December 30, 2008

Boat Carrying Cynthia McKinney being Attacked by Isreali Navy

From the Free Gaza Movement:

(This is the sixth boat that the Free Gaza movement has sent to Gaza ... in a symbolic effort to end the seige of Gaza. These are small boats, and they do not cross into Israeli waters at all. This Israeli attack on the boat, which occured in international waters, cannot be described as 'self defence' by any stretch of delusional imagination. CNN has report on this--it helps that one CNN reporter is on board-- : )


URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.


Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while at school and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist. She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.

December 15, 2008

Intermedia Arts: The Time Is Now

Dear B-Girl Be Supporters and Community,

Rumors are a flying, and, as you may have heard today, over the past several weeks, Intermedia Arts, home to B-Girl Be, has experienced sharp reductions and significant delays in funding. As a mid-sized
arts organization, we rely on foundations and funders for our general operating support—foundations and funders who have lost enormous amounts of their assets in our current economic crisis.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But here's the thing— crisis does not equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response to this crisis that will determine our future.

This a call to action. For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts participants and arts organizations each
year. Intermedia Arts is a vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—allow this work to disappear.

So, What Are We Going to Do About It?
We are going to act, and we need you to act with us. Intermedia Arts can survive this economy. We can even come out on the other side stronger and more sustainable than ever before. But in order to do
that, we have to make huge changes in the way we operate, and we haveto make them immediately:

•In January 2009, Intermedia Arts will be moving our five full-time staff members to contract or hourly positions. The work that we do as an organization will be done by our Executive/Artistic Director,
Theresa Sweetland; our board of directors; current staff members working as independent contractors, and community volunteers.

•As of January 9th, we will open only for scheduled events, mostly in the evenings. We will be closing our gallery and eliminating our gallery and poetry library hours but will be expanding our rental
programming in our theater, gallery and classrooms. Our building is a valuable asset to the arts community, and we encourage you to look to us for your upcoming rental needs.

•We are currently working with other local arts groups and organizations to discuss ideas for sharing resources and sustaining our programs. We will also discuss the ways in which our building
could be most valuable to the arts community as Intermedia Arts re-structures our operations and rebuilds our capacity.

•Intermedia Arts has organized a meeting of small and mid-sized arts groups—SOTA: State of the Arts. None of us can do this alone.

I know. It’s huge. It’s fast. It’s dramatic. But we—our staff, our board, our artists, partners, and funders—all of us, are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of Intermedia Arts. I know you are too.

Calling On Our Community (This Part is About You)
We can’t do this without you. Really and truly, whether Intermedia Arts closes its doors or not depends on you. This is what I'm asking you to do:

1. RSVP now. I need you here at Intermedia Arts’ Community Townhall: Rally the People! at 5:30PM on Friday, December 19th. I am asking you to make it a priority to be here, in person. You are our
community; we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

2. Make a donation. Supporting Intermedia Arts is critical right now, and every dollar counts. We need your support to help us with our general operating expenses as we implement our plan for long-term sustainability. This isn’t about keeping Intermedia Arts open for another month; this is about keeping Intermedia Arts in our community for the long-term. Right now, that future depends on you. Don't
wait: make your donation today.

3: Email us. We need to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your commitment of support, your encouragement, your suggestions and feelings. Send us your questions, tell us what you think, and look to our website for updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and every step of the way. Email:

* * * * * * * * *

Seriously. You are our community. You are the reason we exist. In
everything we do, we work from the community up. We promise
transparency, honesty and integrity in every step of this process.
You are our artists, our audiences, our members, our friends, our
fans, our volunteers, our supporters, our program participants. You
love B-Girl Be; you love the way we look at the world and ask how we
can make it better.

With your support, we will meet this challenge and lead our community
forward. Now is time for each and every one of us to draw on our
passion and our conviction, and play our part. Because Intermedia
Arts matters. Because your voice matters. Because Intermedia Arts is

I know we can do this, and I know we can't do it without you. I will
see you this Friday.

