Category: Struggle for African American equality
It Was ‘A Necessity For Ruling Class To Assassinate’ Fred Hampton
Black Panther Party At California Capitol

It Was ‘A Necessity For Ruling Class To Assassinate’ Fred Hampton

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Forty-eight years ago Monday, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, was killed by the Chicago Police Department at the behest of the FBI.

Described by Noam Chomsky as “the greatest domestic crime of the Nixon administration,” the assassination took place at roughly 5 a.m. when 14 police officers raided Hampton’s apartment and fired off dozens of bullets. Along with Hampton, Mark Clark, a party leader, was shot dead, while several others received bullet wounds.

​Also in the bullet-ridden apartment was Deborah Johnson, Hampton’s eight-month-pregnant fiance who barely managed to escape with her life.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary, Marshall Eddie Conway, a former Black Panther member and political prisoner, says Hampton’s ability to mobilize people is what “made him a very detrimental person in terms of the perils that be and the government.”

“It was just a necessity for the ruling class to assassinate him, not only that, but he was also very, very, young so he appealed to the young generation and so on and that in itself also was a threat,” Conway told show hosts Sean Blackmon and Eugene Puryear.

And yet, despite the years that have past, the relationship between the FBI and black movement campaigns haven’t exactly improved, notes Blackmon sardonically, pointing toward the Bureau’s recent report on so-called “black identity extremists.”

The report, titled “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers,” was written and posted online in August and names groups such as the Black Liberation Army, which hasn’t been active for years.Could this be a sign that the agency “is sort of poised for a new wave of repression,” asks Blackmon.

Conway’s response? Yes.

“This black identity extremism doesn’t even designate particular groups, but it goes right across the black community to individual levels,” Conway said. “You can celebrate Kwanzaa and be considered a black identity extremist.”

For Conway, the situation is only going to continue to worsen until something changes.

Black men get longer prison sentences than white men for the same crime: report

Black men get longer prison sentences than white men for the same crime: report

Inmates put their hands behind their backs as they return to their dormitory from the cafeteria Sept. 21, 2011, at Richland Parish Detention Center southeast of Monroe.
Inmates put their hands behind their backs as they return to their dormitory from the cafeteria Sept. 21, 2011, at Richland Parish Detention Center southeast of Monroe.(File photo by Scott Threlkeld)

African-American men in the criminal justice system serve longer sentences than white men who commit the same crime, according to a new federal study reported by ABC News Friday (Nov. 17).

After a review of demographic data of the country’s prisons from 2012 to 2016, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that sentences for black men are 19.1 percent longer than for white men. When the commission accounted for violence in an offender’s past, black men last year also received sentences that were 20.4 percent longer than their white peers.

“After controlling for a wide variety of sentencing factors, the Commission found that Black male offenders continued to receive longer sentences than similarly situated White male offenders, and that female offenders of all races received shorter sentences than White male offenders,” the report stated.

The full ABC News report can be read online.

A Tribute to Claudia Jones



Thursday 26 October 7pm

Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU

Book tickets here

  • Claudia Webbe, Islington Councillor and member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee in the Chair
  • Winston Pinder, friend of Claudia, on Claudia’s life as socialist, organiser and writer
  • Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager, on Claudia’s archives at the MML

Claudia Jones (1915-1964) was a political activist and tireless anti-racist campaigner. Her activity as a member of the Communist Party USA – during a period of McCarthyite attacks on the left in America – led to her imprisonment and deportation in 1955. She moved to the UK where she was instrumental in founding the Notting Hill Carnival in 1959 and established the first major black British newspaper The West Indian Gazette. She was an inspirational speaker, addressing numerous peace and trade union meetings. At her funeral in 1965 Paul Robeson gave the following tribute ‘It was a great privilege to have known Claudia Jones. She was a vigorous and courageous leader of the Communist Party of the United States, and was very active in the work for the unity of white and coloured peoples and for dignity and equality, especially for the Negro people and for women’.


Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School

37a Clerkenwell Green
Marx Memorial Library
United Kingdom
Experts: Impact of ongoing NFL protests unclear

Experts: Impact of ongoing NFL protests unclear

10073km to Beijing

2017-09-29 18:21 GMT+8

‍Almost a year after then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, similar protests swept the National Football League (NFL) and are set to continue, with experts describing the past week as one of the most significant displays of athlete activism in decades, but doubts about the long-term impact remain.

More than 150 NFL players – mostly African-American – chose to kneel or sit during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday in an unprecedented protest following a tirade by President Donald Trump.

Trump created an uproar in America’s most popular sport by attacking players who symbolically refused to stand during the national anthem in an effort to draw attention to racial injustice.

Members of the Detroit Lions take a knee during the playing of the national anthem on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. /AFP Photo

The US leader’s remarks were widely condemned by NFL chiefs and billionaire team owners — several of whom had donated to Trump’s election campaign — before the players staged their day of action.

Yet as a fresh round of NFL games kick off this week, it remains unclear whether last Sunday’s protests will gather momentum or slowly fizzle out. Some players who knelt last weekend have already said they do not plan to repeat the protest. Oakland Raiders tackle Donald Penn said his protest was intended as a riposte to Trump’s remarks.

“I’m not going to do it again next week,” he told reporters. “I didn’t want to do it this week. This all had to do with President Trump’s comments.”

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews meanwhile said he would continue to kneel “until the president apologizes.” The Green Bay Packers have urged fans to link arms in solidarity when they face the Chicago Bears in what is intended to be a “display of unity.”

US President Donald Trump reacts at the White House in Washington DC, US September 27, 2017. /Reuters

The mixed messages have created debate about the long-term effectiveness of the protests.

Losing the meaning?

For some analysts the meaning of the demonstrations has been lost.

Trump has reframed the debate as a question of patriotism, accusing those players who choose to kneel or sit as being disrespectful of the military and the United States.

Orin Starn, a professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University who has written about sports and society, sees the protests as continuing a tradition of activism started by black athletes in the 1960s.

“There’s a thread connecting Tommy Smith and John Carlos in 1968 to what we saw on Sunday — black athletes using sport to protest racial injustice, to say to America that it doesn’t have its racial house in order,” Starn told AFP.

Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick (R) of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem in 2016. /AFP Photo

Starn is uncertain though how effective the NFL protests will be in the long-term, suggesting that the opposing viewpoints in the latest round of America’s culture wars remain too deeply entrenched.

“About such a pivotal matter for American culture like racism and police brutality, people already have their opinions,” Starn said. “I doubt many minds have been changed one way or the other by this weekend or by Kaepernick’s initial, courageous protest.”

“This is a divided country. One part of it thinks that African-Americans have been given too many breaks; the other, a big segment of America, thinks we have real problems with racism and police brutality and wants to do something about it. But it is not clear to me that the status quo is changing.”

Going to ‘next step’

Members of Arizona Cardinals link arms during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. /AFP Photo

Mary-Frances Winters, who heads The Winters Group, a consulting firm which specializes in diversity and inclusion programs, praised the protests as “symbolic.”

“But now it needs to go the next step,” she told AFP. “People need to sit down and have a proper dialogue. When you look at history, people who are protesting are often persecuted. It’s not until 50 years later that they are viewed differently.”

Winters agreed that the point of Kaepernick’s original protest — launched in response to several killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement who subsequently received little or no punishment — has been forgotten.

“There is a misunderstanding what this is about,” she said. “It’s not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem — it’s about racial inequities.

Indianapolis Colts players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. /Reuters Photo

“If you look at the history of our country, we’ve always had protesters who love their country but who also see the flaws in their country and simply want the country to be better.”

Starn, meanwhile, was uncertain about the significance of the number of team owners who joined players linking arms, noting that there appeared to be a division on racial lines between players kneeling and those who chose to stand.

“They (the owners) were linking arms with the players — but they were linking arms with the players who were not kneeling,” Starn said. “There seemed to be a pretty clear racial divide. I didn’t see many white players kneeling.”

