LSIC Video Project

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PHOTO: LSIC Videographer Taylor Hall and Client Ray Brooks. Ms. Brooks is represented by LSIC student attorney Samantha Strasser, a third-year student at American University Washington College of Law, and supervising attorney Jay Kim in a landlord–tenant case.

Check out the behind-the-scenes photos to see what happened when LSIC Videographer Taylor Hall and Digital Communications Director Ananda Leeke interviewed alumni, clients, staff, and students for the LSIC Video Project in March and April. Go here to watch the first video created from the project: http://bit.ly/24vKhcn or below.

Union Station Homeless Community Evicted

Union Station Homeless Community Evicted

March 10th, 2016 – WASHINGTON, DC – “More than a dozen people who had sought refuge next to Union Station were evicted from their encampment under the H Street overpass on Thursday morning. The effort was coordinated by the office of Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services (DMHHS) Brenda Donald on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Cleanup efforts began promptly at 10 a.m., but city and nonprofit outreach workers arrived hours earlier to connect camp residents with various homeless services. They worked tirelessly to help prepare campers for the move by cleaning, packing and labeling their belongings.

The number of residents and tents at the Union Station camp fluctuated over the past few months, with as many as 19 counted in February. At the time of Thursday’s cleanup, there were approximately 14 tents and 12 residents, according to Michael Czin, Communications Director for Mayor Bowser’s office.**”

“The destruction of people’s lives as city employees rushed to erase and “disappear” these people for Muriel Bowser’s so called safer and stronger DC. Lack of a decent living wage, the destruction of housing for working class people, the closing of shelters, doubling and tripling of rents and more are just some of the many tactics that are being used to push Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples out of Washington.***”

** Written by Michael Brice-Saddler

*** Written by Ebony Outlaw

DC Trans Power Drops Banner During Rush Hour Traffic to Raise Awareness of Violence Faced by Trans Community

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Washington, DC — Friday, August 21st, 2015 — DC Trans Power – a collective of transgender activists and their allies – gathered in DuPont Circle this morning during rush hour to bring attention to the recent spate of violence against transgender individuals. Just this year, there have been 20 reported murders of transgender people, the majority of which have been black trans women. In addition, there have been numerous cases of trans people being driven by harassment into committing suicide. In order to raise awareness about these and other issues faced by the transgender community, activists dropped a banner proclaiming “Stop Killing Us; Trans People Demand Respect”.
“There is a war against transgender bodies”, says DC Trans Power organizer Jes Grobman (they/them pronouns). “We are killed off left and right and misgendered in death. Society tells us that our lives are worthless. We are here to stand up and demand that our voices be heard”.

“There is a lot of talk of solidarity with the trans community, but now is the time that people must show it”, says Peace House DC and Zulu Nation activist and artist Sima Lee (she/her pronouns). “We are going to keep coming back until trans people can live without fear of death for being who they are.”

#DCTransPower

Upstream from the Hoover Dam

Clark County, NV

Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.

The War On (Pt. 1) – The Color of Lawlessness

The reasoning behind this title is to show that the laws and policies that are implemented under the oppressive state are geared towards immigrants, people of color and resistance groups.

What was briefly touched on within this short clip was sexual assaults and the absence of documentation. That’s more specifically focusing on women of color and impoverished communities. White washing and colonization within black and Latino communities. Immigrant rights and the Dillingham Commission of 1907-1911. Background history of the fight for Black Mesa, that stems back to at least the 1940’s. Just to name a few things.

What is The Color of Lawlessness?

The Color of Lawlessness is based off of the United States law “Color of Law” (42 U.S.C.A. Section 1983) which is “the appearance of an act being performed based upon legal right or enforcement of statute, when in reality no such right exists.”

Since the advent of the first state-sponsored police forces in the U.S. — slave patrols; radicalized policing has been a feature of the American landscape. It is no surprise that the U.S. government has failed to uphold any type of constitutional laws that pertain to the American public due to so many violations by law enforcement officials.

This documentary (hopefully with your support) will bring to the light the excessive force, sexual assaults, torture and other cruel inhuman and degrading tactics used by law enforcements reckless and unapologetic ways. As an independent journalist and an African-American male I’ve been in multiple situations where the police tried to intimidate, hurt and/or degrade me. My reason behind making this documentary is to first educate the unknowledgeable, unify globally by common interest; the abuse of power and to hopefully help change the thought process of these individuals who are apart of these agencies.

