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HIP-HOP SUMMIT ACTION NETWORK CALLS FOR MARCH ON NEW YORK AUGUST 30, 2004 MOBILIZATION TO FOCUS ON ENDING ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS IN NEW YORK AND OTHER MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES
NEW YORK, N.Y. APRIL 26, 2004 – During a lecture at Baruch College last week in Manhattan, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, announced the national mobilization for “The March on New York,” slated for Monday, August 30, 2004, the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC).
Russell Simmons, Chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis have issued a call to youth leaders from throughout the United States to organize busloads of youth to travel to New York City to join tens of thousands who will be gathered to exercise their First Amendment rights on a wide range of issues including ending the unfairness of the Rockefeller Drug Laws and other mandatory minimum sentences, as well as support for more funding for equal, high quality education in the public school systems throughout the nation. Another key aspect of the March on New York will be a tremendous youth voter registration and education rally as part of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network’s “Hip-Hop Team Vote” initiative, which has already encouraged voter registration of hundreds of thousands of young people.
The site of “The March on New York” is being negotiated by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network with the New York City Police Department. The requested site is 7th Avenue between 24th and 34th Streets from 3-6pm.
Russell Simmons declared, “This will be the biggest hip-hop gathering ever, and we intend for our voices to be heard. We will not be silenced. The March on New York is going down. It will be the illest march in history.”
Dr. Benjamin Chavis emphasized, “The March on New York is a march for freedom, justice and equality. We are saying ‘no’ to Rockefeller Drug Laws and we are saying ‘yes’ to youth voter registration and mobilization, as well as saying ‘yes’ to equal, high quality education for in all public schools. We are saying ‘no’ to the war in Iraq and ‘yes’ to a war on poverty and ignorance in America. Hip-hop is about spitting truth in the face of injustice.”