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November 26, 2014 0

Arrested Black Panther Also Involved in Sovereign Citizen Movement

Fed­eral agents arrested two New Black Pan­ther Party mem­bers (NBPP) in St. Louis on Novem­ber 21, accus­ing Ola­ju­won Ali and Bran­don Bald­win of ille­gal straw pur­chases of hand­guns.  Some media have cited anony­mous sources alleg­ing that the pair also attempted to pur­chase pipe bombs.olajuwon-ali-document

One of the accused, Ola­ju­won Ali, 22, is the head of the NBPP’s St. Louis Chap­ter, but he also has been active in a very dif­fer­ent extrem­ist move­ment:  the anti-government “sov­er­eign cit­i­zen” movement.

The sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment has expe­ri­enced rapid recent growth, par­tic­u­larly in its Afro-centric “Moor­ish” off­shoot.  “Moor­ish” sov­er­eigns emerged in the mid-1990s when mem­bers of the Moor­ish Sci­ence Tem­ple (MST), a reli­gious sect, attempted to meld their beliefs with that of the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment.  Sov­er­eign beliefs have since spread widely among MST adher­ents, and later to other African-Americans, bring­ing new adher­ents to what his­tor­i­cally has been con­sid­ered a right-wing extrem­ist movement.

Ali is typ­i­cal of many new recruits to the “Moor­ish” move­ment.  Although there is evi­dence that Ali may have encoun­tered sov­er­eign cit­i­zen ide­ol­ogy as early as 2010, when still a teenager, it was in April 2013 that he for­mally joined the move­ment, fil­ing an “Abju­ra­tion of Cit­i­zen­ship” doc­u­ment declar­ing him­self  an “aboriginal/indigenous, free Sov­er­eign Moor – Nat­ural Per­son of the Land.”

The doc­u­ment, as well as a Moor­ish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card that Ali has used, appear to come from an influ­en­tial New Jersey-based Moor­ish group led by R. V. Bey.  One of the sig­na­tures on the doc­u­ment seems to be that of one of R. V. Bey’s promi­nent disciples.

Another sig­na­ture on Ali’s doc­u­ment belongs to Kusu ra Kush Bey, aka Chester Wil­son, a St. Louis-based Moor­ish sov­er­eign.  In the same month that Ali filed his “abju­ra­tion,” the FBI arrested Wil­son for his alleged involve­ment in a major multi-state car theft ring.

Ali him­self had a brush with the law only months after declar­ing his sov­er­eignty.  In June 2013, St. Louis police arrested Ali for tres­pass­ing, resist­ing arrest and dis­turb­ing the peace fol­low­ing an inci­dent in which Ali allegedly attempted to use a Moor­ish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card at a con­ve­nience store to demand “tax-free” pur­chases.  Ali, tased dur­ing the inci­dent, later described his arrest as “unlaw­ful” and him­self as a “vic­tim of police brutality.”

Ali’s legal trou­bles took up much of his time, but he found a new source for activism fol­low­ing the fatal shoot­ing of Michael Brown in Fer­gu­son in August 2014.  That month, Ali, call­ing him­self a “Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Law,” offered a “Lessons of Law Class (Post-Mike Brown)” to inform African-Americans of their “Con­sti­tu­tional, Uni­ver­sal Human, and Indige­nous Rights.”

The shoot­ing also gave Ali an oppor­tu­nity to join NBPP activism with Moor­ish activism.  On August 13, Ali com­posed a lengthy, sovereign-style “Affi­davit of Fact” directed to the mayor of Fer­gu­son  in which he asserted that claims the NBPP had encour­aged vio­lence were “false pro­pa­ganda [sic]” released by “Euro­pean owned” media sta­tions.  He also accused the city of Fer­gu­son with the “GENOCIDE AND MURDER OF Abo­rig­i­nal Indige­nous Amer­i­can Michael Brown Jr.”

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November 24, 2014 0

Members Of New Black Panther Party Arrested On Weapons Charges

olajuwon-ali-black-panther-bombjpg

Ola­ju­won Ali, Chair­man of the New Black Pan­ther Party’s St. Louis Chapter

Two mem­bers of the New Black Pan­ther Party (NBPP), the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist Black mil­i­tant group in Amer­ica, were arrested in Mis­souri on Fri­day and charged with fed­eral firearms offenses.

Ola­ju­won Ali, Chair­man of the NBPP St. Louis Chap­ter, and Bran­don Bald­win, were indicted on fed­eral weapons vio­la­tions for allegedly mak­ing straw pur­chases of two .45 cal­iber hand­guns at a sport­ing goods store in Hazel­wood, Mis­souri. Author­i­ties say that the two men claimed the guns were for Bald­win but that the weapons were actu­ally intended for some­one else.

After exe­cut­ing search war­rants, pros­e­cu­tors are report­edly con­sid­er­ing addi­tional charges against the two for attempt­ing to pur­chase pipe bombs with intent to cause dam­age to build­ings and land­marks in the St. Louis area.

A state­ment posted by Ali on his appar­ent Face­book page sug­gests that he may have antic­i­pated his arrest on Fri­day. On Novem­ber 19, Ali posted, “Fam­ily and Friends, every­day I got Cau­casians fol­low­ing me in SUV trucks. Please be advised that if you show any signs of non­com­pli­ance with this Devil they will try to assas­si­nate you. Lord smite my ene­mies and any­one who intends to bring me harm. Ashe! In the spirit of Ogun! Pro­tect me. Ashe!”

In another post, Ali described St. Louis as a “Slave Cap­i­tal in a Slave State!” and the iconic Arch as “the Shackle of Oppres­sion” and a “Sym­bol of Our destruc­tion and demise.”

