[Happy and Merry Christmas to all in USA. Have a good one!] BB.'

A short reflective poem for 2019.....

'PROTEST' - by Ella Wheeler Wilcox .

To sin by silence, when we should protest,

Makes cowards out of men. The human race

Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised

Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,

The inquisition yet would serve the law,

And guillotines decide our least disputes.

The few who dare, must speak and speak again

To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,

No vested power in this great day and land

Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry

Loud disapproval of existing ills;

May criticise oppression and condemn..

Therefore I do protest against the boast

Of independence in this mighty land.

Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.

Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.

Until the manacled slim wrists of babes..

God's soil is rescued from the clutch of greed

And given back to labour, let no man

Call this the land of freedom.

(American late 19th century early 20th poet)

The great Russian writer, Solzhenitsyn, in his epic, 'The Gulag Archipelago' wrote of those who languished in slave-labour camps, 'At what exact point, then, should one resist the Communists?"
How we burned in the prison camps later thinking - What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive?� �
Or, if during periods of mass arrests, people had not merely sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood that they had nothing to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes and hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand. � the organs (soviet police) would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers � and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's murderous thirst - the accursed machine would have ground to a halt�.�

From Australian Ron Owen's e-magazine 'The Bulletin" - by permission.