Vigilante and attempted child murderer Patrick McCullough, running on an anti-black platform for the Oakland city council district 1 seat, was soundly defeated by incumbent Jane Brunner in the June 3 elections. After an Uhuru Movement-led campaign exposing him as a brutal and divisive front man for white property and corporate interests in North Oakland, McCullough’s bid was routed when Brunner took 73 percent of the vote. See more on Patrick McCullough.
Of course Brunner won on a similar anti-African, more-police platform, but it was important to show that any candidate who carries out open violence against the black community (in this case an unarmed African 16-year-old) must pay a political price.
Justice for Javon Dawson!
At the St. Petersburg, FL headquarters of the African People’s Socialist Party, the African community is rallying around the campaign for justice for Javon Dawson, a 17-year-old gunned down by police officer Terrance Nemeth last week who shot the young man in the back last Saturday night during a high school graduation party.
As always the media are working overtime in an attempt to defend the police and criminalize the victim. Since young Dawson had no police record, the police are saying he had a gun, something that all witnesses deny. Nemeth was an Iraq war veteran, known as a sharpshooter. Chairman Omali Yeshitela noted that Nemeth was acting as if he were in Fallujah, comparing police containment policies in U. S. African communities to the U.S. occupying army in Iraq.
The Uhuru Movement is linking this latest police murder of a young black man with the city of St. Petersburg’s plans for a new multi-million dollar waterfront stadium deal that is part of the scheme to transform St. Pete from a middle class tourist center to an upper-class Palm Beach-style tourist mecca.
Generally when the city or white people plan to gentrify and make money it is at the expense of the African community. The existing sports arena, Tropicana Field, was built in the 1990s by destroying a thriving black neighborhood and business center known as the Gas Plant. Although jobs were promised to the African community, none have ever materialized.
Tropicana field sits on the edge of the historic south side African community here. The plan for the new stadium, to be built on the waterfront about 12 blocks away from Tropicana, is headed up by Devil Rays owner and Wall Street investment banker Stuart Sternberg with the complicity of Mayor Baker and his cohorts. Baker won his election on the promise of economic development for the African community, something that has only benefitted an elite few in the black community. Baker renamed the historically African area “Midtown,” and opened the flood gates for white gentrification.
Although relying on a shaky proposal for raising the $500 million for the new waterfront stadium in a town hard hit by the housing market crash, the investors and others plan to make a lot of money on this.
Part of the planned income for this project is to tear down Tropicana Field and redevelop it with condos, generating “hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues on Tropicana Field because it can be redeveloped,” stated Matt Silverman, Tampa Bay Rays president.
The fact that thousands of condos here in St. Petersburg are already unsold and even unbuilt due the serious housing market crash aside, this scheme would put expensive housing only a few blocks from an impoverished African community. As a result the city’s policy of police containment in the black community is intensifying in an attempt to intimidate, suppress or drive black people out of the area. This comes in the wake of the past several years of gentrification during the housing boom that has turned the African neighborhoods into a gold rush of housing “deals” and speculation for white people while dispersing the community on “housing code violations” and rising property taxes.
The city has blood on its hands with this latest police murder which serves as a warning of escalating suppression of black rights in this city. The Uhuru Movement and the family and friends of Javon Dawson intend to turn that around.
The demands for this campaign are:
Jail the killer cop
Reparations to the family
Economic development for the entire African community.
Here are links 1 and 2 to some media reports on a press conference on the murder of Dawson held Thursday, June 12 at the Uhuru House and the demonstration held in front of the police station Monday.
On Sunday, June 22, the African People’s Socialist Party will hold a conference at the Uhuru House, 1245 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg exposing the affect the new stadium is having on the African community and linking the recent police murder of Javon Dawson to the city’s plans. With the title, “New Scheme, old scam: Ripping off the African community in the name of ‘economic development,'” the event will be from 2-6 pm.
Here is a link to a piece summing up the murder of Javon Dawson sent out by the African People’s Solidarity Committee earlier this week.