"It is 2011 and not much has gotten better..."
Drew Bardo, perennial protest singer and political ponderer/provocateur, has put together another demonstration bolstered by the compassion and talents of Detroit's local music community, via the Peace In The Middle East Rally, May 28th @ the Magic Stick. Bardo, with his band, The Questions, has spearheaded similar events in the past, three of them during the 2nd term of George W. Bush.
"Even with the demise of Bin Laden, we are still engaged in the "endless War" of which we have been fully engaged in since WWII," Bardo opined.
The essential point of the rally is to just remind people to speak up. Complacency is too easy to fall into when we read headlines like: "10 Years In, -Afghanistan War Barely An Issue in 2010 Campaign" - or "Afghan War: In 10th Year - No End In Sight"
"...if they don't rise up and make their voices heard," Bardo said, "this shit will never end...if we allow these corporate puppets to continue to topple governments globally and keep us doped with the smoke and mirrors, we are inevitably headed for a war to end all wars."
It's a wake-up call. And a punch in the gut.
"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil," wrote Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."
All our welcome to come enjoy the performances of the Detroit arts community (FREE ADMISSION, that night (5/28) at the Magic Stick), but beyond that, it's an opportunity to start (or hopefully continue) important conversations regarding the degradations wrought by "BIG BUSINESS," -be it the war machine, soldier casualties, pollution, privacy issues, crowded prisons, failing education system...and much more...
"I feel sick when I stack up all the destruction and greed and lies and corruption that is going on right in front of all of our faces," Bardo said. "How can people pretend that everything is going to be okay? I know it's laborious to sit around and worry all the time, but if we aren't worried right now, it will definitely be too late by the time the masses awaken. You can't wait until you're inside the oven to realize you're about to burn to your oblivious death."
It's "the people," Bardo said, "that keep me fighting. My children, their children, their children's children. There is a Native American Proverb: -- 'We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.'"
"I keep going," he said, "because I have been on this Earth many times before. I came back to help elevate as many spirits into the light --to fight injustices."
The rally, featuring Deastro, Dark Red, The Questions, High-Speed Dubbing, Mick Bassett, Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment, JWPP, The Rue Moor Counts, Woodman, Bravery Plains and a slew of Detroit artists "getting their hands dirty," is a gesture, albeit a form typically/easily digested by the Detroit culture scene (i.e., a concert) to remind those in attendance that "many" throughout the world "have no voice..." Why take yours for granted by not using it?
"I fight," Bardo said, "because it is a crime to remain silent in the face of Evil. I believe in the light. I believe in good. I believe in Love. Love is the most important thing for living in the light with the Great Spirit and when I observe someone or something trying to extinguish the light (the love)...I fight."
The music/arts community is usually pretty good, around here, for standing up and standing together when the times call for them to make a more humanitarian gesture than merely showing-up-plugging-in-and-rocking-out. This has been demonstrated in the past, with Magic Stick-hosted concerts for Haiti and Japan.
But Bardo wants to emphasize that this is more so "a Town Hall Meeting..." As he has in the past, the concert/event he's coordinated is more a test of the art community's activist side. This concert will, in some sense, go through the usual motions of a Detroit live music event, (sound checks and back-lines and song-to-song-to-song, etc) but it will also feature other members of the community, artists and activist groups on hand for engagement and inquiry. The energy in the air will be a stirring of consciousness and compassion... and, yes, frustration.
Peace in the Middle East Rally -aims to bring a considerable number of bands and artists together to express "collective disapproval" for U.S. foreign and domestic policies.
"Pro-Peace groups to confront AIPAC's love-fest for Israeli Militarism"
"The Middle East reacts to President's Speech."
"Without sacrifice," Bardo said, "or courage: humanity is done. Game over. Humanity is in trouble and it's going to take the bravest few to stand up and speak out."
Representatives from local/national political activism groups will be on hand, providing free literature, petitions and educational information regarding "opportunities to create change in U.S. policies regarding the War on Terror abroad and at home."
8pm - Magic Stick - FREE - 5/28