You Heard It Here Last!

Fiesta Shalom, as the name suggests, is a street festival aimed at bridging Latino and Jewish cultures. It will be taking place this Sunday in Boyle Heights in front of the historical breed street synagogue but Quetzal, the seminal East Los Angeles band, won’t be there. It’s not that they weren’t invited. In fact they were.

However, as the band members claim, when they were originally asked to perform they weren’t informed that Fiesta Shalom was sponsored by the Israeli Consulate of Los Angeles – a site of protest and civil disobedience during the three week assault on Gaza in late December – early  January. Furthermore, the event was billed to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel – which Palestinians mark as al-Nakba or “the catastrophe.”

Issuing a public statement, Quetzal gave numerous reasons as to why they felt it obligatory to pull out from performing at Sunday’s Fiesta Shalom including: “Decades of Chican@ solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for Self-determination” and  “Decades of solidarity with the non-zionist, non-imperialist peace-loving Jewish community.” (Sunday’s playoff game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets was not listed) News of the band’s decision hit social networking sites, the progressive blogosphere and even an interview with Quetzal Flores was conducted on Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio News.

{I’m just glad the story hasn’t been picked up and distorted on that one infamous website that portends to be the voice of la raza or its radio mouthpiece that has now since disappeared…thankfully!}

Anyway, the band has even recorded a protest song called “Intifada,” from their current residence in Seattle, Washington where it is rumored that they are working on an experimental grunge-jarocho project!


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