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United We Stand event to educate students about politics

By Tala Ahmadi

May 7, 2014 12:52 a.m.

Larry King, the founders of Ben & Jerry’s and three members of the Wu Tang Clan are some of the many speakers slated to speak at a political education festival in Pauley Pavilion this weekend.

The national organization Free and Equal, which aims to “bring political power back to the people through education,” is organizing the United We Stand Festival on Saturday, said Christina Tobin, the founder of Free and Equal, who previously worked for the campaign of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Free and Equal advocates for fair and open elections that offer transparency to voters and promote values of democracy, Tobin said.

Saturday’s festival marks the first in a series of similar United We Stand events set to take place in 2015.

“The goal is to get people, particularly students, engaged in the voting process, to educate themselves and to possibly run for office,” Tobin said. “I want students to believe that there is hope, giving up is not an option.”

The festival is scheduled to showcase about 65 musicians and intellectuals that agree with the values Free and Equal promotes, including Public Enemy, Immortal Technique and Rooftop Revolutionaries.

Some of the presenters include Marianne Williamson, a self-help author running for California’s 33rd congressional district, which includes Westwood, and Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic former Ohio congressional representative.

Chuck D, a member of Public Enemy, will be on campus Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. near Kerckhoff Hall to publicize the event, according to a press release on the Free and Equal website.

In addition to watching the performances, students can register to vote, collect information to learn more about the voting process and listen to panels discussing a broad range of current issues like student leadership and education, Tobin said.

About 2,000 students have purchased tickets so far, Tobin said.

Students with a valid student ID from any college can get free tickets at the UCLA Central Ticket Office starting Wednesday. Anyone else can purchase tickets at the CTO or the United We Stand Festival website.

Compiled by Tala Ahmadi, Bruin contributor.

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