Thursday, March 12, 2009

follow-up on last weekend's post-concert violence

A mob of zombies - er, skater kids on Ellsworth in January.

Park Hills Civic Association president Alan Bowser posted photos from last weekend's "Stop the Violence" concert on his Silver Spring Neighborhoods blog. And despite the fighting and arrests that occurred afterwards, the show's organizers say they plan to hold more events:
"We're going to let the community know that the youth have the power," 19-year-old Herson Bautista, a Wheaton resident and member of Mixed Unity, said at the concert . . .

"We need to do more concerts," [Portia Scott] said. "The youth are out in force. This will definitely have a positive effect."
The listservs/blogs have been flaring up with complaints that young people are "taking over" Downtown Silver Spring - and they might just be right. We haven't been hearing from the young people who organized this event (and we still haven't, as they refused to talk to the Gazette) but I totally think they shouldn't back down. Now they have something to prove to the many people who've been saying that kids or go-go music or anyone from outside of Montgomery County (the frequent mentions of "D.C. or P.G. trash") don't have a place on Ellsworth.

These concerts can be done right, as similar youth concerts have in the past. The one that first comes to mind is FETTOFEST, a festival of mostly-local "rock, hip-hop, jam band and metal" bands that was held on "the Turf" in 2006 with no real incident before moving to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds the following year. The issue isn't the kids, or the music - it's the security. DTSS management says they had enough security for 10,000 people last weekend, 3,000 more than showed up, but that still didn't keep the peace.

The overwhelming majority of the people who come to these concerts in Downtown Silver Spring are well-behaved, and it's a small, vocal minority that we have to watch out for. That being said, I still have no real fears that the next "Stop the Violence" concert will be success.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dear Dan

I appreciated your support for Mixed Unity.
Mixed Unity has been in touch with Gazette long before anyone even knew about the group. This is a group of teens that have come together but represent different organizations and ethnicity. Mixed Unity has never refused to talk to Gazette. Mixed Unity meets every Tuesday at City Place in Silver Spring in the hopes that violence and prejudice against teens in Silver Spring can be stopped.