Chicago punks Rise Against have announced a pair of gigs in Arizona in the wake of Sound Strike lifting an artist boycott on concerts in the state. The boycott was announced in protest of an anti-immigration law called SB1070 and other legislature targeting migrant workers. The boycott – which extended well beyond just touring musicians – was instrumental in putting pressure on Arizona politicians, which led to five anti-immigrant laws being defeated last year.
Rise Against, who have two gigs lined up in Arizona on their upcoming tour, will be one of the first bands who boycotted the state to return after the Sound Strike ban was lifted. "We were just a drop in the bucket in terms of the boycott," frontman Tim McIlrath told Rolling Stone. "Entire cites, 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’ve gone through. It made a lot of policy makers kind of think twice."
Rise Against may be playing Arizona soon, but they're not backing out of the fight against anti-immigration laws just yet. "There are laws that are just as draconian happening in Georgia, so now we want to go there and kind of engage," McIlrath says. "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."
Additional reporting by Monica Herrera.