Stop the music! A host of artists from all genres has called for a boycott of Arizona over that state's punitive and controversial immigration law. Pitbull (who announced several weeks ago that he was canceling an Arizona stop on his U.S. tour), Juanes, Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Calle 13, Massive Attack, Cypress Hill, Conor Oberst, Los Tigres del Norte and more have said they won't play Arizona. They've also asked music fans to protest the law in Arizona and copycat legislation that's spreading like a slimy virus to other states. They're calling it the Sound Strike and urging people to sign a petition against SB1070.
(For information on SB1070 imitators popping up around the country, check out Voto Latino, a non profit which harnesses pop stars and new media to get young Latinos to register to vote, answer the census, and otherwise make themselves heard and counted).
Here's the text of the boycott statement from organizer Zack de la Rocha, the Mexican-Irish-German descended (and therefore immigrant) frontman for Rage Against the Machine and One Day as a Lion.
"We are reaching out to get your ear for a minute about this critical situation in Arizona.
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?!
Zack de la Rocha
Here's a list of the courageous artists who have taken a stand for civil and human rights in this collective decision to boycott Arizona:
Los Tigres del Norte
Rage Against the Machine
One Day as a Lion
Street Sweeper Social Club
We are asking artists the world over to stand with us, and not allow our collective economic power to be used to aid and abet civil and human rights violations that will be caused by Arizona’s odious law.