Category Archives: Writings

Proposal for a U.S. Truth & Reconciliation Commission to Gain Redress and the Unconditional Release of U.S. Held Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War


COINTELPROThis paper is a response to questions and concerns regarding the 2010 “Discussion Paper” of the application of a Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal that addresses the conflict between the civil rights/black liberation struggle against the U.S. COINTELPRO low intensity warfare.

There are some among our ranks who have raised some legitimate and novel questions and concerns as to why I have chosen to espouse the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. I do this to shed light on, and to gain relief for, our political prisoners and allies of the black liberation movement. Below, I will endeavor to address some of the questions and concerns.

1. The people in South Africa had/have serious problems with the TRC put together by the ANC.

2. The people in South Africa believe that the national leaders sold them out by allowing their names to be used as the ones that were heading up the commission.

3. The people in South Africa believe that the illegal regime used the process to absolve the state apparatus of its complicity in crimes against humanity and to circumvent judicial review under the International Court in The Hague.

4. The people in South Africa believe that the Africans/Blacks would be, and were the only, ones telling the truth.

It’s important to acknowledge and understand that activists in our movement, who have made an effort to build support for political prisoners and prisoners of war in the U.S., have utilized and exhausted all available avenues that were open to them to gain relief for our freedom fighters.

We should understand that a process that gains relief for our freedom fighters should naturally contain the memorializing of our rich history of our contemporary resistance to the repressor’s racism, economic apartheid, etc. This history is important for the present generation of activists who seem to have no notion of the countless and enormous sacrifices that were made to pave the way for their present condition.

We must address the prevailing amnesia, and we must be successful in our earnest endeavor in the development of a mass base that through its will and organizational accomplishments, usher in a victory that accepts the existence of New African Freedom Fighters.

The false equating of our freedom fighters, political prisoners, and prisoners of war to so-called terrorists must be vehemently combated, for we are not terrorists! The government has won the battle of molding and shaping the narrative that those of us who dare to resist oppression, without passing go, are terrorists. Terrorism is just another method of resistance, which should not as it exists today include New African Freedom Fighters and our armed resistance to oppression here in the U.S.. It’s important to understand the effect the oppressors’ propaganda has had on the normal activist’s willingness to become engaged.

The word terrorist, unlike communist and fascist, is being abused by the oppressors as it disguises reality and impoverishes language and makes a banality out of the discussion of war, revolution, conflict, and politics. As Christopher Hitchens once said, “It’s the perfect instrument for the cheapening of public opinion and for the intimidation of dissent.”

A process that is developed on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and/or the tribunals, has been the model used around the world. It allows for open discussion on the issue of resistance versus the state; it allows for a definition of terrorism that does not criminalize legitimate forms of resistance against oppression. It equally provides an avenue for healing and rebuilding, or at the very least, it provides a starting point post-conflict.

South Africa has no monopoly on the TRC process. The process has been accepted as a resolution process around the world. Furthermore, the TRC process is in fact an incomplete recording of the conflicts to which it has hitherto been applied.

It’s undeniable that our objective condition has more in common with the South African condition than most others. It’s important that our “think tanks” truly do an objective study of the TRC application process to be more precise as to its application to our struggle and situation. In terms of the special nature of our conflict, the Ireland application of a TRC and the Chilean application of a TRC combined could be transformed into a TRC that exactly fits our needs, but even then it will still not be a perfect fit.

A TRC process could not vet the New African/Black civil rights conflict, and our engagement must not presume that such a process will resolve 400 year odd years of conflict, or totally memorialize the aspect of armed resistance missing in the present Black history.

There is no question that to ignore the victimization of the vast majority of our people would be a recipe for the escalation of enmity between the races, and especially with the rise of the tea party in 2009 with its racist motto “we want our country back,” and its racist anti-Obama agenda.

The President of Chile in 1990 allowed for the creation of a national commission that was based on the principle of the TRC model. The process in Chile was politically fashioned to limit the inquiries into only those individuals who had disappeared. The President of Chile steadfastly resisted the disclosure of the names and ranks of the perpetrators who had committed countless human rights abuses. In Brazil, the TRC included no criminal charges against the military junta but it eventually provided the path for freedom for a female guerilla that became president of the country.

It is important that our researchers not limit our method of the application of the specific process, and rather we should become innovators in creating a process in substitution that addresses our own reality.

Our history during the Civil Rights/Black liberation Movement for Black people that was waged against the backdrop of the low intensity warfare director by J. Edgar Hoover’s counterintelligence program must be memorialized through a process.

The moral difficulty in pursuit of justice will be task driven, to the transition from domestic legal tactics to international application of justice based on the principles of international legal standards. The essence of justice is the universal principles applied nationally and internationally.

Certain applications of the TRC have granted blanket amnesty in all circumstances to the state forces, civilians, and combatants to ensure peace throughout the country.

Yet, other applications of the TRC have prosecuted violators of human rights abuses, and those who took up arms and opposed the perpetrators of said abuses. Some commissions conducted investigations and applied amnesty on a case-by-case basis. Some of the findings of the commission were even revealed to the public and even more hearings were conducted in public forums. Some countries have even provided for the victims and the families of human rights abuses.

Many governments and leaders of the international body claim to have helped to bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa after many, many years of neglect and supporting the atrocious behavior of the illegal regime. However, their failure to support resolution after resolution in the UN and other international institutions of persuasion were based in large part on those governments and leaders’ unique relationship with the U.S.. Needless to say, many lives were lost while the world staunchly supported that illegal regime.

The U.S. after many, many years of contradictions did engage with the international negotiations to end the racist regime in South Africa and institute a process to address the bitterness left from decades of internal conflict.

In South Africa the United States accepted and encouraged the TRC as a process for internal conflict resolution. In the United States, this government should also see the justification and applications of the same type of process to address the years of Jim Crow segregation and the apartheid era here in America as essential to ending the conflict in a peaceful manner.


To have a national and international body. To conduct an equitable and unbiased investigation into the infractions and violations of the U.S. Constitution and U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights perpetrated by official organs of the U.S. Government under COINTELPRO (in regards to what is often referred to as “low intensity warfare,”) and to take the imperative steps to formulate and conduct official hearings and investigations under the auspices of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). A model similar in structure only to the TRC established in the Post-Apartheid South Africa era which applied the modern international standards “explicit means” of resolving international conflict(s).

(A) The status of those who have been identified by popular opinion as political prisoners and prisoners of war, imprisoned on U.S. Territory, in the aftermath of the civil rights/Black liberation struggle; and, as it pertains to the granting of amnesty and their unconditional release: And,

(B) Whether or not the liberation struggle was a legitimate revolutionary movement in accordance with and defined by the U.N. General Assembly Resolution #3103 and ratified on December 12th, 1973 and protocols 1 and 2. Additionally, if “our” political prisoners and prisoners of war satisfies the standards of the Norgaard Principles.


1. To develop a process to conduct official hearings and investigations under a commission with a twofold purpose:

(A) To demand the establishment of the TRC under authority of the U.S. Congress, and

(B) To garner the endorsement and active support of various NGOs along with the support of the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council Member Nations. To apply international pressure to try and persuade the U.S. Government to take an active role in a TRC established under the authority and supervision of The Office of the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights or an agreed alternative.

2. Establish an exploratory committee from amongst restorative justice practitioners.

3. Solicit the assistance from those South Africans who participated in the Truth and
Reconciliation process that was conducted in their country, and the esteemed black and white advocates from North America’s struggle.

4. Request assistance from the South Africans who participated in the TRC process in their country to help develop a process and a step-by-step strategy for applying the TRC process to address crimes against humanity that was committed by the U.S. government against people of African descent who were forcefully abducted from the land of their birth. In addition to the matter of amnesty and the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of war being held in the U.S. prison system as a consequence of their political activities in which they engaged as a direct response to the acts and policies of the U.S. government which they viewed as crimes against humanity and peoples.

5. Appeal to and solicit the assistance at the local, national, and international levels of Black/New African politicians, in addition to high profile media, artists, and others of influence. To present and explain the narrative(s), outlining the process demanding freedom for our political prisoners and prisoners of war, as well establish an accurate record of “our history” of resistance and sacrifices.

