1917 #12 1993

John Brown Society Banquet

On 19 October 1992 the John Brown Society held its second annual awards banquet at Fraunces Tavern in New York City. The recipient of the 1992 gold medal was Dhoruba Bin Wahad who was falsely imprisoned for 19 years in New York state because of his leadership role in the Black Panther Party. Since his release he has continued to face legal harassment. He is active in the defense of other leftist political prisoners unjustly jailed in the United States. He stands in the fighting tradition of Robert F. Williams and Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt, the two recipients of the 1991 gold medal.

Two silver medals were awarded for cultural contributions to the study and presentation of the history of militant abolitionism. Both recipients have made important efforts on behalf of historical truth. Martin Litvin, author of a book on August Bondi, received one of the medals. Bondi was a veteran of the 1848 revolution who rode with John Brown in Kansas. The other 1992 silver medal was awarded to the John Brown Heritage Association of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Ed Edinger accepted the award on behalf of the Association, whose members have worked hard to preserve the site of John Brown's 1820s tannery.

As the struggle for social justice escalates in the years to come, there will be ever greater numbers of heroic fighters who deserve serious recognition. Defense of class-struggle militants and celebration of their courage and sacrifice are two ways in which great fighters can be sustained, and the day hastened when the chains of oppression and exploitation will be broken forever.

For further information, contact John Brown Society chairman, Larry Lawrence, c/o Post Office Box 1046, Canal Street Station, New York, NY.