NolaAnarcha

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricane Katrina 6th Annual Commemoration Secondline/March August 29th, 9am-1pm

 
Join the Katrina Commemoration Foundation for a secondline/march Monday, August 29th. The march begins each year from where the levees broke in the Lower 9th ward at Jourdan & North Galvez, where people gather at 9am to remember those who died and carry on the call for justice.

Then at 10am the secondline heads up Claiborne Ave. into the city and ends at Hunter's Field around 1pm. Hunter's Field is the park on the corner of St. Bernard Ave. & N. Claiborne.

There will be food and live performances at Hunter's Field by: Young Sino, Sess 4-5, 5th ward weebie, Team SNO, Y. luck, Shack Brown Drill Team, Mia X, Partner's in crime, Mr.tony, Detroit, Kourtney Heart, Roi Anthony, Pallo DA Jiint, Asia Rainey, Zion Trinity, and Shawt.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Civil Disobedience Planned for Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting in Biloxi, Aug. 30th

Continuing on the momentum begun with the acts of civil disobedience in New Orleans on August 4th, people trying desperately to hold BP and the Federal government accountable for the toxic Gulf nightmare coastal communities are dealing with have organized another action to take place on August 30th. Their announcement follows:

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (GCERT) was created by President Obama through an Executive Order on October 5, 2010, with concerns to long term recovery following the 2010 Deep Water Oil Catastrophe.

Although the Task Force is charged with development of a restoration strategy that proposes a Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration agenda, from the first meeting, advocates and citizens from the Gulf coastal communities... have been attending in hopes of finding aid in not only the area of ecosystem recovery, but also safe and effective industry concerns, and health related impacts from the event.

Of the latter issue, we have repeatedly been told by the GCERT that they are not here in response to the health issues that have arisen since the event. And yet, they are who we have been consistently directed to when speaking to officials of the continuing health, economic and human rights violations across the nation.

At one point, through collaboration with the GCERT, the Health and Human Services, "the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans," convened a meeting of what we thought would be a responsive address. We were at that time, by HHS a well as the Center for Disease Control, directed back to the GCERT with our concerns.

So, here we are 16 months later, and not one single piece of legislation (state or federal), nor one governmental entity, is adequately nor actively responding to the urgent and direct needs of the people on the Gulf for the basic human right of health.


THE TIME FOR NEGOTIATIONS IS OVER.

On August 30, 2011, beginning at 10 am, ill people, fishermen, workers, community organizers and residents will be in the chambers of this meeting. And we will QUIETLY and conscientiously assemble, with blown up photos of our beaches and signs depicting the issuance of our demands.
You are invited to join us in solidarity during these proceedings. We will come with determined respect and resolve, taking our rightful place among those who have historically answered the call for the endless struggle for moral requisite on behalf of country and humanity.

PLEASE BRING A LARGE BLOWN UP RECENT PHOTO OF OUR AFFECTED AREAS, AS WELL AS PROPER SIGNAGE AS TO THE FACTS OF THE SITUATION IN THE GULF AS IT STANDS TODAY.

THIS WILL BE A CALM, YET RESILIENT SHOW OF SOLIDARITY. THIS EVENT HOPES TO BE BOTH EMPOWERING AND IMPACTFUL.
 

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting - MS Coast Coliseum & Convention Center
2350 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, Mississippi

For more information on the meeting, including a map: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e4aekwljefe91ecc&llr=lpkzsjfab

"The question here is not just about one of the numerous individual cases in the struggle between a truth powerless to act and a power that has become the enemy of truth. It is really a question of the absolutely concrete demonstration of the point at which this struggle at any moment becomes man's duty as man.…"
— Martin Buber "Man's Duty As Man" (1962)


Please RSVP and get more info on the Facebook event page.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Local History: Sugar Cane Workers Strike and Massacre of 1887

 One of the most interesting, and probably least known events in Louisiana history is the Thibodaux Massacre of 1887.The Thibodaux Massacre of 1887 was the second most bloody labor dispute in U.S. history.

