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10th annual anti-war rally at the Halifax Peace and Freedom Park, photos and a poem by El Jones

Photo SImon Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – About 60 people gathered at the Peace and Freedom Park across from the Westin to make it known that attendants of the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly are very much not welcome here.

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The HISF has come here for 10 years now, and every year people have gathered at the park to send that important message. We can thank Alan Bezanson and No Harbour for War for that.

Poet and educator El Jones is one of the people who seldom if ever misses the event, and today was no exception. Her plane was late flying in from Montreal, but she made it just in time. This is her poem:

War poem 2018

You can vote for this rapist or that rapist
Pick between the open racist or the polite racist
Choose a war criminal or a white nationalist at the Munk debates
We tweet disapprovingly but still send the Saudis billions in arms trade
The Yemenis are starving but our economy’s doing great
Two thirds of Canadians believe the migrants are about to invade
We’re sending troops into the Middle East on a modern day crusade
And all of our political parties support the Palestinian blockade
They shot more journalists in Gaza but somehow it missed the front page
Melania Trump’s safari-ing in Africa with a pith helmet giving shade
But our police got some more surplus weapons to profile and surveill
And you better wear your poppy when the troops go on parade
Ah, you better wear your poppy as a sign that you’ve obeyed
Sailors raped a woman in Halifax after a hockey game
They’re sterilizing Indigenous girls in Saskatoon but you better stand when the anthem plays
But if you kneel, don’t you worry, you can still be a Nike campaign
You see we’ve corporatized your liberation but don’t think you’re being played
Hillary Clinton’s a feminist hero, too bad for those Honduran girls who get in the way
Too bad for those Haitians with troops spreading cholera after the earthquake
Too bad for those Libyans but after all it’s a failed state
Too bad for those Iraqi children when there’s money to be made
I’m with her, isn’t that what the t-shirts say?
George W. Bush gave Michelle Obama a cough drop so it’s all okay
They lined up for front row seats at the funeral of John McCain
Politicians on the left fell over themselves to give him the most praise
They said the angels were crying welcoming him to heaven on the day when it rained
I guess those Vietnamese children burned by Napalm never made it through those gates
Lockheed Martin tweeted a tribute that’s the resistance these days
They say that our new heroes are FBI and CIA
And everybody misses Obama and his drone strike raids
Hooray for the capitalist war party, we came, we saw, we got paid
Hooray for the invasions disguised as foreign aid
And the hospitals burn while the politicians pray
We wade through piles of dead bodies spreading the plague
The cops kill black people in Brazil at a two per hour pace
There’s been a dozen more school shootings but all hail the NRA
Hooray for both sides where civility reigns
Where there’s reasoned discourse on the migrants and the size of their cage
And the free speech laws limit the signs that can be waved
They’re putting posters up on campus saying being white is okay
A white supremacist anti semite came third in the Toronto Mayoral race
But it’s obviously just hysteria from the social justice brigade
And there’s mosque shootings and van attacks by white men gone astray
But we know it’s the fault of women that those nice guys can’t get laid
There’s white supremacist sites online where terrorists are homemade
But they’re too busy watching Black Lives Matter for attention to be paid
They’re too busy watching Muslim groups on campus to ever track the hate
So you better grab your tiki torch and put a mask over your face
The cops protect the white supremacists and put the protestors in chains
But I heard there’s a migrant caravan thousands of miles away
Better build a border wall because the white folk are afraid
There’s anti social sewer rats with bullets being sprayed
Better build more prisons where the thugs are locked away
Better fund more weapons give the guards some pepper spray
The male guards were raping female guards in Edmonton Max the headlines say
And there’s prisoners dead across the country but the inquiry’s just delayed
We’re asking for the paperwork but it seems that it’s mislaid
Oh there’s someone in immigration detention for almost a decade
It’s almost like due process is kind of a charade
We don’t even keep track of how many immigrants in detention we sent into the grave
But you better salute when you see that presidential motorcade
Better wear that Nike swoosh in social justice masquerade
There’s a prime time audience at the Super Bowl for Black Panther berets
There’s a prime audience on apple for Beyonce’s lemonade
There’s Foxcon factory workers jumping out the windows for that new iphone upgrade
Because there’s nothing you can do that some white man won’t get paid
Better vote in that election for the lesser of two depraved
We won’t get free university education but the troops get more grenades
We won’t have any pensions but don’t man the barricades
Let’s just invest in more detergent to wash away the blood stains
They’ve privatized the planet’s water while the bombs come down like rain
And they tell us choose the world you want but all the parties are the same
While we vote for this blue rapist or that red rapist
Pick between this liar and that fake
Rehabiliate war criminals on the evening news and a Nobel peace prize by day break
And there’s snipers on the roof right now so don’t you move and don’t you shake
And the schools are bombed right in the day light, but no one is awake.

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