Shut Them Down

We shall fight them on the beaches
We shall fight them on the shore
They will bring us exploitation
We’ll bring them their class war
We’ll lock down to the gates
As they’re spreading vicious lies
They want to dominate the world
And we see through their disguise

If they’d have one big multinational
With their corporate flag unfurled
Searching everywhere
For the lowest wages in the world
Then we’ll have One Big Union
From Melbourne to Prague to Seattle-town
Wherever they may go
We will shut them down

We’ll shut them down, we’ll shut them down
We will shut them down

And CNN will spread the lies
This is just how it’s gotta be
Well they can have their CNN
‘Cause we got our IMC
And we will tell the truth quite clearly
Though they don’t want to hear it
And they’ll try to stop our broadcasts
‘Cause the truth is that they fear it


They want a world full of strip malls
Plants grown by biotech
As long as they get richer
They just don’t give a heck
But we don’t want their ecocide
We want a world we can live in
That’s why we’re here to stay
And we’re not gonna give in


And they’ll infiltrate us
Provocateurs within our ranks
And if they can’t divide us
They’ll send in the tanks
But we will stand together
Pacifists and Zapatistas
Workers, farmers, the indigenous
Tree-huggers and baristas


And we will build a new world
Without the corporate elite
And we will see the day
Of their international defeat
We’ll have self-determination
And equality for all
For what choice do we really have
But to rise up and see them fall


Sheet music for this song may be found in Songbook Vol I (1997-2004).

“Shut Them Down” appears on the 2001 CD, Living in These Times and on the 2003 CD, Behind the Barricades: the Best of David Rovics.

It was an optimistic moment.  From about November, 1999 til September, 2001 especially.  We were frequently shutting them down, around the world, whenever prominent representatives of the elite tried to meet.  I wrote this when I was on my way to the IMF/World Bank protests in Prague in 2000.

The song is a bit of a period piece at this point, not relevant to anything happening currently, at least not in the western countries with which I am most familiar.  There are a couple lines I’d change if it were appropriate to drag it out in the future.