Monday, April 20, 2015

Petition: Bates Harris Tulsa Shooting

Eric Harris was killed on April 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma by a reserve deputy. Robert Bates, 73, a local insurance executive who spends his free time working as a reserve deputy, said he "accidentally" used his gun instead of his Taser. See the body cam video embedded below and at YouTube https://youtu.be/oiBAuEyPpNc


The Guardian published the following narrative of the violence: 

"The video, which came from a police officer’s body camera, was released by police on Friday. It shows Harris running down a suburban street, away from his pursuers. The officer catches up with him and Harris is brought to the ground. A shot is heard and Harris gasps in pain.

A voice, presumably that of Bates, says: 'I shot him. I’m sorry.'

A gun is dropped on the road and then picked up.

Harris cries out, repeatedly, '
He shot me!' and says: 'Oh my God, I’m losing my breath.'

As officers continue to subdue Harris, one officer is heard to say: 'Fuck your breath.'

Medical help was called to the scene, but Harris died in hospital."

PETITION
Please sign the PETITION to terminate the deputy who pressed his knee into the back of shooting victim Eric Harris in Oklahoma after he was fatally shot by Bates, a sheriff's deputy who "paid to play" cop. The petition also calls for the termination of the deputy who said, "F your breath" to the dying man, who complained that he could not breathe. The deputies are michael huckeby and joseph byars (lower case is intentional). The petition will be delivered tomorrow, April 21, 2015. Meet protesters at 1pm at the Tulsa County Courthouse to walk to the sheriff's office. Please sign it today.
A representative of the Tulsa Democrats joined us at "Human Rights Demand" channel to request assistance notifying the public about the petition and demonstration as well as a second demonstration that is planned for Friday, April 24, 2015, at 7pm. Meet at the Tulsa County Courthouse. Hear Angela on the "Johnny Strozier Keeping It Real" broadcast 

There is a Facebook page to rally support for the petition. A demonstration is planned for 1pm Tuesday, April 21, for justice advocates to meet and deliver the petition, which presently has over 1,000 signatures, to the sheriff's office.
https://www.facebook.com/events/955144037849889/

Bates seems to be enjoying quite a bit of notoriety from his "mistake." See his interview at CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/17/us/tulsa-shooting-robert-bates/


Of course, the FBI cleared the Sheriff's Department in Harris's killing. 

Bates, a wealthy insurance executive who has known Sheriff Glanz for 25 years on both a professional and personal level, faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidentally killing Harris during a gun-and-drug buy sting. A report by the Tulsa World found that supervisors falsified training records for Bates, a deep-pocketed donor who has supplied the department with cars and electronic equipment during his seven years as a volunteer reserve deputy.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/tulsa-sheriff-fbi-clears-dept-eric-harris-shooting-article-1.2191645

African Americans have experienced significant racial injustice in Oklahoma. It was home to Black Wallstreet, the scene in 1921 of one of America's worst race riots. See a report at the url that follows: http://www.okhistory.org/research/forms/freport.pdf

SEVEN URLs are above this point in this article. Thank you in advance for signing the petition and sharing it and this article with online friends and groups. I saved the Blogtalkradio chat room notes from last night's "Human Rights Demand" broadcast and the phone numbers of participants in an email addressed to myself. Today, I cannot find the email in my "sent" folder at Gmail, and neither can I open my GoDaddy accounts where I emailed the information at this point. Perhaps they changed my passwords. NSA, or whatever agency, has outdone itself protecting officers who ridiculed dying Eric Harris after his "accidental" shooting. The federal government's racists are worst of all, including the black ones.


I find it completely irrational for African Americans and whites of good will to continue to ask for federal investigations of black people's lynchings. I have found the racists in the federal government to be completely unmoved by such pleas, as they are eugenicists who are more likely to give such law officers a bonus and high five or a beer summit. See "NSA Conceals Lynchings?" 
http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/nsa-conceals-lynchings.html


FEDERAL N*** HUNTING LICENSE

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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Adolf Hitler Born 126 Years Ago

On April 20, 1889, one of the world's worst dictators was born - Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler, Dictator, F├╝hrer of Nazi Germany, Genocidist

Born: April 20, 1889, Braunau am Inn, Austria
Died: April 30, 1945, Berlin, Germany
Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Spouse: Eva Braun (m. 1945–1945)
Parents: Klara Hitler, Alois Hitler
Read about Hitler at the Jewish Virtual Library url below
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hitler.html

Prosecution of Nazis who participated in Hitler's genocide are still being prosecuted today. NBC News reports the following:


MAINZ, Germany — Dozens of Holocaust survivors and their relatives from around the world are expected to converge on a German courtroom Tuesday, April 22, 2015, as the so-called "accountant of Auschwitz" is due to go on trial.

