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November 26, 2014 1

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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September 22, 2014 3

Ferguson = Gaza: The Continued Invocation Of A False Comparison

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Vigil for Gaza at the Col­lege of Staten Island

While Gaza and Fer­gu­son no longer dom­i­nate the head­lines, these unre­lated events con­tinue to be con­nected by a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

In addi­tion to pre­vi­ously reported exam­ples, more recent anti-Israel events con­tinue to link the con­flict in Gaza to the Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri shoot­ing and its after­math, couch­ing hos­til­ity towards Israel in social jus­tice terms in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of support.

Recent exam­ples of anti-Israel events that draw par­al­lels between Fer­gu­son and Gaza include:

  • Exis­tence is Resis­tance and the Cam­paign to Bring Mumia Home are adver­tis­ing an event sched­uled for Octo­ber 11 at the Mal­colm X and Betty Shabazz Cen­ter in north­ern Man­hat­tan to address “the global sys­tems that oppress us, from Fer­gu­son to Gaza.” The event will fea­ture speak­ers such as Remi Kanazi, an orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber of the US Cam­paign for the Aca­d­e­mic and Cul­tural Boy­cott of Israel (USACBI).
  • A panel dis­cus­sion titled “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine: Con­nect­ing Strug­gles” is sched­uled to take place at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas-Austin on Sep­tem­ber 24 accord­ing to the event’s Face­book page. The event, spon­sored by the Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Com­mit­tee, will fea­ture at least two UT-Austin professors.
  • The City Uni­ver­sity of New York (CUNY) Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter is host­ing a panel dis­cus­sion at the CUNY Grad­u­ate Cen­ter titled “CUNY Stands for Jus­tice: From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine” on Sep­tem­ber 22 fea­tur­ing “an evening of poetry, speak­ers, and dis­cus­sion around repres­sion and resis­tance from Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri to Gaza, Pales­tine,” accord­ing to event flyers.

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    SJP “die-in” at Brook­lyn College

  • The Col­lege of Staten Island SJP chap­ter hosted a vigil for Gaza on Sep­tem­ber 17 at which the group adver­tised on Face­book that it would “read the names of the lives lost, give speeches, and stand in sol­i­dar­ity from Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine…” The group also stated that it shares the anger of those in Fer­gu­son because “Pales­tini­ans know what it means to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity.”
  • Accord­ing to a post on an anti-Israel Face­book page, mem­bers of the Direct Action Front for Pales­tine attended protests in Fer­gu­son and spoke to peo­ple there about Gaza. On Sep­tem­ber 8, it held a meet­ing in Brook­lyn, New York to share what they “learned in Ferguson…to become more effec­tive in our resistance…”
  • Mem­bers of the Inter­na­tional Jew­ish Anti-Zionist Net­work (IJAN) protested out­side ADL’s San Fran­cisco office on Sep­tem­ber 3 with a ban­ner that read “From Oak­land to Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, The US and Israel, A Deadly com­bi­na­tion” and “Stop police brutality…Stop the ADL.” IJAN is a coali­tion formed in 2008 that seeks to facil­i­tate global anti-Israel activ­ity on the part of anti-Zionist Jews.
  • On Face­book, Brook­lyn Col­lege SJP adver­tised a Sep­tem­ber 2 “die-in” on the Brook­lyn Col­lege cam­pus to “raise aware­ness about israel’s [sic] lat­est mas­sacre” and to remem­ber “all the vic­tims of white supremacy and insti­tu­tion­al­ized racism in the U.S., the lat­est being #Mike­Brown and #EricGarner.”

Events link­ing Fer­gu­son and Gaza have also been orga­nized by some uni­ver­sity depart­ments. At UCLA, the Law School’s Crit­i­cal Race Stud­ies Depart­ment spon­sored a Sep­tem­ber 18 event called “From Gaza to Fer­gu­son,” which accord­ing to pub­lic­ity mate­ri­als, explored “the rela­tion­ship between race, the rise of mil­i­ta­rized polic­ing and the response to dis­sent in the United States and con­sider its impli­ca­tions in a global con­text.” The panel included Hedy Epstein, a Holo­caust sur­vivor who has com­pared the Israeli treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans to the Nazi treat­ment of Jews.

