at the stake
are thrown into ovens
are tossed into ditches
are chained to the gates are lost for the ages
are hidden in attics and temples
are thrust behind the guns
are transformed into tin soldiers
are lulled into passivity
are hiding behind night clubs
this year’s fashions
the evening news that tells you nothing
the elections no one votes in
the television that doesn’t tell you your story
the latest horror movie about government conspiracy

But it’s just a story so don’t worry
it could never happen
someone would say something
and the government would never destroy a whole town
a whole village
just ask the indigenous of the Americas
Mai Lai
Love Canal
Three Mile Island
Santiago
Baghdad
South Central

CIA drug sales while whole generations are thrown into jail
in the war against drugs
unless the drug can fund the war against the rising multitudes
and incarcerate a whole village here at home.

 

“Four dead in Ohio”
“Four dead in Ohio”
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How could you run when you know?”

Could you watch her tiny form as it fell
could you call to the heavens and pray for her vision
to continue to dwell amongst us
could you watch her spirit as it lingered for a few seconds
as it rose to the clouds and left us forever
four dead
ten dead
hundreds dead
thousands dead
millions dead.

What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls sound like?
What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls feel like?
What wealth have we lost
as the tin soldiers march and mark their territory in the blood of the forgotten?
Where are the paintings?
the stories
the poems
the discoveries
the cures
the embraces
the children running in the streets
playing amongst burned out cars, bombed out buildings
and land mines
that mark the territory and say
don’t walk here
don’t tread on this free soil
it has been apprehended from you
it is no longer a field of grain and sustenance
it is a land of horror and devastation?

“What would you do if you found her dead on the ground?
How could you run when you know?”

And when they catch you in the cross hairs of their high powered rifles
or in the cross hairs of a phone tap and the clicks on the line get louder
or your mail starts arriving already opened for you
or a stack of evidence is piled up against you for a crime you did not commit
for a crime that may not even be a crime

Will you run?

Will you name names? Elia Kazan

Will you rot in jail or twist and turn at the hands of your torturers
at the executioner’s swing of the ax or turn of the knob

Dalton Trumbo
Julius and Ethyl
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ashata Shakur
Mummia Abu Jamal.

Where will you go?

Will you hide out in suburbia?
will you pack you brief case and kiss your vacant wife?
will you pack his vacant brief case with tuna fish sandwiches on white bread
and mayo and cut off the crusts for him
and be his vacant wife?
will you scream about having your own life
but never really get one?
will you cry behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz
you used to croon about with Janis Joplin
and swear you’d never become what you are today?

Will you sit with your friends and insist that it’s all just too far away
to do any thing about?
and remember her broken body as her red blood
spilled onto the pavement
and left her pale and lifeless
and forget that you ran because it was
too close

It isn’t too far away
it’s right here
it isn’t gone
it hasn’t moved
the tin soldiers are poised and waiting to attack
their eyes are glazed over with the threads of disbelief
with the fog of discontent
with the need to belong
which is like food for the hungry

They are poised and ready
they are in your back yard or the park by your home
what would you do?
she is lying on the ground
will you hurl her into the bushes of your memory?

Will she rot behind the azaleas and the camellias?
will you bury her in peat
and water her daily
and let everyone tell you what at beautiful garden you have
while you forget that she is even there?

Will you fight?
speak your mind against the multitudes of the opiated?
will you raise your voice in protest to the destruction of the sacred
or will you run and hide and pretend you never knew?
pretend it was all about the next top album and sex and who had the best stash
or will you stand still and let them build a monument to the veterans
of the destruction on the graves of those who died
that day many years ago?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you stand still over her body
while the guards circled and dug her grave and planted new grass
and erected a monument to their own perpetuity

How could you?

How could you not say something
were the gun pointed at you?
or was the next technological innovation
the next breath you wanted to breath?

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?
have they taken you hostage behind the picket fence of your imagination?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you hide from the destruction all around you
and bury your life in the television of the visionless?

Tin soldiers point their weapons ant the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so your eyes glaze and are without vision

The command of the generals takes aim
points their state of mind
at your state of mind

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

Do you tell your self
it’s just a story so don’t worry?
it could never happen
someone would say something?

