A reminder and a warning for anyone interested in attending the Concert for Equality July 31 in beautiful downtown Benson: Tickets are scheduled to go on sale online at 10 a.m. this morning at onepercentproductions.com — and tickets are, indeed, limited. Only a few thousand of the $20 general admission tickets will be available; and only a fraction of that number will be available of the $50 tickets that will get you into The Waiting Room for a special “concert after the concert.”
Last night, One Percent Productions announced that Gillian Welch and David Rawlings has been added to an already crowded bill that includes Bright Eyes, Cursive, the long-awaited reunion of Desaparecidos, and the even longer-awaited reunion of Lullaby for the Working Class. And that’s not all. More artists could be announced that will make this an even bigger event. News of the concert has been burning up the blog-o-sphere over the past week, and you better believe an army of out-of-towners has decided to make the pilgrimage to Benson.
All money from tickets sales will go to ACLU Nebraska’s fight against Fremont’s “Anti-Immigrant” Law. In late June, by a 57% to 43% margin, Fremont voters approved a city ordinance that seeks to limit the renting of homes and apartments to people who are not in the country legally. It also seeks to require employers to verify the legal residency of people they hire in the city.
According to WOWT.com, Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen, whose district includes Fremont, said he will push for immigration reform at the state level. Janssen says the “lopsided” vote in favor of the immigration ordinance is a signal that immigration is an important issue that voters want addressed.
The law is a bookend to Arizona’s SB1070, which allows police in Arizona to challenge any member of the public who they suspect of being an illegal immigrant to prove their status officially. That’s right, folks, “Show me your papers.” Oberst has written a number of “open letters” — including one that was published in the current issue of The Reader — that explains how he believes such legislation will only lead to the creation of race-centric police state, or as he put it in a letter published on billboard.com: “The only thing, clearly, that these people care about is Money and Power, that and the creation and preservation of an Anglo-Centric Police State where every Immigrant and Non-White citizen is considered subhuman. They want them stripped of their basic human rights and reduced to slaves for Corporate America and the White Race. They are engaged in blatant class warfare. It is evil, pure and simple.”
This is a divisive issue even in a liberal enclave like Benson, which maybe ain’t so liberal after all. When the dust settles from this concert, there’s a story that begs to be written about Midwestern youth’s attitude toward race, immigration and city and state rights.
Anyway, get your computers primed in ready for 10 a.m. CT. Good luck.