Former concentration camp bookkeeper and guard Oskar Groening, 93, is accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews.

"Many of the survivors, who are co-plaintiffs in the trial, are stepping on German soil for the first time since the end of Nazi regime," Christoph Heubner, the executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, told NBC News from Berlin. See the full report and video at the NBC site -  
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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tallahassee Rally v. Racism Apr.9

Students to hold rally against the KKK and racist violence

By staff | 
April 6, 2015
Read more articles in 

Tallahassee, FL - Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and other groups will be rallying against recent Klan activity in Tallahassee and North Florida on April 9. A Ku Klux Klan chapter has been flyering in Tallahassee neighborhoods, passing out racist and Islamophobic messages in an attempt to recruit. Recently it was revealed that three KKK members who worked for the Florida Department of Corrections were plotting to murder a black prisoner.

Students will rally at Florida State University’s Westcott Fountain at 7:00 p.m. and will then march to the steps of the Old Capitol. Representatives from the Black Liberation Action Coordinating Committee, the Center for Participant Education, Trans Liberation Front, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and others will speak on the struggle against racist violence and discrimination.

A leading member of SDS, Zachary Schultz said, “SDS is calling on the people of Tallahassee to drive the Klan out of town. We do not value the rights of white supremacists to spread their hate literature. Florida law enforcement is filled with KKK members and is part of a racist system that needs to be dismantled. We will be marching for an end to white supremacy.”

http://www.fightbacknews.org/2015/4/6/students-hold-rally-against-kkk-racist-violence

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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 2015 MaryLovesJustice Radio Schedule

PLEASE JOIN US! We use two human rights radio channels. Call (818)572-2947 for NNIA1, and call (347)857-3293 for Human Rights Demand. Upcoming BlogTalkRadio programs are listed in this schedule. Most of the shows are weekly presentations.

Sat. and Sun., 9amPST, April 11 and 12, AIMIvs.USA claimant's conferences. FreeConferenceCall dial-in number (605)562-0020, Meeting I.D. Code: 992-212-650. If that fails, the backup number is (805)360-1075. Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI) plans an action in International Court to win restitution for mentally ill people and their families or next friends regarding negligence, torture, and/or wrongful deaths of mentally ill people under the color of law. People who were victimized by untreated mentally ill people or drug/alcohol addicts can also become claimants. See more information below.

Sat. 6pmPST at Human Rights Demand (weekly) - Johnny Strozier Keeping It Real. Strozier was incarcerated from 1968, when he was 10 years of age, until 2013. He literally grew up in Georgia's prison system. Strozier advises youths and released prisoners to think right and act right so that things will go right in their lives. He has assembled a number of churches and human rights activists to help released prisoners in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Don't miss this re-entry program.

Sun. 9pmPST at NNIA1 (weekly) - MaryLovesJustice Prayer Meeting. March and April topic: "The Secret Rapture Already Began."

Mon. 12noonPST at NNIA1 (weekly) - "Is a lawyer in the house?" People who need legal representation state their cases in civil and criminal matters. Our guest for April 6 is another victim of The (Johnny) Cochran Firm fraud. He alleges the law firm defrauded him and worked behind his back for his defendant. The cancer survivor hired the deviant Cochran Firm attorneys to file lawsuit against his doctor, who misdiagnosed his disease and allowed his cancer to reach stage 3. He seeks an attorney to file a malpractice lawsuit against his corrupt attorneys who deliberately threw the fight for justice against his negligent former doctor.

Tue. 12pmPST at NNIA1 (weekly) - Dorothy Mackey, Human Rights Advocate, reveals shocking information about child endangerment, military sexual assaults, and other human rights issues (Google her). Children of incarcerated mothers and others are subject to CPS custody and enforced adoption. Some do not fare well after that.

Tue. 6pmPST at Human Rights Demand (weekly) - Ralph Poynter "What's Happening", a show hosted by a human and civil rights icon (Google him). Poynter is regularly joined on air by his wife, former activist attorney Lynne Stewart, and colleagues, including Betty Davis, Larry Poynter, and others.

