Almost a year ago the State of Arizona passed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, seen by many as legitimising racial profiling. GypsySphere now reports that the Sound Strike Boycott, started following a benefit concert organised by Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha to raise awareness of the bill and to unite people against the anti-immigration mentality it typifies. Today The Sound Strike is a thriving organisation, advocating a boycott by musicians of Arizona, to which an impressive number of groups have affiliated to, including Nine Inch Nails, Tenacious D, Sonic Youth, My Chemical Romance, Maroon 5, Serj Tankian, Rise Against, M.I.A. and Mos Def.
This has also increased the very topical debate surrounding the effectiveness of cultural boycotts in general, with Lady Gaga’s comment on the Sound Strike – “You really think that us dumb fucking pop stars are going to collapse the economy of Arizona?” being a fairly extreme take on the matter, perhaps moderated somewhat by to Charlie Levy’s comment “By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law.” Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes’ “Coyote Song” makes the case for supporting the boycott.