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July, 2002

P. O. Box 22505, Newark NJ 07101 -2505 (973) 8010001 -



"If there is no struggle, there is no progress..." "Agitate, Agitate, Agitate...." Frederick Douglass

Newsletter of the People's Organization For Progress (POP)

FANNIE LOU HAMER 1917-1977 "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine"

ence held at George Washington Monument in Newark, NJ, July 4, 2002)

WE DEMAND REPARATIONS NOW! By Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, POP (Statement delivered at POP press confer-

On this Fourth of July holiday, the anniversary of American independence, the people of the United States must remember that while the thirteen colonies were celebrating their newly won freedom from England, they kept millions of Africans, our ancestors, enslaved within their own borders. The People's Organization For Progress (POP) believes that the descendants of Africans enslaved in the United States and other parts of the western hemisphere have a legitimate claim to reparations for the cruelty and super exploitation that our ancestors suffered during centuries of slavery and 150 years of racist oppression and discrimination which followed emancipation. . We demand the compensation of African-Americans for the labor that millions of our ancestors were forced to give during the period of their enslavement, and the suffering and loss we have had to endure for generations due to its legacy. We demand that the United States recognize our legitimate claim to reparations and begin the process of compensation. We demand the establishment of a national monument in the nation's capital to commemorate the enslavement of Africans in the United States, the millions who died and suffered, and their heroic struggle for freedom. We also call upon state and local governments to erect similar monuments, particularly those that sanctioned or permitted the existence of slavery. We demand official apologies from the United States federal government and from state governments to African-Americans for the enslavement of our ancestors. However, such apologies must be linked to reparations. Apologies without reparations will be empty declarations at best. Because we believe that the demand for reparations is just we call upon people throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country to support the historic August 17 march on Washington for reparations. We urge organizations and individuals to mobilize in the largest possible numbers for the march. . We call upon organizations to send bus loads of people to Washington, D.C. from as many communities as possible. A large turnout for the march will strengthen the reparations movement and send a strong signal to those in power that the demand for reparations must be taken s e r iously and acted upon. . But more importantly we urge people to continue agitating, educating, organizing and mobilizing POP members & children demand Reparations at for reparations after we return home Monument to George Washington , a slave holder. for the march. We must build support and strong movements for reparations at the local level.

Fannie Lou Hamer, one of the most powerful leaders of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and 70s, was the granddaughter of enslaved Africans; she and her husband were sharecroppers in Mississippi. In 1962, volunteers from SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) came to her town and held a voter registration meeting. She was the first to volunteer to seek to register to vote, despite the dangers and risks involved. She was jailed, beaten, fired from her job, received death threats, and her home was shot into. None of this stopped her. Hamer became a SNCC Field Secretary, traveling all over Mississippi, speaking and mobilizing people to register to vote. In 1964, she and other founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party challenged the segregationist, all-white Mississippi delegation to the national Democratic Party convention in Atlantic City. There she told the story of the violence to which she and others had been subjected, "All of this is on account we want to register, to become first-class citizens...If the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America? The land of the free and the home of the brave?" Backroom deals led by Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey failed to derail Hamer and the MFDP, but they were not seated and the segregationists were permitted to represent the state. Nevertheless, the whole country saw and heard Hamer for the first time. Fearless of the dangers, she said, "But if I fall, I'll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom."

POP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATIONOF VIOLENCE AGAINST INMATES In response to inmate letters and phone calls regarding the use of excessive force against inmates, the People's Organization For Progress (POP) held a press conference to discuss these allegations on Saturday, April 6, 2002 3:00 p.m. in front of New Jersey State Prison. POP Chairman, Larry Hamm called for various actions by the Department of Corrections: "We are requesting a meeting with the new Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, a new investigation into these allegations, a tour of the areas where beatings are alleged to have taken place, and the placement of video security equipment there." L ETTER FROM TRENTON STATE PRISON (excerpts from a letter from Edward I. Duncan, Executive Director of Inmate Legal Association to Larry Hamm, Chairman of POP) Dear Mr. Hamm, Enclosed is a copy of the article that I "mistakenly" obtained through one of the officers here. I must admit that when I saw this article, it moved me in a way that nothing has, next to my spiritual awakening, in my almost 14 years in prison. I humbly, on behalf of all of the inmates housed in the Administrative Segregation Unit, and those who have suffered severe injury at the hands of these racist rogue officers, thank you. Yet, there is much more to be done. There have been two new beatings in the Ad-Seg area. I am currently attempting to obtain the medical records for these inmates and have begun the process for the filing of a Civil Rights action against those accused. It has been discovered that M.'s injuries are consistent with defensive injuries, not offensive. Both of his hands were broken. This occurred while he was on the floor in a fetal position, balled up, attempting to ward off the sticks. It was done intentionally. In every case, these inmates are found guilty by a hearing officer and, regardless of what they argue, the prisoner has no chance of beating the charge. Like the administrators, the h earing officer knows what's going on and is part of the same system that justifies each abuse of authority with red tape and politics. Soon we will be preparing an informative newsletter regarding the prisoner beatings occurring here, with supplemental articles regarding murders occurring in other prisons at the hands of correctional staff. This newsletter will provide the age of the prisoner, factual occurrences and injuries sustained during each incident. It will not be to give out to the prison population, but to mail to organizations seeking their help. Hopefully, we can circumvent these continual beatings and prevent them from escalating to where murder is also a part of this institution's cover-up policy. Many prisoners are grateful to POP and I will personally talk to my many friends and associates regarding mailing donations 2 to your organization. Again, we are profoundly grateful.