Wed. 9pmPST at NNIA1 (weekly) Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill  In America, 1.25 million mentally ill people are incarcerated. They comprise 60 percent of the inmates in solitary confinement torture and over 50 percent of the police violence victims. Mentally ill people in the USA are sometimes executed, which violates U.S. and international law. We discuss the problems generally and present specific cases of government abuse.

Thur. 12pmPST at Human Rights Demand (weekly) Bob Darby  Advocate for the homeless mentally ill. Discussions include American eugenics, drug dealing by U.S. officials, avoidable wars, and power without compassion.

APRIL 2, 2015: Thur. 6pmPST at NNIA1 - Ms. Taylor, a children's advocate from Memphis, Tennessee, will be our special guest. The Shelby County Jail continues to violate citizens' rights 12 years after the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, this station director's mentally, physically disabled brother who was murdered there on August 1, 2003. Children incarcerated in the jail as adults suffered neglect and brutality. The Department of Justice investigated, and the USA entered yet another Agreement with that "correctional" facility. Yet Memphis officials refused to issue a resolution supporting the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of a Child when Ms. Taylor made that simple request.

Friday 12pmPST at Human Rights Demand (weekly) - Mary Diaz and Human Conflict Org. show - Advocating parole of prisoners in Florida and throughout the USA after serving their minimum sentences. Every Friday!

APRIL 10, 2015: Friday 6pmPST at NNIA1 - A special guest gives a report on courthouses and public records burned in the USA immediately after the Civil War through December 2013, when Franklin County, North Carolina records were burned. He speaks to why the government wants old wills and land records destroyed.

Fridays are usually reserved for special broadcasts and open mic night. Friday programs at NNIA1 are not presently scheduled for every week but will be announced (if/when shows are scheduled) at Mary Neal's pages on Facebook, Google+ (MaryLovesJustice Neal), and Twitter under the @koffietime account as well as in this schedule.

Monthly on Human Rights Demand - MaryLovesJustice presents authors and their latest books about social, economic, and legal justice issues. Dates and times for authors' interviews will be announced at Mary Neal's pages on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter under the @koffietime account as well as in this schedule. Recommended books are featured at our "MaryLovesJustice" blog.
http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com

**NEW** 
Monthly AIMI Volunteers Conference. AIMI has advocated for the human and civil rights of mentally challenged individuals and their families since 2007. AIMI offers volunteer positions for students, unemployed persons, and retirees who wish to enhance their resumes and/or devote themselves to a meaningful part-time career as a human rights advocate to decriminalize mental illness in America. Mental illness and drug/alcohol dependencies affect people of all races and socioeconomic classes in America; therefore, our volunteers include people of all races, educational levels, and backgrounds. "Whomsoever will, come."

Volunteer conferences are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PST on the first Saturday of each month, immediately after the "AIMI vs. USA" claimants conference. (AIMI conferences scheduled for April will move to the second weekend, April 11 and 12 (after Easter)).

** Learn more about "AIMI vs. USA" at

http://AIMI-HumanRights.blogspot.com 

Search online for "AIMI vs. USA." See "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog at
http://DogJusticeforMentallyIll.blogspot.com for individual stories of avoidable tragedies and methods for improving mental heath care in America.

Thank you for planning to join us for these Blogtalkradio broadcasts and conferences. All shows are archived for later listening by computer at your convenience 24/7, but please call in to speak on air! Comments and questions are invited for every program (see both telephone numbers in paragraph 1, above). Please call Mary Neal at 678.531.0262 or (571)335-1741 if you have questions about our schedule, want to be a special guest, or if you experience trouble connecting to our shows or the conference calls for AIMI volunteers and "AIMI vs. USA."

MaryLovesJustice Neal is director of Human Rights Demand, a host at National Network in Action (NNIA1), and director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill, a human/civil rights organization to decriminalize mental illness in America. The Rev. Dr. Floyd Harris, Jr. is director at NNIA. Note that "AIMI vs. USA" now uses only FreeConferenceCall for claimants conferences:(605)562-0020, Meeting I.D. Code: 992-212-650 >> backup no. (805)360.1075. 

Disclaimer:
The information and viewpoints given by hosts and guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MaryLovesJustice, Human Rights Demand, or National Network in Action. Neither hosts nor guests accept responsibility for the accuracy of information given by any other party.

