The Chicago Tribune reports that Malcolm London was arrested last night in Chicago during protests over the killing of Laquan McDonald. He was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly hitting a police officer. London was one of five people taken into police custody.
London, 22, is an activist, poet, and rapper. Earlier this year, he helped Chance the Rapper organize a series of “Open Mike” nights for artistically inclined youths in Chicago.
Speaking with FADER this summer, London declared that his politics were inseparable from his art. “I believe that making art is equally as important as doing the [activist] work,” he explained. “[B]ecause art creates the culture and transforms the culture and ultimately affects policy change and social movements. You can’t have one without the other. I always look to James Brown. Where would the Black Panthers be without ‘Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,’ but where would James Brown be without the Panthers?”
#FreeMalcolmLondon recently started trending on Twitter. Other activists, including Deray McKesson, voiced support for London. "The Chicago PD is attempting to vilify @MalcolmLondon, an incredible organizer," McKesson tweeted. "But we know the truth."
A fund has been set up to help him and the other arrested protesters make bail; you can donate to that here.
Read London's FADER interview.