Post-Release fund for recently released political prisoner, Maliki Shakur Latine!

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donate here: https://rally.org/maliki

Maliki Shakur Latine just walked out of prison on parole on December 6, 2016, after 37 years behind the walls!! He is finally reunited with his family, friends, and community!

His transition into minimum security America is just beginning and support does not end with release from prison! Please donate to his release fund to help him cover the costs of basic survival needs and small comforts as he gets his footing.

Thank you for your support and for everything you do for freedom and justice!

from:http://www.thejerichomovement.com/profile/latine-maliki-shakur

“ My arrest and convection were a direct result and retaliation for my Islamic beliefs, political aspirations, and direct association and involvement with the Black Liberation Movement.  Nevertheless, I remain firmly and steadfastly committed and dedicated to the struggle for Black Liberation, Independence, and Self-Determination-by any means necessary!”

Maliki Shakur Latine was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1949. In his early years, Latine became involved with the Nation of Islam. It was during this time that he began on the path of confronting society’s oppressive forces.

In 1969, Maliki and his brother, Shaqwan, joined up with the Black Panther Party for Self-defense (BPP). Maliki described this period as a very trying time, but also a rewarding one. The discipline was not as rigid as in the Nation of Islam, but it contained the basic elements of discipline essential to any effective organization. With this experience came additional requirements in organizational discipline.

Maliki began taking political education classes offered by the Black Panther Party. He studied Chairman Mao, Franz Fanon, Lenin, Fidel Castro, Che, and many others. He was also involved in transforming the theoretical ideals of the BPP into daily practice.

Due to the Panthers’ public outreach, which included the Free Breakfast and Lunch programs, free clothing drives and free day care programs, the U.S. government took notice of the Black Panther Party. That such actions were anchored by a revolutionary message caused the US government to view the black radicals as a serious threat.

Latine stated, “It was during this period that the U.S. government’s covert hostilities towards the BPP became very overt and direct. Hence, the U.S. government unleashed its strategy of repression in the form of its infamous “COINTELPRO” (Counter Intelligence Program) in its effort to thwart the party’s community-based programs and organizational effectiveness, while at the same time targeting the party’s leadership by way of manufacturing false and fabricated charges in an attempt to criminalize the party’s membership and the BPP itself.”

Like many of the Panthers targeted by the US government, Maliki found himself behind prison bars, specifically in Riker’s Island. There he met one of the Panther leaders, Lumumba Shakur. Lumumba and 20 other Panthers (known as the Panther 21) were facing trumped up charges, which included a plot to blow up various locations in New York City. All of the Panther 21 would eventually be freed from the charges.

Maliki Latine was soon released from Rikers and returned to the Panthers, only to find that the government’s tactics against the organization forced many of them to go underground. Following their lead, Maliki and his brother decided to follow suit. Maliki then spent two years training and studying and engaging in various actions.

Two years after going underground, Maliki and his brother attended the funeral of Zayd Malik Shakur, who was killed during an altercation with police on the New Jersey turnpike. Maliki continued to participate in the liberation movement for six years before being arrested.

July 3rd Altercation

At 4:45 on July 3rd, 1979 NYPD officers pulled over a Chevrolet Malibu on 148th Street, near 7th, in Harlem. With guns drawn, the two officers approached the car. A gun battle broke out, leaving one of the officers and one of the occupants of the car injured.

The four occupants escaped, but in the car the police found two spent shotgun shells, additional ammunition, a .45 caliber revolver, and a .357 caliber revolver. Down the street they came upon a recently fired twenty-gauge shotgun. The police also claim they found the prints of Jose Saldana and Maliki Latine.

Several hours after the shooting, after the police followed a trail of blood, Arkill Shakur was captured outside a building at 285 West 150th Street, with leg and ankle injuries he incurred in the gunfight. He was taken to the hospital and was later charged for his involvement in the altercation.