Paragraph 1 repeated: PLEASE JOIN US! We use two human rights radio channels. Call (818) 572-2947 for NNIA1, and call (347)857-3293 for Human Rights Demand. Upcoming BlogTalkRadio programs are listed in this schedule. Most of the shows are weekly presentations, but special shows will be added as they are scheduled throughout the month.

Call or email MaryLovesJustice to be a guest or a guest host. Send your requests to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered. Title your email "radio shows." If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the request, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number (678)531.0262. You are also invited to simply comment below and leave your email address.  Thank you for sharing our human rights radio broadcasts with your friends and social networks to help make human rights radio shows successful!

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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Stop Incarcerating Youth May 17-23

Save the Kids
@STKgroup

The 2015 National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth will be May 17 to May 23, 2015. It is a volunteer project organized by hundreds of groups and individuals around the United States.

We are looking for groups and individuals around the United States to organize events.

The juvenile justice system targets four youth group for incarceration; they are the following, in no specific order: (1) Youth of Color, (2) Youth with Disabilities, (3) Economically Disadvantaged Youth, and (4) LGBTTQQIA Youth. 

GOALS: Another world is possible, and it begins with community based programs and alternatives such as rehabilitation, therapy, counseling, job readiness workshops, tutoring, more community programs and centers, and transformative and restorative justice programs in the community and in schools to address conflicts. Incarceration is not the solution, but the problem. Once youth are involved in the juvenile justice system, it is hard for them to get out of it. Please support youth and their futures and demand that no more youth are incarcerated no matter the crime/harm they have committed. Incarceration does nothing to address the needs of the youth who have committed the harm.

PROBLEM: The three step oppressive punishment process targeting youth is: 

(1) Criminalization of Youth is the stigmatization of youth through laws and norms that are based on their behavior, dress, socializing, identity, and community they live in. 

(2) Policing of Youth is the surveillance and social controlling of youth by law enforcement and those in disciplinary roles.

(3) Punitive Discipline of Youth is the punishment of youth which includes detention, out of school suspension, incarceration, home arrest, and probation. 

These three steps need to be eliminated in the juvenile justice system, which is the prison part of the school to prison pipeline. 

TACTICS: The events can take any form the group or individual wishes, such as a candlelight vigil, spoken-word mic night, protest, rally, teach-in, workshop, lecture, panel, banner drop over a bridge, walkout, conference, dinner, lunch, lobby day, dance, street theater, movie night, press conference, potluck, sit-in, parade, or disbursing pamphlets.

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Print out and laminate this "Against Incarcerating Youth" sign:
http://savethekidsgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Against-Incarcerating-Youth-Sign.pdf

Example of sign: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgfaK5p0eUE
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SUGGESTED THEMES

May 17
Sunday - Invest in Public Schools
Brown vs. Board of Ed. 1954

**Segregation through economics is still socially present and is displayed through mass public school closures in poor urban communities, while wealthier school districts are being given more staff and resources. 

May 18
Monday - No SROs in Schools and Alternatives to Police Involvement

**Rather than more counselors in communities and schools, we fill them with police and SROs to manage conflicts through arresting youth not listening and giving them therapy. 

May 19
Tuesday - Youth of Color and Racial Profiling
Malcolm X B-Day 1925

**With the rise of Ferguson Movement to defend Youth of Color against police brutality, this day is dedicate to addressing the racism in the juvenile justice system and the policing of Youth of Color. 

May 20
Wednesday - LGBTTQQIA Awareness 

**From homelessness to incarceration, LGBTTQQIA are the highest per capita nationally of youth who are targeted for homelessness, suicide, and incarceration. 

May 21
Thursday - Youth with Disabilities Awareness 

**Police, because of their lack of knowledge and skills on issues around physical and mental disabilities, have been more likely to escalate conflict with youth with disabilities resulting in brutalization, death, and incarceration. 

May 22
Friday - Girls Matter 

**Recently, because of social awareness of sexism and girl empowerment, girls are not submitting to abusive authority and are fighting back against sexual assault from family members and boyfriends. As a result, girls are finding themselves the fastest growing group of youth that are being incarcerated. 