+ + +

Please RSVP Now—Show Your Support by Showing Up.
Intermedia Arts' Community Townhall: Rally the People!
5:30PM Friday, December 19, 2008
Free childcare available!
We are calling on all friends, fans, supporters, members, artists,
participants—anyone and everyone who cares about the future of
Intermedia Arts. This a call to action. Please make it a priority to
be here, in person, for this Community Townhall. You will hear from
artists, community leaders, Intermedia Arts’ staff and board. You
will have a chance to ask questions and offer suggestions. You will
find out what you can do to keep Intermedia Arts alive.

Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized
arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But crisis does not
equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response
to this crisis that will determine our future. You are our community;
we need you to rally with us as we design our future together.

For over 35 years, Intermedia Arts has served as a resource for our
community. The work that we do supports hundreds of artists, arts
participants and arts organizations each year. Intermedia Arts is a
vital part of our culture and our community: we cannot—we must not—
allow this work to disappear.

Full details, updates, responses, community FAQs, and news each and
every step of the way:

November 26, 2008

NEW PSA for Puerto Rican Freedom Project

October 27, 2008

HELP FREE ESHA! CSUN Grad Student studying Women's Movement in Iran

Esha Momeni, a student and women's rights defender, was arrested by Iranian security officials on 15 October 2008. She is being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. She has not been charged with any offence, and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.



October 14, 2008

Voter Registration DEADLINE [TODAY! in Minnesota]


Visit the website for more info:

Download PDF of VOTER REG application HERE

September 25, 2008

If You Are in NYC...

PREEMPTIVE EDUCATION :: Language, Identity & Power

Conscious Women Rock the Page
Presented by JLove Calderon, Elisha Miranda, Sofía Quintero, and Marcella Runell Hall

In this session, participants will be introduced to a cutting-edge practical implementation of Hip-Hop content and pedagogy in the form of the new book, “Conscious Women Rock the Page: Using Hip-Hop Fiction to Incite Social Change.? This session seeks to introduce attendees to the upsurge of feminist popular fiction utilizing Hip-Hop culture to raise substantive issues including race, class, gender, sexual orientation and culture. The four authors have teamed up to develop a curriculum based on three popular Hip-Hop novels to engage communities on the issues and themes that their books raise and to inspire action. The authors will read brief excerpts of their works, co-facilitate a sample activity from our curriculum and discuss how participants can harness popular fiction to raise consciousness and promote activism, especially among young women who may not identify as either feminists or activists.

To get registration info for the entire weekend of workshops and activities, please email Program Director, Parker Pracjek at or call 212.352.3495. Scholarships available.

Presented by Urban Word NYC, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development and the Center for Multicultural Education & Programs at NYU.

For more on JLove Calderon, visit
Email her at

September 24, 2008

This weekend: "Sidewalks Saving Lives"



January 5, 2008

Support N Mpls and Programs that Work!

Over the break, I've spent quite a bit of time at Correction Transitional Services Inc, a non-profit org that helps ex-offenders and those with drug problems heal and successfully transition back into society. My daughter baked cookies and a cake, and I made a chicken soup from scratch that we brought to the Chemical Dependency group that meets on Tuesday afternoons. I bought a dish drainer, flatware, and some pots and pans for their supportive housing residents. What did YOU DO over this break?

CTSI was recently featured on WCCO News. Read the story, "Program Changing Lives in Mpls Neighborhood" HERE. Watch the video clip to meet some of the CTSI family:


CTSI is always in need. Please DONATE $ online, household goods (they need food, clothing, cleaning supplies, mattresses), and really anything that is clean and in good condition. Thanks to the person who donated a passenger van last week! What do you have in your life that you no longer need? DONATE IT!

Contact Info:
Paul Kustermann, Executive Director
2308 Dowling Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55412
612 588-7530

October 30, 2007


be bold be brave be red stop the violence

Recent events in the United States have moved us to action. Violence against women is sadly, not a new phenomenon in our country or in the world, however, in the last year women of color have experienced brutal forms of violence, torture, rape and injustice which have gone unnoticed, received little to no media coverage, or a limited community response. We are responding to:

* The brutal and inhumane rape, torture, and kidnapping of Megan Williams in Logan, West Virginia who was held by six assailants for a month.

