Monday, May 20, 2013

Two New Poems: "Hundred Million Died" and "Smash the Klan"

(I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

I have two new poems to offer. For an explanation about my poems, see this. For the rest of the poems, click the "Lyrics" label at the bottom.

“Hundred Million Died,” based on “Six Million Lies” by No Remorse, original lyrics are here.

1. I think 100 million is a pretty good figure from what I’ve read (for what happened in what is today Canada and the US). This is about what happened to American Indians, and sort of about what is continuing (it focuses on the first 2-4 centuries). I know that most deaths were probably the result of hunger and/or disease instead of bullets, but to a large degree that can be blamed on the imperialists as well. The fact is, the European presence resulted in epidemics; native communities were losing their land, being marched at gun-point to new lands, experiencing trauma of a sort that might be called national, or racial (one where their communities were turned upside down), etc.
2. The phrase “living space” is English for a term from Nazi Germany about what they were after in the East.
3. I give this poem five stars out of five.
4. **73% of this version is me, 27% is the original.

A hundred million really did die,
covered up by the racist lies
Killed by the settler state, we have the proof
Why did they try to cover up the truth?
They’re scared it would ruin American mythology
Pocahontas, Thanksgiving, manifest destiny

A hundred million of the human race
In order to get more “living space”
Death from the small-Pox blanket
Biological warfare we won’t forget

The worst genocide in history
They wanted the white man to be free
To take all the land that he could see
“From sea to shining sea”
But the Indian spirit didn’t die and they continue to fight
For their freedom, equality and human rights


So let's make America bigot free
If we keep working, we’ll make them agree
This society is rotten to the core
It's justice we’re out for in this long war
With honor and respect we'll surely win
And they know, we’ll finish what we begin


“Smash The Klan” based on “Smash The IRA” by Skrewdriver, original lyrics are here.

1, The original is by a racist band.
2. Of course in some ways we didn’t completely defeat the fascists, but we did defeat almost all of their states (I sometimes forget about Spain, we didn’t defeat them) and that’s a pretty big step towards defeating them completely.
3. The KKK did use bombs while attacking the civil rights movement and also in more recent decades.
4. I believe that a major factor that leads many white people to racism is economic insecurity among white working-class people.
5. I heard, about 12-13 years ago that a member of a good socialist group (the Young Democratic Socialists) was trying to organize workers, (I believe it was) in Indiana, and said that his competition was the Klan.
6. I’m fairly okay with denying the Klan use of public streets (I have mixed feelings and would probably abstain on that question) but that 2nd line of of the 3rd verse is a lot more general about stopping them, not just on the streets, but also in various media, via various political campaigns, etc.
7. “No Pasaran” is an anti-fascist slogan first used in Spain’s Civil War, and means “they shall not pass.”
8. I give this poem three stars.
9. **64% of this version is me, 36% is the original.
10. Update 5/31/13 In the last verse, I changed "nazi" to "racial.

In the cities and towns the battle rages on
American people fighting for their land
Defeated the South and the Nazis
Gonna stop ‘em, stop the Ku Klux Klan

Smash! Smash! The KKK!
Smash! Smash! The KKK!
Smash! Smash! The KKK
Remember the victims of their bombs

Gotta change government policies and dry up their base
Gain economic justice for every race
The Klan, the unions will displace
And racism, it will be erased

(Repeat Chorus)

The KKK are are marching on our streets demanding a racial state
Are we gonna stop them or let them spread their hate?
Are we gonna let them blame immigrants when workers ask why?
“No Pasaran” is what we cry!

(Repeat Chorus)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pat Finucane and British Collusion With Loyalists

(I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

An official report into the murder of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane was released Wednesday and was, for a while, towards the very top of the BBC’s main news page.

You can find a brief summary here, more background/summary here and a LOT more material here.

