Kanye West, Joe Satriani, Ozomatli and two dozen other major acts have signed on to a musicians’ boycott of Arizona. The coalition said today a Friday benefit concert could raise $350,000 for Arizona activists challenging that state’s new immigration law.
Singer Zack de la Rocha of the rock band Rage Against the Machine is famous for lyrics that blast corporations and the treatment of minority groups.
"How could we not approach artists of conscience who share our feelings and concerns. How could we not stand up for fans in Arizona, many of whom come from immigrant families," de la Rocha said at a news conference at the Hollywood Palladium.
De la Rocha said Arizona’s new immigration law will split families. It allows law enforcement to determine the immigration status of the people they arrest and turn them over for federal detention and deportation.
De la Rocha said the money his band’s sold-out concert at the Palladium raises will benefit activist groups like the Phoenix-based Tonatierra. The group’s coordinator, Salvador Reza, welcomed the help.
"If it’s not stopped in Arizona it’s going to go to different states. There’s about 20-something copycat states trying to do the same thing right now," Reza said.
Reza and the musicians said immigration reform should take place in Washington, D.C., not at the state level. They agreed that there’s little common ground in the debate over the subject. But they added that they won’t concede any ground to supporters of Arizona’s immigration law.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello compared support for that law to widespread tacit acceptance of the lynching of African-Americans generations ago and feels it's necessary to combat such injustices, he said on the Patt Morrison Show today.