10 May 2010

D.O.A. Plays Through May Day Riot in Zurich, Switzerland

On May 1, 2010 thousands of people marched and protested in cities from Hong Kong to Istanbul to mark international worker's day, demanding more jobs, better work conditions and higher wages. D.O.A. happened to be performing at one of those rallies in Zurich at Kanzleistrasse 56, a public outdoor space that's about three blocks by three blocks wide.

Riot police detain a protester during May Day demonstration in Zurich (Credit: The Associated Press)
PHOTO: Riot police detain a protester

"The idea of why the promoters hold this protest there (without a permit) is because they say that it's still a public place," said D.O.A. frontman Joe Keithley. "It used to be a squat back in the 70s, but the police forced everyone out. The activists claim that the only thing that matters in Zurich is money, so it was a statement against the city and the way they run things"
According to AP reports, "police used water cannons in an attempt to disperse dozens of stone-throwing protesters as unions and politicians protested against "excessive" Swiss banking bonuses."
Keithley claimed that no one in attendance was doing anything out-of-line.

"There were a couple thousand people in the crowd," said Keithley. "Towards the end of our set we saw the helicopters above us... Police moved in with water cannons mounted on large police trucks that were about half the size of fire truck. They were armed with riot shields, batons, and guns that fired rubber bullets."

Keithley claimed that there were over 1,000 riot police in total.

"When we finished playing, the police surrounded the crowd and wouldn't let anyone leave," said Keithley. "Anyone that tried to get out were tackled and dragged off. If they resisted, the cops would surround them, so I assume a lot of force was used."

According to Keithley, the police began to move in ten yards at a time with locked arms forming a barrier around the entire site.

"As they starting marching in towards us, our roadie grabbed us and we ran in the building behind us," said Keithley. "The doors were made to withstand force."

According to Keithley, over 400 people were arrested. "The police were practicing on people, and in this case it was the punks and protesters," he said. "They're practicing to make the public accept this tactic."

Keithley also claims that police used tear gas outside immediate area.

"I have been in a lot of riots that back in the day in LA, and that was really violent, but this was easily 4 times bigger than any riot than I even been in... And the police were way more organized," concluded Keithley.
D.O.A., are touring in promotion of their 13th studio album "Talk - Action = 0" to be released on June 8 via Sudden Death Records. On this album, the band goes back to its early roots and takes a few notes from their first two classic albums: "Something Better Change" and "Hardcore 81". "Talk - Action = 0" was produced by chief punk Joe Shithead Keithley and Chon (Live Free or Die).

Cover ArtThe album opens with the blistering track That's Why I Am An Atheist, followed up by the Eddie Cochran inspired Rebel Kind. If you have ever doubted that D.O.A. has always been a barometer of the times we live in, check out the angry anthem Don't Bank On A Bank and the all too timelyI Live In A Car...

Further to that point, the track The R.C.M.P. explores the misdeeds of Canada's national police force. To mix things up, the band includes an ode to Star Trek with the song Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones, and there are sizzling covers of The Times They Are A-Changin' and That's Amore.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Fri. June 4 - Port Angeles, WA - Budget CD's D
Sat. June 5 - Olympia, WA - 4th St. Tavern
Fri. June 18 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Lanes
Sat. June 19 - Boston, MA - The Church
Sun. June 20 - Governors Island, NY - Punk Island Fest
Mon. June 21 - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Double L Bar
Tue. June 22 - Pittsburgh, PA  - 222 Ormsby
Wed. June 23 - Chicago, IL - Surprise Show
Thu. June 24 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar
Fri. June 25 - Detroit, MI - Smalls (21+)
Sat. June 26 - Rutland, OH - Skatoptia Fest
Sun. June 27 - Cleveland, OH - Now that's Class

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