Posts made in January, 2015

In The Winds of History: We Charge Genocide Again ! Interview with Frank Chapman

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In The Winds of History: We Charge Genocide Again!         An interview with Frank Chapman, education director and organizer with the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression (CAARPR)  by Steve Craig, CAARPR Member       In light of the recent success of the We Charge Genocide group in their swaying the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva to address police crimes and excessive use of force in the Review of the U.S. Government’s Implementation of the Convention Against Torture, I ask Frank Chapman for some historical context Q. Could you place the current Stop Police Crimes movement into historical perspective and, perhaps, trace the origins of the phrase “We charge genocide”? Frank: Let me start with the simplest part of that question first. We Charge Genocide is referred to sometimes as the anti-lynching petition to the United Nations that was filed by William L. Patterson on behalf of the Civil Rights Congress. It’s a petition that was presented to the United Nations charging the United States with violation of Article 2 of the U.N. genocide convention by failing to prevent the lynching of African Americans. The Genocide Convention was adopted by the U. N. general assembly on December 9th, 1948 and became effective in January, 1951. However, it was not ratified until November 4th, 1988. There’s often confusion about who presented the We Charge Genocide petition first. Some people say that the NAACP did because they submitted a petition in 1947, whereas the We Charge Genocide was not presented until 1951. What the NAACP submitted was a petition called An Appeal To the World that accused the United States of systematic racial discrimination. The We Charge Genocide petition was much stronger, much more forceful, and Patterson, Paul Robeson, and the Civil Rights Congress came under heavy attack for their left wing political views when they submitted this petition. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt, in Paris, opposed William Patterson even presenting it to the United Nations. And she was a member of the board of the NAACP. So, there was clearly a difference. The Civil Rights Congress was coming under attack because of the Cold War, and they tried to put a cloud over the We Charge Genocide petition by saying that it was presented by a Communist front organization. Under pressure the Civil Rights Congress was disbanded in 1956. Paul Robeson, who presented the petition to the U.N. in New York in 1951, was banned from public singing. The U.S. government revoked his passport because of his presentation of this petition and for his political views. The We Charge Genocide petition was born in controversy, and it was never accepted by the United Nations.  So, the work that the young people are doing today is really very important.  They’re saying that we can still charge genocide. What the original petition said, and I’ll quote a piece, was: “We charge Genocide.  We maintain that the oppressed Negro citizens of the United States, segregated, discriminated against, and long the target of violence, suffer from genocide as a result of the consistent, conscious, unified policies of every branch of government.” That is very, very relevant to what is going on today because if we look at these police crimes and we look at what’s happening in the African American communities, these policies are policies that are being supported by every branch of government.  The federal government is not intervening on behalf of its African American citizens, whereas their treaty obligations say they should. They are signers of the United Nations human rights conventions. They should not allow...

Read More

A Tradition Unfolding: The We Charge Genocide Campaign & the Continuation of the Movement to End Police Violence by Jason Ware

