FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2011
The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC)
Facebook.com/ newark antiviolencecoalition
THE NEWARK ANTI-VIOLENCE COALITION’S 122nd STRAIGHT WEEK OF ANTI-VIOLENCE DEMONSTRATIONS WILL COMMEMORATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE INNOCENT MURDER OF SALEENAH BAINES IN THE TOWNSHIP OF IRVINGTON, NJ AND CONTINUE TO CALL FOR JUSTICE
Newark, NJ – They are calling on 10,000 strong for peace in streets! The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC) will host the longest running anti-violence demonstration in the United States at the steps of Irvington City Hall in Irvington, NJ on November 23rd 2011 at 5:00 pm!
This Wednesday’s rally will mark the 1-year anniversary of the brutal slaying of NAVC member Seleenah Baines in Irvington. Baines and a companion, Lashawn Laquan Woods, were both innocent victims of a drive-by shooting on Myrtle and Madison Avenues. Baines, a single mother, was pregnant when she was senselessly slain. Their murders have yet to be solved.
Last year, the NAVC sought to rally that community in honor of their fallen sister. They obtained a legal permit to hold peace demonstration from Irvington’s police department. On the day of the event, the NAVC were greeted savagely with a senseless attack by the Irvington Police department, arresting six NAVC members.
The NAVC six went to court for the charges they faced from the police attack and the arrest. For over a year, the NAVC has been fighting trumped police charges. The matter has been recently transferred out of Irvington. Those charges are still pending.
Irvington, NJ’s Mayor Wayne Smith and Chairperson Ms. Kathleen Witcher of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Irvington chapter have committed to attend the peace rally.
This demonstration will mark the 122nd straight week the NAVC has been organizing anti-violence and anti-genocide rallies in the city of Newark, NJ and in the Newark metro area!
Concerned about the growing pandemic of violence plaguing Black and Brown neighborhoods, community activist Ras Baraka (the son of internationally and nationally respected poets and activists Imamu Amiri and Amina Baraka), Nation of Islam member David Muhammad, and Black Cops against Police Brutality founder Delacy Davis, made the calls to create the NAVC! The founding date of the NAVC was on July 20th 2009; the date of the murder of Nakeisha Allen, a mother of two children innocently killed by a Blackman trying to shoot at another Blackman in a drive by shooting while walking home from her neighborhood store on Meeker and Elizabeth Avenues in Newark, NJ.
The NAVC became a broad coalition of activists, teachers, principals, lawyers, revolutionary members of the Bloods, and Crips, social workers, progressives, members of churches and masjids (Mosques), community – based organizations, victims of violence, aunts, uncles, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, and concerned citizens of the community!
Exercising their constitutional rights to assemble and peacefully protest on July 22, 2011, during week number #1, the NAVC walked into the middle of the intersection at Meeker and Elizabeth Avenues and successfully blocked traffic to host a massive anti-violence rally for murder victim Nakeisha Allen!
To help solve the problems of violence in the community, five demands were created and presented to city of Newark, NJ! They go as follows: 1) The removal of Newark Police Director, Garry McCarthy and the restoration of the position of Chief of Police, 2) Mayor Cory Booker as the Chief Executive Officer of the City to call a mass meeting with grassroots community based organizations, law enforcement, social services providers for the City of Newark, UMDNJ (Violence Institute), Newark’s Business Community, Clergy, to declare violence as a public health issue, 3) Secure and Create employment opportunities for Newarkers, 4) Support the implementation and enforcement of the Amistad Bill (A1303) that will teach particularly African-Americans and Latin Americans the knowledge of themselves, and 5) Calling all street organizations (gangs) to lay down their guns and adopt non-violent conflict resolution strategies.
Since then, the NAVC has been leading anti-violence civil disobedience demonstrations all over the city of Newark, N.J.’s major and minor intersections for 120 straight weeks. The strategy is simple: inconvenience the city by bringing traffic and business activity to a halt, to challenge Mayor Corey Booker, the city elected officials, and the community address to pandemic disease of violence and genocide in the city’s African American and Latino American communities in Newark and throughout America!
Dawn Hayes, a member and organizer of Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, says, “the violence that is plaguing Black and Brown communities in Newark and around the world reflects deeper and neglected underlining issues such as poverty, drugs, the crisis in the family, the high incarceration rates of Black men and Women, joblessness, colonialism, neo-colonialism, White supremacy, Black and Brown self-hatred, and the counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO).
Bashir Akinyele, member of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, says, “It is a travesty that both African Americans and the larger American mainstream society have internalized and accepted this racist notion that Blacks and Latinos have no humanity worth giving any respect or attention to.” He adds, “Black and Brown violence must be placed on a national agenda to make this problem a local and national public health emergency.” He continues with this, “unfortunately, America has closed its’ eyes to the violence and genocidal conditions raging in Black and Brown neighborhoods. These conditions will have grave consequences for the future of African Americans, Latino Americans, women, elders, children, and the United States of America if we as a society continue to ignore this disease!”