harikondabolu:

This clip of my friend Boots Riley describing his band The Coup as a “Punk, Funk/ Communist revolution band” to unsuspecting reporters on Fox 8 in Cleveland is amazing!! Reminds me of that time I was on Fox 5 in NYC.

After the show, the producer sent an angry email to festival organizers that said:

“FOX 8 was not the time or opportunity for Boots to go on his political rant. With his statements he not only hurt our station’s credibility, but also the festival’s. I was looking to do a fun interview and it turned into something entirely different. We will not be reaching out for any interviews in the future.”

This letter is very telling about the intended function of mainstream media outlets.

(via edcrypt)

From rehearsal last week. #2.

From rehearsal last week. #1.

The Coup at @YBCA in SF on Aug 16th.

The Coup at @YBCA in SF on Aug 16th.

Coup cave rehearsal.

The Coup’s guitarist Gregory Simmons (@o_zee_roller) on counting and music theory.

What am I doing in this junkyard? Getting ready for The Coup’s Shadowbox. August 16th at @YBCA in SF. #Shadowbox

What am I doing in this junkyard? Getting ready for The Coup’s Shadowbox. August 16th at @YBCA in SF. #Shadowbox

What am I doing here? Getting ready for The Coup’s Shadowbox. August 16th at @YBCA in SF. #Shadowbox

What am I doing here? Getting ready for The Coup’s Shadowbox. August 16th at @YBCA in SF. #Shadowbox

Photo by Jean-Freetz.

Photo by Jean-Freetz.

But the kitchen workers didn’t have time to stop and listen, to the singer’s dismay.

These musicians with cool half-string, half-horn instruments barged in on the cooks in the catering tent at Paleo Festival and started playing for them. I guess it was in return for the delicious meal.

The Coup. On that midnight train to Switzerland.

The Coup. On that midnight train to Switzerland.

In the studio tonight. The younger musicians are usually cheaper.

In the studio tonight. The younger musicians are usually cheaper.

Question: “Can (or, more accurately, will) Oakland grow its economy without displacing low-income residents?”

The whole methodology of “growing” a city’s economy through development of industry and/or real estate is not at all about the people who live in that city.

The growth that both liberals and conservatives suggest has to do with bringing tech companies in- who will only come because they are given money in the form of tax breaks and are not forced to hire the people that already live here. This only develops Oakland if you think of Oakland as a geographical territory that is not attached to the people there. So that geographical territory now has more jobs, but those jobs are filled with people who didn’t used to live there.

City administrators knew this way back when they gave $11 Million- when Oakland still had a majority Black population- to build an ice skating rink INSTEAD of a roller skating rink. Not many Black folks in Oakland ice skate, and all the roller skating rinks had been closed down years before because of fears of the Black youth that hung out there. They built an ice skating rink for the new population.

It’s not that people in Oakland aren’t hired because they don’t have the skills. There have been umpteen training programs for IT jobs over the last 25 years. To train for an entry level IT job is a short process, we have had many skilled for those jobs for a while. They don’t get hired. Look at Pandora. Headquartered in Oakland. Oakland is known around the world for it’s Black musicians, and has been known for that for 40 years. I think Pandora has one Black musician there. So- the problem that forces people out is “development of the local economy” itself- that IS the driving force of gentrification.

Is the economy growing if the residents that were there at the beginning of the process still make the same amount or less, but live somewhere else now? No. It hasn’t grown at all in that case.

If you want to actually change the material wealth conditions of the people of Oakland, we’re going to have to make the jobs that they do have- whether it’s service sector, other unskilled labor, or otherwise- pay more. That has to be done though the organizing of a militant labor movement that does so through strikes and work stoppages. This will drive up wages, and if done in a militant enough manner, can drive up wages while negotiating to keep prices down.

Many liberals, progressives, and even radicals get caught up in “bringing in jobs” as the answer to poverty. That never has been the answer, can be proven to historically not work for the people in that area, and is focused on because the left has been ignoring actual class struggle for a while now.

Who does “economic development” actually benefit? Surely not the people of that area.