Transcripts from Susan Silton’s ‘Bursting in air’

OPENING STATEMENTS 

House Select Committee Hearing Investigating January 6, 2021 July 27, 2021 

AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant 

Chairman Thompson, members of the select committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify  regarding the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021. It is with honor and heavy heart  I come before you to tell you my story from a painful firsthand experience, what happened that terrible day at the Capitol. I’m providing this testimony solely on my personal capacity and  not as a representative of the US Capitol. It is imperative that the events of January 6th are  fully investigated in the Congress, and the American people know the truth of what actually  occurred and that all those responsible are held accountable, particularly to ensure that horrific  and shameful event in our history never repeats itself. I applaud you for pursuing this objective. 

Even though there’s overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including hours and hours of  videos and photographic coverage, there’s a continued shocking attempt to ignore or try to  destroy the truth of what truly happened that day and to whitewash the facts into something  other than what they unmistakinigly reveal, an attack on our democracy by violent domestic  extremists and a stain on our history and our moral standing here at home and abroad. 

As a child in the Dominican Republic, I look up to the United States as the land of opportunity  and a place to better myself. And from that moment I landed at JFK in 1992, I have tried to  pursue that goal. Thankfully, I achieved that goal on many levels. I was the first in my family  to graduate college, join the Army and become a police officer. On July 23rd, 1999, the day  before my 21st birthday, I raised my hand and swore to protect the Constitution of the United  States, because this country gave me an opportunity to become anything that I wanted. At  that time, I already started basic training with the Army Reserves. In fact, I raised my hand  several times in ceremonies to pledge my commitment to defend and protect the Constitution  of the United States, when I joined the Army Reserves, when I was promoted to Sergeant in  the Army, when I was promoted during my naturalization ceremony and my reenlistment in  the Army, when I joined the United States Capitol Police, and lastly, when I was promoted to  Sergeant three years ago. 

I’ve always taken my oath seriously. On January 6th, 2021, I fulfilled my oath once more, this  time to defend the United States Capitol and members of Congress carrying out their consti tutional duties to certify the results of the November 2020 presidential election. To be honest,  I did not recognize my fellow citizens who stormed the Capitol on January 6th or the United  States that they claimed to represent. When I was 25 years old and then a Sergeant in the  Army, I had deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. From time to time, I volunteered to  travel on IED infested roles to conduct supply missions for US and allied forces in local Iraqi population as well. But on January 6th for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the  Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq. 

In Iraq, we expected armed violence because we were in a war zone, but nothing my expe rience in the army or as a law enforcement officer prepared me for what we confronted on  January 6th. The verbal assaults and disrespect we endured from the rioters were bad enough.  I was falsely accused of betraying my oath, of choosing my paycheck over my loyalty to the US  Constitution, even as I defended the very democratic process that protected everyone in the  hostile crowd. While I was at the lower west terrace of the Capitol working with my fellow  officers to prevent the breach and restore order, the rioters called me traitor, a disgrace and  that I, an Army veteran and a police officer, should be executed. 

Some of the rioters had the audacity to tell me there was nothing personal, that they would  go through me, through us police officers to achieve their goal, as they were breaking metal  barriers to use as a weapon against us. Others used more menacing language. “If you shoot us,  we all have weapons, we will shoot back, or we’ll get our guns. We outnumber you,” they say,  “Join us.” I heard specific threats to the lives of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and then also Vice  President Mike Pence. But the physical violence we experienced was horrific and devastating.  My fellow officers and I were punched, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants. And  he’d been blinded with eye damaging lasers by a violent mob, who apparently saw us law  enforcement officer dedicated to ironically protecting them as US citizens as an impediment  to their attempted insurrection. The mob brought weapons to try to accomplish their insur rectionist objectives, and used them against us. These weapons included hammers, rebars,  knives, baton and police shields taken by force, as well as bear spray and pepper spray. 

Some of the rioters wore tactical gear, including bulletproof vests and gas masks. A rioter also  forcibly took out batons and shields to use them against us. I was particularly shocked at the  scene, the insurrectionists violently attacked us with the very American flag that they claimed to serve to protect. Based on the coordinated attacks that we observed and the verbal com mands we heard, it appears that many of these attackers had law enforcement or military  experience. The rioters were vicious and relentless. We found ourselves in a violent battle, desperate to attempt to prevent a breach of the Capitol by the entrance near the inauguration  stage. Metropolitan Police Officers were being pulled into the crowd. We have one right here,  right next to me. 

As we tried to push the rioters back for the breaching the Capitol, in my attempt to assist two  MPD officers, I grabbed one officer by the back of the collar and pulled him back to the police  line. When I tried to help the second officer, I found on top of some police shields on the ground  that were slippery because of pepper spray and bear spray. Rioters immediately began to pull  me by my leg, by my shield, by my ear strap on my left shoulder. My survivalist instincts  kicked in and I started kicking and punching, as I tried in vain to gain MPD officer attention  behind and above me. Well, they could not help me because they also were being attacked.

I finally was able to hit the rioter who was grabbing me with my baton and able to stand. And  then I continued to fend off new attackers, as they kept rotating and attacking us again and  again. What we were subjected that day was like something from a Medieval battle. We fall  hand to hand, inch by inch to prevent an invasion of the Capitol by a violent mob intent on  subverting our democratic process. My fellow officers and I were committed to not letting any  rioters breach the Capitol. It was a prolonged and desperate struggle. The rioters who attempt ed to breach the Capitol were shouting, “Trump sent us. Take the right side. We want Trump.” 

I bitterly heard officers screaming in agony and pain, just an arm’s length from me. I didn’t  know at that time, but that was Officer Hodges. He’s here today to testify. I too was being  crushed by the rioters. I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is  how I’m going to die, defending this entrance. Many of the officers fighting alongside me were  calling for shields because their shields had been stripped from them by the rioters. I was one  of the few officers left with a shield, so I spent a majority of my time at the front of the line. 

I later find out that my wife and relatives who were here in the US and abroad, were frantically  calling and texting me from 2:00 PM onward because they were watching the turmoil on tele vision. It was now 4:26 PM. After giving CPR to one of the rioters who breached the Capitol in  an effort to save her life, that I finally had a chance to let my own family know that I was alive.  After order had finally been restored at the Capitol and many hours, I arrived at home at nearly  4:00 AM on January 7th. I had to push my wife away from me because she wanted to hug  me. I told her no because of all the chemicals my uniform had on. (Emotional) I’m sorry. 

I couldn’t sleep because the chemical reactivated after I took a shower and my skin was  burning. I finally fell asleep two hours later, completely physically and mentally exhausted, yet  by eight o’clock AM, I was already on my way back to the Capitol. And I continued to work for  fifteen consecutive days until after the inauguration. I made sure to work despite my injuries,  because I wanted to continue doing my job and help secure the Capitol complex. More than six  months later, I’m still trying to recover from my injuries. 

Many of my fellow Capital officers, as well as MPD officers suffered several physical injuries  from the violence inflicted on us on January 6th. I sustained injuries on both my hands, my left  shoulder, my left calf and my right foot. I already have undergone bone fusion surgery on my  right foot, and I was just told that I need surgery on my left shoulder. I’ve been on medical and  administrative leave for much of the past six months, and I expect to need further rehabilitation  for possibly more than a year. 

There are some who express outrage when someone kneels while calling for social justice.  Where are those same people expressing the outrage to condemn the violent attack on law  enforcement at the Capitol in our American democracy? I’m still waiting for them. As America  and the world watched in horror what was at the Capitol, we did not receive timely reinforce ment and support we needed. In contrast, during the Black Lives Matter protests last year, 

US Capitol Police had all the support we needed and more. Why the different response? 

Were it not for the brave members of the MPD and later on from other law enforcement agen cies, I’m afraid to think what could have happened on January 6th. I want to publicly thank  all the law enforcement agencies that responded to assess that day, for their courage and their  support. I especially want to thank those Capitol Police Officers who responded on their own  from home after working midnight a shift. Despite being outnumbered, we did our job. Every  member of the House of Representatives, Senators and staff members made it home. Sadly as  a result of that day, we lost officers, some really good officers, but we held the line to protect  our democratic process because the alternative would have been a disaster. 

We are not asking for metals, recognition. We simply want justice and accountability. For most  people, January 6th happened for a few hours, but for those of us who were in the thick of it,  it has not ended. That day continues to be a constant trauma for us literally every day, whether  because our physical or emotional injuries or both. Why he has not received much attention,  sadly many of my colleagues have quietly resigned from the Capitol because of that day. I’m  also regularly called by law enforcement officials and prosecutors to help identify from photo graph and videos the rioters. 

And to be honest, physical therapy is painful and hard. I could have lost my life that day, not  once but many times. But as soon as I recover from my injuries, I will continue forward and  proudly serve my country in the US Capitol Police. As an immigrant to the United States, I’m  especially proud to have defended the US Constitution and our democracy on January 6th. I  hope that everyone in the position of authority in our country has the courage and conviction to  do their part by investigating what happened on that terrible day and why. This investigation is  essential to our democracy, and I’m deeply grateful to you for undertaking. I’m happy to assist  as I can and answer any question you may have to the best of my ability. Thank you. 

MICHAEL FANONE, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of this committee for inviting me to provide my  eye-witness testimony of the violent assault on our nation’s Capitol on January 6th, 2021. My  name, for those of you who don’t know, is Michael Fanone. And while I’ve been a sworn officer  with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC for almost two decades, my law  enforcement career actually began here in this building as a United States Capitol Police Officer  shortly after 9/11. In part, because of the 2001 attack on our country by terrorists, I felt called  to serve. As a Capitol Police Officer, I was proud to protect this institution and dedicated  members of Congress and their staff who work hard each day to uphold our American democ racy. I remain proud of the work of the United States Capitol Police and MPD officers who  literally commit their lives to protecting the safety of each of you and all of us in this  room in our nation’s Capitol.

After leaving the United States Capitol Police, I became an MPD officer serving the residents  of Washington, DC. I have spent the majority of my nearly 20 years as a Metropolitan Police  Officer working in special mission units whose responsibilities include the investigation  and arrest of narcotics traffickers and violent criminals. I’ve worked both as an undercover  officer and a lead case officer in many of these investigations. In this line of work, it probably  won’t shock you to know that I’ve dealt with some dicey situations. I thought I’d seen it all  many times over. 

Yet what I witnessed and experienced on January 6th, 2021 was unlike anything I had ever  seen, anything I had ever experienced or could have imagined in my country. On that day, I  participated in the defense of the United States Capitol from an armed mob, an armed mob of  thousands, determined to get inside. Because I was among the vastly outnumbered group of  law enforcement officers protecting the Capitol and the people inside it, I was grabbed, beaten,  tased, all while being called a traitor to my country. I was at risk of being stripped of and killed  with my own firearm, as I heard chants of, “Kill him with his own gun.” I could still hear those  words in my head today. Although I regularly deal with risky situations on the job, nowhere  in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to be in that situation or sitting here before you  talking about it. That experience and its aftermath were something that not even my extensive  law enforcement training could prepare me for. 

