Posts made in September, 2013

About the Stop Police Crimes Campaign

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

About the Stop Police Crimes Campaign

From January 2009 to the end of September 2013 Chicago police killed 72 people and shot another 143, according to the “Independent Police Review Authority” (IPRA) [Note 1]. This violence was perpetrated against 197 African Americans and 33 Latinos[i]. Not a single police officer has been charged or disciplined for any of these crimes by the Police Board or the State’s Attorney.

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Statement by Angela Davis supporting the August 28 March on City Hall for Peace with Justice

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in News, Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

Statement by Angela Davis supporting the August 28 March on City Hall for Peace with Justice

August 7, 2013 Angela Davis calls for a mass march on Chicago City Hall on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 for “Peace with Justice.”  “Fifty years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this date we are still not free.   We are confronted by a new Jim Crow, that is, the mass incarceration of African Americans, Latinos and other people of color.” Angela Davis was a founding member and Co-Chairperson of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, the parent organization of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.  She is a widely respected author and activist in the struggle for freedom and justice for all people, especially people of color.  She issued the following statement this week. I would like to add my name to the call by the Chicago Alliance for a mass march on the Chicago City Hall on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 for “Peace with Justice.”  Fifty years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this date we are still not free.  We are confronted by a new Jim Crow, that is, the mass incarceration of African Americans, Latinos and other people of color. The acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, coming only weeks after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, adds new urgency to this march. The police are the cutting edge of the prison-industrial complex.  The mass incarceration of Black and Latino men and women – millions of them – starts with being arrested.  Furthermore, the police are supposed to be the first responders, protecting the people from violent and other forms of crime.  It’s time that the City Council and the Mayor enact and empower an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council [i].  That’s what the march on City Hall is for. Officials report that Chicago police killed 63 people and shot another 153 between 2009 and 2012.  This violence was perpetrated against 172 African Americans and 27 Latinos [ii].  In these same four years 1,846 people were murdered in Chicagoiii.   The overwhelming majority were African Americans and Latinos.  The police and the State’s Attorney seem powerless to do anything about this.  They have solved very few of these crimes and they often get the wrong person.  Chicago is the wrongful conviction capital of the United States.  Hundreds of Black and Latino men and women have been tortured until they confessed to crimes they did not commit.  Many were sentenced to death (Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2012).  Others have been sentenced to prison, many for their Natural Lives. Documented instances of police involvement in murder, drug trafficking, gang involvement, and other crimes are plentifuliv.   The city admits that Rekia Boyd, a 22 year old African American woman, and Flint Farmer, a 29 year old Black man, were murdered by the Police.  They admit that many police torture victims have wrongfully spent decades in prison.  They have paid out hundreds of millions in settlements and attorneys fees on these cases, but not a single CPD officer has ever been charged with any of these crimes.  Most are still on the force, or are retired and collecting their pensions. This is why I want to add my voice to all those of the CAARPR Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes in urging everyone within sound of my voice to come to the Federal Plaza at 11:00 am on Wednesday, August 28, and march to City Hall demanding that the police be held accountable for...

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Statement on the Murder of Trayvon Martin and the Aquittal of George Zimmerman

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Articles, News | 0 comments

For immediate release, July 15, 2013 For follow-up or more information contact Clarice Durham or Ted Pearson, 312-939-2750, or contact@naarpr.org. The following statement was released this morning by Clarice Durham and Ted Pearson, Co-Chairs of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression: The murder of Trayvon Martin and acquittal of George Zimmerman is another dagger in the heart of democracy Two things have occurred in the past month which indicate that African Americans have no rights that white law makers, police and racist vigilantes are bound to respect. The first was the U.S. Supreme Court gutting of the Voting Rights Act, characterizing it as “perpetual racial entitlements” and thereby perpetually entitling white representatives of ruling elites to disenfranchise African Americans in an effort to bring back Jim Crow. The second was the acquittal Saturday of George Zimmerman, murderer of Trayvon Martin. The acquittal of Zimmerman is another Rodney King case. A child was stalked and murdered by a wannabe cop. The jury of 5 white women and one Afro-Latina woman ignored this. There were no African Americans on that jury, no one who has experienced the racism and brutality delivered to Black people in the U.S., especially in Florida, for 500 years. Every African American mother and father has profound and new worries about the safety of their children. The acquittal of Zimmerman combined with the annulment of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court late in June amount to a legal and political declaration that Black people have no rights that U. S. society is obliged to respect. Not only does the Zimmerman verdict endanger every African American, it is a fundamental challenge to democracy and the foundational principles of the Declaration of Independence. This is the betrayal of Reconstruction and Civil Rights all over again. All people in the United States, regardless of race, have a stake in preventing a second roll-back of African American rights. The first rollback, the betrayal of Reconstruction in 1877, resulted in undoing the most progressive legislation the country has seen in education and basic rights. It re-entrenched the most reactionary, anti-labor, racist, slave-holding elements in the South and in the United States Congress. In this time in which the far right is campaigning to crush Organized Labor, destroy the social safety net, and further enrich the already super-rich, the fight against these latest racist atrocities must unite us all, Black, white, Latino, Asian, women, youth, and LGBT people – everyone who values democracy. Gerald Horne, the noted historian, recently noted at the Chicago Alliance 2013 Human Rights Awards, that the Jim Crow South was “the place where slavery was most persistent was also the place where lynching was most prevalent and where today anti-union sentiment is the strongest… [No] progress nationally is secure unless we break the back of reaction in Dixie.” The state of Florida charged Zimmerman only after mass protests in the streets, and even when the state proceeded it did so faint-heartedly. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi declared on national television following the verdict, “This case was never about race.” But that was precisely what the case was about. For one we know that prosecutors get the kind of juries they want, especially in the South and they usually get all white ones. This is like stacking the deck and announcing that the game is fair. The message of the verdict is that you can profile, stalk and kill an unarmed Black child in Florida and call it self-defense. This law was designed for white vigilante violence against African Americans. Historically, white racists have always claimed...

