Concert held at Lawn Gnome to protest proposed
expansion of Loop 202
By Brandon Kutzler, On Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
“Protesting against potential expansion of State Route 202, a benefit concert for the No South Mountain Freeway group was held Saturday night at Lawn Gnome Publishing on Roosevelt Row.
The group opposes a proposed eight-lane extension of Loop 202 that would run through Ahwatukee. The responsibility for such an extension would fall under the purview of the Arizona Department of Transportation, or ADOT, which has supported the expansion since 1983 through multiple delays caused by shortage of funds and political controversy. The extension could cut into territory of the Gila River Indian Community reservation and the public lands of South Mountain Park.
Folk singers Exploding Oranges, James Keenan of synth-rockers A Life of Science and hardcore punk band Lo Cash Ninjas took to the stage as activists distributed fliers to attendees and spoke about the issue. The concert followed a previous fundraiser at Lawn Gnome in December.
Justine Hecht, a justice studies graduate student at ASU and a member of No South Mountain Freeway, explained that the benefit was more about raising awareness of the issue than raising money.
“When you have a bunch of people, that’s actually a lot more powerful than a bunch of money,” Hecht said.
Aaron Johnson said he allowed No South Mountain Freeway to host their show at his bookstore because he sympathizes with the cause as a focal point of Native American rights and sustainable development.
“It’s become a political issue when it shouldn’t be,” Johnson said. “Build more in already developed areas, and leave the areas outside of our already conquered spectrum.”
But Johnson also said that, beyond his personal views, he felt the show was in line with his vision of his store as a forum for free expression and constructive communication.
“It’s incredible how much people don’t think about freedom of speech,” Johnson said. “That’s really what this place is, a sanctuary of all beliefs, all political ideas, all science, all religion. It’s a way to add to the bigger picture, which is more discourse.”
Okay, what’s playing here next! We have gotta see an upcoming show here!
McCartney the Gnome and Amish Meth Lab Member