On April 7, 2016 the US Federal Parole Board continued its blatant violation of the human rights of Dr. Mutulu Shakur by refusing to release him from federal captivity after 30 years of time served even though he is up for “mandatory parole release” based on the guidelines under which he was sentenced. While this is a major blow to our movement we are not surprised by the outcome. This refusal by the board to parole Dr. Shakur is evidence of the continuation of COINTELPRO low intensity warfare on the Black Freedom Movement and on our Freedom fighters held in captivity.
Though the board continues to frame its decision and the entire case as a legal issue of punishment for crimes, it is clear that this recent decision is a political one aimed at disheartening our people, weakening our movement and forcing us to submit to the ongoing colonization and domination of the US empire’s will.
It is clear to us that the Parole Board had no intention of seriously considering Dr. Shakur’s release on parole after 30 years. After allowing the prosecutor of the case, as well as family and friends of officers killed in the Nyack New York incident from which the case stems, to testify by Skype, the hearing examiner asked several highly charged political questions such as, “What do you mean when you sign off letters and statements with ‘stiff resistance’?” He then proceeded to answer his own question, “It sounds like you mean stiff resistance against the Government”. The examiner also asked Dr. Shakur, “Why do you think you are a political prisoner?” He than again responded to his own question, “you were convicted of murder and robbery, not political offenses”. Based on these and other questions, the examiner declared that because Dr. Shakur does not take responsibility for his so-called crimes and he ends his letters with “Stiff Resistance” and he continues to claim to be a “political prisoner” he is likely to reoffend if let out into the community.
It is evident with this hearing that the State sees ongoing resistance to colonization and oppression of Black people as a threat. This is why the current strategy of the State is to criminalize resistance! The State is attempting to force Black revolutionaries to denounce the history of resistance and cry “uncle”. This is a similar tactic that the South African government attempted to use on Nelson Mandela and other South African freedom fighters. The American government (the State) wants to eliminate the memory of our historic fight for freedom and self-determination.
It is important that we not allow political repression to silence our voices or frighten us into discontinuing our charges of human rights violations. We must declare to the world that there are Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War being held in US prisons. We must stand and defend our political prisoners and POWs and declare them to the world without submitting to the States intimidation! We have to continue to declare that there are PPs and POWs not only as a result of COINTELPRO but increasingly as the struggle heats up, new political prisoners and prisoners of war are being created as our people are once again taking to the streets. Already several activists from Black Lives Matter are being tried after actions carried out in Los Angeles, St. Louis and Baltimore. The State will not stop its oppression and imprisonment of our people and we cannot stop the fight for our liberation!
In the face of this blatant continued attack on Dr. Mutulu Shakur and our liberation movement, we say STIFF RESISTANCE and STRAIGHT AHEAD! We will not back up one step! We will continue to build a broad based national, and international human rights campaign that educates and exposes the colonial repression of the Empire not only against our nation New Afrika but also against the indigenous First Nations (American Indians) and prisoners like Leonard Peltier and the Puerto Rican nation and prisoners like Oscar Lopez Rivera. We are all colonized peoples and our freedom lies in telling the world and in moving Straight ahead with Stiff Resistance! Freedom for Dr. Mutulu Shakur and all the political prisoners and POWs of the American Empire!
We call on Black people and all people who love freedom and justice to continue to support the movement to free Dr. Mutulu Shakur and all of our political prisoners and prisoners of war. Continue to declare Mutulu is welcome here. Spread his name and image so that the world knows about Mutulu and about our struggle for human rights and self-determination. We call on artists to create cultural expression to educate the people about Mutulu. Write letters, sign petitions and organize actions in your local areas to educate the people and to encourage the people to take a stand for Mutulu’s freedom and for the liberation of Black people! Stiff resistance is a human right. Like Malcolm we declare that we will have our human rights “by any means necessary”.
Download a copy of the statement here
April 13, 2016