The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
They Will Never Get Us All
Sean Matthews • 04.01.04

Below is a poem written by an Anarchist prisoner called Harold H. Thompson who is a first generation Irish-American and was born in April 1942 in West Virginia. He has been in continuous political conflict with the American establishment since the early '60s. While growing up he was deeply immersed in political discussion which led him to be a strong believer in Anarchist ideals of liberty, social equality and mutual aid. Later he was convicted for murdering a person who was released early from his sentence for killing the mother of one of his two children. He was released early because he decided to become a police informant and when he did come out he threatened to kill one of Harold’s son for allegedly testifying against him in court and further claimed “that he had nothing to lose”.

Four days afterwards from making these outrageous comments he was assassinated by an unmasked assailant. October 1979 and after 10 days of an extensive manhunt, Harold was arrested and charged for his murder and later convicted and given life plus 50 years for suspected involvement in expropriating money from a jewellery store to fund his political activity. This harsh and unjust sentence was further added to when he was further jailed for 31 years in 1986 for being involved in a failed armed escape and on top of this he started a 5 year, 4 month stint in maximum security/solitary confinement. Behind these oppressive walls, he continues to be harassed and bullied by the prison wardens for his uncompromising Anarchist principles, but this does not deter him from believing passionately that inside a potential mass movement of revolutionaries is in waiting who need a giant breath of help, education and direction to eventually abolish these prisons of social control, misery and despair brick by brick.

Prisons in a free society have no place as they are there to strip an individual of their true identity, dignity, self-confidence, self-righteousness and effectively de-humanise people until they are merely robots and only a number in this endless chain. Most often they are stigmatised, ignored and treated like aliens by the mainstream media. However they always fail to face the underlying causes of 90% of crime which is poverty, neglect, boredom, margilization and disillusioned individuals through no fault of their own are enslaved in the system of systematic mental and coercive domination. Rookies become professional criminals and only learn the tricks of the trade. Isn’t it such a coincidence that they are mostly from working-class backgrounds with a severe lack of self-esteem and confidence?

Increasingly, Prisons are the latest institution under the wing of the capitalist elite who are un-dying in their quest for further and greater accumulation of wealth and power. Companies such as Wilkinsons see that this cheap labour offers big profits and so prisons are becoming privatised. The real criminals are those that live on their fruits of our sweat and toil, whether it be the bosses who are currently waging a sustained class war against the dispossessed masses in the streets of Dublin over bin tax or the many millions of oppressed masses today who are constantly subjected to the ruthless barbarism of Anglo/American economic, political and military oppression whether that be directly or indirectly through international bodies such as the UN, IMF or World Bank. These tools of imperialism are just as complicit in endorsing and financing this terror machine. Don’t just reform them, smash them as the “urge to destroy is also a creative urge”. Their power must be wrestled back to those that produce the wealth of the world, and expressed by free, voluntary associations of self-managed workplaces and community councils from below upwards, organised locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, power always flowing from the grass-roots to the top. Definitely not the false premise or delusion that power comes from the ballot box where you elect a master ever 4 years and there is no mechanism in place for their constituents to recall or even dismiss their so-called representative. Anyway, voting would be made illegal if it changed anything other then a continued division of society into the leaders and the led, the rulers and the ruled, and the masters and slaves. If the masses were sovereign there would be no government or its first line of defence, the state! Furthermore, the situation today is quite diabolical where wealth and power is becoming centralised into increasingly fewer and fewer hands. This has been exposed quite verdantly recently where decisions have been made by a small bureaucratic elite against the conflicting views of the majority, issues such as the war on Iraq and the imposition of the water charge. He who has the piper plays the tune! I just hope that the oppressed will never endeavour in their passion and desire to break free from the wicked chain of imperialism and their clients.

As well as Harold there are two other prisoners who have been incorporated into this system of isolation and anguish who are Sherman Austin and Mumia Abu Jamal (former Black Panther). Sherman who runs Raise the fist website was jailed for 1 year for a link to his website relating to methods of self-defence involving information on explosives. This link is something that he was not author to and the fact that this same material could be found on a number of other websites linked to Yahoo suggests that there were ulterior motives in locking this revolutionary behind bars. He did however plead guilty to this offence because he was threatened with the maximum sentence of 20 years, which would officially mark him out as a terrorist. Even more extreme is the fact then we he is released he is officially banned during his period of probation from allying himself with any organisation which legally or otherwise calls for a revolutionary overthrow of the state. The fact that he is black, revolutionary in ideas and practise and refuses unreservedly to bow to unjustified authority and rejects America’s Imperialist project may ring a few bells. This is all part of the American government's new campaign using repressive measures such as the Patriot Act to eliminate those that have a dissenting voice or fail to conform to the ‘normal culture and ideology’ set by the American Ruling Class.

All across this planet people are rising from the knee.
For in their hearts burns flames, the aspiration to be free!
They struggle on with this though that is right,
And refuse to be crushed by oppression’s organised might

Zapata, Durutti, George Jackson and Bobby Sands to name a few,
Have each heroes to the downtrodden of this world.
Eternal shining lights of hope for suffering peoples of all lands.
Though different in method each worked for a common goal,
Their actions in struggle live on to inspire each freedom yearning soul.

From their lives and dreams they put to words, actions and taught,
So even the most timid came to realise
The human right to freedom belongs to all,
A heady, wonderful thought!

Some choose to march peacefully in demonstration,
While others take to the justice to the gun.
But once that first step is taken they are all true freedom fighters,
Demanding their rightful place in the sun.

So with prideful step march ever onward,
As others in struggle meet fire with fire, force with force.
Conquering each obstacle erected to stifle determination,
Or misguide from the true course
And for each comrade who stubles, falters,
Or is crushed beneath a heavy load,
Take heart with pride in a part you play
Be it small, large or behind the scenes but still on liberties road.

From Soweto to Belfast to Amerikka’s streets,
Cities, villages, coalfields, factories and jails
The common link in struggle is plain to see.
In each place there are people just like you and me,
Who fight the oppressor’s might, for their rightful taste of liberty.
Yes all across this planet, people are rising from the knee,
For in their hearts burns a flame, the aspiration to be free!

25 August 89
Harold H.Thompson

It is not those who inflict the most but those who endure the most who will be victorious!
Build homes, Not jails!
To be silent is to collaborate!
Our word is our weapon!
Civil obedience is slavery; Civil disobedience is exercising your liberty!



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

4 January 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Anthony McIntyre


New Years Statement 2004

Óglaigh na hÉireann


New Year Greetings
Jimmy Sands


In Memorium
Brian Mór


Is This The Real IRA?
Liam O Ruairc


Dec. 16th Dail Questions



Provos/SDLP/Dublin Securing Partition
Liam O Comain


The Patriot Game
Kathleen O Halloran


Wiping Out the Opposition
Aine Fox


They Will Never Get Us All
Sean Matthews


The Letters Page has been updated.


17 December 2003


An Autopsy on the Provos
Sandy Boyer


The PSNI Threat

Anthony McIntyre


Seize the Opportunity, Seize the Moment
Liam O Ruairc


Happy Xmas from Little England
Eamon Sweeney


Dublin Cover-up Was Government Policy
Father Sean Mc Manus


Warm (Flat) Earth
Michael Youlton




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