Source(s): AFP
The peculiar patriotism of Confederate monument huggers | Opinion

Updated on September 25, 2017 at 2:05 PM

In “Bart-Mangled Banner,” a 2004 episode of The Simpsons, 10-year-old Bart Simpson offends the town of Springfield when it appears to them that he’s mooning the United States flag.  It’s all a big misunderstanding, one that can only be understood by watching the whole episode which includes Bart going temporarily deaf, Bart taunting a donkey at a donkey basketball game and that donkey ripping Bart’s shorts off with its teeth right before the flag is displayed for the national anthem.  The people of Springfield are outraged at Bart’s apparent disrespect.

“How dare he?!” a character of obvious Southern extraction yells.  “That’s the flag my grandpappy rebelled against!”

I think we need to stop pretending that episodes of The Simpsons don’t predict the future.  “Bart-Mangled Banner” aired more than 13 years ago, and, yet, it seems to precisely predict the contradictions being noisily aired in 2017:  so-called patriots shedding tears over the erasure of Confederate iconography from the public landscape while simultaneously professing allegiance for the flag the Confederates opposed.

Consider Beth Mizell, the Republican state senator from Franklinton who failed in her attempts to protect four Confederate monuments in New Orleans from being removed.  In June, she released a 4-minute video explaining her opposition to the monument-removal trend.  It includes this doozy: “No real citizen was screaming for those monuments to be torn down, but now they’re gone.”

You’re a citizen of the United States at birth if you were born in the United States or one of its territories; or if you were born abroad to parents who were citizens. You can also be foreign-born and apply for naturalization.  Everybody I know personally who was opposed to the monuments to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard and the White League is a citizen, a real citizen.

Mizell is doing that thing that so many conservative politicians do: dismissing people who disagree with their opinions as phony or fraudulent Americans, as inauthentic. She doesn’t even concede that the anger at the monuments might be real, vowing to keep fighting to protect disputed monuments “regardless of who wants to pretend to be offended.”

In her mixed-up worldview, being an American means honoring those people who took up arms against America to perpetuate the enslavement of black people.

If Mizell were by herself, we could respond to her comments real citizens with a laugh and a “whatever.” But she’s not by herself. She’s one of many who have expressed the peculiar belief that reverence for the Confederacy and its symbols is part and parcel of reverence for the United States.

Even the president of the United States falls within that group. Donald Trump has criticized those who protest “our beautiful (Confederate) statues and monuments,” and he’s criticized those who, he says, are disrespecting the American flag by declining to stand respectfully as the national anthem is played.  On which side would Trump have fought in the Civil War?  Or would he have taken his morally evasive “bad people on all sides” approach?

It certainly is confusing to hear people declare allegiance to the United States flag at the same time that they’re weeping at the removal of Confederate flags and monuments. Some people might believe that some black people are sending mixed messages when they criticize they, say,  properly criticize the Confederate battle flag as treasonous and racist and at the same time support professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem.  But it should be fairly easy to understand:  Most sensible black people hate the Confederacy and its images and find it foolish that anybody would expect them to harbor anything other than hatred for the army that fought for their ancestors’ enslavement. Protests that intersect with displays of the United States flag aren’t coming from a place of hatred but disappointment:  How come America isn’t as good as she claims to be? Why won’t Americans collectively demand that everybody be treated fairly and justly?  In a country that has a Constitution and says it follows the rule of law, how is that police officers, government agents, get to kill black people with near impunity?

Martin Luther King Jr. expressed that disappointment the night before he was assassinated when he said, “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.'” After pointing out the promises explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment, King declared that “the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

A Gallup poll conducted two years before his assassination revealed that a large majority of Americans had a negative opinion of King. That should let us know that anybody who points out that America isn’t what she says she is, anybody who demands that America stop doing black people wrong, is going to be criticized – reviled even.

But somebody’s got to point out the hypocrisies: the hypocrisy of lingering racism in a country with a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution and the hypocrisy of so-called patriots championing the Confederacy and its imagery.

