This Saturday will be the first of four days of protests in support of all U.S. forces leaving Iraq. To kick off the event, a free concert will take place at the Washington Monument.
The festival, aptly named Operation Ceasefire, aims to shake the D.C. population (and beyond). Organizers of the event anticipate a success based on the stellar lineup that boasts a scheduled 10 hours of live music spanning several musical genres. Acts include the D.C. native electronic duo Thievery Corporation, punk bands Le Tigre and Bouncing Souls, hip-hop artists The Coup and Hed-Roc, country star Steve Earle, independent artists Ted Leo + The Pharmacists, Wayne Kramer of the MC5 with the Bellrays, and the Latin rock group Machetres.
In addition to varied musical backgrounds, artists performing at the event represent a broad spectrum of political and personal flavors. Some will come to the stage with an almost militant appetite for change in the name of peace. Such is the case with Le Tigre, who at a recent news conference for Operation Ceasefire said they “condemn the illegitimate presidency of George W. Bush and his administration of criminals, liars and war-profiteers” and are “proud to be involved with Operation Ceasefire.”
Other artists on the bill have expressed less overtly their political motivation for participating in the event. Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation said, “The idea of this concert struck a chord with me. As a private citizen I want to do something because I am very much against all of the post 9/11 wars and occupation … I feel a moral imperative as a human being, who happens to be a musician, to take part in this event.”
Similarly, Greg Attonito of The Bouncing Souls shed light on the inspiration behind the band’s involvement with Operation Ceasefire during a recent interview with The Hatchet. Over the course of their almost 20-year career, the group has led by example in trying to “let (the audience) know that there is an alternative … that you can create your own life” and that it is possible to “find meaning by doing what you love,” even as we are “overwhelmed with the stimulus of the world, the negative and not enough of the positive.”
Operation Ceasefire is free and will take place this Saturday, Sept. 24 from 2 p.m. until 1 a.m., rain or shine. For more information on the event, including the sponsors and artists involved, visit www.opceasefire.org.