New Black Panther Party

The New Black Panther Party’s rally Sunday will be a way for the organization to “meet and greet the community,” according to organizer Selahdeen Muhhamned.

Muhhamned, chairman of the local New Black Panther Party, said the group is about educating and feeding the children, getting illegal guns off the street and encouraging teens to stay in school.

“We plan to announce several programs we are sponsoring as well,” he said. “We have a women’s self-defense class we want to start, a food program for after school gets out,” Muhhamned said.

The rally comes just a few weeks after neo-Nazis held a “white rights” rally in downtown Rome.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups: “The New Black Panther Party is a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”

Assistant Police Chief Debbie Burnett approved the rally permit for 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Banty Jones Park off Crane Street.

“This is not a radical event,” he said. “We wanted to do something to address a different problem, the killing of black children.”

There will be several speakers of different faiths, Muhhamned said.

“The NBPP, when you say that, people are scared, because they believe what’s being said on social media,” he added. “After you get to know us, you will realize we want to help.”