July 02, 2002

Shut 'Em Down!

From CNN.com Black Farmers' Protest Shuts Down USDA Office

BROWNSVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- More than 150 black farmers claiming discrimination in federal crop loans staged a peaceful sit-in Monday that shut down an Agriculture Department office.

The angry farmers first held a rally outside the small USDA office in this town 55 miles northeast of Memphis, and then they poured inside, sitting in the lobby, at desks and taking over a conference room. Most of the staff went home.

Protest organizer Thomas Burrell accused the government of conspiring "to force black farmers off the land."

"We all know they've committed evil against us," Burrell said. "The question is, how long are we going to let it happen?"

About damn time. Even with a multi-million dollar settlement last summer, Black farmers still face discrimination, hostility and often, bankruptcy. How this will play out in an election year is beyond anyone's guess.

Posted by ronn at July 2, 2002 11:30 PM

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