Paul French (also known as Strife) has been an activist and a hip-hop artist in Olympia, WA for over five years. He has fought against budget cuts, for busker’s rights, engaged in direct action against illegal wars, and raised awareness about the plight of grand jury resisters. In 2009, he released an album called “Love & Rage” and on April 8th, 2010 he was framed for felony assault on an officer at a protest against police brutality.
Due to suspicious circumstances of this arrest, Paul French experienced a nervous breakdown before serving two months in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. When he was released from jail he was subjected to a campaign of harassment, given numerous citations by law enforcement who repeatedly singled him out by name. He was contacted by police 12 times and given five tickets in less than a month under various pretexts which sent him further into debt. Despite this repression, he released his first solo album in 2012 entitled “No Honor Among Kings” and traveled the West Coast on a “Peasant Revolt Tour.” He is currently working on a new album, “Metamorphosis” which will drop in summer 2014.
In late April 2011, Strife (aka Paul French) discovered through public records requests that he was being spied on by multiple law enforcement agencies and referred as the “white rapper” in e-mail exchanges. Later that year, he sued the Olympia Police Department for violations of his civil rights and a campaign of profiling, harassment, false arrest and imprisonment.