This week’s playlist goes out to all the Jedis around the world or as we call them around the office, human rights defenders or activists.

Videos on the Human Rights Channel regularly show that violence seems to be a common way for police to deal with activists. Another example would be #myNYPD‘s public relations backlash.

It seems to me police violence and censorship is becoming a worldwide pandemic. It takes courage, character, and commitment to walk out your front door then onto the street with your neighbor and together ask officials, politicians, governments and even police for fairness, justice, and human rights.

Big shoutout to Kiev’s Piano Man in the featured image (I took the screenshot from a BBC video). Nowadays the musician wears a balaclava and body armor to protect himself from the violence, yet, he persists.

Below are quotes from staff and colleagues who helped put this playlist together. FYI, I came up with the title for this edition because “Star Wars” debuted May 1977 and was the first time Yoda uttered his famous words.

“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone – One of Nina Simone’s most well-known songs resonates for me because human rights work can feel like a constant uphill struggle. I’m an optimist at heart, and the energy of a new day can be powerful and rejuvenating. ~ Matisse

“Papatouai” by Stromae – is a an up-and-coming European artist. His mother is Belgian and his father was Rwandan and was killed during the Rwandan genocide. This song is about the difficulties of growing up without a father and serves as a reminder to all of us to work to protect human rights and prevent extra-judicial killings and genocide. ~ Sarah

“Float On” by Modest Mouse – is Cecily McMillan’s favorite song [Cecily McMillan is the Occupy Wall Street activist up for sentencing today] ~ Lucy, a friend of Cecily’s

“Redemption Song” by Bob Marley – Was always a song that made me sit back and think!!! ~ Deenah

“Walk On” by U2 – Such an inspirational beautiful song about perseverance in the face of great adversity.

You could probably pick any of about a half dozen or more songs from U2 to fit this week’s theme, but this is my favorite. ~ Claire

“Hurricane” by Bob Dylan – I was privileged to MC an International Justice Conference where the great Hurricane ( Ruben Carter) was our guest of honour.

His wrongful arrest and 2 wrongful convictions by crooked cops and prosecutors has become a symbol of resistance to injustice and are a good fit for Cecily’s case.
The recent passing of the great man makes the resonance more poignant. ~ @perthtones

“Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke – is a classic from America’s civil rights movement that still speaks to current events. I also chose “Titanium” by David Guetta covered by Madilyn Bailey, this stripped down version helps emphasize the lyrics. So Jedis keep up the fight. ~ @moneymakermj

“Jedi” by Melpo Mene – Discussing Mondays and Jedis… Seems to fit, no? ~ Ryan

“Mastermind” by Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Kid Koala – In a world where evil oligarchs suppress both human rights and hip-hop we can find hope in the musical stylings of a disillusioned mech soldier and interplanetary computer prodigy. Great live performance of “Mastermind” from the dystopic Deltron 3030. ~ Ryan

Tom Morello, World Wide Rebel Songs. Morello, of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave created an alter ego, The Nightwatchman, to put political and social activism at the center of his music. He has been teaching and performing this song at rallies, protests, and Occupy events for several years–the song is an anthem for organizing, empowerment, action ~ Grace

3 thoughts on “Music Monday – “May the Force Be With You” Edition

  1. Can I simply just say what a relief to discover someone who actually
    knows what they are discussing on the internet. You actually realize how to bring an issue
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  2. Love this playlist. Crosses generational/cross cultural.But I have to say I think the most important Yoda quote is “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

    1. Forgot about that one. Yoda had so many good lines. If that quote was a playlist, what song/s would you put on it?

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