I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered over 100 bands had collaborated on a youth voter mobilization effort called punkvoter.com. Even more surprising: that website’s blog yesterday featured detailed information about higher-education funding bills being considered by congress, and bashes Bush for cutting overtime pay for over 600,000 middle-class American workers. [While his friend, millionaire, and corporate criminal Ken Lay remains free, rich, and uncharged of any crime.] Here’s an excerpt from their FAQ:
“The progressive principals that parallel the punk movements’ guiding strength drive Punkvoter. This is the time for the punk scene to unite around issues we all care about and that we have all sung about. We must all stand together as one voice in shaping the future of our country. This is not about who is a sellout, who is too hardcore or who is from the west coast, etc ÖThis is about getting everyone to mobilize as a block of concerned voters. Punk bands, punk labels, and punk fans must form a union against the chaotic policies George W. Bush has put in place. He must be exposed.
Even amongst this coalition of free thinkers, we may not agree on every issue. Nonetheless, we are united around these four basic principals and feel it is time to stand together in questioning our current administration’s policies
Music has always been ahead of societal change and a major influence on both the culture and the politics of the day. Punk rock is about taking an in-your-face attitude in order to rebel against the problems of our society. Its time to engage the punk rock spirit into today¬ís political battles.
Remember, some of punk’s greatest inventors back lashed against the norms of their society. Punk rock has clearly broken down the prudish undercurrents of many Puritanical yet supposedly “modern” governments. Punk bands like the Sex Pistols, MC5, The Clash, Subhumans, Minor Threat, Crass, and Propagandhi have all been a voice for the working class and other minorities in times of strife. Punk musicians have never been afraid to speak out on such topics as drug abuse, suicide, and forms of discrimination such as sexism and racism. In addition, small bands have been local voices for their communities’ grassroots concerns. From benefit concerts (California’s NOFX, Green Day), to running shelters (DC’s Fugazi and Positive Force) punks have always preached social change. Even though punk’s diversity spans the political spectrum from the far right to the far left (and even includes those that advocate for the complete breakdown of government as we know it), punk has always preached in the hopes of making change a reality.”