Published May 26, 2010The controversy over Arizona's new immigration policy has already spilled over into music, with Fucked Up front-man Damian Abraham denouncing Stars' decision to boycott the state in protest. Abraham's argument that a single Canadian indie band would not be able to force the Arizona governor's hand was a fair one. But perhaps he will be able to get behind the latest artist boycott, which takes the protest to the next level.
This latest boycott is called the Sound Strike and was organized by Rage Against the Machine front-man Zack De La Rocha. He's enlisted an impressive list of fellow musicians to join his cause, which currently includes Kanye West, Conor Oberst, Sonic Youth, Massive Attack, Rise Against and Tenacious D. Also on board is filmmaker Michael Moore.
According to a press release posted by De La Rocha on the Sound Strike's website, "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."
De La Rocha also compares the boycott to the civil rights movement: "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?!"
Whether or not the protest has an impact on the state remains to be seen. The Sound Strikes website is currently down due to excessive traffic, so clearly fans are already taking notice.
Billboard notes that rappers Cypress Hill and Pitbull have already cancelled Arizona shows in protest of the law.