Tom Morello talked, performed, and inspired at the March 6th UCLA conference on Participatory Democracy and Social Justice Struggles: From Port Huron to #Occupy.
Tom Morello released his critically acclaimed solo album World Wide Rebel Songs in 2011. The album was recognized as one of the top 50 best albums of the year by Rolling Stone magazine and was released on the heels of his benefit EP, Union Town. All profits from Union Town benefited the America Votes Labor Unity Fund via SaveWorkers.org and consists of 8 pro-union songs. The release was inspired by his February 21st, 2011 performance at the Capitol Square in Madison, WI in protest to an anti-union bill put forward by Governor Scott Walker. Extremely active in the Occupy movement, Morello performed at Occupy Wall Street and also made appearances at Occupy sites in London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, distributing free tickets to his performances. He is an original member of the rock bands Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave and in 2009, formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup.
Morello graduated from Harvard University with honors as a Political Science major and has been a widely recognized political activist throughout his career. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. Morello’s family has been a constant source of political and social inspiration as his great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first President of Kenya, and his mother, Mary Morello, founded Parents for Rock and Rap, an anti-censorship counterweight to Tipper Gore’s PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center). With System of A Down’s Serj Tankian, Morello formed Axis of Justice, an organization whose purpose is to bring together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. In the spring of 2008, Morello launched The Justice Tour, a recurring nationwide concert tour. Tour stops, which have featured members of Guns and Roses, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, MC5, Alice in Chains, Cypress Hill and many more, have visited cities with a day dedicated to a local charity and a rock show to benefit that charity at each stop.
Rolling Stone magazine recognized Morello as one of the "100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time" and he is also featured on "Wrecking Ball," the 2012 album from Bruce Springsteen.
A note from Tom Morello:
Hey! Had a great time at UCLA. Just jammed with Springsteen in Austin. Play on a couple songs on the record, too. Here's a pic of my Occupy SXSW show last night. Was wild. Cops pulled the plug. Used the "People's Mic" to sing rest of set and crowd was deafening. Rock 'n' roll. http://pic.twitter.com/q4Wi8qmY