By Tim Saunders on
A long list of artists have joined a group actively protesting new immigration laws in Arizona, refusing to play gigs in the state until the laws are changed.
The new law – called SB 1070 – allows police to question any individuals they suspect are illegal immigrants, and all legal immigrants are required to carry registration documents at all times.
Rage Against The Machine singer Zack de la Rocha is spearheading the group, which includes Cypress Hill, Juanes, Conor Oberst, Michael Moore, Kanye West, Joe Satriani, Rise Against, Massive Attack, Sonic Youth, Jack Black's Tenacious D and many others.
“We are reaching out to get your ear for a minute about this critical situation in Arizona,” says Zack. "If you haven’t heard, the Arizona state legislature passed a bill (SB 1070) that was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer that legalizes and sanctions racial profiling. Straight up.
“It forces the cops to hunt down and target anyone they “reasonably suspect” that may be undocumented. And if the people they harass don’t have proof that they were born in the U.S., they can be detained and arrested. This must be stopped.
“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!"
To sign a petition and join the artists in their fight against racism, click here.
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