Vernon Bellecourt

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Vernon Bellecourt


Vernon Bellecourt is an American Indian activist.

AIM History

The American Indian Movement, was founded on July 11, 1968 in Minneapolis, Minn. Three Ojibwa Indians and graduates of “Indian finishing school”—the Minnesota State Penitentiary—were Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, and George Mitchell were the first leading figures. Other important early members included Eddie Benton Banai, Vernon Bellecourt, and later Russell Means. John Trudell served as national media spokesperson.

Hard Times Conference

Hard Times.JPG

In 1976 Vernon Bellecourt for American Indian Movement attended the Weather Underground and Prairie Fire Organizing Committee organized Hard Times Conference Jan 30 - Feb 1 at the University of Chicago.[1]

Illiniwak incident

Charlene Teters , Vernon Bellecourt, Mike Haney and other American Indian Movement people were "assaulted by fans and U of Minnesota Police at a 1992 basketball game for peacefully demonstrating against the U of Illinois mascot - a dancing white student in an eagle-feathered headdress called Chief Illiniwak.".[2]

ANSWER "Rally Against War and Racism"

April 20, 2002 International A.N.S.W.E.R. Rally Activists representing various groups met on the Ellipse in Washington, DC to voice their support for a Palestinian state, criticize the Bush administration for its support of Prime Minister Sharon’s government in Israel, advocate a stop to racial profiling, and protest the treatment of Muslims at home and abroad.

The event was coordinated by the organization Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

Speakers included Larry Adams - Labor Against the War, Pam Africa Activist International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sami al-Arian Professor University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)->Computer Science, Tariq Ali Author, Luis Alvarez Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, Nihad Awad Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. Council on American-Islamic Relations, Brian Becker, Co-Director International Action Center, Vernon Bellecourt Director (Former) American Indian Movement, Mahdi Bray Director Muslim Public Affairs Council->Communications, Helen Caldicott M.D. Founder Physicians for Social Responsibility, Illel Cohen Activist, , Tarek Elgawhay Spokesperson Muslim Student Association Shaker Elsayed, Secretary-General Muslim American Society, Sara Flounders Spokesperson Iraq Sanctions Challenge, Jane Franklin Author, Teresa Gutierrez Co-Director International Action Center, Graylan Hagler Minister Plymouth Congregational Church of Christ (Washington, DC), Cheri Honkala, Founder and Executive Director Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Rafik Jaber President National Islamic Association for Palestine, Teresita Jacinto Member Committee for Indigenous Solidarity, Randa Jamal Member Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Amer Jubran Activist, Sala Kahn, Activist Magdy Mahmoud, President , Metropolitan Muslim Federation->New York, New Jersey, Carl Messner Co-Founder, Partnership for Civil Justice, Riya Ortiz, Representative Asha Samad-Matias Spokesperson Muslims Against Racism, Grace Trevettn Activist.[3]

Millions More Movement

The Millions More Movement held an important all-day rally Oct. 15, 2005 on the National Mall that attracted an overwhelmingly African-American crowd numbering more than 1 million, according to organizers. The main demand put forth by the rally organizers and supported by the masses there was “Black power!”

Not one U.S. flag was prominent in the crowd, but the colors of the flag for U.S. Black liberation—red, black and green—could be seen everywhere.

This MMM rally was first announced in 2004 as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March on Oct. 16, 1995, held at the same site. That event attracted at least 1 million, mainly Black men, and was initiated by the Nation of Islam.

The speeches were focused on a variety of issues: the prison system and the plight of political prisoners—especially Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) and Leonard Peltier-police brutality, reparations, voter disenfranchisement, LGBT oppression, immigrant rights, economic and political empowerment, education and health, the role of art and culture in the struggle for social justice, and much more.

The main presentation at this rally was given by the MMM’s national convener and NOI leader, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Among the many other speakers were Clarence Thomas and Chris Silvera from the Million Worker March Movement; Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women; Indigenous leaders Russell Means and Vernon Bellecourt; Congress woman Sheila Jackson; Haitian singer Wyclef Jean; Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; Viola Plummer of the Dec. 12 Movement; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; and comedian and social activist Dick Gregory.

In a videotaped message played to the crowd, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, expressed the Cuban people’s solidarity with Katrina survivors and all the poor in the U.S. He also spoke about the case of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned for fighting against terrorism while the U.S. aids and shelters real terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles. [4]

References