May 23 
Saturday - Transformative/Restorative Justice - No More Prisons

**The problem with the current juvenile justice system is it is punitive in nature, promoting mass incarceration, rather than a holistic, transformative, and restorative justice system. 
___________________________

The days of May 17 and May 19 were chosen for four reasons: 

(1) because they are close to the time when students are getting out of school for the summer, which is the time when there is the most amount of youth violence and youth incarceration;

(2) because May 19 is the birthday of Malcolm X, a U.S. civil rights and Black liberation leader. Malcolm X once told his favorite teacher that he had a dream to be a lawyer, his teacher replied that was “no[t] [a] realistic goal for a [n-word]”. This caused Malcolm X leaving school and entering the street life of selling drugs, gambling, and pimping. His childhood life is a perfect example of the school to prison pipeline. The National Week holds to Malcolm X’s statement: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today";

(3) because May 17 is the anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, which ended segregation legally, but segregation still exists today systematically and socially; and

(4) because it acts as a bookend to the other National Week of Action. The other is organized by Dignity in Schools’ National Week of Action Against School Pushout, which is at the beginning of the school year.  


See more information at the following website: 
https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/24655-2015-no-youth-in-prison-week

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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Spelman, April 7, 1968

This event has passed. You missed it 47 years ago, or perhaps some of you did not. This is a trip down memory lane, commemorating the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Day of Infamy, 47 Years Ago Today
Atlanta and the Assassination of
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

   Martin Luther King
Sisters Chapel, Spelman Campus
April 7, 1968
by Heather Gray (1996)

The line moved in unison up the stairs
   and through
the chapel door.
No one spoke.
I could barely lift my feet.
It was April, the onset of Spring.
I was shivering.
His body was still.
His eyes were closed.
He was peaceful.
His compassionate voice was no more.
I wanted to run.
Yet, so desperately did not want to leave.
What now? I thought. What now?

by HEATHER GRAY
Counterpunch

In 1968, the tragic events in the first week of April turned the world upside down. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in Memphis on Thursday, April 4. He was there to support sanitation workers who were on strike. In an interview with Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now", Harry Belafonte described the sequence of events that day. He was in Atlanta when Coretta King received the news of her husband's death. The grieving Mrs. King asked him to help select the clothes for her deceased husband's showing and funeral. She expressed her concern, like all the rest of us in America, about the aftermath of his assassination and what she could or should do. Belafonte recommended that she continue in the support of the Memphis workers. She did exactly that.

On Monday, April 8, the day before her husband's funeral, Mrs. King was in Memphis marching with the sanitation workers. This remarkably brave and determined woman, along with her three oldest children, marched in silence in the company of 15,000 supporters from all over the country. Mrs. King told the crowd, "His work must go on.We are concerned about not only the Negro poor but the poor all over America and all over the world. Every man deserves a right to a job and an income so that he can pursue liberty, life and happiness."

I was in Atlanta at that time as well. Earlier in the week a Chinese friend, who taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, had asked me to attend an event and spend the night in the campus dorms. That was my plan. Little did my friend or I know how events that week would dramatically affect us all. Dr. King was assassinated on Thursday and by the weekend his body was in state at Sister's Chapel on the Spelman campus.

In the introduction to his excellent book "Undaunted by the Fight: Spelman College and the Civil Rights Movement 1957-1967" (2005) Harry Lefever provides a brief history of Spelman. It is "the nation's oldest and best-known black liberal arts college for women, founded in 1881. In 1929, Spelman signed an Agreement of Affiliation with Morehouse College and Atlanta University, two black institutions located directly across the street from Spelman." Ultimately other black schools of higher learning in the adjoining location joined the agreement. "Today, the total consortium of six institutions, known as the Atlanta University Center (AUC), represents the largest affiliation of predominantly black institutions in the United States." Dr. King received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in 1948.

That weekend a long line of mourners stood outside Sister's Chapel to honor the fallen leader. The silence was deafening. It was April, the onset of Spring, and I stood there shivering. All you could hear was the sound of feet slowly walking toward the chapel and people crying. As we walked into the Chapel toward the coffin, you saw men on either side of the coffin wiping away the tears that fell on the glass over Martin King's body. Only later did I learn that because so many people were crying, resulting in tears cascading into the coffin and over Dr. King, that a decision was made to cover it with glass. Once by the coffin I observed this physically small, yet great man of peace, and found it virtually impossible to believe that his resounding, powerful voice and message were no more. It was an incredibly sad moment to witness his still body and to even think of the contemptible violence that killed him. But I was also angry. I kept thinking "What now? What on earth is now in store for America?"

