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Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, Massive Attack form anti-Arizona coalition

on May 26, 2010, 5:56pm

The Arizona immigration bill SB1070 (link is a PDF) has already sparked a rock star Twitter battle, and now some other rock stars are organizing in protest of the law. And it’s led by the usual suspects — Rage Against the Machine/One Day as a Lion frontman Zack de la Rocha has led fellow musicians on a boycott of Arizona in the form of The Sound Strike (via Pitchfork). Sucks to be from Arizona right about now.

Standing with him in the boycott are of course RATM side projects One Day as a Lion and Street Sweeper Social Club, plus Sonic Youth, Massive Attack, Kanye West, Conor Oberst, Cypress Hill, Ozomatli, Cafe Tacvba, Rise Against, and several others (Stars is absent; apparently Fucked Up really convinced them?). RATM friend Michael Moore is standing with the protesters too.

A press release written by De la Rocha on The Sound Strike’s website says the law “must be stopped” and “sanctions racial profiling.” It goes on:

Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to. People who are poor like some of us used to be could be forced to live in a constant state of fear while just doing what they can to find work and survive. This law opens the door for them to be shaked down, or even worse, detained and deported while just trying to travel home from school, from home to work, or when they just roll out with their friends.

Some of us grew up dealing with racial profiling, but this law (SB 1070) takes it to a whole new low. If other states follow the direction of the Arizona government, we could be headed towards a pre-civil rights era reality. This unjust law was set into motion by the same Arizona government that refused to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. day as a national holiday.

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, they arrested her. As a result, people got together and said we are not going to ride the bus until they change the law. It was this courageous action that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. What if we got together, signed a collective letter saying, “we’re not going to ride the bus”, saying we are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona. We are going to boycott Arizona?!

The Sound Strike also has a petition for fans to sign, which implores the President to take action to stop the law to “ensure the safety of targeted minorities.”

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