Glad to see Rebel Diaz and the RDACBX Collective are standing strong and pushing back hard in spite of the set backs imposed on them by the greedy developers in the Bronx, NYC and its gentrification projects and the FEDs.. After the group painted a mural on the walls of their community center, bringing attention to political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, there was a chilling response from those in power.. The building owner refused to sell the space to the group and he refused to take their rent or negotiate for new terms… He also never expressed concern about the mural..but nevertheless the group came to learn it was a trigger..
As they noted in a recent press conference, RDACBX is not limited to a building, it’s the spirit of the community and that community is everywhere and expanding..Their latest project is a song and dope video that pays tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who was a big supported of the South Bronx community center the group and the neighborhood built.
Here’s what they penned about the video..
The direct connection we have with the The Bolivarian Revolution is
that our community space The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective -BX (RDACBX)
was directly funded by Venezuelan owned oil company- Citgo. For 4 1/2
years we received direct assistance from Comandante Hugo Chavez and
the people of Venezuela.
This song is our tribute to him as we consider him to be a champion of poor people around the world. Hugo
Chavez supported Hip Hop in The South Bronx. Hugo Chavez is Hip Hop.
Our community space was violently shut down on Feb. 28th by The NYPD and federal
marshalls. We know what it is. We were a threat because we were
teaching the youth, speaking out against Stop and Frisk, doing
political graffiti, doing open mics, etc.
We are living historic moments of oppression to which we can only respond
with historic moments of resistance!! It is time to Work Like
Peace World….Good Morning and Good Day….
Many of you have asked us how you can help The RDACBX after our collective and space was violently evicted..well we have finally launched our IndieGoGo Campaign in which we are seeking to raise $50,000 to recover from our losses and trying to get into a new space…….check out the campaign here and please donate what you can and please spread the word!!!!!…
Upon hearing about the Feds and NYPD coming down and violently evicting Rebel Diaz and the Artist Collective from an abandoned space in the South Bronx, that they painfully transformed into a first class community center is beyond angering. It’s beyond frustrating..These folks did everything we say we want the ‘youth’ in our community to do.. They did everything we say Hip Hop is supposed to represent.. They didn’t wait around for a savior, Rebel Diaz saved themselves.. They brought the community in who also saved themselves.
The RDACBX is a space in which damn near everyone in that South Bronx neighborhood where it’s located can lay claim that they had hand in helping build it.. I recall Rodstarz explaining how folks who were homeless, but had various trade skillz, were inspired to clean themselves up and proudly put in work. Local youth who were being attracted to the lure of the streets, flipped their lives around and partook in the various workshops and programs put on by Rebel Diaz.. many of those youth eventually became part of the collective and put on workshops themselves..
Instead of waiting around to be invited to yet another showcase or music convention that left them dissatisfied, RDACBX put on their own landmark convention South By South Bronx and invited the pioneers of Hip Hop to speak. The RDACBX is where they had former members of the Young Lords, Black Liberation Army and political prisoners speak to standing room only audiences about Black Brown unity… This space was home to countless book readings, movie screenings and epic showcases.
But as you build community in a city and space where they are trying to keep you marginalized, you can bet that outside forces will try their best to shut it down..You can count on those who find politicized Black and Brown youth doing for self to be something not celebrated but crushed..Now that the South Bronx has been lovingly transformed, developers, the city and others wanna come on in evict, co-opt shut down and take over.. This is a pattern we see happening from Coast to Coast From the Art Murmur in Oakland to whats going in the South Bronx. It’s the same predictable playbook..
However this time is different..a building is not the movement.. A building is not community.. It never was.. It’s the people and the love and respect they have for one another that makes this space so special.. Rebel Diaz will not go out or be shut down.. you best believe that.. We should all be aware of whats going on, support them in the best ways we can.. and continue to build and re-strengthen our respective local communities.
RDACBX Shut Down by Federal Marshals and NYPD. Rally Today 3/1 at 6pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Bronx community center Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDACBX) shut down by Federal marshals and NYPD. Rally to be held denouncing lockout and forced eviction.
March 1, 2013- After a violent daytime raid yesterday, Thursday, February 28, 2013, on the warehouse turned arts space at 478 Austin Place in the Bronx, members of Hip-Hop community center RDACBX are denouncing their forced eviction at a rally to be held at 6pm today in front of their locked out building.
The building landowner, local commercial developer Marc Pogostin of Austin Property Corp., had for months stalled negotiations on a new agreement with the RDACBX after the group’s original lease expired this past November. Despite diverse support for RDACBX from local politicians, churches, and community organizations in the area, Austin Property Corp. eventually refused to renew the lease, citing concerns about the group’s political murals, and prompting the surprise eviction yesterday.
“The violent actions taken yesterday are an attack on young people, artists, and Hip Hop culture,” says RDACBX co-founder RodStarz. “In a time where budget cuts, stop and frisk, and gentrification are affecting our communities, it’s a shame we are being treated like criminals. There is no justification for this eviction.”
Karen Louviere, 19, a past participant in RDACBX youth programs, expressed her disappointment at the violent shutdown of the space. “They came in with armed officers into what is supposed to be a safe space for the community. A space that has served as an alternative for young people in the area, helping develop their talents in a positive way.”
The internationally renowned RDACBX, host to weekly cultural performances and educational workshops, had recently announced plans for the creation of the Richie Perez Radical Library, as well as the continuation of their widely recognized Boogie Mics open mic series, and the SxSBX Hip-Hop Festival.
“Despite the violent removal of RDACBX from its space, RDACBX will continue to work on its development, as it strives to be a resource for the community. There is a need for this organization to exist in The South Bronx,” says Claudia De La Cruz, a member of the collective.
What: Press Conference/ Rally to Defend RDACBX
When: Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: 478 Austin Place, Bronx NY 10455