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Critics have noted Rage Against the Machine for its "fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering left wing rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism , and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of punk , hip-hop , and thrash. Integral to their identity as a band, Rage Against the Machine often voiced strong criticism of the domestic and foreign policies of the US government. The band and its individual members participated in political protests and other activism throughout its existence, and the band saw its music primarily as a means of spreading ideas.
De la Rocha explained that "I'm interested in spreading those ideas through art, because music has the power to cross borders, to break military sieges and to establish real dialogue. The flag of the EZLN serves as the primary recurring theme in the band's visual art. Morello described the EZLN as "a guerrilla army who represent the poor indigenous communities in southern Mexico who, for hundreds of years, have been trodden upon and sort of cast aside and which really are the lowest form on the economic-social ladder in Mexico.
In , on New Years Day, there was an uprising there and they were led by the very charismatic Subcomandante Marcos and it's a group which is tremendously supportive of the most objectively poor and continues to fight for dignity, for all people in Mexico. He explained the importance of the cause to him personally. It is important for me, as a popular artist, to make clear to the governments of the United States and Mexico that despite the strategy of fear and intimidation to foreigners, despite their weapons, despite their immigration laws and military reserves, they will never be able to isolate the Zapatista communities from the people in the United States Through concerts, videos, interviews, broadcasting of information at concerts, and our songs' lyrics we have placed within reach of young people, our audience, the experiences of the Zapatistas; we act as facilitators of the ways in which they can participate and put them in contact with the organization and the Zapatista support committees in the United States.
The EZLN flag has been used as a stage backdrop at all of the band's shows since their reunion in April The show was hosted that night by Republican ex-presidential candidate and multi-millionaire Steve Forbes. According to Tom Morello, "RATM wanted to stand in sharp juxtaposition to a billionaire telling jokes and promoting his flat tax by making our own statement. To this end, producer Brendan O'Brien suspended two upside-down American flags from their amplifiers. Our contention that American democracy is inverted when what passes for democracy is an electoral choice between two representatives of the privileged class.
America's freedom of expression is inverted when you're free to say anything you want to say until it upsets a corporate sponsor. Finally, this was our way of expressing our opinion of the show's host, Steve Forbes. The band's first attempt to hang the flags during a pre-telecast rehearsal on Thursday was stopped by SNL's producers, who "demanded that we take the flags down," according to Morello. On the night of the show, following the removal of the flags during the first performance, the band was approached by SNL and NBC officials and ordered to immediately leave the building.
Upon hearing this, RATM bassist Commerford reportedly stormed Forbes' dressing room, throwing shreds from one of the torn down flags. Morello noted that members of the Saturday Night Live cast and crew, whom he declined to name, "[e]xpressed solidarity with our actions, and a sense of shame that their show had censored the performance. Radio Free Los Angeles was a radio show held by the band on January 20, , the night of Bill Clinton 's second inauguration as President. The band organized and played the show in response to the re-election of Clinton :.
That election had resulted in one of the lowest voter turnouts in the history of the country, as more and more Americans came to realize that their government was not in their hands, but in the hands of big business. Radio Free L. The two-hour show was syndicated by over 50 commercial U. Transcripts of the interviews are freely available online. On January 26, , filming of the music video for " Sleep Now in the Fire " caused the doors of the New York Stock Exchange to be closed and the band to be escorted from the site by security. The band invited fans to them in the shoot and approximately showed up.
De la Rocha was shoved away from the entrance after briefly entering through a side door. I guess we stopped downsizing for at least a couple of hours. After losing the award to Limp Bizkit 's "Break Stuff", bassist Tim Commerford climbed up the fake palm tree behind the podium and refused to come down. He then began shaking the set, which appeared as though it might collapse. The band had been considering playing a protest concert there since April that year.
During the concert, De la Rocha said to the crowd, "brothers and sisters, our democracy has been hijacked,"  and later also shouted "we have a right to oppose these motherfuckers! The police faced severe and broad criticism for their reaction, with an American Civil Liberties Union spokesperson saying that it was "nothing less than an orchestrated police riot. And I think it's ridiculous considering, you know, none of us had rubber bullets, none of us had M16s , none of us had billy clubs , none of us had face shields.
Tom Morello was asked by SuicideGirls to report what happened there. He said:. They said that we were not on a permit for the day's show. We produced the permit and showed them that none of the artists that had already been playing for the four hours, including Anti-Flag and Michael Franti , none of the artists were listed on the permits.
They just tried to use that as an excuse to stop us from playing. We were there right on time to play and they physically barred us from getting onto the stage because they were afraid of the music we were going to play. Imagine if in Beijing during the Olympics a Chinese band whose songs were critical of the government was told they'd be arrested if they attempted to sing those songs in a public forum — there would have been an international human rights outcry.
But that's exactly what happened in Minnesota. But this is a band that has made a living singing a song that goes 'Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me,' so we weren't about to go back to the hotel with our tails between our legs. So we out-flanked the police line and went into the middle of the crowd, and played a couple of songs passing a bull horn back and forth, and it seemed to go over pretty well.