PROTESTERSMARK 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF KILLING O F BILAL COLBERT IN IRVINGTON By Stacey Keyes Protesters gathered in Irvington, NJ, on Tuesday, April 30, to mark one year after the murder of Bilal Colbert by officer William Mildon. They included POP members and supporters, family members and concerned citizens, who gathered in cold, rainy conditions to let Irvington police know they had not forgotten what happened one year ago. Officer Mildon murdered Mr. Colbert, while he was taking his two stepdaughters, aged ten and eleven, to school. Mr. Colbert was in his car with the two young girls when Mildon shot him at point blank range in the neck, killing him instantly. It was only by grace and mercy that the girls were not harmed. The grand jury came back with no indictment against Mildon. Mr. Colbert was Mildon's second murder victim: Keion Williams, of Irvington, was killed a few years earlier on the same block. In that case, no indictment was handed down, which left the door open for Mildon to murder again, which he did. The April 30 demonstration was spirited. The protesters' presence was felt and will be remembered by the Irvington police, who milled around the police station that day. Protesters let them know that, "We won't stop, we can't stop!" The People's Organization for Progress been has formed for the following purposes: ? To educate the people about relevant social, economic and political issues. ? To continuously organize and mobilize the grassroots community so that it can effectively solve its problems and fight for its needs. ? To improve the social and economic conditions in our community. ? To work for the total elimination of racism and sexism. ? To further develop and increase the political power of working and poor people. ? To strive for a more just and equitable distribution of wealth in our society. ? To serve as an advocate of human and civil rights. ? To support the struggles of people at home and abroad against oppression and exploitation. ? To promote world peace. ? To build unity with other organizations and individuals whose goals are similar to our own.

P.O.P. - Aims And Purposes

STRUGGLINGFOR JUSTICEUNTIL JUSTICE IS SERVED By Ingrid J. Crew, sister of Stanton L. Crew In reflection on the June 8, 2002 protest at the Morris County Courthouse for Stanton Crew, we (the family) wanted to continue to make the focus clear. The tragic and fatal execution style murder carried out by both local and state police will never be forgotten in Morris Country and the family of Stanton Crew will press on until justice is served. The ills of racial profiling and police brutality have no community boundaries which is why our struggle for justice has to continue. Officers who fail to follow policy and procedure and act outside of the parameters of the law must be held accountable. Let us not forget the officers are human beings too and they are capable of making bad decisions, exercising poor judgment and they can fail to properly assess situations. Our prayer to all who have encountered and who will encounter racial profiling and police brutality is that you will speak out and make those officers accountable for their actions. This is what all people of conscience can do to press for justice...please speak out! Struggling for Justice until Justice is served, from The Crew Family, Lillie Crew (mother), Ingrid Crew (sister) Timothy Crew (brother). A PARENT EDUCATOR'S RESPONSE TO HIGHSTAKESTESTING By Wilhelmina Holder As a parent educator, I'm very concerned about annual testing. When teachers are forced to choose between "educating" and "teaching to the test," we get in effect a dumbed-down curriculum. Our children of color always suffer when this happens. One prominent effect is the limitation on children choosing electives and other engaging, enriching course selections, because districts will be concerned about test scores as opposed to a full complement of program offerings. We are stuck with "drill and kill" routines. This does not mean I am opposed to high standards to ensure high quality education, but I am opposed to our children being "set up." What I mean is that districts similar to Newark only offer what are minimum basic classes to graduate, and nothing else. Our children are left unable to compete. For example, foreign languages are not currently required for graduation in New Jersey, but there are no other districts (except maybe the Abbott districts ­Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, etc.) where you have children graduating without foreign languages, which locks them out of higher education opportunities. You can't go to college without two to three years of a foreign language, and most colleges will not waive this. We, the Secondary Parents' Council, are presently fighting for a number of students who will graduate in 2002 from Weequahic High School in Newark. They were told they have met all requirements for graduation, but not told that this was insufficient to get into college. We need everyone to stay involved in the issue of education, especially for children of color and poor children. As Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire said, "Freedom without opportunity is the devil's gift and the refusal to provide such opportunity is criminal."

