Makana: We Are the Many

Makana: We Are The Many Makana: We Are The Many
Adam Richmond
Social resistance to the status quo is a powerful inspiration to artists and musicians, at least those who aren’t sycophantic hanger-ons of the elite. The prolonged labor fightback in the 1930s, the civil rights struggle, and the protests against the war in Vietnam led to a plethora of popular protest music throughout these struggles.

Adam Richmond

Social resistance to the status quo is a powerful inspiration to artists and musicians, at least those who aren’t sycophantic hanger-ons of the elite. The prolonged labor fightback in the 1930s, the civil rights struggle, and the protests against the war in Vietnam led to a plethora of popular protest music throughout these struggles.

Now, almost overnight, a new voice, Makana, and his song, We Are the Many, has given the message of the Occupy Movement a possible anthem. Evoking Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, but with a trained, melodic voice, Makana, a widely recognized slack key guitarist born on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, was invited to provide innocuous lunch entertainment at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hosted by Obam,this feast of the exploiters, with 26 governmental leaders and hundreds of businessmen, were greeted not with a light serenade from a musician who lauds the powerful.

As a supporter of the Occupy Movement, Makana saw that it was his duty to speak “truth to power” and deliver, in his own way, the Occupy message, supporting the 99% as opposed to the 1%. And he got away with it.

Here are two videos. The first is the video Makana released immediately following the APEC meeting; the next is a video by Makana explaining his experience at APEC. Following that are the lyrics.

We Are the Many

Occupy with Aloha

We Are the Many

Ye come here, gather ’round the stage
The time has come for us to voice our rage
Against the ones who’ve trapped us in a cage
To steal from us the value of our wage

From underneath the vestiture of law
The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw
At liberty, the bureaucrats guffaw
And until they are purged, we won’t withdraw

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

Our nation was built upon the right
Of every person to improve their plight
But laws of this Republic they rewrite
And now a few own everything in sight

They own it free of liability
They own, but they are not like you and me
Their influence dictates legality
And until they are stopped we are not free

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You enforce your monopolies with guns
While sacrificing our daughters and sons
But certain things belong to everyone
Your thievery has left the people none

So take heed of our notice to redress
We have little to lose, we must confess
Your empty words do leave us unimpressed
A growing number join us in protest

We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You can’t divide us into sides
And from our gaze, you cannot hide
Denial serves to amplify
And our allegiance you can’t buy

Our government is not for sale
The banks do not deserve a bail
We will not reward those who fail
We will not move till we prevail

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We are the many
You are the few

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Adam Richmond is a writer and graphic designer for Workers Action, and a Teamster. He is a long time political activist and lives in San Francisco. He may be reached at sanfrancisco@workerscompass.org.