Written by Steven T. Jones
Saturday, 08 March 2014 10:12
| Crooked cops
SFPD officers indicted for abusing and stealing from the poor
It's a bombshell police scandal befitting San Francisco's restive mood, dropping at a time when simmering class tensions have been making national news, and one more example of how the poor are getting trammeled by those with power.
As politicians and tech titans were trying to make the gritty central city more welcoming to corporations and their workers three years ago, a half-dozen plain-clothed police officers were allegedly abusing poor people, illegally busting into their rooms, stealing anything that had value, forcing criminals to sell stolen drugs for them, and repeatedly telling lies in police reports.
When the targets of these abuses complained to the authorities, they were dismissed or ignored. Only when Public Defender Jeff Adachi and his investigators found and publicly revealed damning video surveillance from the targeted single-room occupancy hotels did federal authorities launch an investigation.
Adachi held press conferences in March and May of 2011 showing officers brutalizing SRO residents and leaving their rooms with laptops and other valuables that were never booked as evidence. When Greg Suhr was sworn in as police chief in April 2011, he put the officers on administrative duties, forced some to give up their weapons, changed department policies to deter cops from barging into people's rooms without warrants or probable cause, and cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the case.
That investigation resulted in federal grand jury indictments that were unsealed on Feb. 27, charging six SFPD cops with a variety of serious charges, including civil rights violations and conspiracies, theft, extortion, drug conspiracies, and falsification of records.
They are Officers Arshad Razzak, Richard Yick, and Raul Eric Elias, who worked in Southern Station, dealing with residents of SoMa SROs; and Sgt. Ian Furminger, Officer Edmond Robles, and Reynaldo Vargas (who Suhr says was dismissed from SFPD for unrelated reasons as the investigation got underway), who worked in Mission Station, where the drug conspiracy allegedly took place, on top of shakedowns in Mission District SROs.
All defendants are facing more than 20 years in prison (except Elias, who faces 10 years for civil rights conspiracy and one year for deprivation of rights under color of law). The Southern Station defendants are also facing $250,000 in fines. The Mission Station defendants face $1 million in fines on the drug conspiracy charges, which allegedly involved having informants sell a few pounds worth of marijuana seized by police.
Attorney Michael Rains, who represents Razzak and has been designated by the San Francisco Police Officers Association as a spokesperson for the others, told the Guardian that all the defendants had difficult undercover jobs in the murky world of informants and drug dealers.
"There was sloppiness in the reporting [in officials police reports], but sloppiness doesn't rise to the level of criminal activity," Rains told us, questioning the credibility of witnesses who have criminal records and the reliability and context of the video evidence.
But Suhr strongly condemned the behavior outlined in the criminal complaints, telling reporters that other SFPD officers connected to the case may still face disciplinary action and that, "My officers know I will not have dishonest cops among us."
He called the indictments a serious blow to the SFPD, appearing to choke up with emotion.
"Our department is shaken," Suhr, who has been with the SFPD more than 30 years, told reporters. "This is as serious a matter as I've ever encountered in the Police Department."
Yet Suhr also distanced himself from scandal, telling reporters, "This conduct occurred before my time as chief."
Most of the alleged crimes happened under former Police Chief and current District Attorney George Gascón shortly before he made that transition, one in which critics at the time raised concerns about whether he could be an effective watchdog of SFPD misconduct. That conflict of interest was what sent this case to the feds.
"It is extremely disappointing that the officers violated the trust of the community and tarnished the reputation of all the hard working men and women in uniform," Gascón said in a press release.
During a brief press conference that afternoon, Gascón denied responsibility for the misconduct: "Anytime you have a large organization, you are going to have people who operate outside the boundaries of what is acceptable."
Asked by the Guardian when he became aware of allegations that his officers were abusing SRO residents, he said, "We became aware at the same time everyone else did, when the videos came out."
Gascón's Press Secretary Alex Bastian cut the press availability off after 10 minutes so Gascón could prepare for his State of Public Safety speech that afternoon, but Bastian told the Guardian he would get answers to our questions about the office's police accountability record.
"When appropriate, we ensure the integrity of the system is not compromised by referring cases to other prosecuting agencies. In the abundance of caution, when this case was brought to my attention, I referred the case to the federal authorities to safeguard a thorough investigation and guarantee maximum consequences," Gascón said in a prepared response, while Bastian ignored our requests for more responsive answers to our questions.
