Monday, November 01, 2010

Civil rights activist Leola Bullock on justice for the Omaha Two

Nov. 1, 2010 by Michael Richardson

Lincoln, Nebraska civil rights activist Leola Bullock died recently during
heart surgery. Her advice to friends before undergoing the operation was,
“Never give up, the struggle will always be there.” Known by many as Mama
Bullock, the soft-spoken advocate began her life-long activism protesting
segregated lunch counters in Lincoln in the 1950‘s.

Leola would go on to become the head of the Lincoln chapter of the
N.A.A.C.P. and led many demonstrations over the years. If no one else
would show up where a protest was needed Leola would be there and became
known as a “one woman picket line” for her determination.

In the 1970’s Mama Bullock founded the Association of Black Citizens and
got the Lincoln Police Department to establish a review board where
citizen complaints could be heard.

One of Leola’s most passionate causes was freedom for the Omaha Two, Ed
Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice). Victims of the
clandestine Operation COINTELPRO of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
the two Omaha leaders of the Black Panthers were convicted after a
controversial trial with withheld evidence in 1971 for the bombing murder
of an Omaha policeman.

Bullock became a founding member of Nebraskans for Justice. Before Leola
passed away she spoke about the Omaha Two and the injustice of their

“My recollections of both Mondo and Ed was that they were peaceful people.
They were trying to do things that would be peaceful not violent. They
were young people that to me were very idealistic people like the Panthers
were. All you have to do is look at the things they tried to do with
young people, they were not out to do violence. The violence came from
the police departments, the FBI and others, not them.”

“To me it was a frame-up from the very beginning. We all felt that way
and were shocked that they were found guilty. I remember when they were
before Judge Urbom here in Lincoln and he threw the whole thing out and
said there is no case here but somehow by other legal maneuvering they
threw that out all the way up to the Supreme Court.”

“It is outrageous that our Supreme Court, the courts period, are in
cahoots with what I consider criminals.”

“How can they find people guilty of a crime when the person who called and
said he was responsible for putting the suitcase [bomb] in the house?
They took these two people who had no connection with the kid at the time
and said that they were guilty. It is hard to understand how they could
come up with that.”

“I was with the Lincoln branch of the N.A.A.C.P. and as a member I was
determined that it would never go away until something was done to bring
justice. The first time I went to a meeting on the case it was at a rally
where Julian Bond came to speak and I went and got involved.”

“It is so outrageous that the courts have not been fair. That is all we
ask for, just be fair. Listen and look at the case.”

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa remain imprisoned in the maximum-security
Nebraska State Penitentiary where they continue to deny any involvement in
Minard’s death forty years ago.

Permission granted to reprint

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