Credit: People's Organization for Progress photo

The People’s Organization for Progress (POP) participated in the National Reparations Day Rally on Saturday, Aug. 15, near the corner of Broad and Market Streets in Newark.

The rally was one of many activities in support of African American reparations that was held by organizations in cities around the country. August 15 is recognized as National Reparations Day for the anniversary of Millions for Reparations March held in Washington D.C. in 2002,

Speakers at the rally included POP chairman and former U.S. Senate candidate Lawrence Hamm, reparations advocates, community leaders, and student activists.

“The rally was held to demand that reparations be given to African Americans for the centuries of enslavement of their ancestors in the United States and the on-going forms of racial oppression, exploitation, discrimination, violence and degradation that have resulted from it,” said Hamm.

Hamm added that the rally was also a call for congressional legislation that will appropriate trillions of dollars for direct payments to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the United States.

The reparations rally also served as a voter registration drive, which takes place every Saturday at the location where the rally was held. POP members registered voters while the rally took place.

“We believe voter registration is very important,” Hamm said. “It is a form of political empowerment. The stronger we are politically the greater the possibility of making reparations a reality.”