* Rape survivors in the Dunbar Housing Projects in West Palm Beach, Florida one of whom was forced to perform sexual acts on her own child.

* A 13 year old native American girl was beaten by two white women and has since been harassed by several men yelling “white power? outside of her home.

* Seven black lesbian girls attempted to stop an attacker and were latter charged with aggravated assault and are facing up to 11 year prison sentences.

In a Litany of Survival, Audre Lorde writes, “When we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.? These words shape our collective organizing to break the silence surrounding women of color’s stories of violence. We are asking for community groups, grass-root organizations, college campus students and groups, communities of faith, online communities, and individuals to join us in speaking out against violence against women of color. If we speak, we cannot be invisible.

Join us and stand up to violence against women!

Be bold, be brave, be red. Wear red on October 31, 2007.

Continue reading "Tmrw - BE BOLD BE RED" »

February 15, 2007

Total Chaos

I don't want to say my WHOLE life has been in total chaos, but with new baby, new husband, new mentee (we are editing CTT footage), and my desire to get my PhD this decade....

I am proud to be officially a part of Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is one of the most important global arts movements of the past two decades, moving beyond rap music to transform theater, dance, performance, poetry, literature, fashion, design, photography, painting, and film. Through essays, interviews, roundtable discussions, and more, Total Chaos provides a deep, incisive look at the hip-hop arts movement in the voices of its pioneers, innovators, and mavericks...

Continue reading "Total Chaos" »

November 7, 2006

Twin Cities Voter Guide

I'm a HUGE supporter of Upski and the League of Pissed Off Voters.

Here's the Twin Cities Voter Guide. Remember these are SUGGESTIONS, you need to VOTE FOR WHO YOU SEE BEST SERVING THE OFFICE - Download PDF HERE

This is the last update from Twin Cities soldier, Mattie:

THIS IS IT: the final plan for these last two days with the League of Pissed Off Voters. It's now or never! We have distributed 10,000 hard copies of the endorsement guide in five days, thanks to all of you. Now its time to put in that last-minute, fierce push to get young people to the polls.

Whether you can or cant make it to the polls, we need you to forward the endorsement slate to everybody on your email list. Honestly, people have been taking them like they are candy…saying this is the ONE useful piece of paper they've gotten this whole election season. Send this link with a quick message about why you think it's a brilliant thing. Your friends will thank you!

7:00pm : Meet at Target, in the food court (off of Lake and Minnehaha). We'll hit local businesses.
8:30pm : "Midnight Madness" outside of Mercado Central (Lake and Bloomington). People from Keith Ellison and Mark Ritchie's campaigns will be joined by Jesse Jackson, to kick off a final round of "lit drops" (campaign flier drops) in specific neighborhoods all over the city. This should be exciting!

Meet at Hillel at the U of MN, unless otherwise noted. Hillel is at 15 th and University—parking will be rough…try the lot in back at 15th and 4th. We will be combining our efforts with MN Student Vote, and will be sending people out in shifts.

7:00am : Hillel. We will be getting out endorsement slates on University Ave buses.
7:20am (for people who want to vote first thing in the morning): Meet at Mercado Central (Lake and Bloomington). We will be getting out endorsement slates on Lake Street buses.
10:00am to 1:00pm : Hillel.
1:30pm to 4:30pm : Hillel
5:00pm to 7:45 : Hillel
Whenever you have time : If you cant make it to the beginning of one of these shifts, NO PROBLEM. We want you whenever, however! Show up at Hillel and we will plug you in.
After polls close : Join us at Trocaderos nighclub (107 3rd Ave N in the downtown warehouse district). This is the victory party for Keith Ellison and friends.

PLEASE HIT ME BACK IF YOU'RE DOWN. Email or phone. I'm keeping track of numbers.
Much love to you all,
Mattie Weiss

October 31, 2006

I've Made It...

It's official (sort of)! Today is my due date (according to my primary OB Dr). The other specialist said Nov. 2. Either way it's Week 40.

