Journal of the People’s Pastor

“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”

DARFUR DIARY

THE SEAN BELL NOTEBOOK
Strategizing for Operation Shut Down
May 7, 2008 – D-Day (Part B)



Wednesday, April 30th, Rev. Sharpton called me at 6:30am. He wanted to have a meeting of the coordinators of the six sites. We agreed that Councilman Barron and I would coordinate Brooklyn. I did a couple of radio interviews. One with Mimi Rosenberg on WBAI and with Ann Tripp on WWRL

At the Thursday night meeting, we had finalized our Action Plan. The committees made their reports:

Boycott Committee – Called for a boycott on Mother’s Day
Legal Committee – Continue to demand that the Justice Department indict cops on the violation of Sean Bell, Joe Guzman Trent Benefield’s civil rights.
Legislative Committee – called for a special prosecutor,
Demonstration Committee – mass demonstration in Manhattan,
Civil Disobedience (CD) – six sites were identified for meeting places. The actual sites of the action would be kept secret. After the meeting Rev. Sharpton announced to the press the six sites. We refused to identify where the CD would take place.

It is important to note that a piece of paper almost fractured my relationship with Rev. Sharpton and seriously wrecked our plan. During our weekly Thursday NRLAA meeting, there came to my attention an e-mail that was sent to several people. This e-mail gave directions for the CD at the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. At 1:30pm Saturday May 3rd, the e-mail stated that Rev. Sharpton was organizing this effort. I was furious. This was directly contrary to what Rev. Sharpton and I had agreed upon. We had agreed that Councilman Barron and I would coordinate Brooklyn and the CD would start Wednesday, May 7th. I decided that if the e-mail was accurate, I would pull away from the effort. I called Rev. Sharpton, told him about the e-mail. He said he didn’t know anything about it. But he was on his way to the church we could discuss it then. I said okay, but we will have to resolve it before the meeting starts. When he arrived, he convinced me he didn’t know anything about the e-mail or the content of the e-mail. He didn’t even know the person who had sent the e-mail. Later, after investigation, we discovered the source of the problem. Whether it was a deliberate attempt to derail or seriously damage our relationship and our venture, I know not.

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On Saturday, May 3rd, at the National Action Network headquarters (NAN) Rev. Sharpton continued to lay out the sites of assemblage. Still no hint regarding the action sites. After the broadcast/rally, recruitment for CD was initiated. About 70 people came forward. They were asked to go to the six designated sites where coordinators were stationed. Flyers were disseminated, identifying the meeting places and time – 3pm. I decided since we would be meeting in the church, I would set the Brooklyn meeting time for 2pm or earlier if people so desired. The other sites were outside. I wanted to use the time for reflections, instructions and Q&A.

On Sunday, May 4th, I received a call from Rev. Sharpton. The Mayor’s office wanted to assure us of their cooperation, but wanted to know the action sites. Rev. Sharpton suggested a meeting, Monday May 5th, 5:30 at NAN to develop a response. At the Monday meeting we met at NAN at the agreed upon time. In the meeting were Rev. Richardson, Chairman of NAN and Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Ms. Hazel Dukes, President NYS NAACP, Michael Hardy, Attorney, Rev. Sharpton and I. After lengthy discussion we decided we would give details provided we would have time to pray or block the traffic at the action sites. We suggested an hour from the time of our arrival at the action sites to our being carried away in the patty wagon, would be sufficient time to achieve our objective. If the Mayor broke his promise, we would go to another action site. We would have in readiness a Plan A and a Plan B. The Mayor’s office rejected the one-hour, offered 10 minutes at the Bridge before the arrest. We accepted. We reasoned marching to the action sites, having arrived at the site, using delaying tactics before and after the command of the police officer to move or be arrested would be sufficient time to achieve our objective.

One of the main reason we agreed to provide detail, we knew we would bring new people into the movement, especially regarding civil disobedience. We wanted to guarantee a peaceful, smooth action. (To repeat for emphasis, we wanted a peaceful, smooth arrest. This is important to remember in the light of what happened later with Councilman Barron and I at the action site.)

After the meeting, we met with lawyers and coordinators. Attorney’s selected the sites where they would be present. We went over instructions to participants, especially, those who would be arrested:

No outstanding warrants or fines
Acceptable identification
Citizens of the USA only
Don’t resist arrest – resistance would mean additional charge. Even falling down, a refusal to move when officers command compliance with arrest instructions could be, and probably would be, considered resisting arrest.

One other meeting was planned Tuesday, May 6th at 1199 to finalize plans with all participants and to continue CD recruitment. That meeting failed to materialize.

Upcoming Events

Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday Night Community Forums. All Forums are held at the House of the Lord Church from 7pm to 9pm.

Join Operation Life Line if you need assistance or know someone who needs assistance with their mortgages as it relates to foreclosures, predatory lending and/or subprime lending.

Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.

Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @ HYPERLINK "http://www.holnj.org" www.holnj.org.

On Sunday, June 1, 2008 8am & 12noon worship experience – Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry’s sermon will focus on his 50 years of ministry and will e entitled “Reflections on my life an Ministry.” All are invited.

On Sunday, June 8, 2008, Rev. Leah Daughtry, Pastor of the House of the Lord Church in Washington, DC and CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado will be the guest preacher at the 12 noon Worship Service at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue.

On June 19–20, 2008, in honor of Juneteenth, The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA) will host its Annual Emancipation Day Celebration. At 12noon on the 20th there will be an Unveiling & Dedication of a Plaque marking the stop on the Underground Railroad at the Old Bridge Street Church, which served as a safe house for runner away slaves. Many invited guest speakers. A Luncheon (invitation only) will follow with Dr. Adelaide Sanford as the keynote speaker. At 7pm, there will be a musical concert, free to the public, at the House of the Lord Church featuring The House of the Lord Anointed Voices, the renowned singer, Minister Lawrence Craig, Bishop Nathaniel Townsley & The Gospel Jubilee and many others. Dinner will start at 5pm (No cost with reservation). Contact Peggy Iman Washington, the Program Coordinator, @ (718) 596-1991 or (718) 797-2184. On Juneteenth (19th) we will sponsor a Student Leadership Luncheon. Call the numbers above for further information.

On Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 2pm the 30th Annual Randolph Evans Memorial Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held at the House of the Lord Church. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will be the keynote speaker.

On Sunday June 29, 2008, Rev. Dawnique Daughtry-Pemberton, Pastor of the House of the Lord Church of Bergen County in Englewood, NJ will be the guest preacher at the 12 noon Worship Service at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue

NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE? – Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Daycare Center Located at 333 Second Street, (Between 4th & 5th Avenues) downtown Brooklyn, NY @ (718) 499-2066. Immediate openings in a state of the arts center.