NEWARK–On Friday, August 1st, the People’s Organization for Progress learned that Mary Weaver, their most beloved Vice Chairperson of Internal Affairs and Secretary General, passed away in her sleep the night before!
“They don’t come any better, stronger or more committed than Mary Weaver,” said a deeply moved Lawrence Hamm.
“She was the embodiment of the best we have ever had.”
Weaver, who was also the Second Vice Chair for the Oranges Maplewood Branch of the NAACP, came to the People’s Organization for Progress tragically as a victim, as a consequence of losing her only son, Randy Weaver, to a police shooting in July 1999.
The manner of her son’s death and her enlisting the support of P.O.P. led to a period of sustained protests that embarrassed the city of East Orange and highlighted a brutal year in terms of police brutality cases.
1999 was the year of the savage police killing of Amadou Diallo in New York City, Stanton Crews on Rt. 78 by state troopers, and the vicious beating and killing of Earl Faison by corrupt Orange police officers, whose case became an important civil rights case, among others.
Weaver, incredibly, not only became a P.O.P. member, she helped establish its East Orange chapter, serving as its chair. When the organization established its administrative posts, she became its Vice Chairperson of Internal Affairs. She held both posts at the time of her passing.
“Very few people could do what Mary did,” said former Black Panther national official Baba Zayid Muhammad.
“She turned the unfathomable pain of the loss of her only child at the hands of the police into a power that made her a force to be reckoned with on this front all over the country,” finished Muhammad who also does press for P.O.P.
Ingrid Hill, the corresponding secretary for the organization, echoed those sentiments.
“Mary was a phenomenal woman who used her tragedy, the loss of her son to the police, to become a real force for justice.”
Weaver became an ambassador for the annual Stolen Lives Project, a project that has documented the scope of police killings all over the country.
The Project would annually memorialize victims for their families in a moving ceremony.
“Mary Weaver was a true hero of the working class right among us,” said Larry Adams, P.O.P’s vice chair of external affairs.
Weaver was a veteran of the U.S. army, a retired social worker and an avid bowler.
She is survived by her granddaughter, Paige Weaver, her comrades and friends from the People’s Organization of Progress, the NAACP, Essex County Welfare, her bowling league and a whole lot more!
Arrangements have yet to be announced….