One million youth to rally in Harlem

On the 15th anniversary of The Million Youth March, this year’s event will be billed “Millions for Trayvon” – a tribute to Florida, teenager Trayvon Martin whose death was justified after a five-member, all female jury acquitted his shooter of any wrongdoing.

The event will be held Sept. 7 at the Plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building and along 125th street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.

Thousands and up to one million youths are expected to rally during the gathering which was named in solidarity with similar events – Million Man March in Washington D.C. and Million Women March in Philadelphia – held to highlight the plight of targeted audiences.

Spearheaded by Black Lawyers For Justice, the rally and march will culminate two days convening (Sept. 5-7) – of the National Black Family Convention.

Reportedly, more than 100 organizations have committed support for the effort.

Preceding the mass gathering, two separate presentations were held in August to lead into the September event. MYM lead organizer Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz said: “The Sept. 7 Million Youth March in Harlem could in fact decide the winners of the September primary.”

With that impetus he organized a mayoral forum and a town hall meeting.

The first event invited former Congressman Anthony Weiner, former Comptroller, Bill Thompson, City Comptroller and Mayoral Candidate John Liu, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to explain their platforms.

The forum was intended to bring awareness to the purpose of the MYM and in keeping with the theme of saving Black and Latino youth.

“The Million Youth March on Sep.7 among many things will also be a massive political mobilization that will have a serious impact on the 2013 Democratic primary and the Harlem voter turn-out in particular.”

During the town hall meeting the topic of Stop & Frisk took the spotlight.

According to reports a key issue igniting discussion was the recent decision by Manhattan Federal court Judge Shira Scheindlin to rule against New York City’s controversial implementation of its “Stop and Frisk.”

She said the program is “unconstitutional.”

She ruled that “the policy encourages the targeting of young Black and Hispanic men based on their prevalence in local crime complaints.”

“This is a form of racial profiling,” she decided.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded saying that he would appeal her decision claiming, “The fact that fewer guns are on the street now shows that our efforts have been successful. There is just no question that Stop-Question-Frisk has saved countless lives.”

The mayor added: “And we know that most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been Black and Hispanic young men.”

Organizers claim the mayor is still resolute and defiant in the face of the landmark Federal Court decision. However, they broadened discussion by inviting a panel and open forum which included NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, human rights Attorneys and civil litigator attorney Malik Shabazz, attorney Roger Wareham.

Prior to the event Shabazz fired back saying: “Mayor Bloomberg has been very vocal on his opinions about crime and policing in the Black Community. Instead of spouting these opinions downtown, the mayor should come uptown and give his opinions to the Harlem Community who are squarely affected by his decision making.”

According to reports, since the recent Federal Court ruling of the Stop and Frisk policies, Harlem residents are reporting no changes in the controversial aggressive NYPD policing practices.

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