H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n








The cops have boarded up the demonstration’s

central planning space

& roped off

entire downtown Sunday DC

yet, after Seattle, they and we believe

there is magic enough

to shut

today’s IMF meeting

like when three decades ago

protesters announced

they would levitate the Pentagon

to end America’s Vietnamese slaughter

and whether such heavy concrete block lifting

was possible

all sides knew odds were high

it would happen

the U.S. would soon pull out

& seeds

of grassroots democratic experiment

would implant forever in American soil

I’m standing 7am mid-intersection

I Street and 19th

next to huge pink paper mache World Piggy Bank

gripping rubber globe in slender jaws

& shitting long silver pipe turds

staring me between the eyes

while blocking

DC’s Sunday morning paper route

a dozen video cameras focus on line of young people

linked arm-in-arm

some with hi-tech yellow metal sleeves

their pictures being sent in present time

by independent internet sources

through as-yet-unbought air waves 

around a pulsing planet

of overflowing river wires  

Tactics built for the forests of the Western Redwood

are being tested

in the capital’s tarred & feathery streets

face-to-face afront a line of Helmeted Police

the young are rapping a slow hiphop cadence:

“No one in


no one out

that’s what the line is all about”

200 more milling about, drumming, dancing

chanting Seattle’s now infamous

21st century rally mantra

“This is what democracy looks like”

The clouds that earlier looked ready

to keep this event enveloped

are moving to make way for a sun

that’s decided to reveal this day to all

The police on other side of ropes & chains                  

wear million-dollar Star Wars gas masks & knee pads

so are clearly no match for the morning’s

idealistic wizardry of youth


Do these three thousand people working

in small groups

mostly still in their twenties

know what actions this weekend will cost?

How it will endanger/enrich their lives?

tattoo their bodies

electrify their brains

for what part the century remains?

Do they comprehend this weekend’s heavy vows?

Know the DC jails

have a long scratchy memory?

That the World Piggy Bank never forgets?

There is a sense of boldness & empowerment in the air

that tastes as potent

as ginger breakfast tea

inhaled even through hayfevered nostrils

The sidewalk knows it will soon be doused

w/ pepper spray

the store window knows tear gas is on its way

the fire hydrant leaves space

between parked cars

for police nightsticks to crash

upon innocent heads

the prison door hinges are oiled and ready

With no apparent help from pedestrians

the street writes

its own graffiti

to honor the courage on display


In Saturday’s Washington Post,

Police Chief Ramsey remarked:

“I think we’re going to make a lot of arrests

and ... have a lot of problems”

Last night 670 were surprise-arrested

marching peacefully

against the prison-industrial complex

as if the DC police wanted to do folks the favor

of an up-close-and-personal look

at the 2-million strong phenomena

they’d been criticizing

only abstractly before

Police said those arrested ignored

an order to disperse

but the Post reported: “even tourists

who witnessed the event

said not only did police fail

to order people to disperse

but they also prevented those

who wanted to leave from doing so”

A Post photographer & other journalists were arrested

about which police told press:

“To the extent we arrested

a person that shouldn’t have been, I apologize.”


Near George Washington University campus,

21st and H,

a guy in blue suit

tries to push through the line.

The line closes, a mixed group of young people

long hair, short hair,

shaved heads

lots of ear, nose, and lip rings

yell “delegate” & create a dense wall

of arms & torsos

“No one in, no one out,

that’s what the line is all about”

The perhaps-delegate tries pushing with palms

to no success

then shoulder first a human battering ram

at vulnerable knees, yet line holds

He starts yelling phrases I can’t quite hear

& more young people move

in behind him

some wearing shark caps or turtle jackets

they start calm-chanting “OM OM OM,”

I think Allen would be touched

to know his Grant Park mantra

has filtered thru generational divides

With the help of cops pulling from the other side

this perhaps-delegate finally

smashes his way thru

most perhaps-delegates don’t


The NY Times Monday headline

would read:

“I.M.F. Points to a Big Accomplishment:

It Met on Schedule.”

