Chairman Lawrence Hamm at the Annual Wreath Laying in Observance of the 42nd Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sunday, April 4, 2010, Jersey City, NJ.
Lawrence Hamm, Chairman of the Newark-based organization Peoples Organization for Progress explained to The Final Call why his organization believes that the heat must be turned up against police misconduct. “You talk about Guantanamo, we got torture and murder right here. Cops think they are judge, jury and executioner.”
The Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress (POP) did not wait for President Barack Obama’s announcement on December 1 concerning his decision to send or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. On November 28, POP gathered at the intersection of Broad and Market streets in Newark and called the first Black president out.
“One of the purposes of this demo is we want to send a message to President Obama that we don’t want a troop increase and we want an end to the war in Afghanistan,” stated POP State Chairman Lawrence Hamm.
“A lot of people felt the president would pursue a policy that would lead to a lessening of tensions in Central Asia,” Hamm told the AmNews. “Instead, the White House and the Pentagon are increasing tensions with their troop escalations and the continued occupation of Iraq, and the drone planes being sent into Pakistan, which may be killing innocent people.”
“It’s popular in the South and West, but it’s still only growing in the Northeast,” said Lawrence Hamm, chairman of the community activist group People’s Organization for Progress and the event’s keynote speaker. “This is a special day because it focuses specifically on slavery and emancipation. You really can’t understand current conditions in America unless you understand those two things.”
Hamm added this year’s celebrations were particularly momentous because the U.S. Senate issued an apology for slavery last week.
President Barack Obama also noted Juneteenth in a press release.
“June 19, or Juneteenth, is now observed in 31 states,” Obama said. “Nearly a century and a half later, the descendants of slaves and slave owners can commemorate the day together and celebrate the rights and freedoms we all share in this great nation that we all love.”
The People’s Organization For Progress (POP) will sponsor a charter bus to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20 for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
“We are taking this trip to Washington for the swearing-in of President-Elect Barack Obama because we want to be a part of history,” said POP State Chairman Lawrence Hamm.
The cost is $40 round-trip. Only seats paid for in advance will be reserved. For tickets or information, call (973) 801-0001.