Tag: Justice Through Music
Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame joined the Occupy Wall Street activists and sang a special version of "Puff the Magic Dragon". Peter, Paul and Mary were one of the leading activist bands in the 1960s using folk music to speak out on issues, and they played many political rallies through the years.
Yoko Ono has come out in support of Occupy Wall Street, and during her daily Q&A sessions with John's fans she has Tweeted: "John is sending his smile to Occupy Wall Street". "I am sending my love to Occupy Wall Street", "You are letting the world know that American activists are doing this. That gives them inspiration and encouragement".
OCT 25, 2011 - Rapper Jasiri X wrote a great activist song called "Occupy (We the 99)" and put together a video showing that he supports the Occupy movement. Some of the lines from the song are:
"And nobody got more welfare than Wall Street/Hundreds of billions after operatin' falsely/and nobody went to prison/that's where you lost me/but my home, my job and my life is what it cost me."
OCT 25, 2011 - Pink Martini, the activist music "orchestra" of musicians that are deeply involved and active with the local Portland, Oregon political and activist music scene will be putting on a free concert to show solidarity with the Occupy Portland activists.
Pink Martini is described on their website as "Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in 1994 to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks."
The concert will be called "This Land is Your Land", at Pioneer Courthouse Square 12 noon to 1:30 on Friday, October 28, "with the purpose of providing a thinking person’s guide to the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Portland movements." There will also be speeches from Occupy Portland activists, and Pink Martini says, "‘This Land is Our Land’ rally will be a fun and festive gathering which articulates support for Occupy Portland / Occupy Portland and inspires people to get involved in a peaceful movement for social and economic justice."
Check out the Pink Martini website here.
OCT 25, 2011 - The Quietus has a great new interview out of the musical activist Billy Bragg, and he talks Occupy, resistance and more, calling for the Occupy movement to go beyond the Internet and Facebook. He also talks about the leadership issue and urges young people to not get mired down in old political rhetoric. Here is a small excerpt below.
The Qietus - Protest and Occupation: Billy Bragg Interviewed on the Future of the Left - Kevin E.G. Perry - Oct 25, 2011
Billy Bragg: "What I can't do, despite having been asked by some people, is go down there with my guitar and become Che Guevara. My role is to try and reflect what's going on. Write about it. Old geezers like me, with our perspective, hopefully we can help to inform. Connect it with what happened in the Thirties, with Woody Guthrie, stuff like that, but they don't need me there. They're doing fine. They need me to help spread the word, through the internet and through writing songs. That's my role, and it's important that songwriters remember that. Some of the young bands say to me, when I ask them why they don't talk about this sort of thing in interviews: 'Oh, I don't know enough about politics.' How the fucking hell do you think I learned about it? I left school when I was 16! I didn't know shit about socialism until the miners' strike, but you know enough to write the songs."
"Who gives a fuck whether they're listening or not? You don't care whether people are going to read this, do you? You've gotta do it, who gives a fuck? So that impulse had to be channelled, for most people really, down that avenue. Now things have changed quite a bit. There are other ways to communicate, but I just don't think that getting a load of Facebook 'likes' is the same as getting a spontaneous reaction from an audience who are moved by something that you've sung about or put out there. You're not only making a statement, you're also creating a sense of community around that moment. That's what I think young people are missing when they think that by having a presence on the internet they're communicating. The Occupy movement knows that it goes beyond that. They understand that the internet is just a tool by which you spread the word about what you're doing. Music can do that too, but because it involves performance it has the ability to generate momentum."
"My role, and I've been trying to do this with Occupy Wall Street and the stuff I've been writing on my blog in the last couple of weeks, is to encourage them not to embrace the simplicities of Marxism. There's an opportunity to create a new and passionate political idea that is not tainted by totalitarianism, that doesn't have the shadow of the gulag over it. It's your job to do that!"
Read the whole interview on The Quietus here.