Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Sep 11th 2007 2:00PM by Benjy Eisen
"With the attacks on Sept. 11, this festival took on new significance," Franti told Spinner. "We wanted it to be a day that was not only speaking against the death penalty in this country, but a day speaking out against the death penalty at the hands of the U.S. Military around the world."
The free event was renamed '911 Power to the Peaceful,' and has since expanded to include a DJ tent, a kids' stage, yoga instruction, guest speakers and enough activist groups and anti-war booths to fill an entire White House lawn with petitions. This year's event, held at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park last weekend, featured spirited performances by Michael Franti and Spearhead, Indigo Girls, Bassnectar and DJ Spooky, among others. The message was clear and omnipresent among the 40,000 strong: Bush is one unpopular dude. But during the headlining set itself, Franti mobilized the audience by getting them to dance rather than by preaching to the choir.
"The best way to get to a point of co-existence is to be able to put down that 'right' and 'wrong' thing," Franti proclaimed. "Stop trying to convince other people that 'we're right' and 'they're wrong.'"