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Sunday, 13 September 2015

TEAR DOWN THE WALLS



I was a child in Wales
Adrift in the aftershocks
Of WW2.
My parents had seen Swansea ablaze
I was told of Auschwitz & Treblinka
So that I carried the knowledge with me
So that NO-ONE
NO-ONE
Would ever have to go through
Those horrors again.

But back in those days
In my child’s mind
There was one thing I never understood.
Why did the Jews and the gypsies,
The gays and the communists
Not run away
And come here to Wales
And live with us?

I asked my mother
I asked my uncle and my granddad.
They smiled
And shrugged
And changed the subject.

I was, after all,
Only a child.
Too young to know of passports
Or of borders and border agencies
Or of national boundaries 
Or of the whole banal evil
Of bureaucracies that can send people
Back to death, starvation and torture
At the flick of a pen.

I had heard of the Berlin Wall
Concrete and barbed wire
There to stop people getting a better life.
And everyone
From the government down
Said what a horror it was
And how communism was evil
A system that could only keep its people in
With walls
And minefields
And how freedom
Is the birthright
Of all humans.


70 years pass
And the walls have gone up
All over Europe
And men, women and children
Are dying again
In their hundreds
Washed up like rubbish
On beaches
Suffocating inside containers
Tear gassed and batoned
By the armies of governments
That are building new walls
Not to keep their people in
But to keep out those
Who are fleeing the wars
Death and starvation
Those same governments
Visited on them.

So do not expect me
To accept your values
You bastards
You hypocrites
You who dare to lecture us
On violence and morality
As you allow tiny infants
To drown
Or boil to death in the backs of lorries
Or are electrocuted to death on railway tracks
Or drop dead
From hunger, exhaustion and heatstroke.

Do not presume
You bastards
To talk to us of morality.

Your conferences are a rogues’ gallery of bloodstained murderers
And we will tear down your walls
With our bare hands and nails if necessary.

These people are our brothers
Our sisters
Our mothers
Our fathers

They are us
And we are them.

Together we will tear down your walls
Tear them down to the ground
Just as we will tear down your palaces and mansions
And your detention centres
And your processing centres
And your concentration canps
And your jails

And if tearing down your whole damn system is what it takes
Then we can do that too.

Solidarity with all refugees.
Touch my brother or sister
And you touch me.
Strike one of us
And you strike all of us.

No more borders
TEAR DOWN THE WALLS