Rage Against the Machine frontman, Zack de la Rocha, skipped the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction to attend a protest in support of Palestine. The induction ceremony took place on Friday November 4th and was televised live for the first time. Aside from the Spinners, RATM was the only band to be inducted this year with most artists in the 2023 class being solo acts. Notable mentions include Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, and the father of hip hop – DJ Kool Herc.
The band’s only member to attend the ceremony was guitarist Tom Morello. Accepting the induction on behalf of the band, he used the platform as a continued call for action. In his speech he encouraged, “If you are a student, start an underground newspaper. If you’re an anarchist, throw a brick. If you are a soldier or policeman, follow your conscience and not your orders. If you’re disappointed you didn’t get to see Rage Against the Machine, form your own band and let us hear what you have to say.”
The march in support of Palestine took place this past weekend in Washington, D.C. and was a powerful call for ceasefire. For several weeks, Israel has bombarded Palestine’s city of Gaza, leaving thousands of civilians dead in their wake. Thus far, the United States Government has passed a $14 billion dollar military aid package to Israel, which is a stark comparison to the $100 million humanitarian aid package that President Biden pledged to Palestine in October. The D.C. march was attended by hundreds of thousands of folks and was organized by several pro-Palestinian groups.
In a post via Twitter, activist and videographer Sunny Singh remarks, “300,000 of us marched on DC today in support of Palestinian self-determination and called for an end to Israel’s genocide. Cell service tanked the livestream but I ran into Zack de la Rocha who came out for the march…We talked for a while about how this is a tipping point in history. People are waking up to how interconnected the fight for liberation is, from Ferguson to Gaza.”
Of course, RATM is no stranger to referencing injustice and conflict in their lyrics.
In their track “Mic Check” from album The Battle of Los Angeles, Rage references Gaza and Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation that took place in 1987.
Rage Against The Machine cancelled their tour last year when Zack de la Rocha tore his Achilles tendon during the band’s second show. Aside from a surprise guest appearance at Run The Jewels’ Los Angeles concert last month, de la Rocha has not taken to the stage. It seems that RATM is letting the music speak for them in the urging of today’s fans to use it as a call to action.
Featured courtesy Sunny Singh on Twitter @hate5six, Tom Morello photo courtesy of Theo Wargo (Getty Images), article by Tiffany (Rune) Cuthrell