On September 3, , the band played a concert in Minneapolis at the Target Center , on the second day of the Republican National Convention. The band surprised the crowd when they silently stood on stage while wearing orange Guantanamo Bay-like prisoner suits with black hoods over their he. They opened up with " Bombtrack. At the Coachella performance, De la Rocha made an impassioned speech during " Wake Up ", citing a statement by Noam Chomsky regarding the Nuremberg Trials and subsequent actions by US presidents,  as follows:.
A good friend of ours once said that if the same laws were applied to U. They should be hung [ sic ], and tried, and shot. As any war criminal should be. On July 28 and 29, Rage co-headlined the hip hop festival Rock the Bells. On July 28, they made a speech during their performance of "Wake Up" just as they had done at Coachella.
During this, De La Rocha made another statement, defending the band from Fox News who he claimed had misquoted him:. A couple of months ago, those fascist motherfuckers at the Fox News Network attempted to pin this band into a corner by suggesting that we said that the president should be assassinated.
Nah, what we said was that he should be brought to trial as a war criminal and hung [ sic ] and shot. THAT'S what we said. And we don't back away from the position because the real assassinator [ sic ] is Bush, and Cheney and the whole administration for the lives they have destroyed here and in Iraq. They're the ones. And what they refused to air which was far more provocative in my mind and in the minds of my bandmates is this: that this system has become so brutal and vicious and cruel that it needs to start wars and profit from the destruction around the world in order to survive as a world power.
THAT's what we said. And we refuse not to stand up, we refuse to back down from that position We played this show at Coachella Pavilion. It was our first show back. I said a few things from the stage, and the next day Fox News ran this whole piece about us saying that the Presidents should be assassinated. But those fascists always get it wrong when they just want to pin a band in the corner for standing up.
What we said was that the whole Bush Administration should be put on trial for war crimes and then hung [ sic ] and then shot, that's what we said. But besides that it made me think about something. It made me think, "what are they so afraid of? Is it really four musicians from Los Angeles who've got a point of view? Is it really just this music and these rhythms and these words? Is that what they're scared of? I thought I'd think about it and you know what?
My conclusion is this: nah, they ain't scared of us, they're scared of you! They're scared that you might come election time and throw Bush and Cheney and all them fascists out of power! That's what they're scared of! And let me say this: the Democrats are scared of you too! Because they know that you see through their bullshit too. Because when Bush was wiretapping, spying on citizens, torturing innocent people — they were supposed to be the people to defend us from them, and they didn't do shit! So the Democrats are scared of you too. Because they know they're coming to power and they're taking it all for granted, but they're scared because they know that if they don't start fucking pulling troops from Iraq that you're going to go and burn down every office of every Senator that doesn't do the job.
Well I will say this, that the world is watching us now. The whole world is watching us. The brothers and sisters in South America who are dealing with this imperialist violence have got their eyes on us. Our brothers and sisters in Iraq got their eyes on us. Because we are the ones that are prepared to, and going to, put an end to this nonsense. So Wake Up. Come on, Wake Up! Wake Up! The Reading and Leeds Festivals organizer announced after the festival that De la Rocha had requested Friday and Saturday slots specifically so he could be back in the US for the Democratic and Republican conventions taking place in the week of the 25th.
Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured — from water boarding, to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts — playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums. Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney's idea of America, but it's not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me — we need to end torture and close Guantanamo now.
Despite sound problems and some flaws in the organization of the event, the first show on Brazilian soil had a major impact and has received good reviews. Instead of RATM's performance, the channel aired the erotic television show "Sexytime" that was expected to air 1 hour 25 minutes later. However, it is undisputed that the praise singer Zack de la Rocha made of the Brazilian Landless Workers' Movement was omitted from the Multishow Channel broadcast, and censorship has occurred at least in this respect.
That means we're winning. The band advocates for the release of convicted political prisoner, former Black Panther and life imprisonment inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal , for whom they wrote and recorded the track "Voice of the Voiceless" for their album The Battle of Los Angeles. At a Lollapalooza appearance in Philadelphia , the band stood onstage naked for 15 minutes with duct tape on their mouths and the letters PMRC painted on their chests in protest against censorship by the Parents Music Resource Center.
The band later played a free show for disappointed fans. Don't buy it. When the band headlined Reading Festival on August 22, , Getafe Electric Festival on May 30, , and the Pinkpop Festival on June 1, , they came on stage to the sound of a prison klaxon , dressed in orange prison jumpsuits with black sacks over their he, presumably in reference to the conditions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. They remained silent onstage for around a minute until being led to their instruments and performing their opening song, " Bombtrack ", still in the prison outfits.
In June , frontman Zack de la Rocha stepped up his campaign to compel the state of Arizona to repeal its controversial immigration law by encouraging artists to boycott performing in the state. In addition, he has said they "are going to be organizing a series of concerts that are respectful of the nature of the boycott in its attempts to isolate the Arizona government but not isolate the people. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Further information: DNC protest activity. Retrieved September 8, Retrieved October 6, Retrieved June 26, Retrieved November 12, The Flag Burning . Retrieved March 16, January 20, Archived from the original on January 2, Retrieved July 18, Archived from the original on November 21,Rage against the machine naked
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The Time Rage Against The Machine Members Got Naked To Protest PMRC