Since I've been *loving* the medical illustrations of pregnant bodies, here goes the *hopefully* last one. See how fun it is to be inside my body right now:


+ + +


Wondering if I'll make it to election day. If so, I'm going with the League of Pissed Off Voters Twin Cities voter's guide (to make the best of the options decisions). Here's a link to the Official Endorsement Slate CHEAT SHEET Only two I really support are Klobuchar and Ellison (both endorsed). I'll roll with the crew on pretty much the rest.

I'm glad the political commerical and hate ads will be ending soon. Don't want to see any more political mudslinging. Doesn't make me want to vote for any of 'em.

October 11, 2006

Hip Hop Association Reel

Founded in March 2002, the Hip-Hop Association (H2A) was formed to facilitate, foster, and preserve Hip-Hop culture. Our mission is to utilize Hip-Hop culture as a tool to facilitate critical thinking, foster social change and unity, by empowering communities through the use of media, technology, education, and leadership development; while preserving Hip-Hop culture for future generations.

support the Hip Hop Assocation

October 9, 2006

I Likes...


October 4, 2006

Seeking Executive Director - FYI (Films By Youth Inside)

This is a message on behalf of filmmaker, Alex Munoz whose work some of you may be familiar of. He is also thefounder of the non-profit called FYI (Films by Youth Inside.) This program introduces incarcerated youth to the filmmaking process and gives the youth an opportunity to write, direct and edit their own films. All of their films are screened at Sony studios after they have completed the FYI program. It really is an AMAZING program and I had a chance to see some of the films this past summer and was seriously BLOWN AWAY at the creativity, originality and unique visions presented by these kids!

ANYHOW, Alex is currently seeking a new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to run FYI. The candidate would have past experience working with incarcerated youth, have a strong knowledge of film production, possibly a background in teaching, and experience in running non-profits. If ya'll know of ANYONE who fits the bill, please, please, please have them give me a call at (213) 250-9921 ext. 104. THANK YOU!!! peace,

Info on FYI is below and attached. FEEL FREE TO FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Films by Youth Inside (FYI)is an introductory filmmaking program developed and administered by writer/director Alex Muñoz.

The purpose of the program is to imbue youthful offenders with the critical-thinking, cooperative learning and organizational skills they need in order to complete school and obtain decent jobs, while also providing them with a medium for positive self-expression and personal transformation.

Each participant works with professional screen writers, actors, directors and other production technicians. Then each writes and produces a 3 to 5 minute film . either narrative or documentary.

The curriculum includes: 1) feature and documentary film appreciation, 2) screen writing fundamentals, 3) the terminology and techniques of film production, including acting, cinematography and editing, and 4) educational and career paths and opportunities in the film industry.

While educating youthful offenders in storytelling and filmmaking, the FYI program provides the youth with a unique and constructive platform to demonstrate their newly discovered and developing skills.

The FYI Team consists of experienced filmmakers and teachers who have seen persuasive evidence of the transformative and rehabilitative effects of the program. We believe that the lessons learned by FYI participants extend far beyond the fundamentals of film and can literally change their lives.

September 28, 2006

Ain't Misbehavin


Last night I squeezed into my most stretchy dress, some mules 4 sizes bigger than my regular size, and brought my daughter to Penumbra to see the preview show of Ain't Misbehavin. I remember my mother singng lots of these songs - she LOVED show tunes.

T. Michael Rambo was phenomenal as usual. All the women in the small ensemble were amazing. Baby girl was toe-tapping, bobbing her tired head (she had Girl Scouts too), and only nodded during "Black and Blue" but was up for the finale.

Honey was supposed to join - he loves music and theater too - but he's sick (again). This weather change and life stress stuff is too much.

It's starting to sell out every show so grad some tickets - student tickets $15 (we got $5 tickets for preview nite - too bad you missed out). Still worth the $15 if you love great music, strong performances, and musical theater.

Support Black Arts!

September 21, 2006

If you are in the Bay today...

September 7, 2006


From Here to Fame & powerHouse Books are pleased to announce
the hardcover release of STREET PLAY by Martha Cooper.


In the late 70’s, New York City was in the throes of bankruptcy. The Lower Eastside was a wasteland of boarded up buildings and unfenced vacant lots. Kids roamed the neighborhoods unsupervised, giving their imaginations free rein.

The city's poorer neighborhoods had the richest street life and Martha Cooper's favorite location was Alphabet City. Back in the 70's the area was undergoing extensive urban renewal, a process still continuing some twenty-five years later. At the time, the neighborhood had more than it's share of drug dealers and petty criminals. To an adult's eye, the landscape seemed ugly and forbidding, but to a child the abandoned buildings and rubble-strewn lots made perfect playgrounds, providing raw materials and open space for improvised play. A crumbling tenement housed a secret clubhouse, rooftops became private aviary and a pile of trash might be a source for treasure.

Opening with a poignant memoir from Carlos “MARE 139? Rodriguez, who remembers the excitement of growing up playing on the streets of New York City, STREET PLAY shows the creative and indomitable spirit of city kids determined to make the best of their inhospitable environment. Martha Cooper’s work attests to a transitional, post-tenement and pre-artist period on the Lower East Side when street culture held turf in Alphabet City. Today the neighborhood is transformed—but where are the go-carts and skelly caps?



MARTHA COOPER is a documentary photographer who has specialized in shooting urban vernacular art and architecture for over twenty-five years. In 1977, Martha worked as a staff photographer on the New York Post for three years. While photographing children playing on the street in the Lower East Side, she became interested in graffiti and b-boying/b-girling, subjects that led to her extensive coverage of Hip Hop culture as it emerged in New York City. In 1984, in collaboration with Henry Chalfant, she published SUBWAY ART (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt) which features the best painted trains of the era and is affectionately called "The Bible" by graffiti aficionados worldwide. In 1990, she published R.I.P.: MEMORIAL WALL ART (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt), with folklorist Joseph Sciorra. In 2004, she debuted her critically acclaimed title, Martha Cooper’s HIP HOP FILES: Photographs 1979-1984. Her photographs have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries and published everywhere from Vibe to National Geographic. Martha has been the Director of Photography at City Lore, the New York Center for Urban Folk Culture for over twenty years. Please visit

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ aka MARE 139 is a veteran of the golden years of New York City subway painting; he painted along side many of the Style Masters of the late 70's including KEL 1ST, DONDI and many others. In collaboration with this company he has developed a special insight into the artistic quality and cultural value of graffiti style writing. Over the past twenty years he has transcended the stereotype of the art form by creating innovative sculpture works that echo back to the origins of style writing on trains and reach out into the realm of dynamic modern sculpture. He designed the BET Award (sculpture of a shooting star) which has been received by artists, actors and athletes including Denzel Washington, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Jay-Z, Usher and Serena Williams. MARE 139, who appeared in the original cult classic documentary STYLE WARS in 1982, was an Associate Producer on the highly acclaimed DVD re-release of the film in 2002. In 2004, he launched the innovative and award winning website. Please visit:


August 10, 2006

BitchPhd on Plan B

Bitch Phd, one of my favorite blogs and one I read daily, has launced an awareness campaign about Plan B.

She is selling t-shirts in 2 designs:


Buy one or two!

August 9, 2006

MSP: Solidarity for Northside Blues


Please come to help make this an unforgettable show of solidarity and protest against the continuing violence on the Northside

* + * * + * * + * * + * * + * * + * * + * * + *

Please note that since this was written, just over a week ago, we are now at 41 murders in Minneapolis.


There have been over 35 murders in the city of Minneapolis since January 1st, 2006. Over half of which have been in North Minneapolis alone, three, on the corner of Broadway and Dupont.

Lets Do Something.

Silent Protest
August 12th, 2006 at 2:45p

· Meet on the corner of W. Broadway and Dupont dressed in all black
· Be prepared to stand in unison with other artists , activists, and community members for one hour (from 3p to 4p) in complete silence, while honoring those who have lost or those who have been lost due to violence in the neighborhood and also protesting any further acts of violence
· We will meet for fifteen minutes (2:45- 3p) to spread ourselves amongst the four corners, North, South, East, and West (Knowledge, Power, Wisdom, and Overstanding).

· This Is An Event For And By The People
· We Are Not Looking For Media Attention
· Forward Information To Any And All People You Feel NEED To Be Present

The community needs and thanks you.

