[sixties-l] New Black Panther Party & Texas Republicans

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 08:08:18 CUT

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    Controversy surrounding execution comes to convention.
      Tense moment as protesters clash with delegate

    Copyright 2000 Houston Chronicle
    Tensions in the already intense debate over convicted killer
    Gary Graham's scheduled execution escalated Friday as a
    dozen armed black activists shoved a delegate outside the
    state Republican convention in downtown Houston.
    Kaufman County delegate A.J. McClure was pushed to the
    ground by one of the rifle-wielding guards surrounding
    Quanell X shortly after the Muslim leader began protesting
    outside the George R. Brown Convention Center.
    McClure, a disabled veteran, quickly rose to his feet and said
    he was not hurt, but he was later taken by ambulance to an
    area hospital as a precaution.
    McClure reported the incident to the Houston Police
    Department, but no charges had been filed late Friday and the
    guard involved in the incident was not immediately identified.
    The confrontation was the only tense moment involving
    protesters Friday as state Republicans met to rally around
    their candidates and set the party's agenda.
    Picketers from the Log Cabin Republicans, other gay rights
    organizations, Americans United for Separation of Church and
    State and individuals espousing various causes, quietly
    walked up and down the sidewalks carrying signs.
    Quanell X's group comprising members of the New Black
    Panther Party, the National Black United Front and the New
    Black Muslim Movement arrived wearing all black, except
    for Quanell X. Many carried shotguns, AK-47s and other
    It is legal in Texas to carry such firearms openly as long as the
    carrier is not a felon and does not aim the weapon at anyone.
    After marching to a drum beat from a side street to a grassy
    area in front of the exhibition hall, Quanell X demanded
    clemency for Graham and support from black leaders within
    the Republican Party. Graham was sentenced to death for the
    1981 murder of Bobby Lambert outside a Houston supermarket. He is scheduled
    to die Thursday.
    "We believe we have a divine right, a divine duty and a
    divine obligation to stand up for any black man on Death
    Row about to be executed ... for a crime he didn't commit,"
    Quanell X said.
    But when McClure began shouting over Quanell X, the
    activist, still surrounded by guards, approached McClure.
    That is when one of the guards shoved McClure.
    "I was trying to back up and he pushed me down," McClure
    said. "I'm a 100 percent disabled veteran and shouldn't be
    treated that way."
    The activists left soon afterward in a Hummer limousine. A
    police spokesman said a videotape of the incident was turned
    over to the Harris County district attorney's office for review.
    Sara Sadousky, an alternate delegate at the convention, said
    she was not worried about her safety as she stood just a few
    feet from the armed men. She said not many people were
    taking them seriously.
    "They couldn't handle the confrontation, which was kind of
    funny," Sadousky said. "They come out here and then some
    guy confronts them and they tell them 'We got to leave now.' "
    Sadousky said the black activists were hypocrites.
    "They preached family values and they preached women's
    rights, yet they don't have any women on their group," she said.
    The commotion with McClure did not seem to affect other
    protesters. James Sells stood alone leaning on a barricade
    holding a sign that read "Separation of church and state is NOT a partisan
    issue." His group was not allowed to buy booth space inside
    the hall.
    Jessica Ann Redman preferred to walk up and down the
    sidewalk carrying a handwritten placard that said "Ye without
    sin throw the first stone."
    "The religious right is trying to eliminate people with
    alternate values," Redman said. "What they have
    become is a party with no color, no diversity."

    Chronicle reporters S.K. Bardwell and J.R. Gonzales contributed to this story.

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