On Saturday, July 25, large numbers of people from all walks of life will come together at the Lincoln Monument in Newark at 12 noon for what is looking to perhaps be the largest march of its kind in the history of the city of Newark, “The Million People’s March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice and Economic Inequality.”
This moving gathering comes on the heels of an ugly police killing in Texas of Sandra Bland, an incredible outrage that has transcended its pathetic media coverage and has produced a seething anger on the issue from all quarters.
Bland, a young professional African-American woman from Chicago, was in Texas to make a presentation at her alma mater, Prairie View University, when she was taken into custody over a minor traffic violation. According to official versions, she was “found” hung in her cell the following morning.
International public opinion sees her death as a “lynching” for her articulation of disgust at being taken into custody! Many are likening the case to the Emmitt Till case of 1955, the racial killing of a young boy from Chicago in segregated Mississippi, that sparked the launching of the historic civil rights activity of that era.
The march also comes on the heels of NYC based activists shutting down key intersections in midtown Manhattan this past Friday to mark the anniversary of the videotaped police slaying of Eric Garner in Staten Island. NY governor Andrew Cuomo has just implemented a “special prosecutor” for police killings of unarmed civilians in an effort to restore such some semblance of public trust on the issue.
Saturday’s gathering is expecting large numbers of protesters from the NYC area especially.
Lawrence Hamm, the indefatigable founding chair of the People’s Organization for Progress, was recently awarded Newark’s “key of the city” for his stellar commitment to social justice that now approaches 45 years.
That includes the sustained protest he organized that contributed hugely to the rare conviction of the police officers from Orange, NJ who beat and killed Earl Faison to death in April 1999. In that incredible case, in addition to hosting occupations at the Orange police station, when the officers’ case went to the federal courts in Philadelphia on appeal, Hamm organized a moving protest march from Camden to Philadelphia to keep pressure on the case!
Hamm, a long distance runner since his days at Arts High School, has secured close to 150 endorsements from all over the country.
“The time to finally do something about police brutality is now,” he said emphatically.
The gathering will also highlight Newark becoming the first American city to have a civilian review board with subpoena power over the police as the consequence of an executive order put forward by Mayor Ras Baraka in April. Mayor Baraka is an endorser of the event.
The Lincoln Monument is located on Springfield Avenue at West Market Street, downtown Newark.
For more information about the Million People’s March Against Police Brutality, go to www.popmillionpeoplesmarchagainstpolicebrutality.com, or “join” its very busy Facebook page.