Sunday, February 26, 2012

Save the World/Thursday Theme Song: We shall not be moved.

Oliver's like a tree by the water, we shall not be moved.

When I was growing up in Borneo, the Government was very strict, any one deemed to be protesting would be thrown to jail aka eating curry rice. So when the first time I had a chance to protest, I went. I was in Windsor, Ontario in Canada in the mid 1970s.

It was a student led protest against the University of Windsor's decision to increase the fees of international students. My lecturer of International Economics led the protest and we went round the university, into the lecture halls, singing We shall not be moved. My friends told me that I was crazy to join the protest. There were spies everywhere and when I returned to Borneo, I will be hauled to Hotel "Hilton Sibu" and made to eat curry rice.

Oliver, the protestor.

It seems things have changed, people are not afraid to protest. Today, my artist friend Oliver Wong was in a 15,000 strong protest march in Kuantan, Malaysia for anti-Lynas rally.

Oliver, his wife, and his friends were rallying to oppose the construction of a rare earth refinery nearby, which they fear will pose radioactive risks.

The rally - dubbed Himpunan Hijau 2.0 (Green Gathering 2.0) - gathered people from all over the country at the Kuantan Municipal Council field.



Oliver, when I knew him as a university student in 1978 in Auckland New Zealand


We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's standing by the water
We shall not be moved

We Shall Not Be Moved" is a traditional American folk song whose lyrics probably stretch back to the slave era, although there is no indication of when the song was written or who wrote it. It is a spiritual song that was adapted by the activists of the 1930s, with lyrics changed to "We Shall Not Be Moved," similarly to how "We Shall Overcome" took on the collective voice in protest rather than its original singular voice.





Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Coincidentally, I have recently painted a tree standing majestically tall and proud of what we stand for.
Our principle is rooted in one voice:
Let no one, not even our own government destroy our land/environment and the lives of people just for the sake of making more money either for themselves or for the country.


Oliver Wong

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I enjoy reading your write-up.
I am proud that Oliver and Siew Moi were in today protest march.

Andrew - EP coach
13 hours ago · Like
Oliver Wong Thanks Ann for the article..you are really fast..
12 hours ago · Like
Wong Hung Yong Ann, u follow very closely political development in malaysia.
11 hours ago · Like

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Arthur Wong:

Students are like morning sun who are keen to learn and accept new ideas and 'sensitive' to injustice. Overseas students fee high likely have to do with awareness of students that prompted fee high to cut back number of students in overseas.

George said...

I hope this protest was successful in stepping the project.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Arthur Wong In Christchurch, we marched to protest against fee high as well. Singing the same song and solidarity forever. Newspaper said we were singing union songs. Local students and other overseas students joined the march in Christchurch.

A Song written for the march:
Cut Overseas troop not overseas students
We need education not soldiers on our land
We want freedom and justice
Not soldier on my land

Al said...

I've never lived anywhere that protest was illegal, so it's a strange thing to me. Probably because of that I've never joined in a protest, although I've come close lately.

To answer your question, the water in the American Pacific Northwest (e.g. Seattle) or north of it (Vancouver) is cold year-round, I wouldn't consider swimming in it.

Melbourne Australia Photos said...

Great post, Ann. The right to protest peacefully is a universal human right.

Halcyon said...

I've never taken part in a protest. I admire those who do though.