Certain things are irrefutable about the conflict in Iraq. Many innocent people will die, and the majority of the world is against the war, prompting scores of protests across the globe.
Here in Canada, the situation is no different, so if we’re fighting the good fight by protesting, why are we the ones suffering when the musical act at said protest is some Lilith Fair reject or a conscious hip-hop M.C. who lives at Trinity? The problem is, most non-punk lefties listen to shitty music.
If I was to pick a group to head up a student protest, I’d probably call the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), but trust me—they don’t know how to party. I actually went to a CFS party over the summer, and if white kids with dreadlocks playing bongos on the porch equals revolution, I must be on the wrong team.
When capitalist fat cats get together, they do it up proper. Corporate retreats often feature huge acts such as Eric Clapton or Pink Floyd, with yuppies dishing out six figures to get them to play. Now, we can’t afford that (nor would I want to hear Eric Clapton at a protest), but we can do better. Here’s the lineup for an effective anti-war rally.
Public Enemy: Not only are these guys high-energy, motivational and political, but they’ll do anything these days. They’re not even on a real record label anymore, they’re on some Internet label.
Celtic punk bands: Talk about partying. They’ll play for Guinness, and if things get hairy, they’ll be the first to fight. They’re not afraid of riot cops. In fact, the cops would probably be more scared of them. Land the Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly for your protest, and if you do get hit with a nightstick, at least there’ll be someone there to pat you on the back and say, “You’re a good sort, there. A good sort.”
Slayer: All they ever sing about is war. Plus, their whole fan base is made up of bikers and hardcore punks, so all you have to do is point the mosh pit towards Queen’s Park and watch democracy in all its Rousseauian glory.
In a time where there are so many distractions vying for people’s attention, the protest scene cannot rely on your roommate doing Billy Bragg covers. In the immortal words of Emma Goldman, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”