Tony Van Der Meer

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Tony Menelik Van Der Meer is a Boston, Massachusetts activist.

Black history meeting

Boston forum. Seated: Miya Campbell and Yves Alcindor. Wearing 'Wanted' T-shirt: Clemencia Lee. Back row: Dorotea Manuela, co-chair of Rosa Parks Day committee; Robert Traynham, Monica Moorehead and Tony Van Der Meer

A broad range of working class and oppressed people from across New England celebrated Black history month in a public meeting sponsored by the Boston chapter of Workers World Party on Feb. 18 2006.

Tony Van Der Meer, adjunct professor of Africana studies at UMass, co-chair of the Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee and co-founder of the Cultural Cafe, framed his remarks within the context of Hurricane Katrina, the demand for reparations and the historical treatment of Black people in North America from slavery to the present day.

Denouncing FEMA’s criminal actions of evicting 4,500 survivors from hotel rooms and other shelters nationwide in early February, Van Der Meer called for participants to support nationwide actions on Feb. 28 protesting this and another planned cutoff date on March 1, when 10,000 others could be tossed out on the street. Survivors are now dispersed in 48 states and over 400 cities, he said.

Van Der Meer then conveyed some proposals from his recent trip to Mississippi where independent social justice organizations and progressive individuals met to forge responses to U.S. government atrocities in the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi after Katrina.

Demands include the need to organize for the right to return, a guaranteed income, housing, education, healthcare and other social needs as well as access to funds and land, with the basis being the respect of the self-determination of Black and other nationally oppressed peoples in these affected areas.

A “People’s Reconstruction Plan” is currently under discussion, and an international tribunal to hold accountable all those responsible for the wholesale crimes against the mostly Black people in the Gulf Coast is planned for late August, close to the anniversary of the racist Aug. 28, 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till. .[1]

Black Left Unity

On the weekend of May 31-Jun 1,2008, dozens of African American organizers, artists and activists convened the first Black Left Unity Meeting at the Sonia Hayes Center in Chapel Hill, NC.The gathering was a continuation of the Black Left Unity caucus that meet in Atlanta during the US Social Forum.

Those who attended the conference included Saladin Muhammad, Black Workers for Justice and the Black Workers League; ILWU Local 10 leader Clarence Thomas; activist and poet, Amiri Baraka; Million Worker March leader, Brenda Stokely; Ana Edwards, Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; Ajamu Baraka, U.S. Human Rights Network; Patrisse Cullors, Labor Strategy Center; Efia Nwangaza; Theresa El-Amin; Kali Akuno from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers for Human Rights; Vickie White, People’s Organization for Progress; labor organizer, Angaza Laughinghouse; Larry Adams, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW); cultural artist, Luci Murphy; educators Muntu Matsimela, T. Menelik Van Der Meer and Sam Anderson; Yvette Modestin, Afrocaribenas y de la Diaspora; Colia Clark; and activists representing Fight Imperialism-Stand Together (FIST) and the Troops Out Now Coalition.[2]

Meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

On September 21, 2010, Tony Van Der Meer attended a meeting at a midtown hotel with President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and approximately 130 members of the U.S. "peace and social justice movements", as well as "major figures in the Black activist community."[3]

Black Left Unity December 2013


Group portrait at the conclusion of the December 21, 2013 Black Left Unity Network meeting. Seated, left to right: Ajamu Dillahunt, Saladin Muhammad, Abdul Alkalimat, Ashaki Binta, Kathy Knight. Standing, left to right: Roger Newell, J. R. Fleming, T. Menelik Van Der Meer, Dennis Orton, Kia Van Der Meer, Sam Anderson, Shafeah M'Balia, Rose Brewer, Anthony Monteiro, Toussaint Losier, Rukiya Dillahunt, Taliba Obu, Jonathan Stith, Carl Redwood, Tdka Kilimanjaro, Jamal Oliver, Akinjele Umoja.

The Black Activist

The Black Activist is the journal of the Black Left Unity Network.

Editorial working group: Abdul Alkalimat, Sam Anderson, Rose Brewer, T. Menelik Van Der Meer, Saladin Muhammad.[4]

Works with WWP

Van Der Meer claims not to be a Workers World Party member;[5]

I'm not a member of the WWP. I however have had the opportunity to work with them. I disagree with your assessment of them. If more people were wiling to work like some of their memebers we would be able to really build an independent movement rooted in the working class. I do agree that we have to go beyond the democractic party. That does not however stop one from working with Chuck Turner.