Tag Archives: the new civil rights movement

Healing places and healing hearts

Parlee for Rosalie
ICT writer, Parlee! Go, Ms. Jones, go!!!

By Parlee Jones

It’s been a while since I have put pen to paper. I love to write. I have been busy with my own life. Things are happening. My children are preparing to leave for
college. I’m moving. I work daily with homeless women and families at Abby’s House.

And then, all of a sudden, you wake up and see a video that stops you in your tracks. You have no choice but to pause. You have no choice but to shed tears and tear at your hair as you watch another black man being executed, live and in living color.

On your phone, on television, on your computer.

Over and over again, you see this murder.

My heart is heavy. Aside from the two executions we saw over the week of July 4th, Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, there was the shooting of the Dallas Police Officers, the subsequent bombing of
the alleged shooter of the police officers.

There was a young Black man found hanging in a tree in Atlanta (atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/what-really-happened-to-
the-man-found-hanging-in-piedmont-park).

There were six young Latino brothers who lost their lives to police violence (telesurtv.net/english/news/5-Latinos-Killed-by-US-
Cops-this-WeekAnd-Media-Ignored-It-20160708-0024).

The young brother who was
chased by a group of young white men and died from an asthma attack. (nydailynews.com/new-york/staten-island-teen-dies-asthma-fleeing-racist-crew-
article-1.2659272).

The Black man who was shot by an off-duty cop point blank during
a traffic dispute. (nytimes.com/2016/07/11/nyregion/video-of-fatal-shooting-
by-off-duty-officer-in-brooklyn-emerges).

Were you aware of these incidents of violence?

How my heart is crying for these lost lives. How my heart is mourning for these families who now must bury their people. How my heart is hurting because, instead
of dealing with the truth of systemic racism, and seeing the execution of these men live
and in living color, some folks still need to wait for the investigation.

Some folks say the police were doing their job.

All I have to say about that is: When did the police become judge and jury? Why do we allow men who seem to be afraid of people with
melanin or actually hate people of color, to supposedly protect our communities?

If you are okay with the way our police are policing, you may be part of the problem.

I had the humbling privilege of being a part of the Freedom Circles: Healing for Marginalized Communities Workshop. It was the first of a series of workshops. It is being hosted by BLM Worcester. The first workshop was facilitated by Julius Jones, founder of BLM Worcester. Future sessions will be led by others healers.

Julius is a love-centered activist. He is trained in Family Constellations, a popular healing
modality that explores the ancestral origins of our power, our persistent and “unsolvable” problems and their solutions.

We broke out into groups of two and practiced a technique called “Resonating” where we learn to listen and hold space for each other without projecting our own “stuff” onto them. Then we took a deep dive into internalized oppression. We talked about beginning to undo the harmful messages we receive from others and ourselves.

It was amazing.

After being so assaulted by the
coverage of the murders, I was feeling hopeless. Helpless. This was a space for me to be with like-minded people. People who want to understand true history. Something
that is not taught in schools. Part of the freeing of my own mind was learning Our Story.

If you do not know your true history – the history of your people, regardless of where you are from because unless you are a Native American your people are not from this land we call
home – if you do not learn the TRUE history of America, its founding Fathers and how this systemic racism was born, you truly cannot free your mind.

We have been conditioned to accept whatever is given by the powers that be.

We all belong to each other.

How can I help you understand that?

First ever Black Lives Matter agenda …

… released today!

A coalition affiliated with BLM issued the following:

CLICK HERE to read entire document!

“We demand an end to the war against Black people. Since this country’s inception there have been named and unnamed wars on our communities. We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people. This includes:

“An immediate end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth across all areas of society including, but not limited to; our nation’s justice and education systems, social service agencies, and media and pop culture. This includes an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services.

“An end to capital punishment.
An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and “defendant funded” court proceedings.

“An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.

“An end to the war on Black immigrants including the repeal of the 1996 crime and immigration bills, an end to all deportations, immigrant detention, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids, and mandated legal representation in immigration court.

“An end to the war on Black trans, queer and gender nonconforming people including their addition to anti-discrimination civil rights protections to ensure they have full access to employment, health, housing and education. …  .”

CLICK HERE to read entire document!

Gordon’s parked in A.I! … War Crimes, Mr. Trump and Worcester’s Mr. Hoar

By Gordon Davis

Recently Presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would authorize the use of torture (waterboarding) by American forces. Torture is forbidden by international law; it is a war crime and a crime against humanity.

