Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine guitarist and political activist, has been awarded a prize for his performance at the Occupy Wall Street demos. The musician appeared last month at the base camp in Zuccotti Park.
‘The Most Memorable #OWS Performance’ prize is a new gong devised by MTV which recognizes the “musical spontaneity, artistry, and virility” of performances at the ‘Occupy’ protests.
Speaking to The Wrap, Morello dedicated his new prize to “all the worldwide rebels”. He added:
“It’s an unusual title for an award, but it’s an award that is for the worldwide rebels who are now occupying 1,300 cities around the planet. The one thing that all the Occupy cities have in common is everyone pitches in and co-operates. I’m a musician, so I pitched in and played.”
Shannon Connolly, VP of Digital Music Strategy at MTV said:
“With almost everyone armed with a smartphone, many of the Occupy Wall Street performances are spreading virally and in the process inspiring people all over the world. This recognition pays homage to the artists and fans who are using digital platforms to share this music globally.”
Morello and other members of Rage Against the Machine have a dense history of political activism, having protested against the Iraq war, the two-party system in the United States, the Republican party, and Guantanamo Prison, amongst many others. Frontman Zack de la Rocha has previously called for the trial and execution of all U.S. Presidents since Harry Truman, on the grounds of war crimes.
Morello himself recently released an album titled ‘World Wide Rebel Songs.’