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Marcus Garvey Petition Moves To US Congress

MIAMI – The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey has expanded the scope of their online petition for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey, the first National Hero of Jamaica.

Beginning with a series of lectures, “Rethinking Garveyism in the Twenty-First Century,” the group is expanding its online petition (http://www.causes.com/causes/809819-congress-exonerate-marcus-garvey/actions/1722148) to the US House of Representatives.

“The drive for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey has been going on for at least eighty years,” said Geoffrey Philp, spokesperson for the group. “Most recently on January 10, 2007, Representative Charles Rangel introduced H. Con. Res. 24 to the 110th Congress: ‘Expressing the sense of the Congress that the President should grant a pardon to Marcus Mosiah Garvey to clear his name and affirm his innocence of crimes for which he was unjustly prosecuted and convicted.’ The 113th Congress and the Black Congressional Caucus in particular will have an opportunity to correct this historic injustice.”

On January 12, 1922, Marcus Garvey, founder of the UNIA, was arrested by the Bureau of Investigation and charged with mail fraud. In 1925, Marcus Garvey began serving a five-year sentence in the US penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.

After several appeals, his sentence was eventually commuted by President Calvin Coolidge, and he was deported to Jamaica. It is now abundantly clear (and legal scholars agree) that Garvey did not commit any criminal acts, but as Professor Judith Stein has stated, “his politics were on trial.”

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