International Tribunal venues and schedule, physical and virtual
by Dr. A’isha Mohammad, In the Spirit of Mandela
Friday-Sunday sessions will take place at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, 3940 Broadway at West 165th Street in Washington Heights in New York City.
Friday, Oct. 22: Cultural event, 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23: Tribunal, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24: Tribunal, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 25: Press conference and verdict delivered in front of United Nations, 12 p.m.
New York, N.Y.: In the Spirit of Mandela, an unprecedented U.S. alliance of attorneys, academics and organizers from the movements for Black lives, civil rights, Puerto Rican decolonization, immigrant rights and Indigenous sovereignty and Earth protection, will put the U.S., state and local governments on trial for crimes against people of color.
From Oct. 22-25, the International Tribunal on U.S. Human Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples will convene both in person at a Manhattan historic landmark and virtually via livestream.
“This proceeding will establish overwhelming evidence that this country and its settler colonial predecessors have committed genocide, as defined by the United Nations, against Black, Brown and Indigenous People for over 400 years,” said Jihad Abdulmumit, spokesperson for the coordinating committee of the In the Spirit of Mandela coalition.
“As we’ve seen most recently with the George Floyd street uprisings, only a strong grassroots movement from below can expose these crimes and do the work that can end them.”
Presiding will be an independent nine-member panel of jurists, some with international stature. The majority are women and Global South-rooted, from India, Eritrea, Haiti, France, the U.S. and elsewhere.
These jurists will oversee two days of testimonies from impacted victims, expert witnesses and attorneys with firsthand knowledge of specific incidents raised in the charges and indictment. They will then deliver their verdict to the United Nations.
The Tribunal will consider charges of human and civil rights violations for:
1. Racist police killings of Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
2. Hyper and mass incarceration of Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
3. Political incarceration of Civil Rights and National Liberation-era revolutionaries and activists as well as present-day activists.
4. Environmental racism and its impact on Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
5. Public health racism and its traumatic impacts on Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
Based on all the above, the overarching charge will be argued that the U.S. has committed genocide against Black, Brown and Indigenous people for a 400-plus year period, in violation of 18 USC 1091 and the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.
Legal aspects of the Tribunal will be led by attorney Nkechi Taifa along with a powerful team of seasoned attorneys from all the above fields.
The In the Spirit of Mandela Coalition, created in 2018, is a growing group of organizers, academics, clergy, attorneys and organizations committed to working together against the systemic, historic and ongoing human rights violations and abuses committed by the USA against Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
The coalition recognizes and affirms the rich history of diverse global activists including Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Graça Machel Mandela, Ella Baker, Dennis Banks, Cesar Chavez, Fannie Lou Hamer, Fred Korematsu, Lolita Lebron, Rosa Parks, Ingrid Washinawatok and many more in the resistance traditions of Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples.
2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the campaign in which African American human rights leaders Paul Robeson and William Patterson, with the support of eminent sociologist Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, presented the “We Charge Genocide” petition to the burgeoning United Nations headquarters in 1951. Then, in 1964, Minister Malcolm X – El Hajj Malik el-Shabazz – formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity, in part to bring the case of U.S. human rights abuses to the attention of the U.N.
2021 International Tribunal follow-up efforts
The 2021 International Tribunal has a unique set of outcomes and an opportunity to organize on a mass level across many social justice arenas. Upon the verdict, the results of the Tribunal will:
- Codify and publish the content and results of the Tribunal to be offered in high school and university curriculums.
- Provide organized, accurate information for reparation initiatives and community and human rights work.
- Present a stronger case, building upon previous and respected human rights initiatives, on the international stage
- Establish a healthy and viable massive national network of community organizations, activists, clergy, academics and lawyers concerned with challenging human rights abuses on all levels and enhancing the quality of life for all people.
- Strengthen the demand to free all Political Prisoners and establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission mechanism to lead to their freedom.
- Establish the foundation to build a “People’s Senate” representative of all 50 states, Indigenous tribes and major religions. Provide the foundation for civil action in federal and state courts across the United States.
Ways to support the International Tribunal
Purchase a program book or host a remote viewing event! To volunteer on a committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch remotely by registering here.
For more on how to support the Tribunal, contact email@example.com. For background and scheduling information, visit spiritofmandela.org, www.tribunal2021.com and linktr.ee/spiritofmandela. Register for the Tribunal here.
Follow the Tribunal on Twitter @inthespirit for updates and be sure to donate here. For an excellent account of the Tribunal’s importance, see this interview with former political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim, done last week by the San Francisco Bay View.
All educational webinars and additional videos can be found at the following links: vimeo.com/spiritofmandela and youtube.com/channel/UCd4XfeaPM0hLCtETuCVp7xQ/videos. Videos of the Tribunal will be available at these links shortly after its conclusion.
Dr. A’isha Mohammad is on the coordinating committee for In the Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.