Hundreds of black people will be convening in Washington, D.C. to participate in the November 7 and 8 Black Power Matters rally, march and national conference sponsored by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.
The rally, which will begin at noon Saturday, November 7 will feature internationally recognized black activists and intellectuals such as Herdosia Bentum, president of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and Glen Ford, Executive Director of Black Agenda Report and a founding member of the sponsoring Coalition.
The rally, march to the White House that follows and the conference on November 8 at Blackburn Center at Howard University, will all promote Black Community Control of the Police as the only rational and democratic demand by the black community in the wake of the recent police killings of black people.
These killings achieved greater notoriety with the August 9, 2014 assassination of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the April 19, 2015 death of Freddie Gray after an assault by police in Baltimore, Maryland a week earlier.
An article by Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report and featured on the Coalition’s website speaks to the general lack of clarity that has accompanied too many of the actions by black people in response to U.S. police violence against African people with these words:
“The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations has a demand: Black Community Control of the Police – now, and in every Black community in the United States.
The Black Is Back Coalition will rally and march on the White House on Saturday, November 7, as it has every year since 2009. This year, the theme is “Black Power Matters” – because the power of a mobilized people is the hammer that backs up the demand for Black Community Control of the Police.
“It’s the proper demand for Tamir Rice, whose murder at the age of 12 by a Cleveland cop has been declared a “reasonable shooting” by two law enforcement ‘experts.’ The only way to shield Black children from killer cops is through Black Community Control of the Police. That’s why Black Power Matters – because only Black Power can ensure that Black Lives Matter.”
On November 8, the conference will begin at noon at Howard University Blackburn Center and will address the Coalition’s practical approach to implementing the demand for Black Community Control of the Police.
It will also deal with other compelling issues that reveal the connection of the police murder of African people to the mass incarceration of black people and black political prisoners.
There will also be a panel discussion on the obvious crisis afflicting the U.S. social system and it’s connection to perpetual warfare.
Reparations and Healthcare will also be on the agenda at the university conference and speakers will include Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, Kamm Howard from the Amos T. Wilson foundation, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo a D.C.-based community activists and Margaret Kimberly a Black Agenda Report columnist and activist with the United National Antiwar Coalition.
Lawrence Hamm, Chairman of the People’s Organization of Progress in New Jersey and a participant in the Coalition’s inaugural march on the White House in November 2009 will also be presenting at the Howard University conference.
However, the conference will not be the talkfest that many people have come to expect from major black protest-related events. According to Coalition organizers the objective of the conference is to educate for the purpose of taking action.
Working groups led by Ralph Poynter, husband of Lynne Stewart, recently released political prisoner, will be putting forward a plan of action to address the plight of the mostly-invisible black political prisoners in the U.S., which historically has criminalized every political act that challenges the status quo.
Kamm Howard heads up the Reparations Working Group and will lend his expertise to the popular demand for repair of the historical damage done to black people up to this day.
Lisa Davis, Vice Chair of the Coalition is also chair of the Health Working Group, one of the most active of the Coalition’s Working Groups. She will provide a workshop advocating the significance of the issue of black community and individual health.
Recently, on October 10, several hundred thousand black people assembled at the Washington, DC Mall under the slogan of Justice or Else.
There was no justice on that day or any other for black people in the U.S.
On November 7 and 8 Coalition organizers do not promise justice, just Else.
For more information and to find out what you can do, go to blackisbackcoalition.org.