In 1886, the newly-formed railroad workers union decided to help the sugarcane workers organize themselves, and held a racially integrated union meeting in Shreiver, LA. Sugarcane workers were basically indebted serfs for plantation owners at this time.

The cane workers were paid in coupons reedemable only at the company store, and the store's prices were marked up so much the workers had to go into debt to buy goods they needed. Of course, plantation owners couldn't get away with this without the help of the law and police, so there were laws that made it a crime to leave an owner's land if one was indebted to the owner. Obviously, these workers needed some help.

In 1887, after organizing a union, they presented 3 demands to plantation owners: the elimination of the coupon system, a small increase in their daily wages (which were $13 per month), and payment every two weeks. When their demands were not met 10,000 plantation workers went on strike during the crucial harvesting season. Most of the strikers were black, but nearly 1000 were white.

The workers prevented the local sheriffs from evicting any of them from the plantation owned cabins they lived in, so the state sent in the Louisiana militia to break the strike. The militia, armed with rifles, evicted the workers and helped scab replacements get safely to the fields. The strikers, with nowhere to go, gathered in Thibodaux and other towns in St. Mary, Terrebonne, Assumption, and Lafourche parishes. After hearing "reports" of strikers firing into scab-run sugar mills, whites in Thibodaux organized vigilante squads to guard the town, apparently afraid of strikers "burning it down."


The strike turned bloody when, while attempting to cordon off the black section of Thibodaux that black strikers had gone to after being evicted, 2 white vigilantes were shot. This enraged racist whites in the town, and they rode through the neighborhood firing their weapons and wreaking havoc.

Strikers and their family members were rounded up by vigilantes. Many were told to "run for their lives" and then executed. On the morning of November 23, 1887 anywhere between 30 to 300 black strikers were killed. Non-local militiamen known as the Shreveport Guards (from an area known for white supremacist ideology to this day) were thought to have taken part in the massacre.

This strike took place at a time when the labor movement was a completely new idea, and anything must have seemed possible to those workers who began to dream of a better life. Their dreams, not yet dimmed by cynicism, recuperation, or fear, could only be destroyed by barbaric brutality on the scale of the Thibodeaux massacre.

The next attempt to organize sugarcane workers in southeast Louisiana came in the 1950´s, long after this first bloody battle in cane country, because they cannot kill an idea.

The bosses (and white supremacist traitors who do the sell-out job of keeping working people divided by making whites fear people of color) have been trying to force us to give up on dreaming dreams like those of the sugarcane workers, but the desire for freedom, justice, and dignity is something that cannot be shot down.

They rely on spectacular violence to instill fear in us, hoping to scare us out of demanding the realization of our dreams, or even daring to dream at all. But ideas are bulletproof, and so despite the seemingly inhuman capacity for violence that the rich and the government it owns have shown, in the Thibodaux Massacre and a million other heinous acts since then, we're still here, motherfuckers!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"If a Tree Falls" documentary: Showing today only, in Chalmette

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front. Showing tonight, August 16th at 7:30 p.m. at Chalmette Theatre (8700 West Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043)


On December 7, 2005, federal agents conducted a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF)-an organization the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front is the remarkable story of the group’s rise and fall, told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a chronicle of McGowan facing life in prison with a dramatic investigation of the events that led to his involvement with the ELF. Using never-before-seen archival footage and intimate interviews-with cell members and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them-If a Tree Falls asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism and the way we define terrorism. Winner of the Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Tickets:
General Admission: $8.50
N.O.Film Society Members: $6.50


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marie-Grace and Cecile

Sometimes you come across a story your heart moves you to share. The friendship of Marie-Grace and Cecile is just such a story, because (as author Denise Lewis Patrick explains) "the friendship of Marie-Grace and Cecile is very special. They are friends of the heart."

While not all readers of this blog will be familiar with the American Girl® series of dolls, storybooks and films, perhaps just as few will be acquainted with the important New Orleans history embodied in Cecile and Marie-Grace, an exciting new pair of dolls and storybooks from American Girl®.

