On Saturday, September 10, 2005, visionary musician, filmmaker and human rights worker, Michael Franti along with his band, Spearhead and Guerrilla Management present the 7th Annual 911 Power to the Peaceful Festival (PTTP) at Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
Now in its seventh year, PTTP is an annual series of free, outdoor music and arts festivals with a social justice message bringing together international musicians, local artists and renowned speakers in a large festival atmosphere. The first festival drew over 6,000 people, but has expanded to be one of California's largest festivals of its kind with over 50,000 attendees last year. This year, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will proclaim September 10th Power to the Peaceful Day at the festival.
This year's theme, Bring 'Em Home, seeks to remind the public that the best way to support American troops abroad is to bring them home today. Inspirational performances at PTTP have included such diverse speakers and artists including Amy Goodman, Dennis Kucinich, Alice Walker, Ram Das, Digital Underground, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, The String Cheese Incident, Lyrics Born, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, John Butler Trio, Krist Novoselic, and Jello Biafra.
This year's music line up includes Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jean Grae, Saul Williams, Anti-Flag, Zap Mama's Marie Daulne, J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science and Glide Choir. Speakers include Angela Davis, Woody Harrelson, Robert Greenwald (filmmaker - Outfoxed, Wal-Mart), Rev. Cecil Williams (Glide Church), Paul Rieckhoff (opTruth.org), Tim Goodrich (Iraqi Vets Against The War), DJ Miguel Migs and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
New to the festival this year will be an ASEC (Action Sports Environmental Coalition) sponsored, ecologically 'forest stewardship certified' wood built skate ramp featuring demos by pro-skater, Danny Way, who recently jumped the Great Wall of China, ESPN X-Games Medalists Jen O'Brien, CaraBeth Burnside, Lyn-z Adams and Mimi Knoop. The ramp will be donated to a Bay Area city high school after the event.
As festival organizer and Spearhead frontman Michael Franti explains, “The history of the festival, "As a brainstorm of LA-based organization, Artist Network of Refuse & Resist, Rage Against The Machine, artist Robbie Connell and Franti, the festival began in 1999 as an international day of art and culture with events in NYC, LA and San Francisco in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The name and date 911 were chosen to call attention to the emergency status of Mumia's impending execution.
Inspired and wanting to continue the movement of music, art and social justice, Franti adopted the moniker '911' and expanded the event in 2000 to show support for all prisoners on death r