There is one thing I want to highlight from the BBC News story:
** Sir Desmond found that "in 1985 the security service assessed that 85% of the UDA's 'intelligence' originated from sources within the security forces". And he was "satisfied that this proportion would have remained largely unchanged" by the time of Mr Finucane's murder."**

(he was killed in 1989)

Lastly, I want to post here a statement from the Pat Finucane Center. You can also find it on their web-site here. (emphasis is in the original) (The rest of this post is their statement)

Pat Finucane Centre Press Release

12 December 2012

The British prime minister, David Cameron, has today described loyalist/ state collusion revealed in the de Silva review relating to the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane as "unbelievably ghastly".

The Pat Finucane Centre, however, believes those words would be better applied to the British government’s continuing refusal to establish a full, public, independent inquiry.

Cameron is pushing the line that there was no "over-arching" state conspiracy into Pat Finucane’s murder, yet:

1. The UDA, whose gunmen (including RUC agent Ken Barrett) murdered Pat, whose "intelligence" unit was headed by a British military agent (Brian Nelson) and whose "quarter-master" (Billy Stobie) provided the weapon used (stolen from a British Army barracks in Holywood, County Down) was a legal organisation at the time of the murder.

It took a further three years before the UDA was banned. The Pat Finucane Centre has uncovered documents[1] showing that, as far back as the early 1970’s, the UDA was viewed as a "release valve" for "Protestant extremists".

2.  In January 1992, the then Department of Public Prosecutions reached a deal (effectively a cover-up), allowing Nelson to plead guilty to five counts of conspiracy to murder. This prevented the courts examining his activities as a British military agent. Nelson was given a derisory ten year prison term.

3.  The man who acted as Nelson’s "handler" and who gave him a glowing character reference during the 1992 court hearing was Brigadier Gordon Kerr who became head of the Force Research Unit in 1987, two years before Pat Finucane’s murder.

In 1997 (eight years after Pat Finucane’s murder), Kerr was promoted and became Britain’s military attaché in Beijing, where he was awarded an OBE. He also holds the Queen’s Medal for Gallantry. Two weeks after he was identified in the Stevens Report into collusion in the murder of Pat Finucane, Tony Blair sent him to Iraq. He has never been charged with a single offence.

Pat Finucane was stalked by a British military agent who was then given effective immunity by the office of the DPP. The gun used to murder him was of British military origin. It was supplied by one RUC agent and fired by another RUC agent.

        Pat Finucane’s murder was authorised and carried out by state agents. What more evidence is needed before London grants the public inquiry demanded by the Finucane family?

[1] Photocopy of document retrieved from British National Archives available from our offices on request

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two New Poems: "Neutral No More" and "Brits Out II"

(I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

I usually wait till I have about four poems before I do a post of them, but the last couple days I have tried to alter two songs that I thought I'd really like altering, but I feel defeated just looking at the original. So I'm not sure when I will do more and I'd like to get these two published now.

For some info on how I "write" these poem, see this.

The rest of the songs/poems can be found by clicking on the "lyrics" label (there are at least four pages worth of posts, so click on the "older posts" at the bottom of the first page)

“Neutral No More” based on “Fools No More” by Skrewdriver Original lyrics are here.

1. This is about a large number (around 5,000) of men who were members of the Irish military in the years before World War II that deserted in order to fight with the Allies (to a very large degree, Ireland was neutral).When they came home after the war, they were black-listed and treated just the same as people who deserted for other reasons. Just in the last month or two has the Irish governemnt acknowledged the importance of their contribution to the defeat of the Axis Powers. There is more information here and here.
2. “They shall not pass” is an anti-fascist slogan first used (in Spanish) in Spain’s Civil War.
3. The “loyalist Red Hand” isn’t really a BRITISH thing, but is a symbol used by many-most people in the North of Ireland who support Britain’s presence.
4. Deporting Jews to the East was one of the last steps towards genocide.
5. **72% of this version is mine, 28% is the original.
6. I give this poem three stars out of five.
7. This poem is related to a post about Ireland, the IRA, and Nazi Germany.

