Domestic Insurgents – fiction by William T. Hathaway

Chapter One of a Novel

Five fathoms down, Marla Wilson swam past catacombs of coral sparkling in shafts of sunlight, her motion swaying sea anemones. The ocean embraced her, caressing her legs as she kicked, streaming her breasts as she stroked. A manta soared by, swift and undulant, then vanished with a whisk of tail into the sargasso forest. A gray shark with blinkless eyes cruised a school of young tarpon, who sank in slow abandon through purple shrouds of gulf surge. Jewels of nacre gleamed on the sliding bottom, luring her down, tempting her to stay, forget the surface and its flimsy air.

She was mostly water anyway, salty too.

But she had a job to do.

Dan Travers swam beside her, streaming bubbles; Grace Adams was behind, all of them held in the buoyant press of the sea. Above them the surface, a glassy roof of dancing light. Ahead the island … and a Hera missile about to be launched.

They had to stop it, at least delay it. They carried no weapons, just chains and locks. They were the weapons, their soft, warm bodies chained to fence posts ringing the launch site.

In an hour the Pentagon planned to blast off Hera, all twelve tons of her, and then shoot her down with a Patriot missile. They claimed the testing was needed for national security, but Marla and her friends were convinced it would just increase the arms race, shatter the peace of the Florida Keys, and terrify the animals. They were swimming in to put themselves on the line against it. Read the rest of this entry »

Urgent Need For United Left: Latin America and China


By Andre Vltchek


I am writing this letter from the frozen shore not far from the northernmost Japanese city of Wakkanai. It is pristine and cold here, bitterly cold. When the wind blows, the snow powder takes to the air – on such occasions it looks like a real snowstorm although instead of descending from the sky, the snow is actually elevated from earth. It is as white as it gets anywhere in the world, and then blue late in the evening.

On the shore, huge antennas and satellites are facing north; they are pointed towards Sakhalin – an enormous island that at the end of the WWII was taken by the Soviet Union and now belongs to Russia. More than two decades ago Cold War officially ended, but the dishes, listening posts and who knows what else are still here, scaring the nature and silencing goodwill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Out From Empire – fiction by Tony Christini

Empire of Lies


The Liar’s Empire of Lies

OUTLINE: the top hits / aka primary beats / aka main plot points

  the actors

  • US President, “Liberal Democrat,” unwittingly kills his secret daughter by drone bombing
  • Afpak Insurgent Leader, barely escapes death from US drone bombing
  • 16 year old secret daughter of President, collaterally slain by US drone, Afpak border
  • 15 year old living daughter of President, brings gift to mother of unknown half-sister
  • International Aid Worker, mother of dead daughter of President, survives drone bombing
  • International Correspondent, sent to drone bombing site by Global News

What would you do?



setting: US Presidential commemoration near Spider Rock, at the edge of the red sandstone cliffs of Canyon de Chelly (National Monument), last holdout of the Navajos, on the Navajo Nation Reservation, Arizona, USA. It’s a 150th year commemoration of the Navajo’s “Long Walk” into concentration camp captivity and then their “Long Walk” home to their traditional tribal lands: 1864-1868.

  1. Immediately prior to the Navajo commemoration ceremony, the US President is informed that one of the President-ordered drone bombs on the Afghanistan/Pakistan (Afpak) border has blown up a US civilian teen, the daughter of a US international aid worker. The President recognizes the name of the teen and is shaken to his core but tries not to let on. (The teen is the President’s 16 year old secret daughter with a current international aid worker.)
  2. The mother (former love of the President) survives. (She had kept the reality of her daughter’s existence entirely from the decade-future president for several years. Then they had mutually wanted to keep the secret and had succeeded in doing so.)
  3. The President spontaneously alters his commemoration speech in sometimes passionate and historic fashion, becoming the first president to explicitly reference and condemn the “genocide against the native peoples of America” and going further to reference those who say the genocide continues today, before reciting a list of deplorable rates of indigenous social well-being: literacy rates, disease rates, imprisonment rates, poverty rates, suicide rates, environmental devastation statistics, and so on. The President’s entourage is shocked. The President himself seems to speak in a state of shock.
  4. Immediately after a tumultuous end to the commemoration ceremony (Navajo leaders literally wrestling with top US military leaders and officials), and solely in the presence of the Secretary of Defense, the Vice President, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President orders the international aid worker mother (his former love) detained by the US military on an Afpak US military base, along with the body of their daughter. The President issues a series of additional orders.
  5. The President orders a temporary halt to drone bombing until an investigation is undertaken and complete.
  6. The President orders the highest ranking military officer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to arrange to fly him covertly to the Afpak border to meet with the mother and the body (ostensibly incidentally) and (ostensibly primarily) to overview/review the geographical and military theater of operations.
  7. Also, the President informs the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, et al, that in addition to any necessary staff on the flight, he may possibly be accompanied by one other person, a guest. He refuses to say who. (Upon her agreeing, this person will turn out to be his 15 year old daughter.)
  8. President flies covertly to the base with daughter (15). Ponders conscience.


