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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Solidarity’ By Material Support

A live version of Material Support’s powerful “Know Your Rights,” was featured earlier this year. Its resonant refrain is equal parts punk song, protest anthem, and literal know-your-rights training.

The song by the Queens, New York band offers advice on what to do if the cops show up: “Do you have a warrant? Slide it under the door / I choose to remain silent / I want to speak to my lawyer.”

In August, the band released a studio recording of the “Know Your Rights,” selling the song in order to raise funds for their comrades in Charlottesville.

“One of Material Support’s main goals is providing aid to people on the ground fighting to make a better world,” the band wrote on Bandcamp. “We stand in firm solidarity with our Antifa comrades and others in Charlottesville and support their use of a diversity of tactics to remind all fascists that they are bound to lose.”

This version will appear on the band’s forthcoming debut LP on Filipino-American label Aklasan Records, who also released Material Support’s debut record, the four-song Balikbayan Box Demo.

In addition to “Know Your Rights,” Material Support offers a glimpse at their upcoming record with “Solidarity,” an activist anthem about fighting for the future, together, and creating cultures of resistance.

The muscular stomp of “Solidarity” builds over multiple mid-tempo verses, with lyrics like “choosing families, choosing values, we choose to live for tomorrow.”

It eventually explodes into a breakdown sung in Tagalog, with lyrics that translate to, “Even though you are far, you are always on my mind,” and, “Where you are in this world, you will always be in my heart.”

On Material Support songs, the band is careful to punctuate every word so that it is not only heard but felt and processed. They make use of calls and responses, and repeated hooks, working to harness the participatory power of a show space, while singing in both English and Tagalog.


Listen to Material Support’s song, “Solidarity”:

Liz Pelly

Liz Pelly