Rage Against Al Gore. 

8-14-00 6:00 AM PST antiGUY
Rage Against the Machine will be fighting a musical/slash political battle in Los Angeles this week during a organized protest against the Democratic National Convention. 

Allstar news reported today (Aug. 14th) that Rage Against the Machine, the band who embraces and preaches the politics of the far left, with the aid of the D2K Network secured a permit for the show from the city of Los Angeles last Friday. 

The protest show will kick off with RATM taking the stage for a full set around 6pm tonight (Aug. 14th) in a parking lot located at 11th and Figueroa, right across the street from the Staples Center where the Democrats will be kicking off their national convention tonight. 

Traditionally, the majority of the entertainment industry has rallied behind the Democratic party. This year however, the party has been criticized for not only taking more moderate stances on issues under the Clinton presidency but many entertainment figures feel threatened by Dem. Presidential nominee Al Gore and Vice Presidential Nominee, Joseph Lieberman's public stances against the industry in the past. 

As a senator, Al Gore led the fight in the 80's that called for censorship of rock lyrics in the form of warning labels. The Senate held hearings on the matter after being persuaded by the PMRC that rock lyrics were a serious issue. (Al Gore's wife Tipper was one of the main figures of the PMRC.) While the Senate hearings produced a lot of great sound bites, legislation was never passed and many of the major record labels voluntarily started placing labels on questionable CD's. 

Now a decade and half later, the warning labels have failed as the lyrical content of mainstream music contains more objectionable content than ever before. 

Al Gore's choice of Joseph Lieberman, has many in the entertainment industry infuriated. The outspoken Senator has gone on record rallying for a rating system, like the motion picture industry uses, to be adopted for music, video games and television. As a Senator in 1998, he joined with the former Drug Czar under President Bush and conservative moral crusader Bill Bennet in a public bashing of the entertainment industry where they handed out "Silver Sewer Awards" to films, TV, music and video games which contained explicit or violent material. He was also a sponsor of V-Chip legislation, which requires television manufactures to include a computer chip in new TV sets that allows parents to block out questionable material. 

Last week Howie Klein (president of Reprise Records) criticized Gore's VP pick in an article on MTVi Networks, Sonicnet.com: "Joseph Lieberman is the worst mistake Gore could have made. He managed to pick someone to the right of George W. Bush. Gore is either stupid or cynical, either of which should disqualify him for president." said Klein, "If the Democratic Party allows Gore to saddle us with this kind of nut, I won't be able to support the Democratic Party. The party cannot stomp on the progressive beliefs of many of its supporters and expect progressives to still support it." 

The Sonicnet article also quoted rapper Ice-T on the Lieberman issue, ."My mind has already accepted the fact that censors are going to control politics. There's a real paradox here. On the one hand you don't want to dislike the guy because he's going to be coming up against the whole racist regime because he's Jewish. But you don't wanna like the guy 'cause he's crazy." 

Ice-T went on to say, "That's why I don't vote, If God wanted us to vote, he would've given us better candidates."  (click here to read the Sonicnet article

Not all rockers are going against the Democratic Party, The Goo Goo Dolls, Cher, Barbara Steisand, and Enrique Iglesias all will make appearances at Convention related events or fund raisers. 

While the Democrats are looking more and more like Republicans under Bill Clinton with his record of embracing Republican issues like Welfare Reform and the Balanced Budget and with Al Gore promising to continue the legacy of the Clinton Presidency, where are these traditionally liberal Democrats, who disagree with where their party now stands going to turn? George W Bush? That is not likely, a more acceptable candidate may be Green Party nominee Ralph Nader. 

Rage Against the Machine took a swipe at both major parties with the following statement Posted on their official web site. 

F*** the Two Party System

 For decades, Americans have lived in a "two party" political system, where everyone pretends that the Democrats and the Republicans represent the full range of political opinion in the country. These two "real" political parties (unlike those trouble-making third parties) have grown increasingly similar. Bill Clinton the Democrat passed laws that Republicans George Bush and Ronald Reagan lobbied for and failed. Candidates this year have learned that to be successful is to move towards the "center" politically, making the distinctions between Republican and Democrat just about non-existent.

 The similarities between the two groups is most obvious when you look at who funds them, who pays the bills, who's "campaign contributions" are determining party platforms: big corporations. If you take a look at the funders for the major parties, both the Republicans and the Democrats, you see a roll-call of insurance companies, media conglomerates, oil companies, tobacco companies, telecommunications firms, and pharmaceutical companies.

This is Democracy? We get to choose between Exxon's man or Coca-Cola's? Which elderly white male millionaire will save us all? 

Voting is only one aspect of political participation. Protest movements, demonstrations, strikes, civil disobedience, art, literature, and conflict have always had much more influence in this country than the vote.

Protesters swarmed over the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia last week. The police responded in their usual fashion, mass arrests, intimidation, and violence. One of the protest organizers, John Sellers of the Ruckus Society, was arrested on several misdemeanor charges, and his bail set at a completely ridiculous $1 million.

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