“Conspiracy to Riot”
tells the story of Francis’ friend Jared Paul, arrested at RNC.
By Blurt Staff
Like many other Americans, Sage Francis was outraged by the
arrest of journalists and protestors at the Republican National Convention in
St. Paul, MN earlier this month. He’s dealing with it by releasing the track
“Conspiracy to Riot,” available free at www.conspiracytoriot.com.
The song tells the story of Francis’s friend Jared Paul, one
of the journalists–including Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman–who were arrested during the convention for no clear (read:
real) reason except that they voiced dissent. The press release from Francis’s
Many Americans watched
as scores of those who were providing coverage of the RNC were arrested and
jailed, notably the arrest of “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman and two of her
colleagues, which was captured on video and became the YouTube sound byte of
the convention for people who weren’t just watching the network’s
coverage. The aggression of the police
became personal for Francis when they arrested his friend, journalist Jared
Francis writes “out of
the thousand unjust arrests that will happen this year, why am I focusing on
this one in particular? Jared Paul is a fellow Providence poet and musician.
We’ve lived together, toured together, protested together, argued with one
another from time to time, and shared many incredible moments over the past 15
years. He is a social worker, a community organizer, a selfless human being and
a champion of justice. He’d do the same for me in return. He’d probably do the
same for you.”
The song is intended to raise awareness of the fascism that
informed these arrests, as well as cash to cover Jared Paul’s legal defense
expenses. Visitors to the website can read Paul’s complete story, and make
donations. One reason donations are necessary is that the sheer volume of RNC
arrests is too much even for the American Civil Liberties Union to cover. Support
from friends—including Slug from Atmosphere, who posted Paul’s bail—has been
steady, but not quite enough.
But it’s not all about one man. “This has less to do with a
friend of mine possibly looking at jail time, and more to do with citizen’s
rights continually being trampled on,” says Francis. “There are thousands of
innocent people in jail right now because of their lack of finances. This is a
principle thing as much as it is personal.”
Preach it, brutha Sage.
Check out videos of Jared Paul performing “Get Dead” and the arrest of Amy Goodman:
JARED PAUL PERFORMING “GET DEAD”:
AMY GOODMAN’S ARREST VIDEO: