rants

Revolution Begins in the Basement

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Revolution Begins in the Basement
Revolution begins in the Basement



By: Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney

for Dan Bern

click here





The revolution may not be televised but it is being web cast from the basements of the inconspicuous --



The things that we discuss in basements are always the most urgent...







(and I'm not talking about those urgent messages  whispered into some reluctant girl's ear on the couch in her dad's game room) —



I'm talking about revolution,  and the most urgent messages always travel by the quickest means possible.







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In Boston a group of striking ship workers so stymied the owners that owners convinced the government to send in troops to work in their shipyards ..



and in the basements of Boston those striking workers decided to go out and throw snowballs at the soldiers who had come in to take their jobs.  



but those fresh faced 18 year old soldiers were uncertain what to do, and so they turned and fired on the crowd.  Three lay dead.  And while the incident did make headlines in the local media, it might have ended there... but in the basements of Boston, the revolutionaries went to work.  



and the most urgent messages always travel by the quickest means possible.



What would carry their message the fastest?  a lithograph! The artist's name was Paul Revere - the title of the work was "The Boston Massacre." and that incendiary image of the dying labor leader — Crispus Attucks -  traveled at the colonial equivalent of a high speed cable modem... and from the basements of Boston, an Empire was taken down.



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and in Chicago a group of self-proclaimed anarchists printed flyers for an event in the park -- it was to be music and politics, but in this day and age as is prone to happen, a bomb went off in that crowd and several cops were killed.



No one knows who planted that bomb, but the anarchists were arrested, tried and executed — and while the incident did make headlines,  it might have ended there, but in the basements of Paris a song was written to honor them, and to this day "The Internationale" is the most widely sung song in the world.  



Funny thing is, it's not sung in the United States, but you'll hear it sung in one hundred languages around the world on the anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre — Mayday.  In this country, where it all happened, the incident is mostly forgotten... even though from the basements of Paris we got the song that brought us the eight hour day...and more importantly, the weekend.



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In the deepest recesses of a prison in a foreign land, prisoners shivering naked, wonder in terror why their pictures are being taken.



In the basements of the rust belt of the United States, teenagers left with no hope bought the lie that they too could take part in the American dream if only they would enlist in the military.  



So when asked by their superiors to lead a naked Iraqi around on a leash, it was the memories of those basement dreams that compelled those same kids to hit "SEND" -- to release those photographs ---and since urgent messages take the fastest path possible those images leap from cell phones to newspapers, websites and television.  public opinion turns and worldwide condemnation ensues



and we here in the basements on the other end of this web site,  plot to finish the job  ---    to get this administration not just out of Iraq, but out of Washington dc and back to Jackson, Wyoming and Crawford, Texas .... because revolution begins in the basement.

updated 8 years ago