Rage Against The Machine Protest Arizona Bill in Los Angeles
Renegade [lastfm]Zack De la Rocha [/lastfm] and his funky bunch, [lastfm]Rage Against The Machine[/lastfm], are famous for their politically inflammatory and powerfully unconventional messages hidden in the funky bass lines of their music. The native Angelenos haven’t played an L.A. show in over a decade, but have come together to support the “people of the sun” in a protest against the Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration law.
On July 23rd, the Hollywood Palladium will be at borderline protest riot level with all the angry artists of Sound Strike which includes [lastfm]Conor Oberst[/lastfm]. Click more to learn about the show and Arizona’s SB 1070.
[lastfm]Rage Against the Machine[/lastfm], [lastfm]Conor Oberst [/lastfm] with the [lastfm]Mystic Valley Band [/lastfm] and others will gather together to raise their voices against Arizona’s immigration bill which even President Obama called “highly misguided.” The show will benefit will benefit two immigrants rights organizations, the Florence Project and Puente, Arizona.
[lastfm]RATM [/lastfm] and Oberst are protesting because the bill will allow any officer of the law at the state, county, or city level in Arizona to determine the legal immigration status of anyone at anytime, among other provisions, including making it a crime to be in Arizona illegally. [lastfm]Zack De La Rocha[/lastfm] described it as, “part of an entire state’s campaign to humiliate and to criminalize an entire population.”
The other protesting artists of Sound Strike include [lastfm]Nine Inch Nails[/lastfm], [lastfm]Ben Harper[/lastfm], [lastfm]Maroon 5[/lastfm], [lastfm]Sonic Youth[/lastfm], [lastfm]Tenacious D[/lastfm]. They also believe that this law is entirely racially motivated and an injustice to human rights. De La Rocha has had to face rampant bigotry himself so he has a very personal connection to this cause:
“I told myself that I would never be silent again. I would never allow myself to not respond to that type of situation — in any form, anywhere.”
Many have questioned why Sound Strike is not playing the state in question-Arizona. The Arizona Republic, promoter Charlie Levy irately expressed his opinion on the choice to play in California and not Arizona:
“By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law.”
Both [lastfm]Zack De La Rocha[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Conor Oberst[/lastfm] have something to say about that. De La Rocha explains in a way that makes us think Sound Strike does not want to give the benefit dollars directly to Arizona and rather to the right charities , “We’re not going to ride the bus. We are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona.”
Conor Oberst doesn’t want to be a part of any political grandstanding:
“Just as you may feel the boycott is an empty gesture, I fear that if we return to business as usual (under the guise of some civic movement) that this will all devolve into the typical grandstanding that is political activism in music.”
Regardless, we are glad that [lastfm]Rage Against the Machine[/lastfm] is “comin’ back around” to well…rage against the machine. De La Rocha has said time and time again that this is the band’s main purpose:
“That’s why I’m in this band — to give space and volume to various struggles throughout the country and the world.”
“It’s comin’ back around again/ this is for the people of the sun.”
[Source: Rolling Stone]