Monday, December 19, 2005

Local: Take action in the TCs January 4!

Blacklogic: In this 2003 photo by Emmett Timmons for the MN Spokesman Recorder, Police Community Relations Council Co-chair Ian Bethel and former MPD Chief Robert Olson sign the agreement that could have been the template for better police-community relations for other cities to follow.

Hello Everyone,

Many of you will recall that a little over 2 months ago, we
organized and
attended a meeting of the Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee
of the Minneapolis City Council. We were able to fill the chambers and,
subsequently, force the issue of non-compliance with the Federal Mediation
Agreement to center stage during the course of the Mayoral election. Many
of us were hopeful that this action might prompt a higher level of
on the part of the MPD and the City of Minneapolis with the PCRC (Police-
Community Relations Council). Charges of electioneering were leveled,
the Mayor insisted that the Agreement had been over 80% implemented--
an assertion which no one on the UCT (Unity-Community Team) shared.
The Police Federation under John Delmonico, moreover, has weighed in
on the side of the community on some of the points revolving around the
neglect of the Mediation Agreement.
Last week the PCRC met and the members of the UCT and the Police
Federation entered a vote of "no-confidence" in the hiring process portion
of the Agreement. The final vote was 8-7 and the motion carried. Neither
Mayor Rybak, Assistant Chief Dolan, or Chief McManus bothered to attend
this meeting. It was left up to Deputy Chief Harris and Compliance Lt. Doyle
to take the heat for the City of Minneapolis. Personally, I have no problem
identifying where the hold-up is with the implementation--and it ain't
Chief Harris.
On 1\4\2006, the Public Safety & Regulatory Services Committee
will meet for the first time under the New Council. Apparently, Don Samuels
will now head up that Committee. With a wistful indifference to protests
from the Community, the City officials encharged with our trust to move
ahead and heal the widening gulf between segments of our community,
seem to think that the matter will just go away. Many of us want to send
a clear "No!" to this persistent disregard for the citizens of Minneapolis.
Therefore on 1\4\2006 at 1:30 we will be organizing--AGAIN--to send
a message--AGAIN--that it just plain NOT ok to discriminate against
those whose
skin is not white, whose religion is not christianity, whose sexual
may not be heterosexual, who speak a language other than English. Nearly
40 years after the death of Mr. Luther King, I personally find it repugnant
that we continue with the same set of issues. So, let's turn out on the 4th
of a new year and send a solid message that the days of neglect of the
community are over and will no longer be tolerated.
I am tired of hearing--from various people--that this issue is
to this or that perspective. This is the bedrock of any semblance of our
fundamental Civil Rights. If anyone doubts this, let's have coffee and go
over the factual basis that has prompted this action. Time for all of us
to quit napping and get miffed.

If anyone would like a digital copy of the Mediation Agreemnent,
contact me and I will send you one.

Take care and I hope all of you can attend,

Guy Gambill

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

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