A ROC EDITORIAL: TIME FOR A NATIONAL ANTI-CENSORSHIP COALITION!
By: John Woods and Randy Payton
With this issue we have announced that THE ROC is now open for national input. This is a big step for us considering this is only #3. We felt the time was right for such a move. In accordance with this decision, we submit the following for national debate. R.O.C. calls for the formation of a National Coalition which would serve as an umbrella organization for all of the anti-censorship groups.
We feel this is also a timely call. Consider what is being said about the situation we find ourselves involved in. The cover headline on the Sept. '90 issue of RIP magazine states, "IT'S NOW OR NEVER! STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR MUSIC!" In the same issue, Guns N Roses leadman Axl Rose proclaims, "WE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED NOW!" An editorial in the Aug. 9th issue of ROLLING STONE warns that the chilled wind of censorship is blowing. The editorial ends by saying, "UNTIL WE START FIGHTING BACK, IT WILL KEEP BLOWING." Author and editor Dave Marsh perhaps makes the most important point in a RIP magazine article. Marsh makes it clear that, "the only thing that is going to win this is unity. You have to have unity between the Rap fans and Metal fans on the basic issue that everybody needs to have a voice. It's not a privilege, it's a right. And it's worth fighting for."
As we see our basic freedoms being attacked on all fronts, we must begin to view this fight in a broader scope. The same people attacking our music are the same ones who are attacking other forms of art. They are the same ones who want to stifle all free expression. They are the ones who want to make a piece of cloth a sacred symbol held above any criticism. They want to create a citizenry of mindless, unquestioning patriots. And if needed, they have laws to enact that will make sure you conform.
We need to clearly understand this. So far, individuals and groups have carried out some heroic battles against censorship. But, the movement needs a unified national direction. Groups like MUSIC IN ACTION, PARENTS FOR ROCK & RAP, and even us at ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP can not do it alone. Even with the support of ROCK & ROLL CONFIDENTIAL and NO MORE CENSORSHIP with their vast networks of contacts and supporters, something more is needed.
We believe that a National Coalition could provide leadership, coordination and direct the might of all the groups into one mighty force. We see it as the hub of the movement with all the groups being the spokes.
Along with this, a National Coalition could serve as a central point for raising funds. This war has an extremely high price tag attached. The grass roots groups are not financed by huge corporations, foundations, or other power structures like our enemies. We struggle just to print a flyer or newsletter. Most of us are just music fans who are tired of being pushed around by a pious minority, who have decided what is "best" for us. But we carry on, we get out the call for action because we are dedicated to the ideals of free speech and free expression. Newsletter and T-shirt sales do not raise the funds needed to carry on an effective fight. Many of us pump our own dollars into the group. We do not believe that it needs to be this way. If we unite fans and musicians under one banner, it could make one hell of a difference. We also feel that the recording industry and all major labels, instead of cowering to kiss the jack-boots of the PMRC should be supporting this cause with major contributions. We should demand this! More musicians must get involved by speaking out, giving financial support and by donating their talents for benefits and actions against censorship. When this happens, we will have the makings of a force that can give all the "culture terrorists" and "moral commandos" a run for their money. As a National force united, we would be able to reach and involve more people. People who will bring down the hammer and deliver the final agonizing death blow to all of the conspirators against freedom. We believe that only a body consisting of representatives of all the groups can do this. The small groups operating alone have neither the resources or power to do so.
ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP has very strong feelings about this issue. If you feel the same, we want to hear from you. We want to hear from all you Rock, Rap, Punk & Metal fans and musicians. We want to hear from record labels, music zines, radio stations and everyone and anyone who is concerned about the destruction of our rights to free speech and expression. Everyone who is fed up with blatant racist attacks on certain musicians. Everyone who is sick of a fanatic few who are trying to scapegoat all of society's ills on music & art instead of addressing the real problems like homelessness, AIDS, racism, poverty, drug & alcohol abuse, unemployment, a non-functioning educational system, government corruption, S & L scams, etc., etc. Everyone who is appalled by a fanatical religious right who claims to see and hear Ol' Slew Foot himself lurking behind the doors of every recording studio. YES, IT IS NOW OR NEVER! LET'S BUILD A BROADBASED MASS NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND PUT AN END TO ALL OF THIS!
We're JOHN WOODS and RANDY PAYTON for ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP and that's where we stand. ROC'ers of America, what about you?