The taping of the music video for this song was rather interesting. It was mostly live footage with some other, mostly satirical scenes interlaced. But it is the live footage itself that is of the most interest.
Rage Against the Machine tapped Michael Moore to direct the video. Michael Moore is best known for his works of satire, such as Canadian Bacon and Stupid White Men. After all, this is the man who convinced Presidental Candidate Alan Keyes to body-surf in a mosh pit in order to gain his endorsement. (That footage was saved for Moore's show, "The Awful Truth.")
Moore decided to set up on the steps of the Federal Building, across from the New York Stock Exchange. Moore said that "he wanted to shoot this in the belly of the beast." Rage set up their equipment in front of the NYSE and ran through "Sleep Now in the Fire."
Roughly three hundred Rage fans showed up. On the sixth run through the song, the cops showed up. Moore posted on his web site(www.michaelmoore.com):
They ordered the makeshift concert to cease, but before we had a chance to stop, four officers jumped me and put me in one of those police locks like you see on that excellent and informative show COPS. One tried to break my arm, the other put a chokehold on my neck. In all my years of shooting in New York, I have never had this happen, and all I could think of was, well, I just hope it's a new plunger."
The crowd proceded to jump police barricades and headed for the doors of the Stock Exchange. Before the now-rioters could get in, the massive set of titanium gates slammed down in front of the next set of double doors and the NYSE closed a full two hours early - an entirely unprecedented event, all thanks to the antics of Rage Against the Machine and Michael Moore.
Now that's a press release.
Sources: "Rage Against the Machine," Colin Devenish