Final Call Digital Edition FCN3629 : Page 2

2 T HE F INAL C ALL A PRIL 25, 2017 Police force or occupying force? How a community clean-up turned into clash with police by Bryan Crawford Contributing Writer @MrCraw4D CHICAGO— The New Era movement, founded in Detroit back in 2014, was created out of a deep understanding that Black people— particularly men—must stand up, be accountable and take control of their communities. Members of New Era Chicago and New Era Detroit recently de-scended on the Englewood neigh-borhood on Chicago’s South Side to kick-off the year’s fi rst “Hood-2Hood” event. They go into Black neighborhoods picking up trash and spreading positive messages of love and empowerment in the streets. “We don’t do this because we’re accusing the people who live in these communities of being lazy,” Sis. Mina, who serves as the director of media and marketing for New Era Chicago, told The Final Call. “We un-derstand the psychology and pathol-ogy of what’s behind the condition of our people within our communities.” For three hours, a contingent of roughly 50 men, women and children, walked through Englewood April 3 carrying Pan-African fl ags and spread-ing messages like, “Black love. Black pride. Black unity. Race fi rst.” They also passed out literature about ser-vices and resources that could bene fi t residents. Hood2Hood cleanups have been received in an overwhelmingly posi-tive manner, said the New Era groups. “The worst someone will say is, ‘I like what y’all are doing but I can’t walk with y’all because I don’t want y’all to get shot,’ ” said Oya Muuzic of New Era Chicago. “But when we come out, we get nothing but love and positivity because we’re spreading nothing but love and positivity to our people.” “Sometimes we’ll have someone that when they see us coming, they’ll walk away because we have our own media people out there recording the event, and they’re scared of the cam-era and they don’t want the attention,” said Eric Mobley, one of New Era Chicago’s leaders and chief organiz-ers. “But when we’re out there talk-ing about peace, love, Black unity and Black power, even the rough-est, most thugged out people on the block, they’ll receive it. Everybody agrees that our message is correct and whether they move in that direction or not, they know that what we’re talking about is absolutely right and a key part of the salvation for our people.” One of the primary tenets of the Hood2Hood initiative is not to engage with police in any way that is disrup-tive to New Era’s work. “That message is really for those who volunteer to go out with us be-cause some of our people are incred-ibly zealous, angry, and they don’t know how to conduct themselves to just be disciplined and do the work,” Video stills of police clash with New Era Movement in Chicago. Mr. Mobley explained. “Some like to get into shouting matches and debates with the police, and I just wanted to instruct them and let them know that’s not what we’re out here for.” Hood2Hood Aftermath While in Englewood, New Era was followed by Chicago Police Depart-ment vehicles who kept their distance, but monitored what was going on. At one point, a CPD sergeant got out of his vehicle and praised the group for their efforts while pretending to pick up trash himself, said activists. “The police of fi cer who was pick-ing up the trash was a Latino gentle-man,” said Ms. Muuzic. “He actually motioned to another police vehicle to fall back and let us go on doing what Activists engage in community clean-up. Hood2Hood effort promotes Black empowerment. we were doing, but they were obvi-ously preparing to meet us on the other end. And if you watch him in the video, the Latino of fi cer always has this con-sistent smirk on his face. He was the one who actually started what hap-pened by acting as if he was helping us, but then went back to his car and called for more police backup.” When they regrouped back on 63rd St. and Ashland in a vacant lot on the Southwest corner of the street, there was already a heavy police presence at the intersection and the air was thick with tension. Members of both New Era groups felt police were there to antagonize them, not engage in any peaceful encounter. “By the time we got back to 63rd Continued on page 36 A Message Dedicated to the Resurrection of the Black Man and Woman of America and the World. Founded by MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Mu hamm ad and the Nation of Islam Richard B. Muhammad.............................Editor-In-Chief Fontaine Muhammad.............................General Manager Jesse Muhammad.....................................................................Social Media Haroon Rajaee...........................................................Contributing Photographer Nisa Islam Muhammad.......................................................................Staff Writer Brian E. Muhammad.........................................................................Staff Writer J.A. Salaam.......................................................................................Staff Writer Starla Muhammad....................................................................Managing Editor Nubian L. Muhammad.............................................................Publishing Editor Duane Muhammad..................................................FCI Broadcasting Manager Askia Muhammad..........................................................................Senior Editor Charlene Muhammad..............................................National Correspondent Photos: @NewEraChicago1/Twitter James G. Muhammad...........................................................Contributing Editor Jennifer L. Muhammad......................................Editorial Assistant/Transcriptionist Marcella A. X.......................................................................Executive Secretary Timothy 6X..........................................................................Production Assistant Michelle Muhammad..........................................................Distribution Manager Volume 36, No. 29 ©2017 FCN Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be re pro duced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including pho to copy ing, recording or by any information and retrieval system without permission in writing from The Final Call. Un so lic it ed manuscripts will not be returned, unless accompanied with return postage. Send inquiries to: FCN Pub lish ing, 734 W. 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620. PHONE: (773) 602-1230. FAX: (773) 602-1013. EMAIL: fcnprod@aol.com. WEBSITE: www. fi nalcall.com. Opinions expressed by columnists are un cen sored and are not nec es sar i ly the views of Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam or The Final Call. The Final Call newspaper (ISSN 1090-7327) is published weekly, with the ex cep tions of the fourth week in Feb ru ary and the fi rst week in October, by Final Call Inc., 734 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620-2424. Annual subscription price is $120.00 (for U.S.A.). Pe ri od i cals postage paid in Chicago, IL. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Final Call, 734 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620-2424.

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