Jarvis DeBerry is deputy opinions editor for NOLA.COM | The Times-Picayune. He can be reached at or at

Report on the Negro Question:

Report on the Negro Question:

Speech to the 4th Congress of the Comintern, Nov. 1922.

by Claude McKay

Published in International Press Correspondence, v. 3 (Jan. 5, 1923), pp. 16-17.

Comrade McKay: Comrades, I feel that I

would rather face a lynching stake in civilized

America than try to make a speech before the most

intellectual and critical audience in the world. I

belong to a race of creators but my public speaking

has been so bad that I have been told by my

own people that I should never try to make

speeches, but stick to writing, and laughing. However,

when I heard the Negro question was going

to be brought up on the floor

of the Congress, I felt it

would be an eternal shame if

I did not say something on

behalf of the members of my

race. Especially would I be a

disgrace to the American

Negroes because, since I

published a notorious poem

in 1919 [“If We Must Die”],

I have been pushed forward

as one of the spokesmen of

Negro radicalism in America

to the detriment of my poetical

temperament. I feel

that my race is honored by this invitation to one

of its members to speak at this Fourth Congress of

the Third International. My race on this occasion

is honored, not because it is different from the

white race and the yellow race, but [because it] is

especially a race of toilers, hewers of wood and

drawers of water, that belongs to the most oppressed,

exploited, and suppressed section of the

working class of the world. The Third International

stands for the emancipation of all the workers of

the world, regardless of race or color, and this stand

of the Third International is not merely on paper

like the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution

of the United States of America. It is a real


The Negro race in the economic life of the

world today occupies a very peculiar position. In

every country where the Whites and Blacks must

work together the capitalists have set the one

against the other. It would seem at the present day

that the international bourgeoisie would use the

Negro race as their trump card in their fight against

the world revolution. Great Britain has her Negro

regiments in the colonies and she has demonstrated

what she can do with her Negro soldiers by the

use that she made of them during the late War.

The revolution in England is very far away be-

cause of the highly organized exploitation of the

subject peoples of the British Empire. In Europe,

we find that France had a Negro army of over

300,000 and that to carry out their policy of imperial

domination in Europe the French are going

to use their Negro minions.

In America we have the same situation. The

Northern bourgeoisie knows how well the Negro

soldiers fought for their own emancipation, although

illiterate and untrained, during the Civil

War. They also remember how well the Negro soldiers

fought in the Spanish-American War under

Theodore Roosevelt. They know that in the last

war over 400,000 Negroes who were mobilized

gave a very good account of themselves, and that,

besides fighting for the capitalists, they also put

up a very good fight for themselves on returning

to America when they fought the white mobs in

Chicago, St. Louis and Washington.

But more than the fact that the American

capitalists are using Negro soldiers in their fight

against the interests of labor is the fact that the

American capitalists are setting out to mobilize the

entire black race of America for the purpose of

fighting organized labor. The situation in America

today is terrible and fraught with grave dangers. It

is much uglier and more terrible than was the condition

of the peasants and Jews of Russia under

the Tsar. It is so ugly and terrible that very few

people in America are willing to face it. The reformist

bourgeoisie have been carrying on the

battle against discrimination and racial prejudice

in America. The Socialists and Communists have

fought very shy of it because there is a great element

of prejudice among the Socialists and Communists

of America. They are not willing to face

the Negro question. In associating with the comrades

of America I have found demonstrations of

prejudice on the various occasions when the White

and Black comrades had to get together: and this

is the greatest difficulty that the Communists of

America have got to overcome-the fact that they

first have got to emancipate themselves from the

ideas they entertain towards the Negroes before

they can be able to reach the Negroes with any

kind of radical propaganda. However, regarding

the Negroes themselves, I feel that as the subject

races of other nations have come to Moscow to

learn how to fight against their exploiters, the

Negroes will also come to Moscow. In 1918 when

the Third International published its Manifesto

and included the part referring to the exploited

colonies, there were several groups of Negro radicals

in America that sent this propaganda out

among their people. When in 1920 the American

government started to investigate and to suppress

radical propaganda among the Negroes, the small

radical groups in America retaliated by publishing

the fact that the Socialists stood for the emancipation

of the Negroes, and that reformist America

could do nothing for them. Then, I think, for the

first time in American history, the American Negroes

found that Karl Marx had been interested in

their emancipation and had fought valiantly for

it. I shall just read this extract that was taken from

Karl Marx’s writing at the time of the Civil War:

