Belfast Telegraph

Public Enemy crew joins Gaza anti-war protest at BBC headquarters before gig

By Steven Alexander

They are one of the most politically outspoken bands to ever step on a stage - and Public Enemy weren’t going to stop fighting the powers that be as they prepared for a gig in Belfast.

Members of the Stop the War Coalition were delighted after Chuck D - one of the founding fathers of rap - unexpectedly joined them outside on a protest outside the BBC’s headquarters on Ormeau Avenue.

The hip-hop crew were preparing to play at the Limelight just yards away when they spotted the demonstration. Human rights activist Barbara Muldoon said the Coaltion had been protesting against what they see as pro-Israel bias in the BBC’s reports about the conflict in Gaza when Chuck D and a fellow DJ joined them.

“Public Enemy don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. They are radical and support justice for Palestine, and it is admirable that they support that on the streets of Belfast,” Ms Muldoon said.

“Their Fight the Power is an anthem for many of those fighting the establishment, and so it was very fitting that they joined us It’s a song that many activists admire.”

Fight The Power was voted the greatest hip-hop song of all time in a VH1 poll in 2009.

Public Enemy are no strangers to politics and controversy.

Chuck D has been a long-time critic of racism against African-Americans in the US, while advocating black empowerment.

In 1987 when Arizona Governor Evan Mecham cancelled a State holiday in honour of Martin Luther King Jr, Public Enemy responded by writing a song called By The Time I Get To Arizona, whose video saw the members of the group assassinating Mecham.

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