Press Information

For immediate release: Aug. 16, 2008

Graham Nash and David Crosby Visit Denver During DNC
Protest Song Rallies Demonstrators

Contact: Laura Kriho, "Come Up to Denver" Campaign

[Denver] -- For the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Colorado activists have been using the song Graham Nash wrote about the 1968 DNC to exhort peace activists to "Come Up to Denver" for the 2008 DNC in Denver. In June, Crosby, Stills and Nash played "Denver" for the first time in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. They brought the house to their feet and dedicated their performance of the song to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who was in the audience. Graham Nash and David Crosby will return to Denver during the DNC to play for Etown on Tues., Aug. 26 at the Temple Buell Theatre.

Graham Nash's original song, called "Chicago", contained the lyrics "Won't you please come to Chicago?" and "We can change the world, rearrange the world." These choruses rang out as anthems for young people who were fed up with the draft and the war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the song was released in 1971, well after the 1968 convention. So although the song sounds like a call to the masses to converge on Chicago in 1968 and protest the war, it was never able to be used for this purpose.

Colorado activists saw the opportunity to use this song as a rallying cry for the 2008 DNC in Denver. With Graham Nash's permission, a local Colorado band called Freedom Kage was enlisted to re-record the song. They changed only the words from "Won't you please come to Chicago?" to "Won't you please come up to Denver?" The accompanying video, recorded on April 20, 2008, contains scenes from the 1968 DNC in Chicago, as well as a cut from Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

When the Crosby, Stills and Nash tour stopped in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center on June 26, they performed "Denver" for the first time. At David Crosby's suggestion, Graham Nash slyly dedicated it to Governor Bill Ritter, who was in the audience. The Governor's office had no comment on how the Governor felt about Crosby, Stills and Nash using their song to encourage protesters to converge on Denver for the 2008 DNC. Even though all the protest groups involved have pledged to act in a non-violent manner, the city is spending up to $18 million on security equipment and non-lethal weapons for the DNC, raising fears that the law enforcement is looking for trouble, as they were at the 1968 DNC.

Watch a video of both "Come Up to Denver" by Freedom Kage and "Denver" by Crosby, Stills and Nash:

Laura Kriho, a Chicago native living in Colorado, is a spokesperson for the "Come Up to Denver" campaign. "I hope that activists around the country respond to the song and come up to Denver for the DNC," says Kriho. "As in 1968, we need massive numbers of participants to make an impact."

The "Come Up to Denver" campaign is encouraging all progressive social change groups to come to the DNC in Denver, Aug. 24-28, 2008 and participate in a DNC Counter-Convention. There will be music, art, speakers, workshops, marches, rallies and networking opportunities for activists from around the country to plan "what's next" after the 2008 General Election. Environmental, peace, social justice, immigrant rights, human rights and the economy are just some of the issues that will be discussed at the Denver Counter-Convention.

For more information, see:






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