Morello, Outernational protest Arizona law with free song
Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello joins the politically charged New York rock group Outernational on a new recording of Woody Guthrie’s immigration ballad “Deportees” in response to Arizona’s recent law targeting illegal immigrants.
“We recorded ‘Deportees’ with Tom Morello … to stand with all the people courageously fighting back against these unjust and immoral laws,” Outernational’s Miles Solay said. “Outernational is about a whole new world, a world without borders and nations. Todos somos illegales. We are all illegals.”
Morello, long known for his own politically provocative music with
Rage, the Nightwatchman and Street Sweeper Social Club, said “Prejudice and ignorance are at the core of Arizona’s recent immigration legislation and Woody Guthrie’s ‘Deportees’ was written to combat just that sort of prejudice.”
A 1948 plane crash near Los Gatos Canyon in Central California that killed 28 Mexican migrant workers and four Americans inspired Guthrie to write the song. The report of the crash in the New York Times listed the names of the three flight crew members and a security guard, but referred to the Mexican workers only as “deportees.” The song was originally popularized by Guthrie’s friend Pete Seeger and subsequently covered by numerous artists including Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Guthrie’s son Arlo, Bruce Springsteen, the Kingston Trio, Los Super Seven, Dolly Parton and the Byrds.