Poem: Civil Disobedience

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Because symbols have power

a woman refused to give up her seat,

laborers walked 24 days

to refuse to pay a tax,

a woman starved herself

while incarcerated

for demanding a voice,

untold thousands took to the streets,

proudly refusing to be

invisible or silent anymore,


a woman climbed a flagpole.


Because symbols have power

they were arrested,

threatened with years in prison,

beaten, assaulted,

given food riddled with maggots,

denied due process,

even murdered.


Because she knew

that you have to make culture

to change culture,

she lifted herself,

hand over hand,

30 feet high in the air

above concrete

tied to the pole

as countless before had been

not to receive punishment

this time

but to strike a blow

for justice and hope

by using her heart,

not her hands

as her weapon.


Bree Newsome faced

three years in prison

for the attempted murder

of a symbol,

because symbols have power,

and now so does she.


For previous poems published by Ladybud Magazine, click here.