Wake up!

Wake up! Wake up!

Hear the noises

Feel the outbursts

See the chaos

Are they yours?

Isolate self

Throw the Ray-Ban

Face the heat

Time’s up

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Before they progress

Know your group

Be the Union

Make the move


Don’t wait for support

or Count on numbers

You alone can

Break them stop!

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!



Nuclear State

Or just your fate!


Throw faith systems

Wishes for feeders

Hopes for believers

Your mind, you make up

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Thought controls


No more will you be

Hobson voter


Not a party, but the politics

Not to change, but replace

Stop quoting, enuff said

Your own mind, on the top

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Wise words, fools repeat

And the idle, hero-worship

History wont repeat itself

You gotta help yourself


Cherish, don’t live in the past

No Gandhi or Lenin will be cast

Title is you, the Star in it too

Movement is yours, just pack up

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

‘Change is constant’ enough changed

They made legal the flesh trade

Sold the dreams, made the bombs

Gadgets too, to make you numb


Colonialist’s railroads

Capitalist’s computers

Profit’s the Prophet, profit’s the goal

Ask the self: Can you cope?

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Times have changed

For the worse

Cause the changers

Are ‘they’, not ‘us’


Distinguish, then

Don’t change, but replace

Overthrow, not discuss

Enough lectures, now to usurp

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!



Call it a name

live in fantasy


Popular dissent

And debates

in its marketplace

Don’t just add, don’t speak up

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

None’s gonna hear

A word you say

Guard your interest

Stay away


Identify first the self

Then know ones in distress

No illusions or rosy hopes

That’s the group, and your Cup

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Make it clear, make no bones

No stoppin to the ones

Who know the path and the march

Snatch the rights, win the match


They called us colors

And some damned race

Preachers all will pay by the face,

Before the dark night is up

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Religions to annihilate

Hindus and Muslims

Got the war raging

Watched the fun brewing


Anything but a human

Coz humanity unites

When you act human

Then they got Gods up!

Wake up! Wake up!


Wake up! Wake up!

Fancy divisions

Resting on bloodbaths

Pay them back now

Blood currency works


Enough of preachers

Enough Godmen

Enough ethics talked

Enough sanctities held

Enough institutions

Enough families

Enough blind loves

Enough traditions

Enough of democracy

Enough of consent

Enough discussions

Enough debates

Why my poem no more rhymes

Am I a ugly poet?

Enough of the poet

Damn the Wake Up! Note

Damn me, who does not act

Even after waking up

Lend me a hand, as I lend mine

Lets subscribe to the noise

Enough of music

Enough of me shouting alone

Time to act together


– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet



Diversity matters for a Democracy

You know what did the President Bush say today about Diversity. Laudable. Commendable. Politically so correct.

I applaud the Supreme Court for recognizing the value of diversity on our Nation’s campuses. Diversity is one of America’s greatest strengths. Today’s decisions seek a careful balance between the goal of campus diversity and the fundamental principle of equal treatment under the law.

My Administration will continue to promote policies that expand educational opportunities for Americans from all racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. There are innovative and proven ways for colleges and universities to reflect our diversity without using racial quotas. The Court has made clear that colleges and universities must engage in a serious, good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives. I agree that we must look first to these race-neutral approaches to make campuses more welcoming for all students.

Race is a reality in American life. Yet like the Court, I look forward to the day when America will truly be a color-blind society. My Administration will continue to work toward this important goal.

There are two types of George Bush here:
One speaking the bold letters (marked by me) who we know. The other languages are by who?

What bothers me is a wonderful concept called Color-blind. But why talk about it at this point, when the issues are so based on color. Some folks sure still have the privilege to get away with that!

The Group of Rogue Nations

G-8 Summit finally concluded in Evian, France. As we know, a group of rogue nations met at the summit to encourage cooperative (read: competitive) action on key global priorities (read: globe is defined by them) : spurring economic growth (read: of their own markets); combating terrorism (read: to curb popular resentments in their countries); preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (read: to forbid others of their luxuries); and promoting prosperity in the developing world (read: by devising ways to keep them from being developed or declaring them as such).

Funny that I had to use the parenthesis to make the meanings clear. For I am sure all of us understand them anyway without any stress.

Yet another aimless Treaty!

One has heard of the SALT and NPT and the CTBT.
Here is yet another one: MTSOR.
Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions.

And the following is a lesser known joint statement passed early this month:

On May 24, 2002, we pledged to build a new strategic relationship between the United States of America and the Russian Federation. We declared our partnership, and our commitment to work together to advance stability, security, and prosperity for our peoples, and to work jointly to counter global challenges and help resolve regional conflicts. We also declared that where we had differences, we would work to resolve them in a spirit of mutual respect.

We have met again to reaffirm our Nations’ partnership and our commitment to meet together the challenges of the 21st century.

With the completion of the ratification procedures by the United States Senate, and the two houses of the Russian Federal Assembly, we have been able to exchange instruments of ratification for the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions. The Treaty takes effect immediately. The deep reductions of strategic nuclear warheads that it codifies are another indication of the transformed relationship between our two countries.

