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Aaron / Incident with Police, Part One

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Interviewer: You would eventually become the head of the People’s Party Two. Can you talk a little bit about and describe the incident on Dowling Street? Aaron: Well, Bunchie told you the other day that I had initiated it. Like I said, we used to walk around with guns a lot. One day, the police started harassing a brother for selling newspapers and while he was doing that, Carl happened to walk up with a .45 pistol on his chest and the police officer forgot about the man he was originally talking to and was going to confront Carl about why he got the pistol on him. This is how it started, the incident. Carl told him I got this pistol because of my constitutional right to bear arms. The police, he wasn’t trying to hear that. What he did was he went for his gun and when he went for his gun, Carl went for his. Carl got his out faster than he got his out. It was a standoff. While they standing off, we backed into the office, the police got on the telephone and started calling for backup. So, we backed into the office. White backup coming. Before they could get backup, people on Dowling Street—it was kind of active back then. A lot of people used to hang out. People started gathering around. By the time backup got there, there was a lot of people on the street, just looking around our office. So, the police got out with their guns. They had guns all trained on our office talking about y’all give your guns up or we’re going to start shooting. Well, we wouldn’t give them up. The people was—such a large crowd had gathered, the police who was around the office had people all behind them and all around them. The people started acting crazy. Y’all start some shit around here and they started talking crazy to the police. They police had all those people behind them. So, they got afraid. They decided the best thing to do was leave or it was going to be a serious problem out there. So they left. They left and after they left, we stayed on the corner with our guns and other people in the neighborhood started getting their guns and coming up there. Just give us support and be with us. Before the night was over, there was a lot of people up there with guns and they wasn’t party members. They were just people out the community. When this experience happened, our organization itself was very small. Wasn’t but a few of us. Five or six of us. Interviewer: Who supplied you with weapons? Aaron: Well, we bought our weapons. Like I said, wasn’t but a few party members at this time. No more than five of us. We bought ours, but the people who come later with theirs, I don’t know how they got theirs, but they had them. They just come up there showing support and they brought their guns. Interviewer: Who were those people? Aaron: Some community workers—I mean, community people. Just normal community people who we didn’t know before that time. We did not know them until they came up there with guns saying I’m down with y’all. I’m down with y’all. Gloria Rubec and MAYO, they brought their guns. We had a Rainbow Coalition on Dowling Street with guns. We had blacks up there with guns. We had Mexicans up there with guns. We had white people up there with guns. Interviewer: So, you said MAYO also brought their guns? Aaron: Yeah. (inaudible) and Gloria Rubec with the John Brown, Barty Hill, who was the leader of the John Brown Revolutionaries at that time. All them went and got their guns. So, we had—this was a shock really to the powers that be. The fact that we had Mexicans up there with guns, we had white people up there with guns, and we had black people up there with guns. Gloria Rubec was one of them. Police didn’t mess with us for ten days. We stayed on that corner. They wanted Carl to turn himself in. They wanted to say well, you need to turn yourself in and stop shit from happening. He refused to do it. He thought about it seriously. In fact, he considered going what you call underground, but he came to mind on that. He said no, I’m not going to turn myself in. I’m not going to jail. In so many words, if you want me, come get me.

Interview Interview with James Aaron
Subjects Citizenship
Citizenship › Political Rights
Community Organizations
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations
Community Organizations › Civil Rights Organizations › Local Civil Rights Organizations
Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-White Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-Brown Race Relations
Geography
Geography › Geographical Descriptions
Geography › Places (Cities, Towns, Neighborhoods, and Intersections)
Police and Law Enforcement › Police Brutality
Direct Action › Rallies
Student Activism › Latino/a Participation in Black-led Actions
Black Power
Black Power › Local Black Power Organizations
Chicano Power › Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO)
Tags Hampton, Carl
Rubec, Gloria
Rainbow Coalition
John Brown Revolutionary League, Houston, TX
The People's Party II
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Interview date 2016-06-08
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Aaron, James
Interviewers Enriquez, Sandra
Rodriguez, Samantha
Duration 00:05:57
Citation "Incident with Police, Part One," from James Aaron oral history interview with Sandra Enriquez and Samantha Rodriguez,  June 08, 2016, Houston,TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database, https://crbb.tcu.edu/clips/2512/the-community-vs-the-police-part-1, accessed May 22, 2019