But Adachi says these indictments are just the tip of the police misconduct iceberg, charging that police officers routinely lie in police reports and in court to justify illegal searches and other abuses of defendants who are poor or have drug problems, knowing that judges and juries tend to believe cops over criminals.
"The indictments today are a victory for ordinary San Franciscans," Adachi told reporters, emphasizing that in addition to personally profiting from the shakedowns, these officers were also submitting false testimony in perhaps hundreds of cases, including about 100 that his office has gotten dismissed. "These allegations not only involve violations of the constitutional rights of our clients, but also lying on police records that were used to send individuals to prison based on the testimony of these officers."
Residents and employees of the Henry Hotel, one of four SROs involved in this case, told the Guardian that the indictments are a rare repudiation of police mistreatment of SRO residents, which they say continues to the day.
"A lot of these people need help. They need guidance. They need a program. They need somebody to motivate them to go to their programs, not a fucking cop who keeps harassing them," Jessie Demmings, a manager at the 132-room Henry Hotel on Sixth Street, told the Guardian. "They try to take that one step to go forward and then when you come outside you get greeted by a fucking cop having a bad day."
Even though new SFPD policies prohibit officers from using passkeys to enter people's rooms without a warrant, Demmings said it still happens. "The reason why we give the passkey is because they always threaten we're gonna kick in the door, we gonna have a batting ram come and bust the door in," he said.
Adachi cited his office's long history of cases in which "officers were barging into rooms without warrants and they were lying about it in police reports."
Cases of police abuse are handled by the city's Office of Citizen Complaints, but its work is shrouded in secrecy, thanks to the California Peace Officers Bill of Rights, and officers rarely face serious consequences for their actions.
"We do have complaints with regard to the conduct within the SROs and we have made policy recommendations to the chief," OCC Director Joyce Hicks told reporters at the SFPD press conference. She called the indictments "extra serious because it implicates the Fourth Amendment and people's rights."
Adachi said that after revealing the videos in 2011, he persuaded Mayor Ed Lee to fund two positions in his office investigating police misconduct, but the Mayor's Office defunded those positions after a year and ignored Adachi's calls to restore them (as well as Bay Guardian calls for comment on the issue).
"We felt like the public needs to know about this," Adachi said of the behavior revealed by the federal investigation. "What happened today is significant, and I think it will have deterrent effect."
Sabrina Rubakovic and Brian McMahon contributed to this report.
Oakland author JR Valrey has just published his powerful second book - Unfinished Business: Block Reportin 2. The author/journalist/broadcaster/activist who is also known as the People's Minister of Information will be doing two Bay Area book readings this month in celebration of this second publication in an ongoing series at both of the Bay Area branches of the wonderful Marcus Books: at the San Francisco Marcus Books (1712 Fillmore St.) on February 13th, and at the Oakland Marcus Books (3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way) on February 22nd.
Two years ago, during Black History Month 2012, JR Valrey acted as a guest Amoeblogger here and wrote an insightful piece titled The Black Experience Study Guide: My Top 7 Books, Movies, and Albums for Black History Month. That piece followed a profile/interview with Valrey from a couple of months earlier on the topic of his first book Block Reportin. This week I again caught up with the busy Oakland-based Valrey to talk about his latest book, its subjects, and some of the topics covered in it and his opinions on them.
Amoeblog: Is it fair to call Unfinished Business a sequel to / a continuation of your last book and does it continue that book's same format?
JR Valrey: I guess you can say that. The only continuity between Block Reportin" and Unfinished Business is that they are both books consisting of a compilation of interviews; interviews that I did as a print and broadcast journalist over the years. The third installment of the series, which is yet to be named, will include 28 interviews so that the total number of interviews that I have put out in book form will number 100.
Amoeblog: I see that among the interviews in your new book is one with Ryan Coogler whose film Fruitvale Station was an excellent moving portrayal of the story of Oscar Grant. What topics did you cover in relation to the film and Grant in your interview with the talented young Bay Area director?
