Bulletin Board Archive

Topic: LAPD Shut Down dead prez/KRS Benefit Show

  1. Sep 13, 2005 08:06pm by NRG - livin the art that is life ! www.64111clinic.com fam www.nrginmotion.com massage www.myspace.com/nrginmotion world community Location: havenhouse KCK/ 64111 Clinic 4 Life
    A Few Things to Ponder-LAPD Shut Down dead prez/KRS Benefit Show By Davey D 9/12/05 Los Angeles, Sept 10th) It started out, as a beautiful thing…Not only was it beautiful, it was historic and on many levels political. To be honest it seemed almost too good to be true. We’re talking about this past Saturday’s sold out outdoor concert in South Central LA featuring Dead Prez, KRS-One, Self Scientific and Ras Kass. All these folks came together to perform a special benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina victims Initially this planned concert was supposed to address the issues surrounding 9-11 and assess where things were 4 years later especially as it pertained to young people and communities of color. Once the Katrina disaster hit, all those involved including thaFormula.com that sponsored the concert, used the gathering as a way to raise money and resources for hurricane victims. At the same time, the political nature of the concert would not be lost, because as we all know, Katrina opened up a huge can of worms on poverty, race and class. Hence, artists as well as many of the various community groups that were present at the event would address those issues. So here we are with a couple of thousand people from the hood coming out to support a worthy cause and get inspired by some of Hip Hop’s dopest acts. The make up of the crowd was mostly Black and Brown, with everyone vibing in harmony and thus shattering the overblown stories of Black-Brown friction in LA. Fidel Rodriguez, who hosts Divine Forces Radio on Friday Nights on Pacifica’s KPFK, kept things in step and set the tone by dropping an array of facts about the shady-behind the-scenes-antics of both local and national politicians. The cool thing about this, was folks were eating it all up as Fidel blasted away about Katrina clean up contracts being awarded to Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company Halliburton. Fidel also dropped some knowledge about LAPD including the sorted history of police Chief William Bratton and the increased militarization of the police. He also spoke about how a lot of folks in the hood were being depicted as potential terrorists and how there was new laws on the books that allowed the President to keep one in prison indefinitely after he slapped them with a label ‘enemy combatant. Folks were all up in the place soaking everything up. By the time I arrived KRS had already ripped it big time… Well known DJs like Mark Luv of the Zulu Nation held it down on the ones and twos and Ras Kass took the stage and repped in a major way.. On deck after Ras Kass was dead prez and judging by the enthusiastic applause it was clear folks came to see them. So Ras is rocking his set when suddenly everything is thrown off by the loud noise of LA’s infamous ‘ghetto bird’ (police helicopter). At first, everyone thought the copter was just flying by, when suddenly it circled around and flashed its big floodlights on the peaceful crowd. It made a couple of more passes and then almost on cue, the entire crowd started chanting ‘@#%$ the Police’ and put their middle fingers up to the sky. It was still unclear to most attendees as to why the police copter was flying around. During the commotion, Ras Kass announced that he was being shut down as organizers took the stage and told the stunned crowd that the police were stopping the event and that everyone should leave peacefully because LAPD was outside the venue waiting to bust some heads. It was at that point that the police copter flew even lower and beamed its search light on everyone. You could hear the officers barking on their bullhorn from the copter that everyone needed to leave in an orderly fashion. Of course this left, people very upset, especially when no clear reason was being given as to why the event was being shut down. There were no fights or any sort of drama. There was no alcohol being served. The concert was at a venue owned by the people who run thaformula.com. In addition, it was in a warehouse district away from residents. This meant that noise complaints could not be factor in the decision making by the police. The concert organizers tried their best to calm everyone down. They seemed very concerned that nothing would get out of hand as the crowd filed out chanting real loud ‘@#%$ the Police’. A few of the Latino homies had enough and let their anger be known. They were heated and ready to do something, and organizers had to calm them down and dissuade them for engaging in a fight where they were out gunned. When folks left the venue and hit the streets, they were met by a huge line of police cars and at several dozen officers dressed in riot gear with bully clubs drawn. One thing about LAPD for those who don’t know, is that they train all year for this sort of stuff. They have the militarism and intimidation tactics down to a tee. When you left the venue all the chanting stopped because it was clear that LAPD had strategically positioned themselves and had literally surrounded the venue and the people. The whole thing reminded me of gauntlet line with the police on a mission to intimidate. Some had their helmets pulled down and moved alongside of the crowd in a menacing manner. They were like a jarring occupying force-no different then the street gangs they're supposed to regulate. These cats just totally poisoned the air and ruined the spirit of the night. You felt like any moment they were going to attack. They were looking for a reason-any reason to show off and use their fire power and military tactics. At one point everyone braced when a passing car ran over a bottle. Everyone including LAPD thought it was thrown as a phalanx of officers quickly moved from across the street toward the leaving crowd. The whole time this is going on, everyone is trying to figure out what’s the reason for the show of force. Of course, we all know, there's always been an ongoing campaign to dehumanize, provoke and cause dissension in communities of color. One would think, if there were a legitimate reason to shut down the concert, that it could’ve been communicated differently. After all, this was a benefit concert.This was being done when everyone was being asked to come together and do not for self, but for the greater good. Now, this particular concert didn’t have all the fan fare and hype of the BET telethon that came on the night before. There weren’t any major TV outlets or newspaper on hand even though the event was widely publicized and the venue sold out. This was basically folks from the hoods of Southern Cali trying to help out folks who really bad off in the hoods of New Orleans. Anyone who had criticism about Hip Hop would've been proud that night to see everyone stepping up and doing what needed to be done in times of crisis. One would think that such efforts would be supported and encouraged. A fellow writer, named Ani, rolled up and tried talking to one of the officers to find out why they were coming at everyone sideways. She told them it was a benefit for hurricane victims. According to her, the officer made some snide remark and was dismissive. She’s currently writing about this as well. I will be placing a call to Chief Bratton’s office later on this morning to express my displeasure with the way this was handled. This should not be what our tax dollars are used for… As all this was going down, I could not help but think of all the reports I have heard from so called ‘refugees’ aka displaced people from New Orleans who have come on our airwaves and talked about police suppression being directed at them during their greatest time of need-in the aftermath of Katrina. Here we are trying to raise resources and do for self and its obvious such efforts were not supported by LA finest-at least the guys who showed up that night. Maybe they were upset to see Black-and Brown communities getting along and chilling with each other. Maybe they hated seeing KRS, dead prez, Afrika Bambaataa, Ras Kass and all sorts of , Hip Hop folks spanning the range in one place, building with one another. Perhaps they hated seeing folks who are accused of always looking for handouts –doing for self. Who knows? What we do know is that over the past few months southern Cali cops has been doing all sorts of crazy things including recently brutalizing Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammed. A couple of weeks ago the police shot a little baby girl to death. We’ve seen the police shoot more then 100 rounds at an unarmed motorist during a routine traffic stop.. The list of atrocities is a long one. All of this is happening in the backdrop of new legislation that grants the police more power. All I know is that a great event was cut short by a bunch of taxpayer-supported goons who used intimidation tactics as opposed to simple humanasque-respectful exchange. However, I guess this is to be expected when you don’t control the politics and economy of your neighborhood. According thaformula.com organizers there will be a rescheduling of the dead prez concert. We’ll keep you posted on the new dates as well as what sort of explanation we get for last Saturday’s police antics.