Georgia Straight: Beats for Justice – Head Tax Hip Hop Dance for Redress

Georgia Straight: Beats for Justice
– Head Tax Hip Hop Dance for Redress

The following was written up in the Georgia Straight highlighting the
upcoming fundraiser for Chinese head tax redress that will feature the No Luck Club.   My
friend videographer Sid Tan is no laying video images to the music
track “Our Story – Chinese Head Tax Mash-Up.”  Sid is interviewed
in the article

Georgia Straight, 31-Aug-2006

Arts Notes:  Beats for Justice
By John Lucas

Hip-hop and politics have always walked hand in hand, so it's no
surprise to hear that turntables and break dancing will play a part in
an upcoming event calling for redress on the issue of the head tax
that the Canadian government imposed on Chinese immigrants. The tax
was levied in 1885 and was not fully repealed until 1967. (Correction:
should read 1947)

The current federal government acknowledges that the tax was
discriminatory and has offered a $20,000 payment to each of the 20 or
so surviving head-tax payers and the approximately 250 surviving
spouses of the deceased payers. Chinese-Canadian activist groups have
argued that this measure doesn't go far enough, and they have demanded
compensation for the children of head-tax payers. Among these groups
is the Vancouver-based B.C. Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and
Descendants, which has organized a petition-signing and letter-writing
event for next Sunday (September 10). That event will feature music
from instrumental hip-hop group No Luck Club and dancing by Funk in
Da' Attic.

“Our attempt here is to move young people to get involved in this
issue of justice and honour,” said organizer Sid Chow Tan, who told
the Straight that a No Luck Club number helped inspire him to try to
get youth involved.

“No Luck Club did this tune called 'Our Story—Chinese Head Tax
Mash-Up'. And I was quite taken with it,” Tan said. “To me, it sounds
more like a five-minute radio piece. In fact, I spent all last night
laying videos in on it. I work in video, so I was getting these 20
years of video that I've done in the movement, taking video from 20
years ago and mixing it up with rallies and stuff that we've done
today. Basically, what we're attempting to do is just grow our
movement to a younger generation.

“I mean, quite frankly the Stephen Harper government has said that's it
for us, and we've said, 'Well, that's fine. Our movement is strong
enough that we'll outlive your government. We've outlived Trudeau's
government, we've outlived Mulroney's government, Chrétien's
government, so we'll outlive your government too.”

Head Tax Hip Hop for Redress in Saltwater City takes place September
10 at 10 a.m. at the Carnegie Community Centre (401 Main Street).

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