Democrat congressmen and women protested Monday evening to urge President Joe Biden to extend the eviction moratorium, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) spoke about Woody Guthrie, the writer of “This Land Is Your Land,” as a “communist” and a “socialist” before proceeding to lead the group in the iconic song.
Markey was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Democrat “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Cori Bush (D-MO). Since Thursday, the “Squad” has protested the end of the moratorium by camping with a group on the steps of the Capitol.
Breitbart News livestreamed as Markey introduced “This Land Is Your Land”:
A great socialist, who wrote a great song, which a lot of people think is an anthem for our country, but it was written by a socialist, okay? Back in the 1930s. A communist. He was a communist. He was a socialist. He was a radical. And you know what that song is? “This Land Is Your Land.” Can we sing that? Who can start that?
Before the group could begin singing, a Capitol policeman interrupted, instructing protesters to gather their belongings and not leave them unattended.
Woody Guthrie wrote, “This Land Is Your Land” in 1940. NPR reported in 2012:
He [Guthrie] was irritated by Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” sung by Kate Smith, which seemed to be endlessly playing on the radio in the late 1930s. So irritated, in fact, that he wrote this song as a retort, at first sarcastically calling it “God Blessed America for Me” before renaming it “This Land Is Your Land.”
Unrecorded radical lyrics show the song is an ode to abolishing private property:
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
The sign was painted, said ‘Private Property.’
But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing.
This land was made for you and me.
Other lyrics comment on hungry Americans as Guthrie wonders if “God blessed America”:
One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple,
by the relief office I saw my people.
As they stood hungry,
I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me.
In 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen sang the anthem for then-President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The Democratic Socialists of America also embraced the song’s radical lyrics: “Woody Guthrie was a fellow traveler with the American Communist Party … For Guthrie, real patriotism meant celebrating workers and their communities.”
Markey has made headlines before for his radical comments.
In September 2020, Breitbart News reported the Massachusetts senator “called to ‘disarm’ all police officers of ‘weapons of war’ and demanded a nationwide ban on various nonlethal forms of protection, including tear gas.”
In November 2020, he called “the true history of Thanksgiving” as being “atrocities committed against Native Americans.”
Congress shouldn’t go on vacation until the eviction moratorium is extended. We owe this to millions of families all across our country. pic.twitter.com/FOgYrX1nV9
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) August 2, 2021