January 25, 2013

Poem of the Week: Landlord


Langston Hughes

Landlord, landlord,
My roof has sprung a leak.
Don't you 'member I told you about it
Way last week?

Landlord, landlord,
These steps is broken down.
When you come up yourself
It's a wonder you don't fall down.

Ten Bucks you say I owe you?
Ten Bucks you say is due?
Well, that's Ten Bucks more'n I'll pay you
Till you fix this house up new.

What? You gonna get eviction orders?
You gonna cut off my heat?
You gonna take my furniture and
Throw it in the street?

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty.
Talk on-till you get through.
You ain't gonna be able to say a word
If I land my fist on you.

Police! Police!
Come and get this man!
He's trying to ruin the government
And overturn the land!

Copper's whistle!
Patrol bell!
Precinct Station.
Iron cell.
Headlines in press:
Man Threatens landlord
Tenant Held Bail
Judge Gives Negro 90 Days In County Jail! 

[Poem of the Week is back. I fell off toward the end of 2012. I'll try to come correct this year. So much of Langston Hughes is well known that I was steered to this one by the fact that three people I know have been without heat recently. And it's cold out.]

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January 4, 2013

Welcome "Idle No More"!

by Michael Leonardi

In just a few short months a grassroots movement has grown in North America that is inspiring people across the planet. Idle No More has been the rallying cry of the indigenous people in Canada that have now been joined in solidarity by people all over the world. Its blogspot can be found here  and its manifestations can be seen and heard internationally. The Occupy Wall Street! movement has joined in solidarity with the Idle No More insurgency across North America. With Occupy Canada and the recent victories of the student uprising in Quebec, including the shuttering of the only nuclear plant in Quebec just last week, visions of a North American Spring seem a more distinct possibility with strong hopes that the powerful forces stirring across Canada can push their way south across the border and inspire the sleeping and drugged US populace to finally be shaken awake, as Occupy has already managed to raise the consciousnesses of the 99%.

Canada is usually snowy this time of year and the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 have been no exception. Snow covers at least 90 percent of the ground in Canada today.  As uprisings go, Spring has tended been the season for the multitudes to take to the streets to demand a better existence. But in Canada, the indigenous people and their allies have been pushed by draconian new anti-environmental legislation and violations of native sovereignty by the Conservative Party government headed by Stephen Harper. They have decided that this winter is the season for the dawn of a Canadian uprising that could help to internationalize the world's Spring revolts into a cohesive force that puts the planet and its ecosystems at the forefront for the survival of future generations.  Idle No More is expanding fast as it targets the criminal chemical and energy cartels and their governmental sponsors which collude to bring us more nukes, more tar sands, more poison, continued ecological devastation and more cancer. In Canada the cry of Enough! is sounding across the snowy landscape.

Over the New Year's weekend my family and I visited one of the powerful blockades set up in recent days throughout Canada. This blockade was constructed on the Winter Solstice to block a CN rail line that crosses Aamjiwnaang land outside of Sarnia, Ontario and is known as the Aamjiwnaang  Blockade. It was set up over a rail line that is central to delivering toxic chemical stews to be processed, refined and manufactured in what is known as Canada’s chemical valley in Sarnia. This area is considered one of the most polluted

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