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MUSEUM OF PUBLIC PROTEST

· Joe Hill: The Girl Question (song) · Roger Robinson: A Portable Paradise (Poetry) · Joe Hill: Everybody’s Joining It (song) · Joe Hill: What we want (song) · Free human rights lawyer and prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh · Where the Fraser River Flows by Joe Hill (song) · BLACK LIVES MATTER · Joe Hill: Workers of the World, Awaken (song) · The Rebel Girl by Joe Hill (Song) · Release imprisoned journalists worldwide · Joe Hill: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom De-Ay (Song) · Russian activist and artist, Yulia Tsvetkova, is facing six year sentence for drawing the female body

»» there is more...

Joe Hill: The Girl Question (song)

 

The Girl Question

A little girl was working in a big department store,
Her little wage for food was spent; her dress was old and tore.
She asked the foreman for a raise, so humbly and so shy,
And this is what the foreman did reply:

CHORUS:
Why don’t you get a beau?
Some nice old man, you know!
He’ll give you money if you treat him right.
If he has lots of gold,
Don’t mind if he is old.
Go! Get some nice old gentleman tonight.

The little girl then went to see the owner of the store,
She told the story that he’d heard so many times before.
The owner cried: “You are discharged! Oh, my, that big disgrace,
A ragged thing like you around my placel”

The little girl she said: “I know a man that can’t be wrong,
I’ll go and see the preacher in the church where I belong.”
She told him she was down and out and had no place to stay.
And this is what the holy man did say:

Next day while walking round she saw a sign inside a hall,
It read: THE ONE BIG UNION WILL GIVE LIBERTY TO ALL.
She said: I’ll join that union, and I’ll surely do my best,
And now she’s gaily singing with the rest:

FINAL CHORUS:
Oh, Workers do unite!
To crush the tyrant’s might,
The ONE BIG UNION BANNER IS UNFURLED —
Come slaves from every land,
Come join this fighting band,
It’s named INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD .

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
The Girl Question
(song)

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Roger Robinson: A Portable Paradise (Poetry)

Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020 and the RSL Ondaatje Prize!

These are finely crafted poems that reveal Roger Robinson’s capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.

Roger Robinson’s range is wide: the joys and pains of family life; the ubiquitous presence of racism, both subtle and unsubtle; observations on the threatening edge of violence below the surface energies of Black British territories in London; emblematic poems on the beauty and often bizarre strangeness of the world of animals; quizzical responses to the strange, the heartening, and the appalling in incidents or accounts of incidents encountered in daily life; reflections on the purposes and costs of making art, as in fine poems on a George Stubbs’ painting, John Coltrane’s Ascension and cocaine. Not least, in the sequence of poems that reflect on the meanings of the Grenfell Tower fire, Roger Robinson finds ways to move beyond a just indignation to uncover the undertones of experience that bring us nearer to the human reality of that event.

The collection’s title points to the underlying philosophy expressed in these poems: that earthly joy is, or ought to be, just within, but is often just beyond our reach, denied by racism, misogyny, physical cruelty and those with the class power to deny others their share of worldly goods and pleasures. A Portable Paradise is not the emptiness of material accumulation, but joy in an openness to people, places, the sensual pleasures of food and the rewards to be had from the arts of word, sound and visual enticement – in short an “insatiable hunger” for life. The poems express a fierce anger against injustice, but also convey the irrepressible sense that Roger Robinson cannot help but love people for their humour, oddity and generosity of spirit.

These are finely crafted poems, that reveal Roger Robinson’s capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.

• Roger Robinson is a writer and performer who lives between London and Trinidad. His first full poetry collection, The Butterfly Hotel, was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize. He has toured extensively with the British Council and is a co-founder of both Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Kitchen.

• Review by Bernardine Evaristo for the New Statesman on Wednesday, November 13, 2019: “A Portable Paradise (Peepal Tree Press) is the fourth poetry collection by Trinidadian-British poet Roger Robinson. It’s also his finest, ranging from the most breath-taking poems about the Grenfell Tower fire to the most exquisitely moving poems about the premature birth of his son, who had to fight for his life in an incubator. His poems are deep, mature, moving and inventive.”