Turns out cops have chauffeured

most delegates

through DC’s deserted streets

into the meeting at 5am

an hour before activists due on streets

but these young protestors

were blockading

DC intersections by 6am

a sure sign this new movement

can succeed

when new millennium coffee

can brew itself before the sun rises!

A group of cops head-to-toe’d in riot gear

march single-file

up a street center

too goose-steppy for my tastes

About 3 dozen young anarchists

march unblinking

toward the approaching police

they are clad in black pants, shirts, boots,

black bandanas covering faces

so cameras won’t recognize

they spread across road in few columns

putting bodies in way of police advance

The cops stop & form a single file


20 feet away from these courageous

crazily provocative kids

The 1/2 hour stand-off is unnerving

violence seems inevitable

yet moving in concert

bandana’d anarchists take 10 steps even closer

a dozen video cameras from news groups large and small

stand between cops and kids

awaiting direct footage

of bloody confrontation

as another line of riot-geared cops

drive up on motorcycles

to add one more layer

of intimidation & rogue support

Young drummers have come around

to beat beat beat,

the big bass drum beat beat beat,

the chant: “This is what democracy looks like”

“This is what democracy feels like”

then a protection-mantra from the protesters

to media:

“Film them, not us,” “Film them, not us”

with whole world watching via World Wide Web

the mantra works

& after 40 or 50 minutes

the cops on motorcycles

turn their bikes

& lead a procession of retreat

amid a several column thick

communal deep sigh


A utopian garden party is spreading downtown

groups of young women & men

block car & foot traffic

with huge puppets & silver metal sleeves

street theater & dance mocks

the IMF, WTO, and World Bank

there goes a big tooth’d munching

Structural Adjustment Pulverizer

There a guy in a Clinton costume,

there someone walking on stilts

passing out fake dollar bills.

Signs read “Spank the Bank,”

“Get Corporations Off Welfare,”

“The Debt Kills”

Yacyreta Dam Argentina/Paraguay

75,000 people displaced.”

The teach-ins, alternative papers,

new internet sites

Noam Chomsky lectures & books

have taught protesters well enough to know

that IMF & World Bank structural adjustment agreements

demand poverty-inducing

ecologically destructive

capitalist economic policies in exchange

for emergency room million dollar loans

to Developing Countries in need

of both band-aids

and long term medical plans

The Washington Post patronizingly describes protesters

eating from a “chow line

for the revolution”

with trays “piled with cruelty-free rice.”

What’s wrong with cruelty-free rice?

The IMF ministers are forced

to publicly acknowledge

a widespread fear”

that benefits of world economy

are not reaching everyone,”

and Monday’s NY Times front page

sums up our concerns pretty well:

demonstrators accuse “financial institutions

of burdening

poor Third World countries

with crushing debts,

impoverishing peasants, destroying rain forests,

supporting sweatshops &other policies

that, as one sign put it,

saps the poor to fatten the rich’”

Munch Munch Munch Skin Neck Back

Munch Munch Munch Brain Fingers Genitals

this is what democracy’s

devouring teeth look like.


At about noon, a legal rally begins in the Ellipse

buses from around the nation roll in

to a field overseen

by nation’s largest phallus

10,000 on lawn hear Roger & Me’s Michael Moore,

reps from Students

Against Sweatshops,

the Steelworker Union’s George Becker––

to demand more humane international economic

& environmental policies,

to shut

the Great Muncher’s Bullying Jaw

to march through streets of world’s

lone remaining superpower

with signs that read “more world, less bank”

make global economy work for working families”

By afternoon, a rainy morning has turned 84 sunny degrees

shut that jaw––

through DC side streets

the roving blockades continue

and there are enough www.indymedia.org cameras

to record police responding

with tear gas & pepper spray

arbitrary batons and purposeful bootkicks.

Near the end of the legal rally, one end of the Park,

I saunter to watch 500 protesters

sit peacefully

while U.S. Park Police sit in steel gear atop scared horses

lined up in a row across one end of the protesters

A few empty plastic bottles

fly from unseen hands

toward the police

until peace-promoting voices from the crowd go up

we’re against the World Bank

not against the cops”

& things calm for 15 minutes

Then police start looking restless               

& horses begin to shuffle

the Washington Monument in the background

swallows its Viagra

and SWAT troops begin running thru crowd

pushing nonviolent protesters aside viciously

one guy swiped by forearm off bicycle

face first onto the pavement

a few yards before my eyewitnessing eyes

a SWAT cop with name Zarger

on his uniform badge

smashes a woman’s head with nightstick

There is no need for that!

