Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Riot on Prince Street-Edinburgh, Scotland

Live from Edinburgh...The Riot on Prince Street

So right now it's about 3 am Cali time and although I'm a world away in Edinburgh, Scotland, one would not know it from what took place as I got off the plane and made my way to the hotel which is located on Prince Street which is a major street here in town. It would be the equivalent to Telegraph Ave in Berkeley in the sense that its not too far from a University and it has lots of stores and shops...

Anyway as myself and a contigent of folks from the One Campaign in in the US and Let's Make Poverty History campaign in the UK made ourway to our hotels, we were greeted by a large contigent of Edinburgh's finest all dressed in riot gear, wearing black star-wars type gloves, carrying plastic shields and bully clubs but surprisingly polite and friendly. Its was probably due to the fact that they could tell we were from the US and most of us are media so they put on a happy face and directed us to the hotel.. Actually-they opened up the riot line and let us pass through..

Some of the cops had bright green vests, others were dressed in all black. There were hundreds of them and they had shut down Prince Street. The issue at hand was the hundreds of protestors who had already shown up-angry at the G8 Summit leaders who are set to arrive here on Wednesday-July 6th.

What was interesting to note was that seeing the protestors face off with the police was not too different then what we often see at protests in Cali. In fact if I closed my eyes or show you the pictures which I hope to upload, you would be hard pressed to tell what city you were in... The protestors were mostly white and the typical tie-die dressed folks we see at many the Berkely protests.

To be continued... Cause we have a press conference to attend to...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Somethings to Ponder..Fights and More Fights

So here we are just days after the infamous Vibe Awards which made headlines all around the world because of fights... The whole thing is crazy because damn near all those involved have potrayed themselves as grown ass men who have lots of money.. It's not like cats is struggling to get put on so they can eat.. They're already eating.. They're already been put on.. So why all the drama?

All I know is, if I had all that loot, the last thing I'd wanna do is be squabbing at an awards show... For me, it be like 'Buy all the haters a beer' and call it a day.. But hey that's just me... All I know is that collectively speaking all of us within Hip Hop and Black folks especially just took a few giant steps backwards because of that nonsense. The fact that Young Buck was caught on film stabbing someone and had to turn himself in is even more crazy..

The local newscasters in Los Angeles who are reporting the story can't seem to pronounce his name correctly, nor the name of his crew, but damn near all of them are very clear in articulating that Young Buck wears almost 250 thousand dollars worth of jewels whenever he steps out...

The message being sent across the land and around the world is that these cats who have achieved the so called American Dream in terms of financial gain, can't behave or get it together, hence -fuck 'em. The American Dream is not for them or us, so don't complain when their ilk start beefing about not having a fair shot or direct access. It might not be no big thing to a millionaire rapper, but it will be a big thing for many of us who suddenly find ourselves under the same umbrella.

Yes, the point I'm making is that even though the Vibe Awards drama is beef between certain cliques and camps within the rap industry, all of us become associated by default. We are all Young Buck. We are all Dr Dre.. We are all connected to the folks shown throwing chairs and blows on the TV...

And nowadays that perception and association goes way beyond mainstream white America.. It goes all around the world where cats who look like us but have it seriously hard in other parts of the world .. The so called Third World in particular, are looking at the footage of millionaire rappers squabbing at an Awards show and saying to themselves; 'What the hell is wrong with these fools?' Slowly, but surely we are starting get the label unappreciateive, arrogant, ignorant American which up until recently was just attributed to rich, snobby, corporate white folks who traveled abroad..

What's even more interesting is how such incidents are rarely directed at those who hold us down and exploit us... Why can't an angry entourage direct their angsts at radio program directors who don't play their music without extorting an arm an a leg? Why can't they direct their angst at those shady executives who ripped them of, didn't promote their material or dropped the ball in terms of getting behind their efforts? Even better why not direct the anger and drama at corporate owners who gauge us everyday for basic neccesities. What's even more ironic is that for many the fighting that took place at the Vibe Awards seems perfectly normal and that for me to suggest turning anger and frustration toward a bigger more insidious enemy, I'm somehow 'out of pocket' or responsible for inciting violence.

Today, with the images of the Vibe Awards fiasco still fresh in everyone minds, the world was greeted with even more outlandish images in the form of a brawl inolving millionaire basketball players and fans during last night's Detroit-Indiana NBA game..

Yes, we know that the fans went overboard.. and many were totally in the wrong and when cats like Ron Attest laid folks out ,t they probably desrved it.. However, what set it off was one millionaire Ban Wallace, pushing another millionaire Ron Attest because he got fouled.
I wish I was making the money these cats make.. You could foul me all damn day.. but what do I know? I'm just a spectator paying a 100 bucks a month for cable TV, contributing to their million dollar salaries...

The bottomline is that like it or not.. Entertainers and sports figures are the envoys for our generation.. What they do and how they do it are going to be attributed to the rest of us..
So their foolishness, becomes our foolishness.. and with so many pressing issues ranging from police brutality to lack of money for life basic needs assaulting us everyday.. one would hope that those who are in the spotlight would help paint a better picture..

It becomes increasingly hard to make the case that many of the people who are in the hood are catching hell, when those who seemingly have it all are giving hell to each other...

Something to Ponder

Davey D
November 19 2004