Gloom in the trenches, fire in the sky
You wait for the signal, the order to die
You're scrambling forward, with fear in your eyes
Charging the enemy to tear down their lies
Obey all your orders, and you do what they say
You fight to stop fascism, you won’t go astray
And although the Allied leaders are not consistent
Defeating the fascist states is important

We’re neutral no more and they shall not pass
We’re going to help kick some Nazi ass

Millions of men are taking a stand
They fight the fascists for the good of their lands
The Brits have done horrible things in Ireland
But Hitler is a bigger threat than the loyalist Red Hand
Without exception the Nazis are scum
Who lie to their people since the 3rd Reich begun
They tell the Germans, the Jews must go East
And that just makes you even more displeased


War should be avoided, but not at any cost
If Germany wins, freedom is lost
While the Irish Army stay home to maintain neutrality
You fight to stop Nazi Germany’s brutality
They remained on the side-lines as Europe clashed
They were neutral as the Jews were gassed
And if you expect medals or a parade
You'll be lucky to get a job, lucky to get paid


“Brits Out II” based on “Muslims Out” by Kill, Baby Kill, original lyrics are here.

1. This set more or less anytime 1973-1997, but probably makes the most sense sometime in the late 1970s or the 1980s, whenever the British were building watchtowers in South Armagh (and a few others in county Fermanagh).
2. Estates are more or less neighborhoods in urban and suburban areas.
3.The Union is (in this context) the connection between N. Ireland and Great Britain.
4. Squaddies is a word for British soldiers.
5. I don’t know how theologically anti-Catholic the British Army is, but there’s at least some of that and generally the BA in the North was certainly anti-Catholic. Also, I realize there are plenty of atheists and some protestants and some others in the nationalist community. Also, I'm pretty secular when it comes to politics.
6. The watchtowers were constructed where the security forces were very vulnerable to IRA attacks. Also, the thing is, british Nazis overwhelmingly supported the unionist and British causes in the North.
7. As far as them being very one-sided, some proof of that is found here, in the three paragraphs starting with the one that starts- “Looking at the 800...”
8. **61% of this version is me, 39% is the original.
9. I give this poem four stars out of five.

Fucking British battalions they come over here.
They try to keep us down, keep us down with fear.
They attack our estates, trying to control.
Maintaining the Union is their only goal.

Brits out! Brits out!
Hear the people scream, hear the people shout.
Brits out! Brits out!
Squaddies go home, no more pushing us about.

Their religion they think is superior to yours and mine
They disrespect our culture, and our language they malign
Watchtowers are rising on every hill,
Fascists always celebrating whenever they kill

They claim they’re peace-keepers and don’t take sides
But the brits are running the North, the Six-Counties are occupied.
When I think of what they’ve done here it makes me so pissed
We don’t like war, but we will resist

Friday, June 29, 2012

Rand Paul's hypocrisy

(I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

A few days ago there was an amazing editorial in the Washington Post. You should read it. Two things I would add:

1) Washington D.C. has a non-White majority.


2) When Paul's spokesperson says- “Efforts to change that have failed, and until it is changed it is not only the prerogative but the duty of Congress to have jurisdiction over the Federal District,” I think it's important to ask if Paul supports state-hood for D.C.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The KKK are Fools: Three more poems

**( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

I have three more poems. for a description of how and why I do these poems, see this.

For the rest of the poems click on the "lyrics" label at the bottom (there are at least four pages worth of posts, so click on the "older posts" at the bottom of the first page).

“Join The IRA” based on, “Join The Klan” by The Klansmen, original lyrics are here.

