Some of you might have heard, but half of Set it Straight was arrested today for protesting the Redding Police Department shutting down the show in the middle of our set. We were playing a Skate demo at the Redding Skatepark when 6 cop cars showed up and demanded everyone to vacate, including the kids skating, who had nothing to do with anything (they shut down the park, as well). This was a sponsored event, with permits. The Redding Parks and Recreation committee came out and unlocked the power box, and set up trash cans around the area we were playing. The show was 100% legit, so we didn't stop playing, finished our set, and took our sweet time breaking down, but when they surrounded our friend who was riding the park and hit his bike with their batons, things got lame. He was arrested, no explaination. Harry, Ben, John and Tim were sitting down in the skatepark when RPD told them to leave, they asked why, and immediately they cuffed Ben. Harry told them he wasn't going to move so they choked him to the pavement and cuffed him too, along with Timmy and John. Later they also arrested Brittny and Sara for standing too close, bringing the total to seven. Harry's dad got most of it on the video mode of his digital camera, which is below. My favorite part is where one of the officers jokes that Harry's taxes pay his salary. What a dick. After the arrests, and multiple threats from the RPD cops, Harry's Dad, myself, and a few others went to Redding's Channel 7 news. A small story aired tonight highlighting each side of the story, but the overwhelming theme was the Sargeant's quote:
"The didn't have a permit. Bands of this nature lead to beatings and stabbings."
At the station, one of the cops said to Harry; "You're that band that played last week where someone got stabbed." He told them that definitely wasn't us, and the cop replied "Yes, it was". Awesome. When one of the sponsors, the owner of Johnny Rad's skateshop, showed up at the news station to contribute to the story, an officer told him if he didn't leave he would be arrested for tresspassing. Luckily, we were already inside with the reporter. Anyway, there should be a longer story on the news Monday, once we have the permits in line we can hopefully have all the charges dropped and then some, and the story on the monday evening news will show way more of our side (and if we're lucky, show the cops for the bullying jocks they are). All seven are being charged with loitering and unlawful assembly, and Harry and Ben are being charged with Resisting Arrest.
If you live in redding or chico, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them they need to bump this story up. We can't let them just get away with roughing us up and kicking us out, especially since it was all legal. Send a letter to the editor of the Record Searchlight at email@example.com, we need to flood these inboxes. This is a small town and we need to do everything we can to keep the cops out of our scene, and if we can use the media to achieve that, good.
Needless to say, we won't be playing the Good Clean Fun show tomorrow... sorry everyone.