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Rise Against Set to Return to Arizona After Defeat of Anti-Immigrant Laws

Rise Against's Tim McIlrath
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The quality of entertainment in Arizona just got a little better after the Sound Strike organization of performers lifted their ban on the state over anti-immigration laws.

As a result, one of the leaders in the fight, Rise Against, have just booked a pair of Arizona shows as part of their fall 2012 tour with Gaslight Anthem and Hot Water Music. Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath tells Rolling Stone, “We were just a drop in the bucket in terms of the boycott. Entire cities, like the city of Chicago, are boycotting Arizona and I think all of that helps turn the tide of, if not reversing a lot of the anti-immigration policies that are happening there, but stopping a lot of policies that could have gone through. It made a lot of policy makers kind of think twice.”

Just last year, five anti-immigration laws were defeated in Arizona, and the Sound Strike organization saw that as a move in the right direction. But McIlrath says there’s still work to be done. He explains, “There are laws that are just as draconian happening in Georgia, so now we want to go there and kind of engage. We’re gonna do a show there on our tour that’ll be a benefit for the Florence Project, which basically raises funds for immigrants to get access to lawyers.”

In addition to Rise Against, artists such as My Chemical Romance, M.I.A., Nine Inch Nails, Rage Agains the Machine, Serj Tankian, My Morning Jacket, Sonic Youth, Tenacious D, Conor Oberst, Joe Satriani, Kanye West, Ozomatli and Ben Harper have been instrumental in the boycott.

The two Arizona Rise Against shows will take place in Tempe and Flagstaff this September, with the latter serving as a benefit for the Florence Project, with all proceeds going to building the organization’s awareness of immigrant and refugee rights.

McIlrath concludes in a posting at the band’s website, “We love our fans in Arizona and we appreciate you who traveled outside the state to see us play nearby in the last couple years … Thank you for being a part of our journey and we look forward to continuing it when we return this fall for not one, but two Arizona shows on our upcoming tour.”

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