Public Enemy put an amazing performance at yesterday’s skid row street music festival. They perform hits such as; Shut ’em Down, Bring The Noise and Fight The Power to name a few. Also sharing them stage were Freestyle Fellowship, X Clan, Busy B of Digital Underground, Yo Yo, Medusa, Lady of Rage, King Tee, Kid Frost and Kurupt. The Skid Row Music Festival was a huge success. Thanks to Public Enemy and LA CAN for making this historical day possible.
Earlier in the day LA CAN had the book release of Freedom Now! at the Grammy Museum. When I was leaving the museum with other comrades, the police who was waiting for us to head to skid row, asks us, “are you heading to skid row? We were told to escort you guys. We are here for you.” We politely said we weren’t (although we were). Since when has the police been escorting social justice activist? We were shock that the police would even offer to escort us. The only escort we are familiar with is straight to jail. Anytime the police are being too nice is a red flag. We could sense there were motives behind their niceness.
We were very familiar from the get go that the police were trying to find an excuse to prevent the festival from moving forward. Dennis Romero from the LA WEEKLY, had written a bogus article with the intention of giving the police any motive to shut down the festival. The whole festival turned out to be a very peaceful event.
It was the first time that a festival of this magnitude brought together the hip hop and skid row community. Two marginalized communities who are stigmatized in the mainstream media demonstrated yesterday the power that lies in the unity of these oppressed communities.
If the event didn’t make the news is because the mainstream media was expecting the festival to be shut down and the participants to get out of control. The mainstream media only focuses on skid row on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or if it gives them a platform to talk negative about the conditions in Skid Row. It doesn’t surprise me that the mainstream media wouldn’t focus on the positive vibes that the festival created. Thank God for You Tube where people can see for themselves the amazing atmosphere that was created yesterday. We hope the festival is the beginning of greater things to come between the hip hop and skid row community. Hopefully in the next couple of years we can carry the festival to a bigger venue and start mobilizing people to partake in the struggle for the human right to housing. It is a disgrace that the city of lost angels is the homeless capital of our nation and that there are millions of homeless people in the United States of America. Here are some videos and pictures from the event.