Wednesday , July 24 2024

Franti Leads Delegation to Middle East

I am trying to view the world in a positive light – I have lived the cynical, jaded life in the past and it is ugly, empty and sour. With that in mind, I am trying to think of all the good that a “delegation of peace workers, musicians, artists and film makers” traveling to Iraq and Israel can do but, um, I am deeply suspicious of their motives. Sorry, I’m in a pretty shitty mood today:



    Musician, activist and poet Michael Franti will join a delegation of peace workers, musicians, artists and film makers who are traveling to Iraq and Israel from June 2nd through the 15th. The intention of the trip is to see first-hand the affects of the war on all those involved from Iraqi civilians to men and women in uniform. Although no concerts are planned for the trip, Michael and the others are planning on meeting with as many Iraqi musicians and artists as possible as well as students and other youth organizations.

    “I have been speaking from my heart about the futility of war since I began making music,” Michael says, “and having spoken to many men and women in the U.S. military about their experiences in Iraq, I felt that it was time for me to go there myself, so I can see first hand what it is we are facing in the years to come as Iraq goes through the painful process of healing herself.”

    With regards to visiting Israel, Michael notes that he has “always been concerned about the situation in Israel with the Palestinians and hope that through learning more about the crisis from both sides I can better serve as a voice for change and peace to those who only hear about the region on the nightly news.”

    As far as his goals for the trip, Franti’s intention is “to go there with an open mind, an open heart and a guitar, to experience as much as I can in our limited time. I hope that upon our return all of us on the trip will become more effective communicators for those whose voices are going unheard.”

    Michael and the rest of the delegation will be creating a documentary film about their experiences in the Middle East and are looking for donations to help cover some of the costs of the trip as well as the production of the film. Anyone who believes in the spirit of this project and wishes to make a tax deductible donation can do so through Spearhead’s non profit organization, the Power To The Peaceful fund. More information is available on the newly designed website.

    July 13 will see the release of a new acoustic collection from Michael Franti titled Songs From The Front Porch. Spearhead and Franti will spend the rest of the summer touring worldwide including dates at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival and the US’s Lollapalooza Festival. September 11 the band will headline the annual Power To The Peaceful Festival that Franti co-produces with his management. The free event will take place at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

“Peace” is an indisputable good, but it’s not the only good and it’s also code. I will strive not to prejudge.

On the positive side, I like the Disposable Heroes quite a bit back in the early-’90s.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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