One of the most unique protest musicians out there, Soya The Cow, recently performed at the largest stage of her career. This is all the more impressive seeing how she uses every stage, small or big, to act as a voice for animal rights. It is definitely not everyday that an event as big as The Voice (Germany) gets to hear about animal liberation.
At the end of the song Soya chose to cover the judges do their traditional turnaround and ask her a few questions. Her response and the way she used this gigantic platform can be read below in English:
“Hi, I’m Soya the Cow – from Switzerland. I dress up as a cow to show that everything could be different.
For many years I have been preoccupied with animals and the relationships between humans and other animals. And right now, as we stand and sit here, billions and billions of non-human animals are locked up, mostly under miserable circumstances.
I want to show that every single one of these animals is an individual personality, with their own needs and desires, with friendships and curiosity. We would never allow to treat a dog or a cat in the same way as we treat a cow or a chicken.”
Since we interviewed Soya last year she has released her debut album, a fantastic pop piece titled ‘Purple Grass‘, where her love for all creatures, humans and animals, shines through in her unique style of music composition.
In 2018, Michael Kovrig, then working as a senior advisor for International Crisis Group, was arrested by Chinese authorities on the basis of endangering Chinese security. According to the group Michael was doing the opposite while working in China.
“We do not understand repeated allegations that he has “endangered Chinese security”. Michael’s work included meeting several dozen times with Chinese officials, academics, and analysts from multiple Chinese state institutions. He had attended numerous conferences at the invitation of Chinese organisations. He frequently appeared on Chinese television and in other media to comment on regional issues. Nothing Michael did harmed China. On the contrary, Crisis Group’s work aims to defuse any tensions between China and nearby states, and to give a fresh, independent appraisal of China’s growing role in the world.”
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has called Michael’s detention unacceptable and he has now been held without charge for almost 2 years.
Previously, Michael, a Canadian citizen, was the singer for the Hungarian band Bankrupt. Now his fellow bandmates have released a music video for their song The Plane To Toronto which they released as a single in July this year to raise awareness about Michael’s case.
You can participate in getting the word out and put pressure on the Chinese government to free Michael from his arbitrary detention. The band has made a Free Michael Kovrig poster that you can print, and take a selfie holding, and upload it to Instagram / Facebook / Twitter with the hashtag #freemichaelkovrig. You can also make your own poster.
For the music video below, the band received 60 videos from supporters from all around the world and now it’s up to the rest of us to share this piece of work.
Mass protests have been taking place across Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) since the country’s military seized power in a coup d’état on February 1st, 2021.
The military junta took the reins of power following a general election which Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide. The elected leader is under “house arrest” in an unknown location ever since.
Sen. General Min Aung Hlaing, under whom the military intensified the crackdown on the (Muslim) Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine State in recent years, declared a one-year-long state of emergency and assumed all state power for this period.
It’s worth noting that Myanmar was a military dictatorship from 1962 until 2011.
The Ongoing Protest Movement
A strong movement of civil disobedience emerged in the first days of February in a vocal opposition to the new regime. The protests over the coup have been the largest since the so-called Saffron Revolution in 2007, when thousands of monks rose up against the previous military rule.
At first, spearheaded by medical workers, nurses and doctors, the movement started to grow with people from all walks of life joining in.
On February 6th, people finally took their protests onto the streets of Yangon and other cities across the South East Asian country. It’s estimated that around 100,000 people participated on this day alone in the protests in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.
The protests were supported by several organizations, including student unions, labour unions, and a wide range of social justice activist groups. Among the social justice groups supporting the protests is the Yangon chapter of the international Food Not Bombs movement.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Myanmar, the punks organized a huge support network for the people in need. Food Not Bombs also organized protests and mutual-aid campaigns in support of garment factory workers and labour unions as the factories shut down without any compensation to the workers.
Now, the Food Not Bombs activists are on the frontlines of the anti-coup movement, supporting protestors with medical masks, water, food and protection gear. As the protests intensify, the military is tightening their grip even more. Armoured vehicles rolled out onto the streets and the army cut off the state media TV & radios, local phone lines and access to internet.
Water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds were used against the protestors. Reports have shown civilians being dragged out of their houses at night and arrested by the police. More than 500 people, including many children, have been killed by the police & military, according to various reports.
100% Three Fingers in the Air Punk Rock: A Benefit Compilation
A benefit hardcore punk / crust compilation was organized by Bristol, UK’s F.O.T.K. band and Death Pint Records in coordination with Organize and Arise. The aim of the fundraiser is to set up a support network of solidarity with the work of Food Not Bombs Yangon during the now ongoing protests.
The money will be used to further support the protestors and people in need. Food Not Bombs Yangon is also teaming up with other activist organizations like labour and student unions.
This new compilation features tracks by Myanmar’s own The Rebel Riot and 24 other bands across the globe, including unreleased tracks by F.O.T.K (UK)., Nightfeeder (US), and Japanese ‘Burning Spirits’ originators Death Side, alongside tracks by the likes of Doom (UK), Exit-Stance (UK), Forward (Japan), War//Plague (US), Visions of War (Belgium), Cliterati (US), Phane (Canada), Orphanage Named Earth (Poland), Carburetor Dung (Malaysia), Detractors (US), Bratakus (Scotland), Genöme (Sweden), Crutches (Sweden), Zero Again (UK), and many more.
To support the cause, follow the Bandcamp link and donate $10 or more.