 

Open Hillel is promoting the film “70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism”, about the divide in the Jewish community over models of zionism and the current State of Israel.
 
But the film thesis is very problematic, ignoring the deeper issues of power, class and imperialism, and centering the discussion on Jews and not Palestinians.
 
Gratefully the film (trailer) didn’t repeat the tired old argument that this is a generational divide, which further obscures the power basis of Israeli hegemony. The thesis of this film, though, at least according to the trailer, is very dangerous, repeats stereotypes of Jewish power, obscures the power of U.S. empire and its appropriation of Jewish suffering and the Jewish narrative.
 
It repeats the false assertion and stereotype of diaspora Jews as weak and passive, and Israelis as strong and active. The resistance to the Nazis, to the pogroms, to injustice in general is a disapora narrative that is obscured by the zionist narrative. We cannot fight for a free Palestine, and justice for Jews in the diaspora if we perpetuate these harmful stereotypes that locates Jewish strength in occupation , assimilation and as agents (or worse, as the controlling operatives ) of U.S. empire and locates Jewish weakness in ethnic identity and resistance/passivity in the diaspora.
 
The Israeli occupation isn’t a liability, it’s genocide, and it didn’t start in 67, it started in 48. Calling it a liability assumes that there is a just zionist solution, and centers the occupation of Palestine, around a zionist and imperialist narrative and seeks a compromise with a fair and just society that grants equal civil and human rights to all and not within a neoliberal or neoconservative debt dependency structure of the U.S.
 
The “power” of UhMurikan Jews is a narrative of upper middle class and wealthy Jews, and white supremacist ideology, and doesn’t apply to all Jews in the U.S.. That power to the extent that it exists, is predicated on support for Israel, and support for U.S. empire in general. It’s also a delusion, a fragile membership of court Jews and house Jews.
 
The real power of U.S. support for Israel comes from the Christian zionists, who number in the tens of millions, which explains why organizations like the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Stand With Us can ignore the Jewish community and support a zionism to the right of most Jews, including most zionist Jews.
 

Cafe Intifada has been covering the issue of anti-Jewish racism for some time, and the growing normalization of white supremacist ideology of Counterpunch Magazine, Paul Craig Roberts, Alex Jones, Gilad Atzmon, Ron Paul, Greta Berlin, Alison Weir, David Icke David Duke, If Americans Knew,  etc. It is our belief that the now visible normalization of extreme right wing, ideological white supremacy, had its initial inroads in the left in the form of these popular white supremacists.

There have been threats to Jewish organizations, desecrations of cemeteries and synagogues forever, but people are both more aware of these terrorist acts, and they are also increasing in frequency and intensity.

The most terrifying are reports of multiple bomb threats of Jewish community centers, which for the most part, are places for families to gather, leave children for day care, senior citizen activities, hold cultural and creative classes. JCCs are not a location of political action or religion, for the most part. These treats are a treat against Jewish children. Targeting children is the work of those who see the entire population as a threat. It is the work of those who advocate if not carry out genocide.

The Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect in New York has done wonderful work on twitter and facebook making known these outrageous threats, and making important connections between racism in general and antisemitism specifically.

Karen Rago, on facebook has provided links to these events and her own commentary:

“I saw a friend today who’s not on Facebook. She had NO IDEA about all the bomb threats, the synagogue classroom being shot, the man being arrested with weapons for planning a massacre at a synagogue, or the Jewish cemeteries being desecrated.
“Which I think is pretty weird considering Jews control the media.”

“Justification I saw as to why they need to catch the person/people responsible for the Jewish bomb threats: “Not just Jewish people go to Jewish Community Centers.”
I’m so fucking done.”

“Two more bomb threats this morning at a Jewish senior center and a Jewish Community Center. They’ve escalated to daily. Still not making mainstream news. CNN has a front page story about Emma Watson blushing, though.”

“If you really want to bring terror on a group, go after their kids.#JewishBombThreats

And this more personal threat to her own safety and well being:

“My inbox is going to be the end of me.