To add this will NOT just be a U.S. based project. I plan on traveling to different parts of the world to be on the front lines of documenting police terror. I plan on covering 5 cities in the United States, focusing on different issues in each one included but not limited to:

New York, NY – Stop and Frisk

Los Angeles, CA – Shootings and Beatings by Law Enforcement Agents

Tuscon, AZ – Racial Profiling of Immigrants & Border Militarization

Chicago, IL – Torture and Harassment. Sexual Assault and the Absence of Documentation or Systemic Review

Ferguson, MO – Lack of Prosecutions & Ineffectiveness of Internal and Civilian Complaint Mechanisms

Flagstaff, AZ – Uranium Mines on Indigenous Nations sacred land. Federal Governments enforcement of Grazing laws

International countries: Istanbul, Turkey | Berlin, Germany | Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza | Madrid, Spain | Caracas, Venezuela

You can donate to the project here: http://www.gofundme.com/kk865s

PR7X LIVE II (Pirate Radio Live Broadcast & Performances)

Billy Pilgrim Performing

Art and music is Billy Pilgrim’s life. The painter/poet/rapper began this journey many moons ago, and today is reaping some fruits of his labor. His rap-rock band Mega Def has sent ripples through his hometown of Pittsburgh, he hosted his first visual arts show earlier this year where he presented a series of his paintings that highlighted African-American blues and jazz artists, and he’s been hosting a weekly open mic where years earlier he was developing his own rhyming and performing skills.

Pilgrim’s family has some history working in music. His granddad performed with jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, and his cousin toured as a DJ with Run DMC. Although Pilgrim showed a passion for music early in life, his mother wanted him to have a back-up plan, so he attained a degree in History from Slippery Rock University – his studies focused on Latin America, Africa, and China.

While he currently enjoys his role as an arts education mentor working with local youth, Pilgrim is determined to achieve some lofty music-related goals in his near future. One of those goals is going “ghetto gold,” which Pilgrim explains is selling 50,000 units independently worldwide. He adds: “The long-term benefit of a grassroots operation can be rewarding.” As he nears the completion of his latest music project, Pilgrim will be setting out on a tour to distribute and showcase the music and performance that he’s dedicated his life to.

PR7X.com – Pirate Radio is a 24-hour Internet Radio Station based out of Pittsburgh, PA featuring Events, DJs, interviews, Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae, Exclusives, Classics & Guests Hosts | PirateRadio@pr7x.com

Morgan State University Homecoming – Jail Killer Cop David Lewis

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[L to R] Me with the West Family

(Baltimore, MD) – October 18, 2014 – the West Coalition, Baltimore Public Safety Collective, and various other grassroots organizations assembled in front of the Northeast Baltimore Police District, calling for the suspension of multiple Violent repeat offenders from the district.

Violent repeat offenders such as Nicholas David Chapman and Jorge Omar Bernardez-Ruiz (from the plainclothes “Special Enforcement Section” unit) should have been suspended after they illegally stopped, beat, and arrested MSU alum Abdul Salaam on July 1, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqJkOIMAhcQ

However they were not, and 17 days later, less than five blocks away, the same offenders went on to beat Tyrone West to death on July 18, 2013. One of the offenders in the beating death of Tyrone West was Morgan State University police officer David Lewis.

David Lewis was the only officer who was not identified throughout the investigation. His identity was discovered over 200 days after Tyrone’s killing, when the West Family obtained the MPIA files. They discovered that David Lewis refused to be interrogated by the State’s Attorney’s Office during the investigation. However, one of the officers who did cooperate gave a statement saying “David Lewis had been sitting on Mr. West’s back for over two minutes after he had been cuffed, until his face turned gray and stopped breathing.“

Still, David Lewis was not suspended or prosecuted and remains on active duty. As are Nicholas David Chapman, Jorge Omar Bernardez-Ruiz and many others in the city of Baltimore district and city.

The West Coalition and Baltimore Public Safety Collective mobilized to raise awareness among the Morgan State community and asked them to join the petitioning for Morgan State University’s President David Wilson, to fire Killer Cop David Lewis. Also for Officer Lewis to apologize to the Family of Tyrone West for his inaction.