Listen

User menu

Search form

Occupy Gets Its Anthem

Occupy Gets Its Anthem
Thu, 9/27/2012
This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone

Click to listen to Tom Morello, Tim McIlrath, Serj Tankian and Occupy Wall Street's 'We Are the 99 Percent'

Since last fall's protestor-led occupation of Zuccotti Park, Tom Morello has been an active and vocal supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The guitarist has regularly gigged at rallies under the guise of his workingman alter-ego, the Nightwatchman, and most recently performed at a commemorative gathering in lower Manhattan to mark the one-year anniversary of the movement's formation.

However, this hasn't seemed like enough of a contribution to Morello; he tells Rolling Stone that he felt the Occupy canon – largely comprised of "earnest folk songs" – was missing a true rock anthem. "It's our gift to the movement," he says of "We Are the 99 Percent," a fists-against-the-wall riff-riot that Morello penned with his "brothers in arms," Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian. The track is now available to stream exclusively on RollingStone.com; starting tomorrow, it will be available for free download on Morello and Tankian's Axis of Justice website.

"I wanted to do a huge riff-rock anthem," Morello says of the track, which was recorded at his own Veritas Studio in Los Angeles, and to which McIlrath and Tankian contributed by remote. "It would feel like the excitement of the global Occupy Wall Street movement."

Morello says the idea to record an Occupy anthem came to him several months ago; however, he only got the ball rolling after last week's "re-energizing" anniversary performance. The song, anchored by Black Sabbath-worthy riffing, is a hard-charging behemoth; it's a call to action for the oppressed. ("If you feel the wave crashing down/ Don't just sit there and drown/ Fight back!" McIlrath roars.) In addition to the three musicians, it also features field recordings of Occupy protestors in Zuccotti Park and Liberty Square.

The success of Occupy Wall Street, Morello believes, has hinged on its ability to "inject into the global dialogue the horrific economic inequality that plagues the planet" and highlight the "grotesque global poverty and the growing inequality in our country." Morello says that he sees evidence of the movement's success in the current presidential campaign. "When is the last time when a Republican candidate for president has had his feet held to the fire because he's too rich?" he says.

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.

Brexit, Brexit opposition, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, no-deal Brexit

“This historic defeat will show that the government is deadlocked – and we now need to throw this back to the people and give them a final say," said Paul Butters of Best for Britain.

manosphere, incels, misogyny, black men, black women, racism, sexism, Black Manosphere

In response to the racism often targeted exclusively toward black men on majority white digital spaces, black males have created their own manosphere – where they rail against black women.

Act Out! [187] - How Police Are A Public Health Issue + Extinction Rebellion’s Move To Save Humanity

First up, Policing is a public health issue. Next, Extinction Rebellion wants to save humanity. Here's how they're going about it.

#MeToo, #MeTooIndia, male abusers, misogny, women coming forward, naming accusers, Indian feminist movement, Indian sex abusers, sexual abuse

It may have taken a full year for the #MeToo movement to reach India, but the storm has hit – and loudly.

Restoring Internet Freedom Order, FCC rules, net neutrality, Internet freedom, fast line, Big Telecom, telecommunications industry, Ajit Pai

Access matters, and unequal access can have onerous consequences for those who can’t afford the fast lane.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Medioimages/Photodisc/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

By doing away with single-family zoning, the city takes on high rent, long commutes, and racism in real estate in one fell swoop.

Brexit, Brexit opposition, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, no-deal Brexit

“This historic defeat will show that the government is deadlocked – and we now need to throw this back to the people and give them a final say," said Paul Butters of Best for Britain.

Protesters on Sunday in Katowice, which is hosting the UN climate conference. Photograph: Sadak Souici/Le Pictorium/Barcroft Images

The move shocked delegates at a UN conference in Poland as ministers flew in for the final week of climate talks.

rising emissions, climate catastrophe, Global Carbon Project, climate impacts, carbon emissions, carbon cuts

According to a new Global Carbon Project report, emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts that are urgently needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

manosphere, incels, misogyny, black men, black women, racism, sexism, Black Manosphere

In response to the racism often targeted exclusively toward black men on majority white digital spaces, black males have created their own manosphere – where they rail against black women.

Posted 5 days 3 hours ago
#MeToo, #MeTooIndia, male abusers, misogny, women coming forward, naming accusers, Indian feminist movement, Indian sex abusers, sexual abuse

It may have taken a full year for the #MeToo movement to reach India, but the storm has hit – and loudly.

Posted 6 days 17 hours ago
Act Out! [187] - How Police Are A Public Health Issue + Extinction Rebellion’s Move To Save Humanity

First up, Policing is a public health issue. Next, Extinction Rebellion wants to save humanity. Here's how they're going about it.

Posted 5 days 15 hours ago
Minds, anti-Facebook, crypto social network, surveillance programs, social media addiction

Now is the time to defend the remnants of the Information Revolution. Take off the corporate gag, close the social media surveillance blinds, and shift.

Posted 5 days 3 hours ago
Yanis Varoufakis, Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders, Sanders Institute, Progressive International, global left, populist movements, rising authoritarianism

"Our Progressive International will reclaim our communities, our cities, our countries, and our planet with a bold International New Deal that we will work, together, to deliver."

Posted 6 days 17 hours ago
Act Out! [187] - How Police Are A Public Health Issue + Extinction Rebellion’s Move To Save Humanity

First up, Policing is a public health issue. Next, Extinction Rebellion wants to save humanity. Here's how they're going about it.

Yanis Varoufakis, Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders, Sanders Institute, Progressive International, global left, populist movements, rising authoritarianism

"Our Progressive International will reclaim our communities, our cities, our countries, and our planet with a bold International New Deal that we will work, together, to deliver."

rising emissions, climate catastrophe, Global Carbon Project, climate impacts, carbon emissions, carbon cuts

According to a new Global Carbon Project report, emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts that are urgently needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

manosphere, incels, misogyny, black men, black women, racism, sexism, Black Manosphere

In response to the racism often targeted exclusively toward black men on majority white digital spaces, black males have created their own manosphere – where they rail against black women.

#MeToo, #MeTooIndia, male abusers, misogny, women coming forward, naming accusers, Indian feminist movement, Indian sex abusers, sexual abuse

It may have taken a full year for the #MeToo movement to reach India, but the storm has hit – and loudly.