Popular Hawaiian musician Makana was invited to sing for President Obama, Chinese leader Hu Jintao of China, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and more than a dozen other heads of state as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gala in Hawaii.
Makana was only supposed to provide quiet Hawaiian background music.
Instead, he played – for 45 minutes straight – the “Occupy” song he had just written – “We Are the Many” – forcefully telling the 1% to their face that the 99% will keep protesting and occupying until we win:
Your thievery has left the people none … We occupy the streets. We occupy the courts. We occupy the offices of you, ’til you do the bidding of the many, not the few.
Please watch “We Are the Many”:
The gala was the most secure event of the summit. It was held inside the Hale Koa hotel, a 72-acre facility owned and controlled by the US Defense Department; the site was fortified with an additional three miles of fencing constructed solely for the APEC summit.
As a songwriter myself (see this and this), I think I know good music when I hear it. With spot on lyrics (he gets it), and music which is young, fresh and energetic – yet faithfully follows the folk protest traditions of Pete Singer, Woody Gutherie, Bob Dylan and others – I believe this could the first real anthem of the Occupy movement.
Note: The lyrics – as quoted by ABC News and others – were incorrect. I have updated the post to reflect the correct lyrics.
Big hat tip to Carl Herman.