"The United States has over 700 military bases on foreign soil in sovereign countries, where we have no declaration of war. (Occupation/Preoccupation) seeks to gather covers by American musicians of songs that originate from each of these places." -occupationpreoccupation.org

Brian Mumford of Dragging an Ox Through Water's ambitious new project Occupation/Preoccupation is an inspiring example of music's potential to mobilize people into political action. In protest of the hundreds of American military occupations throughout the planet, Mumford and others are actively organizing musicians to speak out against unnecessary military interventions by covering songs indigenous to those affected regions.

The newest addition to the project, "The Army Kills Its People," is contributed by Mumford himself. The lyrics call attention to the constitutional monarchy of Bahrain (which is occupied by America's 5th Naval Fleet), to whom the United States is considering the sale of $53 million of military equipment despite the regime's violent repression of the Bahraini uprising's pro-democracy politics.

"This song by Saleh Al-Durazi was recommended to me by Bahraini activist Zainab Alkhawaja as one of her father’s favorites. This cover came into being with some extremely generous translation help (beautiful, direct and heavy lyrics).

I came into contact with the Zainab when, on Saturday April 19th, 2011, Masked Bahraini security forces broke into her home and severely beat her father Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, a prominent human rights activist, before taking him away unconscious along with Zainab’s husband and brother-in-law. As has been the case with much of the activity revolving around the “Arab Spring”, Zainab broadcast the details of the events minutes after they happened via twitter. I’d begun following her updates during this ordeal, and contacted her shortly afterward. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for his peaceful human rights activism by a Bahraini military court, a verdict which has sparked international outcry." -Brian Mumford


Dragging an Ox Through Water - “The Army Kills Its People” (originally performed by Saleh Al-Durazi)

Those interested in getting involved can contact Mumford at occupationpreoccupation@gmail.com