Olumo Rock Warriors in Abeokuta

Abeokuta, Nigeria

On Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, there are traditional markers commemorating warriors who fought to defend the Egba people.

Main Shrine, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Main Shrine, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria View Over Elevator Shaft, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

City View, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Sign for Odan Tree of Doggedness, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Remains of Odan Tree of Doggedness, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Sign for Resting Place of Sonni the Osi of Itoko, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Lisabi (pronounced Lishabi), was an Egba warlord and a great hero. He led the Egba people in war defending against Oyo Kingdom. First ones to win against the Oyo. Then people of the town betrayed him. He went to the Oba forest where the ground opened up and swallowed him. The chain he held is still there in the forest. Every year the people hold the Lisabi Day festival there.

Other warriors commemorated on Olumo Rock include: Alatshi, Shudeke, Lamodi, Ogunbono, and Okunkeno, who became the first king of Abeokuta.

Warriors Commemorated on Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Sign for Ancient Route to Top, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

View of City, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria View of City, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Jumbled Boulders on Summit, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Sign for Iroko Crown Tree on Summit, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Iroko Crown Tree on Summit, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

View of City, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria View of Summit, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria View of City, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Not commemorated there because she was a woman is the Amazon warrior Efuroye Tinanbu, Yalode of Egba.

Abeokuta means “under rock? where the Egba hid during the war. The rock also afforded an excellent view of the surrounding countryside, making it easier to defend the location.

Egba Wartime Hideout, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Holes for Grinding Pepper and Other Things, Main Cave Chamber, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Sign for Main Cave Chamber, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Odun, as in the Odun River, has a variety of meanings, including “sweat?, “iron?, etc.

Sign for Hidden Orisha Obaluaye Chamber, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Guide Named Praise Ademola Oladepupo, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria Guide and Manager From Hotel in Town, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Guide Named Praise Ademola Oladepupo and Guide and Manager From Hotel in Town, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Nigeria

An Olumo Rock guide named Praise Ademola Oladepupo (pictured just above) provided this information.

“Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated” by Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal’s “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated” makes for quite eye-opening reading. He traces the recent history of “terrorism” and indicts the U.S. government heavily for its role in inciting domestic and international terrorism. He explains how Waco–the largest massacre of Americans by the feds since Wounded Knee, where 82 Branch Davidians died at the hands of federal agents, including thirty women and twenty-five children–led to the Oklahoma City bombing and details some of his fascinating correspondence with Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of the bombing. He explains how the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden’s activities for many years. He includes an impressive list of U.S. “operations” in various parts of the globe spanning several decades. He explains how anti-drug laws have failed miserably at stopping drug traffic while diminishing considerably the civil liberties of U.S. citizens, including arbitrary seizures of property without substantial justification. He points out that Clinton passed an Anti-Terrorism Act on April 20, 1996, restricting civil liberties, such as the ? law permitting posse comitatus, the domestic use of U.S. armies, which is prohibited by the U.S. constitution. At points, he seems to espouse conspiracy theories about McVeigh’s helpers, coverups of the Waco and Oklahoma City incidents, and right-wing religious affiliations. He ends with an essay that points out, among other facts, that the “1950 tax on corporate profits accounted for 25 percent of federal revenue; in 1999 only 10.1 percent.” Yet Shrub is still asking for more corporate tax cuts! The burden of humungous military spending in the absence of any real major enemies of consequence is an albatross the U.S. bears at great peril, both domestically and internationally… who can show the leadership to turns this mess around?

“Trajectory of Change” by Michael Albert

I found Michael Albert’s “Trajectory of Change” well-written and thought-provoking. In fact, he points out answers to some of the frustrations I’ve felt about organizing on the left. If only we could all work together in coalition more effectively not only to oppose the efforts of the right, but to put forth progressive campaigns for change.

Perhaps the We Stand for Peace and Justice statement that Michael has been circulating and that I’ve signed along with many other folks will help spark an international movement in that direction:
http://www.zmag.org/wspj/index.cfm

Social Power and Political Freedom

Lately, I’ve been reading Gene Sharp’s “Social Power and Political Freedom.” It’s an excellent overview of the politics of violence and non-violence reaching some surprising conclusions. For example, Sharp points out an obvious and important aspect of maintaining true democracies that often goes unremarked: the necessity of what he calls “loci of power,” that is, societal institutions that organize to obtain and exercise power beyond that of disparate democratically empowered individuals. Examples include unions, neighborhood organizations, even the media and police forces. When a society has many democratically-oriented loci of power, that society becomes democratically sustainable, resistent to the rise of dictators from within or from outside that society.

Sharp then introduces the concept of “civilian-based defense,” in contrast to “military-based defense.” He points out many surprising examples where populations have resisted partially or completely the rise of dictatorial forces through the use of nonviolent civilian-based defense, usually without advance planning or training of the populace. He points out that a well-trained populace with a well-reasoned civilian-based defense plan could effectively resist virtually any despotic incursion.

Sharp reports that, as of 1979, five European governments were discussing civilian-based defense with some government-financed research taking place. I’d like to know the outcomes of that research. He mentioned Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark.

I find Sharp’s work extremely compelling at a time when we are witnesses to U.S. and British atrocities against civilian populations in Iraq and, to a lesser degree, against anti-war protestors such as those whom the police shot with rubber and wooden bullets and concussion grenades even as the non-violent protestors fled from advancing lines of police shooting the weaponry from their rifles.

What should be the response of the populace in the U.S. to consistent and continuous intrusions on our basic rights as guaranteed in the U.S. constitution?