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St. Petersburg InPDUM forum mobilizes for black community control of the police

Released Dec 11, 2014

In light of the ongoing police murders across the U.S., and particularly the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the exoneration of killer cop Darren Wilson, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement is raising the demand for black community control of the police in cities throughout the U.S.

On Sunday, December 7, 2014, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement held a forum in St. Petersburg, Florida to launch a local campaign for Black Community Control of the Police. Invited speakers included:

  • Omali Yeshitela, founder of the Uhuru Movement, Chairman of the African People's Socialist Party
  • Jeffrey Copeland, Executive Director of the Pinellas Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Reverend Manuel Sykes of Bethel Community Baptist Church
  • A representative of the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists
  • Anthony Holloway, St. Petersburg police chief of St. Petersburg

Although police chief Holloway initially agreed to participate, he backed out of this opportunity to face the community, deciding instead to hold a private meeting with a small group dominated by government employees and neighborhood watch vigilantes in order to craft a strategy for keeping St. Petersburg's African working class in check.

Notable among the police chief's hand-picked group is Florida state representative Darryl Rouson, a lawyer who began his transformation from a bankrupt crackhead to a well-paid politician by selling out the black community when it rose up against the St. Petersburg police murder of another unarmed African.

During the African community resistance that rose up in response to the 1996 police murder of TyRon Lewis, the Uhuru Movement raised the people's demand for economic development as opposed to the government's public policy of police containment of the black community. Rouson used his pulpit as head of the local NAACP to argue that no public resources should come into the black community until the crime rate was reduced.

For attacking the black community, Rouson was paid handsomely, with millions in public funds through sweetheart land speculation deals and political campaign support that put him into the Florida state legislature where he remains today.

The December 7 forum at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg presented a model of how African community organizers throughout the U.S. can define our campaign for Black Community Control, mobilize our community and supporters and expose our enemies.

To receive Black Community Control campaign training and organizing materials, contact the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement at 727-914-3619 or email info@inpdum.org.

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