Friends Stand United

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Friends Stand United (FSU)
Founder Elgin James
Founding location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Years active Late 1980s - present
Territory United States, Canada, North East England
Ethnicity Multi-ethnic
Allies Straight Edge, Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, Anti-Racist Action

Friends Stand United (FSU) is a national organization in the United States which is classified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a street gang, a classification that FSU members deny. It is an anti-racist group which includes members of various ethnicities, but is predominantly white. Some members share the same Straight Edge lifestyle. The numbers "378" is the numerical symbol, which correspond to the letters FSU on the telephone keypad.

Elgin James founded FSU, which originally stood for "Fuck Shit Up", in the late 1980s in Boston, Massachusetts. He formed FSU to attack, beat and purge drug dealers and violent White supremacist, Neo-nazi and other various racist gangs from punk rock concerts.[1]

FSU has established chapters in many major cities in the United States, Canada and North East England. The group has splintered several times since its initial incarnation, with different chapters holding different values. Universally, the group espouses violence as a valid means to accomplish their goals.[2]

The founding core of FSU eventually splintered, with a large section moving on to motorcycle gangs like the Outlaws.[3] The split was amicable, but James and other founding members decided to leave a more positive legacy and steer FSU away from the criminal world. They established the Foundation Fund, which set up scholarships at local universities (Berklee College of Music and Suffolk University Law School) in the names of FSU members who had died. The fund also holds yearly benefit concerts to raise money for charities that reflect "hardcore punk culture" (teen homelessness, anti-gun violence, suicide prevention and local orphanages). James currently denies involvement with FSU, however he was arrested on July 14, 2009 on extortion charges relating to his affiliation with the group five years prior.[1]

James and FSU were mentioned on National Geographic TV,[citation needed] and the History Channel's Gangland series,[4] and were also covered in Rolling Stone magazine.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Alleged Founder of Street Gang that Uses Violence to Control Hardcore Punk Rock Music Scene Arrested on Extortion Charge for Shaking Down $5,000 from Recording Artist for Protection". Federal Bureau of Investigation. July 14, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Friends Stand Charged". Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Catalano, Debbie, “Elgin James: Truth and Fiction”, Soundcheck magazine (November 2003), pp. 14-16
  4. ^ "Gangland: The Complete Seasons 1-6 DVD". History. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ Binelli, Mark (August 23, 2007). "Punk Rock Fight Club". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 30, 2014.