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Archive for March, 2007

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

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Poetry Insurgency Strikes 3 Events at Once

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

On the fourth "anniversary" of the War in Iraq yesterday, DC guerrilla poets represented the insurgency in three venues simultaneously: a vigil for fallen soldiers and civilians at Georgetown University; the GPI's regularly scheduled 3rd Monday lyrical ambush in DuPont Circle; and "Reflections in War, Visions for Peace: Artist Perspectives on Four War Years," an event at Busboys & Poets co-sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War; as well as Code Pink Women for Peace; DC Poets Against the War; and the Institute for Policy Studies.

At Georgetown University, Guerrillas kicked off an evening boasting strong turnout despite cold & rainy weather conditions during an event held outside. John Baker from George Washington University, who crossed town to raise consciousness at a neighboring university, described the event as "a vigil to honor all of those who have died in the Iraq war, both Iraqi and American." Laila performed Jihad, Mo performed his poem Billy, Kristen sang and played flute on Wade in the Water, and John held it down on the djembe.  John also noted that "there was a lot of media coverage there. We were filmed and interviewed by the student press. All in all, a very successful and meaningful event. Hell, I even got my republican girlfriend to come out!"  [Update: The group was featured on the front page of The Georgetown Hoya, the main campus newspaper, which included a photo specifically identifying Mo in the caption.]

Meanwhile, Jess reported that "the vibe at our regular 7-9pm open mic in Dupont Circle was bumpin'. The GPI grew in ranks as new folks of different strokes raised their voices and hearts to share beautiful rhymes, melodies, and beats with all who passed by. Special shout out to Dori and Keith–two new heads who ripped up the mic rap-style and added a little guitar to the mix. Johanna's drum skills were at all-time high. Big ups to Jess, Damian, Chris Otten, and Lyndi for their freestylin' skills. And we heard some new songs rockin' from Shahid and Jeff, to note just a couple. An extraordinary juggler came out to show off some skills as we jammed the night away together. Special thanks to the man with the plan and the drums in his hands (and a big ol' soccer fan) Chris Menocal for makin' it happen. This was one of the most inspired lyrical ambushes of all time. See y'all out there again on Monday, April 2, 7-9pm."

Finally, at the event at Busboys & Poets, guerrilla poet Cesar Maxit sat on a panel of artists against the war, before Shahid took the stage to host an open mic following the discussion. According to Cesar, "the 7pm panel of artists against the war included an elder working with the Institute for Policy Studies; moderator Melissa from DC Poets Against the War; a mother/son duo (he’s an Iraq vet whose powerful poetry transformed him to a pained vet struggling with suicide and his mother who reads his poetry to Congresspeople); and Andy Shallal, owner & muralist of Busboys & Poets, who spoke about the power of art in history. I explained my background of having been born in Argentina in a democracy and left the hospital under a military dictatorship. I tried to connect the anti-war movement with the anti-militarism movement, making connections to School of the Americas Watch. I showed a "curious george w" mask and outfit that I built, a Pentagon "stop" sign series and a few other large "peaces" and anti-war works that use clever humor for messaging and speak to a youthful urban audience." Cesar finished by asking his co-panelists to hold to their face a series of signs (including a giant "$" sign, a "6" sign and several sniper scope signs doubling as zeroes) depicting how the Pentagon’s $600,000,000,000 budget targets all of us.


DC GPI Group Piece: War on Terror

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

War on Terror

No particular order of verses, organized on the fly, with who is in attendance.

War on Terror, War on Drugs (being)
Perpetrated by the same circle of thugs
It’s a prison-military-industrial-complex (and its)
fueled by funds funneled from our paychecks

The pomposity
of the tyranny
of a nation that thought it had the right to be
the aggressor that knows better
than a lesser in its eye
Is the underlying reason for these
wars we have to buy.
Righteousness overruns moralistic claims
that detention is protection from
evildoers’ games
when photos are snapped and high fives are slapped
and the needy are not treated,
but feel defeated by their traps.



A country built on slavery, claiming democracy
admitting all people are equal, hypocrisy

we see domestically and internationally
the same strategies to keep people on our knees
A War on Drugs: pretext to jail minorities
A War on Terror to justify authorities
acting unilaterally to undermine peace
in both the middle east and our own city streets.

Guerrilla Poetry Workshop at NCOR 2007

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

The Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) led a Guerrilla Poetry workshop at the National Conference on Organized Resistance (N COR) at American University on Saturday, March 10th. It was a beautiful day out on the quad where over 20 people joined Jeff, Jessica, and Laurie of the GPI to learn about creating an insurgency, adding percussion to back up poets/performers, writing, and performing. Participants created pieces and performed them, and some tested out their percussion skills. The workshop was designed to introduce what the GPI does and how they do it, and then to provide an open mic space.

Participants’ pieces were inspired by the beautiful day, NCOR themes, and the spirit of sharing. Big thanks especially to the participants and also to the NCOR organizers. The GPI holds workshops at schools, colleges, conferences, and other community venues upon request.

Please comment on this post to offer us feedback on this workshop.

Leprechaun on the Pentagon Video

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Song written for the upcoming March 17, 2007 March on the Pentagon. Please join us in the march, as well as guerrilla outreach actions before the main event!

Lyrics by Jaime Rothbard. Voices include: Jaime, Damien, Shahid, and Laila. Please excuse the slideshow…live video footage to follow! Watch the video, and check back later for more.

we are leprechauns!
marchin on the pentagon!!

we are leprechauns
marchin on the pentagon
leprechauns livin' green nd tearin' up the scene
we're here to turn off this war-killin' machine

we're here to turn off this war killin' machine!
we're here to turn off this war killin' machine!!
we're here to turn off this war killin' machine!!!

think green.. THINK GREEN!
think green… THINK GREEN!!

we are leprechauns, marchin' on the pentagon
we are leprechauns, marchin' on the pentagon
we're sick of watchin wrong, wanna wipe our hands clean;
paint the pentagon green
growin life, stoppin war is our leprechaun theme

growin life, stoppin war is our leprechaun theme!
growin life, stoppin war is our leprechaun theme!!
growin life, stoppin war is our leprechaun dream!!!

think green.. THINK GREEN!
think green… THINK GREEN!

we are leprechauns, marchin on the pentagon
we are leprechauns, marchin on the pentagon
to stop the droppin bombs,
inflictin massive harms,
all we wanna do is drop our lucky charms

all we wanna do is… drop our lucky charms
drop our lucky charms
drop our lucky charms
all we wanna do is drop our lucky charms
drop our lucky charms
drop our lucky charms
think green.. THINK GREEN!
live green… LIVE GREEN!!

(y'all holla holla for the 2007 remix…)

The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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