By Terri Kay
The Peoples Organization for Progress launched a major campaign on October 8, with what they called the Long March for Justice. The major demand of the campaign was to enable Civilian Complaint Review Boards, CCRB’s, to have subpoena power. Larry Hamm, Chair of POP, led the march from Montclair, New Jersey through about 22 towns, over 67 miles to Trenton, New Jersey’s State Capitol, covering about 10 miles per day.
The City of Newark, among a number of other NJ cites, already has a CCRB to monitor police behavior, but they are powerless without subpoena power. The state Supreme Court last year ruled against giving Newark’s review board subpoena power after a legal challenge from Newark’s Fraternal Order of Police. A state bill, A4656/S2963, which would enable subpoena power was introduced in September 2020, but has not been passed.
Other issues raised as part of the Long March for Justice include NJ S322, which would establish a reparations task force, federal voting rights reform, and federal minimum wage laws. The march was endorsed by a large number of organizations, including Black Lives Matter Paterson, Newark Communities for Accountable Policing, Black Lives Matter NJ, Atlantic City Chapter of the National Action Network, Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition, and New Jersey Chapter of the Poor Peoples Campaign.