Peace & Love

Latisha "Tish" Jones
Executive & Artistic Director

* + * * + * * + * * + * * + * * + *

I don't watch the news. I listen to MPR. I don't WATCH TV NEWs though, unless it's focused on global or national events. These local reports depress me.
So. Tonight. I am clicking the channel to find something as I wind down, and happen to hear the words "Arrest of a 20 year old in the murder of a North Minneapolis Pizza Delivery boy."

Next thing I know: a photo of Toua Xiong, the most sweet, innocent boy I may have ever taught, is being flashed up on the screen. He was the Pizza Hut delivery person killed on Sunday night.

And my god! This is the second former student murdered --in what? A month? That I knew!! That is dead. Innocent young person. Marcus White. Now Toua Xiong.

(And breathing is hard, you know.....? )

This kid was so quiet. So sweet. Mid-height. Thin. So thin. So squeaky, squirmy, sitting next to this pack of Hmong boys in the back of my classroom with all their notebooks filled with car drawings, he was always drawing pictures and asking questions....Quiet questions. Needing to be near my elbow when he asked them. ....When we were doing that Midsummer Night's Dream Unit, he played Mustardseed, or some such precious, few-lined character...And to ensure he got a good grade, submitted all of these drawings of the characters as he had envisioned them....

And then when I lead the Teen Group at St. Phillips - he delivered our pizza one random Monday night..I remember this whole awkward struggle I had leaving him a tip....(I didn't add right, and he returned to the church basement to have me recalculate the amount I'd written in...I was so embarrassed...)

And now he's dead.

I just ask for your thoughts. Prayers...We need peace. We need to be in relationship...
I suppose I need to ask some question...But I'm tired..And so angry.....And so sad...

So: please pose them out there....and have kind thoughts.....And hold this......It's not okay to have this happen....
In peace, prayers, sorrrow....

Melissa Borgman

August 7, 2006

Sending Luv to Josh Wolf

Just sent a quick postcard from Northland Poster Collective to Josh Wolf.

He is an independent journalist and blogger. For refusing to testify and turn over unpublished material to a Federal Grand Jury investigating a July, 2005, anti-G8 demonstration Josh has been held in contempt of court and jailed on August 1st. Josh is presently in federal prison. Check this wiki to keep you up to date on Josh's case.

Here's a video clip Josh put together about the case:

Send letters of support to him directly at:
FCI DUBLIN (underscore Dublin) Unit J2,
DUBLIN, CA 94568

RULES on Federal Prison Mail HERE

November 19, 2005

Hip Hop Violinists!

so you all know i'm on this hip hop violin thing. my girl clancy (her fab blog is here, and btw has great stuff on 70's ads from women's magazines) linked to this group, discussing a clip of them on leno. you can watch it here or listen here!

October 25, 2005

Do you know LIZA RIOS?


Dear Activist/Artist/Hip Hop Community:

Im trying to locate Liza Rios and I hope that you can help. We, the Progressive Womens Caucus (PWC) of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, recently nominated Ms. Rios for an award to recognize both her courage and contribution to educating and healing both the general public and victims of gender violence via the documentary Big Pun: Still Not a Player (2002). We are pleased to announce that she has received an Arte Sana National Latina Victim Advocate Award for the category Artista Activista - Empowerment Through the Arts.

Arte Sana is a non-profit organization that promotes healing and empowerment through the arts, professional training, and community education. They have been nationally recognized as the innovative leader in the field of Latina/o sexual violence prevention (directly quoted from their website,

We need to reach Ms. Rios as soon as possible, as these awards will be presented during a special luncheon at the Arte Sana National Training Institute (a 2-day conference) on Thursday November 3, 2005 in Austin Texas. If we can locate her in time, we will do our best to make travel arrangements and accommodations for her so that she can accept this award in person. Because PWC ( is a small network of women with limited access to funding, we are currently raising money to fund Ms. Rios trip. Thus, if you can assist with locating her or are interested in making a donation, please email Dr. Angie Colette Beatty at or Dr. Miriam J. Petty-Adams at

On behalf of PWC, I wish to say to Ms. Rios that we are only a handful of women and girls who have been moved by your courage to publicly expose your wounds and allow us to be part of your healing process. As women of color, we are aware of the expectations in our racial/ethnic communities to remain silent on issues of sexism and gender violence and harassment. We are aware of the cultural imperatives to be strongto be a volcanic islandto be fierce when it comes to raising and protecting our families, and defending our communities against outsiders, yet suffer in silence. As you are probably aware, compared to white women, women of color (especially the working and non-working poor) die and suffer disproportionately from a host of physiological and mental illnesses not only because of structural inequality, but also because we do not properly care for ourselves. And we (both women and men) teach this behavior to our young girls.

