President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn enters into possible City Council Special Election Race
Brooklyn, NY – Advocate Anthony Beckford, has officially decided to explore running for the 45th City Council District, which may be vacated and up for Special Election if Councilman Jumaane Williams wins the upcoming Public Advocate Race on February 26th. Anthony has a proven track record in advocacy, legislation and safeguarding of resources for the community.Read more
I was born to working class parents, and raised on the south side of Chicago. By 1967 I was involved in the citywide organizing effort among black high school students demanding the first black history courses and opposing the war in Vietnam. In the fall and winter of 1967 we hooked up with young Marine and Army veterans just back from the war. We took them to nine or ten black high schools on the west and south sides of Chicago where we conducted teach-ins at which they recounted stories of rapes, murders and war crimes they either took part in or witnessed but were powerless to stop. They told us we had a political and moral obligation to resist the war and the draft and not allow us to be used in the shameful way they had been used.
In January 1969 I joined the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, in which I served as part of the education cadre, responsible for conducting the party's political education classes. I also served as a patient advocate in the party's free medical center. I left the BPP about August of 1970.
In 1974-75 Bobby Rush, former Illinois Black Panther Party's Deputy Minister of Defense ran for Democratic ward committeeman in Chicago's 2nd ward. I took part in the campaign, running 5 precincts, canvassing and training others to canvass for about 60 days prior to the election. This was my first brush with electoral work. Bobby is now of course congressman from the first congressional district of Illinois.
During the mid and late 1970s I took part in a series of ephemeral community organizing efforts in the Cabrini-Green public housing project on Chicago's near north side around issues affecting public housing residents including public education, police practices, jobs the corrupt practices of the Chicago Housing Authority and more. In 1979-80 I was part of a group that planned and executed a series of highly visible protests over the fact that Chicago residents could not register to vote except weekday business hours downtown in non-presidential election years. I was arrested a few times, but we embarrassed the city into allowing Chicago's first off-site voter registration drives, and signing up about 60,000 new voters in time for the 1980 Illinois gubernatorial election. From this time until the end of the century I was involved in contesting primary elections every cycle as a volunteer or consultant or staffer or precinct captain or one of the folks who trained precinct captains, always against the Daley Machine.
I was caught in a couple of plant shutdowns in 1978 and 1981, and the second time worked with other rank and file steelworkers to gain control of our union at Chicago's old Pullman passenger rail car plant and mobilize to prevent the shutdown. We seized the local union but were betrayed by our international, and 3,000 of us were put on the street that year. All through the 1980s I worked on campaigns against the Daley Machine in Chicago, including the 1983 and 87 mayoral campaigns of Harold Washington. In 1984 I worked in the congressional campaign of Danny Davis, who now represents the 7th district of Illinois, and the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign that season, and the 1987 Chicago mayoral campaign. I ran field operations for primary election campaigns in 1988 and 1990 in which we decisively beat the Daley Machine. I also recruited and trained the first Local School Improvement Councils for five Chicago Public Schools in the Cabrini Green neighborhood in the 1988-1991 period. I gained a reputation for running successful voter registration drives and field operations against the Daley Machine.
In 1992 I was tapped to be one of three field organizers responsible for the summer and fall voter registration drive leading up to the general election that year. Our director that year whose chief responsibility was fundraising was a guy fresh out of Harvard law with no political experience, but a quick study and a great fundraiser. We took him around to the people we'd organized in our previous 15 years, our union folks, our people in public public housing, in neighborhood organizations and the like. His name was Barack Obama. We signed up 133,000 new voters in four months and chased them out to the polls. Afterward I took a job in the Elections Department of the Cook County Clerk's office responsible for registrations and elections in the suburban half of Cook County, where my responsibilities included training deputy registrars and prospective candidates for local office, writing manuals and some other stuff.
I left Chicago at the end of 2000, and moved to Georgia. In 2002 I took a week off to work in the congressional campaign of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, and afterward published a critical assessment of the effort online. The article attracted the attention of Glen Ford and we began collaborating with Margaret Kimberley to produce an online journal called the Black Commentator, and in 2006 we founded Black Agenda Report, a weekly journal of news, commentary and analysis from the black left published each and every week.
In 2009 I joined the Georgia Green Party. To tell the truth the GA Green Party, like the national party had a lot of problems when I joined it, most of which I have learned are reflected in the experience of Greens in other states as well. Assessing, addressing and overcoming them is more than just a notion, it's been a journey of several years here in GA, but I believe we are in sight of being able to build a party with a mass base here, capable of putting a couple hundred people in a room in Atlanta, and a hundred or more in Macon, Savannah and Augusta within a year, leasing a permanent meeting place in Atlanta and one other location, and launching a successful drive for ballot access in Georgia, with or without aid from the national party or its presidential campaign.
