New Black Panther Party: 2004 in Review
Posted: November 28, 2004
After drawing well under 1,000 participants to the Million Youth March in September 2003, the New Black Panther Party participated in even smaller protests across the country in 2004. National Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz also traveled to England in an attempt to gain more attention for the group.
In November 2004, Shabazz traveled to Britain for what was billed as a "Nationwide Stop the Killing Tour." According to a local British newspaper, Shabazz spoke to groups in London, Nottingham and Birmingham (the Panther chapter in the UK is led by Hughie Rose). "I have come to help build the New Black Panther Party in England," Shabazz told a crowd in London.
In the U.S., Shabazz appeared on MSNBC and FOX programs no less than five times in 2004. In four appearances he was introduced as a member of Black Lawyers for Justice; only FOX's Sean Hannity noted Shabazz's affiliation with the New Black Panthers. Although he did not make any overtly anti-Semitic comments on air, away from the camera during that time, Shabazz maintained his hostility toward Jews.
For example, in July 2004, Shabazz and other Panther members attempted to disrupt an interfaith vigil in Washington, D.C., organized by the local Jewish community council, religious leaders and elected officials.
In a May 2004 rally outside of police headquarters in Dallas protesting racial profiling and police brutality, Panther organizers issued violent threats: "We may have to go get the shotguns," said Shabazz. "I don't think they are taking us seriously."
The Panthers also protested against the proposed building of a new baseball stadium in Washington, D.C., and against the Republican National Convention in New York City. In addition, ten Panthers showed up (late) in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to protest a rally sponsored by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The Panthers came armed with a baseball bat and long flashlight, which the Park Police confiscated. "We came to let the KKK and those neo-Nazi crackers know we will not tolerate them," said King Samir Shabazz of the group's Philadelphia chapter.
In a bizarre incident, the group's Houston-based national spokesman, Quanell X, led police on a one-mile chase when he refused to stop while driving a fugitive to police headquarters, where the wanted man planned to turn himself in. Authorities felt that he had ventured from the planned itinerary of bringing the fugitive to police headquarters. Convicted in November on charges of fleeing an officer, Quanell has said he plans to appeal the conviction.