You see, Marie-Grace and Cecile had superficial differences-- Marie-Grace was an aristocratic free person of color, and a native New Orleanian, while Cecile was a merchant-class American, part of a wave of Americans from the North who came to New Orleans and built what's today known as Uptown. They had different backgrounds, different complexions-- even spoke different languages! (Marie-Grace spoke French)

Their inspirational story, set in 1853, shows that even individuals from different backgrounds can form understandings-- and friendships, through the universal language of friendship and respect. "At the moment they speak, and she looks into Marie-Grace's eyes, they feel a connection," Lewis Patrick says, explaining a key moment of the series. "It's a possible friendship connection."

They both have to make this little gap, this little jump," says Sarah Masters Buckley, author of the Marie-Grace series. "The fact they're willing to take this little jump makes all the difference in their lives... both girls learn from that."

No matter what age we, or our children are, couldn't we all stand to learn from that too?

I urge all readers and subscribers of Nola Anarcha to learn more about this powerful and inspirational new series by visiting http://www.americangirl.com/fun/agcn/cecile-mariegrace/. There you can watch a magnficent and weirdly soothing video presentation, read excerpts from the books themselves, pre-order the dolls and books, download a new song performed by young New Orleans musician Kate Connick, and participate in fun "Flash Games" that will give you, the visitor, a peek into the wonderful and intriguing lives of these two charming heroines... these two brave friends... these two American Girls®
Pre-order now and receive a FREE gift! Receive a 34-piece paper doll booklet with every pre-order of a C├ęcile or Marie-Grace doll.

Killer Danziger Cops NOT GUILTY of Murder. What?!?

The cops who shot and stomped 2 innocent people to death and shot several others were found guilty of shooting them and violating their civil rights in a verdict handed down by a jury last Friday. However, the officers were found NOT guilty of murder.

What does it take for a police officer to be found guilty of murder? Apparently a jury made up of other people than 11 whites and 1 black person. Apparently more than testimony from other cops, eyewitnesses, and admissions by officers involved and those involved in the cover-up. What does it take? If these were not cops, but instead were rappers or other young black men, all it would take is uncorroborated testimony from a jailhouse snitch without any real evidence at all. This verdict does nothing but support the obvious conclusion that in our system, justice is a fraud, a charade, and a farce.
IT WAS MURDER. 
This statement must be repeated over and over so that we don't allow this "justice" system to get away with such an insult to New Orleanians who were terrified, shot, and killed on that awful day, and for those who will continue to die at the hands of the police in the future unless we stand up and say something about it now.


The sentencing is set for December 14th. Meet at 8pm at Canal and Rampart on that date to speak out and the demand the changes to the police you think our city needs to stop this from happening ever again.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Anonymous Hacks Police Websites in LA & MS


via Sun Herald --
Mississippi and Louisiana sheriff’s offices on a hackers’ list appeared unaware on Saturday that any sensitive information on their websites might have been published online -- or even that their websites were down. At least seven sheriff’s offices in Mississippi and one in Louisiana were among about 70 law enforcement websites that the group called Anonymous said it hacked, stealing data in retaliation for arrests of its sympathizers in the U.S. and Britain. But Tishomingo County, Miss., was the only one of those eight where someone on duty Saturday knew the website was down. Officials also knew about the hacking allegations. Other sheriff’s office sites on the group’s list that were not working Saturday were in Cameron Parish, La., and Adams, George, Jefferson, Prentiss, Tate and Tunica counties in Mississippi. 
Anonymous published officers names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and the names of informants and tipsters from police departments around the country. Have a look.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

ALEC Conference Protested in New Orleans, 1 Arrest

So, ALEC came to town. Anarchists decided it was worth going to, even though their is some group of rich conservatives or businesspeople meeting in our city every week, and ALEC is no worse than other lobbyist activity to us. The difference between lobbying and ALEC that got liberals excited to protest it was that their unions and progressive lobbying groups are not allowed a seat at the table inside ALEC.  They want equal access, naive to the reality of increasing corporate money, and therefore power, that makes the liberals easy to brush aside.

Flier handed out at the ALEC march.