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  A Tradition Unfolding: The We Charge Genocide Campaign & the Continuation of the Movement to End Police Violence   By Jason Ware, We Charge Genocide & Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression A delegation of eight youth headed to Geneva Switzerland for the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) meeting armed with their carefully constructed report:  Police Violence Against Youth of Color. The seven Black and one Mexican youth made the trip November 12-14 to represent We Charge Genocide, a newly formed, grassroots, volunteer-run organization in Chicago. Boldly, their aim was to do nothing less than to charge the Chicago Police Department with committing human rights violations against Black and Brown communities through their racial profiling, excessive use of force, sexual abuse, and indeed, genocide/torture. We Charge Genocide (WCG) has brought together a coalition of activists across Chicago to document, resist and mobilize people against police brutality and the targeting of communities of color. In its very short time of existence it has truly captured the spirit of the youth-centered movement against the racist police system upon which the United States is founded. These struggles are nothing new, nor are the campaigns and organizations that have risen up in response to them. Looking back at the pioneers of this work, we can find connections between the original “We Charge Genocide” petition filed in 1951 by William Patterson, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, and the track record of Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR). The contributions of these organizations to the current tactics, strategies and politics should not be ignored. They cannot be ignored. Such movements rose up to free the people from a police and prison system that exists only to attack Black bodies and people of color. This has been consistent, and with each passing era it breathes new life and has fresh faces in its ranks. As a young person myself, it is powerful to admit that we are at a time when the tedious work of our ancestors and the radical lessons of history have become the ammunition entrenched in the spirit of our resistance. It’s imperative to note that William Patterson, who submitted the original petition to the United Nations on behalf of the Civil Rights Congress, was one of the forefront organizers to free Angela Davis. The case of Davis was the birth of the NAARPR, the mother organization of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR). Coming full circle, youth have called upon the same name of “We Charge Genocide” and are being supported in full thrust by none other than the leading members of CAARPR. Millions of Black people have been forced to live within segregated and impoverished communities and are under constant risk of being brutalized and lynched. This was an issue understood by Patterson not only as oppression and subjugation but as an attempt at extermination both in America and the world at large. The battle against genocide in America is still being waged today, specifically in Chicago, and CAARPR is at the forefront of it. Frank Chapman, Co-Chairman, said at a recent meeting that police accountability and brutality are “a national problem that must be dealt with locally.” This is why the partnership and collaboration thus far between youth organizations, and WCG itself with CAARPR, is imperative. While there has been work on the ground by diligent organizers in the Alliance to gather over 10,000 petitions for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC), the folks from WCG have managed to gain the attention of press nationally and internationally to cover these...

Read More

Howard Morgan Is Free – A Peoples Victory! CAARPR Press Statement Jan 2015

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Press Statement- For release January 13, 2015 For information contact Ted Pearson, 312-927-2689 or Frank Chapman, 312-513-3795 PDF  Howard Morgan is Free Press Statement 2015    Howard Morgan Is Free – A Peoples Victory!   We, along with tens of thousands of other people, greet the decision by former Governor Patrick Quinn to commute[i] the sentence of Howard Morgan, who was almost killed by Chicago Police on Feb. 21, 2005, and was charged with attempted murder. Howard Morgan, himself a police officer for over 21 years, was charged and unlawfully convicted in a second trial after being acquitted of firing his weapon in the incident. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison. We also greet the pardon based on innocence granted by Gov. Quinn to David Bates, and the commutation of the sentences of Anthony Dansbery, Tyrone Hood, Willie Johnson, and Carlos Villareal. All have suffered years in prison unjustly, often for crimes they did not commit. These are victories of the peoples struggles for justice. We also must recognize the honesty and the courage of Gov. Quinn to act in the face of injustice, injustice that was organized and mobilized by state prosecutors and the police. Gov. Quinn, in his last act as governor, will join the ranks of John Peter Altgeld and George Ryan, Illinois governors who took giant steps in the face of tremendous opposition to “do the right thing.” But let us have no illusions. The courage and honesty of one man, Gov. Quinn, alone could not have done it. Gov. Quinn’s great achievement is that he was able to see and to hear the upsurge of millions of people all across this nation, demanding an end to police crimes. Millions have participated, and continue to participate, in marches, protests, direct non-violent actions, demanding an end to police violence, starting in response to the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri. This movement, embracing all races and ethnic groups even while being sparked and led by African American youth, deserves the credit for forcing the issue of police crimes and the cases of Howard Morgan and the others to the forefront. The slogan of the campaign for freedom for Howard Morgan has been “Now Justice has a Voice,” because unlike Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and thousands of African American, Latino, and some white people who have been killed by police violence, Howard Morgan survived. He is now free. His voice will be a powerful one for ending police crimes, for passage of laws establishing democratic civilian control of the police, such as that proposed by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Howard Morgan, David Bates, Anthony Dansbery, Tyrone Hood, Willie Johnson, and Carlos Villareal are free, but scores of Black and Latino men who have been tortured and forced to falsely confess to crimes they did not commit remain in prison. In the words of the late Amilcar Cabral, “A luta continua!” ________________________________________ [i] Howard Morgan will still appeal his conviction, and we are confident that ultimately he will be exonerated and compensated for the terrible pain and suffering inflicted upon him and his family.    ...

