We have formed of an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate direct and circumstantial evidence on a number of charges of crimes against the people perpetrated by local, state, and federal officials. In 2015 the North Carolina General Assembly passed GS100-2. The commission of inquiry will investigate and bring forward additional charges and indictments through an independent People’s Tribunal. An initial list of indictments include:
- Conspiracy and Obstruction of Justice, wherein the NC General Assembly and its elected officials passed into law GS100-2, which served to unjustly thwart the will of the people by preventing local governments from removing racist monuments;
- Collusion, wherein North Carolina elected officials and the sheriff’s department pursue actions and policies that result in a pattern of terrorism against communities of color, and collusion by the NC GA with powerful outside think tanks exerting undue influence to draft and pass bills that serve to protect symbols and systems of racism and profit off the misery of poor communities and communities of color.
- Negligent or Serial Homicide, wherein the Durham Sheriff Mike Andrews is directly responsible for over six deaths inside the Durham Jail, all of them people of color, including 17-year-old “Niecy” Fennel.
The Commission of Inquiry is an independent body, constituted of arrestees, community lawyers, organizers, and directly impacted community members who seek to bring to light testimonies, facts, patterns, and the impacts of unjust laws. Over the next weeks and months, the Commission of Inquiry will gather evidence, and hear testimony. When evidence sufficient to sustain convictions is obtained, the findings will be presented at an Independent People’s Tribunal, where the accused will be given full opportunity to present their own defense.
The Commission of Inquiry seeks to shed light on crimes against the people, including repression and intimidation of organizers and other vulnerable communities impacted by police brutality, immigration raids and deportations, low-wage work, LGBTQ discrimination, and more — which are the true crimes being committed by the general assembly, the Trump administration, local sheriff’s department, and others in power.
This Tribunal follows the legacy of the Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal established in 1966 to investigate the United States’ war crimes in Viet Nam. Among the members of the tribunal included James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Stokeley Carmichael. The People’s Tribunal model follows in the tradition of fact-finding and Truth and Reconciliation processes in Latin America, South Africa, in the aftermath of the Iraq War, and in Palestine, that sought to expose repression and seek just reparations for harms perpetrated and protected by the state. While these tribunals did not have the legal power to impose sanctions, they were charged with answering the questions that those committing crimes against the people refused to answer.