For Immediate Release: September 6, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers of the nationwide Rock Against the TPP celebrity concert tour––which seeks to harness the power of music and culture to sound the alarm about the anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement––have released a new video featuring footage from recent stops in Seattle and Portland where the tour drew large crowds, and performances and interviews with well known artists including hip hop icon Talib Kweli, comedian Hari Kondabolu, Navajo punk band Sihasin, and Danbert Nobacon of UK sensation Chumbawamba.
See the new video here: https://youtu.be/9ugC4NG1Zoc
The tour kicked off in Denver in July and has stopped in San Diego, Seattle, and Portland. Upcoming stops include San Francisco this Friday at an event featuring revolutionary hip hop legends Dead Prez, followed by stops in Toronto, Boston, and Washington, DC. High profile participants in the tour have included Rage Against the Machine / Prophets of Rage guitarist Tom Morello, popular punk band Anti-Flag, golden globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly, and more.
“Artists have a very special place because we have a platform we can voice the struggle. We can voice the people that dedicate their lives to the struggle. We can voice the people that’s on the front lines,” says hip hop legend Talib Kweli during his performance.
“As indigenous people, we’re kind of like the canaries in the coal mine. When there is environmental destruction, when there are corporations that are coming after our natural resources, as indigenous people we’re usually the ones on the front lines,” Jeneda Benally of the Navajo punk band Sihasin explains in her interview. Her brother, Clayson Benally, added, “When you give corporations total authority and power to change laws, that’s going too far. When they first come to strip away our rights, who’s next?”
“The TPP is a corporate protection agreement that increases the rights of corporations and supersedes existing laws in nations that bind themselves to the contract,” says Hawaiian slack-guitar legend Makana in the video, “it basically gives corporations a free pass to do whatever they want.”
“People are more willing to listen to a musician or a comedian or a poet because they appreciate other elements. They appreciate laughter, they appreciate the music, they appreciate how something is written,” said comedian Hari Kondabolu, “So if you’re somebody who’s already on board, it’s inspiring, right? People say you’re preaching to the choir, but sometimes the choir needs that. And then for folks who aren’t in the movement, who don’t see a lot of this stuff, to be in that space and actually question themselves in a way that they’re not being yelled at is another way to get the message.”
“It’s basically just a money grab,” said Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba, “it’s transferring wealth from the taxpayers to corporations who are not even in the same country.”
The TPP has little to do with trade, but instead grants multinational corporations extraordinary new powers to threaten jobs, the environment, affordable medicine, free speech, and food safety. The Rock Against the TPP tour brings together a broad coalition of supporters including digital rights groups, labor unions, environmental groups, and small businesses, and is sponsored by Backbone Campaign, Citizens Trade Campaign, Communications Workers of America (CWA), CREDO, Demand Progress, Friends of the Earth, the International Labor Rights Forum, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, SumOfUs, the Teamsters, and United Steelworkers.
The tour is organized by digital rights group Fight for the Future and Firebrand Records, the social justice fueled record label from Tom Morello and Ryan Harvey. Learn more at https://www.rockagainstthetpp.org