Saturday, June 28, 2008

Real Activists Use Linux

So I know this may seem like an odd topic for a generally anti-war geared website, but there is a method to my madness. "Information wants to be free" Current copyright and patent laws are designed to keep the knowledge, and the power, in the hands of the rich and the corporate. The Gnu Project of which Linux is a major part seeks to remove constraints from the flow of information within the world of computer and technology. I firmly believe that open source software and hardware will be one of the vital keys to transferring the power of production into the hands of general population and the working class. Without the archaic constraints of restrictive licensing and DRM, tools that only stop legitimate users from doing what they want with what they pay for but that don't stop hackers or crackers from taking advantage, the flow of information and the development of tools that will streamline our productivity will increase magnificently. So, while I don't have much time now as I'm nearing the end of a graveyard shift at work, I will be adding an article on open source development (i.e. Linux, GPL, Gnu, Open Source Companies, etc.) once a week alongside the articles on activism in other forms. Liberation is never just one aspect, it's a broad social reconfiguration and Linux is just the thing to take us there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When Johnny Came Marching Home

Written in November 2007 by a soldier who had served with 2/1 Cav out of Ft Lewis.

I used to be a soldier in the second calvary
Until the army said that they no longer needed me
So I stayed home while my brothers went to war
And so far seven of my friends won't come home anymore
But some have come home wounded in body and in mind
And we all hurt together for leaving the rest behind

When Johnny came marching home it was on two wheels
And he never talks but always dreams of all his kills
And sometimes he dreams of Rhett's face as sometimes so do I
It hurts more folks then people think when a soldier dies

They were running a patrol when they hit an IED
The bomb exploded to the front and stole Johnny's sanity
Everything went quiet and Johnny found himself flying
He didn't have time to think or feel for he knew that Rhett was dying
What he didn't know was that both his legs were shattered
From striking at the armor plates inside his bones had parted
But he knew he must act fast or our brother wouldn't make it
So he gave it eveyrthing he had hopped up on adrenaline

Well Johnny jumped out into the sand
He tried to save the driver's life but found he could not stand
The captain said your useless boy pull guard go sit down
So Johnny crawled a few yards off and looked nervously around
After a moment or so they came and broke the news
Our brother had been killed in action there was nothing they could do

Now Johnny just sits around drinking jack and coke
Or sometimes just straight shots while he cracks another joke
And sometimes sporadicly he just breaks down and cries
Or plays with that damn toy gun shooting to the skies
A wheelchair bound soldier with a rifle must seem a sight
But you really should have seen him that one night

In a drunken stupor he rolled himself down the stairs
When he hit the bottom he flew out and just lay there
I rushed over to him and he looked up at me and said
God dammit man it didn't work I just wish I were dead
I picked Johnny up and put him back into his chair
Said I hate to tell you bro but war is never fair

Well I haven't seen Johnny now in months maybe three or four
They sent him home, he's no good to them anymore
People like he and I were just a liability
Messing with the VA and others I think who lie to me
Sometimes I think they just don't care about us now
Then I know it's true were just broken soldiers anyhow
Just another pair of hands they know that they don't need
What they don't know was that in me they laid the seed
It's not what they desired but in other people's eyes
It's while I was serving Uncle Sam that I was radicalized
I'll never stop I'll never sleep until it's all undone
Because I remember the day the Johnny came rolling home

- Fin

To my brothers in 2/1 Cav (4/2 cav back in the day) and to Spc Conners, Cpl Butler, Cpl Crouch, Cpl Craig, and Ssg Martin. Saber Pride

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Violence in the Media, Rebellion in the Air

Ok, so I stole the title. I would happily give credit where it's due but it's verse from a cd called "Even if Your Voice Shakes #1" and I lost the nifty little sleeve that tells me the names of artists and songs on it. So sorry whoever you are. Anyhow on to the rant...

I apparently am a coward. Yeah really, so says many bloggers and opinion writers out there in pro-war, pro-bush, pro-ignorance world. So I am going to site some example of what I have faced being an anti-war demonstrator...

I have been: verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, threatened with death, threatened with a dog, threatened with a gun, tear gassed, pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, shot with pepper spray balls, and that was all in one night.

I have been: Called a coward, called a traitor, called a commi, called a hippy, called an asshole, also all in one night.

One of the things I have noticed is that these morons seem to enjoy using every term they can think of at every protest. So I would like to clear some things up.

I am not a coward, or a traitor. I do what I do for my brothers and sisters who still serve so that they can be used to risk there lives for the greater good and not for money.

I am not a communist or a hippy. I'm an anarchist. I would love to go into a discussion about what that is since few people actually seem to know, but to sum it up I'll go with, it is not a lack of order in the world merely a lack of leaders. All decisions are made the groups of people that they affect rather then for them by elected assholes or by large groups of people that have nothing to do with it.

Lastly, I am an asshole. So at least that they got right. I have no problems being an asshole. Sometimes it comes in great handy. I'm not always an asshole, but in general, I would certainly qualify.

So pro-war folks, you have my permission to call me an asshole. When I laugh at you directly after, now you know why.

To tackle the second problem, that was actually noted first but hey what do you want from me? Violence against protesters is not cool. It's also very illegal. The first five things I mentioned up there were done by counter protesters. The remaining was the police. I wasn't breaking the law, or even yelling when they happened. I was taking pictures. Yet for some reason people thought that this was plenty good reason to assault me in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was the cap and bandanna I wore to minimize the effects of chemical agents should any be used against me (and of course they were) either way, what the fuck? I'll leave this one on that note.

The rebellion in the air part is just what is right now. Food prices are rising, gas prices are rising, and there is no way in hell this going to continue unabated unless we do something to slow it down and stop it. So please... raise hell and let them know we won't sit quietly while they steal our livelihood again.