Do you remember where you were when the Iraq War started? Me, my sister and a few hundred others were at a freeway overpass in Newport Beach chanting revolutionary slogans to the traffic below.   For many of those drivers in the heart of the Orange Curtain, our anti-war protest came as a surprise. But we were not the only Orange County locals taking a stand against U.S. aggression that day.  Irvine native, ex-Rage Against the Machine front man, Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow were finishing off their anti Iraq war jam, “March of Death.”  In a statement, posted along with a free download of the single, Zack expressed his feelings

“Lies, sanctions, and cruise missiles have never created a free and just society.  Only everyday people can do that. Which is why I’m joining the millions world wide who have stood up to oppose the Bush Administration’s attempt to expand the U.S. empire at the expense of human rights at home and abroad.”

In that sprit, DJ shadow drops a blistering beat that pops like the mangle of bombs landing on the hot desert sand.  Zack begins with a question that express his disdain for President Bush and his role as judge and executioner,

“Who let the cowboy on the saddle? He don’t know a missile from a gavel, Para terror troopin flippin loops of death upon innocent flesh.”

After letting listeners know he is back in the mix to continue challenging power, Zack again poses a question about Bush.

“This man child, ruthless and wild, Who’s gonna chain this best back on the leash?”

For the hook, in an indication of the march of death, Zack provides the “left” and “right” of a military step.

In the next verse, he expresses a sense of powerlessness to stop the war.  He calls for solidarity between the West and East but feels selfless nationalism will not be able to stop the war.

“Interlocked our hands across seas, what is a flag is a rag but a shroud out loud, outside my window is a faceless crowd, cause a cowering child just took her last breath, one snare in the march to death.”

After the military hook, the war begins. Zack calls the bombing of Iraq a form of terrorism that is being perpetrated in order to secure Iraqi oil.  But even in the mist of the carnage, he finds hope in people “using their words as weapons.”

This quote comes from the Zapatista spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos. Zack has spent time with the Zapatista’s helping to secure their revolution in Mexico’s Chiapas region.

“now we spit flame to flip this game, we’re his targets taking aim, we’re the targets taking aim, all his targets are taking aim.”


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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