Just over 2 weeks after the shooting, on July 18, police and FBI raided the apartment of Dwight (Jamal) Thomas in Astoria, Queens. They arrested him and charged him with the shooting.

A month later, on August 7, 1979, Maliki Latine was arrested in St. Albans, Queens, by a joint force investigating a series of bank expropriations. They charged him with the July 3rd incident. It wouldn’t be until six months later that the police would arrest their final suspect, Jose Saldana.

Sixteen days after the capture of Saldana, Latine and three other prisoners, who were also accused of killing cops, attempted to escape from the special security area of Rikers Island. The men managed to get outside of the prison walls, but three of them, including Latine, were immediately captured. The fourth escapee’s body was discovered days later, dead because of apparent drowning.

Maliki Latine and Jose (Hamza) Saldana were indicted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property. On October 1, 1981, the two were sentenced to 25 to life. Jamal Thomas was initially charged as a co-defendant in the case, but chose to have his case severed. He was later sentenced to life in prison for another altercation while in prison and an additional 15-year sentence for a prison standoff.

In August 1993, the district court overturned Latine’s conviction and ordered a new trial within 120 days or his release. The state appealed, and the second circuit reversed the district court’s decision to overturn the conviction. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear any further appeal and denied him a writ of certiorari, even through his appeal is founded upon the mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court’s own rulings.

The Latest from Leonard Peltier

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Day of Mourning: Statement by Leonard Peltier

Day of Mourning
November 24, 2016

Greetings my relatives,

Here we are again. This time the year is 2016. It has been more than 41 years since I last walked free and was able to see the sun rise and sit and feel the earth beneath my feet. I know there have been more changes then I can even imagine out there.

But I do know that there is a struggle taking place as to whether this country will move on to a more sustainable way of life. This is something we wanted to have happen back in the seventies.

I watch the events at Standing Rock with both pride and sorrow. Pride that our people and their allies are standing up and putting their lives on the line for the coming generations, not because they want to but because they have to. They are right to stand up in a peaceful way. It is the greatest gathering of our people in history and has made us more connected than ever before. We need to support each other as we make our way in these times.

Water IS life and we cannot leave this issue for our children and grandchildren to deal with when things are far worse for the natural world then they are now.

And Mother Earth is already in struggle.

And I feel sorrow for the water protectors at Standing Rock because these last few days have brought a much harsher response from the law enforcement agencies there and our people are suffering.

At least they are finally getting attention of the national media.

My home is in North Dakota. The Standing Rock people are my people. Sitting Bull lies in his grave there at Fort Yates. My home at Turtle Mountain is just a few hours north of Standing Rock, just south of Manitoba, Canada.
I have not seen my home since I was a boy, but I still hold out hope of returning there for whatever time I may have left. It is the land of my father and I would like to be able to live there again. And to die there.

I have a different feeling this year. The last time I felt this way was 16 years ago, when I last had a real chance for freedom. It is an uneasy feeling. An unsettling one. It is a hard thing to allow hope to creep into my heart and my spirit here in these cold buildings of stone and steel.

On one hand, to have hope is a joyful and wonderful feeling, but the downside of it for me can be cruel and bitter.

But today I will choose hope.

I pray that you will all enjoy good health and good feelings and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and continue to do for me and for our Mother Earth.

Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts as these last days of 2016 slip away.

I send you my love and my respect for all of you who have gathered in the name of mother earth and our unborn generations. I stand with you there in spirit.