6. Organize a viable grassroots public-awareness campaign in order to promote and explain the idea(s) for the need of a TRC which shall maintain and keep the focus of the issue at hand and others of importance at all times on the front burner. The grass root campaign should be that of a collective broad-base of networks, comprised of the various political prisoners and prisoners of war support committees, progressive experts, local, national, and international organizations and their affiliates.

It is important to build a base amongst its political prisoners (P.P.) and prisoner of war (P.O.W.s) support groups. Our challenge is to distinguish between a strategy pursued by most political prisoner-P.O.W. support and defense committees to achieve amnesty through a COINTELPRO hearing and the development of the Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal confronting the U.S. government’s low intensity warfare against the Civil Rights/black liberation Movement.

The strategic view in my opinion would be that a COINTELPRO hearing will assist in creating the political climate in which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could be established with the focus to resolve past atrocities by giving voice to the forgotten survivors, combatants, and allies on toward to a peaceful conflict resolution by a means of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

The pursuit of COINTELPRO hearings, as to the disclosure justification process, has a much longer activist history. In some cases legally, and to a smaller degree politically, it is understandable why veterans of human rights forces feel mistakenly that the COINTELPRO and TRC are interchangeable. My argument is that they’re interrelated, but not interchangeable.

It is my position that the COINTELPRO commission format is not a process in it of itself that requires both conflicting parties to be revealed, rather our movement simply presents to the public. Hopefully with the process of the Freedom of Information Act, political information and testimony retrieved from the Freedom of Information Act process will pertain to the abuse by the state against the targeted group with no political agreement or incentive for the abuser to be forthcoming.

The Truth and Reconciliation Administrator of the tribunal on the U.S. government’s low intensity warfare waged on the Black liberation/Civil Rights Movement, including the COINTELPRO era, should be able to do the following:

(A) Provide the retention of past history of political and legal advocacy for human rights on a national and international standard of law.

(B) Possess the ability to articulate the distinguishing concepts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission unique to the United States and the African population.

(C) Possess familiarity with various think tanks and intellectual associations within higher education historian societies that can help build the narrative for the alternative dispute process such as the TRC in the United States.

(D) Believe in the benefit of the TRC’s ability to achieve a sufficient documentation of human rights abuses during the period identified as the civil rights/black liberation/COINTELPRO era.

(E) Possesses proven ability to build administrative predictability in staff and operational infrastructure, providing a process that builds on various resources and skill sets that already exist.

(F) Possesses the ability to navigate among friendly and adversarial media outlets, in addition to being comfortable with information technology and social networking.

(G) Direct the development of a “New African” policy initiative lobby that helps to create the narrative and political opportunity that generates within the electoral process the policy that envisions the TRC demand for a COINTELPRO hearing that will assist in creating the political climate in which the Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal or Commission could be established with focus on a peaceful conflict resolution.

It is true that post-9/11, the reemergence of the same tactics disclosed through the Church Committee of COINTELPRO (in the early 70s of COINTELPRO) demonstrated that in many cases some of the same political prisoners, prisoners of war, and anti imperialists in U.S. prison again remain targeted as enemies of the state based on the conflict in the past which applied low intensity warfare to prevent the rise of a “Black ‘Messiah’” as directed by then director of the F.B.I. J.E. Hoover. This highlights the distinction between disclosure and resolution as it distinguishes the role of COINTELPRO hearings from the TRC hearings.

In the 1970s, we founded and directed the national task force for COINTELPRO litigation and research to increase public awareness of the F.B.I. counterintelligence program within the infected organization of the New African movement at a time when few were informed of its existential tactics, strategy, and effects.

It is one thing to make the point that many organizations and individuals of the black liberation era are still oppressed in what is advertised in the world as “the most free society.” Yet it is much more difficult to lay out the continuous cause of that oppression and the way in which it is perpetuated while identifying a process that addresses the direction that ends in the desired result. This desired result would be an alternative dispute process that is empowered to grant conditional amnesty, in addition to being charged with the duty of uncovering the truth about certain historical events.

In this respect our objective can adopt from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee (SATRC) model as to the infrastructure by developing two parallel objectives:

(A) Human Rights Violation Committee: These would be hearings in which survivors tell their “narratives” and “experiences.”

