Hands Off Assata!
The Jericho Movement's Statement On Assata Shakur
HE JERICHO AMNESTY MOVEMENT DEMANDS:
HANDS OFF ASSATA SHAKUR, HANDS ON BUSH AND GONZALES!
The Jericho Amnesty Movement to Free U.S. Political Prisoners is outraged by the rising attacks on human rights and political activists in the United States. We deplore the growing assault on first amendment rights led and encouraged by United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
These abuses range from raising the bounty for the capture of Assata Shakur and labeling her “a domestic terrorist” to increasing funding for the U.S. Interest Section in Havana “to disseminate the names of fugitives … Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur) and William Morales … as well as provide any rewards for their capture,” pandering to the Fraternal Order of Police by blocking mandatory release of political prisoners, instituting grand jury fishing expeditions under the guise of reviewing old cases, White House and Defense Department warnings that the media “watch what you say,” to the prosecution of people's lawyers Chokwe Lumumba and Lynn Stewart.
Placing Assata Shakur on the domestic terrorist list further confirms the suspicions of the Black Liberation movement and human rights activists about George Bush’s “war on terrorism.” The Patriot Act and the “war on terrorism” are only a way for the U.S right-wing to eliminate political enemies and crush dissent. They are trying to legalize modern-day COINTELPRO abuses, the FBI’s 1960s illegal covert campaign to disrupt the Black Freedom Movement and that of other oppressed peoples.
The United States has never sought reconciliation with the targets of COINTELPRO. The pursuit of Assata Shakur promotes more conflict rather than an alternative dispute mechanism. It continues to criminalize the Black Liberation movement and its members. Moreover, it encourages global conflict and the mercenary invasion of a sovereign nation, the Republic of Cuba.
We oppose the pursuit of Sister Assata Shakur. We demand that the United States government acknowledge its political prisoners, its human rights abuses, and grant amnesty to Assata Shakur, William Morales, and all U.S. political prisoners and exiles.
WRITE, CALL, FAX to DEMAND:
1. The end of the pursuit of Assata Shakur, immediate removal of her name from the domestic terrorist list, and cancellation of the bounty on her head.
2. The cessation of attacks on the sovereign nation of Cuba and freedom for the Cuban 5.
3. The decriminalization of the Black Liberation movement, given the political nature of the conflict of the 1960s and ’70s and the abuses of COINTELPRO.
4. That Congress impanel an independent Truth Commission as an alternative dispute mechanism, to finish the mission of the Church Committee and of the cases of political prisoners and exiles, especially COINTELPRO survivors.
5. That the United States Congress implement remedies and restitution for the communities, organizations and individuals who were targeted and whose human rights were violated by COINTELPRO.
6. The repeal of the Patriot Act.
George W. Bush, President
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
U.S. Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Richard Codey, Acting Governor
State of New Jersey
P.O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
Melvin L. Watt, Chairman
U.S. Congressional Black Caucus
2236 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3312
P.O. Box 1272 New York, NY
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Jericho Movement • P.O. Box 1272 • New York, NY 10013