“The fight is dead,” the riot cop said, as he sat me on the curb,
with my cramping wrists, piss and apple cider vinegar.
Though I’m trembling still, from nerves and chill, I will have to call your bluff
if you think you can stop this struggle with a pair of ziptie cuffs.
A clear sky storm of flash-bangs, beanbags, hazy and surreal;
a scarlet letter spray-painted on a makeshift trashcan shield.
But they tossed our stuff before they loaded us on a stolen public bus:
goggles and a spray bottle, the only LAW I trust.
They held us twenty to a tank of cold concrete and steel,
where you’ll lose your mind trying to keep time by counting orange peels.
I don’t know which is worse, missing the warm bath of daylight,
or waking every hour to the same fluorescent night.
I got released to a fast food feast on the front steps of the jail,
but we know our work ain’t finished until we empty every cell.
So you can ban us from the Plaza, stay away from City Hall,
but sure as we burned that flag, that edifice is gonna fall!
So we rage on like a Greece fire, I heard they torched a bank today.
And we raise a fist to Cairo, we’re just a stone’s throw away.
If you’ve got a pot to piss in, don’t be afraid to call it black,
or you’ll never break the kettle and take your city back.
from A Place to Remember the Dead
released February 19, 2014
Shareef Ali - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Brian Belknap - vocals
Maia "Papaya" Wiitala - vocals
Elle Armageddon, Grace Breedlove, Jesse Massarrest – gang vocals
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