London’s COVID Protest: “An island of sanity in a world of madness”
August 30, 2020 | John C. A. Manley
`Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number–
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you–
Ye are many — they are few.’
This poem refers to the 1819 massacre of English people who were gathered to demand parliamentary reform.
Who and what does Shelley mean by “Anarchy”?
In contrast to the people and the laws of England which were supposed to protect Liberty, he was referring to the authorities who did the slaughter:
Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.
And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw–
‘I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!’
With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.
I wouldn’t throw in my lot with all of Shelley’s views or those of everyone who quotes him. But I think there is wisdom and inspiration in his poem and in the UK speaker’s words, which challenge everyone to recognize malevolent policies that trample our fundamental laws, and to throw off our chains.
Read the article here, which links to the event coverage.