Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dan Deacon, Das Racist and Tom Morello To Perform At Occupy Wall Street's May Day

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Dan Deacon, feeling 99 percent limber.
  • Josh Sisk
  • Dan Deacon, feeling 99 percent limber.
Occupy Wall Street and its allies in the organized labor and immigrant rights movements say they have reached consensus over a critical element of their much-hyped, prolifically stickered and widely scrawled May Day proceedings: the setlist. At a Spokes Council meeting (the coordinating organism of the protest) last night, organizers announced that the likes of Dan Deacon, Das Racist, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and a Guitarmy (we’ll explain what that is later) had confirmed performances at an afternoon solidarity rally in Union Square, and more artist confirmations were to follow. It’s tentative, but there’s also the possibility of performances on a float (a float!).

The announcement arrived after months of planning, according to an organizer who was intimately involved with the process. “May Day is Occupy Wall Street’s biggest action ever,” he told The L after last night’s meeting. “We just arrived to consensus this morning about the cultural programming for the afternoon event.”

Music is only one element of the day’s activities. The morning protest will begin at 8 a.m. with a "pop-up occupation" at Bryant Park, a staging ground (as it was explained) for a number of actions against to-be-determined corporate targets in midtown. The park itself will also serve as a center for food, leisure and information, and then at 2 p.m. Occupy will march to Union Square where it will rally with the larger May Day coalition—unions, labor groups and immigrant rights organizations that have traditionally demonstrated each year on May 1. According to organizers, the "culmination" of the day will be the 4 p.m. rally, followed by a 5:30 march with the coalition down to Wall Street, something organizers are stressing as family-friendly guaranteed and NYPD pre-approved.

“We want to make sure that everyone feels safe, confident and empowered to come out and join the march,” said the OWS organizer, who wishes to remain unnamed.

But back to the Guitarmy, which promises to be one of the most exciting parts of the day, if followed through. Organizers aim to enlist 1,000 guitar-wielding volunteers (any and all) to play with Tom Morello during the protest. They just launched the effort through their tumblr, and the only requirement is that a person own a portable string instrument. A spokesperson from the music working group also announced the Guitarmy would be creating and handing out shakers for kids.

The lineup that has been leaked to us is listed below. Organizers say that they’ve also reached out to Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, David Byrne, The Roots and more, and are waiting to hear back.


Tom Morello and the Guitarmy
Dan Deacon
Das Racist
The Bobby Sanabria Band
The New York Labor Chorus

Follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone.

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