1. The Klansmen was a project of Ian Stuart Donaldson, who was a supporter of the British and Unionist causes in N. Ireland.
2. Volunteers are members of republican paramilitaries.
3. This is about the Provisional IRA (in recent decades known simply as the IRA) and is basically set during the Troubles, prior to 1997, and probably AFTER the mid-1970s, since it includes a lot of socialist talk and I don’t think there was a socialist majority in the leadership of the PIRA until sometime around 1980. Something at least close to revolution was on their agenda after that point, as I describe here (some of that post makes more sense when talking about Sinn Fein in the last 10-20 years). (in general it seems safe to say that SF’s politics more or less mirrored those of a majority of IRA members). Also, there’s reason to believe that the armed struggle of republicans inspired other forms of resistance (the African National Congress said that about their armed struggle in S. Africa).
4. The BA is the British Army.
5. James Connolly was Ireland’s greatest republican/socialist. Michael Collins was a major leader of the IRA during the War of Independence and has been credited with developing urban guerrilla warfare. Che is Che Gueverra, who has been credited with developing rural guerrilla warfare.
6. “Óglaigh na hÉireann” is the official name of the IRA and means “Irish Volunteers.”
7. In the Irish-British context, orange is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry.
8. Geographically, N. Ireland could sort of be called the north-east of Ireland.
9. I give this poem two stars out of five.
10. **68% of this version is me, 32% is the original.
11. UPDATE 5/14/12 The "People" was basically just the nationalist population, but they were the ones being oppressed and were 1/3 of the population (I'm not saying that entire 1/3 was in support of the IRA, but there was something like 80% of that population that at least kind of supported the IRA, and to either a large or small degree there was mass struggle).
12. UPDATE 7/12/12 When I used the word "bourgeoisie" I somehow got the idea that it is often used to refer to the upper-Class. Even if we just define it as "Middle-Class," the fact is that middle-class people have more power in a capitalist state than working-class people do. It's not meant as a savage attack on the middle-class. (yes, I'm more or less (less) middle-class)

be a Volunteer, fight for what is right
Socialist revolution, we will ignite
Fighting for the day, when the BA’s gone away
In the tradition of Connolly, Collins, and Che

Óglaigh na hÉireann, the people's Army
Freeing the country from the Brits and bourgeoisie
The orange terror raised it's ugly head
With the Provos, resistance became widespread

The Irish flag is held up high
James Connolly’s spirit will never die
The People are rising in the north-east
In battle the IRA takes on the beast


“No Surrender (to the KKK)” based on “No Surrender (to the IRA) by Strikeforce UK, original lyrics are here.

1. This is meant to be a celebration of non-violent resistance to the Ku Klux Klan.
2. The original is by a racist band.
3. Fighting the Klan would partly involve, directly and directly trying to change their minds.
4. The line about David Duke is, in the original (with Gerry Adams instead) a reference to death. But in this version, it would be either prison, and/or isolation and defeat as his followers leave him.
5. This version is **37% me, and 63% the original.
6. I give this poem four stars out of five.
7. I know Duke technically isn’t a Klansman.

No surrender!

No surrender to the KKK
Across the US, defeating them is our crusade
We stand by the multi-racial working-class
The Klan’s hate and division, workers will surpass

No surrender, no surrender, no surrender to the KKK
No surrender, no surrender, we’ll fight them every day
No surrender, no surrender, no surrender to the Ku Klux Klan
No surrender, no surrender, we’ll fight until they understand

Your terrorist attacks are going on still
And you don't give a fuck who you maim and kill
David Duke better wave bye bye
Cos the Ku Klux Klan’s defeat is nigh


No surrender!

We will smash that racist scum
No time to lose cos the battle's begun
We're loyal to the working-class and we're gonna win
We will not back down and we'll never give in



“Orange Fools” based on “Reds Are Fools” by Kill, Baby, Kill. The original lyrics are here.

1. This is set pretty much in July 2002.
2. The original is by a Belgian band. I’m not sure, but since there is probably close to zero Irish diaspora in Belgium, they probably agree with the late Ian Stuart Donaldson and support the British and Unionist causes in N. Ireland.
3. Although the vast majority of republicans have, to some degree, put the push for a United Ireland on hold, I’m sure all of that vast majority agree that the GFA is kind of a stepping stone to their goal.
4. Some things that indicate a continuing inequality for Catholics (the first two indicators were worse in 2002):
A: In 2010 Catholics were 50% more likely to be unemployed than Protestants.
B: I discuss some recent figures relevant to reforming the police in N. Ireland in the first five or so paragraphs of this post.
C: In the year before July 2002, there had been three sectarian murders of Catholic civilians and one murder of a Protestant civilian socializing with Catholic friends, all by loyalist paramilitaries. (The Ulster Defense Association was blamed by pretty much everyone, but the British government said their cease-fire was intact)
D: During the Marching Season of 2002 at least three times Orange parades were forced through Catholic areas and there were at least three times when nationalists protesting this were attacked by the police and the Army. (For why those marches shouldn't be forced through catholic areas, see this)

