Int’l Panel Hears Wrenching Testimony of Abuse
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
After 2.5 years of foundation laying work, Willie JR Fleming, of the Anti-Eviction Campaign efforts has finally caught the attention of the international community. At his behest, the United Nations (UN) sent its Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to Chicago to take first-hand testimony from people of color who have suffered and continue to suffer from the effects of systemic racism and colonialism.
This past weekend, at Chicago State University, in a standing room only capacity, the delegation which included Ms. Mirelle Fanon-Mendez-France (Chairperson, France), Mr. Sabelo Gumedze (South Africa), and Ricardo A. Sunga (Phillipines) documented testimony from representatives of grass roots organiations and individuals from as far away as Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota and Chicago.
In story after story, the delegates listened to riveting testimonies of racial and social injustice, abuse and torture often perpetrated by the hands of sworn government agents. Agents, who have taken oaths to uphold the US constitution which ironically guarantees the very rights that they are accused of violating. There were quite a few surprises; notably, the press was largely absent. There were no media outlets that covered the event on both days except for the Chicago Defender. Where is the media on this pressing issue of Human Rights? In particular, where was the Black press?
For those who missed the event, the UN has two websites where you can upload your written testimony and video:
Email written testimony to csaunders@OHCHR.org, please keep your story brief and to the point.
Alternatively, you can upload a two minute video to: Testify2UN@gmail.com
Stay tuned as the Chicago Defender is working on a developing story to bring you all the latest developments and players in this soon-to-be explosive topic. On January 29, 2016, the Working Group will hold a press conference in Washington D.C. detailing their preliminary findings.