Just a little more than a week after the overwhelming showing of unity during the Justice Or Else themed 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March convened by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, he spoke to a capacity crowd at Nation of Islam international headquarters at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, and announced plans to gather those with organizing skills to facilitate an “economic withdrawal,” through a Christmas spending boycott, aimed at companies nationwide.
“We’re about to boycott Christmas! If you love Christ, then to hell with Santa! Up with Jesus! Down with Santa!” he said, as the audience stood and cheered in agreement during the Oct. 18 program.
The Part II of his Justice Or Else themed speech came on the heels of an October 11 planning session at the Washington, D.C. Marriott Marque. Hosted by 100 Black Men Of America Inc., the Minister not only concluded the planning session by emphasizing the economic significance of not shopping during the upcoming Christmas holiday season (Black Friday – New Year’s Day), but encouraged the many organizers in the room to make themselves known and to lend their expertise, so we can “become an organized powerful group.”
“That’s why you’re here,” the 82-year-old Farrakhan said, “to show us the nuts and bolts of organizing,” he told the men and women assembled.
“Teach us so we can go into the community block by block, house by house with a national agenda and an organizational agenda and an organizational plan that you helped to develop,” the Min. continued.
Explaining how the 20th Anniversary had accomplished its goal of raising the issue of justice from the diverse group of participants the Minister said, Fox News was trying to say that the Palestinians and the Native Americans had “hijacked the march for justice.”
“How could you hijack with your real words of demands for your people?” he said. Min. Farrakhan told the audience he “believes in freedom,” so why would he “ask somebody to speak and then try to monitor what they said?” What was accomplished yesterday is that everyone spoke according to what was on their hearts, he continued.
Going forward the Minister mentioned the importance of establishing “Nine Ministries,” that include, Agriculture, Arts and Culture, Defense, Communication, Health and Human Services, Justice, Science and Technology, Trade and Commerce, and Education.
The critical topic of education must be a central issue of focus “because we are the product of mis-education,” Min. Farrakhan continued. Turning to the educators in the room he said, if we’re going to make a better world community “you can’t give us the same education that produced the funk that we represent as educators.”
Educators have to come together and critically examine the fruit of the American educational system and if we’re critical and think outside of the educational box, we can come up with something new and better that will be transformative, he explained. “Every student will be a product of a great transformation brought about by a new and better educational idea.”
Concerning the upcoming presidential election the Minister said, “This election if they’re not talking about justice, hold your vote.”
“All the people that were out there yesterday, we want to get them registered, but not as a Democrat, not as a Republican, register as an Independent,” Min. Farrakhan said. The way we’ll use our vote is by holding it as leverage, he explained. Before giving any candidates our vote, they must earn it and we must see what we can get from them that will benefit us, he added.
“We not giving them our vote, they got to earn it.”
During Min Farrakhan’s presentation, he made mention of Rev. Jessie Jackson’s criticism of the original Million Man March. Rev. Jackson, according to the Minister, said we went to Washington in 1995 but didn’t bring a policy to put before the government. “So thank you very much, the next time we come, the Minister said, “we’ll have a National Agenda: Public Policy Issues Analysis, And Programmatic Plan Of Action.”
This is the title of a 154-page book published by the organizers of the Million Family March in 2000. The book was handed out at the conclusion of the two-hour leadership planning session.
Filled with policy “recommendations with accompanying action recommendations,” in the book’s introduction, Dr. Ben Chavis Muhammad writes, “We don’t intend to allow our interests to be ignored or sacrificed during the current national political debate.”
Already cities including Philadelphia have responded to Min. Farrakhan’s call to organize in local communities. During an Oct. 14 planning session a few days later that included the Philadelphia Community of Leaders and the Philadelphia Local Organizing Committee, the “Justice Or Else Coalition” was formed.
Its first task, according to Joe Certaine, former city of Philadelphia Managing Director, is the “economic withdrawal of Xmas and putting Jesus or spirituality back into the holiday season.” This was formally announced at a 2 p.m. rally on Oct. 24 at the Universal Audenried School at 32nd and Morris Street in South Philadelphia.
Min. Farrakhan told the over 1,000 person audience, with nearly another 1,000 unable to get in because of limited space, to go home with this demonstration of the potential power that is inherent in our organized unity.
“Hurricane Katrina tore up South New Orleans, but it started as a Category One (hurricane). And the more it organized, it became a Category Two. And it stayed out on the water until it became a Category Five. And by time it hit New Orleans it had so much power that when it moved on the land everything (in its way) moved,” the Minister said.
Addressed at the conclusion of his remarks with a question from the audience about the upcoming Christmas season economic boycott, the Minister responded, “You all know we’re not going nowhere to shop, either online, or (during) Black Friday. And we’re going to keep our money in our pockets this Christmas all the way to New Years,” said Min. Farrakhan.
“The money that we save we want to talk about (putting) a portion of it in a treasury for economic development and the buying of land, and ultimately the setting up of a national banking system.”
To get involved in the growing Justice Or Else movement, visit justiceorelse.com to locate your closest Local Organizing Committee, make a donation and to purchase Justice Or Else paraphernalia.