  1. Daughter (15) agrees to fly to Afpak base. She is normally never afraid of flying but inexplicably fears this flight and entire trip. However she is more worried by her father’s trying emotional/mental state than by any new fear of flying. In her own mind, she assumes the role on this trip as a buffer between her father and the strains of his job. She thinks she knows like everyone the source of her father’s dis-ease.
  2. During the plane flight, the daughter (15) also reviews and questions her father’s Navajo commemoration speech, and his role in the drone bombings, and the general context of the drone bombings.
  3. On US Afpak military base, Daughter (15) gives gift to surviving aid mother (who hints that her own blood (kin) has died).
  4. In course of visiting Afpak village, Daughter (15) ponders her conscience. (Embodiment of the nation’s – “first” world – conscience…or lack thereof…and/or embodiment of “the people’s” conscience.)


  1. Aid Worker, grieving mother, in aftermath of drone attack, gathers blood samples of herself and deceased daughter (her daughter’s blood has been impressed on her own clothes).
  2. On US Afpak base, when alone with President, she pointedly pricks the President’s hand with medical blood drawing device. “There is blood on your hands.”
  3. Then she pretends to doctor him, swabbing the blood off his hand with an article of her clothing.
  4. She forces the gift back upon the President. It drops, shatters on the floor.
  5. During ostensible interview or private moment with the international correspondent, possible current lover, she gives the correspondent the 3 blood-stained articles of clothing for DNA testing proof of the President’s paternity of the slain teen.
  6. She ponders her conscience rotating through various settings and events – on Afpak border, on base, in her main office, during her romance and decision with the President, key moments with daughter.


  1. Correspondent interviews drone attack villagers.
  2. Correspondent thinks of his own daughter and/or son.
  3. Correspondent consoles aid worker, possible lover, and receives blood samples for DNA testing.
  4. Correspondent knows what the DNA testing will reveal and begins to write a dual geopolitical and personal presidential expose – global conscience and independent investigation.


  1. Surviving insurgent leader performs duties to slain comrades and villages.
  2. Insurgent considers how to better protect his people from US and domestic onslaught.
  3. Insurgent sends statement on drone attack to international reporter, possibly references Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad – historical conscience.
  4. Orders retaliatory attack that unwittingly shoots down the President’s helicopter not long after it leaves the Afpak base.


  1. President’s helicopter shot down by insurgents camouflaged on exposed mountain peak recently observed by US forces to be unoccupied (modifying successful rooftop shooting tactic used in US occupation of Iraq).
  2. President’s helicopter crash lands in orchard and kills young child sitting under crushed fruit tree, unknown to anyone in the crash.
  3. No one in President’s helicopter is badly hurt. Even after learning of the crushed child, US officials refer to the crash as having “No casualties.”
  4. ALTERNATE AND FINAL END: Everyone on the helicopter dies in the crash, along with an entire Afpak civilian family as copter plunges onto a village dwelling.


  1. Slain secret daughter of the President speaking amid beautiful spring greenery about hopes for a better world, possibly on some sort of scenic hike somewhere beautiful in the world, and/or on a walk through a beautiful, prosperous, peaceful village/town.
  2. Video montage of scenes of the drone bombing and of her being cut down by shrapnel.
  3. Her walking (invisibly, supernaturally) and speaking angrily post death among the wailing and the ruins post drone bombing, speaking and pointing angrily at the carnage, including walking around and pointing out her blown up body, and her inconsolable mother, and the inconsolable village survivors, and her pointing out the new insurgents birthed from that bombing and the hardening of the resolve of the current insurgents.
  4. The camera delves ever deeper into the horrific scene as seen through the the living dead teen’s clear and justified anger. As the camera delves ever deeper into the horror, the teen’s voice trails to silence while Irving Berlin’s song “God Bless America” plays. Finally, the camera sweeps swiftly away from the bombing and carnage and pans over the beautiful and complex countryside and inhabited areas of Afpak, and then the world, but only for brief moments before returning to a few final images of the horror wrought by US militancy.

God Bless America: While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer / God bless America / Land that I love / Stand beside her, and guide her / Through the night with a light from above / From the mountains, to the prairies / To the oceans, white with foam / God bless America, My home sweet home / God bless America, My home sweet home.

The great North American novelist knew it would be the end of his career. The great North American novelist stood outside his five senses and viewed his predicament as if from a far autumnal mountain. Very small, he sat in his office chair. He scribbled in a journal. He shuffled a deck of blank note cards of which occasionally he plucked one out and considered detailing a possible beat. A real move. A breaking point. A shift. A plot break. A character jolt. A set change. Christ, he felt he must unmask all the redactions of his life and of life and the official line. Career poison. The great North American novelist cocked his hand like a gun. He shot down each in turn the prestigious writing awards hung on his office wall: the American Book Award, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize.