Doksha.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier
______________________________________

  • Call President Obama for Leonard Peltier: 202-456-1111 (White House Comment Line)  or 202-456-1414 (White House Switchboard); and send a text to these numbers if your cellphone provider allows for text-to-landline service (a fee may apply) .
  • Email President Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments.
  • Post a comment on Obama’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/potus/?fref=ts&hc_location=ufi or message him at https://www.facebook.com/whitehouse (or https://m.me/whitehouse).
  • Send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS or @WhiteHouse and use hastags #FREELEONARDPELTIER #LeonardPeltier and/or #FreePeltier.
  • Write a letter: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.
  • Watch the calls to action by our friends at the Human Rights Action Center. Then please urge President Obama to grant clemency.
  • Also visit the 2016 clemency campaign for Leonard Peltier hosted by Amnesty International – USA and take action.
  • The Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), DOJ, welcomes communications regarding clemency matters. Express your strong support of Leonard Peltier’s application for clemency in a letter, email and/or phone call to the OPA. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and his application for clemency dated February 17, 2016. Urge the OPA to recommend to President Obama that he grant clemency to Leonard Peltier:  Honorable Robert A. Zauzmer, Acting Pardon Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC  20530; Telephone: 202-616-6070; Email: USPardon.Attorney@usdoj.gov.

2017 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar

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***Holidays are approaching! Time to buy the  2017 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar.

The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Toronto, and New York, in partnership with three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell.

*For orders of 1-9 copies ($12 each): see
https://www.leftwingbooks.net/book/content/certaindays-calendar-2017

*For bulk orders of 10 or more copies ($8 each): see
http://www.certaindays.org/?q=welcome

Your group can buy 10 or more for the rate of $8 each and then sell them for $12, keeping the difference for your organization. Many campaigns, infoshops and projects do this as a way of raising funds and spreading awareness about political prisoners. 

This year’s theme is Sustaining Movements, and features art and writings by Farha Najah, Sekou Odinga, David Gilbert, Daniel McGowan, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Sophia Dawson, Chris Dixon, Emory Douglas, Laura Whitehorn, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Xinachtli, Micah Bazant, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration, South Asian Women’s Community Centre, Mazatl, Marius Mason, Eric King, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Jennifer Meeropol, Leonard Peltier, Amanda Priebe, the Termite Collective, Walidah Imarisha, Ali Cat Leeds and more.

The proceeds from Certain Days 2017 will be divided among these groups: Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association (Palestine), Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and the Unist’ot’en camp.

Our calendar project was suggested by Herman in 2001, and has been shaped throughout the years by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. All of the current members of the outside collective are grounded in day to day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from migrant justice to community media to prisoner solidarity. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer- and trans-liberationist position.

Thanks,
The Certain Days collective

Follow us on twitter: @CertainDays

Urgent Petition to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera

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Hi all:

We are asking all organizations, communities, unions, churches, activists, political parties- to CALL ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS to sign this petition and spread the word- this is a time-sensitive request!
We must try to achieve the signing of 100,000 signatures by December 11.

No matter how many petitions you have signed- SIGN THIS ONLINE PETITION and get everyone else to do the same. Do not let anyone tell you they have signed petitions or letters before- this is the one that will be highlighted. 

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/president-obama-free-oscar-lopez-rivera-he-ends-his-term-president

WE ARE FREEING OSCAR LÓPEZ RIVERA


Coordinating Committee
National Boricua Human Rights Network
2739 W. Division Street
Chicago IL 60622
www.boricuahumanrights.org
@free_olr

Comité Pro-Derechos Humanos
www.presospoliticospuertorriquenos.org

 

Help former political prisoner Barbara Curzi deal with cancer!

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October 30, 2016
Dear Friends,
Carol Saucier, Ray Luc Levasseur and I write today to ask that you help our dear sister and former co-defendant, Barbara Curzi. Barbara is a former political prisoner, one of the Ohio 7, who, after their arrests in Ohio in 1984, went on trial for actions by the United Freedom Front against corporations who upheld apartheid in South Africa and contributed to the wars in Central America. (Please donate).
Unfortunately, Barbara was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She is beginning an intensive six-month chemo regimen and then is expected to undergo surgery, possibly followed by radiation. Barbara lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts with her cats and dog and hopes she can keep her home while she fights this terrible disease. Barbara hasn’t been well for a while most especially since she lost her beloved son, Ricky (whose father is political prisoner, Jaan Laaman) five years ago. The more health problems she had, the more she has struggled financially to keep a roof over her head and is now dangerously close to losing that.
She was about to get a part-time job just before her diagnosis,to supplement her disability check but now instead finds herself way behind not only on her mortgage and utilities, but can’t get Internet and phones services back until she pays them off completely. Fortunately, the amount to keep her in her home and get her back to functioning, is not so insurmountable that we can’t raise enough to at least take those worries away from her. Once caught up, Barbara would still need some support to keep up with her monthly expenses, while waging this battle. Her struggle will be compounded by additional expenses related to trying to get better, including travel and integrative treatments, among other things. Suffice to say that she is in dire straits and those of us who love and respect her, want to reach out to others who can chip in whatever they can to help alleviate her burdens.
Barbara served 7 years of a 15 year sentence she received after conviction in Brooklyn, New York for Conspiracy. She returned to Massachusetts after her release from the federal prison system to rebuild her life with her children. As many former prisoners, and especially political prisoners, Barbara has struggled to find work and survive, but she is still deeply committed to the struggle for justice.
If you would like to contribute to the effort to minimize the stress to survive for Barbara, and help her make it through this battle, please see the linked “Go Fund Me” page at: https://www.gofundme.com/barbaras-loving-circle-2w49vnqs
Barbara’s daughters, Lucia and Nina Colombaro, have set up a “Lotsa Helping Hands” page to help organize care and comfort for Barbara, so if you think you can help with practical matters or would like to follow Barbara’s progress, please see: mycancercircle.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/737929/
Donations received will go directly to Barbara to help alleviate her troubles. Please spread the word by sharing this email and contribute whatever you can. Thank you.
Love,
Pat (Rowbottom, formerly Levasseur)
Carol (Saucier, formerly Manning)
Ray Luc Levasseur
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Post-Release Fund for Political Prisoner, Zolo Azania

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from:

https://www.gofundme.com/HelpZoloRebuild?rcid=32a1310c9bd911e68b86bc764e049a64

Political prisoner and former death row inmate, Zolo Agona Azania, needs your help. Zolo will finally be released in a few short months, in February 2017, after spending 35 years in prison, 27 years on death row. Zolo is a prolific writer and an accomplished artist. His writings and art reflect his deep commitment to the Black freedom struggle and a just world for all people.

Zolo will exit prison practically penniless and will face enormous financial challenges. He will need to pay for housing, food, clothing, transportation, furniture, a cell phone, utilities, and the many other expenses we all encounter.

Zolo will seek employment but at the present time he has little savings. He has been paid $.35 an hour during most of the time he has worked inside Indiana’s prisons.

Let’s ease Zolo’s path and make sure he does not confront his  financial challenges—and all the challenges he will face–alone. Please donate generously.

Zolo is alive today due to his efforts and the work of his supporters and a strong legal team. The Indiana Supreme Court twice reversed his death penalty conviction due to racially discriminatory practices that occurred during the trial process.

Zolo is a jailhouse lawyer. He has done legal work on his own behalf and for other inmates. He has acquired a paralegal certificate and has gained an associate degree by completing 2 years of college work.

In spite of his difficult circumstances, Zolo is a positive person with a quick smile and a vibrant laugh. Let’s answer his positivity with support.

All funds will go directly to Zolo and will be deposited into a fund managed by a team that has supported him for 13 years. For more information contact: zoloazania.org and the Chicago Committee to Free Black Political Prisoners.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Help spread the word!

Support Marius Mason’s college classes!

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Support college classes for political prisoner Marius Mason!

Marius Mason is an anarchist, environmental and animal rights activist, musician and artist currently serving a nearly 22-year sentence in federal prison for acts of property damage carried out in defense of the planet. The actions, years earlier, resulted in no injuries. In 2009, the draconian sentence, the harshest punishment of anyone convicted of environmental sabotage to date, was imposed on Marius.

