Published Sep 23, 2015Following recent action staged in and outside of this week's Polaris Music Prize gala, another protest has been planned to pressure the members of Viet Cong for an immediate name change. A self-described "peaceful protest" will be held tomorrow (September 24) at the band's concert in Minneapolis, MN.
A Facebook event page explains that various community groups, steered by the Vietnamese Student Association of Minnesota, will be marching from the city's Central Library over to music venue First Ave & 7th Street Entry to protest the band's performance. The goal, it's explained, is to "to CANCEL the show and for Viet Cong to change their name NOW!"
While the Calgary quartet revealed last weekend that they are in the process changing their name, and will have picked a new name by the time they issue their next album, the band's current North American tour is still being promoted using the soon-to-be ousted title. The Minnesota protesters are asking for an immediate resolve.
Of the group's intent to change their name, a statement from the protesters notes: "while a marker of progress, [this] still concerns us because intent is not action. You could change your mind at any time. Your choices are not counterculture or culturally competent, and are problematic..."
It goes on to note that the band are still profiting "off cultural appropriation and the ongoing trauma of war," and that the act need to more fully acknowledge the effects their name could have on communities affected by the Vietnam War. It adds that stalling the inevitable isn't doing the band any favours.
"However hard the decision may be to change your band name, you have said the name is not your fight and not meaningful to you. You express that you now understand how harmful this is to our communities yet you ask us to wait while you continue to do damage."
The statement calls for the band to quit pushing off the name change, and hold "a meeting with our Vietnamese community and allies on how we can heal and move forward." It's added that a social media-geared boycott could be enforced, should the band not take action ASAP.
"If you do not make the choice to change your band name now or if your new band name commits cultural appropriation toward any other community, we will continue to speak up and organize together under #SoLongVietCong," they explain.
You can read the full statement over here.
As previously reported, Viet Cong's open letter about their forthcoming name change explained: "We rushed into our last band name decision, we don't plan to rush into this one, but know that will be rolling out a new name as soon as we agree upon one."