Image source; J'S THEATER: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Newark Rebellion






          On Tuesday, July 12th, the People’s Organization for Progress will host its annual Remembrance of the epic Newark Rebellion!

          This year will mark the 55th anniversary of the epic uprising.

          Participants will rally at Rebellion Monument Park at 5pm and march to the former 1st Precinct where the uprising began.

          The Rebellion Monument is located at 250 Springfield Avenue, Newark.   

          On July 12, 1967, the brutal, near fatal police beating of an AfricanAmerican Newark cabdriver named John Smith triggered one of the most important urban uprisings in the modern era. It would ignite over 100 uprisings around the country including the largest uprising in Detroit on July 25th. It would continue on until July 17th when occupying federal and state military forces finally withdrew from the beleaguered city.

          Although the historic uprising would take 26 lives, it would also ignite a wave of protest and organizing that would forever change the political landscape in segregated American cities, leading to the elections of a new generation of Black elected officials in largely Black communities by the full use and mobilization of a new access to the ballot and more. In Newark, that would mean electing Ken Gibson the first Black Mayor of a major eastern seaboard city and displacing urban gangster apartheid that brutally chained local politics prior to that groundbreaking election in 1970.

          Newark would become the epicenter of the new national Black Power Movement

as the late Amiri Baraka led pivotal organizations such as the Committee For A Unified Newark (CFUN) locally and the Congress of African People (CAP) nationally and launched the Black Arts Movement.

          Having survived a brutal police attack and arrest himself at the beginning of the uprising, Baraka courageously chaired the National Black Power Conference just days after the Rebellion in downtown Newark.

          Another national expression of the organizing that emerged from the Newark Uprising is what is known as ‘The Gary Convention,’ or the National Black Political Assembly and Convention. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ‘Gary Convention,’ which took place in Gary, Indiana.

          P.O.P. chairman Lawrence Hamm was one of the youngest delegates to that epic gathering that mark the full mobilization of the new emergence of the Black Vote.

          Mayor Ras Baraka, the radical icon’s son, is co-convening a 50th anniversary Convention to be held in Newark in the Fall with the express purpose of galvanizing the AfricanAmerican community to now defend the Black vote as that has come under serious attack in the courts, in the federal government and in over 19 statehouses in recent years!

          Mayor Baraka has also been taking on the same question of police brutality and corruption when he sought to implement the strongest Civilian Review Board in the country upon his election in 2014, one with full subpoena power, one with the authority to do independent and concurrent investigations, one with genuine community character and one with a solid discipline matrix.

          After a bitter legal fight with the police unions, the NJ Supreme Court stripped the new Review Board of its critical authority, but said that it could be restored through statewide legislation.

          The People’s Organization for Progress is a part of a statewide movement to have several major police reform bills passed into law, including the CCRB Bill A1515(McKnight)/S2295 (Rice) that would mandate Civilian Review Boards with full subpoena power, independent and concurrent investigatory power and community character for any municipality seeking one.     

          “Do we realize that if we had Civilian Review Boards like what we are fighting for here in Newark, George Floyd would still be alive in Minnesota and Carl Dorsey would still be alive in Newark,” asked a passionate Lawrence Hamm on behalf of the organization.

          Both George Floyd and Carl Dorsey were killed by police officers with abuse on their records.

          The City of Newark and the Newark Police Department has also renewed its Federal Consent Decree for the federal oversight of critically important police reforms for another two years...        

          Earlier in the afternoon, in a troubling local recent police brutality case, the Rodwell/Spivey Brothers are back in court for a pretrial hearing. The four brothers who were wrongly arrested recently by overaggressive undercover officers in the South Ward are each facing serious felony charges ranging from resisting arrest to aggravated assault on a police officer. Supporters are demanding that the charges be dropped. One  of the brothers, Justin Rodwell,  continues to remain in custody stemming from the June 1, 2021 incident.

          The hearing will be at the Essex County Veterans Courthouse, 50 West Market Street, Newark in Judge Ravin’s Courtroom at 1:30pm.

          P.O.P. just did a three mile ‘Long March for Justin’ to demand Justin’s release that began from the Courthouse all the way to the Essex County Corrections Facility...

          For more information about this and the other work of the People’s Organization for Progress, please call 973 801 0001...



PO BOX 22505

NEWARK, NJ 07101

973 801 0001





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