JR Valrey: You said the word "excellent". I didn't like the movie. I think it tried to canonize Oscar Grant as some kind of Black leader, when in reality, he was a nameless Black man to most of us when he was killed. The movie failed to put police terrorism in a historical context or local context and refused to show what happened in the aftermath to his death. Many people have been killed by police in Oakland, but the numerous rebellions that followed this taped police murder, is what made Oakland ground zero in the fight against police terrorism in the nation. The movie did not portray this. Also personally speaking I would have like to see a character depicting Lovelle Mixon in the movie, be it that he killed four police officers before he was murdered two months after Oscar Grant.
Amoeblog: Coogler's film Fruitvale Station, when it was released last summer, did so around the time ofGeorge Zimmerman's acquittal and sparked many of the same debates on racism, and the killing of young black men in this country. Do you address these issues in the other interviews in your book?
JR Valrey: In Unfinished Business I cover police terrorism, but not on Black men. The interview that I did, was with Mertilla Jones, the grandmother of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, who was murdered by Detroit police who were filming a episode of a cop show when they busted in the wrong house, threw a flash grenade at the little girl and shot her to death, while she was waking up from sleeping on the couch. I wish I could act like this is an issue that just affects young Black men, but experience has taught me that it is not just us, but genocide is being imposed on the whole Black community, children, old folks, young Black men, and the like.
Amoeblog: I see Mumia Abu-Jamal is included in the list of subjects interviewed in your new book. Howwas that experience of interviewing him and what insights did he share with you?
JR Valrey: Over the years, I have interviewed political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal a number of times. In "Unfinished Business", we talked about him being an innocent man locked up for over 30 years because of his political beliefs. He talked about how that feels. I thought that it was important because a lot of times my peers who are in their 30's, as well as younger people, have forgotten the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before us, who paid with their lives so that we can enjoy the few luxuries that we have now. I plan to continue to bring up the names of forgotten freedom fighters that are locked behind enemy lines, people like Mutulu Shakur, Hugo Pinell, Ruchell Magee, Chip Fitzgerald, Albert Woodfox, Aaron Patterson, Herman Bell, Russell Maroon Shoatz, Oscar Romero, Leonard Peltier, Sekou Odinga, the Move 9, and more.
Amoeblog: Another subject in the new book is Boots Riley of The Coup who was involved in theOccupy Movement. I read somewhere that you felt that the Occupy Movement was generally not inclusive enough of people of color. Would you like to speak on that?
JR Valrey: As I discussed in my debate with Boots in Unfinished Business, I thought that the Occupy Movement was a huge scam. Where is it now? Where's all of the people across the nation and the world that were camping out for weeks to change some of the ills in this society? Things are just as they were before the Occupy Movement. In my opinion, Boots had some romantic view of the Occupy Movement and the things that they claimed to be accomplishing in Oakland. They claimed to have a 1 day strike, then the mayor gave all city employees the day off. The strike was not extended. In facts, Boots and his Occupy comrades saw this as a victory when in reality it was a co-optation. Occupy Oakland claimed to take the Port of Oakland, but what really happened is that the mayor restrained the police, and the "takeover" turned into a one day parade to the port. If Occupy was going to take the port, then some demands should have been announced and the occupiers should have stayed until they were met. That is how change happens in other nations.
Historically speaking, I have never heard of people ending oppression through parades. These were two of the criticisms that I made in the debate. The main issue that I saw with racism is the fact that the U.S. is still a racist society, and that if you are trying to make the 99% into a fighting force than you have to re-educate the people with in the movement about their superiority and inferiority complexes. There was no political education process within that movement, and I thought that it was naive of seasoned activist like Boots and others to act like people would become truly politicized through osmosis. Years later I recognize that the moment was not about the same thing for everybody, I wanted issues in my community to be addressed while others may have been trying to sell records.
Amoeblog: Comedian, writer, satirist Paul Mooney is another subject of yours. I love him and have longfelt that his honesty and blunt outspokenness has stopped him from being a mainstream star. What do you think?
JR Valrey: I totally agree. His politics, in my opinion, make people, who identify with the status quo, uncomfortable. You never know what the hell he is about to say. When I interviewed him for Unfinished Business, he was on a comedy tour that he namedBlack is the New White. He offered some comic relief in the book, because every other interview is serious. Many people do not know that Mooney co-wrote a lot of Richard Pryor's funniest material, as well as he is also featured in my first book, Block Reportin.
Amoeblog: Can you tell me a bit about Sierra McClain who did your intro and why you invited her to do so?