By Monday, April 8, people starting arriving into Atlanta for the funeral. I drove for the Student Non-Violent Committee (SNCC) to greet people arriving at the airport. My parents and hundreds of others were doing the same in their own cars. Along with two SNCC students from Atlanta University, the first person I escorted from the airport was Ralph Bunche. Dr. Bunche was the first black Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He had received the award in 1950 for his negotiations in the creation of the State of Israel after World War II. In 1968 he was an Undersecretary of the United Nations and was representing the UN at the King funeral. The City of Atlanta had sent its Vice Mayor Sam Massell to accompany Dr. Bunche, but he insisted on coming with us SNCC folks instead. Arrangements had been made for him at Atlanta's Regency Hyatt, but he insisted on staying at Paschals, Atlanta's renowned Black owned hotel and restaurant on Hunter Street, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. So here I was, driving Dr. Bunche, who sat in the passenger seat of my little car. His son was squeezed into the back with the other SNCC students. Bunche's son had brought his tennis racket. Life goes on I realized!

Lyndon Johnson was the U.S. President at the time. Johnson had decided to send his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, to the funeral. We were told that this decision was made because of Humphrey's renowned advocacy for civil rights. That being the case, protocol called for U Thant, the UN General Secretary at the time, to send someone under him of rank at the UN, such as Ralph Bunche, so as not to up-stage Johnson.

Interestingly, Bunche had been one of prominent Black leaders in 1967 encouraging the NAACP to write a statement criticizing King's opposition to the Vietnam War. Bunche said King should not be both a civil rights leaders and an antiwar advocate and that he needed to be one or the other. He later called King to apologize for his public statement and that he agreed with King's position on the war. King complained that Bunche did not have the courage to state his views in public.

The next person I picked up at the airport was Allard Lowenstein, an attorney in the movement, and one of his colleagues David Sweeney (see note below). He first wanted to pay his respects to Mrs. King. I drove them to her house that was surrounded by at least a hundred or more people. While I waited outside with throngs of people first i saw Harry Belafonte walk out of the house and then Sammy Davis, Jr. Mrs. King was serving fried chicken to her guests. There were so many that the empty boxes that had held the chicken were being burned in her back yard.

Next, Lowenstein wanted to greet Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, known as King's right hand man, who was to take over the leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), now vacated by King of course. Lowenstein said that this time he was taking me into the house with him.

As we drove toward Abernathy's house down Hunter Street (now "Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive") in southwest Atlanta, my car stalled. Here we were, three whites in the predominantly Black part of the town five days after King had been killed. Suddenly about three black youth started aggressively shaking my car. Lowenstein said, "Heather, you need to get your car going and out of here!" It was of course what I was trying to do. Suddenly and rather miraculously, my car started again and we were off. We then drove to Reverend Abernathy's house and what a dramatic experience this was.

To set the stage, King had just been assassinated. No one knew what this meant exactly. No one knew what other violence could be expected. It was not known how white and black communities across the country would respond or what challenges and threats where ahead in the movement. It was assumed, of course, that the work was to be increasingly more dangerous.

As we walked into the Abernathy house there were four men sitting in silence in the living room. The Reverend was resting at the time. Then we walked into the kitchen where Mrs. Abernathy was on the phone. Suddenly, here I was, a young white student who had never met Juanita Abernathy. Once off the phone she grabs my hand, holds on to it and recounts the events of the past few days. For some five minutes or so, she described her husband's frightening experience of being at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where King had been killed just five days ago, and how nervous and concerned she was about her husband taking over the leadership of SCLC. I stood there in awe and silently sympathized.

Then Reverend Abernathy appeared. He seemed rested and congenial. I was amazed at his composure but then thought what else could he do? Everyone knew the work had to continue. We all shook hands, spoke briefly, and I drove Lowenstein and his friend into town.

The funeral was on Tuesday, April 9 at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta-affectionately known as the King church. I joined the funeral march through the City of Atlanta. The Reverend James Orange, of Birmingham protest fame, had organized the mule drawn funeral cart to take Dr. King to his resting place. Thousands of us of all races followed the cart while holding hands and singing an abundance of chants. It was a movement funeral to be sure. One of the most memorable experiences that day was walking in front of the Georgia State Capitol. A wire fence barricade, along with the ominous presence of military sentries, surrounded it. As was intended, the whole area seemed bleak and foreboding. The arch segregationist and erratic Lester Maddox was Georgia's governor at the time. I fully expected him to run out of the building at any moment, stand on the Capitol steps, and shout all kinds of curses at us.

