Dr. Conrad Worrill, Director/Professor, Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) located at 700 East Oakwood Blvd, Chicago, Illinois, 60653, 773-268-7500, Fax: 773-268-3835
E-mail: email@example.com, Web site: www.neiu.edu/ccics, Twitter: @CCICS_Chicago
August 18 - 20, 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published a three part series entitled, “Dark Alliance” written by Gary Webb. Webb explained in this series that “Throughout its 49 year
history, the CIA has defended having to deal with unsavory characters in the hope of furthering U.S. interest.”
Webb further wrote— “This usually has involved dictators and thugs who brutalized people in their own countries, which was bad enough. But now it appears that the CIA has done business with— and protected criminals whose victims were not in foreign lands but in the inner cities of the United States of America.”
For almost a decade, Webb reveals that “beginning in the early 1980s, a drug ring based in the Bay Area sold thousands of pounds of cut-rate cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and then used the lucre to buy arms for the Contras, the so-called freedom fighters that Lt. Col. Oliver North all but canonized during the Reagan administration.”
This Contra— run drug network according to Webb, “opened the first contact between Colombia’s notorious cocaine cartels and L.A.’s Black neighborhoods. The flood of the insidious white power helped to make crack affordable in poor communities where its use eventually became epidemic.”
Although this series addressed the evolution of crack cocaine in the inner cities of America, for the most part the white mainstream media did not pick the story up. It was not until the September 3, 1996 issue of the Final Call that featured a front page story on “The CIA Drug Pipeline” did the African community in America, in a mass way, begin to discuss this issue and organize around it.
In response to these revelations of the CIA involvement in cocaine distribution to the Crips and Bloods in Los Angeles, in which profits were used to finance the CIA backed contra army in Nicaragua, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a host of African leaders in America demanded the CIA be investigated. Dick Gregory led protests at the CIA headquarters
The response by the CIA, through its Director, John Deutch was to attempt to cover up and deny any knowledge of CIA involvement in this affair. The Justice Department, through Attorney General Janet Reno, took the same position.
After careful consideration of the historical trends and developments surrounding the devastating impact of the importation of drugs in the African Communities of America, the National Black United Front (NBUF) determined it was important to identify what the real issue was. We identified the real to be
genocide on African people in this country by the policies and practices of the United States Government.
On Friday, October 25th, 1996, the National Black United Front, of which I was, at that time, the National Chairman, held a press conference in Chicago to announce our campaign to submit petitions to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City in May of 1997, charging the United States Government with genocide. This campaign took off immediately as we developed a petition and began circulating it through NBUF chapters across the country and other Black movement forces.
The campaign was modeled after the 1951 efforts of William L. Patterson who was National
Executive Secretary of the Civil Rights Congress, Paul Robeson, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and a host of
others organized a genocide petition campaign that “was first presented to the world in 1951. Addressed to the United Nations it was submitted to that body in Paris, France at Palais Chai1lott where the Fifth Session of the General Assembly had gathered.”
Further, in the important book, We Charge Genocide, edited by William L. Patterson and first published in 1951, explained “Simultaneously a delegation led by Paul Robeson presented copies
to the office of the Secretary General of the UN in New York.”
I am proud and honored that more 157,000 people from throughout the United States signed the Petition/Declaration on behalf of NBUF and the suffering masses of African people in the
United States and throughout the diaspora.
The Petition/Declaration was officially submitted on May 21, 1997 to Mr. Ralph Zacklin, Officer in Charge of High Commission of Human Rights, Centre for Human Rights in Geneva,
Switzerland. Also, this same Petition/Declaration was submitted to the High Commission of Human Rights in New York on May 27, 1997.
There are so many people to thank who made the first phase of this campaign successful.
First, I want to thank all the ancestors who paved the way for us to seek release for our condition at the international level. Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party and the
leaders of SNCC and all the leaders of the 1951 efforts to name a few.
Second, I’d like to thank the masses of people and organizations who circulated and sent in Petition/Declarations in a timely manner.
Third, I’d like to thank all the NBUF Chapters who worked so diligently the last several months on this campaign.
Fourth, I’d like to thank Dorothy Leavell, President of the National Newspaper Publishing Association and the members of NNPA who supported this campaign through their newspapers. In
this same connection we must thank WVON radio station for the support they gave us in Chicago.
Fifth, I’d like to thank Minister Louis Farrakhan who aggressively endorsed this campaign and urged his followers and others to support the campaign throughout the world.
And finally, I’d like to thank our delegation who travelled to Geneva with me and who worked extremely hard on this campaign. Bill Grace of Kansas City/ NBUF, Valerie Michaud of Houston/NBUF, Bob Brown of Pan African Roots whose work on the campaign was unsung. Also, I’d like to thank James Muhammad, Editor of the Final Call who traveled with us and reported an outstanding accounting of
our trip and mission.
Phase II of the Human Rights and Genocide Project has begun. Please continue to circulate and
send in petitions.
Remembering The 1996-97 NBUF Genocide Campaign
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill