Hamm and the People's Organization for Progress.



The People’s Organization For Progress (POP) will have a 1967 Newark Rebellion Commemoration March And Rally on the 57th anniversary of the uprising Friday, July 12, 2024, 5:00pm to 6:30pm starting at the Rebellion Monument, located at 250 Springfield Avenue in Newark, NJ.


The monument is in an area unofficially known as Rebellion Park which is located on Springfield Ave between Hayes Street and Irvine Turner Blvd. It is dedicated to those killed during the unrest.


Participants in the event will march from the monument to the 1st Police Precinct, 10  17th Avenue, and back. The precinct is where the 1967 Newark Rebellion started.


“The People’s Organization For Progress will commemorate the 1967 Newark Rebellion because it is an important historic event in the Black Liberation Movement. It had an impact on the city and the nation that can still be felt today,” Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization For Progress stated.


“It was called the ‘Newark riots.’ We stopped using the term riots more than 50 years ago. We call it a rebellion because that more accurately describes what happened. It was a collective response to racial oppression,” Hamm said.


The rebellion was sparked by a police brutality incident. Newark police officers beat an African-American cab driver named John Smith.


“Police racism and brutality was the fuse but the oppressive conditions in which black people lived in Newark was the dynamite. Once the fuse was lit there was bound to be an explosion,” he said.


“The upheaval was catastrophic but it also produced a dynamic movement for Black political power that led to the election of Kenneth A. Gibson as Newark’s first African American mayor and eventually a predominantly Black city council,” he said.


Hamm said that some progress has been made over the past 57 years, but Black people still face many of the problems that drove them to rise up in 1967.


“Police brutality, racism, inequality, poverty, segregation, discrimination, lack of affordable housing, low wages, unemployment, substandard education, and inadequate healthcare are just some of the problems that we are still plagued with,” Hamm said.


“The parallels between 1967 and today are striking. Back then Dr Martin Luther King was saying instead of spending millions on a racist war in Vietnam the government should spend that money at home to eliminate poverty,” he said.


“Today people are saying we should stop spending billions abroad on Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza, and the war in Ukraine, and spend that money on our domestic needs at home,” he said.


Hamm who was a U.S. Senate candidate said that during the rally he will call upon the Biden administration to put forward a dynamic national urban policy for the development of the nation’s cities in the 21st century.


He also said that “this month marks the anniversary of the the appointment of the Kerner Commission to determine the causes of the rebellions in Newark and other cities throughout the nation. It issued a report that said that America was moving toward two societies, one black and one white.”


“On Friday, I will call on the Biden administration to assemble a new Kerner type commission to assess where we are today on the issue of racial equality, justice, and progress for Black people in the United States today,” Hamm said.


Finally, on the issue of police brutality which was a major cause of the urban uprisings in Newark and other cities, Hamm said that at the commemoration he will call for the passage by Congress of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2024 introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.


He will also call upon the New Jersey State Legislature to pass bills that will enable municipalities to establish police review boards with subpoena powers.


POP has observed the anniversary of the rebellion since the group was founded 42 years ago. The speakers at the event will include people who lived through the rebellion, family members of recent victims of police brutality, community leaders and activists.

For directions and other information call the People’s Organization For Progress at (973)801-0001.

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