Monday, January 31, 2011



There will be a meeting this Tuesday at 5:30 at the MidSouth Peace and Justice Center to discuss a response regarding the recent FBI presence at the MidSouth Peace and Justice Center and the unwarrented MPD searches of the homes of several activists.

I think that it is incredibly important for Radical Arts Memphis to be a part of this response, and all of us should be brainstorming creative, clever, and insightful ways to address these recent situations. Here's a link to a blog post about the incident, and if you didn't read Cole's letter in the post below, I encourage you to.

See you at the meeting!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Regarding the police intimidation of Memphis activisits on 1/25...

Taken from an internet post written on 1/26/2011 by Cole:

 Yesterday the Memphis police, accompanied by six heavily-armed SWAT units, surrounded First Congo Church. Inside, a small group of folks were meeting for the first anniversary of FBI raids against the homes and offices of anti-war activists in Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois. Meanwhile, Memphis police entered an activist’s home and the DeCleyre Cooperative with guns drawn and arrest warrants for two people who had failed to appear in traffic court. I’ve cooperated with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center on and off since the beginning of the Iraq War. It is an organization dedicated to providing a voice for people and causes that otherwise wouldn’t have one. Its offices are in a church whose mission is directed towards equality, environmental awareness, helping the poor and homeless, and promoting non-violence.
     A gun does not need to be fired for it to be violent. The presence of weapons and the looming threat of violence can be more effective than the actual use of force. Of course the heavily armed police units that surrounded the Peace and Justice Center did not have the intention of storming the building. Instead, they were there to intimidate, not only the folks who attended the meeting, but anyone else that has  an opinion contrary to the Democrat-Republican regime’s line.
     The Obama administration picked up the torch left by the Bush administration and has done little to reverse its policies – including the perpetuation of unconstitutional arrests, detentions, and surveillance. The  Constitution has a long way to go before it even nominally protects and empowers the people it needs to, but those Constitutional rights that have historically been protected, at least since the 1960’s, are quickly evaporating.
     The victims of last night’s attack are all close friends of mine. A house I used to live in was invaded as was a comrade’s home. A friend who, like thousands of other Memphians, had failed to appear in traffic court was used as an excuse for police to wave their little pistols around a community house. Whether or not the police had the legal authority to perpetrate any of yesterday’s events, I do not like seeing friends, or anyone for that matter, bullied or threatened.
     For all of us, what happened yesterday is terrifying. For some folks, fear and feelings of isolation will be tough to shake, but for others, yesterday produced an opposite effect of law enforcement’s intent. It brought people together with an awakened fervor and more concrete resolution which will undoubtedly continue. We should be energized knowing that the small number of folks here who have had the courage to speak out against oppression and violence have become important  enough to compel law enforcement to attempt such an embarrassing and impotent spectacle. If yesterday was intended to silence opposition and remind us to stay within the boundaries of the two-party regime’s line, it has certainly backfired.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


/////////////////////////////CALL FOR ENTRIES

“Art in Response” is an exhibition at Caritas Village organized by an alliance of artists dedicated to achieving a communal voice through art. We seek solidarity between the artistic and political communities of Memphis in an effort to combat inequality and exploitation in our city. We wish to create a forum which questions the prevailing structures of power and pursues... a radical re-imagination of our society.

“Art in Response” will feature works from the Memphis community. The works should critically question the systemic divisions (race, gender, class, etc) within our city. Works should explore the ways in which these forms of separation affect us as both individuals and as a community.

all mediums are welcome-visual art, video, sound, poetry, music, etc.
all entries should be emailed to by JANUARY 28th. Please include your contact information (name, email address, phone number) in the email submission.

Please send JPGs of your work and a title sheet listing the dimensions, medium and titles of the pieces.

Please send mp3, .mov, or .doc files of your work and a title sheet listing the length and title of the piece.
If you are unable to email your submissions, please contact Bennett Foster at (901)-210-3768 to set up a time to have your work photographed/reviewed for submission.

*It is free to submit work to this show, however, please consider making a donation to Caritas Village.


JANUARY 25th- deadline to submit work
FEBUARY 2nd- accepted work must be delivered to Caritas Village
FEBUARY 4th - “Art in Response” opening night at Caritas Village
FEBUARY 5th- artists pick up work from Caritas Village