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Rage Against the Machine reunites with a potent message: ‘Abort the Supreme Court’

Two band members perform on a stage.
Rage Against the Machine’s Tim Commerford, left, and singer Zack de la Rocha — seen performing at L.A. Rising in 2011 — reunited with the rest of the band over the weekend.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

The members of Rage Against the Machine have always carried a message with their music. In 2022, they have plenty to be mad about, and after an 11-year break from performing together, they didn’t hold back over the weekend.

During their pandemic-delayed return to the stage Saturday night, the rap-rock band was typically abrasive, performing its high-octane catalog to more than 30,000 people at Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Music Theatre.

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the band members hardly talked between songs, but that didn’t mean they weren’t vocal. Instead they screened images of real-world violence, including an El Paso police car engulfed with flames, along with messages related to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe vs. Wade.

Thirty years ago, Rock for Choice brought together Nirvana, Hole, L7 and Bikini Kill in support of abortion rights. And it all started in L.A.

“Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” an onscreen message read. “Forced birth in a country where Black birth-givers experience maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of white birth-givers. Forced birth in a country where gun violence is the number one cause of death among children and teenagers.”

“Abort the Supreme Court,” the next screen read in all caps.

Rage Against the Machine previously announced its displeasure with the Roe vs. Wade ruling when it came down on June 24. In a black-and-white message posted to the group’s Instagram, they announced their charity concerts at Alpine Valley and Chicago’s United Center had raised $475,000, all of which would be donated to reproductive-rights organizations in those states.

Rage Against the Machine co-founder Tom Morello has teamed with the Bloody Beetroots, Shea Diamond and Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds for “Stand Up.”

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“We are disgusted by the repeal of Roe V. Wade and the devastating impact it will have on tens of millions of people,” the band’s Instagram post read. “Over half of the country (26 states) is likely to ban or seriously restrict abortion very soon, if not immediately, which will have a disproportionate impact on poor, working class and undocumented BIPOC communities.”

“Like the many women who have organized sophisticated railroads of resistance to challenge these attacks on our collective reproductive freedom, we must continue to resist,” the statement continued.

Rage Against the Machine last performed at 2011’s L.A. Rising festival, staged at the Los Angeles Coliseum. In 2019, they announced the Public Service Announcement Tour for the spring of 2020, which was pushed back to 2021 and then delayed until 2022 because of the pandemic.


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