Rage Against The RNC
By Kal Cobalt
“Why the fuck are these cops afraid of us? Are they afraid of us?” asked singer Zack de la Rocha shortly after Minneapolis police silenced Rage Against the Machine’s PA system during an anti-Republican National Convention concert. To the would-be audience that had gathered for the show, de la Rocha continued, “No, no. They’re not afraid of four musicians. They’re afraid of you.”
Armed with a megaphone, de la Rocha and bandmates took to the crowds and continued the concert, with de la Rocha accompanied by beatboxing and the crowd itself. Between songs, band members gave eloquent, passionate pro-peace speeches, some of which were captured on video. “Some of the most heartening protest footage in years,” says Cory Doctorow in his BoingBoing coverage of the event.
Rage Against the Machine intended “to stand in peaceful opposition,” de la Rocha told the crowd. “Now, in honor of that peaceful opposition, we wish that the police and the state here in Minneapolis would do the same thing when people take the streets.”
The reality was somewhat different; Coldsnap Legal soon reported that “folks from after show protest are being arrested and ordered on to city busses.” The Minnesota Independent reported tear gas and pepper spray used on the crowd.
Image: “Rage Against the Machine” by fyunkie on Flickr, courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.