“Blood in the Streets” – Live Audio

“Blood in the Streets”

As Danny Lyon made a brief speech upon receiving the Missouri Honor
Medal in Journalism, an award also given that night to David Fanning of
Frontline, and previously to Winston Churchill, Walter Cronkite and Christine
Amanpour, Lyon paused and drifted from his prepared text
called “What is the Truth?”

“I just heard the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are spreading,” he said
from the podium.
“I heard they will march on Washington on Oct 15th. You students should go!”
then he paused and said… “I hope there will be blood in the streets!”
“There, I said it ” he added.

Listen to the live audio

For someone to call for “blood in the streets” from a public platform cannot be taken lightly. It was blood in the streets of Boston that began the American Revolution. It was blood in the streets in Washington that resulted from the Bonus Boys March in 1932. It was blood in the streets of Montgomery, a considerable amount of it flowing from the mouth and head of Congressman John Lewis, it was blood in the streets of Selma and in the woods of Mississippi that shook and brought down the dark forces of segregation and created the Voting rights act of 1965. It took seven years of blood in the streets to stop the insanity of Vietnam. Sometimes they just don’t get it.

This was the blood of demonstrators and activists being shed by police
And armed forces employed by the state or federal government, and the British crown.

That is what Jefferson meant when he wrote that the tree of Liberty had to be
watered every generation with the blood of patriots and tyrants. A bronze statue of Jefferson sits on a bench on the campus of the University of Missouri. He is writing something on the writing box he invented. The original obelisk that was Jefferson’s grave marker stands nearby also.

How long has it been since the Tree of Liberty was watered with blood? Too long!
Kent state was over forty years ago. The tree of Liberty is wilted! The Tree of Liberty
is dying. And the trees, the planet, and our grandchildren’s children will die with it.
Let us see what Democracy is made of. Will Democracy go down in history as the form
of government that destroyed the planet for all future people, not to mention future forms
of government?

Now is the time to stand and fight. Demonstrators have occupied a park at Wall Street.
They are not going home. This action has spread to Chicago, to Denver, to Albuquerque.
No one is going home.

The demonstrators are told they have no clear demands. Does the media need a laundry list?

1) Jail the bankers! We jail teenagers that steal $200. Let the children free. Fill their cells with the corrupt bankers and politicians. Turn all the empty prison space into classrooms.

2) Jail Bush and Cheney for starting a war. Starting a war is a crime against humanity. This was agreed to at Nuremberg and all the major Nazi’s were charged with at it. Some of them were hung.
3) We demand the immediate end to the harassment and persecution of Mexicans and the recognition of their moral right to be here to work. The law is an ass! They come to clean our toilets and we jail them, deport them and destroy their families. Immigration to work is not a legal issue it is a moral and ethical issue.
4) Enshrinement in federal law, and if need be in the constitution, the concept that the protection of the planet is of immediate and paramount concern and must override all other factors in determining the law.
5) Creation of jobs that protect rather than destroy the environment and mother earth.
6) Protection and enlargement of the passenger rail road system, and the right of way for cyclists in all urban areas.
7) A pledge by all persons working in the Media to refuse salaries higher than $500,000 a year. How can anymore call themselves a journalist that gets a salary of millions every year? How can they possibly be in touch with reality, which it is their duty to view and describe and report when half the country is being pushed into poverty while they make millions?
8) Individual personal responsibility of all corporate leaders. Find out where they live. Let them come out from under the rocks. Tell them to their face what they are doing and what we think of them.
9) Abolition of the American prison system as it stands.
10) Immediate reviews and interviews inside state or federal prisons by public committees and parole boards with any inmates that have been inside prison for twenty calender years.
11) Replace the media with your own. There is nothing to lose. You have the world to gain. And don’t forget to print and use the bumper sticker “I am the proud employer of an Illegal Alien.”
It’s time to do the laundry.

6 Responses to ““Blood in the Streets” – Live Audio”
  1. Robert Rusk says:

    Dear Danny, you’ve made a fine laundry list for those too blind to see, tho I really think this is a case of denial or wilful ignorance, when the big media endlessly demand to know the meaning of the demonstrations, just as the freedom fighters in Egypt and Libya were
    scorned as if the yearning for freedom had been smuggled in by Outsiders. Seperate is not equal, the concentration of wealth is what seperates us and destroys the Human Dream, which is our right to seek happiness in a land of Justice. First we are ignored, then we are slandered & arrested and denied our right to peacefully assemble & petition the government, and now the corporate media says nothing can change because we are inarticulate & unorganized. They are liars when they pretend not to see, not to understand. The Arabian Spring has become the Global Fall. We are, after all, the 99%.

  2. Contact link doesn’t work so posting this here.

    I’ve followed your photography since The Movement. Thought of writing you after reading Like a Thief’s Dream but the ideas for that have just rattled around in my head. This evening was having a Reuben sandwich and a couple beers, and rattling some other ideas around. The poem below came out. Hope you like it.

    Bob Gilman

    Some poets want poems like crystals,
    Words coalescing perfectly.
    My favorite photographer takes pictures in the most imperfect places:
    In the streets, in whore houses.
    He mentions a tattooist who took Polaroids of his subjects
    And pinned them on a post outside his shop.
    The sun bleached them,
    But he pinned fresh on top in many layers:
    I believe in an archeological poetry
    Rich in interpretations
    And misinterpretations,
    And hard to say
    Which is which.

    RDG 10/15/2011

  3. Kathryn McCoy Davidson says:

    March 2012 Danny,
    It’s been a long time since we last met in Houston at St. Thomas University in the 60’s and then again in the early 70’s at Dominique’s house were I was working as a young curator. I am so glad you are still TELLING THE TRUTH….I have followed your photographic trail for years and have always been impressed by your unfailing determination to show the visual truth in photo and film. I am glad you have been using the cyberspace media to get your messages out to the world.
    Look forward to seeing you

    Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. grew up in Queens, moved Houston,Texas , then to Granger Farm, and live in Austin, Texas.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] “I just heard the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are spreading … I heard they will march … […]

  2. […] Yesterday the SMW visited the studio of revolutionary photojournalist Danny Lyon. He had just returned from Missouri where he had received the Honor Medal in Journalism, an award given previously to Winston Churchill, Walter Cronkite and Christine Amanpour. Danny blogs about his speech and thoughts about contemporary activism here: https://dektol.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/blood-in-the-streets/ […]

  3. […] movement. And there will be blood in the streets. […]

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