Let’s start with these Occupy Wherever protesters
What gives them the right!?
Why do they get to stand around
Begging for someone to –fill-their-open-hands?
No, they beg for someone upstairs to listen
Just listen while they discuss how,
like an acquaintance seen through the subway window,
their freedoms pass them by, leaving them
with a sense of “hey, dude look at me, recognize.”
They have as much right as you have
to quietly sit there and cower in your homes
and ignore same rights being jerked out
from under your comfy chair.
They aren’t happy to just be the wine glasses or candelabras
or even be like your damn Lazy-boy
when some slick magician yanks that table cloth
with the Bill-of-Rights on it.
And if that table cloth is their safety net?
And if your rug-clad floors are your safety-net?
Where will you land when it’s gone?
Maybe these Occupy Wherever protesters are your safety net?
Salute the soldiers that travel across the world
to defend freedoms from non-threats and semi-threats?
Well then salute the soldiers that stand in the squares
in five hundred-odd cities
to block the bullets of wall street
from piercing the tender hide of your freedoms
in the streets of your home town.
Don’t think your ranch-style safety net can get pulled?
Heard of the foreclosure crisis?
It’s not over, just on hold until noone’s looking.
Just ask the ninety-four houses on Newport News’ East End
If eminent domain just asked them to move
a little to the left so we can complete I-664.
So that’s right, the police are watering down, with pepper-spray,
their right to stand in the square and protest
in defense of your right to sit on the right
to own that home – the one you sit in
to symbolically demonstrate your right
to shut your mouth and take it.
Well when that does get dragged out from under you
there’s someone who’ll gladly stand beside you
on the street-side – and help you get heard.
Well, if you haven’t let them get tear-gassed out.
My grandmother’s fuming at the protesters on TV,
And fuming further that their voices match with me.
I still hear my brother crying, “I can’t breathe.”
Now I’m in this struggle saying “I can’t leave.”
Calling out the violence of these racist police
We can’t stop until the people are free
Today we filled another street with simulated dead bodies.
It’s like the Mississippi after a really good Mardi Gras,
bank to bank.
The only gaps are for the coffin mock-ups
each with a real name
that never got up from the street on it’s own
Keep it up so that your voice is not diminished
to a mere phantom
that barely haunts the houses of politics and finance
Keep it up all day until it’s expected.
Keep it up all year until it’s the norm.
Keep it up until you get in trouble for missing your shift.
In Australia you can get fined for not voting
– but we’re beyond that.
Some of y’all need to get into trouble for not being at the protest.
Like maybe there will be a day
a good cop stops you on the street
and gives you the business for missing your time
to lay dead in the street.
“Hey, Tony, where were you at 4:30 pm?”
Well at least he knew your name in that imaginary world.