5. The Union Jack is the British flag.
6. The Good Friday Agreement, when considering the context and related elements, such as the use or absence of internment, is better than the earlier efforts at creating peace. As far as the actual text of the Agreement, republicans got: Prisoner releases (which would have been at least sort of important for probably about 80% of the Nationalist community); a stronger committment to reforming the police; and in general their inclusion without prior decommissioning by the IRA. More of my thoughts relevant to the GFA are in the first 1/3 of this post.
7. The Orange Order is an anti-Catholic group. More on them here.
8. Besides being anti-Catholic to one degree or another, a lot of Unionists are also racist. There’s some more of that in the first 1/2 of this post (I also read an article by an African-American who visited the North and he said that in a Unionist area he saw lots of Confederate flags).
9. The UDA is a Unionist death squad that overwhelmingly just killed Catholic civilians.
10. Orange in the British-Irish context, is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry. That line is about the beginning of the Troubles.
11. The Short Strand is a Catholic enclave surrounded by Unionist areas (and a river to the west). For some number of weeks in early-mid 2002, it was under siege. Although I think this went too far, a senior member of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party compared what was happening to the Short Strand with what happened to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. That line doesn’t mean that the IRA should have gone back to war.
12. Overwhelmingly, the enemy in the N. Ireland conflict is/was not the “Nazi clowns”- that last 1/3 of that line is simply an anti-fascist statement.
13. **61% of this version is me, 39% is the original.
14. I give this poem four stars out of five.
15. UPDATE 2/9/13 In the third line of the third verse, I replaced THEY with MANY.

The struggle’s not over, we’ve got a long way to go.
We haven’t won our freedom yet, that's a fact that we all know.
There are still too many ways equality is denied,
but soon the truth will break free and unionism will die.

The Union Jack in Belfast is a symbol of oppression.
But after decades of resistance, we extracted some concessions
With bullshit propaganda the Orange Order kept people divided.
The unionist rich are to blame, for decades hate they incited

We’ll always fly the Irish flag, no matter what they try
Cause Unionists are bigots, Confederate flags they fly.
Many supported the UDA, a choice filled with hate
We’ll keep on working, till their bigotry we negate.

Orange Democracy was a lie, we had to go to war.
Now the Short Strand is under siege, a fact we can’t ignore.
Why are they still trying? They can’t keep us down.
Ireland belongs to the workers, the people, and not the Nazi clowns

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nazis Were and Are on the Right

( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

There are a lot of people who believe that the Nazis were on the Left or that they were half on the Left and half on the Right. This is because the other way to refer to fascists is: “national socialist.” Here are some reasons why the Nazis were much more on the Right than on the Left:

* That Hitler guy was a total ass-hole- NO WAY was he on the Left : ).

(seriously though, here are some reasons)

* I can’t remember exactly what the details were, but Hitler’s regime had a mixed attitude towards capital- some good, some bad (for capital). I believe it was lower taxes on business, but more government intervention (not necessarily for the workers or consumers or other progressive goals, but I imagine for things like the re-arming of Germany) ; I think in the next few weeks I can find the details for this. UPDATE 6/18/12 The Nazis also provided some companies with slave labor.

A: One very good source says that Hjalmar Schacht, "was a staunch defender of capitalism." Although never a member of the Nazi Party, Hitler appointed him head of the Reichsbank in 1933. ++ p. 90

B: Hitler's first economic plan (the Reinhardt Plan) included tax breaks for businesses. ++ p. 91

* They simply got rid of the unions.

* They killed some communists and social-democrats and sent many to concentration camps.

