afeni shakur

Panther Power: Afeni Shakur and the ‘New York 21’

By Lamont Lilly

On April 2, 1969, twenty-one members of the Harlem Chapter of the Black Panther Party were formally indicted and charged with 156 counts of “conspiracy” to blow up subway and police stations, five local department stores, six railroads, and the Bronx based New York Botanical Garden.

By the early morning hours of April 3, mass sweeps were conducted city wide by combat squads of armed police. Law enforcement agencies ranging from the CIA, FBI, U.S. Marshalls and NY state police worked simultaneously to coordinate assaults on panther homes and community based offices. After numerous raids, ten panther men and two panther women were formally arrested, processed and quickly jailed. To anyone who supported radical politics of the 1960’s, there was no doubt that the indictment of the Panther ‘New York 21’ was a political and racist frame-up to not only “disrupt, discredit and destroy,” but to utterly dismantle the Black Panther Party from the inside out.

PETITION – President Obama: Remove Assata Shakur from the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” List

A petition has been launched on Change.org, demanding that President Obama remove Assata Shakur from the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

The petition – backed by a long list of prominent supporters; including William Ayers, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and Danny Glover – also calls for an end to the $2 million bounty on Shakur’s head, which “encourages dangerous mercenary action and threatens her life. “

 

We write to urge you to overrule the FBI’s decision to put Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, on the “Most Wanted Terrorists List, with $1 Million FBI Reward Offered for Information Leading to Her Capture and Return,” as phrased by the FBI’s May 2, 2013 announcement.  This $1 million combines with the $1 million bounty already offered by New Jersey. We know of no support for the claims by the FBI in making that announcement that Ms. Shakur has used her asylum in Cuba to “promote” “terrorist ideology” and espouse “terrorism.” We ask that the FBI be directed to publicly produce documentation to support these claims, and that until and unless this is done, its officials be directed to withdraw these assertions. The FBI’s accompanying actions should also be immediately withdrawn for the following additional reasons

CLICK HERE to read the full rationale behind this very important petition.

 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THIS PETITION

Demanding the removal of Assata Shakur from the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” List

 

 

Angela Davis Speaks Out on Addition of Assata Shakur to Most Wanted Terrorist List

In the wake of news that Assata Shakur has been added to the Most Wanted Terrorist List, renowned activist/scholar Angela Davis and Shakur’s longtime attorney Lennox Hinds spoke with Democracy Now about the motivations behind the FBI’s recent actions.

From Democracy Now:

It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism,” Davis says. “I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today.

FBI to Add Assata Shakur to Most Wanted Terrorist List; Double Reward for Her Capture

Forty years ago today, the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper led to the imprisonment and conviction of Assata Shakur.

Assata was set free from Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in 1979, and lives in exile in Cuba.

To commemorate this “anniversary,” the FBI will announce today that Assata Shakur has been added to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; and that reward for her capture has doubled, from $1 million to $2 million.

In an article for the Grio, James Braxton Peterson discusses the circumstances surrounding Shakur’s imprisonment, and why so many of us still call for her exoneration.

Rhymes & Reasons Interviews Speech About the Hip Hop Songs that Changed His Life

Rhymes & Reasons presents a recent gem in our series of interviews with hip-hop heads on the songs that matter most to them: Speech of Arrested Development.

In 1993, A.D. was named Band of the Year by Rolling Stone and won two Grammy awards. Their singles “Tennessee,” “Everyday People,” and “Mr. Wendal” are landmarks in the history of real, radio-friendly conscious hip-hop. Maybe the Atlanta-based group was ahead of its time.

Speech talks about Public Enemy’s “Rebel without a Pause,” De La Soul’s “3 Is the Magic Number,” and what KRS-One had to say on his voicemail ten years later

 

Check out the interview below:

What Role Models Mean For People-of-Color

America makes it hard for people of color to have role models. Our leaders not only face systematic murder, but surrender their legacy to our various oppressors. Speaking of my experience, I never learned about Fidel Castro or the Black Panthers in school. When they were briefly mentioned it was their particular stance on violence which kept them from being our heroes. Ironically, we were absorbed in the American identity; we being offspring of those folks who continue to be discriminated against. As young Americans we risk our membership as we consider “terrorist” role models. 

Black History Spotlight: ASSATA SHAKUR

Assata Shakur is a true revolutionary.

She fought for justice as a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Movement, before being falsely accused of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Refusing to be just another victim of COINTELPRO, Assata escaped from prison on November 2nd, 1979 and eventually found her way to Cuba, where she currently resides.

Today there is a one million dollar bounty on Shakur’s head; the FBI classifies her as a domestic terrorist.

Of course, we know the truth.

NYPD Falsely Charges Black Man: "I Fried Another Nigger"

The NYPD is at it again.

Audio has surfaced of an NYPD officer bragging about falsely accusing a young, Black male of resisting arrest, and then adding for good measure:


“I fried another nigger.”

According to the Root, the officer stopped the young man as part of the department’s racist “stop and frisk” program. The man had done nothing wrong; when he protested the unnecessary stop and asked for the officer’s badge number, Officer Michael Deragjati promptly arrested him for “resisting arrest.”

The rest of this story is like the best episode of Punk’d I’ve never seen.

The Enduring Power of Tupac Shakur

Yesterday was Tupac Shakur’s 40th birthday. And though it has been 15 years since his untimely death, the continued fascination and adoration he conjures amongst black youth (and the world, at large) is a testament to an iconic, albeit brief career that truly transcended mere beats and rhymes. Subversive, contradictory and brutally honest, Tupac’s music told the story of the young black male coming of age in the 1990’s. It is a dichotomous story; one where an appreciation for unity and consciousness within the Black community collides with capitalistic ambition and the attainment of an American dream, by any means necessary. His work spoke truth to a racist, capitalistic power structure, while at the same time attempting to usurp and dominate that structure with its own values and tools.

And that’s what made Tupac’s music so powerful and dangerous.

Mumia Abu-Jamal on Prisons

The controversy surrounding the trial and conviction of activist, journalist and former Black Panther Party member Mumia Abu-Jamal is known the world over. Since his conviction, Mumia Abu-Jamal has been a rallying point for activists who decry the seeming injustices swirling around his trial and conviction. The decades long debate over his guilt or innocence resurfaced on Tuesday after news that a new sentencing hearing had been ordered in his case.