PJ aka the Repeat Beat Poet, is a hip hop and spoken word artist, and an activist. He spoke to Janine Booth, a trade unionist, Workers' Liberty activist, and poet about George Floyd Protest, police, fighting racism, and more.
1. What are your views on the recent events in the USA? The killings of George Floyd and Tony McDade, the protests, the police clampdown?
2. What are your views on the protests?
3. How do you respond to people who say they support peaceful protests but condemn ‘rioting’?
4. How similar or different do you think policing of BAME communities is between the USA and the UK? Why?
5. What specific demands do you think will be effective against police brutality? People have been variously calling for: defund the police; disarm the police; scrap the police; make the police accountable to elected scrutiny committees; sack all cops and make them reapply for their jobs; reorient the police towards helping vulnerable people and away from social control? Do you agree with these? Which do you prefer? Are there others that you would advocate?
6. As a spoken word artist, how have you used this medium to fight racism? What are its strengths and its limits in the anti-racist struggle?
7. Which other BAME spoken word artists (or writers or musicians) would you recommend people listen to/read?
8. To what extent do you think police brutality is an issue of class?
9. How well do you think the left and the labour movement involve BAME people and fight against racism? What more could it do?
10. How important is it for us to debate and educate ourselves about these issues? Are there any subjects or resources that you would recommend?
Poets, musicians, artists mentioned:
- Solomon O.B.
- Aliyha Hasinah
- Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
- George the Poet
- Kojey Radical
- Liv Winter
- Boots Riley
- Nina Simone
- bell hooks
- Angela Davis
- The End of Policing by Alex Vitale (https://www.versobooks.com/books/2426... free ebook)
- Staying Power by Peter Fryer
- The State of Africa by Martin Meredith
- Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century by Kehinde Andrews