An Interview with Tom Morello and Serj Tankian

by RICHARD MORENO

On a sweltering hot summer’s day in Southern California, the Axis of Justice non-profit political organization initiated its very first activist meeting Sunday afternoon on the 25th of July at North Hollywood Park. Despite the blistering heat, a group of roughly 50 people from all ages and backgrounds clustered together under the trees’ shade while Co-Director of the Axis of Justice Jake Sexton announced the afternoon’s purpose. Within minutes, Tom Morello, former Rage Against the Machine guitarist turned Audio Slave guitar extraordinaire, and Serj Tankian, System of the Down’s fiery lead vocalist, arrived with cases of Axis of Justice gear and materials. Soon after, the birth of the first Axis of Justice chapter was proclaimed.

The meeting formally commenced when an ever cordial and measured Tom Morello announced to the crowd the launching of the first Los Angeles chapter of the Axis of Justice. Instantaneously, he declared the Axis of Justice’s first plans of action. He described the plans as a "two pronged attack": the nascent Axis of Justice chapter was to (a) counter the problem of hunger with a weekly program to feed the homeless using proceeds from concerts and such and to (b) oppose the war by participating immediately in the already established local peace vigil in Ventura, where the Axis of Justice’s politics would add its own distinct flavor to the vigil.

After the introduction, the official networking and registration began. This is when Tom Morello and Serj Tankian were gracious enough with their time to offer me an exclusive interview regarding their newborn project.

There are a quite a few people who are not exactly aware of what the Axis of Justice is. Can you describe the nature of your organization for students and people across America?

TM: The Axis of Justice is a non-profit political organization formed by Serj and I to bring together musicians, conscious fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.

In this context, where do you see the overall evolution of the organization?

TM: Our goal is to refine the bridge between local grassroots organizations who come together from different issues and from around the country to effectively organize and network.

What role do you see for students and youth in the Axis of Justice?

ST: I see people gathering and volunteering for peace vigils and pointing out the injustices that are happening. If people are aware of injustices that they feel are interesting, they should send articles and information to the Axis of Justice website to make them known.

And where do you see the future evolution of the Axis of Justice?

ST: I am not too concerned about the distant future or the past. We have to make a change now.

Thank you for your time and I wish you the best on your new project.

For more info on the organization or for volunteering, you can visit httP;//www.axisofjustice.org.

RICHARD MORENO is a Mt. San Antonio College student and activist. He can be reached at polyapplications@aol.com.



Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire
Halyna Mokrushyna
Decentralization Reform in Ukraine
Norman Pollack
World Capitalism, a Basket Case: A Layman’s View
Sarah Lazare
Listening to Iraq
John Laforge
NSP/Xcel Energy Falsified Welding Test Documents on Rad Waste Casks
Wendell G Bradley
Drilling for Wattenberg Oil is Not Profitable
Joy First
Wisconsin Walk for Peace and Justice: Nine Arrested at Volk Field
Mel Gurtov
China’s Insecurity
Mateo Pimentel
An Operator’s Guide to Trump’s Racism
Yves Engler
Harper Conservatives and Abuse of Power
Michael Dickinson
Police Guns of Brixton: Another Unarmed Black Shot by London Cops
Ron Jacobs
Daydream Sunset: a Playlist
Charles R. Larson
The Beginning of the Poppy Wars: Amitav Ghosh’s “Flood of Fire”
David Yearsley
A Rising Star Over a Dark Forest
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman