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58 Pledge of My Allegiance Tim Hall Today you say that we are free, Our land not stained with slavery, That all have equal opportunity To share in sweet prosperity. But we who work just cannot see How you can call this liberty When we struggle anxiously Providing you, not us, security. From week to week we ache and sweat Feeding you, while you feed your pet. A dog knows more than you of right: Its feeder’s hand it will not bite. We are not slaves, in that old way -There ’s a newer slavery today: Massa John on the old plantation Has been replaced by a corporation. It doesn’t own your body, true, But you can’t live unless it hires you. You do not sell your body to it, Just your labor-power, bit by bit. Bit by bit it sucks your blood And then it tramps you in the mud. You’re never paid for all you do, Just a crumb to get you through. From chattel slavery we got free 59 To fall in capitalist slavery. No corn and cabin it gives to me; Survival’s my responsibility. And yet around me I see plenty Enjoyed, at best, by one in twenty Who then turn round and preach to me Of being “all that I can be.” Is this what Frederick Douglass sought? Was it for this that John Brown fought? Or Sitting Bull, or DuBois, Harriet Tubman, the Wobbly boys? The revolutionary folk who dreamed Of smashing up this evil scheme -Did they fight so a few could rule And treat us millions as their tool? Not for that did Malcolm die, Nor the ‘60’s fighters cry. We fought for true equality Of class, race, sex, in one humanity. This dream surpasses Martin’s dream By eliminating the rich man’s team. As we approach rebellion’s edge I raise my calloused hand and pledge: I will use my hand and pen To help the working women and men Bring down these rich and make, at last, The working class the ruling class. ...


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