Tom Morello Receives Hillman Award for Supporting Madison, Occupy Protests

Rage Against the Machine musician and activist Tom Morello, who played for and inspired demonstrators in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol during the workers’ rights uprising last year, will receive a special public service award at the annual 2012 Hillman Prizes ceremony on May 1 in New York City. Previous awards have gone to such figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte.

Last year, Morello also performed at Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. He donated the proceeds from his Justice Tour concerts in Madison, Flint, Mich., and Cleveland to the Nation Institute.

“Tom Morello’s work in pursuing social and economic justice — and in telling the stories of working men and women — is exemplary and inspiring,” said Bruce Raynor, president of the Sidney Hillman Foundation. “Tom’s music, energy and leadership brings attention to causes that matter and inspires others to become more active on the public commons. In the words of another American songwriter, there’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’ — and almost any time we look, there’s Tom Morello right out in front.”

More video: GRITtv’s Laura Flanders interviews Morello in Madison last February

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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