A Portable Paradise
Roger Robinson (author)
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781845234331
Number of pages: 144
Dimensions: 206 x 135 mm
Paperback
Published: 08/07/2019
£9.99

# new poetry
Roger Robinson:
A Portable Paradise

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Joe Hill: Everybody’s Joining It (song)

Everybody’s Joining It

Fellow workers, can’t you hear,
There is something in the air.
Everywhere you walk everybody talks
‘Bout the I. W. W.
They have got a way to strike
That the master doesn’t like —
Everybody sticks,
That’s the only trick,
Al are joining now.

CHORUS:
Everybody’s joining it, joining what? Joining it!
Everybody’s joining it, joining what? Joining it!
One Big Union, that’s the workers’ choice,
One Big Union, that’s the only choice,
One Big Union, that’s the only noise,
One Big Union, shout with all your voice;
Make a noise, make a noise, make a noise, boys,
Everybody’s joining it, joining what? Joining it!
Everybody’s joining it, joining what? Joining it!
Joining in this union grand,
Boys and girls in every land;
All the workers hand in hand —
Everybody’s joining it now.

The’ Boss is feeling mighty blue,
He don’t know just what to do.
We have got his goat, got him by the throat,
Soon he’ll work or go starving.
Join I. W. W.
Don’t let bosses trouble you,
Come and join with us —
Everybody does —
You’ve got nothing to lose.

Will the One Big Union Grow?
Mister Bonehead wants to know.
Well! What do you think, of that funny gink,
Asking such foolish questions?
Will it grow? Well! Look a here,
Brand new locals everywhere,
Better take a hunch,
Join the fighting bunch,
Fight for Freedom and Right.

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
Everybody’s Joining It
Song

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Joe Hill: What we want (song)

 

What we want

(Tune: “Rainbow”)

We want all the workers in the world
to organize
Into a great big union grand
And when we all united stand
The world for workers we’ll demand
If the working class could only see
and realize
What mighty power labor has
Then the exploiting master class
It would soon fade away.

CHORUS
Come all ye toilers that work
for wages,
Come from every land,
Join the fighting band,
In one union grand,
Then for the workers we’ll make upon
this earth a paradise
When the slaves get wise
and organize.

We want the sailor and the tailor
and the lumberjacks,
And all the cooks and Laundry girls,
We want the guy that dives for pearls,
The pretty maid that’s making curls,
And the baker and staker
and the chimneysweep
We want the man that’s slinging hash,
The child that works for little cash
In one union grand.

We want the tinner and the skinner
and the chambermaid,
We want the man with spikes on soles,
We want the man that’s digging holes,
We want the man that’s climbing poles,

And the tracker and the mucker
and the hired man
And all the factory girls and clerks,
Yes, we want every one that works,
In one union grand.

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
What we want
Song

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Free human rights lawyer and prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin Sotoudeh and her son

In prisons across Iran, there have been people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This raises grave concerns for prisoners in Iran, including human rights lawyer and prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh. Take action and demand she is released now.

After two grossly unfair trails, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 38 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes because of her work defending women’s rights and protesting against Iran’s discriminatory and degrading forced veiling laws. Nasrin has dedicated her life to peaceful human rights works.

Now, in prisons across Iran, there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19. This raises grave fears that prisoners, like Nasrin, are at risk of contracting the virus. Prisoners are at particular risk because they are unable to take the same social distancing and hygiene measures as those outside of prison to protect themselves.

Across Iran, prisoners have pleaded with officials to address overcrowded, unhygienic and unsanitary conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 infections, raising alarms about the authorities’ failure to sufficiently protect prison populations from the spread of the virus. Some prisoners have been denied adequate medical care, leaving them at greater risk from the virus if contracted.

Nasrin is among the hundreds of prisoners of conscience jailed in Iran. No one should spend a single day in prison for peacefully exercising their rights.

Call on the Supreme Leader of Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh immediately and unconditionally and for her sentences to be quashed without delay.

