While the world’s sociopolitical balance seems to be crumbling before our very eyes, calling out injustice is nothing new at a Rage Against The Machine concert. Zack De La Rocha, Tom Morello, and company have always used their on-stage platform to spread awareness to a range of causes, corruption, etc. in well-articulated but incredibly pissed-off ways. And while the band hadn’t played a concert in 11 years before reuniting to perform again last week, they’re picking up right where they left off.
This past weekend at Ottawa’s Bluesfest, the band used their Friday night headlining set to bring awareness to the disproportionate violence against Canada’s Indigenous peoples population.
“In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 16 times more likely to be murdered or to disappear than white women are,” one message read on the screen behind the stage. Another said, “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.”
Rage Against the Machine in Ottawa last night 🎸🔥🤖
In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 16 times more likely to be murdered or to disappear than white women are. pic.twitter.com/U1vu54JMY2
— With All Due Respect Your Holiness (@JakeBuffin) July 16, 2022
The briefer messages they posted read “LAND BACK” and “Settler-colonialism is murder,” which spoke to long-standing mainstream issues surrounding Canada’s indigenous population and their rights to the land that is historically theirs. While Rage has stood up against the overturning of Roe v. Wade, they’re not one to loosen the grip on societal ills in other parts of the world as well.
With Rage Against The Machine, the purpose of these displays is not for shock value, but rather to educate and bring sheer awareness to pressing instances of injustice towards marginalized populations. And the responses on social media, show how much more widespread the band’s messages can be in the digital age than they were in the pre-internet era of the band’s early-’90s beginnings.
just learned this was at a rage against the machine show! pic.twitter.com/0HeSzSpWuM
— helado con uva 🍇 (@calicoestrella) July 18, 2022
Rage Against The Machine concert in Ottawa. 🤟🏽😎 Fighting RoevsWade in the USA, but they don’t let Canada off the hook either. #Appropriate #LandBack
#🧡 #UncededTerritory https://t.co/aSAstyAYv9
— Janene Erickson (@j9erickson) July 17, 2022
Rage Against The Machine in “Canada” — photo shared with me. #MMIWG #MMIW #MMIWG2S pic.twitter.com/czeOpkxORi
— Jollene 🍞🌹 (@jollenelevid) July 16, 2022