Portland Advocate_1981-08

Vol.l, No.4 "NOW IS THE TIME!" FOR AND BY BLACK PEOPLE August,1981 UNITED NATIONS COMPLAINT STUDIED by D. K. Charles The BUF, which filed its com– plaint last September, has sent documented proof of its charges to the Commission's Sub-Committee on Minorities which meets in – Geneva, Switzerland, according to an attorney assisting the BUR The attorney said the BUF in– tends to show the validity of its complaint with tons of sta– tistics and examples that it has gathered on Oregon's "outra– geously" high rate of imprison– ing of Black people, police kill– ings of Blacks, police verbal and physical violence against Blacks, and the City of Portland's vio– lation of the integrity of the black community in its devasting Urban Renewal Program. In examining the BUF's com– plaint, the Commission will first determine if the complaint meets one of two tests: a showing of a consistent pattern of violations of human rights, or a consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights. If there is a showing of gross violations, the U.N. will conduct a confidential investigation without notifying anyone; investigations are con– ducted secretly in an effort to protect people and witnesses who complain, because the commission has found that there had been re– taliation against people who com– plain in some countries -such as racist South Africa. If the violations are not de– termined to be gross violations, the Commisssion will make a pub– lic forum of its investigation. "In neither case is the government forced to answer complaints, and the United States has had a consistent policy of not answer– ing complaints," said the BUF re– presentative. "The United Na– tion's Commission has issued re– ports in at least two cases based on investigations of complaints from the United States. Those cases involved a complaint from . the National Conference of Black Lawyers, which focused on a pat- / WAIT! wAIT J I I y ivt! me- a,,o/i~.. c!.... oL- tern of political prisoners in Despite publicity about the America's jails, and a complaint abuse of Black people by Port– of a Confederation of Native land police, the BUF continues American tribes, which focused onto receive complaints of rae– the seizure and destruction of ial harassment by police. Ex- Indian lands. The Commission amples of those complaints should have decided by the end ofwill be included in the BUF's August how it would proceed with documentation of its com- the BUF complaint." plaint filed with the United Nations. The typical complaint of police harassment involves Blacks in their 20's and 30's who say they have been beaten or verbally abused. In some cases they were arrested, but no charges were filed against them. In support of its complaint the BUF sent statistics on the number of people imprisoned in Oregon. Oregon imprisons the greatest number of Black people (in proportion to the number of · Black residents) of all states, except Washington. In Oregon's prisons, there is an average of 600 inmates for every 100,000 people who live here. But the , The United Nation's Commiss- rate for Black prisoners is a lOn on Human Rights will begin startling 13,000 per 100,000 pop-to stu~y the Black United Front~ ulation· the rate for whites is complalnt that the State of Ore- 100 per,lOO,OOO; Hispanics: 250 gon ~nd the Ci~y ~f ~ortland has per 100,000, and Native Ameri- c~nslstently v1olated the human cans: 900 per 100,000. rlghts of Black people. WELCOME TO THE