Posts made in January, 2015

Police Crimes and Lynching – Frank Chapman

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

POLICE CRIMES AND LYNCHING Frank Chapman, Field Secretary Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression The murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the epidemic of police crimes currently sweeping our nation bring to mind how lynching as a method of social control and a weapon of political reaction is still alive and still perpetrated in the name of law and order and maintaining racial oppression. Look at the white vigilante groups on the border threatening violence to Mexican children, and look at the wanton, senseless murder of African Americans and Latinos by the police in our cities and you can clearly see that lynching is the heart-beat of reactionary, racist politics in this land. We see racist attitudes everywhere from blatant racist attacks against President Obama to blaming African American and Latino families for inner city violence to vigilante murder of black children to the sidewalk murder of Eric Gardner by a gang of white police officers. Lynching is traditionally defined as the extra-judicial murder of someone by mob action. Historically, in the South, lynching has always been the result of the actual or perceived loss of white privilege and is associated with the re-imposition of white supremacy after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. In the Northeast and West lynching was used against U.S. and foreign born workers (remember Joe Hill) to keep them from organizing unions for better pay and working conditions. The San Francisco Vigilance Movement often mounted mob violence against the Irish, Chinese and Mexican communities. Also black and white civil rights workers were lynched in the South during the 1960s. According to the Tuskegee Institute 3,446 African Americans and 1,297 whites were lynched between 1882 and 1968. In the same period about 200 anti-lynch bills were introduced into Congress and only three passed in the House of Representatives. None passed in the Senate. June 13, 2005 the United States Senate apologized for its failure to enact an anti-lynching law. With a voice vote of 80 senators the U.S. Senate passed a resolution formally apologizing for its failure to pass an anti-lynch bill when it was most needed. The resolution expressed, in part, “…the deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets of the Senate to the descendants of victims of lynching, the ancestors of whom were deprived of life, human dignity and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States.” What has happened in the last nine years since this Senate Resolution of a formal apology? Police and vigilantes have continued to kill African Americans and Latinos with impunity and the federal government has not taken any consistent actions to stop this new style lynching by the police.  Since 9/11, 5000 people have been killed by the police (compare this with the 4,743 lynched between 1882 and 1968) and needless to say they have been disproportionately people of color. Randall Kerrick, a Charlotte, N.C. police officer,  earned infamy in September, 2013 when he shot Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player, 10 times in the middle of the night. Ferrell had crashed his car in what police called “a pretty serious accident,” and he was reportedly seeking help while in distress. After a nearby homeowner called police, Ferrell staggered toward the officers who arrived on the scene. That’s when Kerrick shot the man. Again: 10 times.  January this year a grand jury refused to indict Kerrick for murder. Public outrage by the African American community forced the Attorney General of North Carolina to get a grand jury indictment for manslaughter. But the situation with Eric Gardner,  the young...

Read More

Once Again No Justice! And Once Again No Peace!

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

  ONCE AGAIN NO JUSTICE! AND ONCE AGAIN NO PEACE! Frank Chapman, Field Organizer Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression From the murder of Oscar Grant last year at Fruitvale Station, to the blatant subsequent murders of   Michael Brown, Eric Garner millions of people in our country now realize that as far as the criminal justice system goes Black lives do not matter. The murder of Eric Garner and Michael Brown by white police officers has sparked an uprising of the people like we have not seen before. In New York people did not just take to the streets in Harlem and the Bronx, they couldn’t call it a ghetto rebellion of Black folk, because it was much more than that. The masses were out in the streets and they were the multi-racial, multi-national masses who bottled up traffic in Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, the Brooklyn Bridge and the West Side Highway. The energy was high and they were out until the wee hours of the morning. There were no tanks or military like operations in play. The police, as far as police go in these type of situations, were not confrontational. How could they be they were vastly outnumbered? And in several instances the masses demonstrated that they (the masses) could take the streets when they wanted to.  But it was in a passive resistance manner that said in deed that “we can stop trains, traffic and business as usual so take heed”. The police and their friends in the media tried to give the impression that they were in control but the visual images did not support this proposition. All and all I think what we are witnessing is the fact that the mass discontent among the masses has found a channel of protest against the official racist violence of the police and government compliance with that violence. So now we are seeing responses from the President on down, from elected officials that were not there during the Ferguson uprising. The Mass response is more massive, more diverse and more national and international in character and that is why the President is talking about a task force and meeting with civil rights leaders. And it is also why Rev . Al Sharpton is calling for a March on Washington a week from Saturday. Where do we stand? In the struggle as always; however, we can now move with the winds of mass protest pushing us harder and faster. The youth pushing forward like never before have created a new moral and political climate in favor of our struggle for civilian control of the police. We must find our way to the heart of this struggle, pushing the idea of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Councils, before the powers that be take the heart out of the struggle. How do we stop the police from racial profiling and murdering our people? How do we stop the police and the government from derailing our movements terrorizing the people? By demanding community control of the police where the people are empowered to hold the police accountable for the crimes they commit. How do we get there? By fighting for an elected Civilian Police Accountability...