She was trying to move!

Still cameras start clicking, but there are no news

video or film teams around

so young and old alike

here for the legal rally

are pushed and punched

& a single file aisle is cleared

so the park police on horseback

can walk that aisle

to get to the other side

as purposeless as the old chicken joke

only an instinctual urge to smash

a few protesters’ heads

in one of today’s rare in-the-shade moments

away from CNN MSNBC WEB the Sun’s gaze

In next day’s NY Times, a front page photo

will show a similar scene elsewhere:

a young man fallen immobile

under a horse, beaten by a police baton

The caption reads: “Police officers scuffled

with a protester

who fell under horse

on Constitution Avenue yesterday.”

Munch Munch Brains Belly this is what the teeth

of corporate-waxed

& glazed

globalization looks like

5:32 pm, Sunday, April 16th, I walk back to metro

as helicopters roar lionlike overhead,

while protesters in small park 20th & I

soak tired feet in a small yellow-green fountain


Monday is the World Bank meeting

Eric, Ben, & I drive to protest late morning

directed by local pirate radio station

amid heavy rains which today don’t cease

1,000 people are sitting intersection

while police wearing padded boots

helmets, gas masks, plastic shields

stand semi-circle from one end of block

to other, where snapshot will show

them guarding

a Gap dungaree’d manikin store window display

cops are holding tear gas rifles

& pepper spray containers

while activist drums are banging

the tension is high

there are nonstop negotiations at the line’s front

after an hour the cops remove gas masks

& a huge applause leaps out

activists stand up slowly

& begin to cross police lines

in an arranged arrest, about 10 at a time

looks like about 600 placed

into waiting blue vans

the deal enabling civil disobedience

move forward without smashed heads

or bashed elbows & knees

he rain is crashing in dense sheets

protesters are chanting”

We’re here! We’re wet!

Cancel the debt”

They are steadfast & brave

while the Gap mannikins tremble


In Wednesday’s NY Times, John Kifner would write:

“In the end, Washington was not Seattle.”

David Frum op-eds:

“So Round Two of the great mobilization

against globalization ended in a squelch

rather than the photogenic violence

of Seattle.”

The paper of record tries so hard to be negative

that any reader

with between-the-lines reading glasses

knows something historic

has taken place

that although the World Bank met,

the lobbyist corridor was closed,

banks shut,

world attention focused on issues

of international trade and finance previously hidden

behind back stage corporate curtains

just one week earlier––

even the Times front page April 18th admits

“The world’s top financial officials,

trying to show sensitivity to poverty

as protesters braved a chilling rain ...

pledged to pay more attention

to globalization’s victims and to commit ‘unlimited money’

to fight AIDS in poor countries.”


In an unusual moment,

The Times put our general analysis

succinctly on its front page:

“The protesters accuse the World Bank and the I.M.F.

of spreading the gospel

of free-market capitalism

to benefit corporations

while ignoring the environmental impact

of their policies

and worsening poverty in many countries.”

This was not Seattle, but the continuation

of Seattle’s legacy fulfilled,

successful, theatrical,

inventive, fun,

empowering for a new generation of activists

growing smarter,

all the while with video cameras

& poetic notebooks rolling

out on the streets no longer letting

the mainstream media

monopolize the whole story

the historic lessons are being learned––

one sidewalk curb at a time—

a new magic spell has been cast––

A person walks down 21st Street wearing

a red box over her or his head––

in magic marker is writ

“Light of Possibilities”

a yellow bumper sticker across the box says

accountable governance”

a nearby sign reads: “We’re not going away”

another: “Dissent cannot be shot down or arrested”

I was there to witness

the ground beneath the bank begin to shiver






[Originally published in NHS 2001, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs01/katz.html.]