Earlier this week Boots from The Coup found himself in the news. He and about two dozen members of his political organization The Young Comrades were accussed of disrupting Oakland's Tuesday [7/11] night city council meeting. Over the past few weeks Boots and the YC have been organizing rallies and gatherings around Oakland's Lake Merritt where thousands of young people congregate on Sunday afternoons. Their main issue of concern has been police harrassment and selective enforcement of the city's two year old anti-cruising law...

Boots in a recent interview had noted that tension around Lake Merritt between the large numbers of African American youth and OPD has increased. In an attempt to bring this issue to the forefront, the YC organized a Take Back The Lake Rally where individuals were encouraged to show up en mass to Lake Merritt and enjoy the free barbeque chicken that Boots and company would be providing. In the week leading up to the rally, YC members noted that their hotline number was besieged with menacing and threatening phone calls from individuals who they accussed of being within Oakland PD.

The next step for YC was to mobilize the youth and get them to show up at Oakland's city council. What happened that night is not entirely clear...The local news reports depicted an exasperated Mayor Elihu Harris losing patience with Boots and other YC members who had refused to get off the mic and had been shouting down the mayor and other council members.

YC members asserted that they had an emergency item that needed to be immediately addressed...Mayor Harris noted in a recent interview that there are certain procedural laws that he and other council members are bound by...hence the YC's issues weren't deemed an emergency...however, the YC were given a half hour to speak and later promised a private meeting with the Mayor... unfortunately the council meeting continued moving to a point of disruption..

When I spoke to the Mayor this past Friday, he noted Boots and YC had not shown up for their scheduled meeting... I have not been able to reach Boots all week for his comments or assessment of the situation... One thing is for certain, political activism is serious biz for Boots...I'm certain there will be a few more chapters added to this scenario. We'll keep you posted..

July 24 1996.... Boots from The Coup along with his group The Young Comrades were at it again.. They had passed out flyers all over the town encouraging people to come back to Oakland's City Hall to 'whooride the city council. A good number of people came down to the Tuesday night meeting emphatically demanding the council to rescind their anti-cruising laws.. Again things got very heated... Boots got loose and read a poem about police harrassment during his time at the stand...Also testifying was rap artists Dream Nefra.. When I spoke to Boots he noted that he and The Young Comrades are very committed to bringing about meaniful change for young brothers and sisters.. We'll keep you posted as things develop..

written by Davey D
July 24 1996