Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Hi everyone,

I just received this update from the "Justice for Mike Cho" listserv.   If you're in L.A., please support.  And please spread the word.

In Struggle and With love always,

* * * * *

Stand up for something!!  Help keep the streets 
safer for your kids and your kids' kids!

From October 22nd Coalition...

The Jury in the Oscar Grant/Killer Cop Johannes 
Mehserle trial goes into deliberation this Thursday! 
The Verdict will be coming soon, most likely Friday 
or next Tuesday... Keep an eye out!

--For info on when the verdict will officially 
be announced & actions in response to verdict: 
text "TRIAL" to 213.973.3434

1) IN MORNING, Before Verdict is going to be Announced:
Gather at Courthouse, 210 w Temple St, Downtown LA.

2) 5 PM: Everybody in LA will gather at Leimert Park, 
Crenshaw & Vernon.

Spread the Word!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


OMG,  we only have until Sunday, June 20, to support SULU DC's July concert!  Please pledge if you can!  These are some amazing artists!

Click Here  to Go to the Kickstarter Page to make your pledge


About this project

In November 2009, four Asian American idealists--Jenny C. Lares (spoken word poet), Brian Wang (co-chair of DC's Young & Powerful), Simone Jacobson (poet/dancer) and Regie Cabico (co-founder of NY Sulu Series, spoken word pioneer)--converged, gathering along their path Alex Cena (program manager, AALEAD) to form Sulu DC, an underground, grassroots network for Asian American and/or Pacific Islander American (AAPI) artists.

Sulu DC offers a home for AAPI-focused spoken word and multidisciplinary forms and artists in Washington, D.C. Inspired by the Sulu Series in New York City, Sulu DC emerged from a need for visibility and a supportive community for AAPI artists in the greater D.C. area. The Sulu Series was named after Sulu of Star Trek, the first Asian American character to venture into the unknown galactic quadrant, and a remote island in the Philippines. In some Filipino dialects, 'sulu' can sound like 'sulot,' which means 'light.'

On the third Saturday of every month, we host a performance showcase of emerging and established AAPI artists in music, spoken word, video, and multidisciplinary performances...but, July will be a special month and we need your help to make it ROCK!

The Smithsonian Institution approximated that more than 350,000 Asian Pacific Americans live in the metropolitan area surrounding Washington, DC. In the U.S., there are roughly 30 Asian American and 24 Pacific Island American groups--perhaps with the 2010 Census, even more will be revealed! In short, AAPI folks have unique voices and experiences, and are in need of the support of audiences and backers like you to continue to be able to have a platform to use to share these stories.

July 2010 will mark the eighth show that Sulu DC has hosted. The Washington Post branded Sulu DC "the face of DC poetry" in a recent article. So, we're making our July show worthy of the praise. We've confirmed the following artists for the July 17, 2010 show:


Stone Forest Ensemble

Magnetic North + Taiyo Na

But, bands are expensive. We at Sulu DC want to continue to push the envelope and present quality arts to our national, inter-generational, multi-ethnic audiences. In order to sustain this, we need to gage interest and financial support through your pre-sale tickets to cover our costs (artist fees, sound, tech, venue, etc.) so that we'll be ready to launch the July show.

Any backer who gives $50 or above will have the opportunity to meet all of the acts as VIP guests of Sulu DC at the July 17 show. Additional give-aways will be announced throughout the funding cycle, including SWAG (stuff we all get) from Sulu DC's official outfitter, SNRG!

Tickets will be priced at $25, $50, $75 and $100 with the following incentives:
$25: Ticket for One to July Sulu DC Concert
$50: Ticket for One to July Sulu DC Concert + Meet and Greet with the Artists
$75: Tickets for Two to July Sulu DC Concert
$100: Tickets for Two to July Sulu DC Concert + Meet and Greet with the Artists

Subscribe to our Google Group here:
Be our Fan on Facebook:
Follow a Sulu DC founder on Twitter:

Project location: Washington, DC

Monday, June 14, 2010


Hello beautiful peoples,

It's that time again--time for another amazing weekend of APIA performances at Family Style and SULU.