Marius is incarcerated in the high security Administration Unit at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, a particularly isolating prison facility, where visits and other contact with the world outside the prison walls is difficult. Marius has maintained an amazing spirit, writing poetry, creating art, and keeping up with political and environmental issues that have been central to his life.

After several years, his effort to access educational opportunities has finally met with an approved avenue to construct an academic program. Marius needs support for this very important opportunity!

Marius has just applied to Ohio University Correctional Education – one of only a small number of colleges that offer full correspondence (rather than on-line) courses. As soon as all the paperwork is completed and expenses met, he will be starting his first course. Marius is really excited about starting classes!

There are, of course, costs. The coursework costs $343 per credit hour (each class is 3-4 credits), plus an application fee and books, totaling an estimated $1200-$1300 for the first course.

Marius wants to study psychology in order to, in his words, gain a better understanding of how the mind works, to develop a deeper understanding of his own diagnosed gender dysphoria,  and the way in which we all develop a sense of self and our relationship to the larger society. He adds, “When I am released I don’t want to be a burden to my family. I have a huge fine and will also have many costs to pay for my lifetime of probation. It will be necessary to provide for those costs, in order to avoid a return to prison…and more than anything else, I’d like to think that I could contribute something meaningful to society, to be a help and support as so many others have helped me through these prison years.”

The other expenses we are committed to covering for Marius include use of the prison’s video calls to family members and close friends. Marius was recently approved for use of this system, and it has provided a huge boost to his general state of being to be able to have video calls with his two grown children and a few close friends.

Our fund-raising goal is $3000—a totally achievable target! The benefit afforded to someone serving a long sentence in prison is immeasurable. Please help us reach that goal quickly so that this hard-won access to classes and communication is made available immediately!

Thank you so much.

For more in depth information about Marius, and to see his poetry and art, please visitsupportmariusmason.org.

URGENT MEDICAL CAMPAIGN FOR ROBERT SETH HAYES

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from: http://www.jerichony.org/sethmedical.html

 

Political Prisoner Seth Hayes Needs Us Again!

PLEASE CALL, WRITE AND FAX TODAY!

Seth has been suffering from uncontrolled diabetes for over 15 years now. His sugars go up to the 400’s, then down so low he falls into a diabetic coma. He has had 3 such code blue diabetic comas in the past 2 months. Each diabetic coma he goes into could end in death if not noticed and treated right away.

We are asking that Seth be given an insulin pump/sugar monitor immediately to avert these near fatal incidents. He has just recently been seen by an outside Endocrinologist who recommended he be issued the device. The NYS DOCCS is aware of the situation and is moving in the right direction but it is not fast enough; we cannot afford to have another incident of low sugar. The last coma just happened earlier this week on Monday and Seth had to spend the night in the hospital.

The sugar monitor sends a loud warning if his sugars are beginning to get either too high or too low and the pump allows him to use small dosages of insulin when needed along with his eating schedule and daily activity.

We therefore urge you to call, write and fax to demand immediate provision of an Insulin Pump/Sugar Monitor to Robert Seth Hayes 74A2280. We are thankful that DOCCS has been more responsive to Seth’s medical needs lately, but Seth needs this device immediately!

PHONE, WRITE, FAX THIS DEMAND TO:

Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D.
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Medical Officer
NYS DOCCS Division of Health Services
Harriman State Campus, Building #2
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050

Phone: 518-457-7073

Fax: 518-445-7553

Thank You for Your Time & Effort. It has and continues to make a difference!

Write to Seth and let him know he is in our hearts and on our minds:

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116

To contribute to ongoing efforts supporting Robert Seth Hayes, please donate online at:
https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/810a58

Reflections on White Supremacy by Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner Jaan K. Laaman

Jaan

abolitionjournal.org/reflections-white-supremacy-anti-imperialist-political-prisoner-jaan-k-laaman/

Recently a smart progressive retired English professor remarked, “how can it be that in late 2016, police are routinely shooting and often killing Black people with almost no legal consequences?”  Police in the United States have been killing Black and other people of color, just like this for 20, 30, 50 years and more.  Back then they used to totally get away with it and today, not much has changed.