We will intensify efforts to confront the global threats of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, that threaten our peoples and freedom-loving peoples around the world.

In this regard, we declare our intention to advance concrete joint projects in the area of missile defense which will help deepen relations between the United States and Russia.

How long shall things stay on the paper? As long as it results in Russian reductions….

Jack O’Dell on Black Communism

A significant interview below:
“Jack O’Dell was a union organizer, a civil rights leader, and a member of the Communist Party. His political consciousness formed in the 1940’s, when the African-American community became more assertive in their efforts to improve conditions and expand civil rights. Like many blacks, including one of his role models, Paul Robeson, O’Dell was drawn to the Communist Party because of their staunch stand against racism and segregation. During the 1940’s, O’Dell found a welcoming environment in the National Maritime Union. Later, he worked for the director of the Southern Christian Leadership Counsel (SCLC) office in New York, before becoming SCLC’s voter registration director in seven southern states.”


I Never Met a Black Person Who Was in the Communist Party Because of the Soviet Union:” Jack O’Dell on Fighting Racism in the 1940s


O’DELL: A good buddy of mine, Jesse Gray, he went into the Merchant Marines. He came back. So I went out to see him and he says, “Man, I found a Union where there’s no segregation.” He’d shipped out in the SIO where they had—you know—black and white jobs because all blacks were confined to the Steward Department and whites had all the other jobs. He said, “But I found a Union that you could just throw in your card and you could ship deck, you could ship engineer room, absolutely no segregation. It’s called National Maritime Union. And guess what? They’ve got a black who’s Secretary General, named Ferdinand Smith.” I said, “Oh, you’re kidding!. So, that inspired the idea that I would go into the Merchant Marines because I wasn’t going to have to put up with a lot of Jim Crow.

I had three role models as men in my upbringing my grandfather, John O’Dell, who was a janitor in the public library. He got up every morning at 6:30 and went to work. I learned my work habits from him. My second role model was my father, Jack O’Dell. I liked just the way he was as a human being. I wanted to be like him in the sense of, I don’t know how to describe it, just a love for my father — many sides to him. And the third role model was Paul Robeson. When I was getting ready to go away to college my mother told me, “Honey, if you decide to join a fraternity, join the Alphas.” I said, “Why?” She said, “Because Paul Robeson’s there. (chuckles) I said, ”Okay.” You know? That didn’t mean anything to me but it still stuck with me. I had heard Paul Robeson was a Communist. I had heard a lot about Paul Robeson. He sang down at Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans my sophomore year and I went to the concert. He sang songs from China, the Soviet Union, Negro spirituals; had a great presence. But I was most impressed when, after the concert, he spent an hour signing autographs for students and asking them where they were in school ad what you were doing, and so forth, and I was in that line. So Paul Robeson became a political model. I liked his militancy, I liked his stance, I liked his integrity and he was a powerful symbol. I began to follow his career more closely because, as I said, he was a role model for manhood,—black manhood.

So it was from the larger progressive movement that I as a seaman got an interpretation of what was going on. It wasn’t just an NMU thing. It wasn’t just a CIO thing. There were lynchings going on in the south of veterans returning from World War II. Segregation was still up. What had begun to emerge in the country was an assault on racism coming out of World War II by the NAACP and Unions. And the segregationists defended segregation by saying they weren’t against blacks —they weren’t against equal rights for blacks —they were against communism. But their interpretation of Communist was anybody who supported the right of blacks to have civil rights. While most blacks didn’t join the Communist Party, they understood that the Communists were the fighters. And they knew individual Communists who were fighters, and they were black and white and Latino, and so forth. And with this anti-Communism that now was becoming the state religion and with the persecution of the Communists, I just said, well to show where I’m at I’ll join the communists. I’ll join the Communist Party. And I did, and I remained an active member of the Party for about seven years.

I was first and foremost a person with the African-American experience. I knew living in the north and I knew living in the south and I knew the contradiction that this country was living with great hypocrisy. Secondly, I was viewing this as a trade Unionist because militancy of the trade Union movement appealed to me. I knew you had to fight and you had to fight in an organized way and you had to fight with a weapon. And for me the weapon was the Union. So the fight to keep the Union true to the course that it had set for itself was of great priority. Thirdly, I found within the Union a left called Communists and other variations of that which I respected. I was not, shall we say, inexorably attracted to them for any particular reason except that I saw the role they played in the Union and that there would not have been a good NMU without their participation, from what I could see.

At the same time, the NMU stood as a bulwark against the kind of institutional racism that I had experienced. I knew that people had different views with respect to, say, the Soviet Union. I’ve never taken a census, but I never met a black person who was in the Communist Party because of the Soviet Union. We joined the Communist Party because they fought against racism and they were dependable in that fight. And they were Union builders. They were mass movement organized builders. And I knew that as an individual you were strengthened by the fact of unity with other people. So it was precisely that perspective that led me into a relationship to the left.

Source: Interviewed by Sam Sills 8/5/93
Courtesy Sam Sills