In Philly, our feature poet is DC-based spoken word poet Jenny Lares, Co-Founder of SULU DC--

Family Style
Open Mic Series
Third Fridays of the month:
UPCOMING: Friday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
$5-10 sliding scale admission

June's open mic theme is "MY EYE SITS AT YOUR HEART: Seeking Truth and Claiming Identity." 

jenny c. lares is a poet and host based in Washington, DC. She is the Founding Co-Director of Sulu DC, an underground network and home for Asian American and/or Pacific Islander focused spoken word and multidisciplinary artists in the Washington, DC area. She is also one of the hosts of a weekly open mic at Busboys and Poets along Washington, DC's U Street Corridor.

She has featured at Washington, DC poetry and art venues including Busboys and Poets, Artomatic, and Mothertongue, and has performed at several colleges and universities throughout the Midwest and East Coast. She previously served on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)DC Chapter, where she coordinated and hosted "Creative Explosion V: The Spirit of API Feminism Through Performance". One of her poems will be included in the forthcoming anthology, Walang Hiyaliterature taking risks toward liberatory practice published by Carayan Press.

She is currently working on her website, but for now, you can visit and read her blog:

Hope to see you there!

I'm performing at SULU NYC on Sun, June 20--with an incredible line-up of APIA artists!

On Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Sulu Artist Network proudly presents:


308 Bowery
(Between Houston & Bleecker)
New York, NY 10012
F-Train to 2nd Avenue
6-Train to Bleecker
(*With live streaming!)

Doors open at 8PM

$8 General Admission
$5 Students

Performances by:

...::KELLY TSAI::...



...::JASON BAYANI::...

..::BEN ALISUAG::...


Join the Sulu Series E-mail list!

Please come if you can!


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Anomaly's Award-Winning Seattle Premiere!

Anomaly, the documentary film that I'm featured in, has premiered at several film festivals this year, but it won an award at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle in April.  Please see the updates I posted from Anomaly's website and check out more at

 Love, Michelle

Award Winner in Seattle!

May 102010
Anomaly won the Local Filmmaker Award during its recent Seattle premiere at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival! The cash award is given to a filmmaker acting in a significant production role who resides in Washington State. Co-Producer Sharon Smith, based in Seattle, was in attendance at the festival with Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh. For a video interview from the festival premiere, check out Additional photos are posted on Anomaly’s Facebook page.

Each year, the LHAAFF strives to present creative, thought-provoking films that entertain and inform. Sharon and Jessica are thrilled to have presented Anomaly at the festival and honored to win the award. Other award recipients were Flags, Feathers and Lies (Jury Award) and Burn: The Evolution of An American City (Audience Award).



"Anomaly" Shakes Things Up

  • "Anomaly" was eight years in the making.
  • Director Jessica Chen Drammeh says she has struggled with racial identity previously in her life.
(ALH Live!) -- More than eight years in the making, Anomaly is a documentary film that has all the promise of bringing to the social forefront just the kind of conversation we need. Is it controversial? Sure. Are there uncomfortable moments during its 47-minute run time? You bet. Even so this courageous debut by director Jessica Chen Drammeh offers an elegance with it's adversarial nature that is rarely seen in cinema today.
Drammeh's narrative is contemplative, thoroughly informed and confident. She mixes her personal story with those of the documentary's subjects in a way that demonstrates clearly not only is she directing the film, but she is experiencing the film even as she guides the story.

In terms of the documentary's subjects, one stand out is Gabrielle, a young lady of african-american and white descent who was taken from her mother at birth under the weight of the most unimaginable circumstances. Drammeh does a fabulous job following through with Gabrielle's story. Another is Michelle. A firebrand of a woman of asian and white descent that is unapologetic about her choice to marry a black man in the face of her family's very clear disapproval and unabashed racism.
Learn more about Anomaly below:

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


My apologies to the families of Fong Lee and Mike Cho for not posting these sooner.  I've been very busy, but because I put this post off, I didn't get important info out about a forum that took place last Sat in LA about police brutality. I'm sorry I dropped the ball.

This issue of innocent people--especially men of color: Asian, black, Latino, Native American--being killed by police is not new.  For those of us trying to raise awareness about it, we know how difficult it is to get people to respond or to even listen to the truth that the people who have taken an oath to serve-and-protect are recklessly, maybe deliberately, killing our people.  It has to stop.  But we can only stop it if we recognize this as a common struggle and unify and demand justice.