Anarchists came with fliers in hand and flags waving in the air to protest the very existence of politicians and corporations in our world, not to beg for a seat at their table. The protest organizers, almost exclusively out of town liberals and member of the academic and non-profit class, created guidelines only a few days before the march which demanded everyone stay on the sidewalk, not be confrontational, and listen to the "peace marshals" in orange shirts. Things didn't go exactly as the way they planned from afar.

There are several problems with the guidelines the organizers set forth. First of all, New Orleans has a centuries-long tradition of people taking to the streets for jazz funerals, parades, secondlines, and Mardi Gras Indian events. This tradition has been fiercely defended by protest groups from civil rights organizers to the anti-war movement. To ask a New Orleanian to stay on the sidewalk while at a protest is to ask us to give up a freedom we've secured over time. And when you don't use your freedoms, as liberals probably know from bumper stickers, you can easily lose them.

So naturally, we took the streets during the march. Someone even managed to spraypaint a couple circle-As on the front of the Mariott while stunned ALEC delegates stood mere feet away. A smoke bomb was also lit off in the streets as the march wound it's way around the hotel. Unfortunately, the police did make one arrest for the graffiti. Anarchists stood protesting in front of the hotel, where delegates could hear and see us, while the organizers led people in circles around the building, afraid of being told to stop loitering, I guess, passing empty alleyways and hotel loading docks over and over.

And as far as the "peace marshals" go, we aren't living in a peaceful society. Maybe college educated middle class liberals don't experience the violence of this society first hand very often, but the threat of a police officers gun being pointed at your head is very real if one refuses to submit to the unfair rules that keep the rich in power. If they wanted to ensure "peace," maybe they could have asked the NOPD officers in attendance to go put their guns back at the police station, or they could have stopped some Sheriffs from evicting a family who couldn't pay a mortgage to Bank of America. The threat of massive violence is all around us every day; it is the only way this society keeps functioning as it is. How about stopping some of that? Instead of trying to discourage the people who are victims of it to stand up against such threats, threats manufactured into laws by groups like ALEC and enforced by the police and court system, why don't the "peace marshals"confront the on-going institutional violence all around us?

The out of town organizers' fliers even had a map with the wrong locations on it that didn't include the streets the march was going to go down. And, the people handing them out had no idea where the Mariott Hotel even was on the map! They also disrespected a veteran anti-police organizer in the city by calling him "Michael Suber" instead of his name, Malcolm Suber, while introducing him to speak at the rally. Despite their own fumbling around, some of them are blaming anarchists for "ruining" their protest. Ha, they didn't need any help! (And just for the record, in the linked article it says the arrestee has something to do with Nola Anarcha. This is not true, we don't know him, but he was our hero for the day for his brave actions! Yet another excellent example of "journalism" by slimy non-profiteers)

This march gave anarchists the rare chance in our city to feel united and in solidarity on the streets together. The feeling was wonderful, hopeful, and strong. It felt really good. Hopefully we'll see more local anarchists the next time we stand up to those who've stolen so much from us, so we can build those special bonds that come from confronting our oppressors together and create a stronger community of resistance.



This is what violence looks like, peace marshals: men with guns and handcuffs using violence. Spray-painting an anarchy symbol on the Mariott Hotel is not violence. Considering that half their rooms are empty every night while 100 homeless people sleep under the bridge by the over-crowded New Orleans Mission, the with-holding of a safe place to sleep for corporate profit is institutional violence committed daily by the Mariott against the homeless. Not to mention their hosting of ALEC, which writes laws that result in massive waves of violence against people of color, immigrants, women, and the poor. Peace? There is no peace.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Anti-BP Sit-In Protest Ends With 3 Arrests

Cherri, who wrote the moving statement below, is in the orange shirt

The day before yesterday, on August 4, 2011, one year after the President of our United States stood on national television and said that 75% of the oil that had spewed into our Gulf was gone, I was booked into the New Orleans Parish Police lock-up with the charge of Criminal Trespassing.