Write To the Governor and the Attorney General of NJ ? The Honorable James McGreevey, Governor, State of NJ, State House , PO Box 001, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001 ? David Samson, Attorney General of New Jersey, Richard Hughes Justice Complex 25 Market Street, PO Box 080, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0080


POP LETTERS TO THE GOVERNOR & STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL Dear Governor McGreevey/Attorney General Samson: Three years ago, on April 11, 1999, 27 year-old Earl Faison died while in the custody of Orange, New Jersey police officers. As you are aware, in December of 2000, five Orange, New Jersey police officers were found guilty of federal conspiracy and civil rights charges in connection with the assault on Mr. Faison. At present, the federal case is on appeal in the Third Circuit due to the trial judge's reversal of the jury determination. This letter is being sent on behalf of the surviving family members of Earl Faison, members of the People's Organization For Progress, concerned citizens, opponents of police brutality, and advocates of justice and equal protection throughout New Jersey. Mr. Faison's violent death in the Orange, New Jersey police station was a tremendously tragic and disturbing event. Many groups have expressed their concerns regarding Mr. Faison's death. In particular, Amnesty International described the circumstances of Mr. Faison's death in their publications and wrote the former Attorney General about the failure to pursue criminal prosecution in the case (see enclosed letter). The lack of state prosecution in this case is a further insult to Mr. Faison's family and others concerned about the integrity of our justice system. For many of us, this set of facts is eerily reminiscent of the pre-civil rights era in the South when the African-American community relied on the federal authorities to prosecute crimes permitted or committed by local law enforcement. The initial failure to prosecute in this case occurred under the watch of the prior Attorney General, John J. Farmer. In our prior meetings with Mr. Farmer's staff we were informed that there was insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution. However, the federal authorities conducted an investigation and achieved an indictment and conviction. It is our hope that under your leadership the New Jersey Attorney General's Office will reopen this case and devote its resources and authority into assuring there is a thorough and complete investigation. Those with culpability for Mr. Faison's death need to be brought to justice. Anything less is an indication that criminal activity by police officers is tolerated in New Jersey. We remain deeply concerned ( Statement by Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People's Organization about Mr. Faison's loss of life, the grief For Progress at a press conference held in Newark, NJ on June 25, suffered by his family and the sense of in- 2002) Yesterday, the United State Court of Appeals for the justice felt in our community. We will be Third Circuit reinstated the conspiracy convictions against the five happy to meet with you to discuss and Orange, New Jersey police officers involved in the beating and torture pursue this matter further. It is recom- of Earl Faison. This is good news for the family of Earl Faison, the mended that this meeting include mem- People's Organization For Progress, and everyone that has supported bers of the Faison family, their attorney, this struggle for justice. and our representative, Lawrence Hamm, More than a year ago, we protested Judge John C. Lifland's decision to overturn the jury's guilty verdict in front of the the POP chairman. Please have your staff contact us federal courthouse here in Newark. We said Lifland was wrong then as soon as possible to schedule a mutually and yesterday the court said the jury was right. The appeals court decision is a vindication of our position convenient date, time, and place for the that Lifland's decision was wrong and a slap in the face to the family meeting. Mr. Hamm can be reached at of Earl Faison and our entire community. This decision by the court of (973) 801-0001. If you have any questions appeals is a positive step forward along the long road to justice for or wish to discuss this or related issues fur- Earl Faison and his family. ther please do not hesitate to call. However that struggle for justice is not yet over. The federal convictions are for conspiracy and civil rights violations. No one was We hope to hear from you very soon. Thank you very much for your time found guilty for murder, manslaughter, or even assault. We cannot rest until those responsible for his death are held accountable. and attention to this matter. Today, we call upon the state attorney general to reopen the Respectfully, investigation into the death of Earl Faison. We have written him on Matthew Johnson, Chairman, POP Task this matter and we anxiously await his response. Force on Human Rights This is a struggle for justice for Earl Faison but it is much Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, POP more than that. What is at stake here is the affirmation or rejection of

some of the fundamental beliefs that under gird a democratic society. Among these are the belief that we are all equal before the law, that justice is dispensed equally and fairly to all, and that human life has equal value regardless of the color of the skin it is in. For the past three years the People's Organization For Progress has organized marches, vigils, and other demonstrations demanding justice for Mr. Faison. We will not rest until justice for Earl Faison is finally achieved, no matter how long it takes.

