POP’s Hamm To Observe 50th Anniversary of First Protest, Calls for More Student Activism

Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization For Progress, and former U.S. Senate candidate
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Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization For Progress, and former U.S. Senate candidate will hold an observance next week to mark the 50th anniversary of his first protest and call for increased student activism throughout the United States.

The observance will take place on Wednesday, March 24th 12:00 noon in front of Arts High School, 550 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Newark, NJ.

“Fifty years ago, on March 24, 1971, as a 17 year-old student, I led a walk out at Arts High School in Newark, a march downtown and a sit-in to protest educational issues,” Hamm stated.

“It was the first time I participated in a protest in my life, and I have been an activist ever since. It was the beginning of my life’s work as a political activist which I have continued for the past 50 years,” he said.

“The purpose of this observance is not only to talk about student activism of the past but to also discuss the importance of student activism today and make a call for more student protests against police brutality, racism, and other issues,” Hamm said.

Among those in attendance at the observance will be individuals who were in the 1971 Arts High School walkout and others who were a part of other high school and college student movements. Student activists engaged in current issues and activities will also be present.

In 1971, Newark’s first African-American mayor Kenneth A. Gibson came to that sit-in to meet with the student protestors to discuss their demands Hamm said.

“Three months later he appointed me to the Newark Board of Education at the age of 17 for a three year term, making me the youngest fully empowered voting school board member in the history of the United States,” he said.

“Shortly after my appointment to the board I met and began a decades long association with the poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka who had a major impact on my political thinking,” Hamm said.

For more information contact Lawrence Hamm at 973 801-0001.

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