This Christian guy asks me for an “accurate number of Jews killed in concentration camps.” I think he wants an education.

No, he wants to know because he’s “been itching for a new tat” and is considering making that 6,000,000 into a concentration camp-looking number tattoo for his forearm.”

Some days, y’all, I can’t even stand to look and see what ridiculous or hateful thing is going to show up in my inbox.”

And the Huffington Post is tracking the threats to JCCs, Jewish Cemeteries and synagogues, here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jewish-community-centers-bomb-threats-map_us_58b091efe4b060480e07cdfc

From my other blog, because once my DISability was established as an acceptable target and my (and yes, and yet she persisted) persistence held against me, the abuse didn’t stop. Once a target, you’ll be blamed for the abuse: the classic “She asked for it.”

Resurrecting Assassinated Characters
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/resurrecting-assassinated-characters/

And this important article by a young Palestinian activist, because the attacks on me are not personal. It’s part of an over all pattern, because if they can target you personally, they don’t have to actually address the issues you’re raising.

Character Assassination as a Tool to Silence a Palestinian Woman
https://medium.com/@MalakaMohammed/character-assassination-as-a-tool-to-silence-a-palestinian-woman-8a8da38740b6#.2cavbkh3x

And a reminder that women are often the targets of cyber abuse:

Dangerous Neighborhoods: Cyber abuse, harassment and threats: Women online.
https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/dangerous-neighborhoods-cyber-abuse-harassment-and-threats-women-online/

SAFETY PIN SOLIDARITY!

YOUR PUT DOWNS OF SAFETY PINS ARE NOT ENOUGH!
& YOUR PETTY CALL OUT ACTIVISM
IS AN EMBARRASSMENT!

There have been a few articles and several social media posts mocking the proposal that people wear safety pins to proclaim, in this new UhMurikan landscape, that “I am a safe space.” It’s a way for those of us in an unfamiliar place or under attack to identify an ally who will defend us or accompany us if we encounter violence, hate speech, threats or intimidation because of our real or assumed membership in a targeted group. One article appeared, written by a white presenting cis het presenting man, in the Huffington Post, that bastion of social responsibility and grassroots mobilization. (Snark!)

 Of course the safety pins are NOT ENOUGH.They’re a symbol, a statement, a promise and a commitment.

Are these publish worthy leftists also for the abolishment of: buttons and t-shirts (which must be manufactured, marketed and sold), banners, signs. How are these any different? Are we against any symbolism? What about ribbons? arm bands?

This petty self promotion  and put down of other activist efforts is tiresome. After all not EVERYONE gets Huffington Post press access.

The safety pin solidarity started in England after the passage of Brexit with the targeting of immigrants.  In England there may have been an issue with the pins, that it was a white thing: an insufficient badge of respectability, guilt, remorse, penance. But in the U.S., Occupied Amerikkka the targets are MOST OF US. And there are still people totally complicit from all demographics, so the symbol is important, easy, accessible, inexpensive, UNFUCKINGMARKETABLE, so we can let people know we are ready to take action; (and then we need to come through; that we are here for each other). After all with the increased rhetoric and the emboldened extreme right, white supremacist (rebranded, normalized, alt-right),  only white Christian cis het, ENabled, body normative men aren’t targeted. The vast majority, the rest of us are!

For way too long activism has moved from the grassroots, to self promotion, individualism,  survival of the fittest, scarcity resources and competition. Allies who aren’t movement stars (there’s a clear double standard here!)  are told they should just not show up, not take up space, sit down, shut up, listen, read more, go shopping.  There has been very little engagement in what real allyship might be, what solidarity looks like, how we check each other and check ourselves, from a position of responsibility, accountability and transparency, and not from a place of obedience, acquiescence and silence.  Hopefully the broad targeting of so many of us is a wake up call, that we need all our bodies on the line, and that we can’t do this in separate groups (which fuels the alt right’s rebranding, as it appropriates that language with claims that it is simply a civil rights movement for white people and that we all have our place in our separate nations.)

