America At Antiwar

US Antiwar Protests

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of US cities for a second day of protests against the war in Iraq.

Rallies were held in New York, San Francisco, Portland and in other cities ahead of Tuesday’s fourth anniversary of the start of the conflict.

Organisers said thousands marched through Manhattan calling for troops to come home and for President George W Bush to be impeached.

Amid near-freezing temperatures, the New York protesters carried placards reading “Drop Bush, Not Bombs” and “Four Years Too Long”.
(Source: BBC News)

Think of how difficult it must be to be antiwar in America, to hold a basically left-wing position in the most right-wing Western country. A country that shouted freedom on the one hand while persecuting people on the other, a country where schools often start the day with a Nazi-esque pledge of allegiance to the Fatherland und Gott.

We have it easy here: when we march, we aren’t faced with opposing marches of pro-war nutters because, frankly, Blair probably couldn’t get a five-a-side team out on the streets to support his lunatic warmongering. He is political dogshit now, waiting to be scraped off the pavement.

But that’s not the case in the US where the pro-war lobby has the big media in its pocket and hence the hearts and minds of many Americans. These are the people who still believe that there was a link between 9/11 and Iraq because they still believe Bush and the other neocons’ lies.

I can only applaud the courage it must take to stand up for peace when you have the braying and bullying of neocon neo-Nazis in your ears. To those who marched in the US, bravo!

Hip Hop 1 : Indie 0

The Perceptionists: not big Bush fans…

Here’s a CD playlist I did for a mate of mine. It’s hip hop I love from the last three years, a CDR hand-crafted for car-rattling pleasure:

AKIR – Politricks
Cyne – Automaton
Sweatshop Union – US
Danger Doom – A.T.H.F.
Skinnyman – No Big Ting
Ghostface – R.A.G.U.
Pipi Skid– WMD
Murs – Murray’s Law
Lone Catalysts – By My Damn Self Pt. I
Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push
Rodney P – We Don’t Like Coppers
Roots Manuva – No Love
Substance Abuse – Fake Contacts
Mars ILL – Stand Back And Watch
Braintax – Syriana Style
Raks One – Knoe Dat ver. 2.0
Wordsworth – What We Gon’ Do
Rodney P, Farma G, Mystro, Braintax – You Know Who You Are
Promoe – These Walls Don’t Lie
Outer Space – Top Shelf (Featuring Sadat X)
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
The Perceptionists – Memorial Day

If there’s any big theme running through this comp, it’s an antiwar one. Hip hop is, as usual, addressing life as we live it, whether it’s the everyday bullshit or the biggest issue of this century so far.

It’s this breadth and depth that keeps me hooked on hip hop. Take any of the writers from the above comp and you have a lyricist and a poet of greater flair and nuance than any of the over-hyped "singer-songwriters" mewling their way around the tasteful gig circuit. Fiddling while Iraq burns.

Now, if I tried to make an antiwar comp featuring indie bands… forget it. The days of McCarthy and The Redskins are long gone.

Contemporary indie kids are all de-facto Tories now, either politically ignorant (and proud of that lack) or unconscious Thatcherites.

And the bands? The most important thing for them nowadays is where they get their fucking hair cut.