Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Doe the right thing

It's easy to forget that there's still a vibrant, politically active rap scene despite the apparent descent of hip-hop into little more than a fashion procession. In Oakland this weekend, a team of rappers showed the original heart of rap is still beating, providing the focus of a protest against police brutality.

They were out in support of the Family Doe, a group currently suing the San Francisco's Sheriff's Department. The police had held a group of 100 to prevent a protest against a biotechnology conference for four hours, despite none of them having broken any laws. Thirty-eight of the detained had refused to co-operate with the illegal detention, which prompted the police department to deploy a series of tactics to try and break them, including, say the Doe Family "violent "cell extraction", pain complience techniques, and physical torture which left several of the protesters with lasting and perhaps permanent injuries including broken bones, torn ligaments, nerve damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)."

The rappers turned out on Saturday to help with the fundraising efforts to pursue the police through the courts; amongst those taking part were Emcee Lynx & Beltaine’s Fire, Inspector Double Negative and the Equal Positives, Newspeak1,
Orukusaki of Forensic Science, Shilo of Urban Monks, Mr Ericksen and Frugal Farmacy.

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