While Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray and a handful of Democratic Senators were busy outflanking their Republican colleagues on the right in the we hours of the morning of May 27 by crafting the most conservative immigration measure to hit the state in a good long time, Zac de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine was equally busy spearheading a musical boycott of Arizona, where the most draconian immigration law in the country (SB 1070) has already prompted significant outrage. “The Sound Strike”—as the boycott is called—has attracted outspoken musicians from Kanye West to Sonic Youth, with others getting on board as I write. (The full list of artists who have joined the Sound Strike can be seen at their official Website.) They are protesting a law that has been widely criticized for encouraging law enforcement to detain anyone who looks Latino. Why Massachusetts would want to get on that bandwagon remains a mystery.
The Sound Strike has yet to attract any of the big name pop or rock acts that can sell out stadiums and no country acts have yet joined the cause. But it has galvanized Latino artists across the musical spectrum. Linda Ronstadt, an Arizonan of Mexican descent, has spoken out against the law.