Conor Oberst and Desaparecidos Protest the Crimes of the Government

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Conor Oberst has reunited with his band Desaparecidos, speaking out in new songs performed this year against Joe Arpaio, the fascist sherif of Tucson, and for Bradley Manning. In an interview with the New York Times, Oberst spoke to why he and his bandmates are making protest music again:

Oberst voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and performed at a benefit for him during the primaries, but like others on the left, he has been disappointed by some of the president’s moves. “Obama increased drone strikes and targeted assassinations of American citizens,” he told me. “All the promises he made in the course of that 2008 election, all the things that I thought I heard him saying when I was standing there in the primaries in Iowa on a frozen morning listening to him speak, the person I thought I was hearing, is not the person that is running our government.”

A decade-old protest band has once again found a moment to match their music. “They want everyone to sit down and be apathetic, but we can’t,” Oberst said. “If there’s anything we need to say, it’s that this will not stand, this is not acceptable. The whole idea that you can make someone disappear because they disagree with you politically, and you’re free to spy on them and hold them without charges indefinitely — what is the difference between us and fill-in-the-blank dictatorship? What is the difference? That’s desaparecidos, man.”