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Morning Cheer: Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie And Crowd Sing "This Little Light Of Mine" At Occupy Wall Street

Friday night, a bunch of OWS folks marched uptown to Columbus Circle to make a little joyful noise at the southwestern edge of Central Park. Gawker and others reported yesterday that the below vid features Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie joining in the jammage, but I didn't believe it -- I watched the thing twice, and all I could make out was Arlo. But Seeger is there! 92 years old, grooving gently, sitting just beneath the elbow of composer David Amram, with whom he'd gigged earlier in the evening. 

Arlo Guthrie's off to the right, looking like a benevolent walrus.



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  1. Where are this generation's musicians and why aren;t they part of the protest? In the 70's, Seger, Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and many other greats were at the barricades singing protest songs. Is it fear of corporate reprisals from the music industry? Or do they really not care? (And why isn't someone like Springsteen there--the man made his career off of being the working man's bard.)

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 23, 2011 9:26:22 AM

  2. Dear Christopher:

    Oh, theyre around. Kanye West has been there. Russell Simmons has been there every day, and I know there are others, too. I just posted this because I think its awesome that Pete, whos old enough to have been blacklisted, is still out there doing his thing. Theres something beautiful about the civic continuity implied by his presence. Makes me choke up a little.

    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Oct 23, 2011 9:31:11 AM

  3. "Or do they really not care? "

    Why would they care?

    They said their piece in their own time, and now they're part of the 1% that OWS is opposed to. It's not exactly in their interest anymore to call for the overthrow of capitalism, because they've personally done quite well by it.

    Posted by: Nat | Oct 23, 2011 10:38:42 AM

  4. Yeah Kanye West has been there multiple times, yet many here bitched about him in the article andy put up mentioning Kanye West attending and supporting OWs multiple times

    Posted by: say what | Oct 23, 2011 10:39:38 AM

  5. Nat-I dont they OWS is calling for the overthrow of capitalism. That's a bit of an extreme generalization. Being critical of the absolute corruption of capitalism (and government) by giant corporations does not mean they want to totally do away with capitalism. Its more about the people regaining control of it.

    Posted by: Nick Name | Oct 23, 2011 10:55:30 AM

  6. Cool. Didn't know Kanye was there, I did hear about Russell Simmons though I think of him more as an entrepreneur than musician at this point. Maybe it's just a different time. In the 60's and 70's you could make a career out of protest music, that's what sold so "the man" had to press the vinyl. It was a cultural revolution, not just an economic one. IT remains to be seen if OWS grows enough to impact the larger culture in the same way. In the meantime, I have my own retro soundtrack for the revolution playing in my head. In heavy rotation: Pink Floyd's "Money", "Pigs" and "Welcome to the Machine". The Clash's "Magnificent Seven" and "I'm so Bored with the USA", International Noise Conspiracy's "Capitalism Stole my Virginity", Gill Scott Heron's "Me and the Devil" and "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (always been more of a rock-n-roll fag myself.)

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 23, 2011 11:00:04 AM

  7. "Nat-I dont they OWS is calling for the overthrow of capitalism."

    Not everyone down there is calling for capitalism's overthrow; certainly it varies depending on the region. But I've been down there, I've spent a couple of nights helping out, and a significant part of the movement that I've seen is composed of anti-capitalists. Now, there's significant variance in what they want as a replacement; many aren't especially well-read, so they don't articulate a complex set of ideas. But I think a great deal want to do more than simply address what they feel are problems of the system as it currently exists.

    Posted by: Nat | Oct 23, 2011 11:46:12 AM

  8. Nat

    OWs is not anti-capitalism. It is about saving capitalism from itself. Saving capitalism from the self destruction inherent within unregulated capitalism

    Are there some who spout anti-capitalist stuff? Yeah sure just like there are anti-cake people spouting stuff at gay pride parades. I of course am being facetious to make a point

    Posted by: say what | Oct 23, 2011 2:11:08 PM

  9. "They said their piece in their own time, and now they're part of the 1% that OWS is opposed to."

    I doubt that, Nat. The numbers are so big it's hard to realize how STINKING rich you have to be to be in the 1%. The very biggest entertainment stars never come close.

    But as you said, they fought the good fight in their time and place. There's no shame in saying, I've done my time, I'm tired, it's time for younger guns to take up the fight.

    But if anyone was going to drag himself down to the barricades just once more, it would be Pete.

    Posted by: Steve T. | Oct 23, 2011 2:20:25 PM

  10. Steve T

    good point

    Chris Rock jokes about the difference between rich and WEALTH/ WEALTHY

    The 1% are wealthy. They can buy very rich people like chris rock off a couple hundred of times over

    Posted by: say what | Oct 23, 2011 2:27:37 PM

  11. I guess we can be thankful that the cops didn't pepper spray Mr Seeger and drag him off in handcuffs.

    Posted by: LW | Oct 23, 2011 2:52:48 PM

  12. "I doubt that, Nat. The numbers are so big it's hard to realize how STINKING rich you have to be to be in the 1%. The very biggest entertainment stars never come close."

    You don't have to be 'stinking rich' as you're describing it. The numbers are somewhat disputed, but the Washington Post had income somewhere in the range of $500k/year + for the 1% for 2010; considerably more for 2011, but certainly within the pay grade of top entertainment figures. Complicating it are the number of rich Americans who report next to no income, but have considerable net worth for whatever reason.

    Still, one does not have to pull in tens of millions year to fall into the 1%; most stars - and certainly the ones who have gravitated to the cause, including Sarandon, Moore, Russell Simmons, Kanye, Baldwin, Roseanne Barr, Danny Glover - are, by definition, the enemy.

    Posted by: Nat | Oct 23, 2011 3:16:35 PM

  13. Thanks for posting this video. It is magical.

    Posted by: daveinLA | Oct 23, 2011 7:26:35 PM

  14. Dear DaveinLA:

    Thanks. I thought so, too.

    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Oct 23, 2011 7:45:32 PM

  15. Does this mean that Arlo isn't a Republican anymore?

    Posted by: Laurie | Oct 24, 2011 10:32:35 AM


    CSNY, "Ohio"

    Dylan, "The Times...."

    Posted by: Rodney Hytonen | Nov 5, 2011 1:02:50 PM

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