hands off assata!

two days ago, the ny daily news ran a ridiculously biased, inflammatory article condemning city college for allowing a student center to be named after guillermo morales and assata shakur. i think the article is just one more piece aimed at manipulating the public into believing the lies that have been spread about assata shakur – which is an indirect recruitment strategy to enlist people in the pack of headhunters out to capture (more likely murder) assata for the $1 million bounty put on her life in may of last year.

It’s a punch to the gut that has furious police groups demanding the publicly funded institution strip away the Black Liberation Army militant’s name.

“We use tax dollars to support an institution that indemnifies a cold-blooded terrorist?” asked Dave Jones, president of the New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association.

“She’s a cowardly, cold-blooded convicted murderer who’s part of a murdering sect,” he said. “She’s no different from those people who flew those planes into those towers and destroyed all those innocent lives.”

Shakur was sentenced to life for her role in the the 1973 murder of Foerster.

Foerster was shot twice at point-blank range with his own weapon when he pulled over a car carrying Chesimard and other activists on May 2, 1973, on the Jersey Turnpike.

His partner, James Harper, was wounded.

She was freed in a daring 1979 prison break and fled to Cuba. Last year, the feds put her on the terrorist watch list with a $1 million reward for her capture.

i have to telly you that i was so outraged when i saw the cover of the newspaper that ran the article because it was obvious that there would be no attempt at objectivity or truth in the article. how could i tell, you ask? well, the cover of the newspaper had a huge picture of a woman in costume (presumably) robbing a bank – charges for which assata was tried for and cleared of (multiple times) before fleeing to cuba. this was common during the first incarnation of cointelpro when activists and radicals were falsely accused – and many times convicted – of crimes that they did not and could not have commited. SO, before you even opened the daily news paper, you were assaulted with this image aimed at coercing you into believing that assata was a robber – and could therefore be a murderer.

assata – the autobiography

still black, still strong

all of this, still doesn’t take into account that medical evidence in assata’s trial showed that she could not have murdered the state trooper that she was accused of executing…that she had already been shot – with her hands up – by the state troopers and could not physically fire a weapon AND that she didn’t have any gun powder residue on her to indicate that she had. the article didn’t even mention that there was a possibility that she could not have committed the crime.

read this response to the ny daily news article written by malcolm x grassroots movement activist/cuny lecturer/dj lumumba bandele:

The information in your article and editorial omit some very important facts. Both Assata Shakur and Guillermo Morales were targets of the infamous Counter Intelligence Program. A FBI led initiative designed to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups;” “to prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement;” “to prevent violence on the part of black nationalist groups;” “to prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability;” and “to prevent the long-range growth of militant black nationalist organizations, especially among youth.” Included in the program were a broad spectrum of civil rights and religious groups; targets included Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, and The Black Panther Party. This information was made public through the Church Senate hearings in 1976. However no remedy was ever presented which left hundreds of political prisoners in jail, hundreds left physically and mentally wounded and dozens living in exile.

Thank you to the student organizations of City College of New York for honoring two of our communities most significant activists, Guillermo Morales and Assata Shakur. The history of our communities struggle for Human Rights and justice is a rich one that has the significant input of the work of Guillermo and Assata. As a former student of the City College of New York/CUNY I am proud of the student population who made such an appropriate naming of their student center. Assata was once a student at Manhattan Community College and City College/CUNY. It was her experiences as a student at MCC and City College that re-enforced her understanding of her role as a community activist. The naming of this student center after her and Mr. Morales will hopefully inspire other students to live in their legacy by committing time and energy to ensuring the human rights of our communities. I stand firmly in support of the students’ right to name their center whatever they chose. As a former student of City College and now a counselor and instructor at Medgar Evers College I submit to you that I have done my research and found that these activists serve as models of freedom loving justice seekers deserving to be honored in as many ways possible.

Not too long ago the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army openly supported the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa and called for the release of Nelson Mandela one its greatest leaders, who was considered by the South African Government and its allies (including the United States) to be a terrorist. Much of the press coverage of the South African struggle characterized Mandela as a terrorist. History has shown that Nelson Mandela and the many other members of the African National Congress were indeed freedom fighters. Our community recognizes these individuals as Freedom Fighters and heroes.

It is with great pride that I say to the students of City College, thank you and keep up the good work.

Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele


Medgar Evers College/CUNY

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement


~ by Anayah on December 15, 2006.

One Response to “hands off assata!”

  1. Nite,

    Mad props for posting Assata and her lawyer’s letter. This whole situation reminds me of a Jay-Z line, “Crack was anthrax back then/back when/police was Al Qaeda to black men”



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