portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative oregon & cascadia

arts and culture | prisons & prisoners

"Raise the Fist!" - A new poem by Political Prisoner Sherman Austin

"Raise the Fist: January 24"

By Political Prisoner Sherman Austin
The network of terror

Experienced a system error

with militant packets expressing militant minds

taking deadly bytes out of organized crime

the keyboard like an AK

being taken to the front-lines

warfare at your door

like Jan 24

they didn't come for peace

it wasn't some drill

automatics and bullet proof vests

they came prepared to kill

"Are you Sherman Austin?"

said agent John I. Pi

we're here to let you know

you've crossed over the line

this is a matter of National security

that's why our guns are loaded

actually it's just because of Raise the Fist

so we'll lie saying you wrote info on explosives

they thought it was intimidating

they thought i'd be fearing

but little did they know

this was just the beginning

Raise the Fist

back online

after spending 13 days

behind enemy lines

however more than that

had to be done

so I started a Direct Action Network

right when they thought they won

chapters around the world

from Brazil to Berlin

RTF was growing

now they wanted a conviction

they had to set their example

with their per-indictment plea

take this or 20 years

so we can send a message to "other revolutionaries"

Ashcroft had his memo

in cahoots with the judge and Fienstine

scratch the 4 months

give him at least a year of time

They thought it would send a message

and make people afraid

but it didn't do a damn thing

but fuel this already burning rage

Raise the Fist!

because I know my enemy

with first a Direct Action Network

next maybe a Direct Action Committee

Daily in the streets patrolling police who keep killin'

posted outside of courthouses

of judges like Steven V. Wilson

Black beret black star

disciplined and ready

in the words of Malcolm X

by any means necessary

Raise the Fist

first seen on the computer screen

but it's amazing how things manifest

to the black-top on your streets

Raise the Fist

first born on a website

first getting the wire-tap

now police with riot gear on horse-back

Raise the Fist

It don't stop here

black youth black fatigues

in the streets

yes, a Direct Action Committee

change requires struggle

if we can't be free then there can't be peace

Revolution through determination

because silence is defeat

Raise the Fist

you know what I mean by that?

Ready for liberation

That's why I started it 4 years back

it's not some buzzword, it's not some game

that's probably why the FBI

had their raid

actions bring them fear

with an organized community

having control over our own lives

is the real threat to National Security

That's why they call it terror

while they got their guns for hire

That's why I'm one of the many, prisoner in the USA

They try to stop resistance

jail, interrogation, death, to any extent

but I ain't the one for that

bring it on

Raise the Fist!

Sherman Austin


Federal Correctional Institution

8901 S. Wilmot Rd.,

Tucson, AZ 85706