I was just one of hundreds of local police who lined up to protect Congress, even though I had  not been assigned to do that. Some had asked why we ran to help when we didn’t have to.  I did that because I simply could not ignore what was happening. Like many other officers, I  could not ignore the numerous calls, numerous calls for help coming from the Capitol complex.  I’m a plainclothes officer assigned to the first district’s crime suppression team, but for the first  time in nearly a decade, I put on my uniform. When my partner, Jimmy Albright, and I arrived  at the Capitol around 3:00 that afternoon, it was like (coughs) excuse me, it was unlike any  scene I had ever witnessed. Jimmy parked our police vehicle near the intersection of South  Capitol Street and D Street in Southeast, and we walked to the Capitol, from there passing the  Longworth House Office Building. 

It was eerily quiet, and the sidewalks, usually filled with pedestrians, were empty. As we made  our way to Independence Avenue, I could see dozens of empty police vehicles that filled the  street, police barricades, which had been abandoned, and hundreds of angry protestors, many  of whom taunted us as we walk towards the Capitol building. Jimmy and I immediately began  to search for an area where we could be of most assistance. We made our way through a door  on the south side of the Capitol, walking then to the crypt and finally down to the lower west  terrace tunnel. It was there that I observed a police commander struggling to breathe as he  dealt with the effects of CS gas that lingered in the air. Then I watched him collect himself,  straighten his cap and trench coat adorned with its silver eagles, and return to the line. That  commander was Ramey Kyle of the Metropolitan Police Department, and those images are  etched into my memory, never to be forgotten.

In the midst of that intense and chaotic scene, Commander Kyle remained cool, calm and  collected as he gave commands to his officers. “Hold the line,” he shouted over the roar. Of  course that day, the line was the seat of our American government. Despite the confusion  and stress of the situation, observing Ramey’s leadership, protecting a place I cared so much  about, was the most inspirational moment of my life. The bravery he and others showed that  day are the best examples of duty, honor and service. Each of us who carries a badge should  bring those core values to our work every day. 

The fighting in the lower west terrace tunnel was nothing short of brutal. Here, I observed  approximately 30 police officers standing shoulder to shoulder, maybe four or five abreast,  using the weight of their bodies to hold back the onslaught of violent attackers. Many of these  officers were injured, bleeding, and fatigued, but they continued to hold the line. As I don’t  have to tell the members in this room, the tunnel is a narrow and long hallway. It is not the  sort of space anyone would want to be pulled into hand-to-hand combat with an angry mob.  Although the narrowness of the hallway provided what was probably the only chance of hold ing back the crowd from entering your personal offices, the House and Senate Chambers. 

In an attempt to assist injured officers, Jimmy and I asked them if they needed a break. There  were no volunteers. Selflessly, those officers only identified other colleagues who may be in  need of assistance. The fighting dragged on. I eventually joined the tactical line at the tunnel’s  entrance. I can remember looking around and being shocked by the sheer number of people  fighting us. As my police body worn camera shows, thousands upon thousands of people seem ingly determined to get past us by any means necessary. 

At some point during the fighting, I was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. I  heard someone screaming, ” I got one.” As I was swarmed by a violent mob, they ripped off my  badge. They grabbed and stripped me of my radio. They seized ammunition that was secured  to my body. They began to beat me with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects.  At one point, I came face-to-face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted  to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd, “Get his gun and kill him with  his own gun.” 

I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own  firearm. I was electrocuted again and again and again with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming,  but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice. My body camera captured the violence of  the crowd directed toward me during those very frightening moments. It’s an important part of  the record for this committee’s investigation and for the country’s understanding of how I was  assaulted and nearly killed as the mob attacked the Capitol that day, and I hope that everyone  will be able to watch it. The portions of the video I’ve seen remained extremely painful for me  to watch at times, but it is essential that everyone understands what really happened that  tragic day. During those moments, I remember thinking there was a very good chance I would  be torn apart or shot to death with my own weapon. I thought of my four daughters who might lose their dad. I remain grateful that no member of Congress had to go through the violent  assault that I experienced that day. 

During the assault, I thought about using my firearm on my attackers, but I knew that if I did,  I would be quickly overwhelmed, and that in their minds would provide them with the justifi cation for killing me. So I instead decided to appeal to any humanity they might have. I said as  loud as I could manage, “I’ve got kids.” Thankfully, some of the crowd stepped in and assisted  me. Those few individuals protected me from a crowd and inched me toward the Capitol until  my fellow officers could rescue me. I was carried back inside. What happened afterwards is  much less vivid. I had been beaten unconscious and remained so for more than four minutes.  I know that Jimmy helped to evacuate me from the building and drove me to MedStar Wash ington Hospital Center, despite suffering significant injuries himself. 

At the hospital, doctors told me that I had suffered a heart attack, and I was later diagnosed  with a concussion, a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. As my physical  injuries gradually subsided and the adrenaline that had stayed with me for weeks waned, I’ve  been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a  horrific event, and my children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that  day. What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citi zens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or  outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the  people in this room, but too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually  wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful. 

My law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience.  Being an officer, you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door, even if you don’t  expect otherwise law abiding citizens to take up arms against you. But nothing, truly nothing,  has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny  the events of that day, and in doing so betray their oath of office. Those very members whose  lives, offices, staff members, I was fighting so desperately to defend. I agreed to speak here  today and have talked publicly about what happened because I don’t think our response to  the insurrection should have anything to do with political parties. I know that what my partner  Jimmy and I suited up for on January 6th, it didn’t have anything to do with political parties or  about politics or what political party any of you public servants belong to. 

I’ve worked in this city for two decades and I’ve never cared about those things, no matter who  was in office. All I’ve ever cared about is protecting you and the public, so you can do your job  in service to this country and for those whom you represent. I appreciate your time and atten tion. I look forward to the committee’s investigation and I am hopeful with your commitment,  we as a country will confront the truth of what happened on January 6th and do what is nec essary to make sure this institution of our democracy never falls into the hands of a violent and  angry mob. We must also recognize the officers who responded that day, many unsolicited, and 

their countless acts of bravery and selflessness. It has been 202 days since 850 MPD Officers  responded to the Capitol and helped stop a violent insurrection from taking over this Capitol  complex, which almost certainly saved countless members of Congress and their staff from  injury and possibly death. The time to fully recognize these officers is now. Thank you again for  the opportunity to provide my testimony here today. 

DANIEL HODGES, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer 

Good morning to the committee, members of the press and to the country. To the members  of the committee, I’d like to thank you for your invitation today to provide my account of my  knowledge and experiences from January 6th, 2021. As the Chairman mentioned, I’m a mem ber of Civil Disturbance Unit 42, and I was working in that capacity on the day in question.  We started that day at 7:30 AM, and our assignment at the time was to maintain high visibility  along Constitution Avenue, namely the blocks leading up to President’s Park, where then  President Donald Trump was holding his gathering. 

My particular station was in front of 1111 Constitution Avenue, where I stood on foot as the  crowd poured down the street and into the park. There were a significant number of men  dressed in tactical gear attending the gathering, wearing ballistic vests, helmets, goggles,  military face masks, backpacks, and without identifiable visible law enforcement or military  patches, they appeared to be prepared for much more than listening to politicians speak in  a park. Two of my colleagues were approached by a group of three to four such men. They  were white men in good shape with load bearing vests equipped with MOLLE pouches. They  were wearing BDUs, or battle dress uniform pants, tactical boots, black sunglasses, and short  haircuts. They had radios and one was equipped with an earpiece. After a bit of small talk, one  of them asked my colleagues something to the effect of, is this all the manpower you have? Do  you really think you’re going to be able to stop all these people? Dumbfounded, my colleagues  simply expressed they didn’t understand what the speaker meant, and the group continued  on. As the day went on and speakers in the park said their peace, I monitored the crowd and  the radio. Over the radio, I heard our gun recovery unit working constantly, monitoring those  in the crowds suspected of carrying firearms and making arrests and seizures when possible.  Multiple gun arrests were made from January 5th through the 7th against those attending and  likely had attended or planned to attend Donald Trump’s gathering. Unfortunately, due to the  course of events that day, we will never know exactly how many were carrying firearms and  other lethal weapons. I don’t know what time it was, but eventually the flow of the foot traf fic reversed, with people leaving President’s Park and traveling eastbound down Constitution  Avenue towards the United States Capitol. At approximately 12:30 PM, I noticed a commotion  about half a block to my east. I saw the crowd starting to coalesce around two figures. I ran to  where they were and found a confrontation at the intersection of 10th and Constitution Avenue  Northwest. One counter protestor, a black man, was backpedaling away from a white man in  a Trump labeled face mask, who was closely following him with an outstretched arm. Myself and my colleague first arrived and physically separated the two, but a crowd of Donald Trump’s  people had gathered. They attempted to bait the counter protestor into attacking, shouting  insults such as, “Your mother’s a whore,” and accusing him of hiding behind the cops. 

Eventually, enough MPD members had gathered to move along the crowd, who continued  eastbound toward the Capitol Building, and the counter protester departed northbound on  10th Street. Returning to my post, I continued to monitor the radio. I could hear Commander  Glover leading the defense efforts at the Capitol as the protestors began their transition from  peaceful assembly into terrorism. I became agitated and wished we could move into support,  as I could hear the increasing desperation in the commander’s voice, yet we still had to wait  for our orders to change. And eventually they did. At approximately 1:30 PM, the commander  authorized rapid response platoons to deploy their hard gear and respond to the Capitol,  including CDU 42. 

The last thing I remember hearing over the air before departing for the Capitol grounds was  confirmation that our explosive ordinance disposal team had discovered a device. Given what  unit was being associated with the device, I immediately realized MPD had discovered a bomb  of some type near the Capitol. This thought was never far from my mind for the rest of the day.  We ran back to our vans and got on our hard gear as quickly as we could. Navigating alterna tive routes to avoid the foot traffic, we drove as close as we could to the Capitol—disembarking  at the northwest side of the Capitol grounds. We gave our gear a final check, and marched  towards the West Terrace. The crowd was thinner the further out from the Capitol you were.  So as we marched, the resistance we initially met was verbal. A man sarcastically yelled,  “Here come the boys in blue, so brave.” Another called on us to, “Remember your oath.” There  was plenty of booing. A woman called us stormtroopers. Another women who was part of the  mob of terrorists laying siege to the Capitol of United States shouted, “Traitors.” More found  appeal in this label, and shouted, “Traitors,” at us as we passed. One man attempted to turn it  into a duosyllabic chant. Now we continued to march. We had been marching in two columns,  but as we got closer to the West Terrace, the crowd became so dense that in order to progress,  we marched single file with our hands on the shoulders of the man in front of us in order to  avoid separation. 