JR Valrey: Sierra McClain is a writer that I met in Oakland, and worked with a number of times in Houston where she now resides. She specializes in writing about Black Rock. Last time I was in Houston, with the late Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson ofMalcolm X, we were impressed by an interview that she did with the both of us. After reading a few more pieces that she wrote, I decided that I wanted her to write the forward for my new book if she was up to it. She felt honored that I asked her, and I was totally satisfied with what she wrote. Be on the look out for her as an entertainment writer.
Amoeblog: What can people expect at your two book readings this month at Marcus Books?
JR Valrey: People can expect for me to read few brief selections from Unfinished Business, and I am down to answer any questions that people might have about the people I have interviewed, or the subjects in which I chose to cover in the book. On Feb. 13th at 6:30pm, at Marcus Books in San Francisco, I will be joined by the legendary screenwriter of Richard Pryor's Which Way is Upand the author of Pryor Lives: Kiss My Happy Rich Black Ass, Cecil Brown. It is possible that M-1 of dead prez, who I interviewed in the book, may come to the Feb. 22nd Marcus Books in Oakland reading, but it has not been confirmed.
Amoeblog: Anything to add?
JR Valrey: Yes. Unfinished Business:Block Reportin 2 and Block Reportin', are ground-breaking works because I interviewed people in both books that are news and history makers in the Black community. There are interview books by entities like Toure and Playboy, that include Black people but the difference between what they did and what I did is that you don't have to be a corporate-America-made star to be in my books. I just have to see the importance and uniqueness of your actions and thoughts. You can check out more of my work at BlockReportRadio.com. Thank you Billy Jam for the interview, I really appreciate it.
Written by Freedom Archives
Saturday, 08 March 2014 12:09
| Georgia Hunger Strike Once Again
Georgia Hunger Strike Once Again
On February 9, 2014, prisoners of the special management unit (SMU) of the Georgia Diagnostic Correctional Prison began another hunger strike to protest conditions.
The hunger strike is in response to abusive conditions, bugs being served in food repeatedly, sexual harassment, sexual assaults, beatings by officers, being tortured by being thrown in strip cells without being fed by staff, getting very poor calories on daily trays, refusing prisoners access to law library, staff trying to poison prisoners, prisoners being threatened by staff, refusing prisoners proper medical treatment and denial of the equal protection of the laws as guaranteed, and due process by the law of the 5th and 14th amendments of the U.S. constitution.
Tamarcus Wright – GDC# 1070891
LaMarcus Thomas – GDC# 1075958
Isaiah Meadows – GDC# 1202688
Rodrick Henderson – GDC# 294536
Robert Watkins – GDC# 1245402
Ernesto Catillo – GDC# 1291603
Rickey Mosley – GDC# 1218550
Malachi Jenkins – GDC# 725779
Anthony Parker – GDC# 10065811
Hjolmar Rodriguez – GDC# 1036561
Some of the prisoners have had enough of the oppression and decided to take a true stand in fighting for their rights. Most of the prisoners participating in the hunger strike are some of the same prisoners from the December 9, 2010 and the June 11, 2012 hunger strikes, and these prisoners are again refusing to eat until conditions change.
On January 25, 2014, the prisoners received trays at the SMU Lockdown that had bugs in the food and after the bugs were pointed out by the prisoners to staff, staff demanded that either they eat the food or don’t eat at all. Then when the prisoners tried to keep the trays to show proof of the incident to the warden, they were further threatened by the OIC. They were told that if they didn’t give up the trays that he was going to get his COs to suit up with their sticks and gear and gang rape the prisoners. The next day the prisoners still refused to give up their trays and were threatened – that if they didn’t give up the trays that they were going to be refused their trays for that day. The inmates had to go two days without eating just to show the warden the bugs in their food. And when the issue was finally brought to the warden’s attention, they only replied that the bugs are nothing but a little bit more meat to add to the flavor. This is not the first time that bugs have been served in prisoners’ food. In fact, this has happened over 9 times already. Nothing has been done about this issue by the staff or the kitchen stewardess despite the filing of grievances – still nothing but denials.
Additional incidents include prisoners being beaten by staff while in handcuffs and use of physical force by the staff and yet nothing has been done about these employees’ abusive actions. Instead these incidents are being covered up by Warden Bruce Chatman, Deputy Warden June Bishop, Warden of Administration William Polnel, Captain Michael Nopen, Lieutenant Michael J. Kyles, medical staff Mary Gore and even mental health staff Mr. Whitmore.
