Lyrics- The Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

Songwriter: David Rovics



Throughout the Second World War the Allies managed to unite
In a broad front against fascism, but once they won this fight
The ruling class convened, with McCarthy in the lead
To make sure the people got in line, to be sure they all took heed
To make sure they understood our new enemies
Were not the Japanese or Germans, but the Russians and Chinese
And all those who supported them – the enemy within
Such as all the communists, and any of their kin
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

There was a war on in Korea, with untold thousands dead
On one side the USA – on the other side, the reds
The Russians got the bomb – there must be someone to blame
And their siblings and their spouses must be in on the game
Against one man they had evidence – but nothing on his wife
They’d arrest her anyway, and threaten to take her life
To try to make her husband snitch on someone up the chain
To instill the fear of the committee’s terroristic reign
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg

Watch out for your neighbors – be careful who you know
Or you might be called to testify – you might have to go
In front of the committee, where it will be assumed
You’re guilty as charged by every juror in the room
You can join the blacklist or watch out for what you say
Beware of who you talk to or you might also see the day
When you’re called to Congress, to be questioned by the ones
With the power to decide if you should be taken from your sons
So says the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg


The Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg


Beautiful song from Activist/songwriter David Rovics. (Lyrics at site or here.)

Historical note: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for espionage. During a period in American history known as the “Red Scare”, anti-semitism and anti-communism were more significant than any evidence in convicting them. Their execution was as much for refusing to identify other communists as the crime of which they were accused.

Legal scholars recently revealed

-an FBI memo (July 17, 1950) that determined there was “insufficient evidence” to arrest Ethel Rosenberg, but she could be used as “a lever against her husband”.

-The Assistant Attorney General reportedly informed the Committee that it was “important” that Julius be “under the shadow of a death penalty,” which “is about the only thing you can use as a lever on these people.”

-“if we can really break him, that he will open the gates and give us information which would lead to a lot of other individuals.”

from The Government’s Hostage: The Conviction and Execution of Ethel Rosenberg (15 Dec 2016)

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown and What Hashtag Activism Does Right


The injury, a deadly one, came first. Unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Mo. Then came the insult: many news accounts used a photo of Brown that showed him, unsmiling, gesturing at the camera in a way that led to unsubstantiated claims that he was “flashing gang signs.”

This portrayal of Brown, who is African American, recalled the quasi-trial-by-photo of Trayvon Martin, another young black man shot to death. It became another racially charged statement in a controversial killing, as outlets illustrated their stories with pictures that–rather than show the dead teen smiling or in a family context–led commenters to call him a “thug” and thus to suggest that he brought his death on himself.

So as people protested in the streets of Ferguson, a meta-protest began on social media. Twitter users, especially African Americans, began a meta-protest, posting pairs of…

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The word of the day is Kyriarchy

There is no struggle but our collective struggle.

There is no struggle but our collective struggle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kyriarchy (“rule by a lord”; from the Greek κύριος/kyrios “lord or master” and αρχή/arche “authority, leadership”) is a social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission. The word itself is a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and self-extending systems of domination and submission, in which a single individual might be oppressed in some relationships and privileged in others. It is an intersectional extension of the idea of patriarchy beyond gender. Kyriarchy encompasses sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of dominating hierarchy in which the subordination of one person or group to another is internalized and institutionalized.

Aug 24th 2013, Portland Oregon: 50th anniversary of MOW

It’s been 50 years ago since Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. I look forward to celebrating, reflecting and connecting with fellow dreamers and agitators at the event. If you are a poet in the area, contact me. I’d like to organize a Poets for Change reading.



  • Music & March meet at Terry Schrunk Plaza. We will March to South Waterfront Park
  • Join us as we honor the spirit of the historic 1963 March on Washington and begin the work of the next 50 years for equality in America!

    Celebrate! Educate! Demonstrate

    Sponsored by Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice & Police Reform, Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and several labor and other community based organizations.

    Ironically the same issues that compelled the first March, jobs, police brutality, housing, health care, equality are the same pressing issues of today.

    Rally, Speakers & Music starts at 1PM @ South Waterfront Park