SCENE FIFTEEN (XV)
- “Кто не рискует, тот не пьет шампанского”
Pronunciation: KTOH ni risKUyet, tot ni pyot shamPANSkava) Translation: He who doesn’t take risks doesn’t drink champagne Meaning: Fortune favors the brave
“THE LABOR DAY RISING BEGINS”
On the Grand Army Plaza of Brooklyn, the ground rubbles. Hold your breath. Breath the smoke in if you must. You have to push yourself man, and you have to see things, make connections where you’re not totally sure they exist. You have to count down, you have to blink. To squint, break your knuckles and bleed maybe, bleed in quiet. You have to try, dig in your stuff, you don’t see it. Pity, you can’t. You don’t have any solidarity at all. You don’t even know you’re still a slave. The Chornaydo. The world reminds them every day.
I don’t know if you can picture it yet comrade, the big wink. I don’t know if your mind can see the uprising as it was, how it all went down. In a heartbeat, all was in flames. Anyone with black skin just being shot down in the street like rapid feral dogs! It didn’t have to be, no it didn’t! We could have reached some settlement the liberal elders said, I fundamentally disagree.
Black lives certainly don’t matter to anyone at all in America!
Were you to observe the crumble of the high grounds, the moral roads into base animal rage, I think it was enough that one in eight of their men was in prison, I think it enough that one died a week it seemed, a week, a day, every 48 hours? Statistics are all make believe. I don’t think any whites thought of the chornay human anyway, so it was a real surprise that they were so organized!
The signal was a song, it is impossible to plan an uprising without a good soundtrack, that’s an old Haitian saying, and the gunfire erupted from makeshift big truck alliance barricades and overturned cars, piled by the Grand Army Plaza. And the human spear thrust north, the melee of thousands, supported by millions counted on by no less than five billion souls, took over Manhattan and burn it all down. Light it all on fire. Make them pay!
It was probably not a very good day for those brave marauders in the front of the flying columns. Those the police sentries emptied clip after clip into. As was expected, before being torn apart and beheaded by the mob. The crush and screams of feet pounding the parkway, the blare of the signal song, the gun fire on both sides, fire bombs bursting in air.
Perhaps as many as four hundred men and women too plus died in the fire fight to conquer only one square of the board, the Grand Army Plaza was on fire and the Garveyites were killing police officers with the Kalashnikovs the Russians sold them, well anyway the Ivory who sold them spoke Russian, but that’s as misleading a term as Chornay.
That eruption, that mostly Noire eruption charged north supported by tens of thousands of masqueraders, there was gun fire all night. You could be sure they’d ban Jeauvert this time for real. What was it really all about? This annual dry run, now that the streets were wet with blood.
The uprising had been about grievances, but it wasn’t about politics. It wasn’t about the handful of modest reforms groups put out there on the wire. No, it was about hate and about rage and about decades of powerlessness, about the failure of non-violence and playing the game to advance. Well, anyway what really was there to write about?
Sometime around noon on 1st Fructidor a heavy duty series of synchronized bombings knocked out the power grid in all of Lower Manhattan when the Consolidated Edison Building and some relay stations blew up. Led by Z.O.B. agitators, Uhuru fighters and the Garveyite Militia masqueraders broke the police lines at Grand Army Plaza and began marching north toward the City. To the epic beat of steel drums and Soca, the uprising had begun in great disorder.
The Labor Day Parade and its 2.6 million marchers were violently turned back at the Manhattan Bridge with tear gas and water cannons. A good deal of Downtown Breuklyn was put to the torch in the block to block street battles which carried on until Fructidor 3rd, when the barricades hardened at Atlantic and Flatbush; a General Assembly was organized on the first day of the rising and based itself at the Barclay Stadium. There were a wide range of street battles driving the first Labor Day Rising (now called the Great Disorder) which would continue for several weeks in the National News cast as urban looting. The bulk of the rising didn’t utilize short guns or bombings or arson burning. Just days of rioting and economic disruptions that got recast somehow as black on black crime.
The National Guard was fully called up on 4 Fructidor. Barricades and popular General Assemblies to rally and loosely democratize ‘the people’ went up also in the South Bronx and South East Queens triggered by the same factions that planned the Labor Day Rising. The state tamped up repression. The bodies piled up. It was getting tense as hell. It would not be long before the rebellion spread to other cities in the U.S.A.
From Manhattan one could see the signs of smoke plumes rising from Breuklyn below. Concentrated machine gun batteries and cruel tetra-drones stopped the largely Negro rebel onslaught at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. The internet went down for 48 hours. Corpses were piled very high. Then burned with flame throwers. The city was surrounded. The initial rebellion was mostly suppressed on Day 37. The razing of Central Brooklyn followed the epic ‘Battle of Brownsville’. No one learned anything in the popular press outside the city. In many ways for many reasons it was all shrugged off as ‘race riots’ and ‘some kind of weird weather emergency.’ It was as if America had not even acknowledged a people’s uprising had begun that day. For the most part, the outside world just played along.