"Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
November 24, 2008
Volume 1 - No.29
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Bi-Weekly Publication
March for Paris Justice Rich with
Civil Rights Spirit
Days of Small County Texas-Cowboy Justice Numbered
Silence never won rights. They are not handed down from above; they are forced by pressures from below. ~Roger Baldwin
PARIS-It was the shot heard across two Texas counties as Texas activists and Civil Rights workers sent a strong message that the days of hangman noose, small county justice are over.
The protest surrounding the dragging death of Brandon McClellan has breathed life into a new movement that promises to spread like wildfire into every oppressed African-American neighborhood and community suffering from decades of intimidation, trumped up charges and justice practices that have railroaded thousands of Black Texans into prison.
Lamar County and Red River County rallies demonstrate the real power that the people possess when organized and united for change.
In Paris, fighting for justice in Brandon McClelland’s case and helping a family find peace after his murder sounded the trumpet that shined light on greater criminal justice abuses and other injustices occurring in that county.
The New Black Panther Party, Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality and Irving activist and NAACP founder Anthony Bond, Pastor Fred Stovall and the Tarrant County Local Organizing Committee (L.O.C.) and others in the fight for Paris justice can be proud that they have set a courageous blueprint for success that many African-Americans across Texas can use to bring change to their communities.
Their courageous movement went on despite opposition, nay-Sayers, non-supporters and bystanders who criticized, analyzed and questioned their tactics and will to get to the bottom of the truth.
Their will was undaunted in the face of sell-out pastors who ran for cover under the veils of the establishment who welcomed their rhetoric and used them to cloud the real issues of truth, hate and racism.
Their struggle and marches against injustice, hate and racism are a tribute to those who started, fought and taught us how to fight for righteousness.
Their voices ringing across the courtyards in Lamar and Red River are remembering the bold tenets that helped to bring freedom and equality to the forefront in America.
LEST WE FORGET
In Montgomery, Ala., it took NAACP member Rosa Parks in 1955 to refuse to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the successful boycott.
In 1957, Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience.
According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hate mongers who oppose them.
In 1960, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter.
That event triggered many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.
Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter.
Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities.
Later that same year in Raleigh, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement.
In 1961, groups of student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of "freedom riders," as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way.
In 1963, during civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators. These images of brutality were televised and published and were instrumental in gaining more sympathy for peaceful civil rights movement around the world.
About 200,000 people joined Martin Luther King Jr. and other Black leaders in the March on Washington.
In 1965, Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident, dubbed the "Bloody Sunday" March, is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
The results of all the efforts, sacrifice, suffering and bloodshed changed America and gave birth to Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Executive Order 11246 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson that enforced affirmative action for the first time in American history.
Protesting to stop hate crimes in Lamar County and “cowboy justice” in Red River County should only be the beginning and send strong message to rural Texas district attorneys that none of us will stand idly by and allow our brothers and sisters (Black or Brown) have their unalienable rights abused any longer.
A movement is to be commended when it speaks from its heart – The heart of the grassroots.
"We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," – Martin Luther King Jr.
**More March Photos on Paris Pages**