FSU’s Elgin James charged by FBI w/ using “Violence to Control Hardcore Punk Rock Music Scene”
“CHICAGO–The self-proclaimed founding member of a street gang that purports to exert control through use of violence over hardcore punk rock music in clubs and concert venues in major cities nationwide was arrested yesterday by FBI agents in Los Angeles on a federal extortion charge filed in Chicago. The defendant, Elgin Nathan James, allegedly extorted $5,000 from an unnamed victim, a popular recording artist from the Chicago area, while the victim’s band was on tour in late 2005 and early 2006, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today.” [FBI]
The street gang they’re referring to is the notorious straight-edge crew FSU which stands for Friends Stand United, or as most know it… Fuck Shit Up (or as the FBI document refers to it, “F(_ _ _) S(_ _ _) Up”). The charges continue…
On Nov. 27, 2005, the victim and several friends left a bar in Orlando, Fla., and were jumped by a group of men, some of whom were wearing clothing with logos that said “FSU” and “FSU Nation.” The victim escaped with one friend. But another friend and that friend’s brother were severely beaten by the gang, the charges allege. About an hour later, the victim received a telephone call from James, and according to the victim, James asked how the victim’s trip to Florida was going when the victim had never told James that the victim would be traveling in Florida……
…..On Feb. 25, 2006, under FBI surveillance, the victim met James outside the southern California club and handed James an envelope containing $5,000, which the FBI had provided to the victim, according to the charges
As stated above, these charges are just coming now – over 3 years after the above incident happened. Since then Elgin James moved to LA, released a short film starring Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and became a Sundance recognized-filmmaker! More about FSU and Elgin below…
[Elgin James] befriended a group of kids from the tough Boston neighborhoods. They started FSU… in violent response to the number of Neo-Nazi hate groups on the rise across the country.
FSU was made up of a handful of Irish, Black and Puerto Rican kids. Since they were usually outnumbered by their ‘enemies’ (Nazis, other street gangs) they compensated with viciousness. They would use makeshift weapons such as hammers, Cue balls in a sock and even a human thighbone. Soon racist skinheads, who had been such a common sight at Boston hardcore and punk rock shows, became scarce.
To date there have been FSU chapters in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Portland Maine, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Despite the group’s anti-racist past, critics frequently accuse FSU members of instigating and perpetuating gang violence.
[After successfully eliminating] several Nazi groups; Elgin turned his attention to drug dealers. He eschewed the usual passive ideals of straight edge and instead went, in his own words “right after the heart of the enemy, money” . He would rob drug dealers and then use the money to produce music and film that furthered ‘straight edge beliefs’. [wiki]
Reportedly the infamous Boston Beatdown series of DVDs (which made the Boston news, video below) was funded via “reclaimed” drug money…
Boston Beatdown On The News
“According to Absolutepunk.net Elgin has started a band with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert. They will be releasing a record in 2009.” [Wiki]