Tom Morello & Activist Friends Plot U.S. Tour to Protest Controversial Trade Agreement

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Tom Morello perform onstage at MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Bruce Springsteen at Los Angeles Convention Center.

New supergroup Prophets of Rage isn’t the only anti-corruption machine Tom Morello is revving up. On Wednesday (June 15), Morello unveiled Rock Against the TPP, a musical protest of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade agreement that Congress is expected to vote on in the near future.

The Rage Against the Machine guitarist -- no stranger to protests of this sort -- will be joined by a vast array of musical activists for a tour starting in Denver on July 23. The bill includes actress Evangeline Lilly, an acoustic incarnation of the long-running punk band Anti-Flag, Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit from the “Handlebars” rap group Flobots, and the bilingual, saxophone-infused punk band Downtown Boys.

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After Denver, Rock Against the TPP has four scheduled tour stops: July 30-31, Aug. 6-7, Aug. 19-20 and Aug. 20-21. Cities or venues for these dates have not yet been announced.

Exact lineups will vary at each show. Rounding out the roster is Ryan Harvey, Evan Greer, Taina Asili, Son of Nun and Lia Rose. 

The tour’s official site describes the TPP as an “anti-democratic deal between 12 countries that was negotiated in complete secrecy by government officials and hundreds of corporate lobbyists.” It cites alleged threats to the environment, good-paying jobs, Internet freedom and general freedom of expression. In addition to the concerts, they’re planning “protests, teach-ins and trainings” to educate people about the TPP. 

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The project is a partnership between Internet freedom nonprofit Fight for the Future and Morello and Harvey’s own Firebrand Records. 

With Prophets of Rage (featuring other members of Rage, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill), Morello is touring from summer into fall and planning to protest the Republican National Convention