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Rebel Music | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Rebel Music

Every movement needs its culture, and the still-emerging antiwar movement is proving clever and creative on this front. Dissident artwork, literature, street theatre, poetry, painting, and postering are all flourishing nationwide.

There's also been a spate of new antiwar songs, many of which are actually good. Billy Bragg came through with a typically smart protest number, rendered in classic folk tradition, called the Price of Oil. It's available now for free downloading, streaming and emailing. Ani DiFranco's powerful prose poem/song, Peace Not War, is similarly inspiring with a funkier beat. It's also worth reading her lyrics if you can't access the audio on your computer. The British anarchist group Chumbawamba gave its first live performance in four years at the January 18 Washington, DC antiwar march. Among the songs they played was Jacob's Ladder (Not In our Name), an antiwar tune written a week earlier.

All three of these tracks are also available as part of an eclectic new fundraising album put out by peace-not-war.org, an international network of musicians, to support Britain's Stop the War coalition. Also featured on the two-CD compilation are Massive Attack, Public Enemy, Ginger Tom and Midnight Oil, among many other socially conscious musical artists.

Chris and Kate, the unsung Canadian duo who co-founded the legendary Toronto-based bar band the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, have also recorded a compelling new single, Resist War, which they're making available for free downloading off their website.

You can also download the Nation's now-classic Block Bush cover of the September 30, 2002 issue of the mag. Conceived by John Carr, Block Bush, which quickly became a celebrated piece of protest art, is now available for printing and emailing. It'll work as a sign at marches and rallies. As a window placard for your living room or car. As a good email surprise. Or as something to simply keep on hand to pass out wherever you see fit.

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