Ali is also an actor and rap­per; he posted images of him­self in a new music video called “Right To Resist” on the day of his arrest. Ali appar­ently con­verted to Islam in col­lege, accord­ing to a YouTube video he posted in Octo­ber 2012, although it is unclear if he still con­sid­ers him­self a Mus­lim. In August, Ali and other mem­bers of the NBPP were present in Fer­gu­son dur­ing the protests fol­lowed the shoot­ing of Michael Brown. It is unclear when Ali, who has a back tat­too of a black pan­ther attack­ing a bald eagle, joined the NBPP.

In addi­tion to his con­nec­tion to the NBPP, Ali is also involved with another extrem­ist move­ment, the “Moor­ish” move­ment, an off­shoot of the anti-government sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, which he joined in early 2013.  This involve­ment resulted in his arrest by St. Louis police in June 2013, when Ali, accord­ing to his own account of the inci­dent, was charged with tres­pass­ing, dis­turb­ing the peace and resist­ing arrest after attempt­ing to use a Moor­ish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card to make a “tax free” pur­chase at a con­ve­nience store.

Source: Facebook

Source: Face­book

Ali, who was tased dur­ing the encounter, described him­self as a “vic­tim of police bru­tal­ity” and referred to police as “out­laws” and “mer­ce­nar­ies for hire.”  Ali claims to have reached out for help to other “abo­rig­i­nal indige­nous” peo­ple (i.e., other Moor­ish sov­er­eign cit­i­zens), but to have received only advice and good wishes.

Bran­don Muham­mad has a less exten­sive online foot­print. On his appar­ent Face­book page, he made cryp­tic com­ments on Novem­ber 17 such as “For every action there is a reaction…brother I can elab­o­rate on that trust me.” Many of his “likes” con­sist of var­i­ous pages related to Islam, the Nation of Islam, the New Black Pan­ther Party, the Black Rid­ers Lib­er­a­tion Party, the African-American Defense League, and other Black nation­al­ist indi­vid­u­als, causes, and groups.

The NBPP issued a state­ment on its blog on Fri­day describ­ing the alle­ga­tions against Ali and Bald­win as “a com­plete BOLF FACED LIE and FRAME UP attempt of the local St. Louis orga­ni­za­tion and mem­ber­ship, in an effort to stop the orga­niz­ing capa­bil­ity of the local party.”

The NBPP often attracts atten­tion for its threats against police, which the NBPP views as cul­pa­ble for Black suf­fer­ing in the U.S. In August, ADL expressed con­cern over the group’s efforts to por­tray itself as help­ing to keep the peace between pro­test­ers and law enforce­ment in the after­math of the shoot­ing of Michael Brown in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri. The group made sev­eral threats against local law enforce­ment in response to the Michael Brown shoot­ing in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri.

ADL’s com­pre­hen­sive report on New Black Pan­ther Party is avail­able on the ADL web­site at: New Black Pan­ther Party for Self Defense

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October 23, 2014 0

Tufts University Hosting National Students For Justice In Palestine Conference

Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP), the nation’s largest pro-Palestinian stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion with more than 80 active chap­ters on col­lege and uni­ver­sity cam­puses, will hold its 4th National Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine Con­fer­ence at Tufts Uni­ver­sity. The con­fer­ence, which runs from Octo­ber 24–26, is titled “Beyond Sol­i­dar­ity: Resist­ing Racism and Colo­nial­ism from the U.S. to Pales­tine,” a ref­er­ence to SJP activists’ efforts to con­nect vary­ing strug­gles and move­ments to the Pales­tin­ian cause.sjp-national-conference-tufts-university

As with pre­vi­ous SJP national con­fer­ences this year’s con­fer­ence is only open to stu­dents who are active with a cam­pus group. The con­fer­ence is set to fea­ture a wide array of anti-Israel activists, includ­ing uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors, stu­dents, clergy mem­bers, and mem­bers of the global Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) movement.

Among the invited speak­ers are J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Amer­i­can Stud­ies & Anthro­pol­ogy at Wes­leyan Uni­ver­sity and an advi­sor to the U.S. Cam­paign for the Aca­d­e­mic and Cul­tural Boy­cott of Israel (USACBI); Muham­mad Desai, the coor­di­na­tor of BDS South Africa who was seen singing the words “shoot the Jew” at a 2013 anti-Israel protest; Sara Ker­sh­ner, a co-founder of the Inter­na­tional Jew­ish Anti-Zionist Net­work; and sev­eral stu­dent activists from var­i­ous SJP chapters.

The con­fer­ence pan­els, accord­ing to the SJP con­fer­ence web­site, will con­sist of dis­cus­sions that con­flate social jus­tice with the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. Panel titles include: “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine: Resist­ing State Vio­lence and Racism,” and “Migrant Jus­tice and the Undoc­u­mented Pales­tin­ian Expe­ri­ence in the U.S.” SJP chap­ters often try to link domes­tic issues and events, such as the Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri shoot­ing and its after­math to the con­flict in Gaza, couch­ing hos­til­ity toward Israel in social jus­tice terms to appeal to a broader audi­ence. In addi­tion, there will also be a ses­sion on “Islamic Move­ments of Pales­tine,” that will exam­ine “how Islam informed resis­tance move­ments and what dif­fer­ent ways Islamic move­ments oper­ated in Palestine.”

In pre­vi­ous years SJP held its national con­fer­ence at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity in 2011, the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan in 2012, and at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity in 2013. The con­fer­ences typ­i­cally include inflam­ma­tory lan­guage and rhetoric to describe Israel, and, at times, speak­ers have glo­ri­fied the use of vio­lence by Pales­tin­ian groups.

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