Oct 5 — Day of Mass Resistance — click to find the action nearest you.
We Love the Police State!
(have the body, habeas corpus)
Body Snatchers are not extra-terrestrial,
scary writhing seed pods.
They are Empires —
Aztec warriors dressed in the skin of their victims
chanting themselves holy, eating the beating hearts
of sacrificial boys, Nazis making human lampshades,
War Lords in the Congo, Northern Uganda, the Sudan
who steal human life, childhood, soul, honor, sanity, create
a genocide the world could, but doesn’t, stop —
a picture of what civil order looks like when the basic human
right of habeas corpus* is not enforced.
The Body Snatchers, are not exra-terrestrials, are
in the news, rule by fear, love pomp — the fast, heavy
thud of boots, pounding of hoofs, legions of chariots,
the roar of jet planes full of bombs. They glorify
any force that can control by brute power
the condition of one’s home, the function
and repair of civil infrastructure, employment,
a spray of machine gun fire on the street,
the location, disposition, health and well being
of the body, us.
The Body Snatchers
don’t like habeas laws
that do not allow Empire to have the body –
force it to take arms, imprison it, torture it, execute it
without showing just cause in a court of law.
comes from Common Law, the law of the people,
codified in the Magna Carta in 1215 —
extrapolated eventually to acknowledge the inalienable
right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness —
the basis of the Constitution of the United States,
founded in 1776 to offer humankind a civil
alternative to Empire.
The lights are still on here. My computers work.
Unlike Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn I don’t have
to work on pieces of my books from prison,
under the cover of high tea in a safe house,
but there’s a gulag down the road
unless we take back habeas corpus rights.
The house at the end of the street
will not be bulldozed by Israeli tanks today,
or bombed while babies sleep inside.
Bunker busters won’t demolish local bridges.
Rockets won’t explode my kitchen
next week, but Empires always
fall, some rather quickly.
How long will we be able to question the assumption
that might equals right?
In my home town we remember that Governor George
Walker Bush fast tracked** habeas law to rush people
on Death Row to execution, and bragged about it.
Now Congress has affirmed his power to
snatch anyone, American citizen or not, anywhere in
the world, throw them into prison, anywhere, do anything
to them, not tell anyone where they are, no trial, no charges.
The body snatchers slip into control
when you're not looking or are afraid.
Again today the Speaker of the House of the Representatives
will spend all day trying to convince his party, the people,
parents everywhere, he didn’t really turn his head the other way
when he found out Rep. Foley of Florida, author of the bill
protecting children from internet predators, had email sex
with sixteen-year-old Congresional Pages,
body snatching indeed..
The Body Snatchers own America in the name
of a War Culture that feeds on the people of the world,
us, our children, but cultures of peace are possible,
existed historicaly in matriarchal societies,
before anyone thought it possible to own
land, or another human being.
We Love The Police State:
. . . 20 "pro-war" supporters dressed in suits, waved American Flags, chanted slogans in fierce support of war, death, and killing. Rush hour traffic drove by and honked in approval to the flags and signs that read: "Freedom Is The Enemy", "Bomb My Car", "Get A Brain Morons", "Iraq Out Of Iraq", "Draft My Child", "Send Our Infants", "Soccer Moms For Blood", "I Want More Meat", "War Is Peace", "I'm Pro-Life And Pro-Death", "Stop Reporting The Facts", "Peace Is For The Afterlife", "Bush Is The Savior", "This Is No Time For Thinking", "Pro-Bush Lesbian", and "Ask Me About My Baby Killing Honor Student" among other slogans.***
In April, 2003
when I sent this out to my
lists, it was street theater.
Now the Body Snatchers
have the body.
©Susan Bright, 2006
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
from Riot Act
*habeas corpus writs, codified in the Magna Carta in 1215
maintain the inalienable right of the human being to not
be taken, held, deprived of rights of life, liberty, pursuit
of happiness without due process of law — formal charges,
a trial, a jury of peers.
**For death row inmates habeas appeals are their last
and often best hope for justice because they establish
rigid but clear steps which allow inmates to establish
their Constitutional rights (the right not to be falsely
imprisoned or put to death) have been violated
if earlier legal processes have been faulty, corrupt,
or flat wrong — which in Texas happens frequently.
See No Justice, No Victory: The Death Penalty in Texas,
by Susan Lee Campbell Solar
*** The street theater action was committed on April 4th in near blizzard conditions when 20 "fanatical pro-war" supporters occupied the opposite side of the downtown street to rally in support of the war and oppose of the peace activists who gather every Friday for the weekly peace vigils. We Love the Police State!
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