2020 Musical Timeline

A playlist of songs about 2020, with some notes putting them in a bit of chronological context.

Timeline Notes

“Bernie 2020”

February — Bernie Sanders is the front-runner in the Democratic primaries

“Wet’su’wet’en”

February — People across Canada blockade the railways in solidarity with the Wet’su’wet’en Band

“To Agree with the DNC”

March — the DNC establishment makes a huge push for Biden and against Sanders

“Spread the Strike”

March — the strike among grad students in California spreads throughout the UC system

“Viral Solidarity”

March — as the pandemic spread around the world, the mutual aid began

“Solution to the Toilet Paper Shortage”

March — soon after the lockdown hit, the panic buying also kicked in

“Essentially Expendable (The Death of Jason Hargrove)”

April — after contracting Covid-19 while driving his bus in Detroit in March, at the beginning of April, Jason Hargrove died, along with so many other essentially expendable workers

“Don’t Pay The Rent”

April — rent strike and cancel rent organizing began all over the country, as the extent of the economic collapse we were facing started to become clear, and the untenable housing situation became impossible

“As I Walk On By”

May — the stress that lockdown and the economic situation was having was becoming more and more clear, with studies finding anxiety, depression and insomnia were all increasing drastically

“Each Couch By the Street”

May — as the end of the month approached, as with every other end of the month these days, the numbers of couches on the sidewalks from self-evicted renters were multiplying

“As I Watch Minneapolis Burn”

May 25th — George Floyd was lynched in public by cops in broad daylight

“They Say We’re Being Violent”

May — as soon as corporate property and police stations were being destroyed, the shrill cries of “violence” and “rioting” began

“Ballad of the Oregon Employment Department”

June 1st — Governor Brown accepted the resignation of the head of the Oregon Employment Department, which was and is a broken system

“Elijah Played the Violin”

June 2nd — Elijah McClain’s mother spoke at a rally in Colorado, and many more people began to say his name

“Wear A Mask”

June — the fact that the CDC was now recommending mask-wearing became very convenient for lots of other purposes, too

“If They Defunded the Police”

June — the movement against police brutality was increasingly voicing the demand that police departments should just be defunded and disbanded

“Pull These Statues to the Ground”

June — toppling statues became much more fashionable than ever before in US history, I’m pretty sure

“Born On The Fourth of July”

July 4th — President Trump visited Mt Rushmore

“The FOP On Fire”

July 18th — the headquarters of the local branch of the Fraternal Order of Police in NE Portland was set on fire, briefly

“With Masks Upon Their Faces and Leaf-Blowers In Their Hands”

July — the use of leaf-blowers to try to deal with the insane amounts of tear gas being used by local and federal police became commonplace

“They’re Trying to Steal the Election”

August 19th — it became known that USPS was dismantling sorting machines in order to make postal voting not work

“Say Their Names”

August 23rd — Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back by Kenosha police, in front of his children

“In Between Milwaukee and Chicago”

August 25th — Anthony Huber was one of two people killed by rightwing vigilante from Illinois

“Resign (Ballad of Tear Gas Ted)”

August 29th — a large protest in front of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s condo, who still hasn’t banned tear gas after all this time

“I Think I Saw Somebody Die”

September 1st — on a sidewalk in one of the wealthiest cities on Earth (the Hague), a man died alone and homeless

“Song for Michael Reinoehl”

September 3rd — Portland antifascist, Michael Reinoehl, gunned down in a hail of federal and local police bullets, after arriving at his residence in plainclothes, with no siren, unannounced

“The Flames of History”

September — for weeks, amidst the protests and the pandemic, the worst fires in US history

“The Books of Howard Zinn”

September 17th — Trump hosts a White House Conference on American History where he specifically names historian Howard Zinn as the problem with modern liberal education in US schools

“Anarchist Jurisdiction”

September 21st — Attorney General William Barr declares Portland, Seattle and NYC to be “anarchist jurisdictions”

“Willamette Valley”

September 27th — OPB and people on the Warm Springs reservation commemorate the 170th anniversary of the theft of the Willamette Valley by white settlers

“COUP”

October — with the November election approaching, many states make moves to curtail voter rights or make voting a dangerous act, in order to rig the election, which Trump says is rigged if he loses anyway, and many people are talking about a coup d’etat