members of the press, my fellow operation ceasefire organizers consisting
of representation from United For Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans
Against the War, Thievery Cooperation, and Mintwood Media.
My name is Head-Roc and I want to thank you all for coming out and
deeming it newsworthy to cover this Operation Ceasefire news conference.
As you all know by now Operation Ceasefire is the name given to the
historic multi-genre music festival scheduled to take place on the
Washington Monument grounds Saturday September 24th 2005, as part
of that weekend’s massive anti-war/bring the troops home Washington
DC street mobilization demanding peace and global equality.
I am very proud and honored to be part of this coalition of musicians,
having come together in solidarity with progressive activists, to
exercise our first amendment rights of free speech and peaceful assembly
in an effort to petition our Government in redress of our grievances.
These actions are of significant importance in this age where doing
so is often propagandized as unpatriotic by those who support war
and hostilities as a solution to our nations disagreements with certain
ideologies, faiths, and cultures.
As an artist I feel it is of the utmost importance to express my dissent
for the war in Iraq, clearly and plainly.
I, as many Americans do, believe that our current actions in Iraq
have been illegal, unjust, and very misleading.
I am a firm believer that the actions of this current administration,
along with the handling of information with regards to the consequences
of its actions, are harmful to the well-being and future of not just
American citizens, but many of our fellow World citizens. As we find
ourselves in these tough times, it is important that each and every
one of us take action to find a quick and just solution to our current
Already, almost 2,000 American soldiers have died with many thousands
more injured both physically and emotionally as a result of this preventable
preemptive conflict – I hesitate to call it a ‘war’
because to my knowledge Congress still has not passed a formal Declaration
of War in regard to this act of aggression against the people of Iraq.
In addition to the casualties suffered by American families, many
tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens are dead as a result of this current
administration’s decision to invade their homeland in search
yet unfound ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to quote ‘establish
democracy and freedom’.
That is the human cost. The monetary cost for this war is great as
well. Billions of dollars per month are spent to, as this administration
puts it, establish democracy and bring freedom to the citizenry of
With no end in site, and the fight between extremist groups with obvious
great capacity and capabilities to deliver death and destruction in
name of what they think to be moral and right, both the Middle East
and here in the United States, these human and financial costs are
proving too much for citizens of both nations to bear. Now is the
time for us to stop a
a nd say ENOUGH!!!
My participation in the Operation Ceasefire music festival is very
meaningful to me as an American citizen, and as a descendant of enslaved
Africans brought to this land as commerce in the economic foundation
of the United States as a Nation, and then even more so as a native
Washingtonian and DC Resident.
As a DC Resident I do not have a congressional voice in determining
the course and actions of our Nation. Sure we have ‘Shadow’
senators and representatives in the halls of Congress, but their votes,
therefore my voice and 600,000 others who call The District of Columbia
home, is not heard. Ironically, this is not democracy.
As a DC Resident, my tax dollars are part of some 700 million dollars
collected along with fellow District citizens to finance an ‘undeclared
war’ that is being conducted in our names and without our consent.
This is not democracy.
As a DC Resident, appropriation committees in both Houses of Congress
must approve our own local budget - making decisions as to which funds
are allocated to where.
These very same committees historically have ignored the needs of
DC citizens in areas such as education, heath care, and housing to
the point where in 2005 roughly 79,000 DC citizens are uninsured with
no affordable heath care, the public school system is woefully under
funded, and approximately 45% of DC’s children live in poverty.
Every day there are dozens, if not hundreds of socially active groups
working feverishly to bring about better conditions for their fellow
residents, but without a legitimate and vested vote in Congress, their
works are all too often in vain. This is not democracy.
Mothers and Fathers, sons and daughters of dc are all sharing in the
sacrifice our Nation asks of us in times of war and armed conflict.
One would think that living in the capitol of the most powerful nation
on the face of the earth, our quality of life would be the example
for the rest of the country to admire and emulate. One would think
that supporting and sending loved ones into harms way somehow would
be the right thing to do in exchange for such endowments of democracy
Truth is, in Washington, DC surrounding the fabled monuments and tributes
that line the National Mall, and outside the halls of congress where
representatives of our fellow citizens make patriotic speeches and
pass laws that determine the course of our nation, we have no democracy
- and yet we take part in actions to establish that very same democracy
elsewhere in the world.
Truth is, that very same democracy and freedom we cherish so much
as Americans doesn’t even exist in the capitol of the greatest
example and defender of democracy on the face of the earth!
The glaring irony of these truths can only serve to earn Washington,
DC the dubious title as “The Hypocrisy of Democracy” where
those who profess to support the ideals and values of Democracy deny
it in the very place from which they vote to export it around the
I hope that you all will be present on Saturday September 24th, 2005
to witness progressive unity in action, as we speak with one voice
and in unison ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!”