Youth March Organizer Berates N.Y.
NEW YORK--The leader of a Harlem march that ended last year in a brawl with police is calling the city racist for trying to stop the gathering this year.
Police Commissioner Howard Safir said yesterday he will not issue a permit for a second Million Youth March because of safety concerns.
The stand was denounced by Khallid Abdul Muhammad, the main organizer of the march, which the city said attracted 6,000 people last year. Muhammad said it brought in 300,000 people.
"We want to make it clear here today that no devil, racist, cantankerous, constipated cracker like Mayor [Rudolph] Giuliani can stop" the march, Muhammad said.
Muhammad made his comments at a news conference outside City Hall during which organizers denounced Jews and whites. Organizers said they'll proceed with next month's march anyway.
The ratcheting up of rhetoric mirrors circumstances preceding last year's Million Youth March, in which the city also refused to grant Muhammad a permit. Federal courts overruled the city.
The four-hour event featured dozens of inflammatory speeches denouncing whites, Jews, black elected officials and police. As the rally wound down, Muhammad's closing speech ran beyond the allotted time and police officers in riot gear moved toward the stage. Muhammad exhorted the crowd to beat or shoot officers if they were attacked, and some members of the audience threw barricades, chairs and bottles. Twenty-eight people were injured.
'Cursing Canoeist' Sentenced
STANDISH, Mich.--The "cursing canoeist" was ordered to perform four days of community service and either pay a $75 fine or spend three days in jail.
Timothy Boomer, 25, let loose with a stream of profanities after falling out of a canoe last summer. A nearby couple with two young children said they were so horrified by his barrage of blue words, they paddled swiftly away. The mother said she covered her 2-year-old daughter's ears.
A jury convicted Boomer in June of violating an 1897 Michigan law against cursing in front of children.
"I learned my lesson," he said. But he also thought he was a scapegoat for people who have behaved badly along the rural waterway through the years.
"I know I am being punished by a law that not one person in a million in America ever thought existed," he said. "I guess what the county basically did is made an example of me."
District Judge Allen Yenior, who ordered Boomer to work in a child care program as community service, put the sentence on hold while Boomer appeals the conviction.
If his conviction is upheld, Boomer, a computer programmer for a company that makes auto assembly equipment, said he will pay the fine rather than go to jail.