Archive for June, 2019

Well I do. I was a bum then and I will be a bum until the day I die. But you know what the Capitalist, the cop, the corporations are bigger and meaner and the most nasty parasites on the face of the earth. So for this weekend enjoy being a bum, outside this dirty rotten system. For our weekend music enjoyment series let’s listen to Barbara Dane sing a reworked old IWW song, “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.”

Kent State songs: https://rateyourmusic.com/list/JBrumm… A collection of Vietnam War songs by Barbara Dane and GI’s, called “FTA! Songs of the GI Resistance” (1970). It included the song “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum” – this was a response to Nixon’s comment on 30 April 1970 (just before the Kent State shooting) when he spoke at the Pentagon, saying “you see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses”. The Washington Post ran the headline “Nixon denounces campus ‘bums’ who burn books”, while the New York Times declared that “Nixon puts ‘bums’ label on some college radicals”. A father of one of those killed at Kent State later told a reporter that “My child was not a bum”. “Oh bums of the earth, you’ve got nothing to loose But the chains and the tear gas, the Dick Nixon blues Hallelujah, I’m a Bum, hallelujah, who are you?… When he first called us bums, didn’t know what he meant But the guards defined it on the campus at Kent… Well power corrupts, we know that by heart But you got to admit Nixon had a head start… Well, some say his name Is slippery Dick Well I guess he is no bum, be he sure is some (dick)”

( 1 )

The gate keeper is on the run or that is what we thought. Chasing the keeper down the street, yelling our loud fuck you, throwing what we could get our hands on as our comrades poured through the gate and went where we were not supposed to go. Punching screaming, kicking our way to liberation, no matter what. Ripping down what was and throwing away the lock. The gate keeper and all of keeper’s merry men who thought that their manpower would last forever, who thought that they could keep us outside of the real deal promise or a promise that many thought was real were put on the run. So many of us came to find out that the promises were on shaky ground and there is more fight on the other side of the gate. Again, as in anything new, gate keepers took their place among our very own people. For a short time that followed we worked hard to be free. That “No, that Keep Out, No Trespassing, nothing here for you was going to keep us fighting for a taste of that other side. What sweetness was over there waiting for us? Beckoning us, Come, Come.

I dream of the gate, every night. A big bold gate with a chain lock. My father gave me a pair of bolt cutter many years ago when he was giving away his tools. You made need these sometime in the future he told me. Bolt cutters are good for cutting padlocks or chains. Put a little muscle into it and snip open “sez a me.” Muscle is and was always needed when one is confronted at the gate unless one has a bulldozer or bazooka handy. Real deal gates present all sorts of problems when one is trying to get to the other side of somewhere you know that old, from here to there. Do you want enlightenment then smash the gate but be prepared as the gatekeepers and their helpers are some mighty dogs armed with teeth and they bite. I would gather then the simple solution is learn to bite but be sure to sharpen your teeth.”

Well a lot of folks back in the day said, we are not going to take any crap from the cops, from the straight man and he isn’t going to tell us what to do. Nobody is going to keep us locked up. Smash that fucking gate, break his heavy hand if need be. But you know a few months later in December something happened, something happened on the road to liberation and a wrong road was taken. A wrong turn that plagues our people to this very day. A road that set up many more gate keepers. Gate keepers who once again say no. Gatekeepers that kept the gates locked. But you know one thing is certain Madame Defarge is still busy knitting. (more…)

Pride
film-Screening and video-conference discussion with Mike Jackson, co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

Sunday, June 23
1:30pm
Carriage House Theater
360 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

In 1984 the Thatcher government sought to close coal pits as part of an offensive on trade-unions in the UK. Mine-workers responded with what turned out to be one of the largest and most intense strikes in British history. After a spontaneous fundraising effort for miners at the London Gay Pride Parade, two gay activists (Mark Ashton and Mike Jackson) formed Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The group grew to 11 chapters and raised over 20,000 pounds for the families of strikers (about 80,000 American dollars in 2018).

The solidarity forged in the strike and support campaign led to major turning points in the movement for gay rights. After the end of the strike, the miners’ union joined the Gay Pride March in 1985 and in the same year campaigned for the first resolution in the history of the labour party to support gay rights – and it passed.

Join us for a viewing of the widely acclaimed film, Pride which tells the story of this remarkable struggle. The film will be accompanied by remarks and discussion with Mike Jackson by video conference, co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and a major consultant for the film.

For more information:
Contact 860-662-6278
On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1971561662971325/