by Daleel Jabir Muhammad
NEW YORK—Well-wishers and comrades came out to honor one of the premier movements for self-reliance, self-determination, liberation, reparations, and many of the struggles for Black people in America and in the African Diaspora at The Sky Light Gallery in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.
The December 12th Movement (D12) is a Black human rights organization founded in 1987 on December 12 by five Black Power movement mavericks: Elombe Brath, Father Lawrence Lucas, Coltrane Chimurenga, Sonny Abubadika Carson—who have passed away—and currently the longtime Chairperson Viola Plummer, affectionately known as the modern-day mother of the revolution.
“It is a blessing to be here tonight in honor of the great works that D12 has done over the years,” stated Newark activist and Chairperson of WISOMMM (Women In Support of the Million Man March) Frederica Bey. “D12 has been fighting to lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe for a long time. I remember when I was over there in Africa with them.
It lifted my spirits to see a country ran by all Africans (Blacks),” she recalled. As Sister Bey presented awards to Ms. Plummer on behalf of WISOMMM, she thanked the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for calling Black men together for the 1995 Million Man March along with the support of Viola Plummer and the D12 Movement.
The December 12th Movement and secretariat is also a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has sat on panels at the United Nations and in Durban, South Africa, to address political and economic redress, particularly in the form of reparations for the atrocities from the Trans-Atlantic holocaust of slavery.
The D12 movement and its members have been on the front line to close crack houses, fight to free political prisoners and remembering Minister Malcolm X on the annual “Shut Em Down” marches in Harlem. They are organizers of the Millions March in Harlem and the Millions Youth March alongside the late Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad, which also took place in Harlem. And they also led the call for reparations in Washington, D.C., at the Millions for Reparations Rally.
Comrades from far and near came out to support the movement from Cuba, Africa, New York, New Jersey and from a cross-spectrum of the clergy, elected officials, activists, and musicians.
“We will always speak fondly of my friend Viola Plummer and its members for their work in the National Black United Front with Reverend Herbert Daughtry; and whether it’s fighting to lift sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, or Zimbabwe, they have been there on the front line,” stated New York City Councilman Charles Barron. “D12 has been the most consistent revolutionary organization that we ever had,” he said. Mr. Barron went on to say: “So, when we honor D12, we are honoring the best!”
“We have passed a reparations bill in the New York State Assembly and we will be forming a Community Commission for Reparations that D12 will be on,” Mr. Barron continued.
United Nations Ambassador to Cuba, Pedroso Luis Pedro, spoke of the long relationship that D12 has had with the country to get the United States to lift the embargo on Cuba.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be here in Brooklyn at this fantastic celebration. It was important for me and for my colleagues to be here because in your works, you never backed down,” he said.
Members from the Nation of Islam attended the celebration along with Student Minister Arthur Muhammad from Harlem’s Mosque No. 7 and Student Minister Henry Muhammad from Mosque No. 7C in Brooklyn.
“It was that Black warrior spirit that Viola had along with Bob Law and my late Brother Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad that gave me my focus,” Student Minister Henry Muhammad recalled.
Student Minister Arthur Muhammad was brief in his honor of D12 and Chairperson Viola Plummer. “Happy Anniversary! Nobody can fix their lips, their Twitter fingers, their pens or fix their minds to say that D12 is not about the local, national, or international fight. Our sister is the epitome of a revolutionary in line with all of the revolutionaries of the past,” he shared.
“I salute D12, we partner with D12 and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan absolutely loves you all,” Student Minister Arthur Muhammad stated.
Former City Councilwoman Inez Barron gave honors in recognizing the beautiful representation and diverse ways that D12 and Viola Plummer have engaged the communities in fighting injustice, racism, and oppression.
“You have been an example of what it is to work with people in different organizations for a common objective. And where there were differences, you were able to hold on to what you value without giving in,” Ms. Barron stated.
Chairman of the New York State Million Man March, radio personality, and community activist, Bob Law, who also hosted the 35th anniversary celebration said: “Viola Plummer and D12 is a community-based organization that is committed to the best interests of the community. Over the many decades that they have worked in the community, they have stayed committed to not only to our people on the African continent but they are also committed to the welfare of the Black community here in America.”
“I’ve known Viola Plummer for over 40 years, from the days of my Respect Yourself Youth Crusade, to the Collective, to the forming of D12 with Father Lucas, Coltrane, Elombe, Sonny and Viola, and they have always been consistent and leaders with integrity,” Mr. Law recalled of their longstanding work in the struggle.
The attendees were pleased to hear, via telephone hook-up, from the International Representative of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad. “It’s an honor and a duty to say these words to give honor and to give praise so that we show love and respect for the work of D12. They’ve been constant in the struggle and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has expressed his love for D12 and especially for Sister Viola Plummer and the brothers and sisters who stand firm with her,” he said.
“As I told you, it’s our duty to be involved in what they are doing in the 35 years of them standing tall for the people of New York and those of us who have suffered, those who have stood up, and those who have gone to jail,” he added.
The celebration was filled with musical interludes from The Reggie Woods band led by musical director Ahmad Abdullah.