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Freedom Come All Ye

Written by Hamish Henderson in 1960 for the peace marchers at the Holy Loch near Glasgow and as relevant now as ever

Roch the win i the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the clouds heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But thair’s mair nor a roch win blawin
Thro the Great Glen o the warl the day
It’s a thocht that wad gar our rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play

Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war whan our braggarts crousely craw
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Murn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw
Broken faimilies in launs we’ve hairriet
Will curse ‘Scotlan the Brave’ nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters bare

Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom
In yer hous aa the bairns o Aidam
Will fin breid, barley-bree an paintit room
Whan MacLean meets wi’s friens in Springburn
Aa thae roses an geeans will turn tae blume
An a black laud frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.

They called for an official end to the Korean War, the signing of a peace treaty and the reunification of Korea.

On May 19, Women Cross DMZ was warmly greeted in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where they held a symposium with north Korean women’s organizations and then visited a hospital, kindergarten and other facilities. They also visited the birthplace of Kim Il Sung, leader of the Korean Revolution, and joined an international women’s march for reunification and peace on May 23. A roadside sign read, “Let us reunify the divided country as soon as possible!”

The delegation had planned to walk across the DMZ into south Korea on May 24, the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. They started their walk, singing and carrying peace banners, together with north Korean women. However, the south Korean regime barred them from walking across the DMZ and passing through Panmunjom, where the 1953 armistice had been signed ending combat in the Korean War.

South Korea instead sent a bus that ferried the delegation to a customs area connected to Kaesong Industrial Zone. South Korean police and army cars flanked the bus, joined by U.N. Joint Command officials outside the demarcation line.

They were then greeted by hundreds of south Korean women, who joined them in walking the one and a half miles to Imjingak Nuri Peace Park in Paju for a welcoming ceremony. Some 1,000 people sang, “Our Wish Is Unification.” (Hankyoreh, May 25)

The delegation promoted the need for a peace treaty, not just an armistice, to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.

This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here….. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.

I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.” - Muhammad Ali, convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted on June 20, 1967.

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He was one of the most outspoken and contrarian philosophers of the 20th century. He was blacklisted from Universities and even thrown in prison for defending the rights of conscientious objectors in times of warmongering insanity ranging from WW1 throughout the Cold War. His unwavering search for logic and his incessant questioning of mankind’s propensity for clubbing each other to death and the worship of fictional deities put him way ahead of his time. Our species needed his voice then and could most certainly use it now. So for this we say Happy Birthday Bertrand Russell!

-TheStrangeCo