Rage Against the Machine hits out at Roe v Wade ruling during first show in 11 years

Rage Against the Machine have spoken out against the recent ruling regarding Roe v Wade at their first show in 11 years.

The American rock band – comprising Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk – took the stage at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, on Saturday (9 July) for the first show of their delayed reunion tour.

The group’s Public Service Announcement tour was originally scheduled to begin in 2020, ahead of the US presidential elections, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

During their set on Saturday (9 July), the band flashed politically-charged messages aimed at the US Supreme Court over its decision to overturn Roe v Wade on a screen behind them.

Last month, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Mississippi law that outlaws abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy while also overturning key precedents established by the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade.

“Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” the text read.

“Forced birth in a country where Black birth-givers experience maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of white birth-givers,” the messages continued, as confirmed by videos from the show.

“Forced birth in a country where gun violence is the number one cause of death among children and teenagers,” the messages continued, ending with “Abort the Supreme Court” in capital letters.

Their statement took on greater significance because it was made in Wisconsin, where abortions have been banned since Roe v Wade was overturned on 24 June.

Many celebrities have spoken out against the ruling, including Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Hilarie Burton, Halsey, Maya Hawke, Sophia Bush, Padma Lakshmi, Jane Fonda and Selena Gomez.

A number of musicians at Glastonbury also used their platform to speak out against the decision: Kendrick Lamar said “Godspeed for women’s rights” and Phoebe Bridgers led chants of “f*** the Supreme Court”.

Rage Against the Machine’s next stop on their 12-country tour will be Chicago’s United Center on Monday (11 July).