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Corey Addresses His Show Being Shut Down In Chattanooga


There have been two times in my life when my rights were undeniably violated.  One was in 2003, when I was wrongfully arrested for disorderly conduct for voicing my displeasure with the way a road block near my house was being conducted by local law enforcement.  Although the charges against me were later dropped, I felt compelled to write a song about my ordeal.

 Ironically, the second time was last night in Chattanooga, TN, when my show was shut down prematurely for attempting to perform that very song.

 Safety and security are always given as justifications for the infringement of our freedom.  Therefore, I am not surprised that Track 29 (the venue which hosted last night’s sold-out show) has claimed it acted in interest of “safety alone” when it bowed to pressure from local law enforcement and unplugged the PA during the first measure of my song, “Fuck the Po Po”.  However, the roughly 1400 adults in attendance, who heard my lengthy, heartfelt, and conciliatory introduction, are sure to recognize the falseness of such an assertion.  In fact, the decision to stop the show made the environment much less safe than it would have been otherwise.

 The disturbing reality is that I was victimized by a few of Chattanooga’s law enforcement officials because of the perceived controversy of the lyrical content of my song.  Consequently, my First Amendment right to free speech was blatantly violated in an act that can only be described as censorship.

 I’m deeply disheartened by last night’s events and regret that a multitude of peaceably-assembled, law-abiding citizens were cheated out of their concert experience by the poor judgement of a few.  However, out of respect for the U.S. Constitution and the brave men and women who have sacrificed so great a price for the freedoms which it embodies, I will not apologize for my actions.  I stand firm in my conviction that "might does not make right" and hope the officials responsible will have the courage to step forward and be held accountable for their unjust decisions.  Let freedom ring.  Let it ring loudly.  And let it rattle the windows of City Hall in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Corey Smith

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