A riot of our own

Bastille Day is July 14th. It’s the French national holiday.

It is the day that the French working class, sick and tired of being oppressed, took actual hands to the physical representation of that oppression, a fortress turned prison to hold political prisoners, and ripped it apart brick by brick, looking for munitions.

The French people armed themselves with weapons and gunpowder to fight the state that only wanted to squeeze them of everything useful to fight wars abroad and prove their dominion over adjoining kingdoms.

Today, the physical representation of oppression in this country, the United States of America, is the capitalist state and the pseudo military employed to perpetuate the system. When people take to the streets, they are attacking the symbols of this system.

If you can tell me one wrong doesn’t justify another, you’d probably have stood on the docks on December 16, 1773 and shook your head at the men who boarded ships and dumped tea into the waters below. You wouldn’t condone it.

You’d tell the victims of oppression to be peaceful and go about effecting change in a legal way. But that’s only because you see the legal way as a means of effecting change in the first place, when the laws themselves were written by people intent on perpetuating their rule and telling us it was for our own good.

Riots in the streets are the visual representation of the reaction to the violence perpetuated upon a people for over five hundred years. Slavery is over in name. But you can wear a badge, and arbitrarily kill a man for no reason, while people watch and film. You can stand by your brother in blue and make sure that no one comes to save the victim or stop the perpetrator. Not because of your gun. But because of the system you represent and uphold.

You don’t have to love violence to see why the riots happen. But you have to stop pretending that they are equal and opposite to the systematic murder, rape, enslavement and continued oppression of entire swaths of human beings for the financial gain of the very few.

Your hypocrisy is part of the underlying net that allows all of that to continue.


White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own
White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own

Black people gotta lot a problems
But they don’t mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick

An’ everybody’s doing
Just what they’re told to
An’ nobody wants
To go to jail!

White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own
White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own

All the power’s in the hands
Of people rich enough to buy it
While we walk the street
Too chicken to even try it

Everybody’s doing
Just what they’re told to
Nobody wants
To go to jail!

White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own
White riot – I wanna riot
White riot – a riot of my own

Are you taking over
or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards
Or are you going forwards?

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