I was also a staff person in the 2016 campaign of Jill Stein, until I had to leave because of illness. I contributed to the ballot access and campaign plans, to Jill's tour of NC and GA, composed a number of mailings, operated parts of the web site, and more.
At the GP's 2016 Annual National Meeting, I worked with Howie Hawkins of the NY Green Party to prepare and present what was undoubtedly the best attended workshop of that year's offerings, on the subject of transforming our party into a dues paying membership organization, the model followed by successful opposition parties almost everywhere in the world except the US.
National Black Caucus endorses Prison Strike
The Green Party of the United States National Black Caucus has voted to endorse the National Prison Strike beginning on August 21st, 2018 and ending on September 9th, 2018.
Background: Incarcerated persons in prisons across the nation are declaring a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades were killed during an uprising that could have been prevented had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation's penal ideology. These incarcerated persons are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation services and programs, sentencing reform, and the end of modern day slavery.Read more
Why I Choose to Take a Stand, by Taking a Knee
The national controversy over those who choose to protest racial injustice in America by placing one knee on the ground during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner doesn’t seem to be going away. The NFL announced a policy last May that any players who protest the anthem while on the field will be subject to discipline from the league. Here in Carbondale, Illinois, where I reside, Southern Illinois University – or, as I like to call it, Self-Impaling University – impaled itself once again by announcing a policy forbidding student athletes, cheerleaders and spirit members from engaging in “displays of activism” while in uniform. Thankfully, after a public outcry, the university quickly reversed itself.Read more
Dems Left Us Black and Blue, So We’re Going Green
The AFRO recently ran an op-ed by an author who called out the Democratic Party for allegedly supporting immigrants’ rights over African Americans’ rights. While we wholeheartedly condemn the xenophobic nature of this line of reasoning – exemplary of the divide and conquer patronage-style politics of the Democratic Party – we agree that the Democratic Party has not done well by us in recent decades.
After years of being taken for granted and taken advantage of, our community has been left black and blue. Bruised up but far from beaten, many elder African American civil rights leaders in Baltimore, including the four of us, are participating in an exodus from the Democratic Party to become members of the Baltimore City Green Party (BGP). Here are three reasons why we think this is the strategic move for our community, our city, and our country.Read more
Pinellas Greens Statement On Clearwater Racist Murder: "Gualtieri, Get The Hell Out Of Pinellas!"
Ho hum. Another racist murder. Another Trayvon Martin. This time in Clearwater, Florida. Raving racist Michael Drejka deliberately provoked a fight with a Black woman over a convenience store parking spot, got shoved by Markeis McGlockton, her boyfriend, and then took careful aim and drilled the Black man in cold blood.
Act two, as tragedy turns into farce. "He had to shoot to defend himself," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. "Those are the facts and that's the law."Read more
Growing up black in America: here's my story of everyday racism
As a middle-class, light-skinned black man I am ‘better’ by American standards but there is no amount of assimilation that can shield you from racism in the US
I am a black man who has grown up in the United States. I know what it is like to feel the sting of discrimination. As a middle-class, light-skinned black man I also know that many others suffered (and continue to suffer) a lot worse than me. I grew up around a lot of white people. In elementary school, I remember being told that I was one of the “good ones” – not like the “bad ones” I was meant to understand; I was different.Read more
Black & Green Wednesday: Responsible Governance in St. Louis City Ward 2
During the 2017 Special Election for 2nd Ward Alderman candidates had multiple opportunities to share what they would do if elected. Residents attended neighborhood forums and shared with their neighbors and the candidates what some of the issues are and offered up solutions including: speed bumps, neighborhood clean-up days, opening up the gym at the old Batten Elementary School, job fairs, introducing bills to either reduce or eliminate certain city bills. Let’s go over what has been done and what remains.Read more
Statement of Solidarity For Palestine
During riots and uprising in Ferguson in 2014 many activists and crowds protested against the shooting that led to the death of Michael Brown by police. Brown was unarmed. During these protests military styled policing teams fired rubber bullets drenched and bombed people with tear gas. It was then that Palestine showed and expressed global solidarity by tweeting advice as how to survive the attack.
The Green Party of the United States Black Caucus stands with Palestine and condemns Israeli state violence and the use of United States supplied weapons to murder, tear gas unarmed Palestinians. We also recognize that this atrocity could not have occurred without the U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s tweet of support and celebratory comment outlines that both parties have no problem with ethnic cleansing, genocide, execution, rape, and theft of land.Read more
Green Party Black Caucus elects co-chairs to Reparations Working Group
The Green Party of the United States Black Caucus is proud to announce it has nominated and elected two co-chairs to its Green Party of the United States Reparations working group to secure full and complete reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States of America.
Anika Ofori is a cultural artist, social entrepreneur and activist. She currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a US Navy veteran. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Ministry Leadership from Geneva College and a Master of Divinity from The Virginia Union University. She is a member of GPLA and GPUS-BC.Read more