portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article oregon & cascadia

human & civil rights | prisons & prisoners

OCTOBER 22nd NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY - Eugene

 At the Fir Room at the University Of Oregon, 7pm,
Monday, October 22nd. There will be speakers as well
as a short film. Free food and drink will be provided.
OCTOBER 22nd NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY - Eugene

Speakers at this years event will include:

       -Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin

        Former Black Panther and author of
         Anarchism & the Black Revolution

   - Members of the Northwest Prisoners Support
Network and others T.B.A

During the late 1960s Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin was a
member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating
Committee in Eastern Tennessee, and later joined the
Black Panther Party when the two groups merged in
1967-68. During that period, when the so-called "Black
Power Movement" began to exert itself in opposition to
the reformist civil rights leadership in Southern US
and other parts of North America, he was involved in
anti-Klan and civil rights activities in Chattanooga,
Knoxville, Atlanta, and other cities. When a so-called
"Black Power" grand jury was convened in the Summer of 1968 in Hamilton County, Tennessee to investigate SNCC and the Black Power movement's role in "planning" disturbances in the city of Chattanooga, Kom'boa was summoned to testify before the grand jury on purported "gun-running" charges against him and other SNCC activists. He left the city when he learned that the cops and Klan wanted him dead if he would not testify.

The police and FBI had "shoot to kill" orders. The
official story would be that Kom'boa was shot while
resisting arrest. Kom'boa felt that he had to get out
of the country if he wanted to save his life. On
February 25, 1969, he hijacked a plane to Cuba from
Atlanta, Georgia but because of Cuba's fear of Black
struggle in North America, he was later arrested and
deported Czechoslovakia. American agents located him
and tried to arrest him; he escaped, but ultimately
was arrested, brought back to the U.S., and tried
before a racist jury in a small town in Georgia and
given two
Life prison terms. However, he didn't give up the
struggle after he went to prison. He was a prisoner
unionist, fighter for Black rights, a jailhouse
lawyer, and one of the first Black radicals to convert
to Anarchism during his incarceration. At one time he
was also one of the "Marion Brothers" who were
political prisoners held in the infamous Control Unit
in
Marion (IL) Federal Prison, at that time the most
secure prison in North America. Ultimately, this
association and the resulting international notoriety
on his case is what helped him get out. Millions of
people heard about the injustice of his case. He had
served almost 15 years (1969-1983) before an
international defense campaign won his freedom.

Since his release, he has worked as a community
organizer in Chattanooga, fighting against racism and
police brutality, and working for the release of
political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal. He is the
author of the forthcoming autobiography Years of
Struggle, Years of Death. Don't miss this incredible
activist and speaker on his stop through Eugene!

 This event is being sponsored by the Northwest
Political Prisoner Support Network. Although this
event is free, we will be asking for donations to go
towards the legal defense of political prisoners in
the Northwest. Nobody will be turned away for a lack
of funds. Please come and join with us to celebrate
resistance to police brutality, state repression, and
the prison-industrial complex.

 At the Fir Room at the University Of Oregon, 7pm,
Monday, October 22nd. There will be speakers as well
as a short film. Free food and drink will be provided.