However, as we came close to the terrace, our line was divided and we came under attack.  A man attempted to rip the baton from my hands, and we wrestled for control. I retained my  weapon after I pushed him back. He yelled at me, “You’re on the wrong team.” Cut off from  our leadership, which is at the front of our formation, we huddled up and assessed the threats  surrounding us. One man tried and failed to build a rapport with me, shouting, “Are you my  brother?” Another takes a different tack, shouting, “You will die on your knees.” I was at the front of our group, and determined we had to push our way through the crowd in  order to join the defense proper. So I began shouting, “Make way,” as I forged ahead, hoping  that I’m clearing a path for others behind me to follow. However, as I looked back, I saw the rest of the group came under attack, and were unable to follow. The crowd attempted to physi cally bar the rest of the platoon from following. I backtrack and started pulling the terrorists off  my team from their backpacks and their collars. Around this time, one of the terrorists who had  scaled the scaffolding that adorned the Capitol at the time threw something heavy down at me  and struck me in the head, disorienting me. I suspect this resulted in the likely concussion I  dealt with in the weeks after. Another man attempted to disarm me of my baton, and again,  we wrestled for control. 

He kicked me in my chest as we went to the ground. I was able to retain my baton again, but  I ended up on my hands and knees and blind. The medical mask I was wearing at the time  to protect myself from the coronavirus was pulled up over my eyes, so I couldn’t see. I braced  myself against the impact of their blows and feared the worst. Thankfully, my platoon had  repelled their own attackers, and got me back on my feet. The crowd started chanting, “USA,”  at us, and we struck out again for the West Terrace. 

I led the charge through the midst of crowd control munitions, explosions, and smoke  engulfing the area. Terrorists were breaking apart the middle fencing and bike racks into  individual pieces, presumably to use as weapons. Thankfully, we made it to the secondary  defense line on the West Terrace that MPD and Capitol Police were managing to hold. The rest  of my platoon got behind the line, and we could take stock of the situation. I realized that back  during the previous assaults, someone had stolen my radio. From that point on, I was in the  dark as to our current status, when reinforcements would arrive. Terrorists were scaling the  scaffolding on both our sides of the tower that was in front of us, and attempting to breach the  waist-high metal fencing that was the only barrier we had aside from ourselves. 

The sea of people was punctuated throughout by flags, mostly variations of American flags  and Trump flags. There was Gadson flags. It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to  be Christians. I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read, “Jesus is my savior.  Trump is my president.” Another, “Jesus is king.” One flag read, “Don’t give up the ship.”  Another had crossed rifles beneath a skull, emblazoned with the pattern of the American  flag. To my perpetual confusion, I saw the thin blue line flag, the symbol of support for law  enforcement, more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands  and continued to assault us. The acrid sting of CS gas or tear gas and OC spray, which is  mace, hung in the air as the terrorists threw our own CS gas canisters back at us, and  sprayed us with their own OC either they bought themselves or stole from us. 

Later, I learned at least one of them was spraying us in the face with wasp spray. The terrorists  alternated between attempting to break our defenses, and shouting at or attempting to convert  us. Men alleging to be veterans told us how they had fought for this country and were fighting  for it again. One man tried to start a chant of, “Four more years.” Another shouted, “Do not  attack us. We’re not Black Lives Matter,” as if political affiliation is how we determined when  to use force. A man in a QAnon hoodie exclaims, “This is the time to choose which side of history to be on.” A man whose shirt read, “God, guns, and Trump,” stood behind him silently  holding a Trump flag. 

A new man came to the front and fixated on me, continually berating me, telling me to take  off my gear and give it to him, “to show solidarity with we the people, or we’re going to run  over you.” His voice cracked with the strain and the volume of his threats. He continued, “Do  you think your little pea shooter guns are going to stop this crowd? No, we’re going in that  building.” Eventually, there is a surge in the crowd. The fence buckled and broke apart, and we  were unable to hold the line. A chaotic melee ensued. Terrorists pushed through the line and  engaged us in hand-to-hand combat. Several attempted to knock me over and steal my baton.  One latched onto my face, and got his thumb in my right eye, attempting to gouge it out. I  cried out in pain and managed to shake him off, managed to shake him off before any perma nent damage was done. 

I couldn’t fully engage anyone, for the moment I do is when another 20 terrorists move in to  attack while my hands are full. It was all we could do to keep ourselves on our feet and con tinue to fall back. I was sprayed with a fire extinguisher, and a red smoke grenade burns at  our feet. In the fight, a terrorist is knocked to the ground and his jacket rides up, exposing a  large hunting knife on his belt. I, along with several other officers, piled on him while another  removed the knife from his person. He regained himself unharmed, and shouts indignantly,  “What are you doing? What are you guys doing?” At this point, the terrorists had claimed most of the western terrace, cornering myself and other  officers on the southern edge. We found a side stair off of the terrace up to an upper landing,  followed by more stairs up and inside. Inside the Capitol building, officers walked through the  halls briefly until they found a place to sit, decontaminate their faces of OC and CS, and take a  quick breather. I followed suit. Someone had managed to find a package of water bottles and  was passing them out. I washed off my face as best I could, rinsed out my mouth, and drank  the rest. I took the opportunity of relative safety to don my gas mask. Not long afterward, I  heard someone calling for officers to move to assist. I steeled myself for another round and  ascended a stairway into a long hallway filled with smoke and screams. 

The Capitol building is labyrinthine, but judging from the sound of intense combat, I could tell  this hallway led outside to where the terrorists had forced our retreat. Officers were stacked  deep, but every so often one would fall back from the front line, nursing an injury or struggling  to breathe, and those who remained would take a step forward. It was a battle of inches, with  one side pushing the other a few, and then the other side regaining their ground. At the time,  I, and I suspect many others in the hallway, did not know that the terrorists had gained entry  into the building by breaking in doors and windows elsewhere, so we believed ours to be the  last line of defense before the terrorists had true access to the building, and to potentially our  elected representatives.

Eventually, it was my turn in the meat grinder that was the front line. The terrorists had a wall  of shields that they had stolen from officers as well as stolen batons, what other armaments  they brought. Even during this intense contest of wills, they tried to convert us to their cult.  One man shouted, “We all just want to make our voices heard, and I think you feel the same.  I really think you feel the same,” all while another man attempts to batter us with a stolen  shield. Another man, like many others, didn’t seem to appreciate that this wasn’t a game.  He fought his way across the lawn, up the steps, through the western terrace, all the OC and  CS gas, and at the front line of this final threshold was asking us to hold on because he has  asthma. The two sides were at a stalemate at a metal doorframe that sat in the middle of the  hallway. At the front line, I inserted myself so the frame was at my back in an effort to give  myself something to brace against, provide additional strength when pushing forward. 

Unfortunately, soon after I secured this position, the momentum shifted and we lost the ground  that got me there. On my left was a man with a clear riot shield stolen during the assault. He  slammed it against me, and with all the weight of the bodies pushing behind him, trapped me.  My arms were pinned and effectively useless, trapped against either the shield on my left or  the doorframe on my right. With my posture granting me no functional strength or freedom of  movement, I was effectively defenseless, and gradually sustaining injury from the increasing  pressure of the mob. Directly in front of me, a man seized the opportunity of my vulnerability,  grabbed the front of my gas mask, and used it to beat my head against the door. He switched  to pulling it off my head, the strap stretching against my skull and straining my neck. He never  uttered any words I recognized, but opted instead for guttural screams. 

I remember him foaming at the mouth. He also put his cell phone in his mouth so that had  both hands free to assault me. Eventually, he succeeded in stripping away my gas mask, and a  new rush of exposure to CS and OC spray hit me. The mob of terrorists were coordinating their  efforts now, shouting, “Heave, ho,” as they synchronized pushing their weight forward, crush ing me further against the metal doorframe. The man in front of me grabbed my baton that I  still held in my hands, and in my current state, I was unable to retain my weapon. He bashed  me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip, and adding additional injury to my skull. 

At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright. At best, I  would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues. At worst, be dragged out into the crowd and  lynched. Unable to move or otherwise signal the officers behind me that I needed to fall back, I  did the only thing that I could do, and screamed for help. Thankfully, my voice was heard over  the cacophony of yells and the blaring alarm. The officer closest to me was able to extricate  me from my position, and another helped me fall back to the building again. I had found some  more water and decontaminated my face as best I could. I don’t know how long I waited in the  halls for, but soon after, I got back on my feet and went to the front where the fight was again.  Until reinforcements arrived, every able body made a difference. Without my gas mask, I was  afraid I’d be a liability in the hallway, so I took the exit outside of the upper landing above the  West Terrace.

I found a police line being held, and the terrorists encircling us much like on the West Terrace  lower. It was getting later in the day, however, and it appeared we weren’t the only ones getting  tired. It seemed most of the mob was content to yell rather than try and break our line again.  After some time of guarding the upper landing, I saw reinforcements arrive from the south. I’m  not sure which law enforcement agency it was, but I turned to them and I started clapping,  as it was a sign that badly-needed help was starting to finally arrive. Soon after that, I started  feeling the effects of the day taking their toll, and went back inside to rest. Gradually, all the  members of CDU 42 gathered in the room known as the Capitol Crypt. We checked on each  other and convalesced, glad to see each other in one piece. Despite our exhaustion, we would  have ran out into the fight again, should the need have arisen. Thankfully, as the day wore on,  more and more resources had arrived at the Capitol to drive off the terrorists. We stayed in the  Crypt until quite late. Indeed, even after we were allowed to leave the grounds, we didn’t get  to go home. Those who needed immediate medical attention took a van to the local hospital,  while the rest of us parked near the city center until the city was deemed secure enough for us  to check off. I believe we finally got that message around 1:00 AM the following morning. We  drove back to the Fourth District and from there went home. Thank you for letting me testify. 

HARRY DUNN, U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant 

Chairman Thompson, members of the select committee, thank you for the opportunity today to  give my account regarding the events of January 6th, 2021 from my firsthand experience as  a Capitol Police officer directly involved in those events, and still hurting from what happened  that day. I’m provided this testimony solely in my personal capacity, and not as a representa tive of the United States Capitol Police. Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment of my time  to ask for a moment of silence for my fallen colleague, Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from  injuries he sustained in the line of duty defending the Capitol of our beloved democracy. Thank  you. I reported for duty at the Capitol as usual early on the morning of January 6th. We under stood that the vote that certified President Biden’s election will be taking place that day, and  protests might occur outside the Capitol, but we expected any demonstrations to be peaceful  expressions of First Amendment freedoms, just like the scores of demonstrations we had ob served for many years. After roll call, I took my overwatch post on the east front of the Capitol,  standing on the steps that led up to the Senate Chamber. As the morning progressed, I did not  see or hear anything that gave me cause for alarm, but around 10:56 AM, I received a text  message from a friend forwarding a screenshot of what appeared to be the potential plan of  action, very different from a peaceful demonstration. The screenshot bore the caption, “January  6th, rally point Lincoln Park,” and said the objective was the Capitol. 

