Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Monday, October 24! Get Up, Stand Up!


Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight

That was Bob Marley and Peter Tosh in 1973. It's also the name of a documentary about the relationship between music and politics from the beginnings of the American labor movement to the final days of the criminal Bush regime. The first episode is below. So what about OccupyWall Street? I want to introduce you to Jasiri X, one of the most coherent voices emerging to describe and capture the messages of the movement in real time. One of his songs is embedded in the video above. The state of Utah murdered revered political songwriter Joe Hill for words no less incendiary than Jasiri X's.

You want class war?
We'll give you what you ask for

Jasiri X, a community activist and emcee from Pittsburgh, is probably best known for the brilliant analytical video, What If The Tea Party Was Black? and the hilarious Guess Who parody Republican Women... Stay Away From Me. His genre is hip-hop; his message is universal... well 99% universal.


Oy veh! As every movement for social change in history has ever discovered, it's tough to self police-- but as Lenny Bruce said-- even in the ancient days they had to have rules about certain things. The drummer aren't the real problem here; they sound like they can be reasoned with. It's this self-appointed spokesperson, the nutcase, who nobody can deal with. People have been trying to get the "facilitators" to grapple with her for weeks, but they refuse. "She has just as much right as anyone else..." And the result is that the community board, which is sympathetic to OWS is probably going to vote to kick them out, which is what Bloomberg is waiting for. The "facilitators", in turn, are evidently already talking about how to continue the movement without Occupying Wall Street... All because of this one egomaniac, which their the OWS structure or ethos doesn't provide a way to deal with. Many people have been speculating that she's a plant. And, if so, she's perfect-- all the right cultural signifiers to make her pretty much bulletproof for many in this crowd. If OWS ends because of this... who'll be laughing and who'll be crying?

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