Trump subsequently doubled down on his commitment to torture. He now says he would execute Muslim prisoners by firing squad with bullets dipped in pork. Summary execution also is a war crime. Some Muslims believe that they cannot enter Heaven when their bodies are polluted with pork.

Former President George W. Bush has an arrest warrant against him by the World Court for his authorization of waterboarding torture. This is the reason that he rarely leaves the boundaries of the United States. Like what happened to the fascist Allende, a country recognizing the World Court could arrest Mr. Bush.

The crime of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pork is not new to Mr. Trump.  The American General Pershing during his tours of duty in the Philippine American War was rumored to have committed this crime several times.

The Philippines American War is little known, although some estimates are that close to 500,000 Filipinos were killed.  The southern Philippines have had a majority Muslim population that resisted the American occupation.

In contrast to Trump and Bush is Worcester’s George Frisbee Hoar. Mr. Hoar moved to Worcester in the early 19th Century. He, similarly to Samuel Clemens, opposed the Spanish American War and the American occupation of the Philippines. He thought it to be Imperialism. Mr. Hoar was a member of a commission that found that Americans had committed war crimes during the Philippine American War.

When George Hoar came to Worcester he became a Free Soiler. He opposed the expansion of slavery into the so called American territories. With the establishment of the anti-slavery Republican Party Mr. Hoar joined it early on.

Hoar fought for the rights of Black people and Native Indians. He also sided with those in favor of equal rights for women.  He defended Italians who were immigrating into New England and he opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute can claim Mr. Hoar as a founding member. Like most Republicans of that time, he was a supporter of industrialization.

A statue of Mr. Hoar graces our City Common, here in Worcester.

Hoar

The anti-war movement went silent during the Presidency of Barack Obama, even though there were American wars through his time in office.

With the election of a Hoar like Senator Sanders the anti war movement will again find it difficult to act.

I suspect that should Mr. Trump be elected to the Presidency of the United States, there will be more wars. Like President Obama, Trump will be constricted by material conditions. I think the anti-war movement will be revitalized, using the Blacklives movement as a model.

During the 1960s there was a confluence of the old civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. Dr. King and Malcolm X were some in the leadership of this confluence. 

It is not clear what the new leadership will look like in the fight against war and for economic and social justice in the 21st Century.

The Black Panthers’ Influence in Worcester  

By Gordon Davis
 
The recent showing of the Black Panther Party documentary on the Public Broadcasting System reminded me of the late 1960s when the Black Student Union of Holy Cross college marched to the Worcester police station on Waldo Street to protest police brutality against a Black teenager, “Patsy.”

As I watched the documentary, memories of the Black Coalition Party in Worcester came flooding back. It was formed in the early 1970s, after the so called Kitty Kat incident. The Kitty Kat was a Black owned night club on Main Street that doubled as a meeting place for the Black community.

During the summer of 1971 Paul, a young Black man, was severely beaten by the police in Worcester.

Some in the Black community came together at the Kitty Kat Lounge.  From the Kitty Kat a march to the Worcester City Council meeting was organized. There were reports that some of the marchers broke windows; true or not, the police began to arrest people.

It is said that the Worcester City Councilors were informed of the march and fled the scene.

After the march, the Black Coalition was formed. In many ways it was an umbrella group and it included some White people. As is the history of most umbrella groups, the Black Coalition had fewer and fewer people come to meetings. Soon it became a smaller group of the more militant and committed. This smaller group became the Black Coalition Party.

The Black Coalition Party modeled itself after the Black Panthers. We were armed and patrolled the neighborhood. We held several rallies, including one which had a starting point near what used to be Gilreins Bar and Grill and another starting point in the Laurel Clayton neighborhood.

Like with the Black Panthers, there were social programs such as the sickle cell anemia testing program which we coordinated with the City of Worcester. The program worked so well that we were offered a grant to continue these programs.  The grant was not accepted.

The Free Breakfast for Children program was supported by the Black Coalition Party, but we did not organize it. As I remember it, Anne Marie organized the Breakfasts in Main South and Ed organized the Breakfasts at Our Lady of Fatima Church. Neither organizer was in the Black Coalition Party.

The Black Coalition Party had an outlook of community organizing of working people. This was in contrast to the line of the Black Panther Party which was to emphasize what some called the Lumpenproletariat or exploiters.  Our view of the Lumpenproletariat was that they were working people who made mistakes. The differences were mostly of emphasis. To some extent these differences in outlook exist today.

