Lowrider Lawyers: Putting a City on Trial—An Argument for Action and Imagination
On Sunday, January 3, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., the film Lowrider Lawyers: Putting a City on Trial will premiere at the Brava Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District barrio. The film will critically examine the witnesses and police officer regarding the unlawful killing of San Francisco scholarship student and security guard Alex Nieto, who was shot at 48 times by the SFPD on March 21, 2014 on top of Bernal Heights Mountain. Substantive answers from witnesses and the police are based on the actual San Francisco District Attorney’s report, deposition testimony, and other true accounts.
Truth, however, is not enough—because even with the truth, recorded videos, eye witness testimony, etc., we in the barrios and ghettoes continue to be killed purposefully by the police. Therefore, the time for action and imagination is now. With zero budget but lots of love, community volunteers wrote, directed, acted in, filmed, and edited this intelligent emotional art. We have created a critical, eye-opening, and magically realistic film for our community of scholars, workers, and homies—and for anyone else who is interested in a new perspective of reality. If this film does not intrigue you, it may simply be because this film is not for you, and that is okay. It may be because you cannot feel what it is to be in the shoes of the killed, or because you follow the narrative of “normal.” This film boldly challenges “normal” and creates a new reality where those who are despised are also prized as critical thinkers and revolutionary innovators, holding court on the actual streets! By the end of the film, you must make the decision, based on who you are, to accept or deny the logic of Lowrider Lawyers.
Through the tragedy of police killings of our brothers and sisters, we have recognized an opportunity to transform our culture through art and education. The film invites you to be shocked, to see things in a non-mainstream manner. Lowrider Homies, who were and still are some of the most despised humans in the Americas, can also be lawyers and defenders of the community. Combining street culture with text-based intellectualism, Lowrider Lawyers shows to youngsters that they can refuse to be swindled by the media’s negative stereotype of barrio brothers and sisters. Lowriders are the best of America, those who do not throw away their history. Lowriders create magnificent, colorful art from fifty year old rusted, unappreciated cars. With that same positive unique energy, Lowriders can also be lawyers.
On purpose the law is meant to confuse and make us feel stupid, as if we do not have the capability to even write our own name on a legal form, nor do we see the hocus pocus of how and why we are sentenced to twenty years or even execution when there are many other murderers of flesh and spirit who receive monetary raises and promotions for their crimes! This film shows us how strict textual analysis, which is the modern primary basis of higher education, can be embraced and owned by us. In the film the Lowrider Lawyers grasp the evidence and implement a Socratic style questioning to reveal inconsistencies and incredulities about the witnesses’ responses.
The great James Baldwin once wrote “I would have to appropriate these white centuries; I would have to make them mine.” In that same courage, we have employed the language of the law but not perpetuated a Harvard, Stanford, or Berkeley style analysis; we have combined that rhetoric but added a colorful San Fran Mission varrio explication to the truth, one that is more compelling and alive than the stale evaluation of the mainstream media. When you view the film, you witness that assimilation/shame is not the only alternative. Homies can mold their own identity, their own dignified creation. That we must become the oppressors to be valuable is a lie. Lowrider Lawyers strives to invalidate the brainwashing that education and leadership are only for those with advanced degrees or the luck of their birth status. Lowrider Lawyers stand up with style and intelligence.
Watch the film, and you will see how we wreck their logic. No one confesses, there is no surprise witness, but you get to think about their answers and confront your own conscience. How well do the police officers’ best answers satisfy you? How comfortable are you with allowing the police officers’ impossible narrative to keep you quiet? Lowrider Lawyers does not solve the problems of our society. It creates new visions, pride, and problems for us to address. It shows how one community has risen with hope and animo for the benefit of future generations.
As with many of our other past events, this premiere is expected to be a sold out event, so please purchase your tickets online at the link below so you can guarantee your seat at this unprecedented community event.
Amor for Alex Nieto.
Click on the link to join the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/823436287767339/
Click on the link to purchase tickets:https://apps.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=579e9c315ed9ef81f9853ffdedec58a5&vqitq=f90b1de2-2f4c-4075-bb9e-af91900db862&vqitp=e189a329-9694-4a12-b924-a19ffd91d6ef&vqitts=1449694494&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=44204405d9b75a482fe0d1adb4b83c60
Click on the link to view the Brava Theater web page description and photos of Lowrider Lawyers: http://www.brava.org/current-shows/current-shows/lowrider-lawyers-putting-city-trial/#.VmiaW7grKM8
Click on the link to view the trailer for “Lowrider Lawyers: Putting a City on Trial”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSlypJz0DBA
Photo credits to Peter Menchini.
Sponsored and endorsed by the San Francisco Lowrider Council!