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Activists hold 'Day of Action' rally in Harlem

DOSHON FARAD Special to the AmNews | 10/13/2011, 11:29 a.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, several organizations and activists held a "National Day of Action"(NDOA) rally in Harlem at the Salem United Methodist Church.

The rally was hosted and live streamed by the New Black Panther Party and the United Black Front. This is the third time this year that a NDOA has taken place in over 60 cities across America and around the world. The first one was held in April and the second was in June. The theme of all NDOAs is the promotion of Pan-Africanism.

According to the NDOA website, the purpose of the event is to "form a united front of African people across the world."

The Harlem rally, was hosted by New Black Panther Party Minister of Culture Zayid Muhammad, consisted of lectures and presentations by several notable activists and political figures. Among the many speakers were Brooklyn Council Member Charles Barron, noted scholars Dr. Leonard Jeffries and professor James Small, Senegalese presidential candidate Moustapha Mbacke and representatives from the Nation of Islam.

All of the speakers emphasized the importance for African people across the world to practice unity and economic independence from other communities.

During his remarks, Mbacke made clear that, should he become president of Senegal, he would utilize the wealth of his nation to assist the African Diaspora. He added that Africa possesses "three-fifths of the world's wealth."

He pointed this out to make the point, "We don't need reparations. We only need an apology and an admission." This, of course, was speaking of the slave trade and foreign imperialism in Africa.

Barron made a few remarks concerning Pan-Africanism. "We are one people. Our struggles are woven together." This was in response, he said, to critics who have told him that African-Americans should only be concerned with local issues regarding their community.

Also at the center of the rally's focus was the involvement of young people. During his address, Muhammad said, "A new network of activists, primarily younger activists, are under one umbrella of unity that we're trying to forge under the leadership of [the New Black Panther Party], who have come forward in the last several years in response to many 'Black Power' gatherings that we've had recently in various parts of the country." He added that the Harlem rally was an example of this.

The event was also used to promote the Touba Express, a program that was recently developed by several activists and organizations to assist Senegal and other African nations by sending clothes and school supplies for children.