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cover2By Darwin Campbell,  African-American News&Issues

Houston – The word on the street in Fifth Ward is “All Power to the People” and stand your ground on Open Carry and police brutality.

Citizens made it clear that it is tired of the police shooting and killing Black children in the streets of America’s cities and town.

“It is time to make a change and stand up,” Shantel Beverly said. They are killing too many of our little brothers.”

Beverly, like many others believe Ferguson is an example of Police not caring about Black people. “We are here for support and to let people know it is time to take a stand!,” she said.

As the group gathered, the protest turned into a complete display of solidarity, not only for Fifth Ward residents, but Black Houstonians from Acres Home, Third Ward, Southeast, Sunnyside, South Park and East Houston who came out to support the Fifth Ward and who raises awareness that Blacks need to be aware that what happened in Ferguson, Missouri in the shooting of Michael Brown can take place on Houston streets.

On  Aug 9, Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson Police officer. The shooting occurred around noon in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, as Brown and a friend walked down a street.

Brown becomes the latest statistic in the long string of sins committed by police departments across America.

One begs the question whether it is even safe for Black men to walk the streets given the current trend of unprovoked attacks.

“All youngsters that have been killed is a shame. Our government is allowing this to go on and it is ridiculous,” Patrick Davis said. “I believe that it is going to take more foot soldiers to step up in this fight and change the direction of our people.”

The killing has caused protests and demonstrations to erupt in cities all over the country and even has caught the attention of the White House and members of Congress.

The New Black Panther Party, NBUF and community supporters held the self defense  and peace demonstration at Lockwood and Lyons at noon Saturday and focused on Black people not only knowing their rights but also on demanding justice for each and every incident of police brutality and killing across America.

Brother Robert Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 45 compared the actions of the Ferguson Police  in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting death and the vigilantes of Open Carry Texas to an invasion of the Black community.

He shared the idea of the strategic plans involving a highway systems across this country that are designed to cut off and isolate Black communities from each other in time of crisis – even in Houston.

“We need to think long term and big picture,” Muhammad said. “We need to understand this is a war and we must be independent and grow our own food and support ourselves.”

He said the young generation on the streets today are fearless and are the new warriors carrying the torch of freedom for Black people.

“The youth in Ferguson have shown the whole world what has been brewing in us for the last 450 years,” he said. “They stood up and should motivate us to stand up.”

He said years of fighting guns in communities, the war on drugs and violence in Black neighborhoods is all part of a plan to incriminate young Blacks, eliminate our leaders and future leaders and add to the roles of the prison industrial complex.

“The war is on us,” he said. “Our leaders are locked up in federal prisons, Texas prison and our women and children are on the new reservations. (projects and Black communities)”

He warned that police and civil governments are not interested in negotiation or collaboration with the Black, but Ferguson shows that authorities want to meet every challenge with a military occupying force. He also noted that the Open Carry proponents are people on the ready to back up law enforcement and use their guns and ammo against the Black community in posse style formations or vigilante fashion.

The calls from the New Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and National Black United Front members was a call for all Black communities to unite, stand up and ensure voices are heard from Houston City Hall to the State Capitol in Austin to stop treading on us and citizen rights.

Sister Krystal Muhammad, National Chairwoman of the New Black Panther Party, called for unity and working together to develop positive plans to help young Black men succeed. She also warned that Blacks and Browns must be apprised of the strategy involving dividing and controlling the community as well as ridding the nation of its Black males through death and incarceration.

She promoted the value of African-American history and its connection to who we are as a nation.

“There are our children being shot down in the streets. We know the plan and we are at war trying to stop it,” she told supporters. “What is happening in Ferguson and all over is ethnic cleansing and genocide. We just have not been fighting back in a strategic and united way.”

She said the issues are no longer justice issues, but human rights violations that need the attention of the United Nations and World Courts.

“The police and vigilantes have been murdering us and nothing is being done,” she said.“It is time to turn it up and take a stand against insurgents and insurgency into our community.”

She encouraged Blacks to qualify for small arms and rifles and start carrying weapons to protect yourself and the community. She also called on the replacement of do-nothing elected officials.

“When the people stand up and exercise the power, we cannot be stopped,” she said. “All power to the people.” 

Kathy Blueford Daniels, president of the SuperNeighborhood in Fifth Ward, said unity is necessary to as a first step to deal with problems and situation in the Black community.

“This is our house and our community,” she said. “Together we stand and send a strong message and make a key strategic move as a people united.”

Daniels said she hopes the momentum pours over in the fight to keep neighborhood school open and to improve economic conditions and change the image of community in all Black neighborhoods.

She said her goals is to continue to fight to make things better for Blacks and Browns living in Fifth Ward and other areas of Houston.

“This cannot be the last day we gather,” she said. “We must work together and represent each other all over the city.”

Kofi Taharka warned that no matter when the armed demonstration happens, the people must be ready, prepared and be on guard for our people. Not wanted and not needed

He also said there were a lot more ways to educate our people rather than marching through with guns.

“It is cancelled indefinitely,” he said. “This was a provocative move on one of the oldest African American community in Texas.”  We have to have pride in where we are from. We had to make a statement because the issue is broader because any area could be chosen at any time.”

Tarharka said the peaceful demonstration sends a strong message from all walks of our community that Houston cares and supports Ferguson and renews and revives efforts to end police brutality and senseless killing and violence against Black males by police in Houston and in every community across the country.