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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

In Defense of Tony Van Der Meer

Ethan Miller plays for the Van Der Meer fundraiser.
Ethan Miller plays for the Van Der Meer fundraiser.

September 11, 2003, the Professor Tony Van Der Meer Support Committee held a Cultural Event/Fundraiser at the Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center. Most of the participants were UMass Boston students and people from surrounding areas such as Roxbury and Dorchester.

The event raised over a thousand dollars to support UMB Professor Van Der Meer, who was allegedly wrongly arrested and assaulted by campus police while defending a student’s right to distribute flyers. The money will go toward Van Der Meer’s defense lawyer fees.

The media center’s auditorium held close to two hundred people. The event opened with a moment of silence for the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks upon the New York City World Trade centers and the Pentagon, immediately followed by a speech by Africana Studies Professor and colleague of Van Der Meer’s, Robert Johnson.

Next up, a politically innovative hip-hop group, Project Move, “moved” community members in the audience who appeared to feel the flow of the lyrics. The group gave their DJ the spotlight while he scratched up AC/DC’s “Back in Black” on the turntables.

An especially unforgettable part of the event was a poet who called himself VCR. VCR recited a poem entitled, “Pigs…the Other White Meat.” One member of the audience shouted, “Too hot for TV!” The poem carefully outlined the role of police in today’s society.

One of the last performers, Ethan Miller, added a new twist to sixties-style anti-war, anti-capitalist folk music. Miller traveled from Maine to Roxbury to express his political views to the diverse community that filled the auditorium. One song was entitled “Axis of Evil.”

Prior to the event, members of the community gathered in the lobby of the arts center where donation tables were set up to collect support money for the professor. Event organizers encourage all to support Professor Van Der Meer Thursday, November 6th at 9am at the Dorchester Municipal Court. The court is located on 510 Washington St. Dorchester, MA. Suggested public transportation routes include taking the 23 bus from Ashmont red line T stop.