* They elevated race and nation above class and tried to cover up class conflict without doing anything to erase or minimize income inequality.

A: In power the Nazis destroyed the trade-unions on May 2nd 1933. They were replaced by a Nazi employee organization which by the Fall of 1933 included “all working people regardless of economic or social position” including employers. It did two things which were sort of pro-worker: A) they improved some of the conditions that workers labored under- this included things like the playing of music, plants, good lighting, etc.; and B) made it easier for workers to go on relatively cheap vacations or attend concerts, etc.. ++ pp. 96-97
(But, it didn’t do anything to empower workers in labor conflict and did very little or nothing to narrow the financial gap between rich and poor)

* Probably the most important thing is to look at who allowed the Nazis into government. They were centrists and mostly conservatives (i.e. President Paul von Hinderburg). Even after Hitler created a dictatorship, many such politicians continued to be part of Hitler’s government.

* They got a lot of financial support from very successful, mainstream businessmen, especially in the last 2-3 years before they took power.

* A major leader of the Nazi’s left-wing, Otto Strasser left the party in 1930. His brother, Gregor, who had similar beliefs and was also a major leader of the Nazi left, was killed by Hitler’s men in 1934.

*They supported the right-wing side in the Spanish Civil War.

* Today’s neo-Nazis generally place themselves on the Right and in conflict with the left. This is found in the lyrics of Nazi Skinhead bands, and while they occasionally say something anti-capitalist, they much more frequently make anti-communist and anti-Left statements and pro-Right statements. American white supremacists spend much more time trying to work within the GOP than they do trying to work within the Democratic Party.

++ Jackson J. Spielvogel Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History Prentice Hall, 1996

In a blog discussion here another poster named "Ian" added three more facts:

* “They were ferociously anti-gay, imprisoning and killing thousands of gay men.”

* “They reintroduced Christian prayer into schools.”

* “They were anti-abortion, at least when it came to gentile Germans.”

UPDATE 8/9/12 The Southern Poverty Law Center published a good article about this, here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eyes On The Prize: Three More Poems

( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

Below are three more poems. For an explanation of how and why I "write" the poems, see this.

For the rest of the poems click on the "lyrics" label at the bottom (there are at least four pages worth of posts, so click on the "older posts" at the bottom of the first page).

“Internment Night” based on “Fiery Cross” by Hate Society, original lyrics are here.

1. This is about the annual rioting on “Internment Night” in N. Ireland during the earlier years of the conflict (I'm not sure how much that has happened in the last 1-2 decades) (the rioting for some number of years was accompanied by creating bonfires (at least in 1988) in republican areas). (I read that at some point, probably 15-20 years ago, a community festival in west Belfast was started partly to give teenagers something else to do instead of rioting). Is this poem meant as a criticism of the organizers of that festival? NOT AT ALL- as far as I can tell, that festival was/is a great idea, and of course it is/was anti-Unionist and anti-Imperialist and was therefore a form of resistance (considering the progress made so far with the Peace Process, I’m not sure if “resistance” is the right word for today). But I also believe that during the conflict, rioting was generally a good thing- it was closer to mass struggle than the IRA’s campaign. It was just one more way of resisting along with rallies, marches, the IRA, elections, etc.
2. The phrase, referring to POWs is usually “men behind the wire” but “fence” rhymed and made sense. 1971 was the first year of internment. There’s a good, academic summary about internment here.
3. Squaddies is a word for British soldier, peeler is a word for the police.
4. Provos are the Sinn Fein and the IRA that in recent decades have been called simply Sinn Fein and the IRA. I haven’t really nailed down when this takes place, so I’m not sure what to say about them being “on the rise.” It’s a bad line in what is a bad poem.
5. BA is the British Army, and they didn’t defeat the IRA.
6. The phrase “freedom’s seeds” is based on a republican song called “Your Daughters and Your Sons” (it's my favorite song). The idea is that the children of (for example) Catholics in N. Ireland were the seeds of freedom in the future.
7. The idea behind the 2nd line of the 2nd verse is that the rioting of youth could possibly be seen as a small taste of what the security forces would get from the IRA (there’s more than that, the rioting also was to some degree mass struggle).
8. Normalization was a part of Thatcher’s N. Ireland policy where they tried to convince people the war wasn’t having much of an effect on N. Ireland society. Although they were rioting very frequently for years before that, nationalist youth rioting could be seen as doing a pretty good job of undermining normalization.
9. I deleted the last verse for various reasons.
10. I give this poem two stars of five.
11. **71% of this version is me, 29% is the original.
12. The reference to fascism towards the very end. For the most part, you’re right- their enemy was not fascist. But they were anti-fascist youth.
13. The original is by an American band, and so I made a point of including some anti-fascist/right/bigot or pro-left (I explain that a bit more here). With this one, it’s the term “anti-fascist.”

