The Riots in Olympia & Dead Prez

by Davey D, Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

hey folks...

I been up here in Seattle this weekend hearing all about the aftermath of the so called riots in nearby Olympia, Washington at Evergreen College. Sadly many Hip Hop websites reprinted and regurgitated the news put out by the police and local media as opposed to directly calling the artists, students and organizers of the concert where things went down..

Not only has the media gotten it wrong, in some cases they have gone out of their way to print and broadcast false testimonies from people who claim affiliations to organizations and groups connected to the event. The media has been super super shady up here

Below is an account of what happened with more to come. Tuesday there will be an official press conference and because 206 Zulu and the group Alpha P are up on their shit, they had the awareness to do a press conference to counter some of the media spin being put on dead prez and other Hip Hop groups.

Here's just a few things to keep in mind... Out in Olympia on the Evergreen Campus the cops have been out of control. Apparently the students there had enough. While dp was performing the cops came along and arrested a brother who really hadn't done anything. They attempted to take him away when over 400 students surrounded the police and pretty much made them back down... I don't wanna say too much until the official statements come down.. but here's an eye witness account..

Davey D

Peace all,

On February 14th, 2008, Prez with Umi, Sis Hailstorm, Alpha-P, DJ B-Girl, Project , and two other DJs from Olympia (sorry, I can't remember their names) performed at Evergreen State College in Olympia.

During Prez's set, Olympia Police came in to the venue and arrested a black male, who was being accused by a white male of punching him and his friend during a fight outside the venue approx. 30 minutes earlier. I didn't see the fight, I just heard about it. I was told by another student that the white male started it.

Except for this incident, the actual show was completely peaceful!
Everybody who took the stage was dope. Slap yourself right now if you missed it. ;)

The local media, specifically [FOX affiliate] KCPQ-13, and [Cox Television affiliate ] KIRO-7 has been claiming on television that Prez told the crowd, in essense, to attack the police. THIS IS A LIE and A MAJOR DISTORTION! If you follow the link, you'll see that KIRO-TV in particular couldn't even get the group's name correct, let alone give complete and accurate details of what really happened.

M1 of Prez specifically told the crowd, who were already shouting "cops are in the building" and " the police" on their own, to "make sure the brotha was safe" and to "handle the situation responsibly". They then went back to doing their set.

Once the police got the black male outside and into the car, the mostly white crowd of Evergreen students started chanting, "let him go!" and surrounded the car. They also shouted slogans denouncing capitalism and white .

As more police arrived, more students started surrounding the car. I estimate the number at about 400, plus many onlookers; including alot of people with cameras. The police pepper sprayed a few people, myself included, and then tried to penetrate the ring of people around the police car. When they did that, people in the crowd started throwing rocks, garbage cans, etc. Then, a small group in masks ( I was told they were s) bum rushed the car and opened the back door where the black male was seated in handcuffs.

The police stopped the rush, and then announced they were leaving. Then more students surrounded the car, shouting "when he is free, you can leave!".

According to a witness near me ( I couldn't see so well, due to pepper spray in my eyes and more people joining the crowd near the car) the police opened the door, uncuffed the black male, and he walked away!

The police then started a hasty retreat. One officer and his car got separated from the group and he was pelted with objects until he ran over with his fellow officers. The crowd scooted the car away from the wall and then turned it over. The gas tank was punctured and the computer was taken out of it. Calls went out to open the trunk and take their weapons, but no one did.

After the police left, some in the crowd started taking the car apart, while others tried to set it on fire. Olympia police returned and everybody started leaving and the police deployed more pepper spray.

End note:
Before people outside of Seattle and the hip-hop scene start thinking this was just a bunch of 'drunk college kids' or 'outside agitators', keep in mind that at the tail end of last year, Evergreen students laid their bodies on the line in an attempt to stop shipments of war materials (like Armored Personel Carriers and Tanks) coming back from Iraq at the Port of Olympia, in an effort to do something direct and tangible to stop the war (as they saw it).

At that time, police were accused of using excessive force, and the fall out from all of that hasn't really resolved itself yet; so many people are still very angry; I was told this by more than a few different people present last night. Someone else suggested that the students were attempting to assert community control over the police using direct action.

Hopefully, a positive resolution can come from all of this that everybody can be at peace with.


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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey