BLACK AUGUST RESISTANCE 2012

Posted in Black August 2012 on August 3, 2012 by legacybc

BLACK AUGUST RESISTANCE  2012

As we focus our energies, resources and collective spirits to acknowledge and commemorate another Black August, we give thanks to those who continue to unselfishly recognize and work on behalf of our Political Prisoners. It is no easy task to stay involved with such an unforgiving and unpopular mission. The law enforcement empire Is quite relentless in their ongoing efforts to undermine and destroy the concept and heart of Black August. It should come as no surprise that the need to build more and stronger support for Political Captives is greater than ever. The fact that we are forced to count the years of false and unjust imprisonment of Americas’ Political Prisoners in decades in so many instances should move many more to become very seriously involved in the fight for their freedom. The names don’t roll off the tongue like some of our more famous movie stars, but only because society’s value system bends our minds to the emptiness of the big screen.

When we talk about some of the brothers in Corcoran, Pelican Bay or some other of California’s 34 prisons in which they have been warehoused out of sight out of mind in some cases nearly fifty years, the conversation must involve movement now. The Move 9 have been held captive 34 years, obvious Political Prisoners whose family members were burned alive by a government gone mad with power. Why would anyone question working for their freedom? Still they sit growing older, health failing while the true facts of their innocence are ignored and grow fainter in the minds of some like the years of their wasted lives. Black August is a clarion call to get involved with the Move Organization and all others working to gain their freedom.

Injustice is heaped upon us as our daily lot and we preen for the cameras that march us determinedly away from our focus. Black August Resistance is about ignoring the temptations and distractions we face year round if only in the month of August as we dedicate that energy to solving some portion of the problem of mass Political incarceration. Black August as an entity is totally dedicated to continuing the work of freeing all Political Prisoners and educating people in so-called free society on the insidiously corrupt and unfixable nature of Americas’ concentration camps. Black August as a concept seeks to involve individuals, groups and organizations in every way possible on a back breaking mission to put Americas’ night and day mare prison system in check.

With the numbers of men, women and children flowing through the gates of the largest system of incarceration in the world increasing daily, America is in no danger of giving up or even sharing that #1 position and those of us down here on the ground are in danger of oblivion. We cannot afford to ease our vigilance on a policy and system of imprisonment that literally eats our young and tortures our elders to death. Black August is about that vigilance, about making folks inside know we will not leave them to the embedded cruelty of their captors.

Over the past three decades people have used the name Black August to represent issues, causes and personal opinions that have absolutely nothing to do with the original and ongoing concept of working to enlighten the world about Americas’ prisons, solutions and hands on involvement working with and for Political Prisoners. While enthusiasm is much needed in dealing with such  treacherous and heartrending problems as sensory deprivation units and behavioral control programs, we must confine ourselves to the journey or all meaning will be lost.

We salute all those who have defied the police state and the curious animosity of friend like individuals to maintain the core principles of black august. We salute all those who have been inspired by Black August to further their commitment to the struggle for freedom by taking on challenges that require concentrated dedication  and a single minded determination that will ultimately yield a fruit that will serve the people greatly. We must pull it all back together in spite of the people who selfishly pull others away or harbor petty grudges or jealousies that fester in dark places and in the end harm all concerned. Once again it is not about us. There is a captive audience waiting for us to echo Comrade Georges’ words as my elder sister Kiilu continues to remind us, come together and settle our quarrels not for ourselves but for the people we claim to serve. Black August Resistance!!!

BLACK AUGUST ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

OAKLAND CALIFORNIA

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THE REVISION AND ORIGIN OF BLACK AUGUST

Posted in Black August 2012 with tags , , , on August 3, 2012 by legacybc

THE REVISION AND ORIGIN OF BLACK AUGUST

by Kiilu Nyasha  (2012)

      “As a slave, the social phenomenon that

            engages my consciousness is, of course, revolution.”

 (George L. Jackson)

 

The Revision of Black August

 2012 marks the 33rd anniversary of Black August, first organized to honor our fallen freedom fighters, George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden, and sole survivor of the August 7, 1970 Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee.

During these three decades, we’ve witnessed a steady revision of the meaning of Black August and its inherent ideology, the undisputed leader of which was our martyred Comrade, George Lester Jackson.

Sadly, lots of individuals — many of whom are straight-up Black capitalists and Black nationalists — have seized upon Black August as a means of profiteering and lime-lighting, self-aggrandizement, and promotion of their own agendas.  For those reasons, I want to make very clear the ideology espoused by George and Jonathan Jackson and their comrades.

First of all, George was unequivocally an internationalist and a socialist.  He despised racism and, along with his brother, Jonathan, eschewed cultural nationalism.

For example, in George Jackson’s second book (published posthumously in 1972), Blood in My Eye, Jonathan Jackson (17) was quoted a­­­­s follows:

“They say Gloves Davis – a black pig – killed Fred Hampton, while he was asleep.  I certainly don’t have to mention all the so-called defectors who are now [1970] appearing before government committees testifying for the state.  They were infiltrators to begin with.  The house-niggers who ran to the high sheriff as soon as someone whispered revolt.  I think I hate them worse than I hate the sheriff, or the ‘owner.’

“I’m just a young slave….but every time I think of [Gloves] Davis, Jess B. Simple, Karenga and the rest of these murderous turncoat idiots, my trigger finger fairly itches!  Non-persons like Karenga, LeRoi Jones [Amiri Baraka] and the other right-wing blacks are intelligent enough to know what they are doing. We cannot excuse them with the ease that we can excuse the average brother who has had no opportunity or inclination to search.  The mantle of ignorance doesn’t cover their behavior.  [my emphasis] They have to know that when they attack socialism, the communist ideal, and revolution that they are not logically…attacking all that is white, etc.  They know that Ho Chi Minh isn’t white or Chairman Mao, or Nkrumah, Lumumba and Toure. They know that there isn’t but one fight going on across this planet, the one between the imperialist forces of capitalism and its victims.  They know that it was for work that we were kidnapped – what else do you feed a slave for?  These Black, Black, Black, Black men (if you can swallow their shallow shit) have had time to study, some have traveled, they ‘know’ that it was capitalist agricultural economics that first caused our pain, and that the only change since then is the decline of the agricultural elite and the rise of the modern bourgeoisie. A sweat-shop displaced the plantation.  [In 2012, it’s the prison industrial complex and outsourcing.]  Could it have escaped their notice that all the African states that really liberated themselves booted out the foreign businessmen and are now socialist states?  [Unfortunately, the ‘foreign businessmen’ returned and there are no African states that remained socialist]

“No, I think the strongest suggestion is that they are working for the government, the new house-niggers.  And what better way is there for them to sell themselves to us than to scream Black, Black, Black, Black….”

George Jackson wrote, “We find ourselves forced into a reexamination of the whole nature of black revolutionary consciousness and its relative standing within a class society steeped in a form of racism so sensitized that it extends itself even to the slightest variation in skin tone.

“The great majority of blacks reject racism.  They have never found it expedient, wise or honorable to take on the characteristics of the enemy.” (Blood In My Eye)

I wish that statement remained true.  But I think Comrade is turning over in his grave at the anti-white hostility and white exclusion so common today.  We are now witnessing Blacks embracing reactionary politicians, like Barack Obama, because of their skin tones.

As former Panther and political prisoner Larry Pinkney wrote:

Barack Obama’s secret negotiations with economic bloodsucking multinational corporations, his trillion dollar criminal ‘bailout’ of the corporate elite of Wall Street,… his ongoing wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere, his bombing of Libya, North Africa, his feverish clamp down on corporate and government ‘whistleblowers,’ and his infamous ‘Kill List’ are but a few of the horrible actions that Obama, has and is engaging in under the cover of insidious stealth and beguilement.

Obama’s flagrant violations of U.S. constitutional and international law have, in less than four years, far surpassed even the outrages committed by his predecessors.”

Larry has also noted that the Obama Administration has not hesitated to “Murder women, men and children with incessant predator drone missile strikes upon other sovereign nations. Utilize a self-legitimized ‘kill list’ to commit extrajudicial murders of Americans and non-Americans alike, without the bother of legitimate due process. Sign into law the draconian NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act]—which calls for the indefinite detention in this nation of U.S. citizens—without charge, trial, judge, jury, or legal defense. Continue operating the torture chamber at the U.S. gulag known as Guantanamo.”  (Intrepid Report)

In his first best seller of 1970, Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson, Comrade wrote, “The government buys and trains these running dogs very carefully, and sends them scrambling, tails and all, outward to represent the establishment.  Whole kennels are sent to the African nations…on the supposition that the people of these nations will be able to relate better to a black face.”  George goes on to say that they throw up “one more barrier to the communion that we must establish with the other oppressed peoples of the world.”

In a letter written to a comrade, published in Blood In My Eye, George wrote:

“We have finally arrived at scientific revolutionary socialism….I was hoping that you wouldn’t get trapped in the riot stage like a great many other very sincere brothers….They think they don’t need ideology, strategy or tactics.  They think being a warrior is enough.”

“You must teach that socialism-communalism is as old as man; that its principles formed the basis of mostly all the East African cultures (there was no word to denote possession in the original East African tongues)….Any black who would defend an African military dictatorship is as much a fascist as Hoover.  Are you aware of how the people are living under these so-called Africanized fascist cultures?  The Congo and the entire West Coast of Africa….are still slave states, dominated by Westernized black right-wing puppets.  I’m thoroughly sick of the old Jess B. Simples (young ones too).  They’ll be your main source of opposition in communizing the black colonies here. The ‘good white people’ who own things will always give them a few inches in their papers or other media.  That’s how ‘fascism’ works influencing the masses and institutions through elites.”  [my emphasis]

George was adamantly opposed to participation in electoral politics: ““The corporative state allows for no genuinely free political opposition.  They only allow meaningless gatherings where they can plant more spies than participants. They feel secure in their ability to mold the opinion of a people interested only in wages.  However, real revolutionary activity will draw panic-stricken gunfire.  Or heart attacks.”


The Origin of Black August

A time to embrace the principles of unity and resistance, Black August had its origins in the “Black Movement” behind California prison walls in the 1960s, led by George Jackson, W. L. Nolen, James Carr, Hugo Pinell, Kumasi, Howard Tole, Warren Wells, and many other conscious, standup brothers who ultimately made it safe for Blacks to walk the yards of California’s racist gulags.

As the decades passed, the tradition of honoring our fallen freedom fighters – sparked by the August events described below — was expanded to include commemorating revolutionary wars of resistance and self-determination, such as Harriett Tubman’s Underground Railroad and the Haitian Revolution of August of 1791 culminating in the first Black Republic of the world,

August 7, 1970, the spectacular courthouse slave rebellion hit the front pages of newspapers around the world.  Pictures of four, young Black freedom fighters emerging from Marin County court with guns and hostages, provoked panic among white supremacists.  But most Black folks took great pride and inspiration from the sight of such courageous resistance to the ongoing brutality and murder of Blacks inside and outside of prison.

“Freeze!” shouted 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson, “We’re taking over” — as he tossed guns to McClain, Christmas, and Magee.  With courage and calm they ushered their hostages to a waiting van, planning to go to a radio station to broadcast the atrocities being committed behind the walls against Blacks, and demand the immediate release of the Soledad Brothers – George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette.

What Jonathan failed to anticipate was the State’s willingness to sacrifice one of its judges and the lives of everyone else to stop that escape.  As Jonathan tried to leave the parking lot, the San Quentin guards arrived and opened fire, leaving Jackson, Christmas, McClain, and Judge Harold Haley dead, State prosecutor Gary Thomas and Ruchell Magee seriously wounded and one juror with  a minor injury.

One year later, on August 21, 1971, in what has been well established as a setup, George Jackson was murdered on the yard of San Quentin by prison guards.

During this orchestrated attempted escape, however, three guards were also killed, along with two inmate “trustees.” This set the prison officials on fire and they’ve been exacting revenge ever since upon Hugo Pinell whom they can’t seem to torture enough —  even though he was not convicted of murder in the case, as was Johnny Spain who was released in 1988.

Yogi, now 67 years old is suffering his 48th year of incarceration, most in solitary confinement, the last 22 in Pelican Bay’s SHU (Security Housing Unit) locked down at least 23 hours a day in a torture chamber — no-contact limited visits, no phone calls, no windows, restricted property. Fortunately, Magee’s legal expertise got himself out of the SHU in 1994.

Yogi’s current attorney, Keith Wattley of Uncommon Law, is trying to preclude a 15-year hit at his next board hearing, and needs all the help he can get to proceed in his behalf.  For more information, go to www.hugopinell.org.

Ruchell Magee is enduring his 49th year in Corcoran’s maximum security prison – a classic case of this country’s racist repression of Black men.

At 16, Magee was arrested, tried as an adult, and incarcerated in the infamous Angola State Prison in his home state of Louisiana (basically for associating with a white girl). Released after 8 years, but banished from the State, Magee lasted only 6 months in Los Angeles before suffering an egregious and brutal encounter with L.A. police (over a $10 bag of weed) that put him back in prison.  An astute jailhouse lawyer, Magee continued to fight his case through the courts for 7 years to no avail, or until he seized the hour and joined the guerrillas on August 7, 1970.  Seriously wounded but still alive, Magee was subsequently tortured and charged with everything they could throw at him.  He continues to fight his case to this day.  He said to me decades ago, “As long as you remain in the fight, you never know who’s going to win.”

“So what is to be done after a revolution has failed? Asks George.  After our enemies have created a conservative mass society based on meaningless electoral politics, spectator sports, and a 3 percent annual rise in purchasing power strictly regulated to negate itself with a corresponding rise in the cost of living.  …What can we do with a people who have gone through the authoritarian process and come out sick to the core!!!

“Our overall task is to separate the people from the hated state.  They must be made to realize that the interests of the state and the ruling class are one and the same.  They must be taught to realize that the present political regime exists only to balance the productive forces within the society in favor of the ruling class.  It is at the ruling class and the governing elites, including those of labor, that we must aim our bolts.”

(Blood in My Eye)

“We must accept the spirit of the true internationalism called for by Comrade Che Guevara….We need allies, we have a powerful enemy who cannot be defeated without an allied effort!  The enemy at present is the capitalist system and its supporters.  Our prime interest is to destroy them.  Anyone else with this same interest must be embraced, we must work with, beside, through, over, under anyone, regardless of his or her external physical features, whose aim is the same as ours in this.” (Soledad Brother)

“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done; discover your humanity and your love in revolution.” (Blood in My Eye)

Please send our brothers some love and encouragement:

Hugo L.A. Pinell
A88401 D3-221
P.O. Box 7500
Crescent City, Ca. 95531-7500

Ruchell Cinque Magee
#A92051 C-8-117
P.O. Box 5246  
CSATF/State Prison at Corcoran
Corcoran, CA 93212

Defying the Tomb: Art Exhibit and Book Presentation

Posted in Book Readings on September 29, 2011 by legacybc

October 1 2-5pm:  Defying the Tomb

Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave, Washington DC

Defying the Tomb is the name of a brand new book by Kevin Rashid Johnson, of Richmond, VA, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Red Onion Virginia State Prison for years.  Very Soledad Brother-esque, this book is a collection of letters between Johnson and a fellow prisoner, Outlaw.  It also includes some essays written by Johnson discussing a variety of political issues.  Acclaimed by several political prisoners and movement veterans, its a must read.

The art exhibit accompanying the book is amazing.  All of the original works produced by Johnson will be available for viewing.  The art was produced within the confines of a small solitary confinement cell at the Red Onion in southwest Virginia where Johnson has been held 23 hours a day for years.  Drawn with only paper and a ball point pen, it reflects inspiration by many leading revolutionaries and thinkers, such as George Jackson and Che Guevara.

Featured speakers for the event are Mack Gaskins and Kate Piper.  Mack is the Minister of Information for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter and was in neighboring cell while he was at the Red Onion maximum security prison with Rashid.  Kate Piper, a prison activist, befriended Rashid and transcribed the letters and writings that make up the book was instrumental in getting it published.  Moderating the event will be Naji Mujahid of the Black August Planning Organization and WPFWs “Voices With Vision”.

Book description:
Follow the author’s odyssey from lumpen drug dealer to prisoner, to revolutionary New Afrikan, a teacher and mentor, one of a new generation rising of prison intellectuals. This book consists primarily of letters between Rashid and Outlaw, another revolutionary New Afrikan prisoner, smuggled between the segregation wing and general population over a period of months. These comrades educate themselves – and us as well – on Marxism and Maoism, the Five-Percenters, Dialectical Materialism, Dead Prez, Capitalism, Racism, Imperialism, Class Struggle, Revolutionary Nationalism, New Afrikan Independence, Psychology, and a host of other subjects, as they grapple with how to promote revolutionary consciousness in the most hostile of environments. Rashid has been in prison for twenty years – the past eighteen of which in segregation (solitary confinement). Shortly after this correspondence between himself and Outlaw, he and his comrade Shaka Sankofa Zulu founded the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. The NABPP-PC has since developed branches in various prisons across the U.S. empire and has its own newsletter, Right On! A number of Rashid’s essays written as Minister of Defense of the NABPP-PC are also included in this book.

“Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to buy multiple copies of this book, read it carefully, and then get it into the hands of as many prisoners as possible. I am aware of no prisoner-written book more important than this one, at least not since George Jackson’s Blood In My Eye. Revolutionaries and those considering the path of progress will find Kevin Rashid Johnson s Defying The Tomb an important contribution to their political development.” –Ed Mead, former political prisoner, George Jackson Brigade

Schedule for Black August 2011 in DC

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2011 by legacybc

Schedule for Black August 2011 presented by the Black August Planning Organization

For more info, black.august07@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook. Join our list-serv.  Follow us on Twitter @BlackAugust_DC.

Friday August 5th at Ras Lounge & Restaurant (4809 Georgia Ave) 8pm-12am, Uptown Friday Nights at Ras presents: Fund-raiser for Sekou Odinga sponsored by the Black August Planning Organization. Suggested donation $10.

The event will feature Bilal Sunni Ali who will engage those present from 8-930. Bilal Sunni Ali was a childhood friend of Sekou, they came together in the movement from the Black Panther Party to the Republic of New Afrika and the Black Liberation Army. They were also co-defendants in the case for which Sekou has been in prison for almost 30 years. Bilal was also the saxophonist in Gil Scott-Heron’s Midnight Band; following his presentation on Sekou, he will offer a musical presentation dedicated to Gil, joined by Ka’ba of Precise Science and BlackNotes. From 10pm onward, we will enjoy roots reggae sounds courtesy of DJ Fiyaman. Last chance to hear him before he relocates to Georgia.

Special performance by Maimouna Youssef has been confirmed. The program will be hosted by Stef Is Dope, also performing.

People can write checks directly to the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee (with Sekou Odinga in the memo line) or for tax deduction purposes write it to NYC Jericho/IFCO (and write Sekou Odinga in the memo line.

Sekou Odinga-#09-A3775
Shawangunk C.F.
PO Box 700
Wallkill, NY  12589

More info on Sekou at: www.sekouodinga.com

Sunday August 7th at Sankofa Video & Books (2714 Georgia Ave) 4-6pm, BAPO and Sankofa present a book signing featuring Kalonji Changa, author of How to Build a People’s Army. Kalonji is the Founder/National Coordinator of The FTP Movement and is the East Coast Coordinator Black August Organizing Committee.

How to Build a People’s Army is a guide to successful community organizing on a basic and practical level. Protocol, discipline, political education, loyalty and respect seem to be absent from today’s liberation struggle. The first edition of How to Build a People’s Army is designed to better the relationship between the movement and the masses.

Monday August 15th at Watha T. Daniels/Shaw Library (945 Rhode Island Ave NW) 630-9pm, BAPO presents our annual CR Gibbs lecture in honor of Black August. This presentation is entitled:”Triumph of Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, & the Civil War in the District of Columbia.”

In addition to the major themes embodied in its title, this presentation describes the special struggle by African Americans in the city to keep the memory of our own,unique freedom day (April 16,1862) alive, which at the height of the Jim Crow-era in D.C was not only a mark of self-affirmation and community liberation,but in itself also an act of resistance.

Sunday, August 21, 4pm, at Sankofa Video & Books Cafe (2714 Georgia Ave). Book signing and discussion with Herman and Iyaluua Ferguson on AN UNLIKELY WARRIOR: THE EVOLUTION OF A BLACK NATIONALIST REVOLUTIONARY A bio/memoir of the life of Herman Ferguson written by Iyaluua Ferguson with Herman Ferguson.

Herman Ferguson, 90 years young, was a dedicated colleague of Malcolm X. Unlike the stereotypical Malcolm X devotee, painted by the media of the time as a ghetto dwelling sub-working class malcontent, Ferguson was the example of a successful, well-educated suburban family man who gravitated to Malcolm X in the social ferment of the early 1960s. In the process, he self-consciously sacrificed his American dream for a Black revolutionary vision. This biography/memoir, An Unlikely Warrior, is directed at students of the civil unrest of the 1960s and particularly to young readers eager to explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of the separatist ideology in the United States, the growth of the Republic of New Afrika, and the turbulent days of the late 1960s. Moreover, it speaks to the emotional cost of political activism, its impact on families and supportive friends in the face of government repression.

More info on the book at www.anunlikelywarrior.com

Saturday August 27th 5th Annual Pilgrimage to Richmond and Happily Natural Day, The Black August Planning Organizations makes its 5th Annual Pilgrimage to Richmond, Va and visit Happily Natural Day. This will be an all-day trip in honor of the slave rebellion organized by Gabriel [Prosser]. Leaving DC at 7am, we should be back by 10pm.

First, led by Janine Bell of the Elegba Folklore Society, we will travel to the James River where the slave ships came in. … From there we will walk the route that the enslaved Africans took to the slave auction block into downtown Richmond, followed by a visit to historic Shockoe Bottom and the reclaimed [enslaved] African burial ground. We will visit Happily Natural Day for a few hours to eat lunch patronize the event. Finally, We will visit Spring creek where it was to begin and this portion of the tour will be provided by Ana Edwards of the Richmond Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality.

TRANSPORTATION TICKETS FOR THE PILGRIMAGE ARE $35 AND CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT: https://www.brownpapertick​ets.com/event/189105. FOR MORE INFO, CALL 908-296-5397 OR EMAIL BLACK.AUGUST07@GMAIL.COM.

OTHER EVENTS

The Dream City Collective is holding a Screening of the film, ‘Black August’ on August 3 at 8pm, 5525 Illinois Ave NW. See an important review of the film here.

And the UNIA-ACL will be hosting Bilal Sunni-Ali in concert at the B Davis Dance Center (6218 3rd Place, NW) from 6-11pm on August 6.  Bilal will be commemorating the lives of Geronimo ji Jaga and Gil Scott-Heron; He will also be sworn in as an Ambassador of the UNIA-ACL government.

DONATE TO BAPO: http://www.chipin.com/widget/id/ba7bb4670a52a14b

Black August in DC 2010

Posted in Black August 2010 on July 24, 2010 by legacybc

Black August 2010 in DC

sponsored by the Black August Planning Organization (BAPO) For More INFO: 202-271-7763, Facebook, or black.august07@gmail.com

8/1 Black August Unity Reception co-sponsored by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) beginning at 5pm at Sankofa Video & Books 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC

Beginning at 5 o’clock, this gathering will coincide with the film showing of Finally Got the News, part of the Black August Sunday Film Series at Sankofa. Members of BAPO and MXGM will be on hand to engage in lively and politically educational discussion. All are encouraged to join. Refreshments will be available.

8/7 African Heritage Festival From noon to dusk at Roots Public Charter School, 15 Kennedy St NW

The African Heritage Festival will be an all day event featuring performances, food, vendors, info booths, and community services. Free admission; bring the whole family. For more info or vending opportunities, contact 202-256-2518

8/8 Discussion with Standish Willis, Esq. regarding the report that he submitted to the United Nations citing Human Rights violations as they relate to political prisoners in the United States from 2-430 at MLK library room A-10.  901 G st NW, WDC

Earlier this year, Standish Willis and others submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to outline the string of human rights abuses related to political prisoners and political repression in the United States.  This submission was a stakeholders report to the Universal Periodic Review which is a mechanism used by the UN to evaluate member States regarding there adherence (or lack thereof) to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related treaties.  Through this mechanism citizens and NGOs (e.g. stakeholders) are able to participate in this evaluation process.

The work of Stan, and others, follows in the footsteps of Malcolm X, who advised that we should not diminish our struggle by settling for civil rights, but should take our grievances to the world stage as part of a demand for the respect of our human rights.  We want to support this effort and do what we can to raise awareness and encourage involvement.  BAPO intends to join the many other organizations within the US Human Rights Network (www.ushrnetwork.org).

Read the report at http://www.ushrnetwork.org/sites/default/files/US_Political_Prisoners_Joint_Report_USA.pdf.

Also see http://www.ushrnetwork.org/campaign_upr

8/12 Performance and Discussion with Bilal Sunni Ali from 7-10pm at Roots Activity Learning Center, 6222 North Capitol St NW, WDC

This program will feature Republic of New Afrika citizen and world-class saxophonist, Bilal Sunni Ali. In the 1970s he was a member of Gil Scott-Heron’s Midnight Band. In 1981, Bilal was charged in the “Brinks Conspiracy” case along with Mutulu Shakur and his wife Fulani Ali. Defended by Chokwe Lumumba, Bilal and Fulani were able to beat the government’s trumped up case. He will speak from his perspective as a life-long freedom fighter and musician. Tickets are $15; for more info contact Baye Services at 202-256-2518.

8/14 Book Showcase and Discussion from 2-4pm at Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, WDC

The Greatest Threat by political prisoner Marshall Eddie Conway
The Greatest Threat puts the government’s war on the Panthers into historical context. Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a veteran of the Black Panther Party (and former Minister of Defense for the Baltimore chapter) who has been held as a political prisoner for four decades, has compiled the available documentation and research on COINTELPRO, and traced its dirty history, from the active repression of the black revolutionary movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, to the conditions of Black America today and the dozens of political prisoners who remain in U.S. prisons on charges stemming from their involvement in the Black liberation movement.
The Discussion will be led by Baltimore BPP veteran Rev. Ann Chambers

8/21 Black Women and the Prison Industrial Complex from 3-6pm at Sisterspace & Books, 3717 Georgia Ave NW, WDC

Co-sponsored by Sisterspace and D.A.D.A Circle, BAPO will host Theresa Shoatz [daughter of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz] and Crystal Hayes [daughter of Robert Seth Hayes] as they discuss the cases and conditions of their fathers, as well as, how this relates to their own experiences. Also, as part of the discussion, Monica Bowles, an activist with ONE DC, will speak from her personal experience as an ex-offender on the issue of the alarmingly high rise of incarcerated Black women who now represent the fastest growing demographic within the prison system.

To help make this program a success:  http://bapo.chipin.com/black-women-and-the-prison-industrial-complex

8/26 “Let Your Motto Be Resistance”, Lecture by Dr. CR Gibbs from 2-4pm at Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, WDC

Dr. Gibbs will give a historical account of slave rebellions and other forms of resistance to slavery in the Western hemisphere.  Dr. Gibbs is an internationally noted lecturer, exhibitor of historical artifacts, and historian of the African Diaspora. He is the author/co-author of six books including “Black Explorers, 2300 B.C. To The Present,” “Black Inventors: From Africa To America,” and “Black, Copper, & Bright: The District of Columbia’s Black Civil War Regiment,” the subject of an upcoming documentary by Three Dimensional Publishing.

8/28 Happily Natural Day and 4th Annual Pilgrimage to Richmond, VA in honor of Gabriel’s Rebellion. All Day (7a-8p) bus trip to RVA. $35. For ticket info contact 202-470-7780

This year our annual pilgrimage will coincide with Happily Natural Day. Participants will be exposed to the history and landmarks of Gabriel Prosser’s attempted revolt in 1800 including Spring Creek, where the rebellion was planned and Shockoe Bottom, the major slave market in Richmond. We will also learn of the history of slavery as it relates to the area and visit the major slave port of the James River. Catered lunch and a DVD featuring a panel discussion on political prisoners will be included and before coming back to DC we will stop at Happily Natural Day.  The tour guides for the pilgrimage will be Ana Edwards, Chairperson of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project and co-founder of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice, and Equality and Janine Bell, founder and director of the Elegba Folklore Society.

TENTATIVE ITENERARY: https://legacybookclub.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/tentative-itenerary-for-pilgrimage-to-richmond/

Sankofa Sunday Sunday Film Series for Black August

Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave, WDC

8/1 Finally Got the News

FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with the members of the movement, footage shot in the auto plants, and footage of leafleting and picketing actions, the film documents their efforts to build an independent black labor organization that, unlike the UAW, will respond to worker’s problems, such as the assembly line speed-up and inadequate wages faced by both black and white workers in the industry. Beginning with a historical montage, from the early days of slavery through the subsequent growth and organization of the working class, FINALLY GOT THE NEWS focuses on the crucial role played by the black worker in the American economy.

8/8 Can’t Jail the Revolution/Break Down the Walls

These two 30 minute videos use footage compiled from over 40 social justice media productions to chronicle the perspectives of political prisoners and of war within the United States. Historical footage is combined with interviews of activists from revolutionary movements waged by African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans and Whites against oppression. The prisoners, victims of government sponsored attacks on liberation movements in the United States and its colonies, discuss how they and their companions have been murdered, forced underground, driven into exile and unjustly imprisoned since the late 60s.

