[Marxism] Lockdown, USA

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Mar 7 09:46:54 MST 2009

This week a DVD screener for the documentary “Lockdown, USA” arrived in 
my mailbox at the same time as the news that the horrible Rockefeller 
Drug Laws were on the verge of being repealed in New York State. 
Directed by Rebecca Chaiklin and Michael Skolnik, the movie describes 
the struggle by activists against this draconian law and the impact it 
had one family.

The two primary actors in the struggle featured in the movie are hip-hop 
mogul Russell Simmons and Randy Credico, a former stand-up comedian who 
became a full-time activist in 1997. Holed up at the time in a Florida 
motel trying to kick a cocaine habit, he happened on a television news 
report about people victimized by the drug laws and realized that it 
could have been him serving a fifteen year sentence. (Although I 
recommend this documentary without hesitation, its main flaw is not 
providing some background information on the principals.)

I have very fond memories of Randy Credico from the 1980s when he was a 
frequent guest on WBAI radio shows skewering the Reagan administration’s 
war on Central America. A peerless impressionist, he got the wretched 
gipper nailed down better than anybody on the comedy circuit, so much so 
that he was a guest on the Johnnie Carson show, a sure sign that you had 
“made it”. He was never invited back after taking the opportunity to 
lambaste American foreign policy, just as Harvey Pekar became persona 
non grata on the David Letterman show after denouncing General Electric 
for high crimes against society. These are my kinds of people, needless 
to say.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/lockdown-usa/

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