Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Must Be Said

The poem that has caused such controversy the world over:

What Must Be Said

Why do I stay silent, conceal for too long
What clearly is and has been
Practiced in war games, at the end of which we as survivors
Are at best footnotes.

It is the alleged right to first strike
That could annihilate the Iranian people–
Enslaved by a loud-mouth
And guided to organized jubilation–
Because in their territory,
It is suspected, a bomb is being built.

Yet why do I forbid myself
To name that other country
In which, for years, even if secretly,
There has been a growing nuclear potential at hand
But beyond control, because no testing is available?

The universal concealment of these facts,
To which my silence subordinated itself,
I sense as incriminating lies
And force–the punishment is promised
As soon as it is ignored;
The verdict of “anti-Semitism” is familiar.

Now, though, because in my country
Which from time to time has sought and confronted
The very crime
That is without compare
In turn on a purely commercial basis, if also
With nimble lips calling it a reparation, declares
A further U-boat should be delivered to Israel,
Whose specialty consists of guiding all-destroying warheads to where the existence
Of a single atomic bomb is unproven,
But through fear of what may be conclusive,
I say what must be said.

Why though have I stayed silent until now?
Because I think my origin,
Which has never been affected by this obliterating flaw,
Forbids this fact to be expected as pronounced truth
Of the country of Israel, to which I am bound
And wish to stay bound.

Why do I say only now,
Aged and with my last ink,
That the nuclear power of Israel endangers
The already fragile world peace?
Because it must be said
What even tomorrow may be too late to say;
Also because we–as Germans burdened enough–
Could be the suppliers to a crime
That is foreseeable, wherefore our complicity
Could not be redeemed through any of the usual excuses.

And granted: I am silent no longer
Because I am tired of the hypocrisy
Of the West; in addition to which it is to be hoped
That this will free many from silence,
Prompt the perpetrator of the recognized danger
To renounce violence and
Likewise insist
That an unhindered and permanent control
Of the Israeli nuclear potential
And the Iranian nuclear sites
Be authorized through an international agency
Of the governments of both countries.

Only this way are all, the Israelis and Palestinians,
Even more, all people, that in this
Region occupied by mania
Live cheek by jowl among enemies,
In the end also to help us.

Greg Paquin, a friend and fighter for equality, social and economic justice has died; largely because of Greg's efforts the struggle for equality in employment will continue in Minnesota.

Greg Paquin died yesterday; the victim of a most hideous vicious and vindictive governmental campaign of repressive and racist harassment carried out in retaliation for Greg's persistent demand that Affirmative Action be enforced in Minnesota. 

Greg initiated and led the fight to try to get Affirmative Action enforced during the construction of the Enbridge Pipeline and the Bemidji Regional Event Center (now completed and called the Sanford Center) in Bemidji, Minnesota.

I first met Greg after he first called me to ask if I would join with him in trying to build a movement to get Affirmative Action enforced in Minnesota. Greg had researched the issue very thoroughly.

He asked me if there was a good book to read about organizing. I gave him a copy of "Always Bring A Crowd" about steelworker Frank Lumpkins. What stood out in Greg's mind about this book is that Lumpkins had looked for someone to lead the struggle to save the jobs and pensions of his fellow workers and found no one so he decided he would have to become that leader. Greg told me he would have to do the same thing because all the people who should be helping lead the struggle to get Affirmative Action enforced were doing nothing as unemployment on the local Indian Reservations was not just hovering at between 65% and 85% but climbing.

Greg as the Business Manager of the Native American indian Labor Union #12, working pro se, he filed a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota, the racist general contractor Kraus-Anderson, the City of Bemidji and Beltrami County which infuriated these racist public officials and the racist business community.

As a result of Greg's efforts the entire power structure including the FBI along with the Beltrami County Sheriff, Phil Hodap, and Beltrami County Prosecutor, Tim Faver, went on a vicious revenge campaign targeting Greg for the most personal and unrelenting campaign of harassment. Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union watched as Greg was targeted and didn't lift a finger to help even though they could see that Greg's rights were under attack.

The FBI carried out a similar long-term, unrelenting vendetta against Native American Indian activist and long-time Red Lake Nation Chair Roger Jourdain.

Greg was a member of the Plumbers' and Pipefitters' Union-AFL-CIO. Because of the racist leadership of this Union in Minnesota which tried to block entry of people of color and women, Greg founded the Native American Indian Labor Union #12.

This was Greg's blog. A racist Beltrami County Judge ordered Greg not to blog or use the Internet for organizing OR ANYTHING ELSE.

Greg refused to take his blog down. Here is his blog:


Greg wrote letter to the editors of local newspapers explaining how working people without jobs would remain poor.

Greg challenged the racism in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party as well as in the Building and Construction Trades unions.

Greg read Stewart Acuff's book, "Getting America Back To Work" and he was so intrigued with Acuff's call for working people to become "warriors for justice" he helped to try to start a new party in Minnesota, "Warriors for Justice."

Greg was recently married and he and his wife Kathy were building a new home doing all the work on their own. When I saw Greg last week he was excited about learning how to make cupboards for their new home which he had been working on since last summer and throughout the winter.

I was with Greg when we met with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in his office on the day of his Inauguration; Greg took off the necklace he had been wearing and gave it to the Governor. Governor Dayton said he was honored to be given the necklace and counted Greg among his good friends.

Greg Paquin will be missed by his family and friends and all of us struggling for social and economic justice.