This is intended as an Open Thread. Please weigh in with your own observations and speculations at will. First, listen to Assata Shakur in her own words on Democracy Now, reading part of her open letter to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Cuba in 1998; you will learn some of the history that put in her in prison initially, and some of the further horrors that came to her down the road. She speaks so eloquently and passionately. I believe the recording must have been back in Democracy Now’s Pacifica Radio Days. May I take this time to remind us all what a seriously Inconvenient Wren Amy Goodman has been for so long? Thank you Amy, and all the Wrens who are in your bevy of Wrens….
You may have taken note that there were many other targets of COINTELPRO; there are certainly other newer FBI target lists, like: Occupy.
This is Paul Jay interviewing Michael Ratner President of the CCR on the Real News. Ratner asks many of the best questions; you may have others. His belief that the real reason for this draconian move by the Fibbies may be that it serves multiple purposes of this administration. I reckon that’s about right.
(The transcript of the interview is here.) I hadn’t remembered Alan Gross; here’s one take on the Cuban court’s evidence against him. I wonder if Ratner either didn’t know, or didn’t believe, that Jay Carney had said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be tried in civilian court.
Assata describes being shot here:
Meanwhile, of the recent posts that came in on the Black Agenda Report’s newsletter, four were about Assata. Bruce Dixon writes in ‘Not Your Daddy’s COINTELPRO (etc.)’, (my bolds throughout):
Assata Shakur could not have been named “most wanted terrorist” without the explicit approval of the first black president and his attorney general. In doing so, they have declared open war on the black liberation movement, something that J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO were only able to do in secret. [snip]
Forty years later though, we live in the era of secret kidnappings, regular torture, ghost prisons and executive branch murder by drones or special ops teams. Today the federal Department of Homeland Security funds counter-terrorism fusion centers which openly disseminate the kind of inflammatory and fanciful disinformation to local police and security contractors about those the government wants targeted that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI agents had to come around and whisper in their ears. Now that is progress.
Margaret Kimberly’s ‘Support Assata Shakur at Your Own Risk’ is here; she issues a dire warning:
It is the terrorist label which puts her and her supporters at greatest risk. The Patriot Act made giving “material support to terror” a federal offense which not only is punished very harshly, but is so amorphous as to mean anything the government chooses it to mean. In the Supreme Court decision which began the material support onslaught, a group attempting to teach peaceful activism was found nonetheless guilty because they had contact with the group designated as terrorist. The justices ruled that their intentions were of no consequence.
That risk will have carried to the participants in NYC chapter of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations organization’s May 9 demonstration at the Harlem State office building to protest Assata’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ designation, not to mention the $2 million bounty.
This development deserves close scrutiny, and we need to express our solidarity with all those who are facing the same Sledge Hammer of our out-of-control security state. Remember, as Ms. Kimberly reminds us: even what our Ubiquitous Acronyms consider in-kind aiding ‘the enemy’ is grounds for hammering us. More of us will inevitably be facing it in the future. So: trill the news, all you good wee Wrens and Inconvenient People; sing of justice and freedom throughout the land! We shall overcome these oppressors, because we must!
(to be cross-posted soon at wendyedavis.net)