Single Payer Occupy and 99 to 1

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Common Dreams

Single Payer Occupy and 99 to 1

George Randt is a doctor of internal medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.

He’s also a supporter of a single payer national health insurance system.

Randt was in downtown Cleveland last month at a rally to protest cuts to public services.

At the rally, Randt heard Jonathan Blackshire singing.

What caught Randt’s attention was a song that Blackshire wrote for the Occupy movement.

The song?

99 to 1.

Randt liked the song.

So, he approached Blackshire and asked him if he had recorded it.

Blackshire said — no he hadn’t.

“What’s holding you back?” Randt asked.

“I’m a musician,” Blackshire said. “I don’t have any money.”

Randt forked over $200.

And Blackshire went to Suma Recording Studios and did the deed.

On his web site, Blackshire describes his music as folk, acoustic, and indie.

But it’s a country song in the true sense — it defends the country from corporate attack.

“We’re not from the left or right,” Blackshire sings. “We’re from America.”

“Our issues are not black and white. They are American.”

“We won’t let them divide us anymore. And if we stay united, we can be a nation once more.”

After writing the song last year, Blackshire wanted to make sure he got the Occupy movement right.

He test drove 99 to 1 to a group of Occupiers in Cleveland in September.

“It was just my interpretation of what is going on,” Blackshire said. “So, I took it down to Occupy Cleveland. It was midnight. There was a long line of tents. I had just finished a show. Everyone was quiet inside their tents. Somebody steps out of a tent and talks to me. Then more people came out and started talking to me. I played the tune. And they gave me the thumbs up.”

Blackshire has written a number of other occupy songs — including We Will Not Stop, We Shall Rise Up, We Need a Hero, Non Violence, and Consensus.

But if there is an Occupy album, 99 to 1 will be the title song of the album.

And maybe of the movement.

Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter.  He is also founder of singlepayeraction.org, and editor of the website Morgan County USA.

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