Arizona

“I’ve been listening, and I’ve been impressed. But the winners today are the teachers in the state of Arizona.”

These are the words of Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey at an April 12 press conference in the state Capitol building in Phoenix. He had just announced a funding plan that he claims will raise Arizona teachers’ pay by 20% by 2020 and raise education funding by US$371 million by 2023.

The introduction in May of a racist law targetting immigrants in the US state of Arizona has sparked a powerful movement from wide sections of US society. It has also sparked the biggest movement of musicians in the US since the times of South African apartheid, with a growing number of artists refusing to play in Arizona in protest.

The musicians are organised through Sound Strike, an organisation initiated in May by Rage Against the Machine (RATM) lead singer Zach de la Rocha and film-maker Michael Moore.

In April, Arizona passed SB 1070, a controversial law that encourages police officers to harass residents they "reasonably suspect" to be undocumented migrants. Chuck D, from hip-hop legends Public Enemy, spoke to sports journalist, broadcaster and author Dave Zirin about SB 1070. Abridged from Zirin’s website, Edge of Sports .

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DZ: Why did you choose to record “Tear Down this Wall?”

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