Several people in the Black Coalition continued their fight against police brutality and misconduct in the Peace Coalition formed in 1993.  Like with the Kitty Kat incident in 1970s the community became outraged at the homicide of an El Salvadorian man by the police. The Co-Chair of the Rainbow Coalition, Delanot, called for a protest at the police station.

There was a meeting at Centro from which a march was organized. The marchers went to the Worcester City Council meeting which was suspended by then Mayor Jordan Levy when the group showed up.

The Peace Coalition was an umbrella group that did not want to use the term “racist terror.” Many in the group fell away when the City said the police were not guilty of any wrong doing. The more militant people in the Peace Coalition formed the Justice for Cristino Hernandez Committee to carry on the struggle until the City of Worcester reached a settlement with the Hernandez family.

Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl had more impact when she stated it was in support of the BlackLives Matter and in tribute to the Black Panthers. When I first saw the performance, I thought it was gimmicky. I underestimated the reaction.

One can say the BlackLives Matter new civil rights movement in Worcester has been influenced by the Black Panthers.  The Progressive Labor Party, Community United Collective, Socialist Alternative and others are continuing the fight for racial and economic justice.

The Panthers – for all of their faults – are the model for young people of color to free their minds from the mental slavery of the system stacked against them.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfasts have become the pretty faces for the liberals – the face of struggle without the struggle … or: The march to Kelley Square, the New Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Gordon Davis

There were two celebrations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Worcester:

There was the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast at Quinsigamond Community College on West Boylston Street. At this event an activist, Chris Horton, from the Worcester Anti Foreclosure Team, was slammed to the ground and arrested by police after he started to hand out flyers about predatory lending.

Mr. Horton was allegedly arrested when the MLK Breakfast organizers called the police to force him to stop passing out the flyer. The police charged Mr. Horton with assault and battery on a police officer.

It really did not matter whether Mr. Horton touched a police officer – once a police officer slams you to the ground, there is an automatic charge of assault and battery.

The other celebration in Worcester of Martin Luther King Jr. Day was the March Against Racism at Kelley Square:

Between 60 and 80 people marched down Green Street to Kelly Square. The location was chosen because four Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested there on MLK Day in 2015. They are still on trial.

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The march to Kelly Square was organized by radical organizations, much like during the old Civil Rights Movement NAACP and SNCC.  The Progressive Labor, Socialist Alternative, Communities United Collective and Worcester Immigrants Coalition were the main organizing groups. Although diverse, the groups had a common goal of anti-racism, anti sexism, ending racist deportation and economic justice for all. It was clear that this group would not be intimidated by any retaliation by city government.

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EPOCA is working to abolish the
$500 fee that is required to obtain a license by ex-prisoners.

Although not an organizer of the march, EPOCA an ex prisoner support group, joined the rally. The speaker from EPOCA talked of the racism and discrimination experienced by many ex prisoners. She also talk of its effort to abolish the $500 fee that is required to obtain a license by an ex prisoner, an almost prohibitive barrier for some.

Many people today do not remember or do not associate the urban rebellions of the 1960s with the old Civil Rights movement.

When Dr. King attempted to organize northern Black people in the cities he was rudely made aware of the militancy that created the Black Panther Party, Malcolm X and the Worcester Black Coalition.

I suppose Dr. King expected the White racism he faced in Cicero, Illinois. He could not have expected that young Black people in Watts would call him Martin “Loser” King.

The old Civil Rights movement in the South was to some extent prettified with men in suits and religious people (all good and brave people). The men in dungarees and those who spoke Geechee were only seen in the background. Dr. King eventually understood the contradictions of such tactics and began to support working-class and poor people, such as the garbage men and their strike in Tennessee. He was in Tennessee supporting them when he was assassinated.

To some extent the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfasts have become the pretty faces for the liberals – the face of struggle without the struggle.

Please do not get the wrong idea: I think that the people doing these things are good people and well intentioned. I know most of them and I consider them my friends. I am sure some of them would like to disassociate themselves from the new militancy of the BlackLives Matter. This has certainly been the case with some “liberal” people.

BlackLives Matter new Civil Rights movement has given a new face to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Worcester and in the nation.

The blockade of Kelly Square in 2015 by people protesting the killing of Michael Brown by the police added a sharpness and militancy to Dr. King’s Day that has continued through the year in Worcester and many cities and towns in America.

This militancy continued on January 18, 2016, when a coalition of groups and individuals marched against racism at Kelly Square calling out the city government and its police force. It was an action that joined Worcester to the BlackLives Matter civil rights movement.

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