Read More

NEW! Weekly Community Meetings to Stop Police Crimes – Hood Hope Movement & Chicago Alliance

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Community Meetings to Stop Police Crimes   Hood Hope Movement and Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression When: EVERY Saturday 12p – 3p, starting Saturday January 10, 2015 Where: NEW LOCATION Farrell’s Barbershop, 6426 S.Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago IL 60637 Stopping Police Crimes How do we stop the Chicago police from terrorizing our neighborhoods from racial profiling, murdering and torturing our communities? … By demanding a systemic change, by demanding community control of the policewhere cops are held accountable for their crimes and communities control policing policies and procedures. How do we get there? … By fighting for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) Come join us, learn about CPAC, share your experiences and ideas, get involved! Contact: Real Deep 312.785-4182 or Frank Chapman 312.513-3795...

Read More

What is Our Attitude Toward the Present Youth-Led Rebellion?

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

WHAT IS OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PRESENT YOUTH-LED REBELLION? Frank Chapman, Field Secretary, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Due to the impetus of the present youth-led rebellion our movement for community control of the police is moving from being a marginal community based movement among African Americans to a broad democratic demand of the masses led by our Black youth nationally and internationally. The Alliance’s participation in this mass struggle is subordinated to the fundamental task of organizing a mass campaign for an all-civilian elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Our attitude is that we are truly grateful for the mass youth-led uprisings that have grated us these opportunities to fulfil our historic task of getting CPAC enacted by the Chicago City Council. Now as we approach a new year of struggle against police crimes and struggle for community control of the police we want to raise this question: What is the significance of the present uprising and what is our attitude toward it? Our attitude was succinctly expressed by our comrade Larry Redmond at a recent community symposium. Regarding the present youth-led uprising Larry said: “This is what we have been waiting for and fighting for.”  For the last two years we have been actively engaged in organizing mass protest against police crimes and calling upon the people to rise up; but this present movement was not a response to our calls. It was and is a spontaneous uprising of the masses that quickly, in hot house fashion, grew into organized mass protest. This is a democratic uprising whose minimal demand is that police who commit crimes should be charged, tried and punished for the crimes they commit; and whose maximum demand is the creation of an all-elected, all-civilian police accountability council or control board.  The youth who are leading this uprising realize that in confronting the police and the entire criminal justice system that they must position themselves to overturn racist institutions that are historically rooted in the long and cruel oppression of African Americans. And in this endeavor they have called everybody out thus ushering in the broadest, deepest democratic anti-racist struggle that we have seen in decades. They have demonstrated their ability to move large masses of the population against police violence and tyranny, and to stop the flow of business as usual. There have been mass social upheavals in the past fueled by the democratic aspirations of the masses but several decades have gone by since we have seen such a mass response like this to police directed racist violence against African Americans. The struggle against police brutality is not new but this particular stage and phase of the struggle is new. Here is how Mychal Denzel Smith, a writer for Nation magazine, characterizes the present youth rebellion: “This new movement is being led by mostly young black women who won’t allow us to forget that black women’s lives matter. It is drawing in diverse crowds, including white allies who are not calling for gradual change, but a total end to white supremacy. The movement doesn’t look or sound like anything our elders remember (or were taught) about the civil rights era. And that’s OK. We have a new fight. We have to create a new model of resistance.” What is new about the present struggle is not the call for “a total end to white supremacy”. In fact the “Black Power” movement of the 1960s did call for a total end of white supremacy. No one young or old in our movement would argue that the struggle to overturn white supremacy...

Read More