Read More

Black Friday: A New Stage in the Struggle to Stop Police Crimes

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

BLACK FRIDAY: A NEW STAGE IN THE STRUGGLE TO STOP POLICE CRIMES Frank Chapman, Field Organizer, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression   Every Monday we meet at 6pm at 1325 S. Wabash, Rm. 105 The mass, corporate controlled media has consistently focused on violence and looting in Ferguson. On November 24, 2014 CNN news showed a picture of a burning building for several hours but did not show people conducting organized protests. However, since the grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson the media has been forced to acknowledge that there is in deed a movement a foot. On Black Friday a new stage in the struggle for justice for Michael Brown’s family emerged calling not only for mass protests nationwide but also boycotts and the interruption of commerce. In Ferguson, the epicenter of the struggle, the movement under the bold leadership of our youth did have sit-ins (die-ins) that closed down large malls and awakened large sections of the population to the racist injustice perpetrated against the Brown family. The issue of police crimes against the people is front and center in Ferguson. The Brown Family put out a call saying, “Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference”. Here’s how the struggle to make a difference went. In Oakland, CA protestors chained themselves to a train at a Bay Area Rapid Transit stop, forcing officials to close down the station. This had reprecussions throughout the system. In Chicago African American youth led a sit-in (die-in), teach-in demonstration while occupying City Hall for the entire working day on Thanksgiving eve and then protest/marched on Black Friday. In Seattle and all across the U.S.A. protestors disruppted Black Friday shopping while chanting, “If we don’t get justice, they don’t get profits”. Old groups like the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement, Organization of Black Struggle, NAACP, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, some of the UAW locals, the Arab American Action Network, the Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and others stand united with new group formations like Lost Voices, Tribe X and We Charge Genocide to demand justice and people empowerment. All this represents a new stage, trend and direction in the struggle to stop police crimes that is both spontaneous and organized. And most importantly the new direction is under the leadership of Black youth that recognizes political struggle as a means for achieving its goals. Given these developments it is incumbent upon our organization to continue to fight back and build a mass movement for enacting a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) here in Chicago. We must stay focused and not get lost in the sauce of the moment. This means that we will have to engage in intense mobilization and organizing of our communities at the grass roots level, I’m talking door by door, block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood. We must continue to engage those communities that are under seige and victims of police crimes; we must continue assisting them in having a greater organized presence in our struggle. This makes our Monday meetings night  very special right now. Come and bring someone with you. Every Monday we meet at 6pm at 1325 S. Wabash, Rm....

Read More

Still We Rise – Frank Chapman

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

STILL WE RISE by Frank Chapman, Field Organizer Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Chairperson, Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes   We live in troubled times in a troubled city and land. Nothing reflects this more than the wanton, senseless murder of Flint Farmer by Chicago Police Officer Gildardo Sierra. This murder was video-recorded by a police squad cam and it is clear that Mr. Farmer, a young African American male, was shot three times by killer cop, Sierra as he lay helpless on the ground. There are no gray areas here; this was murder plain and simple. And yet Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says, after over two years of investigation, that Officer Sierra was “justified” because he thought Flint Farmer’s cell phone was a gun. Even though Farmer was already wounded, laying face down, motionless, on the ground, Sierra could “reasonably” have felt he endangered his life. So he stood over him and shot him fatally three times in the back, at close range. So when is murder murder? And when do we as a people, as citizens and residents of Chicago say enough is enough? It’s said we no longer live in a country where public lynching of Black people is socially acceptable but the recalcitrant fact of the matter is that these racist cops can and do kill African Americans and Latinos with impunity. They do the work of the lynch mob under the authority of the badge. This is why now like never before we must intensify the struggle to have our proposed Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) legislation enacted by the City Council. The police are out of control so we have no choice but to fight for community control and it is incumbent upon all of us to join this fight. We need to also talk about another shameful aspect of this travesty of justice surrounding Flint Farmer’s murder. Let’s call the matter to question: When are we as a people and a community under siege going to rise up? I say right on to CAARPR, the young protestors (black, brown and white), the Latino and African American family members of people tortured and murdered by the police and others who joined the protest calling for justice for the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner this past two weeks. But given the enormity of the police crimes committed against our communities this massive uprising is just the beginning We can say to our sisters and brothers in the struggle that no longer are we being quiet and tame in the face of death stalking our communities like a hungry lion. We have met with fellow human rights organizations and civil rights leaders, politicians and religious leaders and the response thus far has been sluggish, or not there at all. So the question remains: When do we rise up united? What are we afraid of? We are already dying and being killed so being afraid is not helping us to survive. Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean leaping and wide Welling and swelling I bear in the tide Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a day break that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave I rise I rise I rise -Maya Angelou   Stand up Chicago! Fight Back! Come to our meetings, sign our petitions, join us when we put our feet in...

Read More