Iran: Free Nasrin Sotoudeh
Link: action amnesty international

 

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Where the Fraser River Flows by Joe Hill (song)

Where the Fraser River Flows

(Tune: “Where the River Shannon Flows”)

Fellow workers pay attention to what I’m going to mention,
For it is the fixed intention of the Workers of the World.
And I hope you’ll all be ready, true-hearted, brave and steady,
To gather ’round our standard when the Red Flag is unfurled.

CHORUS
Where the Fraser river flows, each fellow worker knows,
They have bullied and oppressed us, but still our Union grows.
And we’re going to find a way, boys, for shorter hours and better pay, boys;
And we’re going to win the day, boys; where the river Fraser flows.

For the gunny-sack contractors have all been dirty actors,
And they’re not our benefactors, each fellow worker knows.
So we’ve got to stick together in fine or dirty weather,
And we will show no white feather, where the Fraser river flows.

New the boss the law is stretching, bulls and pimps he’s fetching,
And they are a fine collection, as Jesus only knows.
But why their mothers reared them, and why the devil spared them,
Are questions we can’t answer, where the Fraser river flows.

Why should any worker be without the necessities of life when ten men can produce enough for a hundred?

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
Where the Fraser River Flows
(song)

Songs of the Workers (15th edition) (1919)
Industrial Workers of the World
Where the Fraser River Flows by Joe Hill (uncredited). Onward, “One Big Union!”
The tune to this song, “Where the River Shannon Flows” (1906) written by James J. Russell.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER

 

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Joe Hill: Workers of the World, Awaken (song)

 

Workers of the World,
Awaken

Workers of the world, awaken!
Break your chains. demand your rights.
AII the wealth you make is taken
By exploiting parasites.
Shall you kneel in deep submission
From your cradles to your graves?
ls the height of your ambition
To be good and willing slaves?

CHORUS:
Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Fight for your own emancipation;
Arise, ye slaves of every nation.
In One Union grand.
Our little ones for bread are crying,
And millions are from hunger dying;
The end the means is justifying,
‘Tis the final stand.

If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains;
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains.
Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill ,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command stand still.

Join the union, fellow workers,
Men and women, side by side;
We will crush the greedy shirkers
Like a sweeping, surging tide;
For united we are standing,
But divided we will fall;
Let this be our understanding —
“All for one and one for all.”

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying,
We’ll have freedom, love and health.
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers’ Commonwealth.

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
Workers of the World, Awaken
(song)

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The Rebel Girl by Joe Hill (Song)

The Rebel Girl

There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows.
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
And are wearing the finest of clothes.
There are blue blooded queens and princesses,
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl;
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

CHORUS:
That’s the Rebel Girl, that’s the Rebel Girl!
To the working class she’s a precious pearl.
She brings courage, pride and joy
To the fighting Rebel Boy.
We’ve had girls before, but we need some more
In the Industrial Workers of the World.
For it’s great to fight for freedom
With a Rebel Girl.

Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she’ll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
The Rebel Girl
Song

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Release imprisoned journalists worldwide

UN should demand release of jailed
journalists amid COVID-19 pandemic

CPJ is calling on several UN special mandate holders to join its effort to secure the release of all jailed journalists globally in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 250 journalists are behind bars for their work, according to CPJ’s most recent prison census.

• Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) – 11 April 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on governments to release all journalists from their prisons. On behalf of more than 250 journalists behind bars, we call on authorities to free these political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.

For journalists jailed in countries affected by the virus, freedom is now a matter of life and death. Imprisoned journalists have no control over their surroundings, cannot choose to isolate, and are often denied necessary medical care.

The World Health Organization states that “People deprived of their liberty, and those living or working in enclosed environments in their close proximity, are likely to be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease than the general population.”

Global press freedom and human rights organizations are calling on world leaders to immediately release all imprisoned journalists. Add your voice to the call and sign our petition today!

The Committee to Protect Journalists submitted a call to several U.N. special mandate holders yesterday encouraging them to join CPJ’s effort to secure the release of all jailed journalists globally in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

# See here website CPJ’s petition

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Joe Hill: Ta-Ra-Ra Boom De-Ay (Song)

 

Ta-Ra-Ra Boom De-Ay

I had a job once threshing wheat, worked sixteen hours with hands and feet.
And when the moon was shining bright, they kept me working all the night.
One moonlight night, I hate to tell, I “accidentally” slipped and fell.
My pitchfork went right in between some cog wheels of that thresh-machine.

