Tom Morello on Donald Trump Protests: ‘This Is America’s Oh Hell No Moment’
This weekend saw Americans turn out en masse at several airports around the U.S. to protest Donald Trump's recent immigration ban. Among those on hand in Los Angeles at the LAX-based protest was Prophets of Rage's Tom Morello and Chuck D., who spoke with Billboard about the public reaction to Donald Trump's recent executive orders, including the immigration ban.
Cutting straight to the point, Morello stated, "The way I look at it is what Trump has done in a week is galvanize the opposition. That’s what this is; this unprecedented racism, bigotry and proto-fascist agenda that he’s trying to shove down America’s throat has unleashed the resistance that will dethrone him."
He continued, "At the rally today, it’s not just young people, it’s people of all ages. They feel this is a threat to democracy, to humanity. Trump’s ignorance in environmental science is a threat to the entire planet, and the way that’s he acted in such an ill-informed and hateful way in his first week, it’s no surprise there are more people marching around the country today against his Muslim ban than were at his inauguration. He’s gonna have a tough time choking that one down. There’s no precedent for this in the first week of an administration."
Morello questioned, "How many Americans, from the women’s march to yesterday to today have been out to just say, 'Oh, hell no!' This is America’s 'Oh, hell no!' moment, and what we did today here at LAX was, with a clear and unified voice, saying that Los Angeles is a 'No Trump Zone.' Immigrants and Muslims and refugees are welcome here; racists, fascists and bigots can beat it."
Chuck D added, "I saw it coming, but at the same time, one of the things we have to keep in mind -- when we saw this come to pass -- [is] that the thing we have to remind each other is expect the unexpected. Just be ready. The more people fight and voice the biggest fight they could take on right about now is opposing [a] loud voice."
The guitarist went on to reveal that Prophets of Rage are currently working on new music that he says will be "a useful counter-offensive to what is going on now." Morello says it was always the band's goal to provide a soundtrack for the resistance and that remains their mission statement. "The coalition that is being forged now goes well beyond disgruntled Hillary supporters. It also is Trump supporters who have buyer’s remorse. It’s the many millions who don’t vote at all because they believe that the system does not represent them in any way ... and in addition to that, all those passionate lifelong activists who see a threat to freedom and human rights in this administration," says Morello, who adds, "Bad presidents make for great music, and we’re gonna do our best to provide it."
As for what to expect in 2017, Morello revealed that there will be more touring for the band, with dates already scheduled for Mexico, South America and Europe, and while no U.S. dates are currently on the books, he feels that some may be necessary. As for the new music, there is no timeline yet for a release, but the guitarist revealed that the band is deep in the process of work on their next disc.
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