The Centurion

Civil Rights Activist Speaks About Need for Peace

Photo courtesy Facebook

Photo courtesy Facebook

Brandon Bailey

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On Oct. 20,  civil rights activist Lawrence Hamm came to the Newtown Campus to speak on behalf of the People’s Organization for Progress at a Conference on Peace.

Hamm came right out and boldly stated that today, more than ever before, our society needs a peace movement.

However, Hamm believes that this peace movement can’t be achieved if Americans aren’t able to come to an understanding.

Hamm says, “The peace movement will not rise to the level that it needs to rise unless it is closely and directly connected to the black liberation struggle in the United States of America”. Hamm added,  “The black liberation movement will not be able to achieve its aims and goals unless we are connected to the peace movements and the other movements that exist in these United States of America.”

Throughout his presentation, Hamm stressed the fact that it is crucial for people of all races and religions to put their differences aside in order to create and maintain peace.

One other key point that Hamm made is that consistency is key. Peaceful protests have been able to successfully bring people out and together for a good cause. However, only coming out once is not going to get the job done and make these marginalized voices heard. Hamm said, “We have to assail the doors of oppression with the battering ram of protest until those doors are broken down.

Police brutality is one of the biggest factors that keeps up the wall between blacks and whites. Since the death of Michael Brown, more than 2500 people have been killed by police officers in not just the streets, but inprisons as well.  “Corrections Officers have killed more than 600 black people in just our prisons. This is not police brutality, this is police terror and murder that is going on across these United States of America.”

Hamm said the white people who stand up for peace are not showing up to the protests against police brutality and don’t appear to be on the same side. However, it is crucial that these two groups find common ground and stand together in unity.

“And likewise, I say to my black comrades in this room; we can’t look at the peace movement as a white thing. It’s a people’s thing! If you are a revolutionary, you’ve got to fight on all fronts. The front for peace is as important as the struggle against police brutality,” says Hamm.

In summary, Hamm has one main goal in mind: Achieve peace. Differences between ethnic communities is unavoidable. Nevertheless, society must learn to understand each other’s individual struggles and differences and be able to put those things aside when there is a greater good in need of being accomplished. Peace may not be achieved over night, but it can be achieved a lot quicker if everyone puts forth a little bit of effort.

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Civil Rights Activist Speaks About Need for Peace