Repost from theebrandenburgs.blogspot
by Tony Brandenburg
On July 7, 2012, the Adolescents (and others) played a concert at the 2nd Annual Kelly Thomas Memorial. Kelly Thomas was a homeless man that was beaten to death by a group of Fullerton Police officers. The memorial concert event received press all over Los Angeles and Orange Counties, but was completely ignored by my hometown of Sierra Madre. No surprises there, I suppose. Though notified of the event, my hometown Sierra Madre Patch did not say a word, but CNN, NBC, KTLA, KFI, CBS,LA Weekly, OC Weekly, and even the Oath Keepers did.
OC Weekly http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/2012/06/punk_legends_the_adolescents_s.php
Orange Juice Blog
Orange Juice Blog
OC Register http://soundcheck.ocregister.com/2011/09/15/orange-pop-local-bands-to-play-for-kelly-thomas/61096/
photo by Karen Carlson Feazell
Back in April, 2012, we had accepted an invitation by Stephan Baxter, a Fullerton activist and long time friend- to play at the event to honor Kelly, to support his parents Ron Thomas and Cathy Thomas, and to stand in unity with the friends and supporters who demand justice and accountability in the ongoing investigation of the death of Kelly Thomas.
It was difficult for our band to coordinate a performance for a couple of reasons. The first is that we were under a contractual obligation to keep all shows in the area unannounced until after the June Ink-n-Iron Festival. The second, and far more challenging was that our bassist- and my long time friend- Steve Soto was on tour in Europe with CJ Ramone. Due to Steve’s absence it became a challenge for the band to participate. We were all blessed that Warren Renfrow stepped up and volunteered to play bass for the event.
The band played approximately 45 minutes, and it was an honor for us to be able to participate in this event to raise funds, clothing, and awareness for the homeless in Orange County. It was also the first time that I was reunited with friends from my childhood whom I had not seen in close to 35 years.
Having viewed the video footage of the beating of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton Police, I am outraged and infuriated that the situation required such diligence by the family in order to see that justice is served. It is unacceptable.
Many local artist shared their outrage in visuals. I was most stricken with the Christ images- and it is not a far cry when one considers that Christ called out to his father at the crucifixion, and was also murdered by thugs who were suposed to protect the citizens of the republic, and by the numerous pig references, which I will never accept as a metaphor for law enforcement- but I respect free speech whether I agree or not. If one considers the pig metaphor from Lord of the Flies, however, it certainly adds a new dimension.
I have a great deal of respect for Ron Thomas, and, as a father, I cannot even imagine what he lives with every minute of every day. I cried the first time I watched it- over time; I have never been able to watch the entire footage in a single sitting. The confusion Kelly clearly expressed as he tried to comply with the officer’s conflicting directions, and the pleading and calling to his father to help him is unwatchable. I have had nightmares since viewing the video. I wish I could find the words to express to Ron how I feel. I know there are literally thousands of parents who feel the same way.
Information about the Kelly Thomas Memorial Foundation can be found at http://www.ktmf.org
Coverage of the Kelly Thomas Memorial Art Exhibition and visual voices of outrage by local artists can be found athttp://www.ocweekly.com/slideshow/kelly-thomas-memorial-art-show-art-with-an-agenda-pas-gallery-37255360/