Just recently the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) doubled the bounty on Assata Shakur. This post is a short glimpse into who this woman is if you have never read her autobiography or listened to someone talk about her. How she was treated, tried, and rail roaded in the United States of America's criminal justice system (which is an oxy moron) is a prime example of what happened to so many African American activists who dared to step out of line and challenge the system of government here in the US, which is now a system of corporations. But, don't take my word for it, listen to her as she spoke on Democracy now more than ten years ago.And look up COINtelpro. Watch this short documentary where she talks about her case and what Cuba is like, what leaving her family has been like. Check out what her lawyer and activist Angela Davis had to say about her.
And support Dignidad Rebelde for making art which pays beautiful homage to her.
The point is though, why is the FBI now putting her on the most wanted list? What has their involvement historically in cases involving political activists of color here in the US? Why are there more people imprisoned in this country than in any other country in the world? And why are people imprisoned because of their beliefs? To the FBI and any other US government agency that threatens her life, "Hands Off Assata!"
I read her autobiography as a teen and was literally baffled by all this woman had been through. It saddens me to know how many other like her are still in prison now from the Black Panthers, Black Liberation Army, Puerto Rican activists, anti war activists. But there is something we can do, we can learn about these people who risked their lives (many paid with their lives), and we can tell their stories through art. Artists have power!