July 9, 2010

A Poem For The Oakland Pigs

At the US Social Forum in Detroit, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with a dude by the name of Tim Hall. While we have our political differences, my basic stand is All Respect To Tim. For the last 25 years, he has been the backbone of a small magazine called Struggle.

Its self-description: A quarterly magazine devoted to progressive and revolutionary literature and art expressing the the anti-establishment struggles of the working class and oppressed people in the U.S. and worldwide.

25 years. That's no small feat. Though Sturgeon's Law operates in proletarian literature as in other fields, Struggle includes some damn good stuff . I am reposting this poem by a young California writer from the online content of the Summer-Fall, 2009 issue of Struggle for painfully obvious reasons.

Oakland’s Finest

by Ariono-jovan Labu

Them bastards wasn't hired to handcuff
under isolated overpasses Industrial District,
deep shadows of the docks &
beat the shit outta them like piƱatas.
Wasn't hired to wash away sins
homeless winos late night loitered
in bus bunkers, doorways condemned buildings
with scolding urine. Blackmailing
street walkers on High Street
for blowjobs in the alleys.

Didn't swear an oath to bag D-boys,
confiscate evidence for personal use
plant dope/ dirty pistolas on folks
with a long criminal heritage,
get them violated parole/ probation while
displaying medieval-machisimo arrogance.

Like two weeks gone
they popped a black boy 5 shots
the back no reason to call. Or
a few days ago when they made
more holes than Swiss cheese in
lil' ol' Eloise Johnson. Alleged
she cracked, lost all sanity
& recklessly charged them like some
schizophrenic bull
brandishing a plastic butter knife.

Know dang well them pigs wasn't hired
to fight crimes with crime.

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