“1 hundred thousand civilians died in Iraq, what the f@*#! is up with that?”
— Sonny Suchdev of Outernational, introducing the song “Blood on the Streets.”

I’ve been following the band Outernational — with their fearless melange of punk, rap, ska, bhangra and afrobeat — since 2003. While still not a household name, the group began to make waves at 2004’s Republican National Convention protests in New York. That’s where they played (at the “Axis of Justice” concert organized by Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against the Machine) to a large crowd of pissed-off activists, many of them Critical Mass bike riders who had just watched the NYPD target and arrest scores of their own (the Bloomberg administration claimed that “anarchists” had infiltrated the group bike ride). The repercussions of that day’s mass arrests and police mistreatment continue to reverberate in Outernational’s NYC home base.

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