Liza, in Still Not a Player, you redefine strength in a healthy way for adolescent and adult Latinas, as well as for other women and girls of color, thus, exemplifying what it means to be a true warrior. Sista, we know that you have traveled a rough path for quite some time, and though there may not be any shortcuts, perhaps we can give you a lift. Just know that you are not alone. We celebrate you. We respect you. We love you.

In solidarity,

Angie Colette Beatty, Ph.D.

Progressive Womens Caucus

National Hip Hop Political Convention


September 24, 2005

ACB fundraiser

Andrea ACB Bernal.jpg

Hello Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you all well.

We are writing to you today to ask you to donate art work and participate in a fundraising event to benefit our good friend and talented graffiti artist, Andrea ACB Bernal. Andrea has undergone a terrible tragedy and needs our help.

ACB is an independent artist from Valparaiso, Chile, working with artists, young people and adults internationally. Together they work on collaborative mural projects that promote the celebration of life based on values of social justice.
Check out her new website

While painting in Brazil, Andrea began experiencing excruciating pain in her abdomen. Her friends in Rio de Janeiro quickly took her to the hospital. Upon multiple examinations, she was diagnosed with both stomach and ovarian cancer. Doctors had no choice but to immediately operate. Her parents quickly arrived from Chile to be by her bedside. In the past few weeks Andrea has bravely undergone surgery to remove part of her stomach to keep the cancer from spreading further. She is now in Chile recuperating so that she can gain her strength for 6 months of intensive chemo/radiation treatments. These treatments will cost tens of thousands of dollars. In Chile this is an astronomical amount of money that no one can afford. Some of us have pledged to raise money for her family so that Andrea, at age 23, has a chance to beat this.

We are coordinating a fundraising event for ACB.
We are reaching out to our artist and graffiti communities who may be willing to donate a piece of art for a silent auction.

The proceeds of this event will go directly towards Andreas treatments, medications, exam and hospital bills and support her recovery.

The ACB fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for late October to early November. Location to be announced.

If you are willing and interested please send us an email to let us know that you would like to donate artwork. Afterwards, we will need the following info from you in order to organize this part of the fundraiser successfully:

1-A jpg image of the piece
2-your name
5-title and year
6-the suggested starting price for auction
7-a short bio about you as an artist

We will be in touch in the near future with a pick-up drop off plan for the donated work.

We appreciate and thank you for supporting your fellow artists and are looking forward to a fun and successful event!

Much love and respect,

Toofly, Tracy and Vee

If you need any additional info please do not hesitate to contact us.



Tracy Boni


Vee Bravo

September 15, 2005

ACB needs our support

i just got an email from toofly via veepo. (see below). i traveled with veepo (vee bravo, was editor of Stress Magazine) to chile to film estilo hip hop.

i met andrea (ACB) on a bombing mission in vina del mar. we did a beautiful interview and she shared her black book with me. graf wild style interwoven with flowers, animals and my favorite - monkeys - hanging from the trees.


right now she's in a bad place and need $ and support. read below, watch her work (i will add more stills and video clips soon). hit up vee bravo to help.

you can SEE HER paint here in this VIDEO CLIP

female flava wall, nyc
videographer - vivian wen li
editor - rae one
beat - jewel brown from

+ + +

Date: September 15, 2005 11:05:14 AM EDT
Subject: Andrea Needs Help

Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. The reason for my writing is
to inform you that my good friend Andrea ?ACB? Bernal has undergone a
tremendous tragedy and needs our help. While painting in Brazil Andrea began
experiencing excruciating pain in her abdomen. Her friends in Rio de Janeiro
quickly took her to the hospital. At first, doctors thought she had an
inflamed tumor. Upon further examinations, she was diagnosed with both
stomach and ovarian cancer. Doctors had no choice but to immediately operate.
Her parents quickly arrived from Chile to be by her bedside. In the past two
weeks Andrea has bravely undergone surgery to remove the cancer from
spreading. She is now in Chile recuperating, literally holding her intestine
by her wayside. The incisions were drastic. Needless to say we are all
devastated by these events, but trying to be as positive as we can. I am
planning to go to Chile in 3 weeks to visit her.