One big difference now, is that many of these killings are caught on phone cameras and put online and thus, seen by millions. In the last few days, we are again witnessing footage of police murdering Black people making the national news, and new protests and resistance are erupting as a result of these murders. Nonetheless, cops are rarely charged with any wrongdoing and even when they are, very few are ever convicted of any crime. For example, in April 2015, Freddie Gray Jr., a 25-year-old Black man, was arrested by police in Baltimore. Freddie Gray had three fractured vertebrae and a crushed voice box, which he suffered during transport in a police van. While in the police van, Gray fell into a coma and subsequently died; his death was due to injuries to his spinal cord. Although six officers faced charges related to the murder of Freddie Gray, they were all ultimately let off without any convictions.

An even more typical example, of police killing with impunity, is the decision of the Prosecutor and Grand Jury in Cleveland not to charge the two white cops who shot and killed a 12-year-old Black boy named Tamir Rice.  In 2014, Tamir Rice was playing with a toy pistol in a park outside a recreation center near his home.  Two Cleveland cops drove up and within 2 seconds, one cop repeatedly shot him.  They left him lying on the ground, not even attempting to give him first aid.  Tamir died of the gunshot wounds.  The Cleveland Prosecutor said, “it was a tragedy,” but the police did not break any laws or regulations and a Grand Jury absolved them of any wrongdoing.

Police Violence Today

Life in the USA means white cops routinely, that is, on a daily basis, killing people of color.  The government and legal authorities always have and continue to rule almost all of these killings as lawful and acceptable actions of the state.  So how can this be, that in the 21st century in a country supposedly based on law, Black people and other people of color can be routinely abused and even killed by agents of the state?

It’s not a mistake and it isn’t about Republicans or Democrats.  It is a historical and ongoing reality that people of color face institutional disparity and discrimination from all aspects of the U.S. state apparatus.  On a human individual level, a large percentage of white people have at least some prejudicial attitudes towards people of color.  It is true that throughout history, especially in the 20th century, great leaders and massive popular struggles confronted and challenged institutional discrimination and racist practices. Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Fannie Lou Hamer, H. Rap Brown, Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, all these and so many more outstanding reformers and/or revolutionary leaders and activists, contributed significantly to the struggle for justice, freedom, and equality for Black people and all people of color in the United States.

Yes, progress has been made.  Barack Obama, the first Black man to be President, was twice elected. Yet everywhere we look, right on the surface and especially if we dig deeper, institutional discrimination, prejudice and racist practices and abuses continue in all aspects of life in the United States.

In 2016, the USA is a majority white country.  The United States comprises 5% of the world’s population, but incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners.  The majority of prisoners across the U.S. are people or color.  And on a daily basis Black men, women and even children are shot and often killed by mainly white cops, who almost always are cleared of any wrongdoing.

These are the indisputable realities in early 21st century life in the United States.  If we look back historically we can seen even more blatant and vicious racist abuses and practices in all areas of life, directed against all people of color.  This began with the earliest European contact and conquest of the Americas. Genocide, land theft, slavery of Indigenous people and the African slave trade, this was the origin of all the modern countries in North, Central and South America.

 

Resistance to Racism

From the early period of colonialism, when white supremacy was being constructed on lies, material benefits based on white skin privileges and the super exploitation of Black labor, there also was opposition and resistance to this hateful thinking and practice.  Native and Black people found many ways to resist and oppose slavery, from running away to burning down the plantation, sometimes with the slave owner still inside.  From these earliest times of resistance, there were white people who supported and assisted with the escapes and uprisings.  The “underground railroad” was operational for well over 100 years.  Networks, often of white homes and farms, gave refuge and assistance to Blacks who escaped from slave plantations and traveled north, sometimes all the way to Canada, to seek freedom.

