VotoLatino is sponsoring a talk with Javier Gonzalez of Sound Strike on Twitter today at 4 p.m. Pacific Time
There continues to be a lot of kvetching from the local music "scene" here in Sand Land about Sound Strike, the ongoing boycott of Arizona by numerous acts over Senate Bill 1070.
But like it or not the Sound Strike, led by Rage Against the Machine legend Zack de la Rocha, has been effective, as has the boycott in general.
In fact, state Senate President Russell Pearce's recent loss on five pieces of anti-immigrant legislation is directly attributable to the boycott.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce, which had stayed neutral on 1070, actively lobbied against those bills, fearing another 1070 backlash. CEOs of major corporations doing business in Arizona chimed in against the hateful measures. Why did they do this? Because of the impact of the boycott on their bottom lines.
It's also worth remembering some recent history. Zack de la Rocha was involved in pro-immigrant marches and other efforts in Arizona long before SB 1070 was signed into law. He's lead marches against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and has selflessly given of himself, performing at the Phoenix human rights center Tonatierra, signing countless autographs, and speaking out against the injustices suffered by migrants in Arizona.
I would also note that prior to 1070 and the resulting boycott, these naysayers in the critical realm were, generally, silent.
Both the Sound Strike and de la Rocha have raised beaucoup bucks for pro-immigrant organizations such as Puente and the Florence Project. Rage Against the Machine reunited for a benefit concert in Los Angeles, donating the proceeds to organizations in Arizona.
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Puente's leader Sal Reza told me recently that de la Rocha and Sound Strike have together donated around $100,000 to Tonatierra.This past Christmas, the Sound Strike sponsored a community posada, where tons of food and thousands of toys were given away to children and families.
Sound Strike and de la Rocha will be helping again, paying the tab for the bandstand and sound system for Puente's April 23rd march to the Capitol. April 23 will mark the one year anniversary of SB 1070's signing. Much of the law has been enjoined, but not all of it. and of course, it's still in play in the courts.
Until SB 1070 is off the books, Russell Pearce is out of power and Arpaio is no longer doing immigration raids and sweeps, I hope Sound Strike keeps up its efforts.
What puzzles me about its critics is that on the one hand, they deride Sound Strike as ineffective. On the other hand, they whine that it's hurting the "scene." Pick a lane, guys. And as far as the "scene" goes, I could give a flip. I care more about the civil rights crisis in this state, and Sound Strike's detractors should as well.