It said amongst other things that Trump has given us marching orders, and to keep your guns  hidden. It urged people to bring your trauma kits and gas mask, to link up early in the day in  6 to 12-man teams. It indicated there would be time to arm up. Seeing that message caused  me concern. To be sure looking back now, it seemed to foreshadow what happened later. At the time though, we had not received any threat warnings from our chain of command. I had no  independent reason to believe that violence was headed our way. 

As the morning progressed, and the crowd of protestors began to swell on the east side of the  Capitol, many displaying Trump flags, the crowd was chanting slogans like, “Stop the steal,”  and, “We want Trump,” but demonstration was still being conducted in a peaceful manner.  Early that afternoon, Capitol Police dispatch advised all units over the radio that we had an  active 10-100 at the Republican National Committee nearby. 10-100 is police code for suspi cious package, such as a potential bomb. That radio dispatch got my attention, and I started to  get more nervous and worried, especially because the crowds on the east front of the Capitol  were continuing to grow. Around the same time I started receiving reports on the radio about  large crowd movements around the Capitol, coming from the direction of the Ellipse to both  the west and east fronts of the Capitol. Then I heard urgent radio calls for additional officers  to respond to the west side, and an exclamation, a desperate voice that demonstrators on the  west side had breached the fence. 

Now it was obvious that there was a direct threat to the Capitol, I quickly put on a steel chest  plate which weighs approximately 20 pounds, and carrying my M4 rifle, sprinted around the  north side of the Capitol to the West Terrace and the railing of the inaugural stage, where I had  a broad view of what was going on. I was stunned by what I saw. In what seemed like a sea of  people, Capitol Police officers and Metropolitan Police officers, MPD, were engaged in desper ate hand-to-hand fighting with rioters across the west lawn. Until then, I had never seen any one physically assault Capitol Police or MPD, let alone witness mass assaults being perpetrated  on law enforcement officers. I witnessed the rioters using all kinds of weapons against officers,  including flagpoles, metal bike racks that they had torn apart, and various kinds of projectiles.  Officers were being bloodied in the fighting. Many were screaming, and many were blinded and  coughing from chemical irritants being sprayed in their faces. 

I gave decontamination aid to as many officers as I could, flushing their eyes with water to  dilute the chemical irritants. Soon thereafter, I heard, “Attention all units, the Capitol has been  breached,” and that rioters were in various places inside the building. At that point, I rushed  into the Capitol with another officer, going first to the basement on the Senate side, where  I’d heard an MPD officer needed a defibrillator. After returning outside to the West Terrace to  assist the officers, I went back into the Capitol and up the stairs towards the Crypt. There, I  saw rioters who had invaded the Capitol carrying a Confederate flag, a red MAGA flag, and a  Don’t Tread On Me flag. I decided to stand my ground there to prevent any rioters from heading  down the stairs to the lower West Terrace entrance, because that’s where officers were getting  decontamination aid and were particularly vulnerable. At the top of the stairs, I confronted a  group of insurrectionists warning them, “Do not go down those steps.” One of them shouted,  “Keep moving, patriots.” Another displayed what looked like a law enforcement badge, and told  me, “We’re doing this for you.” One of the invaders approached me like he was going to try to  get past me and head down the stairs. I hit him, knocking him down. After getting relieved by other officers in the Crypt, I took off running upstairs towards the Speaker’s Lobby, and helped  the plain clothes officer who was getting hassled by insurrectionists. Some of them were  dressed like members of a militia group, wearing tactical vests, cargo pants, and body armor.  I was physically exhausted, and it was hard to breathe and to see because of all the chemical  spray in the air. 

More and more insurrectionists were pouring into the area by the Speaker’s Lobby near the  Rotunda, and some wearing MAGA hats and shirts that said, “Trump 2020.” I told them to just  leave the Capitol, and in response they yelled, “No, man, this is our house. President Trump  invited us here. We’re here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for  Joe Biden.” I’m a law enforcement officer, and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but  in this circumstance I responded, “Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I  nobody?” That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled,  “You hear that guys? This n***** voted for Joe Biden.” Then the crowd, perhaps around 20  people, joined in screaming, “Boo, fucking n*****.” No one had ever, ever called me a n*****  while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer. 

In the days following the attempted insurrection, other Black officers shared with me their  own stories of racial abuse on January 6th. One officer told me he had never, in his entire 40  years of life been called a nigger to his face, and that streak ended on January 6th, yet another  Black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the Capitol who told  him, “Put your gun down and we’ll show you what kind of nigger you really are.” To be candid,  the rest of the afternoon is a blur, but I know I went throughout the Capitol to assist officers  who needed aid, and helped expel more insurrectionists. In the Crypt, I encountered Sergeant  Gonell, who was giving assistance to an unconscious woman who had been in the crowd of  rioters on the west side of the Capitol. I helped to carry her to the area of the House majority  leader’s office, where she was administered CPR. 

As the afternoon wore on, I was completely drained, both physically and emotionally, and in  shock and in total disbelief over what had happened. Once the building was cleared, I went to  the Rotunda to recover with other officers, and share our experiences from what happened  that afternoon. Representative Rodney Davis was there offering support to officers, and when  he and I saw each other, he came over and he gave me a big hug. I sat down on the bench  in the Rotunda with a friend of mine who was also a Black Capitol Police officer, and told him  about the racial slurs I endured. I became very emotional, and began yelling, “How the blank  could something like this happen? Is this America?” I began sobbing. Officers came over to  console me. 

Later on January 6th, after order and security had been restored in the Capitol through the  hard work and sacrifices of law enforcement, members took the floor of the House to speak  out about what had happened that day. Among them was House Minority Leader Kevin  McCarthy, who along with my fellow officers I had protected that day, and will protect today and tomorrow. I had protected that day and will protect today and tomorrow. And the minori ty leader, to his great credit, said the following to the House, “The violence, destruction, and  chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic, and un-American. It was the saddest  day I’ve ever had serving in this institution,” end quote. Members of the select committee, the  minority leader was absolutely right, how he described it took place in the Capitol. And for  those of us in the Capitol Police who serve and revere this institution and who love the Capitol  building, it was the saddest day for us as well. More than six months later, January 6th still  isn’t over for me. 

I’ve had to avail myself of multiple counseling sessions from the Capitol Police Employee  Assistance Program, and I’m now receiving private counseling therapy for the persistent emo tional trauma of that day. I’ve also participated in many peer support programs with fellow law  enforcement officers from around the United States. I know so many other officers continue to  hurt, both physically and emotionally. I want to take this moment to speak to my fellow officers  about the emotions they are continuing to experience from the events of January 6th. There’s  absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling. What we went through that  day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services  that are available to us. I also respectfully ask that this select committee review the available  resources, the services available to us, and consider whether they are sufficient enough to  meet our needs, especially with respect to the amount of leave that we are allowed. 

In closing, we can never again allow democracy to be put in peril as it was on January 6th. I  thank the members of the select committee for your commitment to determine what led to di saster at the Capitol on January 6th, what actually took place that day, and what steps should  be taken to prevent such an attack on our democracy from ever happening again. I also want  to thank and acknowledge my brothers and sisters in blue who fought alongside me on January  6th to protect our democracy. Each of you is a hero, and it is my honor to serve with you each  and every day. 

I’d like to thank the American people for all of the support that they have provided these past  several months to me and my fellow officers. Lastly, to the rioters, the insurrectionists, and the  terrorist of that day, democracy went on that night and still continues to exist today. Democracy  is bigger than any one person and any one party. You all tried to disrupt democracy that day,  and you all failed. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I will be happy to answer  any questions that you may have.

 

Curatorial Essay ‘Bursting in air’ by Irina Gusin

In 2017, grappling with the fallout from the Trump election, Susan Silton filmed a brief sequence unfolding in the metal scrapyard across the street from her studio. An American flag, waving indifferently in the background, was Silton’s mute companion in witnessing this one-act play. In Bursting in air, the artist pairs this footage with a plaintive interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner, sung by contralto Gwendolyn Brown.

On January 6th 2022, Bursting in air will be shown in an expansive empty storefront at 1035 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. Once the site of nickelodeon and vaudeville theatres, Broadway has been scrubbed to be the downtown of every city, of any city. As Silton’s film loops on a screen, The Star-Spangled Banner reverberates through this un-hallowed ground. Standing in this anonymous space, we are suspended in the momentum of our times. The anthem echoes our own reckoning, our mutual mourning. The value of our literal bodies, our physical presence in similar storefronts and empty buildings across the country, is being fought over and negotiated by industry through a global pandemic and a near economic-crisis. Whose bodies are essential? Whose are worth protecting?

Watching Silton’s footage, we are reminded of our own resigned inertia in the face of the ever-necessary, ever-hungry momentum toward “progress.” Over the last few years, our elected leaders have defined us in terms of the value that we create. The public narrative has shifted from sheltering in place to getting back to normal. The news cycle churns once more, but we remember. We still feel the fear, the loss, the lack of explanation for the seeming breakdown of state, country, and basic infrastructure. Our bodies remember in the cells.

Our subjective memory is necessary for struggle, necessary for our ability to subvert any public narrative that excludes us but our cells also propagate trauma, heartbreak, and rage: our bodies take a toll. History is written in contemporaneity: public record will be comprised of how we collectively interpret this moment. If we do not remember what has happened, we will be condemned to repeat our blunders. Despite the physical calamity, we must be witnesses. History is comprised of parallel subjectivities. Facts, when woven together, may build any number of narratives, but memory requires witnesses.

The Star-Spangled Banner originated through a historical retelling of the 1814 bombardment of FortMcHenry: a waving flag, soaring rockets, a battle triumph for a young nation. The poem, eventually adopted in 1931 as the national anthem, was written over a hundred years prior by a slave owner and one-time district attorney who protected slavery as an institution. For over a century the song’s racist undertones were being negotiated and scrubbed; the narrator’s biography too, eventually ignored. This chronicle serves as a warning about subjective truths. The Star-Spangled Banner, sung for Bursting in air, as a dirge is a sorrowful rebuke, a fitting monument to the spun narratives of our present moment.

Text by Irina Gusin

 

Susan Silton
Bursting in air, 2022
Site specific video installation
Video projection, 5.1 audio, wood tables, printed matter

Contralto: Gwendolyn Brown
Audio mix: Ben Huff
Video mastering: Peter Kirby, Media Arts Services
Technical Production: Jeff Kleeman, Studio Sereno
Audio installation: Andrew McClymont, Lux Aeterna, LLC
Table fabrication: Jinseok Choi

LAND’s 2021 exhibitions are made possible with lead support from the Offield Family Foundation and the Jerry and Terry Kohl Foundation. Additional support is provided by the the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the California Community Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust Foundation, Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, the Poncher Family Foundation, Brenda Potter, and LAND’s Nomadic Council.

