In recognition of Human Rights Day, The Last Internationale is premiering its new video, “Deportees,” on Salon.com today. The clip can be viewed here. “Deportees,” a poem penned by folksinger/activist Woody Guthrie and later put to music by schoolteacher Martin Hoffman, is the latest song featured in the ONE campaign’s agit8 series, which shines the spotlight on iconic protest songs that have changed the world.
“New York’s counterculture spirit lives on in The Last Internationale,” said Rolling Stone. The band shot the “Deportees” video, which was produced and directed by Jared Sagal in Fresno County, CA. It was there that a U.S. government-chartered plane crashed on January 28, 1948, killing the crew and all 28 of the migrant workers aboard. Guthrie wrote the lyrics after observing that media coverage about the crash named the crew members and security guard aboard, but simply dismissed the immigrants as “deportees.” The workers were buried in a mass grave and no individual names were found in the cemetery’s records. The Last Internationale’s video takes viewers to the scene of the crash and the recent ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, where a new headstone was unveiled that finally lists each of the immigrants by name. They are as follows:
Miguel Negrete Álvarez. Tomás Aviña de Gracia. Francisco Llamas Durán. Santiago García Elizondo. Rosalio Padilla Estrada. Tomás Padilla Márquez. Bernabé López Garcia. Salvador Sandoval Hernández. Severo Medina Lára. Elías Trujillo Macias. José Rodriguez Macias. Luis López Medina. Manuel Calderón Merino. Luis Cuevas Miranda. Martin Razo Navarro. Ignacio Pérez Navarro. Román Ochoa Ochoa. Ramón Paredes Gonzalez. Guadalupe Ramírez Lára. Apolonio Ramírez Placencia. Alberto Carlos Raygoza. Guadalupe Hernández Rodríguez. Maria Santana Rodríguez. Juan Valenzuela Ruiz. Wenceslao Flores Ruiz. José Valdívia Sánchez. Jesús Meza Santos. Baldomero Marcas Torres.
“We strongly believe that an informed and politically active public is the foundation for a free society,” said The Last Internationale. “Musicians such as ourselves are part of the global community and therefore not exempt from this. Since we have a platform, we feel it’s our responsibility to expose injustices and to rally people behind important causes. The ONE Campaign has been instrumental in not only helping musicians get their message out, but also in taking effective action towards ending global poverty. They are the model for any non-profit or charity organization that is serious about creating a better world.”
Founded by New York City natives Delila Paz and Edgey Pires, The Last Internationale quickly forged a reputation for poetic, socially conscious songs and explosive live performances. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), who is the executive producer of the band’s debut album, noted, “The Last Internationale are one of my favorites in the next wave of rebel rockers. They’re raw and real and mix East Village rock sensibilities with Battleship Potemkin firepower.”
Over Thanksgiving dinner at Morello’s home, talk turned to the duo’s need for a drummer. Morello suggested they talk with Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), and got Brad on the phone. After hearing the material and bonding with Paz and Pires, Wilk signed on. The Last Internationale’s debut album – produced by The Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson and Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Neil Young) – will be released by Epic Records in 2014.
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa… because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we act with urgency now.
Cofounded by Bono and strictly nonpartisan, ONE raises public awareness and works with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE also works closely with African activists and policymakers as they fight corruption, promote poverty-fighting priorities, monitor the use of aid, and help build civil society and free enterprise. For more information, visit http://www.one.org.