The day before, I had been called by the Louisiana State Police Department to come to a meeting with them to discuss the Non-violent Direct Action Protest that myself and a united group consisting of environmentalists, community organizers, fishermen and clean-up workers, had organized in front of the British Petroleum offices, which are on the 13th and 14th floor of 1250 Poydras in NOLA.

At that meeting, I was told that we were allowed on the sidewalk only. That there would be plain clothed officers among us, and that if we crossed a certain line, which runs from the building to the parking lot, we would be arrested. The detectives, very nicely, drew us a map to explain the exact whereabouts of that line.

When we got to the event, which at the beginning had nearly 100 in attendance, I made the announcement that I was going to cross that line. And that I was doing this in protest of the so many lines that BP has crossed, in my mind, concerning the cleaning up of their mess, the spraying of toxic chemicals in our water, the murder of 11 of our energy providers, the disrespect and economical damage to our fishermen and residents, and the denial of and lack of response to health issues and claims since April 20 of last year.

So, I intentionally crossed that invisible line and took their tar balls back to them - a box full that had been picked up our beaches that day, (with no clean-up workers in sight, I might add). At least 15 other people chose to go with me, to complete this task.
As we approached the front door, we were met immediately by a representative of the company, the building and a security guard. Together they refused us any access to the building, citing that all BP workers had been dismissed for the day - a fact I knew to be untrue, because the state police had told me at our previous meeting that although most would be sent home at 4:30 that day, some would be available until 5:30, (at the time that they had told us this, they were trying to facilitate a meeting between us and BP - to which we had said was only an option it Feinberg and Zimmer was in attendance, and to which BP had refused to consider).
 
Being unable to enter the building, we dropped the tar balls on the sidewalk (in plastic), and sat down directly in front of the doors, where others came to join us.

And that was where we stayed.
In the mean time, kind people from within our group brought us waters and other refreshments in order to make our stay more comfortable. So, naturally, it was not very long before I personally had to urinate.

A very respectful gentleman from the state police had come forward to negotiate, just as he had the day before at the meeting in the SBI offices. I asked him, jokingly, if he thought they would just let me in to pee. He said no and that “They were freaking out in there.”, but pointed out that there were portable toilets just beyond the fence in a nearby hotel construction site.

After a few minutes, I felt it calm enough at that moment - since all BP representatives, building security and police personnel were discussing the issue inside, (excluding the one member of the state police that, at that time, was sitting with us), I could go use the restroom quickly, and come back.

So, I did. I jumped the fence and used the facilities. Upon my return jump, I realized that the BP reps in the building had seen me go and went running to find me, perhaps thinking I had looked for an alternative route into the building.

And that they had taped me jumping the fence and notified the nearby construction site mangers of my trespassing. We believe that they had hoped that the other owners would have had me arrested for trespassing and kept the BP name out of the incident. You see, arresting and charging people for bringing to light their negligence and lack of response sort of blows that whole “making it right” image.

But, the people next door had no interest in arresting me, or anyone else. We have more allies than they, or even we, know - you see?

I then joined the others in sitting, which we continued for over all around 3 hours until a little after 8:00 pm, which is when - after negotiating tirelessly, and being very respectful with us all day, the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police gave us one more chance to end the protest and go home before arrests were made.

At that final refusal, NOLA PD, quietly came forth and arrested the 3 of us, who had remained seated.

Truth is, I knew that I personally was going to get arrested if I stayed sitting there, I knew that. And this was a decision that had not been made lightly on my part.

Over the last year and nearly a half I have studied past movements that have worked on different levels. And thanks to those who have come before us, we have a general formula for affecting change.

According to Dr. King, mainly from his letters while he, himself, was sitting in an Alabama jail, he said that the progression includes the following:

- To find out if an injustice exists - without doubt we, the people of the Gulf, have been dealt with very unjustly with regards to this corporation and our governments handling of this event, as well as others across the Gulf.

- To negotiate - we, the residents, fishermen, clean-up workers, tourism industry workers, oil workers, community organizers, ect, have negotiated on the local, state and federal levels with the HHS, the CDC, the NOAA, the EPA, the GCERT, the CEQ, the DEQ, the Oil Spill Commission, the Administration, and BP itself for nearly 16 months - to little or no avail.

