At the cusp of an election and in the throes of a global economic crisis, there’s an electric charge surrounding the immigration debate, in the political arena and in the sphere of public culture. With legions of young people coming out of the shadows to claim their piece of the DREAM, communities mobilizing against police brutality and unjust detention, and momentum building for decisive federal action on immigration reform… all the movement is missing now is a soundtrack. Cue Outernational.
Their new video, “Todos Somos ‘Ilegales’,” uses a combination of crowd-sourced video and dramatic scenes of border crossings, topped with a punk brass section, sepia-toned railroad landscapes and protest footage featuring megaphones and taped mouths. As we reported previously, the band has been spreading the pro-migrant internationalist gospel since 2009, with support from Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame, and joined a host of other artists and musicians in protesting Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070. The band recently put out a full-length album and is currently touring the U.S. (with a show in New York City on July 11 at Bowery Electric). The group was also featured on NPR Music’s Fourth of July list of “Immigrant Songs of Triumph and Tragedy.”
Lead singer Miles Solay issued this manifesto with the video on Cuentame:
Many people are once again talking about the anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and other states and the dehumanization of immigrants. As we see it, there is no so-called ‘immigration problem’ but there is a capitalism problem. Together with Rene Perez Joglar, Tom Morello, Chad Smith, Thom Russo, and many others, we hope to spread the ‘We Are All Illegals’ music video to all corners of the US, as well as throughout Latin America with the purpose of sending a clear message that the very notion of any human being deemed illegal is obscene, absurd, and obsolete. We are also making it abundantly clear that there is a growing force of people who refuse to sit idly in the face of ominous laws. One day it will seem as ridiculous for a human being to be deemed “illegal” by a government as it now seems for one person to own another person. Just as many different kinds of people need to fight back and get justice for Trayvon Martin, many different kinds of people need to stand together with our immigrant brothers and sisters. Until that day in a future society, we hereby declare, “WE ARE ALL ILLEGALS.”