Bapari’s Sunken City

 

A booting computer’s interface grids upon Bapari’s face in their new music video for Interlude & Daybreak. Numbers and letters are synced together to formulate a a digital world. A world familiar to the musician Bapari whose industrial and heavy-dance sensibilities finds true partnership in the abstracted yet hyper-structured realities created by the internet. Their latest EP’ Daybreak‘ illustrates a dystopian plight of a city devastated by a flood. The tracks are alert and focused; they are reliant on heavy combinations of percussion often invoking the sense of running or acceleration of speed; the  tracks veer in and out various genres from vogue, hard-dance, techno, and jungle. The accompanying video for Interlude & Daybreak directed by Alima Lee posits the DJ dismorphed and enmeshed within the digital. Scenes of Bapari on train tracks and underneath their civic architecture are layered in heat-vision filters and other mass surveillance technology emphasizing the tainted core of civic infrastructure of tracking, identifying, and the accounting of things and people. It’s a type of paranoia or awareness Bapari finds generative as they author a torrential catharsis on Daybreak’ EP.  

Earlier this year LAND’s Associate Curator Hugo Cervantes sat down with Bapari to discuss their debut EP Daybreak, their time as a LAND x Air resident, their musical process, and to speculate on what the music of the future will sound like.  

When did you begin to work on the EP?

Two years ago around this time, I was realizing that I was Djing a lot and doing radio stuff but one thing that caught my attention was even if I was producing for people or producing in general I didn’t necessarily have a project of my own that I had made and put out. I needed something to play at my own performances so that was something I began to consider. I had been producing for a while and I thought it’s time to give it a go and figure out my own personal sound. Two years ago I started just thinking about what that would sound like, an electronic club, because of the music I was into and was performing. I ended up revisiting a lot of these tracks and changing them up until January 2021. It’s been a process. 

The title tracks describe a dystopian sunken city and metaphorically reflect how Los Angeles is becoming more difficult to live in while also carrying a  drowsy sense of optimism. Did the city inform the EP?

I kept tweaking the tracks and this aquatic-rebirth theme emerged as I started thinking more critically of what I was making and the message I was trying to convey. It was what I was feeling at the time. The EP starts with the track The Flood and Daybreak is like the optimism after a crazy day. The Interlude is a sonic meditation. There wasn’t a specific city I had in mind while working on the EP. For the most part I was living in New York and then moved to Los Angeles in 2019. My experiences with cities are just in Los Angeles and New York City. When the first lockdown happened everything felt dystopian, I was living in New York at the time and we could not leave our apartments. The city was completely desolate and I believe that was around the time I made the song The Flood and the Interlude. Whereas Daybreak and Sunken City were from before that time. Those two songs (Daybreak & Sunken City) were made in LA and the other  two (The Flood & Interlude) were made in New York. It’s interesting to think how those two cities collide in the EP. I think there is a reason why those four songs are the ones that made it on the EP and other songs didn’t. These four songs felt the most authentic in a different way the other songs didn’t.  

There’s adrenaline throughout the EP. Where did that come from?

I think that comes from the music that I listen to and DJ like hard dance, hard club or experimental music. Even the Interlude which doesn’t have a percussive pace but has these more hard elements spread throughout the song. When you listen to the EP it should feel like you are running or sprinting away from something like a flood. There’s an urgency, the visual should be like endless roaming, it should be endless running.  

The sequencing of the EP has a narrative with the final track promising a kind of arrival — a daybreak. 

When you listen to it should feel like you’re running around, sprinting away from something like a flood! Instead of endless roaming you’re endlessly sprinting around. This flood is coming. It submerges everything. The Interlude is figuring things out. Daybreak is the next day when the sun comes up and Sunken City is like imagining yourself on a hill looking back at the city and it’s completely submerged. 

 

How would you describe your music? 

It’s definitely drifting into hard dance themes, it’s intentionally cinematic, to tell a story. I try to make everything I am working on very visual so I think there is a lot of curation in the noises I’m selecting whether that be percussion or instruments or what I’m using to create the melody. There’s a lot of intention behind it like most music. I’ll start with a theme or an idea and then I see where it goes.  

For Daybreak, I’d describe it as cinematic, hard dance, it doesn’t neatly fit into any club genres so I think that was the point. I listen to so many types of club music from vogue to jungle, techno, club, or afro-caribbean music, footwork, or whatever, I feel like a lot of those genes have been embedded in my head subconsciously. I feel like there’s so many elements from some of those genres that made it into this EP or informed it. 

The blending of different genres reminds me of what Kelman Duran has said about the future of music sounding like a circle or drums or it being purely percussive. What do you think music will sound like in the future?

It’s interesting Kelman is thinking of percussion because music definitely started with  percussion, it’s a full circle moment. 

When I think about music in the future I think of a huge blending of genres. When I think of popular music or pop music in general, you see how much it draws from electronic music. I feel that’s the trajectory of where pop music is going like other genres of music. I don’t know if I have a specific idea of what sound will sound like but I do know technology plays a huge role in shaping the sound, production software does help facilitate electronic genres. You can create an entire song, symphony, whatever, on your computer literally through your keyboard. You don’t need anything outside from your laptop and the software to technically create an entire body of work. That’s a huge influence on what music sounds like moving forward because you don’t need to rely on a recording studio and assembling all these professionally trained musicians. Music today can really come from a place of experimentation and sampling and digitally warping instruments, home recording, and smaller and smaller devices. In a way I don’t know what music will sound like as it could go anywhere. 

Collaborating with your friends and peers is an anchor to your practice. How does friendship play in your creative process?

It’s huge! Whether it means working on a track with people, sharing ideas with people, if I send demos to a friend who makes music or friends who don’t make music too but if I try to get production tips from a musician friend who also happens to be in the similar phase of making something and we give each other feedback. “What would you do here? I’m stuck here too.” Collaborations could be a huge help, it brings a new life and perspective into the project. Collaborations bring in new ideas that you would’ve never thought of your own. It’s a mutual inspiration where I’m listening to my peer’s music music and they’re listening to mine, the constant back and forth with friends, alongside DJing, listening to sets, or playing radio. Those activities keep me inspired and bring in new ideas. 

What’s your approach for composing scores meant for performance scores versus mixes or sets?

I love creating audio-visual compositions for film, fashion shows, or a dance performance, it’s something that I am coming into and something I really enjoy making because it’s a hybrid between DJing sets which is in a long format/recording of music and producing songs which is more original material but tend to be shorter in comparison. So doing this in between formats where someone is giving me a prompt or project idea and they are expecting me to provide a sound element to bring a different kind of idea to life. I think it’s been eye opening for me because I always approach music from a visual way. I’ve always envisioned the story I’m telling and created music for things like film/performances, that visual element is fixed and tangible and I have to work with it, in comparison to when I make a song I have to imagine it. The film exists  and I can look at the film and think of the sounds from the thing I am watching. 

As a member of Fuck You Pay Us (FUPU) as a drummer, what is the difference between playing in a band and working solo as a DJ? 

Being in a band is a different experience. I think there’s one thing to be said about performing something literally live, there’s something about rehearsing as a band. For example, when I’m producing a song I am every single instrument. When you’re in a band you have to know your part in relation to every other part. You are a component of a whole to create this other experience, you’re a piece of the pie and so there’s something different and beautiful about it. When you are in sync with multiple people at the same time on stage or in rehearsal there’s something exhilarating that can’t be replicated when you are doing music in a different way. 

I played drums a little bit before, Jasmine Nyende and Uhuru invited me to join FUPU to  play drums as other musicians have also played drums for FUPU. It’s definitely a lot, learning someone else’s music and learning drums and percussion in a different way as it was something I never really did outside of drum lessons in college.

How has punk or the spirit of FUPU carried on into Bapari? 

It was my first time participating in the world of punk in that way.. It was a huge learning experience, collaborating and being insync with four people playing at the same time with one song being played at a time. There’s something unique even to this day I miss playing in a band, missing that type of collaboration because it’s a very unique and specific way of making music. 

After the EP what do you think you will do next? 

I’m working on a video for Daybreak and Interlude with Alima Lee for the EP. The video is going to be dystopian, aquatic, and looking into the future. We’ve been collaborating on this and it should be done soon as I was able to shoot during my time as a resident with LAND and Werkartz. I’ll have song on Mollyhouse records in a compilation album that’ll be out in 2022. It’ll be a trance, hard-dance track. I’ve been listening to a lot  of trance and hard-dance and I wanted to pay homage to that. Then working on a soundscape for a NAVEL LA project. Then there’s one project that has a butterfly theme, I think it’ll be a follow up to the EP, similar but more experimental and different. It’ll be about rebirth and nature. 

What’s the perfect sound/song to you? 

I don’t think any song is perfect ever. One thing I know with my music is when I’m ready to let a song go. If I’ve been working for something in a time when I reach that  point — it sounds blaze but when it’s sounds good that’s when I stop myself because I spend hours tweaking levels by like percentage points and almost being hyper-perfect about it. At some point you have to let it be. One thing when I feel something is perfect is when I want to hear it again. When it gets to the end and it’s ready to start over and I hit the loop button that’s when I know I’m done. 

***

Join LAND at The Lash for LANDxAIR ’21 Artist in Residence Bapari’s video release for Interlude & Daybreak off their EP Daybreak! The screening will be followed by DJ sets by: 699, Dangerous Rose, Bianca Oblivion, Venganza, and Buckmonster. Hosted by: Skullsqwat, Hex Hudosh, and Saturn Rising

Bapari (aka Arielle Baptiste) is a Haitian-American musician, producer and DJ. They have released music with Popcan Records, Mollyhouse Records, Chroma NY, XXIII and Internet Friends. In addition to producing for a number of recording artists, their debut solo EP will be releasing this March. Bapari has created soundtracks and scores that have been featured at Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Redbull Music x Compose LA, as well as New York Fashion Week. They’ve headlined Boiler Room LA, played Melting Point & Papi Juice in New York, as well as numerous parties across the USA. Bapari DJs and hosts the monthly show Puffy on NTS radio and last year served as the tour DJ for Steve Lacy. Their musical style explores electronic experimentation to create anywhere from unique underground club tracks to genre-bending sonic landscapes. Most recently Bapari was selected for the LANDxAIR artist residency program hosted by Los Angeles Nomadic Division and Werkärtz and last year they were accepted into a two-year residency program by NAVEL, the artist collective and performance space in downtown Los Angeles. They formerly played drums in the punk band F U Pay Us, as well as soccer for the Haitian national team.

Frame Rate is LAND’s screening series, presenting film, video, and moving image works in site-specific contexts. Reflecting the diverse ways contemporary artists engage with visual culture, Frame Rate allows audiences intimate access to artists’ works and creative process. Unlike conventional formats, Frame Rate invites artists to propose and present new work, works-in-progress or ideas that comprise the multifaceted influences informing their creative practice.

LAND’s 2021 exhibitions are made possible with lead support from the Offield Family Foundation and the Jerry and Terry Kohl Foundation. Additional support is provided by the the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the California Community Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust Foundation, Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, the Poncher Family Foundation, Brenda Potter, and LAND’s Nomadic Council.

