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Posts Tagged ‘protest’

This one is probably very familiar to anyone over the age of 40. You might not know the background. It was written by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969, during the Vietnam war.

It talks about those who are all gung ho for war and wave their red, white and blue and say we should give the government what it asks of, yet they aren’t following through on their own. Fogerty says he wrote it after he was drafted. He saw that everyone was being drafted and wasn’t able to fight it, even if they didn’t support the war . Yet, there were those moneyed people that were able to get out of the draft because their money spoke for them (or their daddy’s money).

Fortunate Son

Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays, ‘Hail to the chief’
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

But it ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born with silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves? Oh
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house look like a rummage sale, yes

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Yeah, yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, how much should we give
Ooh, they only answer, more, more, more, yo

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no military son, son, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate son, son
It ain’t me

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Some of our greatest songs were written in protest of movements, events, and politics. Every protest movement has its song. Sometimes we hear the songs and sing them without realizing that it/they was/were written as a protest. I bet you’ve done it.

Bob Dylan has written many of these protest songs. Here’s one:

Blowin’ In the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

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Last night, Thursday, just like on Wednesday night, there was a peaceful protest against the Trump win. On Wednesday night it was peaceful but after the protest, there was a lot of graffiti left by Trump supporters, including swastikas, on buildings. Then came last night. The peaceful group assembled in Pioneer Courthouse Square (we’re talking Portland, Oregon) and began their march. Somewhere along the way, outside groups joined in and hijacked the main protest. The outside groups included at least one anarchist group that has been active here in Portland in the past. There were other groups but, because I am not sure of who, I won’t name them. Suffice to say that they were not the peaceful group which began the evening.

It turned violent. It turned ugly. It turned destructive. There were fights. There was spray painting. There was smashing of windows. There was rock throwing. There were fires in the street. The police were severely outnumbered. The group was about 4,000 protesters against a tiny police force. Portland has a total of 500 police, however they weren’t all on duty because things had been so peaceful. So there were just a small number of police against the 4,000 and that made it far too dangerous for the police to go in and break it up. So they marched and destroyed and rallied and got brave.

I wasn’t even aware of it. I had checked in around 6 pm when everything was peaceful. I forgot all about it. Then when I went to bed around 11, I turned on the TV. Lo and behold! There it was. Live. My heart sank. I hate to see that. There is no reason for it. None at all. I was tuned in to the TV coverage. The protesters were very angry. They would not disperse even when riot police confronted them and warned them repeatedly. Even when they were attacked by rubber bullets they remained. It was ugly. It was scary.

Finally, TV coverage ended when the police began to arrest people and things seemed to be cooling off. That’s when I tuned off too. That’s when my heart ached. That’s when I began to write this. I had other plans for today’s blog post but they, like the peaceful protest, were hijacked by these violent anarchists and whatever other groups were out there. My heart is sad.

The only good thing is that the police and the media are aware that the groups that were responsible for the violence and the vandalism were not the original group. That means a lot to me. And I hope that it will become clear to people when it is reported in the media in a couple of hours.

Hopefully, I can gather myself enough to post later on what I was originally going to post.

Violence is not okay. Vandalism is not okay.

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I have a lot of things on my mind today. I don’t know if I have the time to fully explore them here as I’m on my way out the door on an errand that will take most of the day. However, I did want to mention one of those things because it has bothered me a lot.

Yesterday, I watched as preparations were made for the Olympic torch to make its only North American procession in San Francisco, almost in my back yard. What happened was an insult to everyone. I do appreciate that all were kept safe but at what expense? I think it was censorship at its best. The torch and the runners were ushered away from the public view, away from the protesters, away from the supporters. It left everyone frustrated. It left the United States looking, not like a country that can keep the torch and the runners safe, but as a country that is so cowardly that they turned the moment into a farce. No one was allowed to view it. No one was allowed to protest. No one was allowed to support or cheer. No one was allowed to look upon the torch and dream that one day they would be an Olympic athlete. I guess it was just another instance of taking away our voice, our right to voice our feelings, our right to even dream.

Before yesterday, I was not really sure how I felt about supporting the Olympics being held in China. On the one hand, it’s just sports and maybe not a venue for political protestation. On the other hand, it is ALWAYS the place and time to protest inhumane treatment and censorship and all that is going on in Tibet and other places. I just wasn’t sure what I felt about the whole situation. Then yesterday happened.

Now I know that non-violent protest has a place all the time, and everywhere. Now I know that protesting against China’s treatment of Tibetans, even as it relates to the Olympics, is right. Now I know what I feel. I thank the San Francisco Police Department and the Powers That Were in control of yesterday’s fiasco. They’ve made me see this whole situation in a very bright, clear light.

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