Approximately 350 people gathered in Anisq’ Oyo Park on Saturday to enjoy an afternoon of live music with a message.
The student-led anti-war concert began at 1 p.m. with local band Tame the Atom. Their politically charged lyrics reflected the day’s theme – that of political awareness and nonviolent resolution of current and future global conflicts.
Junior Molly Hahn, sophomore Josh Gottlieb and seniors Kristen Galbreath and Tom Schrecker organized the event. All four students are global studies majors and said they hoped that, through music, they would be able to increase student awareness and encourage student action against the possible war in Iraq.
Other bands that performed in the event included Fuzzy Logic, Blue Room, OJ Barbados and K the Band. Together they provided an assortment of reggae beats, pop rock and metal jams.
In an effort to express the band’s views, Tame the Atom’s speakers and amplifiers displayed poster-sized quotes from peace advocate Mahatma Ghandi: “An eye for and eye makes the whole world blind,” and from writer George Orwell: “At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Gottlieb followed Tame the Atom with a solo performance on his bass guitar and took the opportunity to voice the goals of he and his cohorts.
“Through music and vehement nonviolence, we hope to change people’s minds,” Gottlieb said.
Several anti-war organizations, as well as groups supporting related issues, erected informational booths beside the stage. These included UC Nuclear Free, Not in Our Name, Student Action Forum for the Middle East and NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Fliers were distributed with information on how to learn more about Iraq and U.S. policy and how to get involved in the anti-war movement.
Charles Bazerman, professor and chair of the Gevirtz Dept. of Education and one of the concert’s many sponsors, said he hoped that the concert would be a good opportunity for students to learn more about the situation in Iraq and express their views on the subject.
“Events like this create the time and opportunity to become more involved. As students find ways to speak out and formulate their views, they will find ways to express those views in consequential ways,” Bazerman said.
Hahn said that she along with Galbreath, Schrecker and Gottlieb, hoped that Saturday’s event would be the first of many. They plan to organize a series of concerts, beginning next quarter, which will reflect similar themes and objectives.
Galbreath said she was very pleased with the student turnout and felt they had received a lot of support for the anti-war movement. She said she felt that they had succeeded in peacefully expressing their goals and hoped that the concert attendees had gained some perspective on the issues at hand.