Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist. Erik is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and co-writer of the Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. As a published freelance photographer, he has documented activist groups actions in NYC since 2011.
Friday, May 19, 2017
28th Annual Harlem Black Power “Shut ‘Em Down” rally and march in honor of the 92nd Anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X
Harlem, NY - In honor of the 92nd Anniversary of the birth of Black national hero, Malcolm X, on May 19, 2017; members of December 12th Movement, Black Lives Matter Greater New York and Harlem residents gathered outside Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St. to hold the 28th Annual Black Power “Shut ‘Em Down” rally and march. All commerce from stores and street vendors along the 125th Street corridor between St. Nicholas and Fifth Avenue in Harlem shut down between 1pm and 4pm in a commercial show of respect for Malcolm X.
As part of the events on the 92nd Anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X, the 52nd annual pilgrimage to Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester County, where the bodies of Malcolm X and his wife Betty are interred, departed from the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on early Friday.
On returning to Harlem, the December 12th Movement conducted their 28th annual “Black Power Shut’em Down!” economic boycott, which forces all businesses along 125th Street to close their doors from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in a mighty display of self-determination.
Harlem’s Schomburg Center and the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational Center also have events throughout the weekend. The December 12th Movement is calling on our community to respect and celebrate Malcolm X by participating in the Malcolm X Conference for Self-Determination.
At 6 p.m., they host a Cultural Tribute to Malcolm X in the Gallery of the State Office Building. African drumming by Ndigo Washington and Joyce Jones will introduce the film “Malcolm X Speaks.” Spoken word presentations by the inimitable Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, the fiery Mandela Brathwaite (son of Pan-African giant Elombe Brath) and the nationally acclaimed IMPACT Repertory Theatre Group will be followed by a jazz performance by Jazzmeia Horn’s (2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition winner) quartet.
The conference will formally open Saturday, May 20, at All Souls Episcopal Church (88 St. Nicholas Ave. at 114th Street). Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the December 12th Movement and the conference organizational supporters will greet the attendees. The dynamic Fred Hampton Jr., son of the slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and chairman of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee, will deliver the keynote address at 11:30 a.m.
The heart of the conference will be the two panels/workshops. From noon to 2 p.m., the first panel, on “The Historical Demand for Independence and Reparations,” will be a discussion on (i) Black people’s revolutionary battles for self-determination through independence, separation and repatriation and (ii) the political and legal battles for reparations as a remedy for the United States’ crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing (now called “gentrification”) of Black people.
The second panel, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., on “The Political and Cultural Battle for Independence and Freedom” will look at how a plebiscite (referendum) can be a weapon for Black self-determination and a weapon against rising fascism in the U.S. The open discussion will examine “Which Way Forward” for Black people in the age of the Trump/Clinton platform of lies and the systemic derailing of our fight for freedom.
The day will conclude at 5:30 with a plenary to sum up the panels’ findings and propose a course of action for the future.