What can we do to help? Any support would be helpful. An email, a phone call,
a letter. Her parents explained to me that the treatment for which she needs
to place herself in will take 6 months and cost $12,000. In Chile that is an
astronomical figure that no one can afford. Some of us have pledged to raise
money for her family. I encourage everyone to put out creative ideas that
serve a fundraising purpose. Through this ordeal Andrea remains in good
spirits and says what up to everyone. You can contact Andrea directly at



September 12, 2005

Northland Poster. Support.

This 11 x 17 poster by Ricardo Levins Morales is $10.00 and benefits hurricane relief. Buy it HERE.


+ + +

i have so many words but many more tears. i listen as i get ready to teach:

Beautiful Struggle
Talib Kweli

[Intro - echoes]
The revolution is here, the revolution is here people
I said it once, I'll say it twice
You gots to be ready
The revolution is inside of you
People, the revolution is here, yeah

The revolution's here
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh (yeah)
No one can change your ways (rock with me for a second)
No one can lead you off your path (come on)
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh

[Verse 1: Talib Kweli]
Yo, I heard it's said the revolution won't be televised
But in the land of milk and honey there's a date you gotta sell it by
Otherwise it just expires and spoils
And these folks jump out the pot when the water too hot
Cuz the fire boils inside
You go to church to find you some religion
And all you hear is connivin' and gossip and contradiction and
You try to vote and participate in the government
And the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans
You join an organization that know black history
But ask them how they plan to make money and it's a mystery
Lookin' for the remedy but you can't see what's hurtin' you
The revolution's here, the revolution is personal
They call me the political rapper
Even after I tell 'em I don't fuck with politics
I don't even follow it
I'm on some KRS, Ice Cube, Chris Wallace shit
Main Source, De La Soul, bumpin' "2Pacalypse Now"

The revolution's here (yeah)
No one can lead you off your path (uh uh)
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh (ha ha, ha ha)
No one can change your ways
No one can lead you off your path (uh uh)
You'll try to change the world ('scuse me)
So please excuse me while I laugh

[Verse 2]
Yo, I speak at schools a lot cause they say I'm intelligent
No its cause I'm dope, if I was wack I'd be irrelevant
I'm like the dope in your tracks until your high is settled in
You leanin' to the left, the laughter's the best medicine
But the troubles you have today you just can't laugh away
Stay optimistic, thinkin' change is gonna come like Donny Hathaway
You have to pray, on top of that, act today
Cuz opportunity shrivel away like Tom Hanks in "Cast Away"
Everybody pass away, the pastor pray, the family mournin'
Everybody act accordin' to the season that they born in
You fight in the streets, start bleedin' 'til the blood is pourin'
In the gutter, mothers cry 'til the Lord be livin' by the sword and
All that folks want is safety, they goin' gun crazy
The same reason Reagan was playin' war games in the '80s
The same reason I've always rocked dog chains on my babies
The struggle is beautiful, I'm too strong for your slavery

The revolution's here (yeah)
No one can lead you off your path (uh uh)
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh (ha ha, ha ha)
No one can change your ways (yeah)
No one can lead you off your path (uh uh)
You'll try to change the world ('scuse me)
So please excuse me while I laugh (yeah)
The revolution's here
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh
No one can change your ways
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh

[Outro: Talib Kweli]
It's a beautiful thing that's happenin' right now
Right now G
Yo, I'm rockin' with my man Hi-Tek on the track right now
We fightin' the good fight
The Beautiful Struggle
Yeah, let's go

(So please excuse me while I laugh)