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article imageMassive political-music festival planned for UCLA Special

By Victoria N. Alexander     Apr 27, 2014 in Politics
Los Angeles - On May 10th the 10,000-seat Pauley Pavilion will be filled with supporters of every activist group and worthy cause that has ever asked for your signature on their petitions, as the “United We Stand” festival launches a movement to end corporatocracy
Hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and co-sponsored by socially responsible businesses like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps—as well as countless groups fighting against GMOs, fracking, surveillance, censorship, corrupt drug policies, money in politics, the industrial military complex, and the Federal Reserve—the festival-goers will be offered a smorgasbord of solutions to mull over, ranging from local government-owned banks and green public utilities to free-market regulation. A common goal seems to be the decentralization of corporate-controlled Federal power, giving “power back to the individual voter.”
Christina Tobin, the young and very passionate founder of Free and Equal, suspects the vitriol partisan debates are designed to preserve the status quo. When asked about her motivation to host the festival, she replied, American is ready for a movement that brings everyone together, a solution-based movement to provide alternatives, not only in politics, but in music, art, science, and the marketplace.
In 2012 Tobin co-hosted, with media legend Larry King, the third party presidential debates, during which tens of millions of viewers learned about the important issues that the other two candidates were specifically not discussing. The “United We Stand” festival is a continuation of that effort to educate voters about the issues that affect them and to encourage them to explore all of their options.
Similar in some respects to the Occupy movement, particularly in its diversity and profound disillusionment with the system, the Free and Equal movement is more specific about how to address the problem of systemic failure by concentrating on the local level. With support from the alternative media (e.g. We Are Change, Russia Today, Mint Press News, and DemocracyNow), Free and Equal has now turned their focus on Congress, the branch of government that is most directly controlled by local voters. Currently about 280 independent and third-party candidates have declared intentions to run for Congress in 2014, according to listings on, with more being added every week. Considering that 42% of Americans self-identify as “independent,” rather than “Republican” (numbering 25%) or “Democrat” (numbering 31%)—according to a recent Gallup poll—Tobin is hopeful that a good number of candidates who will work for the people, not their party or their corporate funders, will be elected in November. Further considering that Congress could have put the brakes on the NSA with only seven more votes last July, just a little new blood in the House may be enough to make democracy start to work again. Free and Equal’s tech teams are developing online tools for voters to gain access to information about the congressional races, and more debates are planned.
But discussions of political issues won’t be the only focus at the festival, whose first priority will be to get people on their feet and inspired. Socially-conscious musical performers headlining at the fest include Public Enemy, founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali, The Siren, Paul Masvidal of Cynic, Tatiana Moroz, Rooftop Revolutionaries, A-Alikes, Luminaries, Jon Goodhue, Sounds of Solidarity, and more. Speakers will include Larry King, ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, former Representative Dennis Kucinich, author and congressional candidate Marianne Williamson, Monsanto-fighter David Bronner, Sean Stone, Dr. Jill Stein, Gov. Gary Johnson, whistle-blower Amber Lyon and more.
Tickets for the half-day festival are available through Ticketmaster for $17.76.
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