The upcoming Diamond Jubilee weekend is set to be a very special weekend as Occupation Records, a record label for the Occupy movement, releases its first album, Folk the Banks, with album artwork by Jamie Reid – famed for the iconic artwork of the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save the Queen’ single released during Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
The album features original and exclusive tracks from Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg, Chris T-T, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Peggy Seeger, Ryan Harvey and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger. An embeddable Folk the Banks ‘sneak peek’ is available here:
Jamie Reid said: “It was an honour to be asked to do this artwork for the Occupy movement. I have been involved with doing ‘protest’ visuals since the early 70′s, and I hoped with this image to incorporate ideas from this source, putting them into a modern context within the birth of a whole new form of protest and resistance, against the increasing corruption and corporate greed of current policies and economics. Learn from the past. Live in the present. Look to the future.”
With all profits from the record label donated to the Occupy movement, other artists on the Folk the Banks album include The Nightwatchman: Tom Morello, Martha Wainright, Anais Mitchell, Show of Hands, King Blues, Leon Rosselson, The Young-uns, Oysterband, Chumbawumba, Jim Moray and Eddie Morton.
Tom Morello said: “The wealthiest CEO’s reward themselves with million dollar bonuses while millions are out of work. What can we do about it? We can protest against it, fight back against it, and sing songs that do both.”
Folk the Banks will be available digitally from Bank Holiday Monday 4 June, including via the Occupation Records website on a pay what you want basis. From Wednesday 6 June, it will be in record stores across the UK on CD and on vinyl.
The Occupy and Indignados movements to strike back
The news comes as people around the world are preparing to take to the streets on 12 May and 15 May (#12M15M), to mark one year since the Indignados reclaimed their squares in Spain and Greece, and almost seven months since the Occupy movement went global. Strikes, actions and occupations are again set to take centre stage around the world as people act locally and globally against social and economic injustice and fight for a sustainable economy that puts people and the environment before corporate profits.
Adam Jung, Artist and Industry Relations for Occupation Records, commented: “This May will see unprecedented co-ordination between the global movements, the resurgence of Occupy, and the beginning of a retreat by the one per cent. Folk the Banks is the first of many albums which Occupation Records will use to spread the message of the movement, enabling musicians and artists around the world to get involved, support and fund the Occupy movement.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to all those that have helped the album come together and look forward to announcing details of how to apply for funding post release of Folk the Banks. We are particularly excited to be able to put the rewards in the post – such as the Alan Moore signed V for Vendetta masks – to all those that donated to our crowdfunding initiative which raised almost £10K.”
Folk the Banks will NOT be available via Amazon or Apple’s iTunes
Due to labour and human rights violations as standard practice, Folk the Banks will not be available via Amazon or Apple’s iTunes.  Under pressure globally, Apple recently announced it was working with the Fair Labor Association, which extracted commitments from both Apple and its supplier, Foxconn, for improved working conditions, wages and oversight. While this news is promising, Occupation Records will continue to examine its position with regard to Apple until their words are turned into action. It is noteworthy that Amazon has to date made no public attempt to address concerns.
Upcoming release party, further albums and the School of Rockupy
Stay tuned for news about the upcoming release party for Folk the Banks, merchandise and further releases from Occupation Records, including tracks from occupiers around the world. Also upcoming is the next School of Rockupy collaboration with Occupy London, bringing together young people with a known music artist to record a song in a day with a message. 
Folk the Banks album – full track listing:
1. Billy Bragg – Which Side Are You On? [Original]
2. Anais Mitchell – 1984
3. Ryan Harvey – See It Through [Original]
4. Show of Hands – Arrogance, Ignorance, and Greed
5. King Blues – We Are Fucking Angry
6. Chris T-T – A-Z (Piano Version) [Exclusive]
7. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. – Gamblers Lament [Original]
8. Ani DiFranco – Coming Up [Exclusive]
9. Peggy Seeger – Doggone, Occupation Is On [Original]
10. Leon Rosselson – Money Matters
11. The Young-uns – Hard Times
12. Martha Wainright – No Woman, No Cry
13. Oysterband – The Early Days of a Better Nation
14. Chumbawumba – The Old School Tie
15. Jim Moray – The Rufford Park Poachers
16. Eddie Morton – Union Jack
17. Tao Rodriguez-Seeger – Well May The World Go [Original]
18. The Nightwatchman: Tom Morello – World Wide Rebel Songs
 Occupation Records is a benefit record label raising funds for, and spreading the messages of the Occupy and related movements through the release of benefit albums, alongside merchandise and live events. The label is an attempt to bring the ethos of Occupy into the music industry in a very practical way. It is run under the ethos of Occupy. All the profits from the album are distributed to the global Occupy movement and related and allied movements. Decisions are made by consensus, all members are represented by a union, finances transparent and open, with distribution and manufacture being ethical and transparent.
The label has also initiated community engagement projects such as most recently “School of Rockupy” were young people are joined with music artists to write, produce, record and distribute a track in one day getting their message out utilising the processes of Occupy. The next School of Rockupy will be taking place in June 2012 – details of the first edition with Kate Nash can be found at http://schoolofrockupy.wordpress.com/. Members of the collective behind the label are also actively involved in Occupy London.