By The Anonymous Physicist
I recently saw and heard Muhammad Ali on Irish TV shortly after the Attica Prison uprising in New York in the early 70’s. While most of Ali’s poems are short and simple and relate to his boxing, the one cited here is a remarkable call to die fighting for freedom against a terrorist regime—the USA government.
Ali, of course, suffered great loss to his career for refusing to be drafted to “serve” in the War on Vietnam. After his celebrated words, “I got nothing against them Viet Cong, they never called me Nigger”, his title was taken away from him. Most of the white media and people detested him until they woke up about the reality of the War on Vietnam.
The Attica uprising is itself a remarkable tale of American Fascism and mass murder ordered by a “liberal” governor. When inmates protested their inhuman treatment and captured guards on Sept. 9, 1971, four days later “liberal” Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered indiscriminate shooting in the retaking of the prison. 10 hostages and 29 inmates were killed. The media proclaimed that the prisoners had slit the throats of all the guards who were killed. Much later autopsy results proved that the storming state troopers were the ones who killed most of the guards, and also numerous prisoners who did not partake in the uprising. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attica_uprising
Note that the Wiki piece naturally has a 33 for the number of guards taken prisoner.
This article says 40 guards were taken hostage: http://libcom.org/history/1971-the-attica-prison-uprising
But note that it too has the beloved 33 of the PTB. It says that the prisoners had 33 demands (naturally). This reference says there were 31 demands:
But it states that a 33-person group was brought in for oversight during the 4-day uprising. Seems that I have found if one source erases a 33, it adds another one. You just can’t get rid of the 33s. Search for how many articles are online for the 33rd anniversary of the Attica Uprising.
The media/govt also blamed the Black Muslims for the uprising and for the killing of guards, when one surviving guard detailed that the Muslims repeatedly saved his life. Apparently the Op of blaming Islam or Muslims for what the PTB order, is a long standing one in Gestapo-land USA.
But my primary reason for posting this now is for all to see Muhammad Ali read his remarkable poem he wrote after the uprising here:
I was not able to find the text of the poem online so I transcribed it myself. It— like http://covertoperations.blogspot.com/2010/01/working-manifesto-for-all-present-and.html Donald Sutherland’s manifesto “FTA-Fuck The Army”— is a call to fight against the American Gestapo Regime. A regime that I know all too well blows its Presidents’ brains out when they work for peace and justice, and poisons a citizen with mercury 40 years late when he proves the Secret Service driver fired the fatal head shot.
But see how prescient and relevant Ali’s words are for the America of today. When you don’t fight back against an evil bully, he only takes more and more of your freedom and your life. I personally think it is a good thing that many Americans are getting their privates parts groped at airports, as this may wake them up to the nature of their regime— the actual terrorists to their fellow citizens and to the world. Or as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, the USA is “the greatest purveyor of evil in the world today.” And it is vastly worse and more brazen now— 43 years later. If only people acted on the words of Muhammad Ali here, before it gets even worse.
Freedom— Better Now
By Muhammad Ali
Transcribed by The Anonymous Physicist
Better far— from all I see—
To die fighting to be Free
What more fitting end could be?
Better surely than in some bed
Where in broken health I'm led
Lingering until I'm dead
Better than with prayers and pleas
Or in the clutch of some disease
Wasting slowly by degrees
Better than a heart attack
or some dose of drug I lack
Let me die by being Black
Better far that I should go
Standing here against the foe
Is the sweeter death to know
Better than the bloody stain
on some highway where I’m lain
Torn by flying glass and pane
Better calling death to come
than to die another dumb,
muted victim in the slum
Better than of this prison rot
if there’s any choice I’ve got
Kill me here on the spot
Better for my fight to wage
Now while my blood boils with rage
Less it cool with ancient age
Better violent for us to die
Than to Uncle Tom and try
Making peace just to live a lie
Better now that I say my Sooth
I’m gonna die demanding Truth
While I’m still akin to youth
Better now than later on
Now that fear of death is gone
Never mind another dawn.