They’ve been lighting their bon-fires for years as resistance
And remembering those in ‘71 taken behind the fence
Already rioted a hundred times and never were arrested,
the squaddies and peelers presence would not go uncontested

Fiery resistance still burning - lighting up the land!
Better watch out squaddie - the ‘RA will shoot you where you stand!
Fiery resistance still burning - lighting up the skies!
Better watch out peeler - the Provos are on the rise!

Another army the BA couldn’t defeat, they are freedom’s seeds
They will let the crown forces know, a warning they should heed
Anti-fascist youth in one struggle - an army of the poor
Rejecting normalization, it’s their battle in a people’s war



“We Are Standing” based on “They Stand Alone” by No Remorse, lyrics are here (not exactly what I used, but close).

1. The first verse is about “Operation Motorman,” a British offensive against no-go areas (Nationalist areas where the security forces couldn’t easily enter because of barricades and armed Volunteers (members of republican paramilitaries)) For more info, see this. At that point, in 1972, the British Army (BA) were in complete conflict with the nationalist community. I’m not sure if that means they were there to support the status quo since the regional government in Belfast had been suspended, and the BA wasn’t in complete lock-step with the Unionists. But they were continuing the oppression of nationalist community. And a year earlier, they had carried out the internment operations demanded by the Unionists. And in 1974 they allowed the Unionists to bring down the power-sharing government. So it largely makes sense.
2. “Orange Jim Crow” is my way of referring to the anti-Catholic environment of N. Ireland back then (orange is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry in N. Ireland). In the period around 1972, there were still some Jim Crow-type laws, and certainly four years earlier they had them. You could also say that in some ways it continued up until somewhere around 10 years ago.
3. The second verse is about the formation of the state of Northern Ireland. The USC was the Ulster Special Constabulary, a kind of state militia to help the police, but they were worse than the police in terms of sectarianism. Britain paid a lot for the various efforts of establishing and securing N. Ireland- they turned the Six Counties (a republican term for N. Ireland) into an armed camp.
4. As I have explained in the last 1/3 of this, I believe the Left in many countries dropped the ball in terms of doing work on N. Ireland. The media didn’t help with that problem.
5. The line about Soldiers of Empire refers to the build up in the early 1970s.
6. I give this poem three stars out of five.
7. The Ulster Unionist Party was the main unionist political force in N. Ireland for decades until about 7 years ago. It’s leadership was overwhelmingly upper-class and the rich benefited greatly from UUP governments.
8. No Remorse was British and supported the unionist and/or British causes in N. Ireland.
9. **70% of this version is me, 30% is the original.
10. UPDATE 5/15/12 The last line of the first verse could be seen as conflating the those who supported the IRA with the nationalist population in general. That's not my intent, although I could almost do that without it being more than sort of inaccurate. beyond the 40% who definitely supported the republican paramilitary(ies), there's evidence that something like another 40% sort of supported the IRA.

