NEW YORK — After police fought with party goers and friends and family of the group Smif N’ Wessun and rapper Pete Rock at their release party last week, members of the group, affiliates, and social activists have planned a protest at New York City’s City Hall today.
Concerned community members, hip hop artists, local activists, grassroots organizers, and elected officials will gather at the steps of New York City Hall to do three things: To show support for those who were beaten, maced, and arrested by New York City police officers (NYPD) at an album release party for Pete Rock, Tek and General Steele (of the hip hop group Smif N Wessun); to publicly outcry yet another instance of police brutality; and to issue a call-to-action to the community-at- large. Though the individuals who were beaten and arrested last Tuesday, now collectively known as The Monumental 5, have been released until a more in-depth investigation can be launched, the calls demanding justice have grown over the past week, all fueled by the police brutality video footage that has gone viral on the Internet
The press conference will take place Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at noon at City Hall (located at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street). The Monumental 5 are Louis Pena, Gabriel Diaz, Cynthia Rosa, James W. Ayala, and Jade Everett. Confirmed participants for Tuesday’s press conference include: Pete Rock; General Steele; Shara McHayle (one of the victims of police brutality who is also an entertainment industry professional and the wife of Pete Rock); Lisa “Cynical” Smith (one of the party’s organizers); activist and writer Kevin Powell; activist Lumumba Bandele from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Senior Community Engagement Advocate for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; NYC Council Member Charles Barron; and Kenneth Montgomery, the attorney representing The Monumental 5.