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way.
And wheels and bolts and hay,
Went flying every way.
That stingy rube said, “Well!
A thousand gone to hell.”
But I did sleep that night,
I needed it all right.

Next day that stingy rube did say, “I’ll bring my eggs to town today;
You grease my wagon up, you mutt, and don’t forget to screw the nut.”
I greased his wagon all right, but I plumb forgot to screw the nut,
And when he started on that trip, the wheel slipped off and broke his hip.

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way,
That rube was sure a sight,
And mad enough to fight;
His whiskers and his legs
Were full of scrambled eggs;
I told him, “That’s too bad —
I’m feeling very sad.”

And then that farmer said, “You turk! I bet you are an I-Won’t Work.”
He paid me off right there, By Gum! So I went home and told my chum.
Next day when threshing did commence, my chum was Johnny on the fence;
And ‘pon my word, that awkward kid, he dropped his pitchfork, like I did.

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
It made a noise that way,
And part of that machine
Hit Reuben on the bean.
He cried, “Oh me, oh my;
I nearly lost my eye.”
My partner said, “You’re right —
It’s bedtime now, good night.”

But still that rube was pretty wise, these things did open up his eyes.
He said, “There must be something wrong; I think I work my men too long.”
He cut the hours and raised the pay, gave ham and eggs for every day,
Now gets his men from union hall, and has no “accidents” at all.

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!
That rube is feeling gay;
He learned his lesson quick,
Just through a simple trick.
For fixing rotten jobs
And fixing greedy slobs,
This is the only way,
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!

Joe Hill
(1879-1915)
Ta-Ra-Ra Boom De-Ay
Song

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Russian activist and artist, Yulia Tsvetkova, is facing six year sentence for drawing the female body

 

Russian activist and artist, Yulia Tsvetkova, is facing prosecution and harassment for defending women’s and LGBTI rights.

She has been under house arrest since 22 November, under absurd charges of “production and dissemination of pornography” for her drawings of the female body. She is facing up to six years in prison if convicted. Yulia Tsvetkova is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Yulia Tsvetkova is an LGBTI and women’s rights activist, artist and stage director, from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the Russian Far East.

She was detained on 20 November 2019 and put on house arrest two days later, after being charged with the “production and dissemination of pornographic materials”, for making body positive drawings of the female body and sharing them on social media.

Her drawings included pictures of female reproductive organs, and she shared them online as part of her women’s empowerment campaign.

On the day of her arrest, police searched Yulia’s apartment and the children’s educational club where she worked previously. The police seized her electronic devices, documents, and brochures on gender issues. Yulia later said that during the search police officers referred to her as a “lesbian, sex trainer and propagandist leader”.

  

Yulia has been the target of an overtly homophobic campaign since March 2019, when she was forced to leave Merak, the amateur youth theatre company she worked at, after police launched an investigation into alleged “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”.

The investigation was launched in reaction to Yulia’s anti-bullying, anti-discrimination play, Blue and Pink.

On 11 December 2019 Yulia was found guilty of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”, and fined 50,000 rubles (approximately 600 GBP), for serving as the administrator of two LGBTI online communities on the popular Russian social media site, VKontakte.

Both of the online communities were properly marked as “18+”, as required by Russian law. Even under the confines of the homophobic Russian “gay propaganda” legislation, the “offence” should only be valid if the “propaganda” material is targeted at people under the age of 18.

On 17 January, Yulia informed the media that new proceedings had been opened against her, under the same Article of the Code of Administrative Offences that she had previously been charged under. This time she was being prosecuted for posting a drawing she made depicting two same-sex couples with child on social media, alongside the statement, “Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families”.

She published the drawing in support of a same-sex couple who were forced to flee Russia with their adopted children after authorities threatened to remove their children from their custody.

# visit Website Amnesty International UK for more information and urgent actions

# support amnesty international
# take urgent action now

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