The Abolitionist movement, actively worked for the end of slavery.  It included many white activists and leaders.  Although fewer in number, there also were militant white abolitionists like John Brown, who literally, with guns in hand, freed Black people held as slaves on plantations in Missouri and Virginia.

 

There have always been white people, often in leftist and revolutionary organizations and sometimes from religious groups, who have allied with and supported the freedom struggle and the National Liberations struggles of New African/Black, Native/Indigenous, Puerto Rican and Chicano people.  White people were in the Civil Rights movement, Communists in labor and community struggles, students, anti-racists and anti-imperialist activists supported the Black Power struggles. In the 80’s and 90’s the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee actively organized against racist attacks and terror, weather the racists were in white robes or blue uniforms. Other anti-racist formations, like the Partisan Defense Committee, which is still active today, organized large anti-Klan rallies in many cities. In 2016, we see the Movement for Black Lives mobilizing on a nationwide level, including the recent release of their comprehensive platform. We also see this movement gaining solidarity and support from a variety of white activists and organizations, as well as from other communities and people of color.

White supremacy, in theory and in actual racist practice, has always had opposition.  This resistance has and does include white people acting as allies and supporters of nationalist organizations and working in multinational formations.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle”

Many changes have and continue to occur in U.S. society.  Change, of course, is the only constant in all life and reality.  But the question my sister, the English professor, asked, how can racial discrimination and racist murders of people of color still be happening every day, can only be understood and answered by realizing that the false and ugly ideology of white supremacy continues to exist.  This false ideology was the underlying ideological foundation of what were the British colonies that transformed into the slave owning U.S. republic, which grew into U.S. imperialism and that today exists as the main military and imperialist superpower in the world.  Many changes have occurred, including progress and advances in human and public rights, but underneath it, the ideology of white supremacy still exists and corrupts the U.S..  This false ideology manifests itself in public acts and attacks, and in private thoughts and motivations.

White cops murdering Black children, millions of people of color facing discrimination in a myriad of ways, even while we have a President who is Black.  So, a final point about the false ideology of white supremacy.  The fundamental and necessary changes, that we the vast majority of people in the U.S. very much need and want, will only be achieved once we can unite and work together for our common good.  Racism and prejudicial thinking has been the main weapon used against working people – common people, to break our unity and defeat our struggles for progress, justice, a better life, for a revolutionary future of hope and peace.  Again and again strikes have been broken, community efforts derailed and sections of people have been misled and misdirected to act against their common interests because of racism and racial prejudice.

The false ideology of white supremacy has been the main weapon used against us, common people, working people, farmers, miners, teachers, shop keepers, unemployed people, and yes even prisoners too.  Most of us have had some direct experience dealing with the negative impact of white supremacist ideology.  Whether at work, in school or in the community, it is likely that some of our struggles have come up short or were defeated, because we were unable to sustain our unity in the face of the old “divide and conquer” tactics, based on racist thinking and perhaps weak or racist leadership. Many decades of community activism and revolutionary organizing all across the U.S., have made clear that no matter what the specifics of the struggle, unity is always necessary to sustain the effort and to actually win. As Mumia Abu-Jamal has famously stated, “when we fight, we win.” The main weapon used against popular struggle is and has been, to divide us based on racism and playing to lies of white supremacist ideology. Unity is our strength and rejecting racism is necessary for unity. Racism will continue to be used against us, until we expose it and simply reject it, for the lies and fabrications that it is.

 

About the author: Jaan K. Laaman is a long held U.S. political prisoner, one of the original Ohio-7/United Freedom Front defendants.  Jaan is the editor of 4strugglemag.org, a primary voice of political prisoners in the U.S. Jaan has two BA’s, one in Sociology and one in Psychology, from Saint Mary College in Kansas. Jaan can be directly contacted at:

Jaan Laaman (10372-016)

US Penitentiary Tucson

P.O. Box 24550

Tucson, AZ 85734