DURBAN WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM (WCAR) & REPARATIONS By Nancy Shakir , POP Representative to WCAR, High School teacher, and poet The conference was amazing, in spite of long lines, schedule changes, and other minor inconveniences. We Americans, who often live such insulated lives, had the opportunity to interface with an unbelievable variety of oppressed "races" and nationalities from around the world: Indians from the Americas and the Caribbean; "Travelers" or "Tinkers" of Ireland and other nomadic people such as the Roma (Gypsies) of Europe; the Dalit or "Untouchables" of India; Aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand and Hawaii; representation from Bhutan and Tibet, and from nearly every African state and nationality, as well as all of the countries of the Middle and Far East. What we accomplished there was the insertion of language into the action portion of the UN document to be created, which opens the door for claims for reparations. The desired language was that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade "is and was always a crime against humanity", the language necessary for legal action to be taken. That this language was supported by a majority of African nations as well as Islamic countries made it even more powerful. The one European country that supported the language was France. Since returning, and with the events of 9/11 forcing the issue of the WCAR to the back burner, a few important actions have occurred. The first of these is that it took until January, 2002 for the language agreed upon in Durban to be placed in the action portion of the UN document. The delay was a direct result of pressure by the European Union to remove the language. It took national and international advocacy and lobbying to finally have the document presented as intended. In spite of the fact that successive generations of African-Americans, starting with slaves freed in 1865, have failed to persuade Congress to apologize and make restitution for slavery, the ongoing and increasingly sound legal basis for reparations has grown. In the past, attempts by descendants of slaves to s the federal government for damages have ue been dismissed and Congress has stifled legislation to study reparations, sponsored each year since 1989 by Rep. John Conyers Jr., DMich. Earlier reparations cases -- targeting the government -- have been dead ends. In Cato v. United States, a $100 million repara-

Nancy Shakir, right, in Durban with C.T. Vivian and student

brought against the federal government in 1995. That case was dismissed and the advice given was that descendants of enslaved people must seek redress with the Congress. There are of course precedents for reparations. Since 1995, the state of Florida has paid about $2 million in reparations to the victims of a 1923 race riot in the black settlement of Rosewood. Strengthening the case for reparations, in February, 2002, a committee appointed by the Oklahoma legislature recommended the state pay at least $20,000 to the survivors or descendants of the 1921 Tulsa Riots, where hundreds, mostly blacks were killed, and a total black neighborhood was destroyed by marauding whites. This year, a lawsuit was filed by Deadria FarmerPaellmann, a recent law school graduate whose great grandparents were enslaved persons. The lawsuit against Aetna Insurance Company, Fleet Boston Bank and the railroad company, CSX, is one of three filed in March, 2002 in federal court, seeking unspecified reparations for the 35 million descendants of enslaved African people in the United States. Central to any national reparations campaign is the knowledge that present-day gaps between whites and blacks are rooted in the past. Disparities in income, education, health, housing, divorce rates and crime grew out of the trauma of 246 years of slavery and more than a century of continuing oppression: Jim Crow laws, lynchings, job discrimination, segregation, mortgage covenants, redlining, racial profiling and other abuses. Behind the new legal thrust is the Reparations Coordinating Committee, headed by Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree and author-activist Randall Robinson. The team i n cludes heavyweight trial lawyers Johnnie Cochran and Dennis Sweet, and scholars such as Harvard's Cornel West, Georgetown's Richard America and Columbia's Manning Marable. The reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slavery ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and Fleet Boston Financial Group. These are some of the major corporations today that possess wealth that was created by slaves or at the expense of slaves ­ and the team asserts that it's time for African-Americans to reclaim that wealth. 5

