Millions More Movement takes up police brutality
Published Sep 24, 2005 7:22 PM
“From all of the
reports that we are receiving from local communities that are now actively
organizing and mobilizing for the Millions More Movement, there is a definite
acceleration in the momentum at the grassroots level. The local organizing
committees, in particular, are growing and the number of persons registering to
show their support of the Millions More Movement (MMM) is increasing in each
region and state,” reported Minister Benjamin F. Muhammad, national
mobilization director of the Millions More Movement, at a Sept. 3 National
Mobilization Meeting in Washington, D.C.
South Los Angeles march protesting
police killing of Devin Brown
in February 2005.
In Los Angeles, over two weeks
later, the trend towards growing participation continues and, due to increasing
incidents of racist police brutality since early this year, MMM meetings
continue to grow.
At the Bethel AME Church, located in South Los Angeles,
the Community Call to Action and Accountability group meets every Tuesday to
discuss community issues and plan strategies. It is also mobilizing local
participation in the MMM.
On Aug. 30, this group’s meeting was
partly dedicated to fighting for justice for Devin Brown, an unarmed 13-year-old
boy shot to death by an LAPD cop last Feb ru ary. In an announcement about the
meeting and a demand to fire the cop who killed Devin, the organizers stated:
“The Com munity Call to Action and Accountability (CCAA) is demanding that
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton immediately fire Officer Steven
Garcia, and that the newly appointed Police Commission uphold this firing. The
Community Call to Action and Accoun tability (CCAA) is demand ing that Los
Angeles District Attor ney Steve Cooley immediately file criminal murder charges
against Officer Steven Garcia. We want justice in this matter, and we want it
now ... No Justice ... No Peace!”
The mayor, police chief, city and
state government continued to drag their feet regarding the Brown killing. This
past July another atrocity occurred when an LAPD SWAT team refused to negotiate
a supposed hostage situation in Watts and instead chose to shoot down a father
holding his 19-month-old baby in his arms. The volley of bullets killed him and
the baby, Susie Peña.
Most recently, adding insult to injury
against the oppressed communities here, the police attacked a prominent leader
in the Black community. Tony Muhammad, Western Regional Minister of the Nation
of Islam, was beaten and kicked in the head by the LAPD at a peace vigil on Aug.
That incident outraged the Black community. Over 600 people came to
the next Tuesday night meeting of the CCAA, where actions were discussed to
protest this and the Peña and Brown killings. A special portion of the
meeting was dedicated to the Peña family and money was raised on their
A big theme that night at the CCAA meeting was unity. In fact, the
meeting began with Native-American dancers performing a spiritual ceremony and
ended with Black Muslim and Christian ministers, community activists and labor
leaders pledging a tireless fight against injustice and racism. This spirit of
unity was echoed at the following meetings and will further be expressed at the
Sept. 24 anti-war rally here in Los Angeles.
It was decided that Sept. 24
would be the day to bring out thousands against police brutality at the LAPD
headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, just blocks away from the ending march
site of the anti-war rally. Plans are currently being made to integrate the two
actions by members of the CCAA, who voted last week to expand the theme of their
demonstration to include ending the war in Iraq now.
This theme of unity
is a major component of the MMM nationally. “For the first time in our
history, those of us of different ideologies, philosophies, methodologies,
denominations, sects and religions, political and fraternal affiliations have
come together to create the Millions More Move ment,” states the Honorable
Minister Louis Farrakhan in the September issue of The Final Call.
strengthen that unity and the movement, Minister Farrakhan extended an open
invitation to the National Black Justice Coalition, a lesbian, gay, bi and trans
organization, to be co-conveners of the MMM in Washington, D.C., on Oct.
The NBJC recently announced D.C. activities Oct. 14-16 in conjunction
with the MMM titled “We are Family Unity Weekend.”
also responded immediately to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina, which has
been cited nationally by the MMM as another example of U.S. racism. At the Sept.
3 Washington meeting of the MMM, Minister Akbar Muhammad, international
representative of Minister Farrakhan, stated the importance of the MMM “to
speak out about this great tragedy and to take immediate steps to offer our
assistance to the thousands in need.”
The writer is an organizer
with the International Action Center and Million Worker March Committee, which
are both members of the CCAA.
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