Bands Against Bush

Sat Oct 11

Liberty Hall

After months of preparation, anticipation, and benefit shows, Bands Against Bush D-Day has arrived. On October 11, 2003--the 20th anniversary of Rock Against Reagan--the nationwide protest encompassing cities from LA to DC will bring together a diverse selection of musicians, artists, and activists who all share one unifying sentiment: gross discontent with the Bush administration.

The event, started in Olympia by musician/activist Tobi Vail, has sought to galvanize bands and politics in a manner similar to its '80s predecessor. Says Holly Gummelt, one of Portland BAB's six organizers, "I think it's beautiful timing. A lot of people I've talked to have said, '20 years ago, I was at Rock Against Reagan, too.' It's a shame that we have to do it; I think it goes to show how cyclical politics are."

According to the mission statement at, "Bands Against Bush is an international resistance movement advocating the use of music, art, and culture to create a more just and equitable world." Gummelt elaborates on the Portland chapter of BAB: "We want to represent all types of people and draw them all together for one event. It's a very festival atmosphere, and from talking to people, everyone feels so passionate about it; it's a power in numbers sort of thing."

To promote the massive festival vibe, Portland BAB will not only feature musicians such as Sarah Dougher, E.P.D., Shed, Inc., and Spider Moccasin; but auctions, artist tables and the crazy punk circus BrewZirkus will also make an appearance. Says Gummelt, "Music and politics have always gone hand in hand--it's always been a way to get cultures together. It's such a huge community builder as well. I think at this point, every little bit helps."