Manu Chao Performs ‘Clandestino’ At Sheriff Arpaio’s Tent City

The musician made a special stop in Arizona on his U.S. tour.

By Channing Kennedy Dec 01, 2011

Musician and activist Manu Chao ended last summer’s tour of the U.S. with a free concert in Phoenix, Arizona, sponsored by the National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network. And while he was in town, he slated this performance of his song ‘Clandestino’ — right outside the gates of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s infamous tent-city detention center for undocumented immigrants.

"Me dicen ‘el clandestino’ / por no llevar papel…" ["They call me ‘clandestine’ because I have no papers"] rings the chorus. And while the song alludes to unauthorized immigration from Africa to Europe, as well as Chao’s own family’s fleeing from Spain, the message hits powerfully in Arizona in 2011. Director Alex Rivera weaves in interviews with detainees, as well as shots of nervous-looking prison guards.

NDLON’s Alto Arizona campaign is running a contest to win some signed Manu Chao merch. Kudos to them for recognizing the role of artists in the fight for dignity and human rights.

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