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AUG 12, 2012 - The musical activist group calling themselves "Guitarmy" that is closely allied with the worldwide Occupy Movement have plans all this week for special actions and concerts in New York, from marches to bring attention to the plight of the 99%, to protesting the Spectra "Fracking" gas pipeline. Tom Morello and even street musicians will all unite and push for the 99%.
Guitarmy also responded to the moronic comment by Jay-Z the other day when he said about the Occupy Movement, "“I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?” Guitarmy posted this on their website in response:
"We have spent one year on the streets organizing for exactly the things Jay rapped about in his early days, ending urban poverty, ending Stop & Frisk and police use of lethal force, of returning dignity and hope to the everyday people of New York City. These are simple civil rights issues we know Jay-Z must support, and we would love to help open his heart and mind to the work Occupy has helped do in his own former communities.
On SEPTEMBER 28th we will arrive at his sold-out Barclays concert to lovingly show Jay-Z what we want and how he can help: by encouraging his fans to take action for social justice in their communities, schools, workplaces, and homes.
Join us September 28 at Barclays at 6pm for an Occupy Wall Street teach-in and musical performance. Let’s be a sincere answer to Jay’s question. In turn we will ask on of him, one Florence Reece wrote in the 1930s and still matters now, “Which Side Are You On?”"
For more information on Guitarmy and all their events, check out their website here.
AUG 6, 2012 - NPR has a great article out on the awesome politically active band Ozomatli, who have been playing picket lines and other events for years.They are a Latin band that plays "norteno" style music which hails from Northern Mexico and the Southern part of the US, and one of their musical activist songs is called "La Terperatura" which sings about the immigrant experience and urges people to get politically active. Check out the NPR article here, and check out the musical video to "La Terperatura" below. (photo credit: cc/Martica1974)
AUG 19, 2012 - JTMP was at the Pussy Riot Global Day rally in front of the Russian embassy here in DC, and Michelle Ringuette from Amnesty International was there and we got her to comment on the 3 jailed women musical activists. Watch the interview below from our awesome YouTube Channel !
AUG 19, 2012 - Following in the footsteps of Ted Nugent, another ultra-conservative musician, this time Hank Williams Jr., has stepped forward and made statements about President Obama that were vitriolic, hateful, and bordering insanity if not outright crossing the line between truth and sanity and whatever world Fox News viewers live in. Speaking at the end of a concert at the Iowa Sate Fair Grandstand he shouted to the crowd, “We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the US and we hate him!”, and the the Des Moines Register reported that the Teabag crowd went nuts and cheered enthusiastically. (photo credit: CC/Andrea Klein)
AUG 18, 2012 - A woman protesting the Pussy Riot trial showed her disapproval by going topless and chain sawing down a crucifix in the capital city of Ukraine, Kiev, at the time the verdict was being read and it was all recorded on video and posted to YouTube by RT Russian. (JTMP recommends using Google Chrome so the Russian can be translated into English.) The cross was erected in 2005 on a hilltop overlooking Kiev, and had served as a memorial to the victim's of Stalinist oppression and the famine of the 1930s, and many people are very upset by this free speech action. 22 year old Inna Shevchenko, is a member of the activist group FEMEN, whose mission is "to create the most favorable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support…", and some of their goals are, "To counteract actively the negative tendencies endangering physical and mental health of the Ukrainian women community. Inform the society of the Ukrainian women’s issues and problems." Find out more info about FEMEN here, and watch Inna and her very provocative free speech action below. (WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS BRIEF NUDITY)
From RT Russian's YouTube Channel:
"Activists of the women's movement FEMEN worship cross cut down on Independence Square in Kiev. Thus girls arrested participants expressed their support for the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, which today will be sentenced on charges of punk prayer service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Vkontakte - http://vk.com/rt_russian Facebook - http://www .facebook.com / RTRussian Twitter - http://twitter.com/RT_russian Livejournal - http://rt-russian.livejournal.com/ "
AUG 17, 2012 - In an apparent "whoosh over their head" moment, Paul Ryan has been listening to Rage Against the Machine for years, and has recently said they were among his favorite bands, and did not know the whole time it was the policies he promotes and votes for that the whole Rage Against the Machine rages against! Tom Morello straightened him out in a blistering Op Ed in Rolling Stone magazine saying, "Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine." He added, "[Paul Ryan's] vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage".
Tom Morello also said, "I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a age against the environment." Read the whole Rolling Stone Op Ed from The Nightwatchman here. (photo credit: CC/Tom Morello/US GOVT)
AUG 17, 2012 - Even though there were worldwide protests calling for the release of Pussy Riot, such as the Russian Embassy here in DC that JTMP attended (see pic to right, and video coming soon), the Russian court handed down a guilty verdict and 2 year prison sentences to the 3 women activist musicians from the punk activist band Pussy Riot. The charge was "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", and it has caused an uproar from people appalled by the decision. The White House, Sting, Sir Paul McCartney, and many, many people have come out and spoken against this verdict and harsh sentence.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration is "disappointed with the Pussy Riot verdict. While we understand the group's behavior was offensive for some, we have concerns about the way these young women were treated by the Russian judicial system."
Sting on Amnesty International's website said, "Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion - and a sense of humour - is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness."
Everyone is hoping for Putin to step in and reverse these charges and free these women, which are even putting a strain on Russian-European relations. To sign the petition to Free Pussy Riot, go to Amnesty International's petition here.This leads us to why this is all really happening: The powerful Russian Orthodox Church is behind the pressure to come down hard on these 3 women for their free speech action. So, JTMP believes we shouldn't be protesting in front of the Russian Embassy, but at the Russian Orthodox Church, where the blame lies for this injustice that is happening. We call for boycott and protest of the Russian Orthodox Church until these women are freed and this travesty of justice is reversed. Starting with the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washington, DC. It is located at 4001 17th Street NW.
More info and video on all of this coming soon, so check back daily!
AUG 16, 2012 - The calls for Pussy Riot to be freed has grown louder, and the crowds at the rallies in support of their freedom have spread around the world and have gotten larger and more motivated. JTMP has been out in front of this story for weeks, because we are all about using music and activism together and we applaud the free speech action the women did at the Russian Orthodox Church and join the calls for their release. Many musicians have been coming out in support of Pussy Riot, such as Pete Townshend, Madonna, Peaches, Bjork and many, many others.
On this Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, all of the activists have organized to be spread out in cities across the world when the court announces the verdict, which will be announced at 2:00 PM Moscow time (1000 GMT), and JTMP plans to be at the Russian embassy here in DC, where earlier Amnesty International delivered 80,000 signatures in a petition to free Pussy Riot who they believe to be "prisoners of conscience". Read more on HuffPo here.
For video of this event and to get involved in the Free Pussy Riot movement check back to JTMP daily, and also check out FreePussyRiot.org, click on the city near you and join the Pussy Riot Global Day on Friday, August 17, 2012.
Aug 13, 2012 - Pegi and Neil Young held another benefit concert for their Bridge School, a school that JTMP has reported on numerous times where they help kids with special needs using innovative techniques. Many musicians were on hand to help out, such as Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Simon and Garfunkel, The Pretenders (see video below!) and of even the man himself, Neil Young. The concert was filmed and is airing on your local PBS station. To find out times the show is airing in your area to watch the entire concert, punch in your Zip Code and check out PBS.org here.
Their Bridge School specializes in programs for the communicative and educational development of children with severe speech and physical impairments. Find out more about the great work they do on the Bridge School's website here.