The following is a statement by Jalil Muntaqim, a man who has withstood decades of brutal repression from the united states government. Arrested at the age of 19 and framed for the BLA assassination of two police officers in New York City, Jalil Muntaqim has spent over thirty years behind bars. (Along with Herman Bell and the late Albert Nuh Washington, he is one of the New York Three.)
Today, the State - whose arrogance we must use against it - is once again trying to frame this man!
Along with his co-defendant, prisoner of war Herman Bell, and six other men who participated in the Black Liberation movement in the 1960s and 70s, Jalil is being accused of having been involved in the assassination of a San Francisco police officer in 1972. This is the infamous case of the San Francisco Eight, men in their fifties, sixties and seventies who are being set up as an example to any and all who would resist colonialism from within the borders of amerika.
Read the following statement, and read the words of a man who has paid an incredible price - his entire adult life behind bars - in the struggle for freedom, and yet remains unbroken:
March 23, 2007Dear Comrades, Friends and Supporters:
As many of you have learned, the [Incorporated] State of CALIFORNIA initiated the persecution of former members of the Black Panther Party and those who were accused as being members of the Black Liberation Army. This persecution is subject to an August 29, 1971, incident when alleged members of the BLA are reported to have retaliated for the August 21, 1971, assassination of Black Panther Field Marshal George L. Jackson.
On March 22, 2007, I was seized by prison officials and taken to the Cayuga County Court in AUBURN, for the conducting of an extradition hearing. I had to defend a writ of habeas corpus petition challenging the Governor’s Warrant granting the CALIFORNIA Governor’s request for me to be brought to that State for trial. Throughout the course of the hearing, I was handcuffed and shackled, making an argument with documented proof that the Governor’s Warrant was defective on its face, and therefore should be held invalid.
However, the judge, despite reviewing documented proof that the warrant was based on false and misleading information, decided the warrant was valid and signed it. Therefore, I am presently waiting for the S.F. authorities to come and bring me to CALIFORNIA, to make an appearance at the scheduled April 27, 2007 hearing in S.F.
Despite it all, after 35 years of imprisonment, I remain strong and will resist every step of the way the efforts of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act initiatives to stifle dissent. I am confident that, with strong support from progressive peoples across the country and overseas, the S.F. 8 will be successful, and the State will suffer defeat. We will have a true People’s Victory.
It will be a victory against fear and State terrorism; it will be a defeat against State torture tactics, threats and coercion. This case will teach today’s activists what to expect from the State in its efforts to prevent dissent and protest of government repression. It will forward a broader understanding of what happened in the Movement of the 60’s & 70’s, and how Cointelpro disrupted and destroyed the most viable Black political party that emerged out of the civil rights Movements. Ultimately, this case will tell of a militant youth movement and how the government sought to destroy it, and today seeks to retaliate because those youths did in fact rebel against oppression and repression not only in their communities, and in an
international determination in support of all oppressed peoples’ fighting against colonialism and imperialism at that time.
So, to organize and fight back against this nefarious persecution of the S.F. 8, I. urge all to organize and sponsor educational programs in your community and invite Jericho representatives and the Committee in Defense of Human Rights to speak about the Case of the S.F. 8 and other U.S. political prisoners. Furthermore, I ask that progressive folks seek to organize a Jericho chapter on college campuses and in your communities. I urge that letter writing/phone/fax campaigns be initiated directed to Congressman John Conyers, demanding that he conduct the reopening of Cointelpro Hearings. There are many Cointelpro victims languishing in prison, and while the Senate Church Committee in fact decided the FBI’s Cointelpro activities was unconstitutional, the Senate Church Committee never established remedies for Cointelpro victims.
They are trying to rewrite history and deny the legacy of the BPP/BLA, and essentially with a board paint brush label all those involved in those struggles as “terrorists,” “criminals,” and “wanton killers.” They will never say those youths were revolutionaries, freedom fighters and progressive organizers. They will never say they sought to relieve the community of all forms of State sponsored terrorism that is too often found in Black and Hispanic communities today. They will never talk about the over 30 Panthers that were killed by police across the country and no one being prosecuted for these murders. They will never admit to the
unconstitutional practices of the FBI Cointelopro activities.
The task for all of us is to raise consciousness about U.S. political prisoners, and build a durable and determine Jericho Amnesty Movement to ensure all of our victory against State tyranny and terrorism.
Remember: WE ARE OUR OWN LIBERATORS!
For more information about the San Francisco Eight, check out the Committee in Defense of Human Rights and also the Jericho movement in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war.