Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst is a vocal member of The Sound Strike, a loosely affiliated coalition of musicians who’ve come together in protest of Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act – aka the Anti-Immigration Law. In an interview with AUX, Oberst expounded on his involvement and expressed disappointment in performers who have refused to join, including Lady Gaga, who once asked protesters, “You really think that us dumb fucking pop stars are going to collapse the economy of Arizona?”
“Everyone involved is aware that the act of one band not playing in Arizona…is not going to shut down the state government. But…it serves as a messaging tool to promote the larger boycott. A big source of income for the state is conventions and…they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars in canceled conventions. The only way to get through to the people crafting these kind of laws is to truly hit them in the only place they feel pain, which is their pocket book. There’s no way to argue with them reasonably, there’s no way to argue in terms of what’s right and wrong because they’re beyond that.”
He went on to speak directly to Gaga’s refusal to boycott the state, saying:
“It’s a real shame for someone like Lady Gaga. When she does a concert there, she’s providing so much money for the state of Arizona. The people who are most affected have little to no voice politically. [P]eople that do have [a] voice need to come to their aid and say, “This is not right.” This is a civil rights issue, a human rights issue, a human dignity issue and desperate times call for desperate measures.”
That’s a pretty good call to arms, and it’s probably fair to take to task someone who has virtually made a career of saying she’s speaking up for a voiceless, marginalized minority. At any rate, Oberst had lots more to say on the matter than is included here, so to read more, check out the full interview on AUX.