 

What Art Can Do

We are such fans of X-TRA, a longtime bastion of critical cultural  discourse in Los Angeles. Last year, they launched the Artists and Rights podcast, featuring conversations with many artists LAND has had the luck of working with, including Nao Bustamante, Zackary Drucker, Vishal Jugdeo, and Mario Ybarra Jr.

In reflecting on the series, Sara Ellen Fowler spoke with co-producers Shana Lutker and Mario Ontiveros about how the project evolved and what lessons they took from the conversations in the midst of such a tumultuous year. The takeaways so tenderly express the significance of artists and conversations such as these as we collectively process the events of the past year.

Highly recommend reading the conversation here and listening to the series here.

Getty Issues Impact Report For Diversity Internship Program

We are so sad to say goodbye to Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu as her six month internship with LAND comes to an end. We asked Jocelyn to reflect on her time with LAND, and are happy to also be able to share this @spectrum1 news story highlighting her work. Thank you Jocelyn and the Getty for making this internship possible!

“I have spent the last few days reflecting on the last six months I was lucky to have spent at LAND as their Getty Marrow Curatorial Intern. Though it feels very bittersweet to write this, I am very grateful for how powerful, inspirational, and caring my time at LAND was. Coming into the space right as the city drastically altered due to COVID made the process of starting a new job a more compassionate and supportive one. Everyone at LAND put forth forms of support and understanding that I have rarely felt in a professional setting. That in itself set such a strong foundation for the next 6 months that I can only imagine how much harder the transition to working from home would have been if I had not been at LAND. I’m very grateful for the trust and recognition Laura and Hugo placed on me throughout my internship and more importantly for allowing me to be a part of two great projects- BLKNWS and Gatherings. I will continue to hold this gratitude especially close to my heart because it is due to these unique and important experiences that I feel ready and confident in my abilities as I continue my journey in the art world as a queer CentralAmerican arts professional. To close off, I just want to say one last thank you to everyone at LAND for giving me space to really reconfigure how care, intimacy, and knowledge make up smaller non-profit art spaces and for putting forth a practice that I hope to continue in my own work.” -Jocelyn Lopez- Anleu

To read the article click here.

Featured Reading: Georgia

We are big fans of Georgia, an online journal that looks to both artistic and organizing efforts for suggestions of a way forward, helmed by editors Anthony Carfello, Shohig Halajian, and Suzy Halajian.

Their recent article, Preserve: Perhaps, written by Carfello, outlines some critical architectural preservation issues in Los Angeles. From Irv’s Burgers to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall, the thoroughly-researched article asks us to consider the context for preservation and why certain sites are prioritized.

Read here.

Image: Former Irv’s Burger stand in West Hollywood, CA.

Watch Outside In

Outside In from Nima Nourizadeh on Vimeo.

We love this short film by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Nima Nourizadeh, which features many friends and members of the Los Angeles creative community (including LAND’s executive director, Laura Hyatt), all shot in their homes during quarantine. 
 
‘Outside In’ is a voyeuristic observation into people’s lives from afar. Scored by Alexis Taylor & Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), and Omid Nourizadeh (16B), the film is an intimate collection of moments intertwined, captured around Los Angeles after dark. 
 
The meditative short gives viewers space to impose their own narratives onto the characters and their lives.  Nima uses windows as the literal frame, guiding the audience’s attention, while making use of the “off-screen”, rewarding the imaginative and participatory viewers; Who are these characters? Where are they from? What are their relationships? It’s a piece that grows with each viewing, something more to be learned or gleaned from each experience.  
 
Inspired by Michael Snow’s Wavelength and Coppola’s The Conversation, the film also pays tribute to depictions of LA at night in countless films. The long lens photography creates a visual language reminiscent of The Long Goodbye, and a tone that pays homage to the opening sequences in De Palma films. However, Nima cleverly subverts expectations by not leaning into genre conventions, making a more considered and attentive, piece of observational film. The brilliant score adds another layer to the storytelling punctuated by the zooming sound of the telephoto lens, an instrument unto itself.  
 
“Outside In”, the film, is a companion piece to, Our Friends Through Windows, an art project and photography book Nima created as cities around the world instated “safer at home policies.”  The film compliments the book and functions as a time capsule of emotions we all experienced in the spring of 2020 but more importantly serves as a timeless celebration of connectedness and community.
 
Website:

Downtown Women’s Center Fundraiser

In partnership with our Downtown neighbors JOAN, ICA LA, and Redling Fine Art, join us in supporting the Downtown Women’s Center this holiday season! DWC is Los Angeles’ only organization focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. The DWC’s mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy.

The first 70 donations of $100 or more to DWC will receive a handmade ornament produced by LA based artist Seth Bogart. 100% of the donations go to the DWC and can be made on their website at www.DowntownWomensCenter.org by clicking DONATE in the upper right corner. Once your donation is complete please send your receipt and mailing address to us@joanlosangeles.org and we will be in touch about your ornament to be shipped by 12/15 or sooner.

About the Downtown Women’s Center Founded in 1978, DWC was the first: 

  • Permanent supportive housing provider for women in the U.S. 
  • Health clinic exclusively serving women in Skid Row community (and remain the only one today)
  • Drop-in Day Center exclusively serving homeless women in the city of Los Angeles (and remain the only one today)

The Downtown Women’s Center’s mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy. The DWC provides up to 1.000 to-go meals to women in skid row each day. 

The homelessness crisis in Los Angeles has been intensified by the current coronavirus pandemic making the DWC’s advocacy all the more necessary. Many women experiencing homelessness are reliant moon the Center for meals, basic hygiene needs, safety, and community. You can support the DWC as they have doubled their daily meal service, distributed thousands of hygiene kits and face coverings, and continue to move women into permanent housing.

Voter Guides, 2020

So many voter guides for the upcoming General Election are circulating on the internet. A number of LA-specific guides present over-lapping takes on progressive stances for Ballot Initiatives and Candidates. This helpful spreadsheet lays out where voter guides converge and where they differ. Be an informed voter with the aid of these guides, hopefully they can ease some of the overwhelming sensation that only multiple choice tests and ballot measures can inspire. Vote, vote early, vote safely, but please just vote!

The KNOCK.LA Los Angeles Progressive Voter Guide for the November 2020 General Election
We’ve sifted through every state, county, and federal race that touches LA County (and a few extras that don’t), every state proposition, every race in LA City, and a host of races in smaller cities to help you make an informed decision when you vote this October (or November, but seriously, please vote as early as possible).

Democratic Socialists of America Los Angeles November 3, 2020 Voter Guide
Thank you for using the DSA-LA 2020 General Election Voter Guide.This guide was written by members of the DSA-LA Electoral Politics Committee with contributions from the 2020 primary guide produced in collaboration with the Future Left. Authors approached writing this guide with socialist values and a progressive, pragmatic lens. We see this as an opportunity to share information with fellow DSA-LA members, LA voters, and other community members about political forces shaping the many communities that make up Los Angeles.

L.A. Podcast Voter Guide: 2020 General Election
It’s time to vote again, and LA Podcast is here for you. Here are our endorsements of local candidates and propositions in cheatsheet form. You can download a full-size image to save or share. We also have bite-sized Instagram images here.

If you want the explanations behind the endorsements—plus links to the podcast episodes where you can hear us discuss some picks in more detail—read on.

LA progressive community voter guide: a collaboration between the Future Left, People’s City Council, In This Together, and members of the LA community
The Future Left voter’s guide is not just a list of recommendations, to be consulted like a column of restaurant or movie reviews. Instead, we— the members of The Future Left— regard it as a gregarious model for social decision. It was a research project that brought together a multitude of community members, activists, scholars, cultural producers, and organizations like The Future Left, People’s City Council, SafeLAPL, In This Together, and Angelena Atlas, among others, to consider strategies for the November ballot and agree on a common direction, despite differences in origin, age, race, gender, sexuality, ability, and levels of political experience. The guide makes no pretense of authority. Rather, it should be understood as part of a longer conversation and political process, which is why this year’s guide will be released along with a series of articles, teach-ins, videos, and a variety of next-step sequences that can be pursued after all the ballots have been cast.

Two Evils Voter Guide 2020: Los Angeles + California + Washington DC
Thank goodness CA Dems took decisive action to protect residents during a pandemic by… banning menthol cigarettes??? I mean seriously the blue supermajority couldn’t manage to pass an eviction moratorium stronger than the Trump administration’s to keep tenants in their homes during a pandemic for which housing is the only prescription?!?! But green Capris, Newports, Camel Crush,met the #Resistance. Neverthe-ugh-less, we commit to no platform the GOP, and prevent the continued National Neoliberal emboldening of white supremacist vigilante murder & scapegoating non-citizens for problems Billionaires cause.

ACLU SOCAL 2020 BALLOT GUIDE
Being an ACLU voter in this election means voting for our communities and our shared future. It means voting through the ballot on state and local races, California propositions, and local measures. Support new laws that will promote racial and social justice. Reject those that will turn back the clock. Be an ACLU voter. Vote for our future.

The complete list of L.A. Times’ endorsements in the November 2020 election
Californians will have several weeks in which to vote in this year’s general election. The voting period is underway, as county registrars have started sending out ballots (although they may not arrive in mailboxes right away), and concludes on Nov. 3, the official election day. Voters can return their marked ballots by mail or drop them off at vote centers. Ballots postmarked by election day will be counted if they are received up to 17 days later.

LOS ANGELES AREA PROGRESSIVE VOTER GUIDE: November 3, 2020 General Election
The following are recommendations for the most progressive candidates and measures on the ballot based on reviewing resources listed at the bottom of this guide, news articles, and candidate statements. I encourage you to do your own research as well! After writing the date/your address on and signing your envelope, return your ballot via USPS or dropbox as early as possible. If you vote in person, bring your mail-in ballot with you. This guide was prepared by Kris Rehl.

A Guide to Voter Guides for LA Progressives
A comprehensive spreadsheet of each progressive voter guide circulating about California/Los Angeles. Directly compares the authors’ stances on ballot initiatives as well as candidates. Each guide mentioned in this document is included within this spreadsheet.

Participate in a National Movement for Black Lives

During this time, as our communities rally in the streets nationally, there are so many opportunities to play your part. From making donations to movements, to bailout funds, to supporting Black owned businesses, to educating yourself on how to be an ally and calling for large scale change– this is a time wherein your participation is crucial. The below list encompasses these factors as well as resources for mental health and wellness. Stay safe! Be helpful! We’re making tremendous change! 

-The LAND Team

Los Angeles Based Support

Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles

#BlackLivesMatter-Los Angeles is the original chapter of the global movement built to challenge state-sanctioned violence against Black people and to vision and build a just and free society. Since 2013, BLM organizers have been doing work to disrupt systems of oppression and work vision and build the kind of world in which we want to live. Please consider making a donation. 

