December 13, 2014, One Accordion (but not the only one) at the Millions March NYC – Black Lives Matter!

Millions March NYC HellermanThanks to Ariana Hellerman for capturing the moment.Millions March Washington Square Weinstat In Washington Square on Saturday, waiting to step off in the Millions March NYC. It was inspiring to be part of this massive show of outrage at the murder of people of color by the police. I am singing into a microphone on top of the accordion (which also picks up the lower treble side of the accordion) that feeds a battery-powered amplifier hanging by a guitar strap on my left side. Using this setup, civil rights and protest songs could be heard above the din of the march. Thanks to the National Lawyers Guild legal observers (in the green hats) who turned out in numbers to help protect the marchers. And thanks to Ellen Weinstat for the photo.

Saturday, October 11, 2014, the Filthy Rotten System at the Peoples’ Voice Cafe in Manhattan

The Filthy Rotten System had a great time with a large, enthusiastic audience at the Peoples’ Voice Cafe and were fortunate to share the evening with talented Michigan singer/songwriter Steve Deasy. We are leader Bud Courtney on rhythm guitar, banjo and vocals, Jim Reagan on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jeff Schneider on lead guitar, Anthony Donovan on harmonica and vocals, Ray Todd on trombone, Brian Hynes on bass guitar, Jack Courtney on drums, and Paul Stein on accordion. Unfortunately, Jack Courtney and Ray Todd are obscured in this view.FRS PVC 10-11-14Photo by Dennis Flores

October 7, 2014 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn Protesting Israel’s Actions Against Palestine and Palestinians

Barclays demo 101014 M. Stan ReavesAt Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 7th protesting a visit by Israel’s top basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv for an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Nets and a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that preceded the game. Photo by M. Stan Reaves

People joined in singing this new song I wrote.

Stop Occupation
(to the tune of Hava Nagila)

Stop occupation!
Stop occupation!
Stop occupation!
Fight for Human Rights!

Stop occupation!
Stop occupation!
Stop occupation!
Fight for Human Rights!

Palestinians must be free
To control their destiny.
Blockading Gaza must be ended,
Settlements pulled down, not extended.

Bombing Gaza is a sin.
Israeli forces guilty in
Killing children far and wide.
This cannot be justified.

Salaam shalom!
Salaam shalom peace is needed!
Salaam shalom must be heeded!
Salaam shalom peace is needed!
Salaam shalom must be heeded!
Salaam shalom!
Salaam Shalom!
End the occupation now!

September 21, 2014 at The People’s Climate March in New York City

Had a wonderful time playing and singing at the People’s Climate March in NYC. My small Czech Lignatone accordion can be heard above the din of the crowd through a special portable PA system I cobbled together. If you click on the picture, you can see the outlines of the equipment hanging on my sides. For you techies out there: There is a battery-powered (6 double A’s) Roland Micro Cube amplifier on my left hip, a battery-powered (2 double A’s) Galaxy Audio JIB/MM Multi Mixer on my right hip, and one Sennheiser e608 dynamic clip-on microphone on the treble side of the accordion and one on the bass side, each modified with a Sennheiser e908 horn clip and clipped onto a special bracket that I devised. The brackets are attached by velcro to the top of the accordion, so when I play acoustically, I can easily remove them. And the mics can by fed into any PA mixing board through regular XLR mic cables, when I have the luxury of a conventional sound system. Thanks to Resa Del Sol for capturing the moment.Climate March from Resa

Chokehold – a new song

March against police brutality 082314 Photo by Stacy Lanyon

I sang the new song at the March for Justice for Victims of Police Brutality, on August 23, 2014 in Staten Island, pictured above.


by Paul Stein

Eric Garner stood proud at six foot three.
A warm teddy bear of a man was he.
Lived in Staten Island with his family.
Lost his life to police brutality. (chorus)

Check out the video!
You can’t deny
A cop’s chokehold caused Eric to die.
Check out the video!
It’s plain to see
He was murdered by the NYPD.

Cops claimed he sold “loosies” in the street,
So they went to arrest him on their beat.
For selling cigarettes, they took his life.
Left behind six children and a wife. (chorus)

Eric cried, “I can’t breathe,” as the cops jumped his back.
Did they ignore him ‘cause his skin is black?
Eric gasped “I can’t breathe,” as he ran out of air,
But the cops kept on pressing, they just didn’t care. (chorus)

As Eric lay motionless in great distress,
Four EMT’s showed that they couldn’t care less.
Along with eight cops, they just stood around,
Leaving Eric to die right there on the ground. (chorus)

The medical examiner confirmed how he died.
The ME’s report ruled it “homicide”.
Justice demands that the cops do hard time
For murdering Eric, a foul, racist crime. (chorus)

There was Amadou, Patrick, Ramarley before.
Now Eric and Michael and so many more.
Young black men cut down in a murder by cop.
We’re here to declare that this killing must stop. (chorus)

July 26, 2014 Brooklyn for Peace and Fort Greene Peace Vigil at Fowler Square in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

We need to work for peace for the sake of children all over the world!
And what could be more fun than playing for young children?
Gaza Vigil Children 7-26-14
Thanks to Matthew Weinstein for capturing the moment.