Time for a new civil rights revolution

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — “They have lied and spied on the American people. We have been in Iraq for three years, it’s time we get out now,” said Jarvis Tyner, guest speaker at the 32nd annual People’s Weekly World African American History celebration here Feb. 26.

The theme of the event was “The struggle continues — Carrying on the legacy of Mother Rosa Parks and Constance Baker Motley.” A similar event was held in Hartford, and both celebrations were marked by vibrant cultural presentations.

Tyner told the audience that the Bush administration “is acting like it owns this country.” In reality, he said, “The people built this country. People work and don’t get paid for the value of what they do.”

In an interview with the New Haven Register that appeared in advance of the event, Tyner called for “a new civil rights revolution in our country” for peace and justice for all the people.

Tyner, executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA, issued a ringing call for unity at the church service of New Growth Outreach Ministries on the morning of the event here. Highlighting common goals in the struggle for equality, he praised the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s courage and activism, including his recognition of the great contributions of Communists such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Pablo Neruda.

Speaking to overflow crowds both here and in Hartford, Tyner emphasized that the struggle to achieve equality has been long and hard. Unity is the key ingredient, he said. “Without everyone uniting and fighting for the common and just cause,” he said, “we will not achieve this goal.”

The events raised nearly $2,500 to kick off the 2006 Connecticut People’s Weekly World fund drive.