A tank rolls up the Creggan Rd.
The BA’s here to support the status quo
The Volunteers escaped, to fight another day
Our day will come- victory to the IRA

British Army man, you must go.
We’ll defeat you and Orange Jim Crow.
Northern Catholics, now we are standing
Freedom and justice, we are demanding

A State built on sectarian violence of the USC
An Orange system for the rich of the UUP
Propped up by pillars, of British pounds
Thousands of guns, to occupy Irish ground


Oh! Northern Catholics, No-one on your side
Hopes are nearly fading. Freedom’s nearly died
come on


Silence from the Left, while Nationalists die.
World-wide news media won’t ask why.
Soldiers of the Empire, build up in Six Counties.
It's an imperialist creation, they want us on our knees


Take back your land...


“Eyes On The Prize” based on “Final Attack” by Final War, original lyrics are here.

1. This is about Ireland, close to the day when Ireland is unified. UPDATE 4/27/12 I just realized, I was a little lazy with part of writing this poem- I'm kind of conflating the northern Catholic population with the Irish population in general; in the next week or so, I'll fix that (same thing with supporters of the armed struggle and those who didn't support it).
UPDATE 4/29/12 It’s overwhelmingly about the nationalist population in the North. I don’t know if this is really a good idea, this will probably be the only poem I do this with, but I am going to use asterisks to indicate which lines mean this or that. * Just nationalists; ** Nationalists and the South; *** Largely pre-N. Ireland and more general; **** Northern Protestants. And there is only one line that refers to the use of force as part of a wide variety of efforts to unite the island and/or work for equality for the nationalist and Catholic populations; that doesn't mean that it was supported by the entire nationalist community (and there's a good chance that something like 80% of that community at least sort of, kind of supported it (plus half of that 80% would be a very solid figure for people who generally very much supported the use of force).

2. The Dail is the parliament in Dublin. There’s a good chance that unification will begin shifting Ireland towards the Left. There’s some more about that towards the bottom of this post.
3. In the time of Cromwell, in the 1600s, tens of thousands of Irish people were sent as slaves to the Western Hemisphere.
4. As far as I can tell, with Ireland united and free, there would be very little left of British imperialism.
5. As far as dialogue and reconciliation and helping the unionist bigots move beyond the end of N. Ireland, there is some info about that here and (as far as my record on supporting dialogue and reconciliation), here. You might also want to read this.
6. The red, white and blue are the colors of the British flag.
7. The Republic is already much more secular than it was decades ago (gay rights are fairly advanced) and even decades ago, Catholic fundamentalism rarely took the form of anti-Protestantism.
8. Anti-Catholic bigotry in Ireland was largely encouraged by the British.
9. It’s difficult to say when The Troubles ended. It was a gradual process, probably beginning with the Good Friday Agreement, and ending with Sinn Fein accepting the new police force.
10. “Eyes on the prize” was the name of a documentary made in the 1980s about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (and the years between that era and 1985). I’m not sure if it’s a perfect fit, but the last line in this poem, I believe, works very well.
11. In the last line, “we’ve all” refers to about 90% of the Northern Catholic population and what would be a growing minority of Northern Protestsants.
12. I give this poem four stars out of five.
13. **80% this version is mine, 20% is the original.
14. The original is by an American band, and so I made a point of including some anti-fascist/right/bigot or pro-left (I explain that a bit more here). With this one it’s the title of the poem.
15. Orange is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry in the Irish-British context.

The day is approaching, the day of unity n/a
for you and your family, will finally be free *
gonna celebrate, and remember the dead **
gonna paint the Dail a light shade of red **

We’ll have equality and justice, with our liberation *
we’re also gonna have truth and reconciliation *
the Brits took our land, and enslaved many of us ***
Now British imperialism has been turned to dust n/a

Oh no, what are the bigots gonna do ****
when the Brits lower the red, white and blue n/a
We need to talk with them, make them understand- **
We’re all gonna share this island **

the Brits introduced sectarianism and kept the Nationalists down ***
Occupied all our cities and all our towns ***
explosions and gunfire had been part of our struggle *
As well as voting and marching, during and after the Troubles *


We've got our sights set on a new democracy **
We guarantee, it won’t be, a Catholic theocracy **
Many have broken free from the orange lies ****
And we’ve all got our eyes, yeah, eyes on the prize **