<< Music with a message

By Alex Avila, 18, San Gabriel HS
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Dead Kennedys, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles

Pennywise, Land of the Free?

Bad Religion, No Substance

Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Listening to the Dead Kennedys, I learned about Pol Pot, a dictator who violently governed Cambodia in the 1970s, killing anyone who objected to or offended him. Up to 2 million people died during his rule from being overworked in the fields, starvation or execution. He died in 1998.
Listening to Rage Against the Machine, I learned about the Zapatistas, Mayans living in Chiapas, Mexico, who have struggled for their human rights since Mexico’s colonization more than 500 years ago.

They also sang about two political prisoners, Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Leonard Peltier was an American Indian tribal member who was involved in a protest in South Dakota in 1975 that resulted in the death of two FBI agents. Even though he was not involved in the killings, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison while other protestors were acquitted. Mumia Abu-Jamal is a Philadephia man who was found on a sidewalk with a bullet in his chest lying next to a dead police officer. He was accused of killing the police officer and was sentenced to death row in 1981. Several witnesses said a bystander shot him and the officer.