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Watch the video of the June 2013 Human Rights Awards Program

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Articles | 0 comments

Saturday, June 15, 2013 40th Annual Human Rights Awards From the Wilmington Ten to Howard Morgan,  A Luta Continua – Free all Political Prisoners Keynote speaker – Gerald Horne, PhD Honorees: Jeff Baker, President of the Committee for a Better Chicago and leader in the struggle to Stop Police Crimes Lisa Brock, PhD, Academic Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and longtime activist for human rights Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union and strong advocate for fair and effective public schools The People’s Law Office Staff, committed fighters for rights and justice for all prisoners, including freedom for those who have been wrongfully...

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Remarks of Gerald Horne, keynote speaker at CAARPR 2013 Human Rights Awards

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Articles, News | 0 comments

Remarks of Gerald Horne 2013 Human Rights Awards Chicago Illinois, June 15, 2013 It is difficult to overestimate my pleasure in returning to Chicago.  When Clarice Durham and Ted Pearson reached out to me, I accepted quickly not giving either an opportunity to change their minds.  I was sufficiently taciturn to avoid confessing that I would have paid them to come to Chicago to speak to an audience of political activists and progressive minded people. This is because Chicago historically has been in the vanguard of progressive change, going back to the times of the Haymarket martyrs whose sacrifice bequeathed to us the 8 hour day and May Day itself, the international workers’ holiday.  It was also in Chicago that the heroic Ida B. Wells-Barnett led a trailblazing crusade against lynching that has provided us with a template for struggle that exists to this very day:  Southern Solidarity and International Solidarity.  Southern solidarity in that the place where slavery was most persistent was also the place where lynching was most prevalent and where today anti-union sentiment is the strongest and that no progress nationally is secure unless we break the back of reaction in Dixie—and that in order to do this, we will have to enlist our friends in the international community.   Wells-Barnett realized this when in the 1890s she took her crusade against lynching—which disproportionately occurred in Dixie—to the shores of London.   Wells-Barnett also did not ignore the all important class question as she realized that the scourge that was lynching did not exclude Negroes who were affluent or powerful; in fact, the white supremacists disproportionately targeted this group, not least since their very existence undermined the fundamentals of white supremacy itself. It was also in Chicago that African-Americans began to take flight, a development that ultimately marked a great leap forward in the struggle against global and domestic fascism.  One can glimpse that of which I speak by perusing the neglected 1930s novel by George Schuyler, Black Empire, which featured Negro pilots bombing racists in Mississippi and colonialists in London.   It was approximately 95 years ago that a young woman of color from Texas, Bessie Coleman, moved to Chicago where she was befriended by the publisher of the Chicago Defender, Robert Abbott, who financed her successful effort to be trained as an airline pilot in France.  It was Coleman who inspired a future generation of black pilots including John Robinson of Chicago who migrated to Ethiopia in the mid-1930s where he played a pivotal role as a fighter pilot in the war against Italian fascism, then went on to serve as a founder of Ethiopian Airways, to this day one of the leading carriers on the continent.  Robinson was hailed by thousands upon returning to Chicago after his return from East Africa in the 1930s, then was hailed by thousands more when he perished in an air crash in Ethiopia in the 1950s—one of the few individuals to be celebrated on two continents. Robinson, however, was not alone.  James Peck, was a Black American pilot who fought during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s alongside the progressive forces—including many Mexicanos and Puerto Riquenos–in one of the most important conflicts of the 20th century; he was also a great writer and his book, published in 1940, ‘Armies with Wings’ is one of the few accounts published to this day telling how it feels to kill from the air—a work that could usefully be consulted by drone operators today. Because those like Robinson and Peck did not shrink from fighting fascism abroad, we were placed in an advantageous...

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