Police Block Rage From Playing Free RNC Show


Band arrives to play
Ripple Effect but isn’t allowed to go onstage.

By Fred Mills



Thwarting Rage Against The Machine’s plans to play a free,
unannounced show late yesterday afternoon at the Ripple Effect festival in St. Paul, local police
shut the concert down promptly at 7 p.m. – the original curfew time for the
event. (Read our report of what led up to the show and Rage’s proposed
appearance HERE.)


Apparently the band got to the State Capitol lawn where
Ripple Effect was taking place too close to that 7 p.m. curfew and additionally
lacked a permit to play, so the police barred them from taking the stage.


According to a report filed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, an antsy crowd began chanting while the band and
event organizers conferred, shouting “Free speech!” and “Fuck you, I won’t do
what you tell me!” (a key, early Rage lyric) and singing “The Star Spangled
Banner.” Ultimately, members of the group joined the crowd and with vocalist Zach
De La Rocha wielding a bullhorn sang a cappella versions of “Bulls on Parade”
and “Testify” before marching en masse with the 2000-strong crowd towards the Xcel Energy


According to a Ripple Effects spokesperson, the police deliberately held up
the event to prevent Rage from going on, saying, “A state patrolman held
the band and wouldn’t let them enter [backstage] until it was too late.”
However, a representative of the Minnesota State Patrol indicated it was
because the band was not included on Ripple Effect’s permit and that “the
concert ended on time… it was quite a peaceful day of music otherwise.”


Speaking of a peaceful day: subsequent media reports said that while the band members wound up leaving the march after reaching the Center, a number of marchers in the crowd, which had swelled to 4000, stormed the security fences outside the RNC and tried to break them down, resulting in the police using teargas on them.


Rage Against the Machine performs at the Target
Center in Minneapolis tonight as part of a previously
scheduled concert. No doubt there will be additional, unscheduled comments
heard from the stage, however.



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