POP ACTIONS IN JUNE ? 6/1/2002-African Heritage Parade/March for A Better Community Montclair N.J. Newark N.J. ? 6/2/2002-Stanton Crew Anniversary Cook Out and March Morristown N.J. ? 6/19/2002-Changing of the Newark Schools/ Irvington School Board Meeting Irvington N.J. ? 6/27/2002-Forum: State Sponsored TerrorismFrom N.J. to Palestine Sponsored by POP and BTWFJ. Newark N.J. ? General Public Organization Meetings every Thursday night at 6:00 pm. at the Abyssinian Baptist Church 224 W. Kinney St., Newark N.J. (unless otherwise stated.) Reparations In Brief By Nancy Shakir ? Enslavement of millions of African people (4 million by 1865). The loss of life of millions of men, women and children, who were insured so that slave traders received compensation for their losses. ? The free labor of African people translates into trillions of dollars owed on compound interest based on slave prices between 1790 and 1860. (Conley, The Nation, 3/26/01) ? Slave owners were paid compensation for their losses resulting from the Civil War. ? The United States Supreme Court upheld apartheid in the United States (Plessy vs. Ferguson ) for nearly 100 years after the Civil War. ? Although only 12% of the U.S. population, African Americans are nearly 60% of the prison population. (Hacker, Two Nations, p. 197) ? Nearly 50% of African American children continue to live below the poverty line compared with 15.9% of white children. (Hacker, Two Nations, p.99) ? Social Security for years excluded agricultural and service workers (mostly black workers. (Conley, The Nation, 3/26/01) ? The U.S. Home Owners Loan Corporation, which instituted redlining, helped white homeow ners avoid default, but not African American homeowners. (Conley, The Nation, 3/26/01) ? Corporations involved in the slave trade, such as AIG Insurance, Aetna Insurance, Fleet B ank, Chase Banks and CSX railroads, have reaped huge profits, creating much of their wealth today.


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As a first step towards reparations, we call upon Congress and the President to immediately enact into law reparations legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers which would establish a commission to study reparations proposals for African-Americans. We urge people to send letters of support for this legislation to members of Congress and the President. . POP also believes that the corporate community must also be held accountable for its role in the enslavement of Africans brought to this country. We support legal efforts to obtain reparations from those companies and businesses. POP also believes that the corporate community must also be held accountable for its role in the enslavement of Africans brought to this country. We support legal efforts to obtain reparations from those companies and businesses that benefited financially both directly and indirectly from slavery. Several years ago, the United States was involved in efforts to help realize a multi-billion dollar compensation settlement for those forced to serve as slave laborers under Hitler's Nazi regime. If the United States can be involved in efforts to achieve reparations for the victims of slave labor abroad then it should be involved in compensation efforts for the descendants of those who were slave laborers at home . Slavery in the western hemisphere was one of the most horrific episodes in all of human history. For hundreds of years millions of Africans were forcibly brought to this country against their will and enslaved. Their labor, for which they were not compensated, built and enriched this nation. In 1860, the largest amount of capital in the United States, larger than industrial and banking capital co mbined, was slaves. The wealth created by African-American slave labor would be valued at trillions of dollars today. In addition to being super-exploited slaves were prevented by law from accumulating any wealth of their own. After the Civil War, there was no program of compensation or land reform put into place for America's ex-slaves. Efforts to do so were thwarted. With the abolition of slavery, a system of legal white supremacist segregation and discrimination was put into place that continued much of the unjust economic exploitation and racial oppression of Black people right into our lifetime. African-Americans must not only be compensated for the loss and suffering endured during slavery but also for agricultural peonage known as sharecropping, the convict labor-lease system known as the chain-gang, expropriation of our property during white racist riots like those that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the 1920s, and economic discrimination as a result of Jim Crow segregation . America owes a tremendous debt to African-Americans. It is a debt that must be paid and payment is long overdue. The People's Organization For Progress will send buses from Newark and other cities in New Jersey to the reparations march in Washington. For seat reservations, departure times and locations call (973) 801-0001

Get On the Bus for Reparations And To Oppose War And Repression

Thousands are expected to descend on Washing DC to show support for reparations and ton opposition to the so -called "War on Terrorism" Call POP for local buses (973)-0001 801


