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All out for relaunching of the National Alliance against Racist and Political Repression

Interview with Frank Chapman
By staff |
November 19, 2019
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Frank Chapman.
Frank Chapman. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Fight Back! interviews Frank Chapman on the November 22-24 Chicago conference to refound the National Alliance against Racist and Political Repression.

Fight Back!: Could you say a few words about what the conference to relaunch the National Alliance against Racist and Political Repression will look like?

Frank Chapman: The most powerful incentive for the relaunching of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is the national epidemic in police crimes and state violence being perpetrated against Black and brown people, LBGTQ and trans people. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the DOJ’s refusal to intervene in the tragic murder of Eric Garner and the brutalization and murder of families at the U.S./Mexican border.

This dramatic increase in racist and political repression is accompanied by mass incarceration and the fact that the United States has the longest-held political prisoners in the world. Leonard Peltier, from the indigenous peoples’ movement, and Jalil Muntaquim, from the Black Panther Party, have been political prisoners for over four decades. And there are many others, like Gerald Reed, who are being held in prison as a result of being tortured and wrongfully convicted.

These are the reasons why we need to relaunch the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

Fight Back!: What is going on in our communities that makes the relaunching of the Alliance so important?

Chapman: Black and brown communities are over-patrolled and under-protected and must confront police harassment, racial profiling, torture and murder on a daily basis. This is not happening in just Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles; this happening throughout the nation. Also the police are the cutting edge of mass incarceration throughout the nation. We believe the enormity of the problem of police tyranny has created a mass demand for community control of the police. We believe this problem can best be confronted by a national movement organized by a refounding of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).

Fight Back!: What kind of support and backing is this effort getting?

Chapman: From all over the country and in virtually every community of Black and brown people, spontaneous movements against the reckless and murderous violence of the police have developed, often spearheaded by the families and friends of the victims of police crimes. Combined with the outrage of people living in these communities, these developments often morph into movements calling for the jailing and prosecution of police criminals.

It is precisely these movements that support and back up our efforts to refound the NAARPR.

Fight Back!: What has been going on in Chicago with the fight for community control of the police?

Chapman: The fight for community control of the police in Chicago began as a conscious movement under the leadership of the Black Panther Party 50 years ago. After the heinous murder of Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, the movement for community control took a setback. With the founding of NAARPR in May, 1973 there was an attempt to launch a national movement for community control of the police. For various reasons - but mainly due to the ferocity of the repression and racist backlash of the seventies and eighties - the movement for community control did not take hold nationally.

Yet it continued to persist in Chicago, led by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a surviving branch of NAARPR. In 2012, in the wake of the murder of a 21-year-old Black woman, Rekia Boyd, CAARPR launched a campaign to pass an ordinance in the city council to create an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).

This campaign for CPAC, rooted in the Black community, has become a citywide mass movement for community control of the police. We believe it is time for it to become a nationwide movement for community control of the police and the refounding of the NAARPR will certainly facilitate this development.

Fight Back!: How can people become involved with the effort to refound the Alliance?

Chapman: Where we have the capacity, we have already started to organize local committees in various cities throughout the country to begin the work of mobilizing and organizing people in their respective communities to come to Chicago for our refounding conference.

So, the first level of involvement is to get all those who are involved in anti-police crimes work in your city to disseminate our Call to the NAARPR National Refounding Conference this November 22-24, 2019. In other words, help us get the word out throughout the breadth and depth of our movement to all the pockets of resistance to police tyranny throughout the land.

Then comes the work of organizing participation in the conference through registration and transportation. This work must proceed by way of contact and communication with our National Organizing Committee for the Conference.

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