Maybe the movement stars who are so used to making it all about themselves:  the self promoters, the individualist who have for too long used “activism” as their own personal starting line in that great competition for speaking engagements, publicity and  non-profit managerial positions can show some solidarity instead of crapping on this very basic grassroots organizing effort. Maybe we can move the dialogue from whose voices matter to how we can assure our movement is as large and inclusive as possible (day care, DISability access, language translation, financial accessibility). Maybe we can start to have the difficult discussions around transparency and accountability around unlearning racism, sexism, ableism,  ageism, classism and all the other ways marginalization keeps us down and apart.

So let this be the start and not the end. Let the lists of other ways of showing solidarity, of putting our bodies, minds, reputations on the line for each other begin, but let us start with “AND” and not “BUT”.

Sure the safety pins are not enough, and your grandstanding is getting real tired, too.

 

 

 

 

We’ve been looking for a good list of organizations that are locally based that do good work. Most of the lists we’ve seen are screenshots, which means blind readers and anyone who uses screen readers to access the internet, can’t read them. These lists also don’t include a link or the name of the person or organization who put the list together.

This list comes from Edwidge Danticat

DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO THE RED CROSS. THE RED CROSS IS SIMPLY ONE MORE EXTENSION OF WESTERN IMPERIALISM AND NEOLIBERALIST NEOCOLONIALISM!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/edwidgedanticat/posts/10154104280978165

“Many of you have asked for suggestions of organizations to donate to in the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti. Here are a few suggestions. These are primarily organizations that have been working in the most affected areas for years and are, for the most part, Haitian-led. A few of these organizations are schools or educational institutions. When a school–however small–has been a trusted part of a community for a long time, families will look to that place for immediate and ongoing support in rebuilding after a disaster like this. Thank you for your concern and support.”

1. Gaskov Clerge Foundation
http://gaskov.org

2. Fondation Aquin Solidarite–https://www.gofundme.com/aquinhaiti

3. The Three Little Flowers Center–https://3littleflowerscenter.org

4. Paradis des Indiens
http://www.friendsofpdi.org

5. Project Saint Anne
http://projectstanne.org

6. Fonkoze
http://fonkoze.org

7. The Lanbi Fund of Haiti
http://www.lambifund.org

8. Flying High for Haiti
http://flyinghighforhaiti.com

9. Saint Boniface Foundation
http://haitihealth.org

10. PRODEV
http://www.prodevhaiti.org

 

12742381_1148681611831584_587840668109962858_nSuggested donation 5$ (no one turned away for lack of funds, ever!)

Please make reservations. Space is limited. Let us know about any dis-ability accommodations you may need. The space is wheelchair accessible, all bathrooms are gender neutral. Off street parking by reservation only and for dis-abled guests.

Special comfortable seating available for elders and people with dis-ability. Some floor seating.

345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, Ca 90026

To make a reservation call 818 404 5784 and leave a message, or message weempowercenter@gmail.com

Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.
_________________________________

This event is part of :

13120902_10154697996945616_229212038_oThe Nation-wide tour of “wealthy” neighborhoods across the US which launched in San Francisco on “Earth Day” is co-led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia and fellow Race, Disability, Indigenous Skolaz from POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and 1st Nations Ohlone Warrior Corrina Gould and on Day 1 of the LA tour will go to Venice Beach area where hundreds of elders and families face Ellis act evictions and displacement, while others live in multi-million dollar designer homes and on Day 2 go into Beverly Hills to offer an innovative healing solution to the disease of wealth and resource hoarding.
“We Black, Brown, homeless, disabled and 1st Nations people are peacefully crossing the visible and invisible lines that separate us poor folks from the “very rich” to ask them to begin the healing, change-making, process of decolonizing, redistributing and reparating their stolen and/or hoarded, inherited wealth and/or land ,” Concluded Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia.
12510365_1124708227562256_7057866320787099612_nThe Stolen Land/ Hoarded Resources tour is loosely based on the Bhoodan Movement of India launched by Vinoba Bhave who walked through India asking wealthy “land-owners” to gift their land to landless peoples. With a similar vision, this small group of landless and indigenous peoples being hit the hardest by displacement and gentrification will be Intentionally crossing the invisible and visible lines between the land and resource hoarders aka the very rich and the victims of generations of white supremacy, theft, colonization, criminalization, racism, eugenics and silencing, aka the very poor.
“Los Angeles is where me and my mama became homeless when i was 11years old, after she became disabled. We were arrested and harassed multiple times for the sole act of sleeping in our car,” concluded Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, who is the author of Criminal of Poverty , Growing Up Homeless in America, which chronicles the life of a homeless, disabled, mixed race mother and daughter struggling to survive in LA and their work to launch POOR Magazine the organization and the landless peoples movement called Homefulness-one of the models being highlighted as a powerful move of redistribution and reparations in this tour.
Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip Hop & Spoken Word Tour