Saturday, August 17

MANY GROUPS CONVERGEO N TRENTON FOR PROTEST By Bella August On May 15, hundreds of protesters converged on the NJ State House to protest police brutality and racial profiling that continue u nabated in the state, despite years of protest and promises. The protest was sponsored by the Coalition for Justice (CFJ) an association of different groups; POP is a member organization of the Coalition, and played a significant role in helping in the mobilization, bringing a large contingent to the march. Protesters came from across the state, from Bergen to Monmouth Counties, and from Philadelphia, as well as from a broad diversity of groups and organizations. Local labor groups (Communication Workers of America, Service Employees International Union 1199, Black Telephone Workers for Justice-BTWFJ) religious groups (Unitarian Churches, NJ Council of Churches, Imani Church, and others), and political and community organizations (Green Party, NOW, NJ Peace Action, ACLU, Southside Pride, UHURU) were there. Family members of those murdered by police, as well as direct victims of brutality, were the featured speakers. Mrs. Esmay Parchment, a 63 year old, 4'10" grandmother from East Orange, electrified the crowd as she related her mistreatment at the hands of local police in her own home. Mary Weaver, mother of Randy, touched the hearts of protesters as she told how police had allowed her son to bleed to death after shooting him. The three year old case of the killing of Earl Faison by Orange police was remembered by his father, who said, "Justice has still not been attained." Max Antoine, Bilal Colbert, Stanton Crew, Cherrod Roberts,BWUM Panell, Michael Anglin, and others, were all remembered. Philip report The story of the most recent victim of police killing, Santiago Villanueva, an epileptic who was asphyxiated by police who accused him of being on drugs, was recounted by Nina Paulino, who called for a federal investigation. POP Chairman, Larry Hamm, read the broad program of demands put forward by the CFJ at the march; these included civilian police review boards with investigative and subpoena powers, an Office of Independent State Prosecutor, independent investigations and prosecutions of brutality by correction officers, legislation to outlaw racial profiling, a re-opening of the investigation into the death of Earl Faison by the Attorney General, as well as investigations into other deaths and brutality cases. Ron Washington, President of BTWFJ, reminded the crowd that "racism is entwined in the fabric of capitalism." The history of Blacks in America has been "characterized by injustice, exploitation and stolen labor." This system has been carried out by state terror from the MLK Commenoration in Elizabeth beginning until today. The interests of working people are not reflected in political structures, and there is a need for Black workers to unite in the newly formed Black Workers Unity Movement, and to work for the long-term struggle to build our own party. Speakers urged participants to continue the struggle back in their communities against police brutality and racial profiling, through lobbying legislators, letter writing campaigns (see POP letters in this issue), local demonstrations, teach-ins and other activities to keep the heat on, as well as linking the struggle to other important movements (peace, 7 civil rights, etc.). (For a complete list of the Coalition's demands, please contact 7 POP at: 973-801-0001)

POP MOURNS THE DEATH O F CAROLYN FAISON, MOTHER O F EARL The People's Organization For Progress (POP), received word from family members that Carolyn Faison, the mother of police brutality victim Earl Faison, had died on Friday, April 12, one day after the third anniversary of the death of her son. We received this news with the deepest regret Carolyn Faison and all of our members mourn Carolyn's passing. We met Carolyn in the midst of the struggle for justice for her son. Earl Faison died after being wrongfully arrested as a suspect in the murder of an Orange, New Jersey police officer. He died while in the custody of the Orange police. Carolyn maintained that her son had been a victim of police brutality. After a year of protests, the U. S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey indicted five officers on conspiracy and civil rights violations in connection with the beating and torture of her son Earl. A jury found them guilty on all counts. Four months later, the presiding judge in the case John C. Lifland overturned the jury's guilty verdicts on the conspiracy charges. After an outcry from Carolyn, other family members, and the community the U. S. Attorney filed an appeal of Lifland's decision. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard oral arguments on March 21. A decision from the court is expected any day. Carolyn was Earl's mother and she was also our friend, a member of our organization, and our comrade in the struggle for justice not only for her son but also for all victims of police brutality and racial profiling. She was a fighter and participated in many of the marches, demonstrations, vigils, and other activities concerning her son and other victims. A vigil was held for Earl on Thursday evening April 11, the third anniversary of his death, at the Orange police headquarters where he died. Although we learned that Carolyn was ill, we were surprised when we received the news of her death, because she was with us when we went to Philadelphia several weeks ago, to attend hearings at the U. S. Court of Appeals. How ironic it is that she should die on the anniversary of her own son's death. It is very sad and tragic that she did not live to see justice done for him. Carolyn is gone and we will miss her deeply. However, her fight for justice for her son willover the Ben Franklin March continue. Bridge from Camden to Philadelphia, calling for justice for Earl Faison, was dedicated to the memory of his mother, Carolyn.

CALL FOR DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM By Matthew B. Johnson, Ph.D., POP Human Rights Committee We believe in our state, and in our nation, a new consensus is emerging regarding state executions of citizens. Converging evidence, from multiple sources, is challenging the wisdom and the morality of capital punishment. Chief among the many concerns is the increasing evidence of errors in the death penalty process. This recognition has resulted in more than 100 death row inmates, in the United States, being released in recent years. We find the very real potential of executing an innocent person to be unacceptable. We are grateful that the falsely convicted, such as Ray Krone from Pennsylvania and James Landino from New Jersey, are with us today and available to tell their stories. We find this to be reason enough to halt executions in New Jersey, until the capital punishment process is thoroughly studied. We believe that racial bias and discrimination permeates our criminal justice system. That the death penalty has been applied in a racially discriminatory manner has been common knowledge in the AfricanAmerican community for generations. In fact, for many in the African-American community, today's opposition to the death penalty is a continuation of the antilynching campaign championed by Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, and others. This racial bias effects decisions to seek the death penalty, as it applies to both the race of the defendant and the race of the victim. We believe that African-Americans as well as other groups, such as Latinos, the poor and indigent, those with prior convictions and those with mental disabilities, are at increased exposure to death penalty prosecution. In addition, we are concerned about the quality of the legal representation received by indigent defendants and the lack of evidence of any demonstrable deterrent effect associated with the death penalty. The emerging consensus critical of the death penalty reflects the close scrutiny of our justice system from a variety of sources: law school and ministry innocence projects, legal scholars and social science researchers, death penalty abolitionists and Free Mumia activists, vigilant press coverage and insightful editorials. Courageous political decisions by Governor Ryan of Illinois and, more recently, Governor Glendening in Maryland have added to the momentum. As our society has developed, and our ability to be self critical has matured, certain values and principles have been recognized. It is now undeniable and self evident that slavery is inhuman, that child abuse is criminal, and that racial and gender discrimination are intolerable. And today there is a growing realization that the death penalty is cruel and unusual, as well as costly and unfair. We can no longer allow our imperfect system of justice to kill our fellow citizens. The death penalty, being the ultimate penalty, requires a level of certainty and confidence in our legal

