Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Local Activist's Quest For Justice Leads to Jail Time

TRENTON-- Local political activist and blogger, Daryl Brooks, was jailed Thursday for not complying with his parole counselor's request that he admit to a crime he insists he did not commit according to close friends of the beleaguered activist.

Brooks, a former senate candidate, was convicted in 1998 on counts of lewdness, endangerment of a child, and sexual assault, a crime for which he has maintained his innocence.  After serving his time, the political firebrand has confronted issues plaguing urban and suburban neighborhoods alike: drugs, guns, gang violence, inadequate educational system, prison system, police corruption and poverty.

Brooks' most recent bout with the criminal justice system comes at a time when he had initiated a hunger strike protesting what he thought to be unjust treatment by the Mercer County Parole Board.

In a recent Occupy the Hood blog, Brooks said that his hunger strike was brought about by the parole board's decision to revoke his Internet privileges. According to Brooks, the parole board denied him the ability to appeal or challenge their decision. He reports that they will not let him or his attorney see or have a copy of the lie detector results. The activist views the parole board's actions as somewhat like what would happen in communist countries like China or North Korea, not in America.

Now as Brooks sits in jail, his friends and supporters demand an immediate investigation of the matter.

According to the embattled activist's mother Jane, his bail has been set at $1,000. She has already put together $500 of that amount.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cafe International Goes Out With A Bang-- GPS Style

TRENTON-- Add a little James Brown, sprinkle a dash of Sam Cooke, and incorporate some spoken word and Southern cooking and you have Cafe International's last GPS event. Last Friday, the city's well-known local cafe was host to Ghandi's Poetry Spot for the last time since the Cafe has decided to close its doors.

During the event, Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- stopped by to check out the festivities. Regular GPS performers like Fat Boy said that Ghandi was 'magnificent' and that GPS kept him off the street. Cafe International's part owner, Chazz said that 'he loved Trenton' and that the GPS would not stop despite this being the Cafe's last show.

In an interview, Brian Williams, said that Ghandi is an energetic dude, he has the gift to gab.

Guitarist Gary Amir DeGree said that he had a ball at the show after performing a rendition of Prince's classic tune When Doves Cry.

GPS regular Joel A. Smith said, "I remember meeting Ghandi a few years back and recognizing that he was going to do something very special and positive in the City of Trenton, and I think it goes without saying that he has done exactly that. Every poet, musician, artist and fan owes he and The Cafe International family a tremendous "Thank You" for their vision and dedication to making it a reality. Salute to Ghandi"

Charmaigne Full Figga Davis said that Ghandi is like a brother to her and that the GPS is an eclectic array of people that all come together. You hear all different types of music and culture from individuals from Trenton.

Please see video footage of the event below along with interviews before the show: