By Dennis Smith, News Director email@example.com
Organizers of the Republic of New Africa came to Jackson in 1971 to build a black republic out of five southern states.
They had already killed a Detroit cop in a shoot out there.
They came here heavily armed.
Their posters showed an AK-47 dripping in blood.
Very soon they would assault two reporters on two occasions.
I and others were threatened at different times when their assault rifles were aimed at us as we covered their stories.
Most of us believed something violent would soon happen.
In August the FBI and JPD went to serve arrest warrants at the RNA's 'government' house.
The Lewis Street shootout left police Lt. Louis Skinner dead and an FBI agent and another officer wounded. No one in the house was hurt.
A few hours later I was allowed in the house.
Sandbagged bunkers with hidden firing positions lay all beneath it.
Just two weeks before, when RNA president Imari Obadele was arrested for assaulting a reporter, Lt. Skinner told him they would probably be back out there again.
Obadele replied, "We'll be ready for you. I'm a commander, and it's going to be a long revolution."
How right he was.
How sad it all still is.