When an oligarchy of 300,000 slave holders for

the first time in the annals of the world, dared to

inscribe “Slavery” on the banner of armed revolt, on

the very spot where hardly a century ago, the idea of

one great democratic republic had first sprung up,

whence the first declaration of the Rights of Man was

issued, and the first impulse given to the European

revolution of the eighteenth- century, when on that

spot the counter-revolution cynically proclaimed

property in man to be “the cornerstone of the new

edifice” — then the working class of Europe

understood at once that the slaveholders’ rebellion

was to sound the tocsin for a general holy war of

property against labor, and that (its) hopes of the

future, even its past conquests were at stake in that

tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.

Karl Marx who drafted the above resolution

is generally known as the father of Scientific Socialism

and also of the epoch-making volume

popularly known as the socialist bible, Capital.

During the Civil War he was correspondent of the

New York Tribune. In the company of Richard

McKay: Speech to the 4th Congress of the Communist International 3

Published by 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, 2005. • Free reproduction permitted.

Transcribed by William Maxwell for the Modern American Poetry website.

PDF version published here by permission.

For further information on Claude McKay and his role, see Dr. Maxwell’s book,

New Negro, Old Left: African-American Writing and Communism between the Wars.

(New York: Columbia University Press, 1999).

Cobden, Charles Bradlaugh, the atheist, and John

Bright, he toured England making speeches and

so roused up the sentiment of the workers of that

country against the Confederacy that Lord

Palmerston, [the] Prime Minister, who was about

to recognize the South, had to desist.

As Marx fought against chattel slavery in

1861, so are present-day socialists, his intellectual

descendants, fighting wage slavery.

If the Workers Party in America were really a

Workers Party that included Negroes it would, for

instance, in the South, have to be illegal, and I

would inform the American Comrades that there

is a branch of the Workers Party in the South, in

Richmond, Virginia, that is illegal — illegal because

it includes colored members. There we have

a very small group of white and colored comrades

working together, and the fact that they have laws

in Virginia and most of the Southern states discriminating

against whites and blacks assembling

together means that the Workers Party in the South

must be illegal. To get round these laws of Virginia,

the comrades have to meet separately, according

to color, and about once a month they

assemble behind closed doors.

This is just an indication of the work that

will have to be done in the South. The work among

the Negroes of the South will have to be carried

on by some legal propaganda organized in the

North, because we find at the present time in

America that the situation in the Southern States

(where nine million out of ten million of the Negro

population live), is that even the liberal bourgeoisie

and the petty bourgeoisie among the Negroes

cannot get their own papers of a reformist

propaganda type into the South on account of the

laws that there discriminate against them. The fact

is that it is really only in the Southern States that

there is any real suppression of opinion. No suppression

of opinion exists in the Northern states

in the way it exists in the S outh. In the Northern

states special laws are made for special occasionsas

those against Communists and Socialists during

the War — but in the South we find laws that

have existed for fifty years, under which the Negroes

cannot meet to talk about their grievances.

The white people who are interested in their cause

cannot go and speak to them. If we send white

comrades into the South they are generally ordered

out by the Southern oligarchy and if they do not

leave they are generally whipped, tarred and feathered;

and if we send black comrades into the South

they generally won’t be able to get out again —

they will be lynched and burned at the stake.