Los Angeles Action Bail Fund

We are using existing systems for rapid response and 100% of funds raised go to those efforts. We work in solidarity and coalition with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL) is building power to challenge dominant institutions, shift racist policies, and create community-based alternatives to harmful systems as part of a global movement of grassroots organizations. Please consider making a donation.

LACAN

LA CAN was formed in 1999 when 25 residents of Downtown LA came together and acknowledged the problems that existed in their community and made a commitment to do something about those problems: to stand together, organize and become a force in the community that demands change.

Our overarching social change goals are to:

  • Organize and empower community residents to work collectively to change the relationships of power that affect our community.
  • Create an organization and organizing model that eradicate the race, class, gender barriers that are used to prevent communities from building true power.
  • Eliminate the multiple forms of violence used against and within our community to maintain status quo.

Please consider making a donation.

Peoples City Council Freedom Fund

As the mayor and city council have sought to increase the LAPD’s budget during a pandemic, and as police around the country continue to kill innocent people of color, we have taken to the street to protest the funding of state sanctioned murder. This fund will go towards:

  • Legal support, bail, fines, and court fees for arrested protesters
  • Medical bills and transportation for injured protesters
  • Medical supplies and PPE for Community Medics
  • Direct monetary support to Black Lives Matter Los Angeles
  • Supplies and support for protesters and organizers (megaphones, pamphlets, PPE, etc.)
  • Direct monetary support to National Lawyers Guild and other groups assisting protesters with legal support

Please consider making a donation.

Support Black Owned Restaurants

Spreadsheet compiled by Kat Hong listing many Black owned restaurants throughout LA. 

JusticeLA+WP4BL COVID-19 Rapid Response Text/Phone Banking SignUp

Join JLA COVID-19 Action TODAY! Sign up for text/phone banks. 

People’s Budget LA

CALL A SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING: Mayor Garcetti’s budget will go into effect by default if City Council does not vote on an amendment by June 1. City Council President Nury Martinez is refusing to bring the budget to a vote. The Community must have a chance to make their case to redistribute the LA budget to prioritize #CareNotCops — we want services that help and strengthen our communities especially during a pandemic, not more police to tear them apart.

JUSTICELA

The JusticeLA Coalition (JLA) was born in the Fall of 2017 from the community based advocacy of countless families separated by the largest jail system in the world. In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, we work to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. Since our launch, we have successfully stopped LA County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan and lead the development of LA County’s Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup report. Please consider making a donation.

National Support

PETITION: Justice for George Floyd

Demand immediate arrest of the remaining 3 officers involved in George Floyd’s murder.

Demand appointment of an independent special prosecutor to lead the federal government’s full and impartial investigation of the murder of George Floyd.

Demand reinstitution by the Department of Justice of consent decrees on police departments and municipal governments across this country that have demonstrated patterns of racism towards and mistreatment of people of color.

Demand sweeping police reform–federal legislation mandating a zero-tolerance approach in penalizing and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals in an arrest.

The Movement for Black Lives

The Movement for Black Lives Fund supports Black-led rapid response efforts and long-term strategy, policy and infrastructure investments in the movement ecosystem.

Your dollars will be put to work where they are needed most.

The Movement for Black Lives is made up of hundreds of organizations that coordinate actions, messages and campaigns. Organizations like: Black Alliance for Justice Immigration, Blackbird, Black Lives Matter Network, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, Blackout Collective, Black Youth Project 100, Color of Change, Dignity and Power Now, Freedom Inc, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Organization for Black Struggle, Project South, Southerners on New Ground, UndocuBlack Network, Law4Black Lives, Black Movement Law Project, Community Justice Project and many others. Please consider making a donation.

Reclaim the Block

By donating, you will support Reclaim the Block’s work to make sure that our communities have the resources they need to thrive. Our grassroots group is up against the deep pockets of the Minneapolis police union, and we need your support. Please consider making a donation.

Black & Pink

Black & Pink is a national prison abolitionist organization dedicated to dismantling the criminal punishment system and the harms caused to LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by the system through advocacy, support, and organizing. Please consider making a donation.

The Marshall Project

The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. We achieve this through award-winning journalism, partnerships with other news outlets and public forums. In all of our work we strive to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about the state of criminal justice. Please consider making a donation.

In Memory of Tony Mcdade

On May 27th, 2020, Tony McDade, a black LGBTQ person, was shot and killed by a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officer. 

Many details surrounding this incident are unclear, but we are asking the community for support during this difficult time. 100% of funds collected here will go to Tony’s family.

This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling,  and to assist Tony’s family in the days to come as they continue to seek justice for Tony. 

All funds collected on this website will be withdrawn to a designated family member (Tony’s mother). Please consider making a donation.

Justice for Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community. She worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic.

One month ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her. Please consider making a donation.

I Run With Maud

This fundraiser was designed to assist Ahmaud’s mother; Ms. Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extreme difficult time and in their struggle for justice for the murder of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery.  Ahmaud was my best friend so I want to do everything possible to bring honor to his name and make sure justice is served. ALL donations are going towards the fight for making sure justice is served and to ensure that Ahmaud’s mother has the resources they will need.  Having to grieve and deal with getting justice, are already two major burdens.  The goal is to help lighten the load by eliminating the financial burden as much as possible. Please continue to share Ahmaud’s story until justice is served for those responsible for his death. Any donations will be MORE than appreciated by Ahmaud’s family. Please consider making a donation.

 

Natl Resource List #GeorgeFloyd+

This Google document contains many of the community bail funds, memorial funds, political education resources, the names of organizations to put on your radar, and general advice/tips for people attending protests or using social media as an organizing tool.

National Police Accountability Project

National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) is a 501(c)(3) organization and a project of the National Lawyers Guild, which was founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated national bar association. In 1999, NPAP was created as a non-profit to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement and detention facility personnel. The central mission of NPAP is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Please consider making a donation.

Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign that is working to end discriminatory policing in New York. We are advancing policies that protect the safety and rights of all New Yorkers to create true community safety. We are in the courts fighting to hold police accountable for violating New Yorkers’ constitutional rights. We are training communities to know their rights and to observe and document police abuse. We engage in strategic direct action, organizing and civic engagement to build the power of communities most impacted by abusive policing. And we are in Albany and at City Hall demanding law and policy changes that advance police accountability to improve safety for communities. Please consider making a donation.

Homeless Black Trans Women Fund

This is fund for the community of Black Trans women that live in Atlanta and are sex workers and/or homeless. So far, we have been able to get 5 girls cell phones, gotten them hotel rooms during vulnerable times, and got 2 housing in a rooming house. This fund also covers food and necessities. Atlanta has almost no resources for Transgender women, so I took matters into my own hands. Please consider making a donation.

Mutual Aid Fund for Sex Workers of Color

Although income for millions of Americans disappeared over night, bills for rent, electricity, gas, all insurance, phone, childcare expenses, family members,  are still expected to continually be paid. Sex workers are not an exception to this rule. With most businesses closed and sex workers not being eligible for any kind of unemployment or federal relief, a lot of sex workers have a tough decision to make. Continue to work and risk contracting COVID-19 or stop working and face possible homelessness when eviction proceedings begin again while not being able to afford food or any other necessities. What Sex Workers are now facing is literally a life or death situation without any relief in sight. Please consider making a donation.

Healing Minneapolis: Fundraising

A spreadsheet with businesses local to Minneapolis and St. Paul that require repair. Links to funds for mostly small businesses. Please consider making a donation to any of these businesses.

PETITION: RAISE THE DEGREE

Derek M Chauvin is a Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd on Memorial day. May 25, 2020. The chokehold he used isn’t even LEGAL in MMA, because it can kill someone in MINUTES. He has done this so many times against Latinos, Native Americans, and Black people. In 2008 he shot an unarmed Black man, he was one of the officers that helped MURDER Wayne Reyes, a Latino man, with SIXTEEN bullets.

He is guilty. What he did was premeditated/planned because it’s well known that the chokehold is deadly. Raise the degree. This is first degree murder. People of color will not be silenced by this system any longer.

PETITION: The Minneapolis Police Officers to be charged for murder after killing innocent black man

Monday May 25. 2020 Minneapolis PD murdered an African American man who was unarmed and not dangerous. This whole incident makes me sick. The power that comes with the PD is old news. It’s 2020 and we still have racist police officers murdering innocent civilians. This is bull sh*t. I don’t care if the officer were to be red, blue, yellow, black, or purple. The man murdered another human being for no reason. He was getting some sick satisfaction of crushing this man’s neck. He sat there crushing his neck cutting off his air passages. The man started bleeding from his nose before going unconscious. The Police Department remained completely unphased by it. One officer checked his pulse after the man went unconscious. At this point the man was gone. He was murdered for what reason? This was no medical condition. And even If the man had any medical condition whatsoever he would still be alive today had this officer not spent over 15 minutes crushing his throat. The man was NOT fighting back at this point. Everything was under control. Yet the officer continued using excessive force. 

PETITION: Pass Georgia Hate Crime Bill

Over the past three years, the Georgia State Legislature has failed to pass a hate crime bill. Georgia is one of four states without a hate crime law. House Bill 426 relating to Hate Crimes has passed the Georgia House and is stalled in the State Senate. Specifically, if passed, the bill will enact “the Georgia Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes Act.”  

PETITION: Julius Jones is innocent. Don’t let him be executed by the state of Oklahoma.

When Julius Jones was 19-years-old, he was convicted of a murder he says he did not commit. I need your help to save his life. Julius has lived on death row for almost 20 years, and is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. He is allowed one hour of sunlight a day, and three showers a week. Every minute we wait to take action, Julius is suffering. Every second that goes by brings Julius closer to being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. 

PETITION: Willie Simmons has served 38 years for a $9 robbery

In 1982, Army veteran Willie Simmons, was prosecuted under Alabama’s habitual offender law. Mr. Simmons he had three prior convictions, one of which was for grand larceny. He told reporter Beth Shellbure the other two were for receiving stolen property.  At the time Mr. Simmons had become addicted to drugs while stationed overseas  He was convicted of 1st-degree robbery and sentenced to life without parole for stealing $9. Simmons has spent the last 38 years in prison. This is clearly a case of cruel and unjust punishment. Over the years Mr. Simmons has filed several appeals without any legal assistance. All of his appeals were denied, and based on a 2014 change in Alabama laws, it appears that he has no appeal options left.In the interest of justice Governor Kay Ivey should commute Mr. Simmons sentence. 

PETITION: Hands Up Act

We need legislation now that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. If there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot (therefore, unarmed) by a police officer, then I propose that the officer should receive a mandatory 15-year prison sentence.

PETITION: Justice For Tamir Rice

More than a year after police shot and killed my 12-year-old cousin Tamir Rice as he played in a park with a toy gun, a grand jury declined to charge the officers who opened fire on Tamir in less than 2 seconds of arriving to the scene.

Take Action to End White Silence

In this moment, we need as many people in action as possible.  This is not just about George Floyd; it’s about Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the centuries of violence against Black people and communities of color by the police.  It is about what happened in Central Park and a throughline to Trump and white supremacy.  This is an opportunity for us to change the conversation.  We are asking for something simple that everyone can do, show up at your police headquarters or city hall with a sign that says #endwhitesilence.  One person can do this or hundreds can.