- Dr. King’s next step was to “self-purify” - each person must take this step alone. Personally, I had first interpreted this step as the ending of bad habits, such as social drinking. But on the walk I realized that he was talking about preparing your mind against egotistical illusions, self-doubt and self-pity.

- The last step is action. And in the successful civil rights movement, as well as the Eastern Indian movement for independence, that meant non-violent action and civil disobedience taken against the oppressors in order to advance the cause of, and bring to light the call for, justice and liberty.

Our being arrested, was just the first step of that last phase.

Now, while I was sitting there I had a good friend of mine, who is very sick from the toxins still in his system and our environment, say to me, “Cherri, it is not worth getting arrested.”. He was begging me not to take that final step. He did that, because he love me, and he did not wish to see me suffer, I understand that - and it warms my heart. But my response to him was, “My friend, you are so worth getting arrested for”.

You see that is what we all must understand. You, my friend, are worth it. Our ecosystem is worth it, our kids are worth it, our future is worth it.. We must understand the value of what we have and be determined in protection of that. We must take up responsibility to, and for, each other now, in these times. Because, we are all worth it.

As we sat there, we repeatedly looked across the crowd and saw testament to that notion; such as, the poster my 9-year-old had made of her depiction of Earth with pollution dotting it, and the eyes of the people who were sick from chemical poisoning and yet had still come out to take a stand, calloused hands of a fishermen, community organizers who we have all seen at events from Texas, to Florida, to D.C. - demanding, begging sometimes, to be heard on behalf of the communities and ecosystem that they love. And we saw grandmothers and grandfathers, daddies and mommies, and sisters and brothers, all united in the simple humanitarian right of clean air and water.

One person in particular, Kimberly Wolf, a warrior woman who I have had the honor of getting to know early on in this fight, and who also has terminal cancer, yet got out of her bed and joined us for as long as she could - strengthened our souls. She is the picture of strength and love in all of this - and in seeing her, I have never been so moved by an example of commitment and perseverance.

That is the epitome of what this event, and our arrest, was about. That there is hope, we have allegiance to each other, that the loss of one does not and will not end the journey of the whole for truth, justice and recompense of the human rights violations that are taking place in our homeland.

There are so many to thank for the success of the day. I would especially like to recognize Kyle Nugent and Noah Learned, who I had not met prior and yet went all the way on behalf of our people and coast. The people who helped in organizational duties, too many to name here - but in particular Karen S, Ada, Devin, Josh, Mary-Margaret, Anne, Elizabeth, Robert - there are so many. And including the people who were at the event(s) of last week, and/or are still working on this issue, or others like it.. you are all my heroes.

I would also like to make clear, that the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police Department were very kind in their treatment of us before, during and after our arrest. The first thing I was told after getting in the car was, “Why didn’t you just go home, Miss Cherri? None of us wanted to arrest you.”

They also took the handcuffs off as soon as we arrived at the station, and made sure we were as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

So, there you have it.

I want you all to know, that we will not stop. We will not stop until our fishermen, our workers, our families, our wildlife, our waters, our region - are made whole again. Because when you love something, when you really do, you will never be silenced in protecting and fighting for it.

There will be further opportunities for those caring souls across the nation to stand with us for justice. Be ready.

You see, THAT is the greatest weapon in our tool box, that is what will win this and so many other battles we have been called to participate in, it’s our LOVE that will carry the day.

On August 4 we took our first stand. Courage, my friends, this is just a beginning.

Yours truly,
Cherri Foytlin

P.S. - BP have a response to the event, which is further proof that we made a wave, I cannot find the link at the moment but will update when I can. They said something like, “we are still here too“. It would be nice if a response was made by you to the author.. And to every journalist, and person, who needs to learn more about the truth of what is happening in America’s Gulf Coast.
(Here is the link mentioned in the above paragraph) (More photos from the protest here) (Here is an article about the urgent need for healthcare post-BP spill)

Really Really Free Market: August 13th at The Art House on Esplanade

No time is listed, but it is from 1-7pm. Bring a bathing suit just in case the pool is filled up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

FREE LIL BOOSIE!


