United We Stand Festival Ignites a Wave of Action Among Independent Journalists and Active Citizens

posted May 11, 2014, 11:18 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jun 5, 2014, 7:33 PM ]
The "United We Stand” festival kicked off on May 10th in downtown Los Angeles at the Belasco Theater with musical guests Immortal Technique, Wu-tang Clan, Rooftop Revolutionaries, A-Alikes, Sounds of Solidarity, Kellee Maize, and Chuck D of Public Enemy. Social activists on a #waveofaction at the festival included comedian Lee Camp, Green party political candidates Rosa Clemente and Jill Stein, March Against Monsanto founder Tami Canal, Emma Cape of Free Chelsea Manning, Diane Goldstein of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, authors Rosa Koire, Ellen Brown, and David Swanson, and dozens more.

LOS ANGELES -- Hosted by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation, the inaugural “United We Stand” festival kicked off on May 10th in downtown Los Angeles, showcasing music, journalism, and political visionaries on subjects including the war on drugs, drone warfare, foreign policy, Internet freedom, election reform, corporatism, central banking, and the oneness of the human beings of the world.

Originally planned for UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion as the launch of a 10-city university tour, the UWS festival location was changed just three days before the concert. Organizers effusively thanked the Belasco Theater for accommodating Saturday’s festival on less than 24 hours notice, after UCLA rescinded the offer for the scheduled venue.

Christina Tobin of Free and Equal Elections (Photo by M.C.)
United We Stand organizers noted, “The Woodstock location withdrew a few days before the event and had to be relocated to a farm (outside of Woodstock). Keep up your spirits, Free & Equal intends for this event to have similar historic implications towards the goal of world peace.” With the success of the last minute change, “this event sets up an even greater path for future festivals.”

Tickets for the event were sold via an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign and though Ticketmaster; however, after the venue was relocated, free admission was offered to all event attendees (current ticket holders received refunds). After last minute communications about the change of venue, attendees lined up outside the historic Belasco Theater on S. Hill St. for admission late Saturday afternoon.
Lee Camp at United We Stand (Photo by M.C.)

When comedian Lee Camp took the stage, he joked “United We Stand! Now on the sidewalk outside the theater for hours…” He added, “sorry about that. We just did that because we wanted you to stand. United.”

The spirited crowd responded with exuberant applause and cheers to Lee Camp’s joke about the logistics of the festival. He continued, “We’re here because we’re in the middle of some deep shit. We’re here because every time I turn on the TV, maybe the Mayan prediction that the world was going to end in the end of 2012, maybe it wasn’t a prediction. It was a recommendation.”

“Look around. There’s economies collapsing around the world. No one’s got a good job. There’s dogs in sweaters and kids on leashes!” observed Mr. Camp.

LEE CAMP performs at United We Stand, Los Angeles

“We are witnessing the liquidation of everything we’ve built over the last two hundred, maybe a thousand years. This unfettered capitalist domination of the mental sphere…is an extraction…of anything and everything that matters to the average human being.”

Lee Camp told the audience, “We’re putting our differences aside long enough to realize the two party duopoly is nothing but a sham. We agree on 90% of the structural issues in this country. Ask them what the differences are…in Wall St. or the military-industrial complex or the prison-industrial complex.”

On the subject of the American mass incarceration, Lee Camp accused, “We have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners! Is that a bad idea?”

Specific political policies mentioned by speakers included the Patriot Act, the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, the web of debt created by the Federal Reserve, and UN Agenda 21 “sustainable development” social engineering. Poems, songs, and speeches also mentioned imperialism, war on foreign soils and by drone, the military industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, and the corporate control of our modern government.

Immortal Technique plays UNITED WE STAND (Photo by M.C.)

After an inspiring talk by criminal defense attorney Freddy Sayegh on the subject of food justice, the crowd broke out into an impromptu cheer of “Fuck Monsanto” reminiscent of the battle cries at any American sporting event.

Musical acts included revolutionary rapper Immortal Technique, founding members of Wu-tang Clan Cappadonna, U-God, and Masta Killa, the political hard rock band Rooftop Revolutionaries, independent hip Florida hop artists A-Alikes, funk band Sounds of Solidarity, and female rapper Kellee Maize. Due to the all-star nature of the five-hour evening, even headlining acts were limited to 15 minute set times.

Immortal Technique opened his short set rapping his chilling song "Bin Laden," accusing the U.S government of masterminding terrorism. "Bush funded al-Qaeda, and now they blame the Muslim religion, even though bin Laden was a CIA tactician, t
hey gave him billions of dollars, and they funded his purpose, Fahrenheit 9/11, that's just scratchin' the surface." He morphed into “The Point of No Return,” indicting the perpetrators of genocide and imperialism throughout history.

Addressing the audience, Immortal Technique made a commentary on the power of words. “When I say autistic, I don’t mean retarded, but a genius alive in a world of darkness. But regardless, our world is heartless…. I’m out of shits I used to give, so trust in death, I see the lives I used to live, our future kids…under this tutelage. When I say hip hop, I don’t mean the music, I mean the culture, not the vultures!”

Independent citizen journalism was recurring topic of the evening, with panelists including Emmy-award winning CNN International whistleblower Amber Lyon, Abby Martin of RT, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange.org, Mint Press News founder Mnar Muhawesh, Nick Bernabe of The Anti-Media, Brad Friedman of KPFK, and countless other authors and members of the press.

One citizen journalist in attendance observed that she was “really moved that I saw NO MAINSTREAM MEDIA at #UnitedWeStand. Meanwhile, alternative media, social influencers and live streamers came out in force. The people's media was given full access to concert speakers, artists, and organizers. There was so much solidarity and cooperation between media teams.”

The stated goal of United We Stand is to use “the momentum of the tour [to] unite and empower voters and build a base of supporters for young people running for local office in 2014.” The foundation plans to support debate initiatives to support “new candidates for office, especially those running for Congressional seats.”

Or, as Lee Camp asked, “The question now is just whether we will put our differences aside long enough to tell the assholier than thou titans of dickery at the top to go frack themselves with a rusty dildo!”

View Lee Camp at United We Stand (full set):

Immortal Technique at #UnitedWeStand:

“Fuck Monsanto” Impromptu Cheer at United We Stand:

Rooftop Revolutionaries at United We Stand:

Sounds of Solidarity at United We Stand:

Peace Signs at United We Stand Festival:

Gary Franchi: How Journalists Saved #BundyRanch from Becoming Another WACO (1:47):

Rosa Koire Agenda 21 Exposed (3:10):

Foster Gamble Free Energy (7:31):

Jill Stein on the Green Economy at United We Stand (1:19):

Poet Nano Munoz at United We Stand Festival (1:48):

Rosa Clemente Green Party Candidate Speaking about Race (3:23):

Sean Stone on POWER of Power (1:26):

Lee Camp on MSM at United We Stand (4:52):

Freddy Sayegh on the Monetization of Natural Resources (4:40):

David Swanson the War on Terror (3:44):

Luis Rodriguez Green Party Candidate for Governor of California (1:31):

Ben Swan on Edward Snowden at United We Stand Festival (0:31):

Fuck Monsanto! United We Stand Festival Crowd Expressing Their Views on Monsanto (2:05):

Richard Gage: Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (2:42):

Dan Johnson -- 19 Year Old Founder of People against the NDAA (PANDAA) (1:48):

Nick Bernabe of the AntiMedia and March Against Monsanto on the TPP (6:14):

Chino XL at #UnitedWeStand (0:35):

Immortal Technique at #UnitedWeStand (2:18):

Published May 11, 2014 by Occupy Los Angeles OWS. @OccupyLAOWS