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– Thousands of protesters from around the country descended on New York City for three days of protests against police lawlessness. The Rise Up October demonstrations were called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, founded by Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West. At Brooklyn’s Borough Hall and Manhattan’s Times Square, activists remembered the lives and the names of those snuffed out by the police.
– While Rise Up October activists were demonstrating in New York, families of victims of police violence were testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in Washington. The Commission is an investigatory arm of the Organization of American States. Officials from the U.S. State Department and the Department of Justice were also on hand, as Martinez Sutton recounted the day the cops killed his sister.
– Attorney Justin Hansford also testified before the Organization of American States commission. Hansford is a professor at the St. Louis University School of Law, who was involved in a Black citizens’ suit against police departments in St. Louis County. He said the U.S. criminal justice system is soaked in blood, and needs to be dismantled.
– The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations holds its annual rally and march on the White House, November 7, followed the next day by a conference at Howard University. The Coalition is demanding Black Community Control of the Police, and will march under the banner “Black Power Matters.” But, there has been no real discussion of the MEANING of Black Power, in many years. We spoke with Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela.
– Black congregations around the country are on alert, in the wake of arson attacks on seven Black churches in St. Louis, Missouri. Rev. Anthony Evans is president of the National Black Church Initiative, in Washington. He says the U.S. Justice Department appears “impotent” in the face of seven church burnings in St. Louis and “systematic” attacks against Blacks by racist police.
– In St. Louis, Faizan Syed, director of the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed solidarity with the Black Christian community.
– Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, is still being denied treatment for Hepatitis-C, the underlying cause of his near-death health crisis, earlier this year. Mumia isn’t alone. Tens of thousands of inmates suffering from the infection are left untreated in Pennsylvania and other prison systems around the country. At a press conference, last week, Dr. Melissa Barber, of IFCO, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, charged the U.S. with violating the human rights of prisoners. Dr. Barber runs a program that sends U.S. students to Cuba for free medical school.