BLACK WORKERS UNITE! By Lisa Davis On April 4-7, a strong delegation of Black labor and civil rights organizations converged in Raleigh North Carolina to form a progressive Black unity movement with strong roots in the Black working class. Realizing that the Actor/Activist Danny Glover with a member of politics of labor has P.O.P. and the BWFJ. Mr. Glover was the keybeen an integral note speaker at the annual MLK Support Dinner component of the For Labor Dinner, which honors the contributions Black liberation that Dr. Martin Luther King made to the Black struggle, the Black Workers movement. King was assassinated in Workers U n i t y Memphis while showing solidarity with the striking Movement (BWUM) sanitation workers. was formed in order to exercise the real power of the African American community to challenge the racial and socio-economic injustices inherent in capitalism and to forge a political vision of a society that serves the needs of and empowers the working class and oppressed people. Some of the organizations in attendance were P.O.P, the Black Telephone Workers for Justice of NY and NJ, the Black Workers for Justice of NC , the Sincere 7 of Tennessee, the December 12th Movement and many others. Many representatives from various labor organizations spoke of the steady erosion of workers rights and of unfair job harassment and discrimination that many minorities continue to face. The overwhelming consensus was that the labor unions were not ad equately taking up the struggles facing minority workers, thereby making it imperative for Black workers nationwide to unite and to build a broad based progressive coalition to take up the fight for social justice throughout the African diaspora. From being forced into hundreds of years of slave labor, to the mental and economic rape of sharecropping and the coal mines, to the present day institutionalized racism in which corporate opportunities are selectively meted out to Blacks and minorities in dribs and drabs, the social stability of the African American community, as is true with all oppressed people, is directly proportional to its ability to provide for its families and its society. And as African American history proves, when t at h ability is thwarted or denied, the social consequences are devastating and far reaching. Therefore we must understand that building a strong progressive Black workers movement is essential to worldwide Black liberation and will have a significant impact that extends far beyond the work place. So whether employed or unemployed, if you are a member of the Black working class, join the Black Workers Unity Movement!

For more information about BWUM, please call Ron (201)320-8689 or 8 (201)435-3362.

RALLY IN PLAINFIELD SUPPORT PEOPLE OF VIEQUES : By Khabirah Ahmedi (Myers) On Thursday, 13 June 2002, the U.S. officially withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) of 1972. New Jersey Peace Action coordinated several vigils and rallies throughout New Jersey in an effort to protest against this withdrawal and to protest against United States policies dealing with nuclear weapons. On Saturday, 15 June, one of these protests took place in Plainfield, New Jersey. This event was to protest the aforementioned issues as well as to support the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico who continue to be subjected to the life-threatening activities of the United States Navy. Participants demanded an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. Navy from the island of Vieques as well as that the Navy clean up all the depleted uranium (DU) that continue to be found all around the tiny island. POP Member Khabirah Ahmedi (Myers) spoke on behalf of the POP organization. Khabirah encouraged participants to not give up their fight and to not be intimidated by those who oppose our struggle. She also urged everyone to keep the pressure on our government officials by flooding them with letters, e-mail, and phone calls. The Union County Peace and Social Concerns Committee was also a key player in organizing this event. For more information about the Union County Peace and Social Concerns Committee you may contact Sylvia Zisman at 973376-5629. To learn more about New Jersey Peace Action and to get i n volved you may contact its d irector, Madelyn Hoffman at 973-7443263.