Unicorn Riot

Over the past five years, Unicorn Riot has built a worker-managed non-profit media organization. We have worked tirelessly to build a platform that focuses on primary source reporting and on-the-ground coverage. Our reporters go where the story is unfolding to bring you the voices of real people alongside crucial context and facts. Please consider making a donation.

Bailout Funds for Protesters

National Bailout 

We are reuniting families, creating a national community of leaders who have experienced incarceration, and working with groups across the country to transform harmful systems to keep our people safe and free. Please consider making a donation.

The Bail Project, Inc.

The Bail Project™ National Revolving Bail Fund is on a mission to combat mass incarceration and reshape the pretrial system in the United States. 100% of online donations are used to bring people home. Since bail money comes back to us when cases close, we’re able to recycle every dollar donated at least twice per year. Please consider making a donation.

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund secures the freedom of New Yorkers who would otherwise be detained pretrial due to their poverty alone. We are committed to challenging the criminalization of race, poverty and immigration status, the practice of putting a price on fundamental rights, and the persistent myth that bail is a necessary element of the justice system.

Leveraging our groundbreaking work as a charitable bail fund, BCBF joined with other community-based organizations, immigration advocates and legal services providers to form the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund program (NYIFF). Operated by BCBF, the NYIFF program secures the freedom of New Yorkers held in ICE detention who cannot afford to pay bond. Please consider making a donation.

Florida Bail Fund

The Florida Bail Fund @ the Florida Justice Center is a new effort supporting protesters on the front lines of the fight against racism, homophobia, sexism, mass incarceration, police brutality, and the criminalization of poverty. We pay bail for those who cannot afford it and who are striving to make society a better, more just, and equitable place for all people. Please consider making a donation.

New Orleans Safety and Freedom Fund

Together, we will make New Orleans a safer, more equitable place to live, by redesigning the role money plays in the criminal justice system. Safety and Freedom Fund supporters make both social and economic impact. In addition to helping a fellow New Orleanian maintain their dignity and liberty as they fight their case, research shows that posting bail on someone’s behalf recovers an average of $2,000 in economic opportunity otherwise lost while sitting in jail unable to work. Please consider making a donation.

Memphis Community Bail Fund 

Currently, bail fund candidates are referred exclusively by the Office of the Shelby County Public Defender. The Memphis Community Bail Fund is a revolving fund supported by donations from the community. It helps people avoid the potentially devastating consequences of extended pretrial detention. As long as a bail fund client returns to court as directed, the cash bail is returned to the fund and used to support future clients. Once it’s capitalized, a bail fund can be sustained with minimal additional donations. Please consider making a donation.

Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) 

The Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County, Illinois. Through a revolving fund, CCBF supports individuals whose communities cannot afford to pay the bonds themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence. Inability to pay bond results in higher rates of conviction, longer sentences, loss of housing and jobs, separation of families, and lost custody of children. By paying bond, CCBF restores the presumption of innocence before trial and enables recipients to remain free while fighting their cases. CCBF also engages in public education about the role of bond in the criminal legal system and advocates for the abolition of money bond. CCBF is committed to long-term relationship building and organizing with people most directly impacted by criminalization and policing. Please consider making a donation.

PDX Protest Bail Fund

The General Defense Committe Local 1 in Portland, Oregon, has established a fundraiser to cover bail and other legal expenses for protesters arrested in Portland, Oregon in connection to protests against George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police, along with general police brutality. At last count, more than 14 protestors were arrested. We expect that number to rise — processing appears to be unusually slow at the Multnomah County Justice Center. Please consider making a donation.

Philly Bailout

The mission of the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is to end cash bail in our city. Until that day, we post bail for our neighbors who cannot afford to pay. Please consider making a donation.

Columbus Freedom Fund

The Columbus Freedom Fund is a community bail fund centered on Black liberation and freedom started in 2019. Our fiscal sponsor is Women Have Option – Ohio, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible. Please consider making a donation.

Colorado Freedom Fund

Founded in 2018, Colorado Freedom Fund (CFF) is a revolving fund that pays ransom (posts money bond, pays cash bail) for people unable to afford the cost of buying their own freedom. #FreeThemAll #BringOurNeighborsHome. Please consider making a donation.

Minnesota Freedom Fund

With solemn gratitude, we have been flooded with tens of thousands donations large and small, totalling around $20 million dollars. We did not ask for or anticipate this massive outpouring of support. We simply said yes to the call to support and bail out people jailed for protesting for justice for George Floyd. We will walk with transparency and accountability to use those funds to first and foremost pay bail for those who have shown up in love and grief and rage to demand justice for the murder of George Floyd, and then to post bail in our community for those who are held pretrial simply because they cannot pay and to post bonds to free people from ICE detention. We are dedicated to staying true to our central mission and the intent of these donations–which is freedom. Please consider making a donation.

Bail Funds/Legal Help by City

Bail fund and legal defense information for cities throughout the U.S. This document is being collaborated on by a team of volunteers and is being updated daily/nightly. Please consider making a donation.

Mental Health Resources

Therapy Resources for People of Color

Hello! Thanks for opening this document. My name is Gladys, I’m a 26 year old queer undocumented Kenyan woman living in Massachusetts. After a distasteful and violent experience with a white therapist gaslighting my reaction to the lynching of Aumand Arbery, and the subsequent dismissal and lack of accountability from her supervisor, I felt compelled to compile this list of therapists who specialize in supporting BIPOC and queer folks. 

African American Focus Mental Health Organizations

Black Girls Smile Inc. was founded in 2012 by Lauren Carson based on the gaps she found throughout her mental health journey as a young African American female with clinical depression. Lauren envisioned a society that through the normalization and dialogue surrounding mental wellness, all individuals, including young African American females would be provided the education, support and resources necessary to lead a positively mentally healthy life.

Black Virtual Therapist Directory

BEAM is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Our mission is to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. We do this through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts. 

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation’s vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community. Our mission is to provide support and bring awareness to mental health issues that plague our community. We partner with other nonprofit organizations who offer programs that educate, celebrate, and make visible the positive impact of mental health wellness.

Therapy for Black Girls 

Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.

Loveland Therapy Fund

Loveland Therapy Fund recipients will have access to a comprehensive list of mental health professionals across the country providing high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls. With therapy sessions costing an average of $80 – $200 per session, we have selected the following options to increase the likelihood that participants are able to financially afford therapy after the end of the 4 – 8 sessions supported by The Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund. Black women and girls deserve access to healing, and that healing will impact generations.

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office mental health care—at a steeply reduced rate—to individuals, couples, children, and families in need.

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a healing justice organization committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC).

Open Counseling

Before you can choose a therapist, you have to decide how you’re going to pay for it. We guide you through the pros and cons of using insurance, self-pay, state-funded and non-profit providers.

Education

Black Lives Matter LA

Black Lives Matter emerged from the hearts and minds of our three co-founders: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. It came to life right here in Los Angeles, where the first chapter was birthed. Our herstory is an important telling of the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles specifically, as a reclamation of and recommitment to Black radical organizing and Black freedom struggle.

How You Can Help (MPLS, June 2020)

There are already plenty of thinkpieces and google docs floating around sharing action steps, places to donate, and ways to support the community both in Minneapolis and every city having an uprising right now after the murder of George Floyd. This is going to be a little different.

Digital Resources for a Movement Against Police Violence

As an organization, Rhizome supports an uncompromising movement for black lives and against police violence. 

In times of public protest, digital tools and practices can play an instrumental role: as witness to abuse of power, as a tool for organizing street demonstration, as advocacy and fundraising platform, and as repository for the community memory that allows movements to grow and evolve over years. At the same time, these technologies and practices can cause harm and facilitate surveillance and oppression. 

White People 4 Black Lives

White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL) is a white anti-racist collective and activist project. We operate within a national network of white anti-racists called Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Our work is rooted in showing up for racial justice and acting in alliance with Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles, the Movement 4 Black Lives, and other partners. 

Resistance Resource Hub

Welcome to the Resistance Resource Hub – please note this is a living document that organizers from across the country are editing daily.

DSA-LA Guidelines for Safe Protesting

We know that many of our members, comrades, and allies feel compelled to join the rebellions and protests springing up across the country right now, in response to the ongoing police violence and murders against black and brown people. DSA-LA has compiled a list of short tips for comrades to protest as safely as possible.

Street Watch New Member Trainings

We know from the horrifying footage of police violence we’ve witnessed just in the last week, the powerful impact simply WATCHING the police can have — holding police accountable for their brutality, spreading mass awareness, and inspiring massive rebellions like we are seeing today. In our Street Watch organizing, we see how our presence with a camera can provide real harm-reduction to our unhoused neighbors experiencing police harassment (who are also disproportionately black), as it forces law enforcement to adjust their practices and behavior. Documentation of unconstitutional practices has been used in litigation against the city, leading to major changes in policy, protocols, and practice, in addition to building broader public awareness, empathy and support for systemic changes.

Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List

Check out this reading list from Black Women Radicals and the Asian American Feminist Collective’s Instagram Live event, “Sisters and Siblings in the Struggle: COVID-19 + Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities.” 

“Algorithms Of Oppression” Book Club And Study Group

Our collaboration with long-standing community members, Feminist A.I., engages the internet as theme and platform, and we look forward to launching our unit of study, based on the book, Algorithms of Oppression by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble near the end of the month. In keeping with the spirit of this book’s point of departure , we’re also excited to be in alliance with The Free Black Women’s Library – LA, as the two co-hosts offer a book club/study group that will make sense of this text and what it means for online livelihood, for artists, creatives, and casual users, alike!

Resources & Tools Regarding Racism & Anti/Blackness 

Education on how to be a better ally. A spreadsheet compiled with links to resources pertaining to whiteness, police brutality, liberation, racism, and Blackness in the U.S. 

Anti-racism resources for white people

This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Anti-Racism for Beginners + White People

Diving into the world of anti-racism for the first time can be confronting. It may feel challenging to understand your place and where to begin with educating yourself. Luckily, there are endless resources online to help you learn about anti-racism work, dismantle the unconscious biases that exist within yourself, and take action to create a more just society.

The Future Left 

We started as a group that wanted to start to think about politics and activism on a global scale, integrating new levels of complexity and knowledge exploration. We started as a reading group. We then started expanding out hosting protests, municipal city politics educational forums for voters, we made a voters guide, we wrote a zine for activists. Our events and/or organisation have been covered by NPR, VIce, The Washington Post, and others. We hope you will join us to improve and build upon our community.

CASSANDRA Press

CASSANDRA is an artist run publishing and educational platform. We produce lo-fi printed matter, classrooms, projects, artist books, and exhibitions. Our intention is to spread ideas, distribute new language, propagate dialogue centering ethics, aesthetics, femme driven activism, and black scholarship because y’all ain’t listening.