These prisoners are being denied their yard call, as this institution’s program contains a rule that prisoners in the E-wing are not allowed yard call which is in violation of the 5th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Georgia Bill of Rights, (Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph 1 under due process of the law and equal protection of the laws, following the institution GDC SOP VE01-0004 restricted population). Even prisoners on death row get to have their hour a day on the yard cage. Other prisoners are allowed their yard call at this SMU prison from A, B, C, D and F wings. Some of the prisoners in E-wing have not smelled fresh air in 8 months to a year.
These prisoners are also being denied their access to the law library as guaranteed by the XII Georgia Bill of Rights and the 5th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution as they have a right to access to the courts and the due process of law, and equal protection under the law. Currently the prisoners are only allowed a limit of two ordered cases per week to be delivered to their lockdown cells copied on paper, and in some cases, the law library staff, Mr. Young, refuses to deliver these case copies if the cases pertain to securing inmates their freedom. Medical staff is refusing to take serious actions on the hunger strike as required by health service regulations (GDC SOP VH47-0002). There is also evidence of the police trying to cover up medical records of weight loss and vital signs.
The legal system is refusing to respond. Grievances are being ignored, when grievances are turned in to counselors at the SMU, they are being refused, grievance number codes and receipts to keep track of their grievances are not distributed and most grievances are being destroyed in order to cover up of the prison conditions and violations. Ultimately, there is very little that the prisoners can do to find a muscle to fight for their rights. Prisoners feel their only choice is to put their lives in danger by refusing to eat. Staff are even threatening the prisoners – that if they stay on the hunger strike, they will die under their watch and it would be no problem to cover it up.
These prisoners are pleading for some true outside support, from newspapers, world newspapers, magazines, television shows, pen pal services and any organizations.
Please contact prisoners at the following address:
PO Box 3877
Jackson, GA 30233
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
Questions and comments may be sent to email@example.com
Written by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire, African American History Month Series 2014
Saturday, 08 March 2014 12:02
| Malcolm X and the Internationalization of the Black Struggle
50th anniversary of the OAAU’s memorandum to the OAU
In March of 1964, Malcolm X announced his official departure from the Nation of Islam where he had spent twelve years working on behalf of the organization led by Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm had been suspended and silenced for ninety days in the aftermath of an address he delivered at the Manhattan Center on December 1, 1963 entitled “God’s Judgment of White America.”
This rally organized by the NOI was planned well in advance of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22 in Dallas, Texas. Elijah Muhammad had ordered all of his ministers not to speak directly about the assassination since the country was still in a state of shock and mourning.
During the question and answer period of the meeting Malcolm X was asked about his response to the assassination and subsequently noted that the United States government and its leaders had engaged in targeted assassinations of foreign leaders. He specifically pointed to the murder of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in which the U.S. played a prominent role in the destabilization of his government in 1960 as well as his kidnapping, torture and execution in mid-January of 1961.
Within the course of his response he said the assassination was a “case of the chickens coming home to roost,” a common phrase within the African American community suggesting that horrendous deeds committed against others will come back to haunt the perpetrators. At the conclusion of the ninety day suspension and silencing, word was sent from the national headquarters of the NOI in Chicago that the punishment for ostensibly violating the discipline of the leader would be extended indefinitely.
Consequently, Malcolm X called a press conference where he announced not only his departure from the NOI but the establishment of another organization, the Muslim Mosque Inc., a religious group that would also involve itself in electoral politics and community organizing.
For several years before his split with Elijah Muhammad and the NOI, Malcolm X had sought to build alliances between African Americans, Africans from the continent along, with Muslim nations and communities outside the U.S.
At his “Message to the Grassroots” speech in Detroit on November 10, 1963, just three weeks prior to his suspension from the NOI, he would say that genuine independence struggles were bloody and that the people of Algeria, Kenya, China and other countries only gained their independence and sovereignty because they were willing to engage in an armed struggle. (Recording by the Afro-American Broadcasting Corporation in Detroit)
Malcolm X would return to Detroit in April 1964 to deliver his legendary “Ballot or Bullets” speech. “It’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody,” Malcolm X declared. He said that if African Americans were willing to go and fight on behalf of U.S. imperialism against armed revolutionaries in Vietnam and Korea then there should no problem with them taking up guns to defend themselves against the Ku Klux Klan and other racists inside this country.
