Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Zach LaPorte

Zach LaPorte is an Iraq war veteran

February 22nd, 2011 12:09 AM

Monday 2/21/ 2011

Free Concert in Madison Courtesy of Tom Morello

Noon rally-

Today I witnessed a new type of rally on the State street side of the capitol in Madison.  Starting at noon a few musicians came and played a few songs. 

Tim Mcilrath front man for the Chicago punk band Rise Against played “Ohio” by Neil Young and “Who’ll stop the rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Many of those in attendance knew the lyrics for these songs and sung along.

When the highly anticipated Tom Morello took the stage, he mentioned an interaction that he had with an airport patron.

“Why are you going to madison?” she asked.  He looked at her and said,” Because they are making history in Madison”.

The former guitarist for the rap rock group Rage Against the Machine then performed an original “Union Man” and followed that up with his cover of “Guerilla Radio” by RATM.  The music was then finished up with a cover of “This land is our land” by Woody Guthrie.  The other artists in attendance sung along with the chorus in a truly moving experience. 

A few days before Mr. Morello left for Madison he received an email from an Egyptian protest organizer.  The message from said, "Justice is beautiful, but justice is never free. The beauty of Tahrir Square you can have everywhere, on any corner, in any city, or in your heart. So hold on tightly and don't let go. ... Breathe deep, Wisconsin, because justice is in the air. And may the spirit of Tahrir Square be in every beating heart in Madison today."

Following up the music was Wisconsin Firefighters Union president Mahlon Mitchell who has become something of a media phenomenon this week.  He has been seen in parades and on the Ed Schulz show on MSNBC.  During his speech he announced that the firefighters union would be sleeping in the capitol tonight, which caused the crowd to erupt with applause. He ended by leading a thunderous “UNITY!” cheer that rocked the steps of the capitol.

In the most emotional moment of the rally progressive radio personality John “Sly” Sylvester told of the email he sent to Walker’s personal email account.  A visibly shaky Sly told Scott,” I will fight you with every last breath in my body”. 

Later a representative from the United Steel Workers union said that they would be sleeping in the capitol tonight alongside the firefighters.  He also told of the motto that had worked at a previous steel workers strike, "One day longer!” 

Personally, as a punk rock fan, it was great to see people young and old enjoying the music. 

7 pm Free concert-

This evening I had the pleasure of witnessing a free music show organized by Tom Morello.  Performing was Ike Reilly, the Street Dogs, Wayne Kramer of MC5, along with Morello.  I won’t even begin to explain the awesomeness that ensued, but I will touch on a few of the memorable moments of the night.

Mahlon Mitchell made another appearance and showed off some of his Michael Jackson dance moves. 

An art teacher from southern Wisconsin came on the stage and led a chant about organizing and how it is important to this movement.

A little known musician from Illinois named Ike Reilly ended a song with, “Standing here showing that mother fucker what it is to be free”, which stirred the crowd raucously.  He obviously was referring to Scott Walker.

The Street Dogs are a band from Boston and they played a cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” along with a song called “Up the Union”.

Wayne Kramer had some skills on the guitar, unfortunately I can’t convey through words how amazing it sounded.

Morello’s gruff voice and acoustic guitar is in stark contrast to the wailing guitars and screeching vocals we normally hear with Rage.  One part of the Tom Morello set that was really popular with the crowd came when he bellowed out, "If you take one step towards freedom, freedom will take two steps towards you!” 

At one point, Tom mentioned that as he walked through the capitol on Sunday, it was the first time he ever “bro’ed out” with police at a protest.  He was surprised how peaceful the protests were and praised Wisconsinites for their civility. 

Overall the night was pretty magical.  A free music show by one of my most revered musicians was an incredible show of solidarity.  The artists had fun and made sure the crowd was involved.  At the end of the show, Tom called the entire crowd on stage.  With everyone together and tightly packed he played a new song of his “World Wide Rebel Songs”.

In closing, I would like to say that I have a new found respect for Tom Morello.  He genuinely cares what happens in Wisconsin this year.  I will leave you with a quote:

“The whole world is watching, and we’re winning” – Tom Morello

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity Donna Smith The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles