Margaret Thatcher’s dead yesterday brought back many memories for me. Of course, I thought about all her awful policies, her partnership with Reagan that threatened us all, her blindness to the poverty and suffering of her own people and those throughout the word . . . .
But I also recalled attending lot’s of anti-nuke rallies and marches, getting arrested during a protest at the Nevada Test site, escorting clients through picketers at Chico’s Feminist Women’s health center with lots of committed volunteers, some great music, and one of my favorite posters of all time:
Text that you can’t see reads:
Milton Friedman in association with Pentagon Productions
Screenplay by Henry Kissinger
Directed by Cap Weinberger
Music by Jerry Falwell
Winner of Ten Academy Awards.
“The atomic bomb is a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God.” Phyllis Schafly Boston Globe, 7/15/80
Rated G All Ages Eliminated
An IMF Picture From An Idea Conceived By Phyllis Schlaughly
Now Showing World-Wide
I still have this poster rolled up in a tube in my home office. It’s a keeper.
Then, there’s the music about Thatcher. Some of my favorites include:
- Morrissey’s “Margaret on the Guillotine,”
- Elvis Costello’s “Tramp the Dirt Down” and “Shipbuilding,”
- The English Beat’s “Stand Down Margaret,”
- The The’s “Heartland,” more about Reagonomics
- Crass’s “How Does it Feel?”
And, of course, the no-nukes songs–too many to recall, but I’ll list a few favs:
- The Clash’s “London’s Calling”
- Sting’s “The Russians,”
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Two Tribes,”
- Fishbone’s “Party at Ground Zero,”
- Timbuk3’s “The Future’s so Bright I Gotta Wear Shades,”
- Violent Femmes’ “Hallowed Ground,”
In so many ways the 80’s were an awful time, economically, politically, socially, . . . the list goes on. But the 80’s were also a time when I was a young, politically active college student, full of energy and the belief that together we could change the world.
I’m still politically active, but my energy level isn’t so high. I’ve also become more cynical. I still believe people can bring about change.
The cold war is over, Reagan and now Thatcher are dead, and there’s a greater awareness of the destructive power of nuclear weapons. But, now rather than worrying about Russia, we’re focused on terrorists with loose nukes, Iran, North Korea, and other unstable countries.
We have new issues to combat and new leaders to reign in. So, let’s get to work!