This article is from our associated project, CreativeResistance.org

Shahid Buttar

Lyrics, love, life, law, laughter. (Shahid’s website)
Green Shadow Bio.
Interview on Acronym TV.

Download the extended dance floor mix from Soundcloud.

NSA vs. USA was written to be a teaching tool as much as a dance track. Below are annotated lyrics, with hyperlinks to background news articles and reports you can read to learn more. The first step in helping “build a movement by raising your voice” is to learn history and get informed.

Raise your voice with me! And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or ideas on how to get involved!

Verse #1 (thought crimes, oppression by rotation)
The NSA breaks the law every day
it doesn’t matter who you are or what you say
they monitor your phone calls and emails anyway
Corrupt Congress and courts paving the way

There’s a lesson you’ll learn someday…
…watch what you say.
They spy on your mind, record your calls for posterity
Commit daily executive crimes with impunity.

They’re the authorities, here to keep us safe…
Until the boot ends up on your face.

It’s the NSA versus the Constitution
We the people are the ones our government is abusing
We can force any agency to make a new choice
When we build a movement, each raising our voice

Verse #2 (lies, NSA reach, FISA, military-industrial complex)
They lie about the origins of the evidence
they lie about the numbers of Americans watched — immense,
too large for them to calculate, they sigh
a self-serving lie from the government’s eye

computing power unmatched in human history
presuming the power to wiretap humanity
it’s insanity how large the hubris looms
the government’s watching you in the bathroom

and they lie about it at every opportunity
sustained abuses of every community.
Unity across Washington DC:
all three branches against you and me.

See, Bush signed a secret presidential decree.
Obama talked a big game, but presidentially,
did everything he could to entrench the Bush Legacy
A complex composed of military, industry

Eisenhower 60 years before anticipated it’d be
rising in the wings for generations, growing
a crisis in democracy sowing.
The future’s at stake. You can start by knowing


Verse #3 (Palmer Raids, COINTELPRO)
For a hundred years, since World War I
the FBI versus free speech has held the gun
Constitutional rights on the run
the Palmer raids the first but not the last one

Fast forward 40 years to the real red scare
McCarthy did a number but the FBI was there.
They were everywhere. They knew what you wore to bed
They prosecuted people for the thoughts in our heads.

What does it mean to monitor thoughts?
Spying means a lot more than watching what you bought
it’s the Feds always knowing what you’ve got in your head
not only whoever with whom you share your bed

But whether you’re compliant or a threat instead
A head, like MLK, to be “neutralized.”
That’s the word the FBI used: decades of lies
exposed, revealed as institutionalized

Beyond trying to drive Reverend King to suicide,
no one even knows how brother Malcolm died.
Fred Hampton killed in his own house, inside!
The feds bombed earth activist Judi Bari and lied

and those lies go all the way up the chain of command.
The agencies lie to judges when on the stand.
The Director, the head honcho, the man,
claims his lies were unplanned and that he didn’t understand

It’s the FBI versus the Constitution
We the people are the ones our government is abusing
We can force any agency to make a new choice
When we build a movement, each raising our voice

Verse 4* (Snowden, secrecy, Congress, budget)
How would a Patriot act, in fact?
He’d drag Congress out back, and beat it with a bat.
Like Revere rode through the streets, warning of attack,
Snowden, 250 years later, back

again the alarm. You can bet the farm
that the agencies on democracy inflict harm,
hiding all their secrets — works like a charm!
Congressional dysfunctionality far

and wide go the attacks on cyberspace
and the telephone system, every call that you place
monitored: caller, receiver, profile, race,
ideology, temperament, sexual taste

Noticed a budget crisis? Heres the waste:
billions every year to our country debase.
Don’t settle for half ass, keeping spying in place.
The agencies need to be erased.

Verse #5 (Thought crimes, COINTELPRO, corruption, DHS)
Some people think that Edward Snowden is a traitor
But they ignore everything that happened later:
Congress lied to by executive officials.
We’re talking ‘bout corruption in the capital for shizzle.

Democracies fizzle when their people are watched
that’s why the NSA’s got to be stopped,
and the FBI too. Don’t forget what they do.
Entire agencies arrayed against you,

raiding the homes of peaceful activists,
setting in motion predictable plot twists,
arresting democracy to bind her wrists.
The constitutional coup already happened: it’s

DHS biometric data collection
surveillance drones, automatic license detection
Departments of corrections eclipsing universities.
We must all resist…or we’ll be history

Closing CHORUS
It’s the agencies versus We the People
Don’t stoop, don’t grovel to no government steeple
We can force our government to make a new choice
When we build a movement, each raising our voice

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Lyricist, MC & music co-producer: Shahid Buttar (http://www.shahidbuttar.com)
Lead music producer: Jen Woolfe (http://www.jenwoolfe.com)
Music co-producer: Jeff Gutierrez (http://www.naturalresonance.wordpress…)
Mastering & engineering: Mac Vaughn (http://www.macvaughn.com)

Director: Robin Bell (http://www.bellvisuals.com)
Production coordinator: Hunter Harris
Choreographers: Jessica Philie, Alex Emmerman
Dancers: Alli McCracken, Alex Emmerman, Mariela C. Sanchez Odicio, Jessica Philie, Matt Grason, Doug Sanford, D.J. Kim, Stephanie Lenorovitz, hawaH, Sarah Massey, Shahid Buttar

Public relations: Sarah Massey (http://www.massey-media.com)
Graphic designer: Stephanie Lenorovitz
Graphic design guidance: Cesar Maxit
Costume design: Proletariat Clothing Company