Friday, August 29, 2008

DNC Day Four: Rage, Flobots, IVAW March, and Code Pink Fun

Wednesday represented the highlight of DNC street action, with a great free concert, a fantastic street march led by Iraq vets, and a Code Pink party serenaded by David Rovics. The concert took so long to enter that I missed all of State Radio and half of The Coup. With battery problems galore, I only took brief snippets of performances, beginning with The Flobots' "Same Thing" below ...

... and continuing with "War Going On for Your Mind" (1 and 2), "Stand Up" (1 and 2), the fantastic poem/song "I-R-A-Q", "Fight with Tools" (1 and 2), and of course, "Handlebars." (Sorry, "Rise" fans, but the batteries were shot for the encore.) Oh, and did I mention Jello Biafra introduced The Flobots?

Before the RATM performance, IVAW members came out in uniform to read their letter to Obama, calling for immediate end to the war, health care (including PTSD care) for all vets, and reparations for the Iraqi people. Rage Against the Machine kept a level of screaming invective going under the familiar red star, for "Guerilla Radio"

In this case, I couldn't finish the song because I was in the mosh pit and got body-slammed. The last clarion call for "Guerilla Radio" is here. Here's a video of "Bulls on Parade." At the end, Zack brought out Wayne Kramer of the MC5, the only band to stay in the parks of Chicago in 1968 after Daley cleared the streets. They played MC5's anthem, "Kick Out the Jams, Motherfucker."

When Zack and Wayne asked the audience to join them in an unapproved march to the Pepsi Center, I was skeptical that many would join in, as most attendees were just there for free tickets. To my surprise, over 5,000 joined the call. As we started out, Zach and Tom Morello hustled to join the vets in the front:

The march proceeded two miles down Brighton Blvd., then on to Broadway and Arapahoe. The police were guiding it without problems for a while, but as we approached the underpass into downtown, the march was stopped every couple blocks with warnings about "failure to disperse." The first police block was resolved by Code Pink, and in later blocks, orders from the city allowed the parade to proceed. As Brer Rabbit of The Flobots was leading a segment of the parade, some guy was handing out blue tubes that made even-octave harmonies when you twirled them - dozens of folks were twirling tubes, saying "What does this sound like? Sounds like change!" Here's one parting shot of the group at Auraria Campus, outside the Pepsi Center fence, where IVAW met with Vets for Obama and got commitment for the three points in the Obama platform.

My friend David Chase and I had tickets to the Nader rally at Magness (my only real reason to go was to see Nellie McKay), but once Frances Mendenhall and Edwina Vogan said they were going to the Code Pink party, well, what other choice was there? Guess David Rovics thought so too, because there he was headlining the evening entertainment:

After singing "Pirates," David went on with such winners as "Operation Iraqi Liberation," "Alligator Dicks," and "Punk Rock Baby." What talent! What drama! What excitement! What drinking! Que lastima!


Sharon said...

Body slammed, huh? There is so much to take in but the I-R-A-Q poem, the IVAW, their march, and the Flobots were all amazing. Sounds like a week to remember!!!

Did I hear you refusing to Alligator Dicks??? :)

Loring Wirbel said...

I think I was making surly comments in the background....