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Photos and Video: Billy Blue, Mecca a.k.a. Grimo, and Grindmode at the TPS for Haitians Rally, September 19

Friday's rally and vigil for TPS (temporary protected status) for Haitians in the USA at Virginia Key Beach Park was a sparsely peopled, but powerful affair. (Quick side note: The historic beach is now in danger, as the trust that operates it risks having its funding cut by the City of Miami budget axe.) 
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Miami based rappers Billy Blue from Poe Boy Records, Mecca aka Grimo from Sak Pasé Records, and 2/3's of independent hitmakers Grind Mode rallied alongside a small cadre of dedicated activists, organizers, students, poets, musicians, and community members.

Check out our exclusive video of Billy Blue talking about his life. In it, he discusses how he got locked up for five years as a young kid, got sent to Haiti by his father when he was released, and there witnessed poverty, death, hunger, and revolt all around him. The video and plenty of photos are after the jump. 

Longtime local Hip Hop impresario and former Luke Records affiliate Mecca aka Grimo has logged hundreds of hours of on stage as a musician, motivational speaker, and star of stage and screen. Here we see performance highlights from one of his spoken word pieces, "Boat People." Grind Mode, the group most well known for its radio smash "I'm So High," showed support through their presence and speeching, and mini performance.

Local politcal contender Marlene Bastien, vyying for Kendrick Meek's seat, stopped by to lend a few words of support and to encourage artists and youth of all race, creeds, and classes to step up to the plate for immigrant rights.

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