People's Organization For Progress

A MOVEMENT GROWS: JUSTICE FOR SANTIAGOVILLANUEVA ! By Bella August A movement demanding justice for Santiago (Chago) Villanueva is rapidly growing, joining activists from New Jersey t o gether with New York City's Dominican community. Villanueva, a 35 year old dancer, choreographer and percussionist, died at the hands of four police officers, while at his job in a factory in Bloomfield, NJ. His supervisor at the factory called 911 when Villanueva did not come out of an epileptic seizure as quickly as usual. Police officers ignored the cries of his supervisor and co-workers who explained that he was in the midst of a seizure. According to co workers, police insisted that he was on drugs, abused him physically and verbally, handcuffed him and knelt on his chest. The medical examiner later ruled that he died of mechanical asphyxiation and that his death was a homicide. Family members, friends, artists, and other supporters accuse Bloomfield police of racist stereotyping and profiling, as Chago was a Black man with dreadlocks, who police immediately assumed was on drugs, rather than seeing him as an ill person in need of medical assistance. They demand that the four police officers be suspended, "as they are a menace to the community, especially to people of color." In several protests in front of the Bloomfield police HQ, in the Trenton March Against Police Brutality, and meetings with the Essex County prosecutor, a coalition of Dominican groups, joined by POP, NJ Greens, Bloomfield North End Coalition, and other local supporters, are demanding justice for Villanueva. He "will not be another statistic," these groups say. He will be remembered, "and those responsible for his death will be jailed."

Fundraising Dinner

Saturday, July 27, 4:00 pm -7:00 pm. All you can eat, $12.00.

Israel Memo A.M.E. Church, 545 Lincoln St. Newark, NJ rial For further information call (973) 801 -0001

People's Organization For Progress P.O. Box 22505 Newark, New Jersey 07101 (973) 8010001 website: -2505 I am interested in the work of the People's Organization For Progress would like to: and ? Become a member and receive The Agitator--$25.00 year ? Help volunteer to work with the People's Organization For Progress join a committee and ? Make a financial contribution to POP ? $5.00, ? $10.00, ? $25.00, ? Other ? Be on the mailing list to receive notices of activities. Name____________________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________City____________State__________Zip______ Email address_______________________________Phone________________________________ Please note: Contributions are not tax deductible


? JULY 14, SUNDAY, 2:00 PM -- Commemoration of the 1967 Newark R ebellion a the memorial to those who died during the Ret bellion, located at the intersection of Springfield Ave., 15th Ave. and Irving Turner Blvd., Newark . ? JULY 16, T UESDAY 5:30 PM --March and Rally for Justice For Randy , Weaver and all victims of police brutality and racial profiling, East Orange City Hall, 44 City Hall Plaza, located on Main St. between No. Arlington and No. Munn Avenues. ? JULY 18, T HURSDAY 6:00 PM -- "My Struggle For , Justice: The Curtis Knight Story", his fight for freedom after being accused of a crime he did not commit, Abyssinian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney Street, Newark.. ? JULY 20, SATURDAY 12:00 NOON, "Unity rally For Reparations" , sponsored by the new Jersey Coalition for reparations, Newark City Hall, located on Broad St. between Green and Franklin Streets, for more information call (973) 801-0001 or (201) 320-8969. ? AUGUST 17, SATURDAY, National March and Rally For Reparations In Washington, DC, POP buses depart at 6:00 am, 53 Lincoln Park in from Newark, for seat reservations, additional information and departure times and locations in other cities call (973) 801-0001.

Contributors: Bella August, Lisa Davis, Edward Duncan, Larry Hamm, Wilhelmina Holder, Matthew Johnson, Stacey Keyes, Khabirah Myers, Nancy Shakir, R.D. Strong, Bethany Tolentino Photo credits: FaBW, William Frazier, Jon Levine

Excerpts FromWhere Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community? By Dr. Martin Luther King Racism And The White Backlash , Chapter iii For more than two hundred years before the declaration of independence, Africa had been raped and plundered by Britain and Europe, her native kingdoms disorganized, and her people rulers demoralized. For a hundred years afterward, the infamous trade co ntinued in America virtually without abatement, even after it had ceased to be legal on this continent. . In fact, this ghastly blood traffic was so immense and its profits were so stupendous that the economies of several European nations owed their growth and prosperity to it and New England rested heavily on it for its development. Beard declared it was fair to say of whole towns in New England and Great Britain: "the stones of your houses are cemented with the blood of African slaves."



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In this issue...... Editorial Fannie Lou Hamer Prison Letter Bilal Colbert POP Aims & Purposes Poem, Mobilize High Stakes Testing Stanton Crew Earl Faison Reparations Section POP Action Update Trenton Protest Carolyn Faison Mourned Death Penalty BWUM Vieques Villanueva Sign Up Form

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