FSU - Friends Stand United

FSU - Friends Stand United
Musician, filmmaker and FSU founder Elgin James. Devastation Management

FSU (Friends Stand United, or alternately called "F**k S**t Up) is a group that was started in Boston in the '80s. Set up by white, black and Hispanic members of Boston's hardcore scene, the group's goal was to eliminate racism in the East Coast hardcore scene, specifically neo-Nazi gangs, by often violent means.

FSU is also a straight edge organization, meaning its members abstain from drugs, alcohol and tobacco use.

Today, FSU chapters have expanded to major cities across the nation.

Who is Nathan Elgin James?

FSU was founded by Nathan Elgin James. James, who at the time was the singer for the hardcore band Wrecking Crew, was bothered by the presence of racist groups at hardcore shows and gathered a multi-ethnic group of friends to help eliminate the racist presence.

Elgin has been a member of many hardcore bands, including 454 Big Block, The World is My Fuse and Righteous Jams. In addition, he has recorded and released an album of folk-punk solo material.

Most recently, James moved to L.A. to become a filmmaker. He wrote and directed the short film Goodnight Moon, which starred Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy.

The Arrest of Nathan Elgin James

Nathan Elgin James was arrested on July 14, 2009, on federal extortion charges. It's alleged that he attempted to extort a member of a Chicago punk band for $5,000 in order to stop attacks on the musician by members of FSU.

This was prompted by an altercation between the musician and another musician with ties to FSU, and lead to violence upon the Chicago musician.

If he’s convicted, Elgin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (More - Elgin James and his Federal Extortion Charges)

FSU Elsewhere in the News

On January 14, 2007, 25-year-old James Morrison died of blunt force trauma to the back of his head after an altercation outside of Club Deep in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

During the investigation, 34-year-old Alexander Franklin, an FSU member, was charged with manslaughter but was not indicted. Reportedly, the fight began because Morrison was wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt featuring a confederate flag.

FSU has also been featured on National Geographic's Inside Straight Edge and on the History Channel's Gangland, but perhaps the most infamous portrayal of FSU is in the highly controversial Boston Beatdown DVD series, which is essentially a compilation of fight scenes and interviews with members of FSU, accompanied by music from some FSU-associated hardcore acts. (Watch On YouTube)