We fight the sea at Kronstadt

"looming chaos notwithstanding? No: we would take a stronger grip"

A hilarious heroic ode to the massacre of the Kronstadt commune by British Trotskyist group Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL), taken from their website.

Author: Sean Matgamna

We fight the sea at Kronstadt

Across the frozen, hostile, misted sea

To Kronstadt, to attack entrenched White Guards
Manning the garrison there, mysteriously
All-powerful, where once we could command,
Talking now to our own as we talked before:
Workers' control, soviet power (with no
Bolsheviks!), peasant rights—echoing the roar
From the countryside: impossible demands!

What could we do? Abandon the fort commanding
Petrograd? Call it off? Surrender? Give up
The workers' power, looming chaos notwithstanding?
No: we would take a stronger, firmer grip,
And fight to bridle History run amok!

We marched to conquer fortress Kronstadt;
Beating them as we beat the other Whites
(Who did not sound like us) wreaked bloody spite.

We marched to conquer Fortress Kronstadt:
Under their guns across the ice-clad sea
Went Congress delegate and soldier elite;
Their cannon smashed the ice on whih we stood;
The abyss opened under us; ice closed
Above white-sheathed warriors splashed with blood:
The ghostly camouflage, pale cloaks like clouds
We wore, did duty too for billowing shrouds.

After, when our bodies were reclaimed from the sacrifice,
The red still showed, frozen, in long coffins of ice.

S. O. 1990

Posted By

Joseph Kay
Feb 6 2012 12:29

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Joseph Kay
Feb 6 2012 12:33

"the most libertarian Trots"

Battlescarred
Feb 6 2012 13:22

To which Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs would reply
We waited as long as possible for our blinded sailor-comrades to see with their own eyes where the mutiny lead. But we were confronted with the danger that the ice would melt away and... we were compelled to make the attack.
Leon Trotsky, Sochinenya, V, XVII: BK2, p.253.
We did not want to shed the blood of our brothers and we did not fire a single shot until compelled to do so. We had to defend the just cause of the labouring people and to shoot- to shoot at our own brothers...
Kronstadt Izvestia, March 8, 1921.
Will red love moan and kill herself?
And downfall grace to save her face?
And history nod to who was right?
And place these corpses in their place?
From Potemkin to Kronstadt
The wake of time has rolled
And grey has surfed to green and grey
Fell back again on gull black shoals.
The peasants of the Baltic Fleet
Take their slave life in their free hands
There is no bread in Petrograd
No golden sun in that lead land.
Across the ice the soldiers come
"Comrades, we are killing you!"
The ice is breaking! and each crack
Rifles us and shivers you.
Within the bay the heroes drown
Within the fort the heroes die
Blue beams of longing sweep the sea
Red screams of anguish slit the sky.
History will not speak
Heroes will not lie
Men who wanted love and life
Killed, were killed, and died.

posi
Feb 6 2012 13:22

I am glad this important work has come to wider attention. Further examples of Matgamna's verse can be found here: http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/05/01/confessions-tridentine-boy-and-other-verse

My personal favourite reads, in whole:

Quote:
Oh, Mum, Mum,
I did you wrong;

Mum, Mum:
You didn't cum!

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/10996

Entdinglichung
Feb 6 2012 14:22

Matgamna is a worse poet than Mao

Harrison
Aug 27 2012 04:03

ha was just about to upload that horrific Matgamna incest poem.

Entdinglichung
Feb 6 2012 16:49

setting up a political organization for getting my own poems published ... probably not a bad idea smile

rat
May 3 2012 21:51

A fantastic poem.

What's the situation with the AWL at the moment? Any info from around the country?

(also, I'm reluctant to start a new thread but any info on the recent workers power split? Maybe I can take a look at the Weekly Worker if they have the article on the net)

Android
May 3 2012 22:35
Zero wrote:
(also, I'm reluctant to start a new thread but any info on the recent workers power split? Maybe I can take a look at the Weekly Worker if they have the article on the net)

Yes it is - see here

In other news, former libcom.org poster and member of SolFed has resigned from CPGB and been denounced in quite vindictive terms. One of the attacks was that his background in anarcho-syndicalism possibly influenced his resignation, where it was insinuated he never got the politics of the group he joined. lol.

Long standing libcom.org posters and users will know who I am referring to.

rat
May 5 2012 18:53

Android, cheers for the link.
(Also, I should have asked about this in the Trotspotting thread.)
Weekly Worker:

Quote:
On the one hand, the ‘old guard’ of Workers Power, led by Richard Brenner and David Stockton, defended the typical conception of the Trotskyist ‘propaganda group’, according to which, in order not to inhibit effective intervention in the class struggle, there must be no public dissent from, or expressions of disagreement with, the majority ‘line’ worked out behind closed doors.

I didn't know that propaganda group was a term the Trotskyists used.

I really wish there was more hostility demonstrated by anarchists towards Leninist groups on the streets. Anarchists love banging on about the EDL, what about having more of ago at the Trots?

rat
May 6 2012 22:50

Funny, I thought...funny...

AWL v AF

rat
May 6 2012 22:49

Not that interesting AWL:

Quote:
There are a number of problems with AFed's attitude. First – and paradoxically for anarchists – they seem unable to differentiate between members of the Labour Party and the leaders of the party. Second, they either have no understanding or wilfully refuse to understand the organic connections and historical basis of the relationship between the Labour Party and the trade unions – however distorted and neutered these connections and relationships currently are.

rat
May 6 2012 22:17

Gor blimey gov!

Afed Throw a Tantrum.

rat
May 8 2012 09:28

One perspective on the objections to Sir Alan Meale at Nottingham Mayday:

Nottingham Indymedia Mayday

NannerNannerNan...
Mar 16 2013 21:09

Reading his again, this seems really goddam offensive. Jesus, trots have shit politics

Reddebrek
Sep 28 2013 21:14

Allow me to present a rebuttal

To Kronstadt, to attack alleged White Guards
While in the streets workers waved crude placards,
They manned the garrison there, mysteriously
Where we used to sneer imperiously
There demands Workers' control, soviet power
And stop nicking are bloody flour!

What could we do? Abandon the fort
After losing the cities support?
With it state power, given to the revolting masses?
Let them win and we'd lose our conference passes!
No: we would take a stronger, firmer grip,
And bail out, our battered sinking ship!

We marched to conquer fortress Kronstadt;
Beating them as we beat the real Whites
before they could show the world we were hypocritical shites.

We marched to conquer Fortress Kronstadt:
Under their guns across the ice-clad sea
Taken full advantage of their naive mercy
Went Congress delegate and soldier elite;
In that order too (when in retreat)
Their cannon smashed the ice on which we stood;
After we repeatedly spat on their attempts at brotherhood
.
After, when our bodies were reclaimed from the sacrifice,
Our Commissars were to busy indulging in vice
To notice the coffins of ice.