Lady Gaga & Arizona SB 1070
“Tonight I want you to free yourself. I want you to let go of all of your insecurities. I want you to reject any person or any thing or any law that has ever made you feel like you don’t belong,” Gaga said from the stage at Phoenix’s US Airways Center.
The law the singer was referencing is SB 1070, which went into effect July 29 and makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. Opponents of the law say it will lead to racial profiling.
A number of bands and artists across genres – including Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth, Joe Satriani, Kanye West and Conor Oberst – have banded together as The Sound Strike to protest SB 1070 by boycotting booking any gigs in The Grand Canyon State.
Here’s what Lady Gaga thinks about the idea.
“I got a phone call from a couple really big rock and rollers, big pop stars, big rappers and they said, ‘We’d like you to boycott Arizona. I want you to boycott playing Arizona because of SB 1070. And I said, ‘Do you really think that us dumb f**ing pop stars are going to collapse the economy of Arizona?’”
According to the Arizona Republic, Lady Gaga told the crowd that she had met a boy whose house “was raided because of a parking ticket or something. They took his brother, and now he is in Mexico . . . It’s really (unfair), and it’s really disgusting. I think it’s important that people understand that it’s a state of emergency for this place and this state.”
The singer offered her own advice about the law.
“I’ll tell you what we have to do about SB 1070. We have to be active. We have to actively protest. … I will not cancel my show. I will yell and I will scream louder. And I will hold you, and we will hold each other, and we will peaceably protest this state. Do not be afraid because if it wasn’t for all of you immigrants, this country wouldn’t have s**t.”
The week before Elton John told fans at Tucson Arena in Arizona that he also refused to boycott performing in the state.
“We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona, I have read that some of the artists won’t come here,” according to the Arizona Daily Star. “They are f**kwits. Let’s face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what the f**k’s with these people?”
On July 28 a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block the most controversial parts of SB 1070, according to CNN. The provisions in question include a stipulation that says police are required to question people’s immigration status if they suspect they are illegal immigrants, and that it’s a crime for illegal aliens to “solicit, apply for, or perform work.” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer plans to file an expedited appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Click here for the Arizona Republic article.
Click here for the Arizona Daily Star article.
Click here for the CNN.com article.