The 2nd Civil Rights Movement …………………….. moving
The Rise With Standing Rock Native Nations March on Washington happens March 10th. From March 7–9, Native leaders and allies will be in Washington meeting with elected officials and others.
In his final book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” from 1967, Martin Luther King reflects on the history of the Civil Rights Movement by looking at Civil Rights and Human Rights. The work of the Civil Rights Movement, Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was rooted in the fight for free exercise of Constitutional Rights through the elimination of such things as Jim Crow laws. But now, King says, that fight has been won and the new battlefield is Human Rights.
King’s list of Human Rights includes Right to Housing and Right to Income. He examines the actions people can take in pursuing those Human Rights. The movement he was helping shape in that pursuit was the Poor Peoples Campaign. Echoes are heard in this upcoming Standing Rock March on Washington.
A strategy summit for the Poor Peoples Campaign and March on Washington set for the summer took place March 1968 at Paschal’s Restaurant and Motor Lodge in Atlanta. From “At Canann’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965–68”: “At Paschal’s, Tijerina asked what mention of land issues would be offered in return for nonviolent discipline, and King said the answer flowed from the movement’s nature: a common willingness to sacrifice put all their grievances on equal footing. On reflection, Tijerina proposed that particular stories from Native American groups be dramatized first in Washington, followed by black people second and his own Spanish-speaking groups last. His offer, which deferred both to historical order and the spirit of King’s presentation, received acclamation that extended to Chicano leaders sometimes at odds with Tijerina, such as Corky Gonzalez of Denver. The summit closed on a wave of immense relief. Myles Horton, who helped recruit the white Appalachians expressed euphoria after nearly four decades of cross-cultural isolation at his Highlander Center. ‘I believe we caught a glimpse of the future,’ he told Andrew Young.”
Standing Rock is calling for other cities to conduct their own Native Nations March the same time as the March 10 March on Washington. A solidarity march is planned for Downtown Los Angeles.
Based in Skid Row, the Los Angeles Poverty Department (the other LAPD) is the oldest arts organization/theater company composed mainly of homeless and formerly homeless folks. LAPD hosts Movie and Discussion Nights twice a month. For Black History Month, the two movies were hosted by LACAN (Los Angeles Community Action Network) with General Dogon, leader of the Civil Rights committee for LACAN, acting as discussion facilitator. In the documentary, “Lost Angels: Skid Row is my Home”, made by the same people who made “The Soloist”, set in Skid Row and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, UCLA Law Professor Gary Blaisi refers to General Dogon as the “Malcolm X of Skid Row”.
The first of the Movies and Discussion for Black History Month took place February 10th at the LACAN offices in Skid Row. It was “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutonary”.
The largest city in Pennsylvania is Philadelphia the “City of Brotherly Love”.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal joined the Black Panther Party at 14 and eventually became a respected writer and radio journalist. In 1981 he was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer, was on Death Row from 1982 to 2001 and is now in prison for life without a chance for parole. While on Death Row, he published several books and continues his activist work.
The movie spends a great deal of time looking at Mumia Abu-Jamal’s experiences in Philadelphia. From the New York Daily News about the film: “Juicy, visual…Vittoria does a fine job setting the stage and dissecting racial tensions in Philadelphia”.
Deacon Alexander was one of the main leaders of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. With a passion for Standing Rock, Deacon spoke to various folks before the movie began to set up a Community Discussion prior to the March on Washington on March 10th. The date was set for Sunday March 5th at LACAN.
LAPD based their main 2016 project on the transcript from a 2013 Skid Row grassroots appeal to Zoning Commissioners of a zoning decision giving a new “supportive housing” apartment building for residents who had been homeless on the streets the right to serve alcohol in a restaurant on the ground floor. The City Hall transcript became the basis for “What Fuels Development?”, a play examining the sophisticated political dynamics of gentrification/displacement in Downtown Los Angeles when it comes to Skid Row, primarily an African American community.
Some Philadelphia nonprofits brought LAPD to their city in October 2016 to perform “What Fuels Development?” as the centerpiece for discussion about Philadelphia. The main local issue to surface was gentrification happening in north Philly, a primarily African American part of the city, involving Temple University.
Pennsylvania means “Penn’s Woods”. A devout Quaker persecuted for his beliefs in England, William Penn, called the Grandfather of America by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, came to Pennsylvania in 1682 and created “The Holy Experiment”.
The Holy Experiment of Penn’s Woods involved a dedication to honorable and respectful relationship with the indigenous people of Pennsylvania, the “Native Americans”. This Holy Experiment was a far cry from two Papal Bulls (the Pope speaking in highest authority) in the 14th Century from which came the Doctrine of Discovery — the legal and religious basis for European colonization of indigenous peoples.
Under Penn’s leadership, the Holy Experiment thrived for two decades. Upon his death, his three sons took over and in a complex scheme cheated Natives out of a large expanse of land. The Holy Experiment collapsed.
Engraved in a circle along the Rotunda of the Statehouse in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, are these words: “There may be room there for such a Holy Experiment. For the nations want a precedent and my God will make it the seed of a nation. That an example might be set up to the nations. That we may do the thing that is truly wise and just.”