Rodney King was savagely beaten by members of the Los Angeles police in March , and the whole incident was caught on camera. The subsequent acquittal of the officers in question on 29 April caused many to accuse the LAPD of institutionalised racism and sparked the worst riots in the US since the s. Rage Against The Machine's classic track was released in November that year and compares such racism to the notorious cross-burning activities of the Ku Klux Klan. In , the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change issued its third report and came to the conclusion: "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the [global] warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".
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Of all the subjects that inspire songwriters, war and love are a couple of the main contenders. Here are 30 of the greatest songs about war. I hope we do not forget. The song also referenced the IRA and warned of history repeating itself. War: Vietnam War The message: The song called for an end to conflict, specifically the Vietnam War, and for the world to unite in peace instead. The title referred not to drugs but to an unchanging bond between people. These snapshot experiences exploded into visions of mercenaries and imperial armies around the world. And no matter where we are in the world, I always get the same type of response from them. War: Bangladesh War of Independence The message: As you might expect from a protest singer, Baez sang against the genocide that took place in Bangladesh in , writing the track in response to the Dhaka killings in March of that year. The lyrics refused to pick a side but highlighted the desperate brutality of both camps.
Since this action, which The New York Times described as a "serious escalation," the United States has been preparing for potential retaliation. This event feels like a turning point in the midst of endless conflict between the United States and Iran, a flashpoint that has everyone waiting with bated breath. It's impossible to say at this point whether the strike will merely mark a continuation of previous conflicts or if it will launch a full-blown World War III, but for fear of the latter, some people have been turning to age-old mechanisms of coping with war and fighting for peace: anti-war protest songs. The history of American war protests is intertwined with music.
Much as poetry provides a window into the Allied mood during World War I, anti-war songs provide a window into the mood of the s. It was one of anger, alienation, and defiance. Vietnam has continued to inspire songwriters long after the last U. With that caveat out of the way, here are my twenty picks for best protest songs in order of the year they were released.