I hope that as a symbol that the Negroes of

the world will not be used by the international

bourgeoisie in the final conflicts against the World

Revolution, that as a challenge to the international

bourgeoisie, who have an understanding of the

Negro question, we shall soon see a few Negro

soldiers in the finest, bravest, and cleanest fighting

forces in the world — the Red Army and Navy

of Russia — fighting not only for their own emancipation,

but also for the emancipation of all the

working class of the whole world


Neo-Confederates’ plan for unpermitted rally has Richmond police ‘preparing for the unknown’

Neo-Confederates’ plan for unpermitted rally has Richmond police ‘preparing for the unknown’
The Richmond Police Department is coping with “a lot of anxiety,” as a neo-Confederate group promises to rally at a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee, despite the governor issuing a ban on all demonstrations at the monument.

The New Confederate States of America (CSA II) announced that their rally planned for September 16 to ‘protect’ the General Robert E Lee monument in Virginia from being taken down, “will still be going on” despite the governor’s order.

On August 18, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of permits for protests and barring any demonstrations at the Lee monument.

The ban was ordered after an alt-right rally in Charlottesville turned deadly last month when a man drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, leaving 19 injured and one woman dead.

McAuliffe called the “Unite the Right” rally “an act of domestic terrorism,” adding that the ban was put in place to ensure “nothing like what occurred in Charlottesville happens again.”

“Let me be clear, this executive order has nothing to do with infringing upon first amendment rights,” the governor said. “This is a temporary suspension, issued with the singular purpose of creating failsafe regulations to preserve the health and well-being of our citizens.”

While other groups canceled their events after the ban was ordered, the CSA II issued an emphatic all-caps statement that said that the rally “WILL STILL BE GOING ON.”

“This event is not canceled,” the group’s organizers wrote. “We will be standing up to protect the General Robert E Lee monument from being taken down or destroyed.”

Richmond Councilman Michael Jones (9th District) is expected to introduce a resolution to remove certain monuments during the next meeting on September 11, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“I think the city of Richmond needs to lead on this,” Jones said. “You look at all these other localities that are making a moral stand and at some point in time, Richmond was going to have to weigh in on this.”

The Tennessee-based Confederate group, which scheduled their event five days after the rally in Charlottesville, emphasized their rally is about heritage, not hate, adding that “any Hate will NOT be stood for on our side whatsoever.”

“No Racist Groups Will Be Allowed In Our Rally Area!!!” the group’s organizers stated.

A counter-protest has been scheduled by the Community of Richmond Virginia (CORVA), a non-profit organization that claims they are protecting their city from the “the same violent extremists that were at Charlottesville.”

CSA II has asked participants to meet at a separate location before the rally to go over the rules that will be put in place by the Richmond Police Department. They claim the police are aware of the rally and are “working on providing security for this event.”

Thomas Crompton, the group’s leader, responded to a Facebook user asking if the event was canceled, saying that he has talked with the Richmond PD “in length” and, together, they are working to ensure the rally is not a repeat of what happened in Charlottesville.

“Our hearts were heavy that that had happened and we will not have a repeat episode of it whatsoever,” Crompton wrote on Facebook.

On Friday, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham told WWBT they are preparing for the event, but said there is “a lot of anxiety because of the fear of the unknown.”

“We have not received any permits so we really don’t know who’s coming. So that’s what we’re preparing for the unknown,” Durham.said.

Richmond police are also investigating vandalism at the Slavery Reconciliation Statue, one of three identical statues in cities that were prominent in the slave trade. The statues “symbolize a commitment to new relationships based on honesty and forgiveness,” according to Richmond’s tourism website.

The statue was found with graffiti on the base and a sticker that said: “Confederate States Forever,” according to State Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond)

“It’s so unfortunate because this statue (is) symbolic of where we need to be moving as a country, and that’s reconciling our differences,” McQuinn told WWBT.

Police are also investigating an incident on Thursday after an artist group known as Indecline hung eight effigies of clowns dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes from a tree.

The group said they installed the installation, dubbed “Ku Klux Klowns,” as a “protest of the White Nationalist uprising in the United States,” according to a press release obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.One of the clowns had a sign hung around its neck that read: “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler — INDECLINE.”

The group also posted a video showing four masked men dressed in black clothing hanging the clowns from nooses in Bryan Park. Police closed the park for several hours Thursday morning.