In the United States the leader of a street gang which tried to control the musical hardcore scene was arrested, as Associated Press reports. Elgin Nathan James, founder of the organisation FSU (Friends Stand United), was arrested; he is accused of extortion. James and his followers tried with force to impose their view on the hardcore scene, especially pursuing supporters of right-wing radicalism.
According to the investigations Reuters is leading members of the FSU since 2004 exposed performers and listeners of hardcore punk to beatings and recorded these violent acts on video. The purpose of the gang was the control of concert places and the suppression of activities of right-wing radical groups, in particular skinhead Nazis. In the case file appears a certain popular artist from Chicago whose name is not disclosed as a victim.
The injured musician and his friends were exposed to beating and threatening by members of the FSU during their tour from the end of 2005 till the beginning of 2006. The investigation disposes of an audiotape of a telephone conversation in which James extorted five thousand dollars from the victim for stopping the persecution. It is known that the money transfer passed under the observation of FBI agents.
The grouping FSU appeared in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1990s; afterwards it received support from other states. James, who played in several hardcore groups, and his comrades belonged to the anti-racist wing of the movement “Straight Edge”. They used beating, robberies and other violent method for the fight against racism, drug trafficking and abuse of animals. In the last years James moved away from violence, moved to California and worked in the film business. If he is declared guilty, James will face a 20-years prison term.