Travels to the OAU Summit, the African Continent and the Middle East
Later in May 1964 Malcolm X embarked upon the hajj, the religious pilgrimage that all Muslims strive for in their lifetimes. Under the NOI, the hajj was not mandatory and therefore the organization lacked what was perceived as authenticity within the Islamic communities in the East.
After making his religious pilgrimage he added to his existing Muslim name of Malik Shabazz, El-Hajj, stressing his acceptance within the orthodox Muslim faith. During this same trip, Malcolm would also travel to several African states including Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana.
He would return to the U.S. in June and found a new political group, the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), patterned on the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the continental organization of independent states formed the year before in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Malcolm set out for the Second Annual Summit of the OAU being held in Cairo, Egypt in July 1964 to make a direct appeal to African leaders for solidarity and support in resolving the plight of African Americans under U.S. national oppression.
In an eight-page memorandum to the African heads-of-state in Cairo, Malcolm X, writing on behalf of the OAAU, said that “Our problem is your problem. No matter how much independence Africans get here on the mother continent, unless you wear your national dress at all times when you visit America, you may be mistaken for one of us and suffer the same psychological and physical mutilation that is an everyday occurrence in our lives.”
He went on to illustrate that “Our problem is your problem. It is not a Negro problem, nor an American problem. This is a world problem, a problem for humanity. It is not a problem of civil rights it is a problem of human rights.”
Malcolm went ever further saying that the formerly-racist apartheid regime of South Africa was less of a threat than the U.S. He wrote in the memorandum to the OAU that “America is worse than South Africa, because not only is America racist, but she is also deceitful and hypocritical. South Africa preaches segregation and practices segregation. She, at least, practices what she preaches. America preaches integration and practices segregation. She preaches one thing while deceitfully practicing another.”
Lessons From the Legacy of Malcolm X
Malcolm X on his second visit to Africa and the Middle East in 1964 would stay outside the country for four months until November. He would stop over in France and England on his way back to the U.S. in order to enhance relations between African Americans and the African Diaspora in Western Europe.
After returning to the U.S., his speeches during rallies for the OAAU, often held at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, he would share platforms with members of the Pan-African Students Organization of the Americas (PASOA) and other African leaders such as Tanzanian revolutionary Abdul Rahman Mohamed Babu, a Marxist and a Pan-Africanist who advocated socialism as the only solution for the continent.
He would meet with Che Guevara during his visit to the United Nations in December 1964. Che sent a statement of solidarity to an OAAU meeting that was read by Malcolm X.
Later in February 1965 on the eve of his assassination, Malcolm attempted to enter France again but was denied entry by the government. The French government would not provide a specific answer as to why he was being denied admission.
After returning to the U.S. and a brief stopover in Britain, Malcolm’s home was bombed during the early morning hours of February 14. He would travel to Detroit and deliver another speech which encompassed themes of Pan-Africanism and Internationalism.
In one of his final addresses delivered at the Corn Hill Methodist Church in Rochester, New York on February 16, Malcolm said that “in no time can you understand the problems between Black and white people here in Rochester or Black and white people in Mississippi or Black and white people in California, unless you understand the basic problem that exists between Black and white people—not confined to the local level, but confined to the international, global level on this earth today.”
Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21 before addressing an audience of the OAAU at the Audubon Ballroom. Although his assassination has been attributed to members of the NOI, many have believed since 1965 that the federal government was behind his death due to his uncompromising militancy and his political evolution towards Revolutionary Pan-Africanism and Internationalism.
In addition to seeking the assistance of the African governments and national liberation movements in the struggle of African Americans, Malcolm X, like William Patterson, Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) in 1951, sought to take the plight of African Americans before the United Nations seeking sanctions against the U.S. for crimes against humanity. He also said that through his travels he keenly observed that countries which were making the most progress were moving towards socialism and the liberation of women.
These words hold true today. The African and Middle Eastern communities in Europe have also exploded in urban rebellions in the same fashion as they developed inside the U.S. after 1963.
Until the system of international racism and economic exploitation is confronted by oppressed peoples collectively on a global level there will not be a solution to the crisis. Youth today must study the works of Malcolm X and apply the lessons of his life and struggles to the monumental challenges facing the workers and oppressed in the 21st century.