Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
and the Mothers of the NY Disappeared are putting pressure on the city of New
York, setting a June 4th deadline demanding the repeal of the Rockefeller Drug
The coalition hopes to set a precedent for the
repeal of similar laws that have been established in other states since Nelson
Rockefeller proposed the laws in 1973. The laws require mandatory prison terms,
up to life, for possession or sale of small amounts of drugs.
"Do you know how important this is to hip-hop?"
Simmons asked Allhip-hop.com. "We are going to shut the city down."
Simmons said ‘The Countdown to Fairness’ is the
broadest coalition ever assembled on the issue of the drug laws. "The hip-hop
community’s active involvement will help Governor Pataki and other state officials
to see and feel the will of the people as we demand the repeal of these wack
laws," he said.
The countdown has already garnered the support
of a wide ranging group of political activists and entertainers. US Senators
Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, US Congressman Charles Rangel, Elijah Cummings,
John Conyers, Gregory Meeks, Ed Towns, Major Owens, Congresswoman Maxine Waters
and Former Senator Carol Mosley Braun are among the political heavyweights that
support repealing the laws.
"I don’t think it’s fair that a young person
coming up could make a simple mistake and it can affect their entire lives,
preventing them from evolving and moving forward," said Damon Dash, CEO
of Roc-A-Fella Records. "It’s also unfair that minorities are the main
people who suffer in these situations. We need to repeal these laws so we can
become better people and grow instead of locking these people up and throwing
away the key."
The Diplomats and Ghost Face have all pledged
support and are now doing public service announcements on radio and television
on this issue.
"We intend to involve thousands of concerned
youth on this vital issue," said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of the
hip-hop Summit Action Network. "The momentum will build everyday through
the ‘Countdown To Fairness.’ hip-hop culture has already shown that the energy,
vitality and voice of the young will not be silenced as we move to put an end
to these dumb laws."