The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973
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The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973

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The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973

The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973

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  • Frederick Delk, founder of the African American Homeland Association
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The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973 The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government: Dissent and Repression in the RNA-1968-1973 Document Transcript

  • RBG Blakademics March, 2011 The Republic of New Africa vs. the US Government HTML Source Page of Text Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973Background Information Wikipedia entry for Republic of New Afrika Map of Detroit Political Context - Jerome Cavanaugh and the 1967 Riot by Prof. Boyle Information about the Detroit Riot of 1967 “Informants, Surveillance and Other Sources of Information” The Republic of New Afrika’s Webpage The Black Declaration of Independence The Mississippi Freedom Movement - Archival material Black Nationalism Course Material Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973 Page 1
  • RBG Blakademics March, 2011Secession and SuppressionHTML Source PageNearly 8 years ago, I attempted to systematically examine the political behavior of the Republicof New Afrika (RNA) and the political repression that was directed against the organization from1967 to 1974. This effort was facilitated by the provision of the RNA’s “Red Squad” file, acomposite of different documents emerging from local police, federal bureau of investigation,and various courts within the United States. The work was funded by the National ScienceFoundation.As designed, the “Red Squad” file was used to compile two databases. Each is discussed brieflybelow.Raw Government Records. The first database is composed of all the raw files. Here, severalthousand pages of documents have been scanned (e.g., police documents, informant reports,arrest records, and information regarding activities observed during physical or electronicsurveillance). This information is categorized by year and then sorted by government agency:for example, Detroit Police Department (DPD) Special Investigation Division, DPD IntelligenceUnit, DPD Homicide Division, and so forth.To date, I have only scanned some of these documents. Over the next year, I will be scanningmore. Check back every month or so to see additions.Coded Events. The second database is composed of information that I coded from the raw files. My particular interest was with identifying all meetings (when they took place, where they tookplace, how long they lasted, who showed up, and what was talked about), protest events (e.g.,petitions, marches, rallies, fundraising, demonstrations, and speeches), miscellaneous groupbehavior (e.g., conferences, trips, elections, publications of materials, recruitments, and trainingsessions) and instances of political repression (physical as well as electronic surveillance,infiltration by informant, arrests, warrants, questioning of members, raids, searches, distributionof false letters, and suspicion of infiltration/informants within the group) – all of this informationis available within the raw data; I merely decided to represent the data in spreadsheet form sothat one van better identify and examine patterns across variables (e.g., is meeting attendanceinfluenced by repressive activity, is surveillance activity responsive to inter-group activity or is itmerely following the pattern of who was previously under surveillance, how far back in the pastdo group members talk about overtime, and are particular geographic locations more likely to beselected for protest or repression).Additionally, I have connected with a geographer and he is assisting me with the development ofmapping software. As the police paid attention to geographically where things took place, weare able to map all activity over time. This allows one to gauge spatial patterns in membership,repressive activity, and protest – identifying where things took place, what happened and howresponsive different factors were to each other. In a sense, we will have RNA movies ofmeetings, membership, protest and repression. Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973 Page 2
  • RBG Blakademics March, 2011Sample Raw Documents from RNA Red Squad (all are PDF Documents) Special Investigation Bureau, Criminal Investigation Division 1966, March-June Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1968, January-March Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1968, April-June Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1968, July-September Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1968, October-December Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1969, January-March Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1969, April-June Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1969, July-September Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1969, October-December Special Investigation Bureau, Detective Division 1970, January-July Special Investigation Unit 1970, March-October Special Investigation Unit 1971, January-August RNA Memos - 1 RNA Memos - 2 RNA Flyer - The Black Mississippian RNA Flyer - We ask for your steady support Obituary for Milton Henry (co-founder of RNA)Data CodebookBackground Information Wikipedia entry for Republic of New Afrika Map of Detroit Political Context - Jerome Cavanaugh and the 1967 Riot by Prof. Boyle Information about the Detroit Riot of 1967 “Informants, Surveillance and Other Sources of Information” The Republic of New Afrika’s Webpage The Black Declaration of Independence The Mississippi Freedom Movement - Archival material Black Nationalism Course MaterialRelated Publications Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973 Page 3
  • RBG Blakademics March, 2011 “Killing the Afro: Dissent and the Puzzle of Repressive Persistence” “Understanding Covert Repressive Action: The Case of the U.S. Government Against the Republic of New Afrika” - The Journal of Conflict Resolution 2005 Proposed territory of the Republic of New Africa within the United StatesThis editor’s add-on:Dr. Mutulu Shakur describes the "New Bethel Incident" of March 29, 1969 during a Republic ofNew Africa conference. ‘ View the video Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973 Page 4
  • RBG Blakademics March, 2011“…At the first anniversary gathering of the RNA held at New Bethel Baptist Church on March 29,1969, two white Detroit police officers were shot, one fatally, outside the building on LinwoodAvenue on Detroit’s west side. This area had been the epicenter of the 1967 rebellion.Reports on the incident would indicate that several armed guards from the RNA, known as theBlack Legionaires, were escorting Obadele out of the church after the meeting was over whenthe police driving in a squad car attempted to approach and question the group. The officerswere fired on which shortly prompted a massive police raid on the church where hundreds ofrounds were discharged and nearly 150 people were arrested.Soon afterwards, Rev. C.L. Franklin, State Representative James Del Rio and Recorder’s CourtJudge George Crockett, Jr. went to the police station where the RNA members and supporterswere being held. Judge Crockett set up court at the detention facility and released all of theRNA members and supporters jailed stating that the arrests were a violation of the fourthamendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting illegal search and seizure.The release of the participants at the RNA meeting held in the New Bethel Baptist Churchsparked outrage by the police and the white establishment in Detroit. The police demanded therecall of Judge Crockett and he was forced to travel for several months with a bodyguard.…Nonetheless, the so-called “New Bethel Incident” would galvanize the African-Americancommunity politically. The first Black United Front was formed and Judge Crockett wasdefended by a broad section of the African-American community in the city.Three people who were charged in the shooting of the police officers were acquitted and thecoalition which developed in the aftermath of the shooting would lay the groundwork for theeventual election of the city’s first African-American mayor, State Senator Coleman A. Young in1973. Young had been a veteran labor organizer and leftist with close ties with the CommunistParty USA…”From: Pan-African News WireWednesday, June 09, 2010Detroit Tribute to Dr. Imari Obadele, Co-Founder of the RNA and Leader in the ModernReparations Movement Dissent and Repression in the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1973 Page 5