One of the hardest pills to swallow about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is that our opinion about it (and yours) really isn't worth much. When we look at the only three industries that have reportedly been holding up passage of the deal through Congress—big pharma, big tobacco and big finance—we can reach no other conclusion. That's not the way it should be, but after five years of us constantly battling this undemocratic agreement with very little to show for it, that seems to be the way it is.
This makes us angry. And when we get angry, we like to rock.
That's why we're supporting Rock Against the TPP, an ambitious free music festival and rally around the country, principally organized by our friends at Fight for the Future, in collaboration with guitarist Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage, and Audioslave) and his new label Firebrand Records. Joining Morello to headline the tour will be hip hop star Talib Kweli, actress Evangeline Lilly (star of Lost and the Hobbit), and a diverse line-up of other big-name acts (check out the full line-up in each city below).
But Rock Against the TPP is more than just an opportunity for us to rock out and vent our frustrations about this toxic deal—it could also be the key to finally sinking it once and for all. How? Because although big money unfortunately holds great power over our representatives in Congress, there's one thing that means even more to them—the voice of the people. But only when it's loud enough—and that's where the idea of a music festival comes in. If we can get thousands of ordinary music lovers to rise up against the TPP, this may be just the kind of groundswell of public sentiment that politicians can no longer ignore.
The dates and lineup for these free concerts include:
- July 23-24 in Denver, Colorado featuring Tom Morello, Evangeline Lilly, Anti-Flag (acoustic), Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit of Flobots, Downtown Boys, Taina Asili, Ryan Harvey, Son of Nun, Lia Rose, and Evan Greer.
- July 30 in San Diego, California featuring Jolie Holland, Evangeline Lilly, Taina Asili, Lia Rose, Bonfire Madigan, and Evan Greer.
- August 19 in Seattle, Washington featuring Talib Kweli, Evangeline Lilly, Anti-Flag (acoustic), Downtown Boys, Taina Asili, Sihasin, Bell's Roar, and Evan Greer.
- August 20 in Portland, Oregon featuring headliners to be announced soon plus Evangeline Lilly, Anti-Flag (acoustic), Downtown Boys, Taina Asili, Sihasin, Bell's Roar, and Evan Greer.
And more dates are yet to come!
One of the most exciting things about these concerts—apart from the awesome lineup and the fact that entry is absolutely free—is that each event will also include a teach-in, with experts to inform and energize the crowd about how they can take back control of their democracy, and oppose this corporate-driven agreement. In particular, EFF hopes to have a speaker at each of these events to raise the alarm about how the TPP will affect your digital rights, by locking in the harshest aspects of U.S. copyright law and extending them across the world, while failing to meaningfully protect fair use or a free and open Internet.
If you'd like to join us at to Rock Against the TPP, and if you can make it to Denver, San Diego, Seattle, or Portland, then all you need to do is to get your free tickets now. Join us there to hear some awesome, powerful music from some of the tightest outfits in the country, while also feeling good about standing up for your rights and for your democracy. Oh, and one more thing—don't come by yourself. Tell all of your friends, share the news on social media, and help us to send our representatives a loud and clear message—our opinions about the TPP do matter.