You Should Be Dancin'
All of the diverse groups that make up the American People are increasingly unable to meet their simplest, most basic needs, and they know that their rights, as human beings, are being trampled. As these groups realize, and acknowledge, that their different issues stem from the same oppressive system, they will begin to turn not on, but to, each other. Everybody in. Nobody out.
We, the People have the right to a political and economic system that all of us control together. Participatory, not spectator, democracy. It's time to turn pleading and protesting for piecemeal reforms into open and active, non-violent resistance.
No more being driven, like sheep, into the Democratic Party, where progressive ideas go to die. No more voting for the "lesser" of two evils. That's still evil. "I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something don't want and get it." (Eugene Debs)
Money fears people. That's why our government makes laws to protect money, not people. Money fears, especially, democracy, a government of, by and for the people - ALL of the people. Not just the 1% with the money.
But we, the people, ARE the government. So why don't we have the things the democratic majority of the people say they want - for everybody, not just for themselves, unlike the few, the 1%?
Tax the rich and their corporations.
End the wars and bring home the troops.
Protect and expand the social safety net.
Strengthen Social Security and provide improved Medicare for all.
End corporate welfare.
Transition to clean energy.
Protect worker rights, including collective bargaining.
Create jobs and raise wages.
Get money out of politics.
No more "fake trade" agreements that outsource jobs and give corporations the right to nullify our laws.
The American people don't have these things because our "representatives" represent, and are members of, the 1% with the money.
We, the people, need to make an unmistakable statement - things as they are, and have been for far too long, need to change. And in order for things to change, money needs to see the people, VERY large, VERY scary numbers of the people, numbers so large they can't possibly be ignored, jailed or killed.
The people just have to...APPEAR...like the crows on the playground outside the school in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"...in overwhelming numbers, in front of State Capitols, government buildings in Washington, DC and outside the temples of money - Big Banks, Big Energy, Big Weapons, Big Ag, Big Health Insurers, Big Pharma, Big Chemicals, Big Media, Big Retail...
The people don't need slogans, signs, chanting or acting out. The people don't need speakers or celebrity spokespersons. The physical presence of the people is, in itself, a potent reminder of the POWER of the people.
And as Americans, the people have the responsibility to REBEL. "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of human rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is the Right of The People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government."
And as long as the people are assembled, why don't we all just...DANCE? And invite the people all over the world to DANCE-IN with us? In fact, the American people are "Callin' out around the world. Are you ready for a brand new beat? Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the street."
All summer long, the people need "music, sweet music. There'll be music everywhere" on boom boxes, ipods and from d.j.s with small, portable sound systems. Like American Bandstand, Soul Train and Hullabaloo. Outdoors, where the people can make themselves, and their POWER, visible, three to four hours at a time.
The Dance-In runs from July Fourth 'til Labor Day. By that time, individuals within the dance community will have come forward to create the educational beginnings of a genuinely progressive People's Party, like the Populist Movement of the 19th century: fliers; pamphlets (a la Thomas Paine); a speakers' bureau; and professional organizers.
Each individual Dance-In can program its own music. But it should encompass songs from many decades in America's history and follow a three-part structure.
First, music that asks people to come together and dance such as -
Dancin' in the Street -Martha and the Vandellas
"Callin' out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the street.
Dancin' in Chicago. Down in New Orleans. In New York City.
This is an invitation across the nation
a chance for folks to meet.
There'll be laughin', singin' and music swingin
Dancin' in the street.
Philadelphia P.A. Baltimore and D.C. now.
Don't forget the Motor City.
Way down in L.A
Across the ocean blue."
Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones
Let's Get This Party Started - Pink
Jammin' - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Walk This Way -Run DMC and Arrowsmith
Do You Wanna Dance? - The Beachboys
You Should Be Dancin' - The Bee Gees
Come Dancing - The Kinks
Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone
I Love Rock and Roll - Joan Jett and the Backhearts
Do You Love Me Now That I Can Dance) The Contours
Then, it's time to get political, with songs like -
The National Anthem - Jimi Hendrix
Born in the USA - Bruce Sprinsteen
Burnin' Down the House - Talking Heads
Rebel Music - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Get Up Stand Up - Peter Tosh
Ohio - Neil Young
Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Volunteers (of America) - Jefferson Airplane
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Revolution - The Beatles
Fight the Power - Public Enemy
War - Edwin Star
War - Bob Marley and the Wailers
"Until the philosophy which hold one race superior
and another inferior
is finally and permanently
discredited and abandoned
everywhere is war
me say war.
That until there are no longer
first class and second class citizens of any nation
until the color of a man's skin is of no more
significance than the color of his eyes
me say war.
That until the basic human rights
are equally guaranteed to all
without regard to race
me say war."
Then slow it down with something like -
The Harder They Come (the Harder They Fall) - Jimmy Cliff
What's Goin;' On? - Marvin Gaye
Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye
And last, but definitely not least, songs of love for each other -
Love Train - The O'Jays
"People all over the world, join hands.
Start a love train. Love train.
Tell all the people in Russia and China, too.
All of you brothers over in Africa.
Tell all the folks in Egypt and Israel, too.
People all over the world, join hands.
Start a love train. Love train."
Get Together - The Youngbloods
Put a Little Love in Your Heart - Annie Lennox and Al Green
All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
You get the picture.
And we end with John Lennon's "Imagine."
"Imagine all the people
sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us,
and the world will live as one."
"What the people want is an America as good as its promise." (Barbara Jordan)
Everybody Dance Now.
Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).