1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC Racial Justice Working Group Supports Jericho '98,
A National March for Amnesty for U.S. Political Prisoners

In Other Business...

The Racial Justice Working Group, at its spring meeting, held in New York City March 12-14, set in motion planning for:

a fund for the legal defense of victims of police brutality. The fund would work like the NCC’s Ecumenical Bail Bond Fund, requiring a minimal initial investment from churches. The Racial Justice Working Group will begin setting up criteria for the fund and investigating foundations and organizations to provide grants and legal help to support such a fund.

a "Hate Crimes Summit," which will address not only hate crimes against African Americans but crimes against members of other racial groups, including indigenous peoples who have experienced hate crimes because of their outspoken advocacy for treaties and land issues.

an informational piece for congregations dealing with the prison industry. The RJWG will study the privatization of the prison industry and corporate involvement in the industry. The RJWG also will make a site visit to a private prison in Texas this summer.

more visible support to those working on the issue of mascots and the negative stereotyping of indigenous peoples.

demanding the lifting of the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

investigating evidence that children of political prisoners are being unfairly treated by the criminal justice system.

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 26, 1998 --- The Racial Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches (NCC) is supporting Friday’s (March 27) "Jericho ’98," a national march on the White House in support of amnesty and freedom for all U.S. political prisoners.

"People in the U.S. continue to need to be educated that there are political prisoners right here," said Sammy Toineeta, Director of the NCC’s Racial Justice Program. "The Racial Justice Working Group has long worked on bringing the issue of political prisoners to the attention of the religious community. In November of 1997, the NCC’s General Assembly supported a resolution calling for the release of American Indian Movement prisoner Leonard Peltier."

The Racial Justice Working Group is sending five representatives to the march, which is being sponsored by a host of religious and non-profit organizations, including Pax Christi and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Writer: Wendy S. McDowell

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