Carlos Santana has offered his support to protesters who have taken to the streets in America to stand up against alleged police brutality.
The guitar icon says he backs peaceful protest, but also warns the authorities not to “push” people too hard. His comments come in the days after thousands of people took to the streets of Washington DC to protest against the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.
Brown was shot by officers and Garner died after being forcefully restrained. Both men were unarmed.
Santana tells Ultimate Classic Rock: “I invite all peaceful protesters to wear all white only, and play music to shock the world’s foundation, conquering fear.
“If you dressed in white, police know that you’re there not to burn, loot or destroy. You’re only there with integrity to make a point. Hopefully, next time people protest, if you wear all white, police got to know that your intensions are noble and they shouldn’t hurt you.
“Otherwise, we do have some issues with police, and they will be really in trouble. Otherwise we will retaliate. We will retaliate, because on one hand — I am spiritual, which is I want compassion. On the other hand, I do believe that it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees. So don’t push us, because you don’t have enough bullets for all of us. We will take over.”
Santana also discusses the upcoming reunion of the classic-era Santana line-up, recalling how fellow guitarist Neal Schon chased him around for a year trying to convince him to reunite the group.
Santana brings his Corazon tour to London on July 25 next year.