The great North American novelist could not write the story he must and must not write. Son of a bitch. Motherfucker. God of All Hell. And shit. The great North American novelist began to pray: Dear Athena, goddess of wisdom, goddess of heroes, goddess on high, sing to me O muse of my life, my could be would be life, sing the song of one great global epic of the world. Sing O muse Athena, sing from on high. And so Athena sang. She sang a song of the apparatus of power of the great official entities in North America and the world, of the great global conquest ongoing. And so it was that the great North American novelist died.

Liberation Lit anthology

Liberation Lit anthology

table of contents

Cover Image

“What’s Lib Lit? – Library, map, lens, scalpel, compost, chisel, textbook, excavation: voices, images, wrestling, contradicting, confirming, the matter of resistant art and practise.”

– Adrienne Rich

“The relation between literature and liberation runs very deep. From Blake to Ginsberg, Shelley to Sartre, literature has often enough served as an image of creativity from which any authentic politics has to learn. In this sense, all artistic work has an implicit utopian dimension; but the pieces in this splendid anthology are unique in explicitly highlighting this concealed underside of literary art, showing us how to hope and desire otherwise. In a darkening political world, this book deserves a wide readership, as it sheds a light on the present from a possible future.”

Terry Eagleton


Lib Lit


Banjo – fiction by Claude McKay

Excerpts from the chapters “Official Fists” and “Banjo’s Ace of Spades,” in McKay’s novel Banjo (1929) Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Giovannitti – fiction by Joe Emersberger

On the first day of my Grade 11 history class, Mr. Marini had written out a quote by someone named Arturo Giovannitti on the blackboard. Before I could sit down, Marini gave me a stack of blue paperback books to hand out to everyone.

“These books are yours to keep,” he announced. “In them, you’ll find all the material we’ll be covering this semester.”

The book was “A people’s History of the US” by Howard Zinn.

Peter Howard’s hand shot up in the air.

“Yes, Peter.”

“Sir, how is this ancient history?”

“It isn’t.”

“But you’re supposed to teach us ancient history.”

“I know, but I’m not going to, so you can drop the course, rat me out to your parents, or stay and try to learn something. It’s up to you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Wovokia – fiction by Joe Emersberger

Jack Wilson, a reporter for the Scottish edition of the Daily Telegraph, uncovered opinion polls that found 60% of US citizens (40% of Canadians) did not know that Wovokia was an independent country or that the US and Canada had made traveling to Wovokia illegal. (Wovokia had previously been known as the Canadian province of British Columbia, and the US states of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.) These polls were done fifteen years after Wovokia declared its independence. The polls also showed that most people who did know about Wovokia’s independence did not consider it a matter of great concern.

Jack was surprised that most US officials would say nothing to him about Wovokia – even off the record. However, one official dared to claim that Wovokia’s independence had been granted because a massive influx of ethnic minorities made the region ungovernable. The US, like a major corporation, had simply decided to downsize – to stop the drain on its resources. Jack was no economist but knew the natural and industrial wealth of Wovokia made this claim more laughable than any wild conspiracy theory.

The more Jack researched, the more he gasped at how successfully the government and media had buried the loss of huge swaths of territory, but Wovokians had also contributed to this success by keeping a low profile internationally. That had changed very recently. Wovokia was now clashing with the USA frequently at the UN. Hence the Daily Telegraph’s sudden interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency Clinic – poetry by Adrienne Rich

The Briefing – fiction by Arundhati Roy

“…when the trees migrate…”

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Liberatory Cartoons – by Marina Weidemanne

Poems – Buff Whitman-Bradley

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Satires – Buff Whitman-Bradley

What I Tell the Young When They Ask – poetry by Margaret Randall

The art of resist. 

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Drowning in Bones and Flames – collage by Theodore A. Harris

“Apostles of Ugliness”: 100 Years Later – essay by Mark Vallen

Much of Liberation Lit’s first issue cover art is in the style overviewed below, including work by John Sloan.

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Cartoons – by Carol Simpson

Life in Corporate Utopia.

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Ode to Man and War’s End – poetry by Kim Jensen

Facing the need to liberate.

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Liberation Lit – first issue – cover

In 2009 Mainstay Press will publish the groundbreaking first anthology of Liberation Lit, the journal of progressive and revolutionary fiction.

Liberation Lit

Liberation Lit

The images of the front and back cover for this issue help connect the works inside with some of the progressive and revolutionary tendencies in the USA of the past century. The stories move beyond this past, especially in being written by authors from around the world. The cover collage of the first Liberation Lit issue originates mainly from illustrations of The Masses magazine from early last century, and posters from the WPA Federal Theater Project.

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