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Friday, May 22, 2009

Crew Love V supports political prisoners, tonight at the Bench

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Hip Hop Appreciation Week continues tonight with Crew Love V: Behind Enemy Lines — a benefit for political prisoners. Hosted by Dres tha Beatnik and Angie the Hip Hop Angel. $10. ($7 for those wearing a Crew Love t-shirt). 10:30 p.m. The Bench, 602-A Marietta St. 404-512-7671.

Organized by Crew Love, the FTP Movement and Black August Organizing Committee, tonight's event features performances from hip-hop acts including Clan Destined, J. Live, Sidestreet Ked, C.H.O.S.E.N., Adrift da Belle, Mach 5, and Wade B, with Public Enemy's DJ Lord and Amond Jackson of 89.3's Beatz and Lyrics show on the wheels.

It's one of several events which have taken place this week highlighting this year's HHAW theme: Cooperation. Last night's concert at the Loft with KRS-One was magnanimous, and not just because the Teacher was in the house. But the generation of "students" who freestyled with him onstage — a host of ATL All-stars including Killer Mike who killed it — proved that hip-hop thrives despite the hype (more on that later).

Details regarding the purpose of tonight's event are included in the press release below the jump:

What is a Political Prisoner? A political prisoner is someone who was targeted and imprisoned

because of his or her political actions, affiliations and/or beliefs.

Why Should They Be Supported? They should be supported because these individuals were committed to

confronting the oppression and exploitation in their communities that

made their lives and the lives of their neighbors intolerable.

Some names of some current & former Political Prisoners that you may be or want to be familiar with- as their names will connect you to the names of many, many others:

Jalil Bottom

Albert Nuh Washington

Charles Sims Africa

Debbi Sims Africa

Geronimo ji jaga (Pratt)

Herman Bell

Kojo Sababu

Lorenzo Stone Bey

Mark Cook

Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mutulu Shakur

Ojore Lutalo

Phil Africa

Richard Mafundi Lake

Robert Seth Hayes

Sekou Kambui

Sundiata Acoli

Hugo Pinnell

Dhoruba Bin- Wahad

Marilyn Buck

Jamil Al- Amin

Around the venue that night, there will be 20- 25 posters up about polictial prisoners and their contact information. If you didn't know the ledge before- you will now!!!

100% of the proceeds from Crew Love V: Behind Enemy Lines will go to support Black August Weekend- 30th Anniversary here in Atlanta, August 14th- 16th. All performers of the fundraiser will be able to have stage time during BAW30. We are expecting people from all over the country to take part in that weekend, so you will definitely be able to gain exposure. Anyways- so what's Black August you ask?

Each year officially since 1979 we have used the month of August to focus on the oppressive treatment of our brothers and sisters disappeared inside the state run gulags and concentration camps America calls prisons. It is during this time that we concentrate our efforts to free our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and all other captive family and friends who have been held in isolation for decade after decade beyond their original sentence. Many of these individuals are held in the sensory deprivation and mind control units called Security Housing Units (S.H.U. Program), without even the most basic of human rights. Year after year, decade after decade they suffer the injustice of being classified unfit for society or even placement in general prison population based on the whim of a board comprised of ex-prison guards, officials and political appointees who's agenda is to maintain the status quo: COMPLETE CONTROL. As the decades pass relentlessly one after the other and more and more of these prisoners grow old, succumb to illnesses patently untreatable in this prison system and die, we must impress on those who commemorate Black August our urgency that culminates each year in August. While folks trapped forever behind the walls are continually denied the chance to live again, our youth are being herded like sheep to the slaughter into the bowels of the Prison Industrial Complex. The fact of this systematic assault on our impoverished communities does not go unnoticed, and it must not go unanswered. Our communities are being stripped of our most vital of resources, our youth and our elders. Without the strength, vitality and future building spirit of our youth and the time and experience endowed wisdom of our elders, our cultural existence will continue to be the brutal headline in the body count tragedies we experience daily. Black August is a focal point for unity of purpose and people. In this month out of twelve we can stimulate the effort to begin our salvation and spread it throughout the year.

Each day in the month of August is significant, but certain of them hold double meaning because of events that transpired on those dates and must be remembered in the course of moving forward. To observe and commemorate Black August each individual is encouraged to: Drink only water until after sunset from the 1st until the 31st. Eat only one meal a day after sunset. On days called flea days, 1st, 7th, 13th and 21st, fast 24 hours until next sunset. Work out an exercise routine for each day either individually or in groups. Do not use any drugs or alcoholic beverages during the entire month. Do not go to any store for anything other than medical or health related items. Do not patronize fast food establishments or vendors. Prepare for the month by shopping before the end of July. Get fresh vegetables if necessary from the farmers markets.

Black August being a time of sacrifice is also a time to fortify within oneself those principles and habits that help us to heal and grow as a people and root out those things we find ourselves doing we know are destructive to our communities. To save our children we must look to the cultures and traditions of our ancestors now faint in our memories and rebuild our families and society. For the month of Black August make a conscious effort to abstain from all negativity in thought and deed. Resist temptation in yourselves and resist the trinkets and shiny meaningless baubles that confound and lead us astray. Black August resistance!!

So as you can see, this is a serious thing. Not just party and bullshit- which a Crew Love never is.

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