Yesterday, the ACLU, NAACP, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP) and Amnesty International held a campaign rally for Reggie Clemons in support of a hearing to review his case scheduled for Monday September 17, 2012. Reggie currently sits on death row for the 1991 murders of sisters Julie and Robin Kerry. For twenty one years he has maintained his innocence.
Much more than a rally the event was an actual concert; live in Kiener Plaza, with a powerhouse roster of Hip Hop, reggae, jazz and spoken word St. Louis and East St. Louis talent. Among those who performed were Tef Poe, Nato Caliph, Aurelius the Saint, Mario Pascal, Red Zero, Scripts N Screwz, Cheeraz Gorman and Lamar Harris. These internationally known and underground renowned mc’s and musicians did not disappoint.
First to the stage was reggae rootz fusion artist Mario Pascal. He kicked of the show with an acoustic version of the smooth and upbeat melodic tune “Brighter Days”. Red Zero. A hip hop band built on a foundation of dub reggae followed Mario with their eclectic, dance-forcing single “Put Em Up”. These guys were actually my favorite band of the show and I plan to follow their music in the future. YOU may want to too! Nato Caliph took the the stage third in his kelly green Justice For Reggie t shirt. He performed a few records from his latest mixtape Knowledge Cipher. More hip hop acts followed including Tef Poe’s performance of “What Do You Believe In” from “The War Machine II”, and Scrips N Screws performance of “Mirror”, from the mixtape “Director’s Cut”. Download this song @ scripsnscrew.com. It’s worth it. International touring spoken word artist and published poet cheeraz Gorman gave a passionate performance of her poem “I Love You”. choreographed, fluctuant and powerful words allowed Cheeraz to paint a Mural for the audience of Love, from woman to man, as described in the masterfully written piece. Lamar Harris, or “DJ Noon”; as he’s known on the ones and twos, kept things going in between sets with record spins.
Kim Manning-Cooper spoke on behalf of Amnesty International UK. Brenda Jones of the ACLU said a few words as did Adolphus Pruitt of the NAACP. Other speakers included Redditt Hudson, Ernest Coverson of Amnesty International and Margaret Phillips of MADP.
The turnout was nice, peaking midway through the show at around 200 people. Reggie brought out a diverse mix of progressive persons of all ages and backgrounds. It was beautiful to see such unity amongst such a diverse group of people; young, old, white, black, yellow and red. The skies were grey, but no rain sought to impede the program, instead, a cool chill lingered about. The Production of the concert was not superior but the sounds were clear, the music was good, and the large lively audience proved it to be a success. I, myself, had a great time.
If you haven’t signed the petition or want to know more about Reggie’s case please visit justiceforreggie.com. If you live in the St. louis Area and want to support Reggie physically, his hearing open and is tomorrow, Monday September 17, 2012 at 9:00 am at the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse on 111 South Tenth St.
links to some of the featured artists are listed at the bottom of this post, as well as a link to the informative Chris King article “Reggie Clemons hearing is Monday”.
I personally recommend checking out Red Zero and Scipts N Screws.