Newark Rebellion 50 Years Later

Newark rebellion took place 50 years ago but the situation doesn't seem to change much since then.

Back in hot summer of 1967, the Newark rebellion was triggered by the beating of a Black cab driver, John Smith, by cops, the ignorance of the government officials, job discrimination, and urban dislocation. Doesn’t it sound familiar? Here is what the survivals recall.

“I was coming up Fourth Street, going toward Martin Luther King Boulevard,” Junius Williams tells.  “I had three other guys in the car with me, and I remember being pulled over by cops and told to ‘Get out and get up against the car, motherf—-r!” All the cops were armed. “They searched us,” Williams adds, but “didn’t find anything, and they were angry. So, they looked in my car” where they saw “some law books there I hadn’t taken out since I was still a law student at Yale.” One officer said, “They’re law students. Let ‘em go.”

That is a story of good luck. Junius Williams survived just because his education seemed to frighten the killer cops. But not all the Black people in the streets of Newark that day were lawyers.

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Between July 12 and July 17, 26 people died, 1500 were arrested and close to 1000 were injured. The age of the victims varied from 10-year old Eddie Moss to  41-year-old Eloise Spellman.Many people were shot in the head,  officers made no exclusions for small kids or pregnant women.  State Police and National Guardsmen used more than 13,000 rounds of ammunition so it was obvious even for the governor’s commission that most of the deaths were caused by police or National Guard rifles. Why are we talking about it now?

Why are we talking about it now? The picture of Newark rebellion is a detailed and up to date reflection of what is happening between the African-Americans and the police. 2017 is not too different from 1967 and doesn’t matter much whether dozens of brutal killings take 5 days of 5 months…

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