There has been and will continue to be speculation as to why J. Edgar Hoover's FBI under the Johnson administration intensified its surveillance and propaganda against King. It was known, for one, that Johnson was furious about King's outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, but it is also clear that King was shifting his emphasis to economic justice. While economic justice had always been a part of his message, the primary focus of civil rights and voting rights took precedence in the early movement work. By 1964 the Civil Rights Bill had passed in Congress and in 1965 the Voting Rights Act was a reality. All of this took enormous energy and a death toll. But King and others acknowledged that if there was the right to go to a hotel, what was the point if you couldn't pay the bill?

At the end of his life King was advocating for the economic rights of sanitation workers in Memphis and this was just the beginning. SCLC was in the planning stages of the national Poor People's Campaign march to be held in Washington, DC on April 22. On April 3 in Memphis, in his last speech, King called for boycotts against Wonder Bread, Hart's Bread, Sealtest Milk and, importantly, Coca Cola, for their appalling and unfair hiring practices. He encouraged everyone to follow through on this and to put pressure where it hurts. He said "if something isn't done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed."

In relation to the loss of Dr. King., years later I have often thought about insightful and powerful song by "Sweet Honey and the Rock" about Stephen Biko, the black leader who was killed by South African authorities in 1977 They sang, "You can kill one human body, I see ten thousand Bikos!" It rings true. You can kill the messenger, but not the message. As Lefever states in his book on Spelman College activism, that while he focused on individuals in the movement "it is clear" he said, "that their successes were much more than 'individual' successes. The study reveals the significance of the 'group' context in their actions." This has been true all over the U.S. and the world. A Filipino organizer once told me, "You can't organize yourself, who have to organize yourselves."

But it is also rather sobering to realize that when the economic or civil status quo of western "white" dominance is seriously challenged, countless young leaders of color all over the world have either been killed directly by those of us of European descent or by our proxies. Harry Belafonte describes King once telling him that given the outrageously violent and unjust behavior of white America that they were attempting to "integrate" into a burning house. Belafonte asked what should be done. King said, "we all need to become firemen"-and firewomen I might add.


(Note regarding David Sweeney: Sweeney, who was with Lowenstein in Atlanta for the King funeral, in an odd twist of fate, shot and killed Lowenstein in 1980 in New York. Go here for more information about this tragic occurrence.)

HEATHER GRAY is the producer of "Just Peace" on WRFG-Atlanta 89.3 FM covering local, regional, national and international news. In the 1980's she served as the director of the Non-Violent Program at the King Center in Atlanta under the leadership of Coretta Scott King. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and can be reached at hmcgray@earthlink.net. This article was first posted on Counterpunch in 2006.

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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bobby Seale: Black Panther Party Movie

~ Bobby Seale ~

Mary, thank you for your help with and support for getting an honest film produced about our history and the history of the Black Panther Party.

Here is the info on why and how people can support getting this film produced:
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Through BobbySeale.com, LLC (Independent Film Production Division), I am raising development funds to produce “SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant,” a feature length film dramatization that chronicles my life experiences as the founding Chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party and in turn the true history of the Black Panther Party.

“SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant” will tell the my true 60’s protest movement history and the true history of the Black Panther Party, giving those now and in the future an awareness of our history, as an example of how one should never give up the struggle for true liberation and freedom. Instilling and inspiring in them the hope that change is a possible and that we the people must proactively work to preserve our constitutional rights.

By purchasing books, posters, DVDs and memorabilia from my website, people can help support my efforts to get an honest film about my sixties protest movement history and the history of the Black Panther Party produced. Here is the link to that page:
http://bobbyseale.com/html/orderform1.htm

All Power To All The People!

Bobby Seale


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SEND YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR FREE PUBLICATION. Send your community service announcements to the MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com email address in order to be considered for publication in this "Human Rights Events by MaryLovesJustice" blog. Political and Christian announcements are usually welcome. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, please re-send the announcement, and call (571) 335-1741 for Mary Neal or the cell phone number(678)531.0262. Please also see book recommendations by MaryLovesJustice at http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and consider submitting news about your book if it pertains to a social or economic justice issue. Thank you in advance for assisting us by sharing this announcement with your friends in social networks.