8/15 Chicago 10

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, anti-Vietnam War protestors who were denied permits for demonstrations repeatedly clashed with the Chicago Police Department. Tensions mounted, and an already fraught week culminated in riots broadcast live to a television audience of more than 50 million, further polarizing the nation. Seeking a scapegoat for the riots, the U.S. government held eight of the most vocal activists accountable for the violence and brought them to trial a year later. A parable of hope, courage and ultimate victory, CHICAGO 10’s unique and unconventional style uses motion-capture animation to portray actual events from the trial, recreating courtroom dramas based on transcripts and interviews. CHICAGO 10 moves from the streets of Chicago to the courtroom at an accelerated pace, giving the audience a ringside seat for one of the most controversial trials of the period.

8/22 Pete O’Neil: A Panther in Africa

The tumultuous period known as “the ’60s” continues to cast a long shadow across the contemporary American experience. Few, if any, of the seminal conflicts that drove the era — civil rights, war and peace, racism, women’s liberation — have been fully resolved today. Nor have all the key players in that national drama been tried, pardoned, punished, vindicated, or even allowed to come home. A Panther in Africa is the story of Pete O’Neal, one of the last exiles from the time of Black Power, when young rebels advocated black pride, unity, community service and sometimes, violence. Facing gun charges in Kansas City in 1970, O’Neal fled to Algeria, where he joined other Panther exiles. Unlike the others, however, O’Neal never found his way back to America. He moved on to Tanzania, where for over 30 years he has struggled to continue his life of social activism — and to hold on to his identity as an African-American.

8/29 Bastards of the Party

BASTARDS OF THE PARTY draws its title from this passage in “City of Quartz”: “The Crips and the Bloods are the bastard offspring of the political parties of the ’60s. Most of the gangs were born out of the demise of those parties. Out of the ashes of the Black Panther Party came the Crips and the Bloods and the other gangs.” BASTARDS OF THE PARTY traces the timeline from that “great migration” to the rise and demise of both the Black Panther Party and the US Organization in the mid- 1960s, to the formation of what is currently the culture of gangs in Los Angeles and around the world. The documentary also chronicles the role of the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI in the evolution of gang culture. During his tenure from 1950 to 1966, Chief Robert Parker bolstered the ranks of the LAPD with white recruits from the south, who brought their racist attitudes with them. Parker’s racist sympathies laid the groundwork for the volatile relationship between the black community and the LAPD that persists today.

Activists accuse Israelis of racial profiling

Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2009 by legacybc

Activists accuse Israelis of racial profiling.

Assata: An Autobiography

Posted in Book Readings on May 20, 2009 by legacybc

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper and Zayd Shakur, a Black revolutionary. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur had already been dogged by police accusations of criminal activities, although the cases against her were always dismissed due to the complete lack of evidence.

More than simply a political chronology, in this book Assata Shakur shares the life experiences that led her to embrace revolutionary politics and the fight for human liberation. She discusses her childhood, life in the Black Panther Party, and what it was like at the time to be faced by government repression, sanctioned by the FBI’s lethal Counter-Intelligence Programme.

Assata had faced the standard repressive fare of trumped up charges and bogus arrests since shortly after she joined the Black Panther Party. The harassment and vilification continued, forcing her into the underground. On May 2, 1973 she and her comrades Sundiata Acoli and Zayd Shakur were driving on the New Jersey Turnpike when a state trooper pulled them over in a case of Driving While Black. Shots were exchanged and Zayd and one of the white state troopers were killed. Shot and seriously injured in the incident, Assata Shakur was at the time on the FBI’s most wanted list, and orders had been given for her capture dead or alive, because she was supposed to be armed, dangerous, a kidnapper and murderer. Although Zayd Shakur was the only one on whom a weapon was found, Assata and Sundiata were both tried and convicted of murder in 1977.

Two years later Assata escaped from prison with the help of the Black Liberation Army.

She has been living as a political refugee in Cuba since the mid-eighties. American law enforcement officials and right-wing politicians have put a bounty on her head, and continue to lobby for pressure to be put on the Cuban regime to extradite her.