I'm posting updates from the families/spokes people of Fong Lee and Mike Cho.  If you are not familiar with these cases, please research them.  Read about them. Be outraged. Spread the word.  Do something.  Feel something.

I will keep posting as I receive info.

In struggle and solidarity and with love always,

PS--If you want to help through donations or by contacting the families, please email me at



Good afternoon all!

Just wanted to forward some media coverage and personal reflections/information regarding the court appeal this morning.  Also, i just learned that Jason Andersen will be back on the force in as soon as one week, as he was recently exonerated from the domestic abuse charges filed against him last summer. 
Please check out the media links below –I’m sure many of them will continue to be updated within the next 24hours.

Fox 9

KSTP   (Regarding Jason Andersen getting his job back on the force)


[I cannot post info about the appeals hearing and what happened in the court b/c the judges are still deliberating over the appeal request.  It could be up to 3 months before we hear a decision. But I do want to post the details provided of Mrs. Lee and Shoua Lee's efforts that day. They are Fong Lee's mother and sister, and we should honor their strength and courage in seeking justice for Fong. -Michelle]

I also just wanted to say that Fong’s mom and sister, Shoua, never cease to amaze and inspire me.  When people were congregated outside of the court and organizer Janelle Lee was in the middle her speech to the media, Fong’s mom rolled up in a SUV and jumped out quick with 20+ rally signs.  She started passing those bad boys out like they were $20 bills.  When that task was done, she stood strong for the cameras and offered support to her family.  Shoua provided a statement for the media and did a good job fielding questions even though (what I thought) she was made a last-moment spokeswoman for her family. How these women and their family continue to fight for justice, and offer so much of themselves in the process, is painfully inspiring. 

I’m not sure of next steps the community can work on to support Fong Lee’s family, but I do think we should consider the following:
·         How to continue raising funds for the Lee family (Fong Lee Memorial Trust)
·     Community action regarding Jason Andersen’s reinstatement to the MPD
·         Community action in anticipation of the Court’s appeals ruling

Let's continue to talk and make moves!
With love & respect,




Hello friends of Justice For Mike Cho,

Come and talk or just listen about police brutality, racism and how we
all need to stand together to survive the madness. Info at the

The trial in February was awful. The cops and their attorney couldn't
get their stories straight and got caught in many lies. The
surveillance video surfaced after they made their statements, which
disproved everything they were claiming. We had the nation's top
ballistics expert figure out the science of the shooting as well as an
extremely well-respected ex-LAPD Deputy Chief as an expert witness.
We had science and truth on our side but it wasn't enough. We were
not able to convince the entire jury of 8 (we were in Federal court
but somehow still ended up with a jury made up of all Orange County
residents) that the 2 La Habra cops used excessive force. They lied,
lied and lied, instilled fear into the jurors, tried to make Mike into
some lunatic criminal and even suggested "death by indifference."
They had ridiculously dumb arguments, inferred things that don't even
make any logical sense, basically said whatever they wanted to say.
The two weeks were quite infuriating to say the least. At least the
cops didn't win either. The jury was split so the judge declared a
mistrial. We are back for round 2 with a different jury in September

The police force is crooked and our justice system is flawed,
obviously. They've got guns and badges and bad attitudes and they
Will kill you but we cannot just sit back and do nothing. Right??
Many of the people on this email list knew Mike personally. You know
what a wonderful, amazing, kind, compassionate person he was. If
something this awful can happen to someone that good, what does that
mean for the rest of us? Aren't you outraged/scared/sad/anything?
Whether or not you knew Mike, don't you care about right and wrong,
about standing up for what you believe in, about the innocent lives
that are being stolen? Folks are outraged by the murder of 7-year-old
Aiyana Stanley-Jones by Detroit police, as they should be, as I am.
She's 7 so it's pretty easy to see that she's obviously sweet and
innocent and it's a terrible tragedy but really, sweet and innocent
people of all ages are getting killed by the cops All the time in this
country, Mr. Mike Cho included. They're killing us and they're
getting away with it. And they're laughing at us in court, if we're
even lucky enough to have it get to the courts. AREN'T YOU
PISSED??!?!?! Don't we need to do something??!?!

