Rockers Rage Against the Machine target Arizona law

Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:57pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Militant rockers Rage Against the Machine said on Wednesday they would headline a concert to raise money for organizations challenging a new Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants.

The show, the group's first in its Los Angeles hometown for 10 years, will take place on Friday, and will also raise the profile of a "SoundStrike" artist boycott of the state.

Boycotters include rock bands Nine Inch Nails and leftist musicians such as Billy Bragg, Steve Earle and Ry Cooder, as well as filmmaker Michael Moore.

But the music industry is largely ignoring the strike, evidenced by upcoming shows from the likes of big names like Lady Gaga, KISS, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stone Temple Pilots and Brad Paisley.

The Obama administration on Thursday goes to federal court to try to block the law, known as SB 1070, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

The Justice Department is among plaintiffs including civil rights and advocacy groups who have lodged seven separate lawsuits that seek to block the law from taking effect on July 29.

Rage Against the Machine, a chart-topping foursome known for its leftist politics and anti-corporate tirades, reunited in 2007 after a seven-year hiatus, in time to poke jabs at the administration of President George W. Bush.

The band once likened the Bush administration to Nazi war criminals and said its members should be shot, and accused the government of being at war with Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans.

It managed to top the closely watched U.K. Christmas chart last year with its nonfestive 1992 anthem "Killing in the Name" after a Facebook campaign to ensure that a favored reality-show contender did not come first.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

<p>A man walks past graffiti on a building reading "Smash The Border" in Phoenix, Arizona April 29, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>