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September 16, 2014 3

New Black Panther Party Advisor Calls For Killing In Ferguson Aftermath

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Screen­shot of AADL’s Face­book page

Mauricelm-Lei Millere, an advi­sor to the New Black Pan­ther Party (NBPP), is using social media to call for the death of the police offi­cer who shot Michael Brown and for vio­lence against white peo­ple in gen­eral, inflam­ing the already tense sit­u­a­tion in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri.

On Sep­tem­ber 15, Millere, who is cur­rently in Fer­gu­son, posted an image of Offi­cer Dar­ren Wil­son on Face­book and wrote, “When you find Dar­ren Wil­son you know what to do! Who­ever finds him knows what must be done! Take every­thing that he took from Mike Brown.”

The day before, Millere posted on Face­book that Wil­son is “wanted Dead or Alive!” echo­ing calls made by the NBPP, the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist Black mil­i­tant group in the coun­try, for the “dead or alive” cap­ture of George Zim­mer­man, the man who, in Feb­ru­ary 2012, shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Millere also called for vio­lence against Mar­tin Baker, an African-American con­gres­sional can­di­date who pub­licly sup­ported due process for Dar­ren Wil­son. On Sep­tem­ber 11, Millere wrote that Baker “must be caught, beat, drug, and whipped to the point of see­ing the light for sup­port­ing white racist mur­derer Dar­ren Wilson…We must phys­i­cally beat this jig­ga­boo…” Later that day, Millere com­mented on his post, which included a photo of Baker: “Get a good look at this a**h**e. Find him, detain him, beat him, and await fur­ther instructions.”

In these Face­book posts, Millere lists his affil­i­a­tion as being with the African Amer­i­can Defense League (AADL), an orga­ni­za­tion Millere started on Sep­tem­ber 10, which unabashedly pro­motes vio­lence against white people.

On Sep­tem­ber 11, Millere wrote via the AADL’s Face­book pro­file, “The white­man wants your blood! How many of us has he killed and enslaved? Trillions!…We need the action that makes them pay atten­tion. An eye for an eye phi­los­o­phy! Arm your­self in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri and across Amer­ica! A life for a life!” He con­tin­ued, “Also, we must go to their com­fort­able neigh­bor­hoods and raid those stores. It is time to LOOT & BURN those stores…” The post’s image depicts a man hold­ing a rifle.

Millere changed the AADL’s Face­book pro­file pic­ture to a photo of a hand­gun on Sep­tem­ber 10 and wrote “Shoot 1st.” Millere sub­se­quently updated the AADL’s cover photo to a gun, and com­mented on the photo that, “There comes a time when one must do what is nec­es­sary beyond cost. Dr. Mauricelm-Lei Millere.”

Addi­tion­ally,Malik Zulu Shabazz, the for­mer NBPP leader and cur­rent leader of the Black Lawyers for Jus­tice who has a long his­tory of anti-Semitism and racism, appears to be involved with the AADL. On Sep­tem­ber 13, Millere posted that Shabazz is a board mem­ber of AADL and Shabazz responded pos­i­tively, say­ing that the he came up with the name and con­cept behind AADL but that he gave it to Millere. On Sep­tem­ber 14, Shabazz posted the fol­low­ing on AADL’s Face­book page: “Much suc­cess to the African Amer­i­can Defense League—The AADL. We need a broad based orga­ni­za­tion that will orga­nize to defend our hunan [sic] rights.”

While media reports some­times call Millere an NBPP “leader” and Millere describes him­self as a “Lead Advi­sor at Black Rid­ers Lib­er­a­tion Party, Lead Advi­sor and Lia­son [sic] at Black Pan­ther Party and Lead Advi­sor and Lia­son [sic] at New Black Pan­ther Party,” it is not clear exactly what role he plays with the NBPP. In Sep­tem­ber 2011, Millere and Shabazz appeared together at an event in Colum­bus, Ohio, and in Octo­ber 2010, Millere appears to have orga­nized an event for the “Arkansas New Black Pan­ther Party” in Lit­tle Rock.

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