Over the past two years the state of Louisiana has waged a relentless attack against Baton Rouge rapper and local-Louisiana hero Torrence "Lil Boosie" Hatch.  Most known for the 2006 hits "Zoom" and "Wipe Me Down" the DIY, self-made rapper was keeping a low profile and living with his family in Baton Rouge until 2009 when he was caught with marijuana and had a parole violation. Following standard Louisiana procedure, the judge forced upon him a draconian sentence of 10-years in prison. But the deranged courts wouldn't stop there. Just as he began his prison sentence, the vindictive District Attorney of East Baton Rouge, Hillar Moore, sought an even more severe punishment for Boosie. Leading a veritable lynch mob, Moore obtained a confession from an alleged hit-man already doing life in prison who said that Boosie had ordered the assassinations of two of his victims. Now Moore is publicly boasting of the possibility of the death-sentence for Boosie if he is convicted of the charge of first-degree murder.

Of course there is no real credibility to the allegations of a man who, in exchange for his testimony, was given the opportunity to not die in prison. Furthermore, Boosie's attorney claims that Hillar Moore manufactured the murder charge just 10 days after having been exposed to a song by Boosie where Moore was specifically noted for being a bastard. Moore obviously has a personal bias against Boosie, yet the rules meant to protect defendants from such a situation are conveniently being ignored and Moore is not being removed from the case.


We aren’t defending Boosie because he’s famous. We’re not even defending him because he’s innocent. We’re defending him because he's a prisoner of social war who has maintained his integrity in the hood and relentlessly said fuck the pigs til the day he was locked up (see his single Devils, released while waiting to go to jail). We recognize that because of his outspokeness Boosie is a target for racists who wish to set a new precedent by putting a rapper of his caliber to death, sending the message that the lives of hood-rich rappers have no value in their society. We also recognize that because Boosie has chosen to stay real to a certain gangster persona by singing about the reality of the ghetto in less than politically correct terms, there has been virtually no moral outrage over his being railroaded from any of the supposedly moralistic Left.

Most recent picture of Boosie, tweeted from Angola in May.
Boosie has been on 23-hour lockdown for almost a year now. 
Fortunately, Boosie has a strong and determined support group consisting of family and friends that are completely dedicated to seeing him free. Among his outspokenly supportive friends are Young Jeezy and Juvenile, though you can bet that to some extent the whole Dirty South is rooting for his release. His 9-year old daughter Iviona Hatch has also just released a touching bounce-jam about all the positive things that her daddy and momma taught her, with the sole purpose of raising money for Boosie's legal fees. Check out her single here, and Boosie's support site here.

Screen-shot-2011-07-26-at-4.42.38-PM.png
Boosie's baby girl, Iviona with family and friends.

People can show their solidarity in many ways. Send Boosie a letter in Angola Prison (his address is on the support site), buy a Boosie Justice T-shirt, or go to one of the Boosie benefits that Iviona's playing at, they're sure to be amazing. But don't forget that solidarity also means attack. When Boosie and Lil Wayne were arrested within days of eachother in 2009, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the monumental anarchist Battle in Seattle a group of pissed off people overtook Canal Street in downtown New Orleans to protest their incarcerations. With banners reading, "FREE LIL WAYNE! FREE LIL BOOSIE! FREE ALL PRISONERS!" and, "END POVERTY: SMASH THE PRISONS!", they blasted Lil Wayne and Lil Boosie's music from a mobile sound system while throwing up graffiti on walls and getting in several altercations with the pigs. Although these bold acts of rage are few and far between in New Orleans right now, they will have the irreversible of effect of toppling the prisons and winning against the cops as soon as they are generalized. Only then will attacks against the disenfranchised cease.

Free the hometown heroes
Go!

So next time the cops attack and you have to take to the streets, let the thought of Lil Boosie's imprisonment fuel your rage, and maybe even blast some of his music if you've got a sound system:


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