L.A. Tour Date: June 10-11, 2016

Stolen Land / Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization & Community Reparations Tour Comes To LA with Black, Brown, Broke & Disabled Hip-Hop/Spoken Word Show

13090253_1198001956899549_1881245443_nThe Tour will be in LA on June 10-11/16 ending with a performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs ( Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation at BNB… & Inner-City Arts’ The Rosenthal Theater.

June 10, 2016: A Krip-Hop Nation: Where Are my Crippled Homies At by Watts Villiage Theater
(Time to be announced) Inner City Arts Rosenthal Theater: 720 Kohler St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

June 11, 2016: Po Poets,welfareQueens & Krip hop Nation in LA13120654_10154698026325616_1284031348_o
Performance collaborating with Krip-Hop Nation member and LA based Hip-Hop artist, DJ Quad of 5th Battalion. Saturday afternoon and night will be a Hip-Hop/Spoken Word performance with Po’ Poets of POOR Magazine/welfareQUEENs (Muteado SIlencio, Vivi T, Laure McElroy, Tiny Lisa Gray-Garcia, Queenandi XSheba, Aunit Frances, Dee Allen) ) & Leroy Moore & DJ Quad of Krip-Hop Nation.

Two Performances

2:00 PM: Purple Barn Gallery at DragonflyHill Urban Farm, 345 Douglas Street Los Angeles, CA 90026. Wheelchair accessible. For further accommodations please inquire 72 hours in advance. Reservations Required, space is limited. For more information contact Cafe Intifada cafeintifada@earthlink.net

Evening program Time and Location to be announced

Fundraising to cover labor and travel costs to bring these amazing artists and activists to Los Angeles.
Lodging will be provided at DragonflyHill Urban Farm. Respect the Space: Community Values, Principles and Guidelines
Sponsored by: Cafe Intifada of The WE Empowerment Center
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
The Wonderful Accomodation Where We’ll Stay: DragonflyHill Urban Farm, Echo Park, LA
When the dust settled and the bulk of our restoration of this amazing but battered 1913 Craftsman house was finished, what remained was a multi-talented team who wanted to continue working here and working together. Core values of our work include attention to detail, fine craftsmanship and cultivating community. We strive to provide our neighborhood and the greater Los Angeles area with a variety of services based on integrity they can count on from us.
Bed and Breakfast Experience: We have two beautiful suites that provide short term lodging for travelers, people resettling, between homes, emergency housing, visiting scholars, artists and activists and anyone looking for a temporary housing solution. We offer elegant, comfortable, safe and sober, child friendly, LGBTQIA and dis-ability (disability) affirmative, anti-racist, anti-sexist accommodations with free parking, wifi and breakfasts.
Event and Space Rental: The Studios at DragonflyHill Urban Farm provide space for a variety of events and efforts including rehearsal space, photography, yoga, dance, film, healing arts, massage, reiki, and meetings
Film Locations: We can accommodate all budgets– large and small, though the services we can provide differ. Talk to us about your project and let’s work together to make this space work for you. We can assist with set design and construction and provide a professional staff to assure your shoot here is a total success

Links
DragonflyHill Urban Farm: https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/
Poor Magazine: www.poormagazine.org
Krip-Hop Nation: www.kriphopnation.com
Contact info: 818-404-5784 cafeintiafada@earthlink.net

 

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