When in 2018 Egyptian musician Ramy Essam published the music video to his single “Balaha”, Egyptian authorities arrested the poet behind the lyrics, the music video director and Essam’s former social media manager.
Essam is well known for his participation in the protests of 2011 after writing the song “Irhal” which became an anthem for the revolution. During the protests he was arrested and tortured by Egyptian authorities.
Currently his creative collaborators remain in prison and Essam himself in exile in Sweden. Essam launched the Balaha Case campaign in order to raise awareness and fight for the release of his friends and collaborators.
Five heavy music bands will come together for a show on the 24th of November in Hong Kong. Proceeds from the event will go to Spark Alliance, an organisation that fights for the rights of activists who have been jailed or somehow oppressed or harassed.
We have covered before the long awaited justice brought forth for the family and memory of legendary Chilean protest singer Victor Jara who was murdered at the hands of the Pinochet army in 1973.
Jara left behind a great repertory of protest songs, some of which have had a lasting effect on the Chilean people. Along with Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa and others, he was part of the Nueva Canción, a musical genre and a social movement.
Today the Chilean people unite by singing those same songs that protest musicians created so many years ago as seen in the videos below. More than a million people have been recorded marching in the past days and already it seems it has had an effect on the president’s cabinet.
In the capital, Santiago, a curfew was initiated on the 19th of October. This did not keep people from raising their voice in protest. A soprano by the name of Ayleen Jovita Romero was recorded singing “El derecho de vivir en paz”, (The right to live in peace) by Victor Jara, from a balcony. Her voice can be heard reverberating between the buildings as the streets below are quiet.
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