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Urban Culture News The Forgotten Veterans
The Forgotten Veterans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brother Salim Kujitawala ID675   
Friday, 07 January 2005 00:10

In the late 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, initiated the Counter Intelligence Program, COINTELPRO. Targeted towards Black community organizations and activists, COINTELPRO tried to prevent organizations from mobilizing Black people.

The FBI was instructed to infiltrate many organizations, such as the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Nation of Islam (NOI), and to disrupt, discredit and misdirect the organizations. In some instances, the FBI worked with local police departments to create false charges and evidence to convict members of these organizations for crimes they did not commit.

These sisters and brothers are known as political prisoners of war. Political prisoners include Janet Holloway Africa, Sundiata Acoli, Mumia Abu Jamal and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the father of Tupac Shakur. There are also Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Jalil Muntaqim, Bashir Hameed, Robert Seth Hayes and many more. Even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a victim of COINTELPRO and held as a political prisoner.

Actions and programs they participated in were food, clothing and voter registration drives. Other programs included free breakfasts for children, free medical clinics for people with sickle cell anemia and housing for the poor. They also built independent schools and helped Black people to overcome drug addictions.

Though still incarcerated, they still continue to organize. Dr. Mutulu Shakur has worked to bring about gang truces in the prison system and has addressed issues regarding the Hip Hop community. Robert Seth Hayes has helped to educate prisoners about HIV.

Currently, political prisoners are organizing a program to deliver medical and school supplies to orphans with AIDS in Africa. Former Black Panther Party member Jalil Muntaqim has inspired this action.

Now it is time to help them. Political prisoners are the frontline soldiers of the Black community. They have fought and continue to fight in the longest war America has known, the war for Black liberation. Many of them are abused, denied proper medical care and locked in cells for 23 hours a day.

They have sacrificed their family, friends, goals and careers to literally fight for the human and civil rights of Black, Latino and other oppressed people. As a result, they have lived a very large portion of their lives behind bars.

Not only have they suffered, but so have their families, friends and the entire Black community. How can they be helped? One can write a letter to a political prisoner.

One can also write letters to the governor and parole board of the state the political prisoner is incarcerated in. Financial contributions can be made to the commissary of political prisoners as well.

The release of Black political prisoners of war is an unconditional demand of FULL AND COMPLETE REPARATIONS for African people in America. The fact is, Europeans waged a war on African people when they kidnapped the African people and brought them to America to fulfill their political and economic aspirations of building a new country.

This makes all Black people being held in prisons political and economic prisoners of war, because they would never be in prison if they weren’t taken hostage and brought to America in the first place.

For more information on political prisoners, contact the Jericho Movement at P.O. Box 340084, Jamaica NY 11434, (718) 949-3937, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.thejerichomovement.com .

*Brother Salim Kujitawala lives in Hawaii. Email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Political prisoner Robert Seth Hayes, in a recent letter to the Bay View, reports that he has just been moved to a smaller prison, where he hopes better medical care will be available, and that he has finally received the transcripts from his July parole board hearing, where he was denied parole for two more years. Despite the delay, probably an effort to forestall appeals, he is confident that he and his lawyer will “get the job done.” Write him at: Robert Seth Hayes, #74A2280, P.O. Box 1187, Alden, NY 14004-1187.


Urban Culture News The Forgotten Veterans

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