Whether you have money and no time, or time and no money, or even if
you have neither, there's Something you can do. Donate $ to those who
fight tirelessly and endlessly for justice, for our rights, for our
civil liberties. They're making this a better, safer world for us and
our descendants and they're doing it without any compensation and
barely anyone's gratitude. Email me, I'll get you in touch. Mike
could've been your son, your brother, your friend, YOU. We are all
Mike Cho. We are all Oscar Grant. Have you heard of OSCAR GRANT
yet?? He was on the ground and got shot in the back by an Oakland
BART cop on New Years (again), a year after Mike was murdered. It was
caught on several video cameras, here's one:
It's So clearly wrong that this is the first time in California that a
cop is being tried for on-duty murder. I repeat: this is the very
first time in California that a police officer is being tried for on-
duty murder. This isn't the first time that a CA cop has killed an
innocent person while on duty, obviously, so this is a HUGE deal. At
best, we get a civil trial but even that is difficult to come by.
This is a criminal trial and it starts June 14, 2010 at LA Superior
Court, Temple and Broadway in Downtown LA. Will you be there? I know
you have work and you live really far away and your son is sick. But
hey, at least he ain't dead.

There will be people in the courtroom as well as protesters outside.
If you're pissed, if you're sad, if you still have faith in humanity,
come and show your support. Oscar Grant's 4-year-old daughter will
appreciate it. All you have to do is show up. Power in numbers!!
The trial will probably go on for a while; you'll have plenty of
opportunities to take a day or two off of work. I
cannot stress enough how important this trial is for every single
person who leaves their house. Well, actually, little Aiyana was
sleeping in her home when she was killed by the police. This case is
going to set the precedence. We cannot let more killer cops go free.
We have to let them know that we're fed up, that we're no longer going
to let them kill us without consequences. Up until now, they've been
able to freely draw and use their guns and they're trained to shoot to
kill. They've been able to kill and not only do they get to go free
without trial, they can get promoted. Did you know that one of the
cops who killed Mike got promoted to Corporal? Yup. We have to let
them know that we're no longer okay with this type of inhumane
treatment. If this killer cop is convicted of murder, it is a huge
victory for US ALL. The streets will be safer for us, the cops will
know that there are consequences to their actions, the family will
receive some justice, the world won't be so ugly, etc. There will
definitely be less police-involved shootings and deaths if this cop
goes to jail.

HUUUGE THANK YOUs to friends of JFMC and the Cho family: October 22nd
Coalition to Stop Police Brutality Repression and the Criminalization
of a Generation, Liz, Kayla, Sarah, Manila and especially, especially
Aidge. You saved me when I was losing hope in humanity and your work
is truly inspiring.

By the way, the only reason the Oscar Grant case became a criminal
trial (besides the obvious wrong of it) is that Oakland rose up and
the people were heard. And the reason the trial got moved down to LA
is because LA doesn't know much about what happened and they're trying
to sweep it under the rug! Let's not let them!!! Let's show Oakland
that their hard work wasn't in vain and support and protect our
cousins, brothers and sisters and our children. Let us stand together
and fight this together.

In solidarity,
Sheena Chou
Justice For Mike Cho


Building Solidarity Across Race: A Community Forum Against Police
Violence sponsored by Leadership Development in Inter-ethnic Relations
and the Ida B. Wells Institute

Saturday, May 29, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
in the Community Room of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center
1145 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90017

The police killings of Mike Cho, Usman Chaudhry, Christian Portillo,
DeAundre Brunston, Oscar Grant shocked our communities.

Senate Bill 1070, signed into law in the state of Arizona, shocked the

Police Violence needs Racial Profiling in order to be successful.

The trial of the former policeman who shot Oscar Grant begins in Los
Angeles on June 1, the first time in the history of California that a
police officer has been charged with murder in the line of duty.

This forum will look at ways to strengthen the movement for Justice
for Oscar Grant and others across race.

For more information or to RSVP, Please contact Sam Sunshine at
213-241-0244 or Thandisizwe Chimurenga at 213-321-0575.

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