By Corey Atad.

Rage Against the Machine are holding Canada accountable.

On Friday, the iconic band played a set at Bluesfest in Ottawa, and they used their platform to take a stand against injustices faced by Indigenous people in Canada.


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A screen behind the band displayed a series of messages, including, “An Indigenous person in Canada is over 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a white person is.”

In 2020, an analysis conducted by CTV News showed that of 66 people shot and killed by police since 2017 and for whom race or heritage could be identified, 25 were Indigenous, nearly 40 per cent of the total.

Another message displayed behind the band as they performed read, “In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 16 times more likely to be murdered or to disappear than white women are.”

They also displayed the phrases “Settler-colonialism is murder,” and “Land Back”.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the band also backed up the politically charged lyrics of their songs with videos of police brutality in the U.S. and spoke out on America’s Supreme Court overturning abortion rights last month.

“I know you’re very well aware of the fact that they just robbed millions of our sisters of their right to decide,” band member Zack de la Rocha said, “but I think you might also know (that) how we defeat them is with solidarity.”

Rage Against the Machine’s current tour, which they kicked off earlier this month, marks their first live appearances in over a decade, with their show in Ottawa being their first visit to the nation’s capital and their first concert in Canada since the start of the millennium.


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Fans at the show and on social media were happy to see that the band’s political activism hadn’t missed a beat, with many applauding their stand on Indigenous rights.





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Ellen Bullock