HIP HOP COMMUNITY TACKLES POLICE BRUTALITY
No Stranger to the so-called “Long arm of the law”, the Hip Hop community is proving that as the politically charged rap group dead prez stated, “it’s still bigger than Hip Hop”. Lately, it seems the climate has shifted to a defensive position for many Hip Hop notables. From the Congressional Hearings to the Jena 6 calamity, many artists are beginning to utilize their microphone muscle to battle social injustices. The latest battle is an age old quandary: police brutality. Over the years we have witnessed outrageous brutal attacks by the “Boys in Blue”. We have observed everything from the beating of Rodney King and the unthinkable sodomy of Abner Louima, courtesy of NYPD armed with their weapon of choice: the common bathroom plunger. We were also devastated by the case of Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston and others.
In 2007 the alarm has been sounded and the Hip Hop Community is responding. Nationwide, a number of organizations and individuals from the National Hip Hop Political Convention to “The Peoples Congresswoman” Cynthia McKinney have endorsed a new crusade called Cease Fire: Stop Police Terrorism. Cease Fire: Stop Police Terrorism is 5 days of resistance scheduled to kick off November 21, 2007, marking the anniversary of the Atlanta Police slaying of 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston and it will conclude on November 25, 2007, marking the anniversary of Sean Bell the 23 year-old who was murdered by New York Police on his wedding day. EDI from the Outlawz, the Hip Hop group founded by Tupac Shakur has stated, “We as a people have to address this issue, in a more hands on approach. I’m not talking about violence, but we definitely got to address this situation, when they’re shooting down our young Brothas and getting away with it”.
“They’re off the hook, grandmothers aren’t even safe in their own home, there has to be accountability”, declared Jalil from the legendary rap group Whodini.
Plans for Cease Fire: Stop Police Terrorism includes vigils, press conferences, rallies, panel discussions, teach-ins, poetry and concerts. The goal of the Cease Fire Campaign is to educate and inspire people to rally around the countless victims of police murders, misconducts and false arrests in their areas. “There are plenty of organizations, artists and individuals that have been working around these issues, we are simply saying let’s fly under one banner…”, stated one of the key organizers, Kalonji Jama Changa of FTP Movement, “…this is something that is affecting all of us, so it has to take a collective effort”. A few other Hip Hop representatives that have endorsed the Cease Fire Campaign include, Hip Hop Against Police Brutality, Crooked I, Stic of dead prez, Paradise Gray of X Clan, Immortal Technique, Jasiri X, Ernie Paniccioli and Bruce George, Co-Founder of Def Poetry Jam.
The Peoples Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney had this to say, “From full body cavity searches of black men on the streets of San Antonio to DNA samples taken from black men in Charlottesville, Virginia, America's ‘War on Terror’ has become for some a ‘War of Terror.’ It is time to draw attention to the actions of rogue police officers who target for harassment and even murder the poor and defenseless among us; and it is time to stop it. I support the Hip Hop Community's Cease Fire: Stop Police Terrorism Campaign”.
Stay updated at www.Myspace.com/freeallpoliticalprisoners
If you are interested in joining in on these efforts or if you are planning something for your area contact:
Shafeeq Ali Mujahid
Kalonji Jama Changa