(B) Amnesty Committee: These would be hearings in where the accused (both from the state and the movement) come forward in the hopes of being granted amnesty and prove that their deeds were both politically motivated and proportional.

The controlling rule is that transparency will play a major role that will allow all parties to see the process and have their opportunity to bring forth their perspective and experiences. This process will allow for the feel of legitimacy while following the above (A&B) objectives. In this era of social media, there exists the ability to give a broad segment of the generations of the civil rights/black liberation era the capability to interact with and distinguish the U.S. TRC process from the 38 other TRCs held around the world. The SATRC were very vested in the public knowledge of their process and testimony. Although the weakness of the SATRC, after 17 years and about 90 books on the subject, is that the written report is still not available to the mass of South Africans, Azania. It has been the understanding that the documents only cost about $300 and the public record is controlled by the Justice Department and is still being withheld. This pitfall must not be allowed to happen in our process.

On the contrary, we want an informed public debate to advance the discourse in both reports (A&B) and their application of transitional justice, a comparatively new invented tradition of the twentieth century devices as a way to cope with the past and present internal conflict in the systematic violation of human rights.

A truth commission is a new class of international law that creates a new paradigm in the field of transitional justice in that it is designed as an alternative to trial with the rule of engagement based on negotiations between a state’s internal conflicting parties, in some cases applying existing international instruments, in other cases not so much.

The era of the hearing to be addressed that is manageable is a strategy for the broadest of support for several reasons. The testimony of acts in question remain in the realm of justice denied in the collective consciousness of our people. It also encompasses transition in tactical use by the state as well as the tactic for the Commission, Human Rights Violation Committee, as well as the Amnesty Committee. Finally, the documentation of the process is focused enough to warn conflicting parties of similar signs in the future to circumvent past oppressive behavior.

A truth commission in the United States that would cover 1950-1995 will cover 45 years. Between the overlapping timeline would be the optimal targeting periods of the Committee of UnAmerican Activity, the J.E. Hoover COINTELPRO, and the Church Committee findings.

The most important distinction between the SATRC and the U.S. government hearings is that there was no identifiable transition period that signaled the end of the era reflected by the above strategy disclosure in the South Africa hearings. The phase began in 1960 for the SATRC and terminated in 1995.

There is no way that our desired targeted period could encompass the breadth of the human rights violations and crimes against humanity by the United States. It is important however that whatever period we cover encompasses the period of the Civil Rights and Black liberation Movement period. Why? Because the survivors and participants of that generation who were activists (as as well as the perpetrators of the states) are available to provide the history as such to establish the patterns of the abuses and the rationale for their method of resistance that need be memorialized to saying nothing of the need to provide amnesty for the political prisoners and prisoners of war who still remain imprisoned after all these years.

The limitation of the present law in realizing a need for providing a process for conflict resolution only helps to prolong the human rights violations of charged freedom fighters in contrast to post-9/11 laws, be they international law or domestic law, have been manipulated in order to render a whole class of prisoners without an identifiable legal process that applies even to the minimum protection of the U.S. Constitution that considers it a right to at least provide the accused a process. So it’s clear that the state will alter laws and process to address different stages of conflict.

Let’s consider the political trial during the period between 1960-1996. The accused of our movement while fighting for their freedom endeavor used the procedures of their trial to memorialize, dramatize, and document the crimes against our people’s humanity. This is a Herculean dexterous task of great sacrifice of ones freedom, but essential to establishing motive for our history and the adherence to international standard.

The reality is in almost all of our political trials. The trial process in the U.S. does not further by design the objective for transitional justice. The best legal practitioners, who remain political naturals in applying the law by necessity use tactics that undermine the intent of the accused political defendant and generally the result is a denial of justice for all political prisoners.

The political prisoners who have been captured and accused, while in general accept being apart of the movement, therefore they accept the responsibility to have a political trial even though it is generally against their attorney’s advice. The process of the trial by its nature means they carry the responsibility of all the charged acts of the political period and whether the prisoners have knowledge or not in this setting the truth suffers and a process for transitional justice is abandoned or worse yet, not realized because in the United States there is no process for political reconsideration resolution. Our aim should be to evolve the process. The state’s propaganda furthers their narrative in characterizing the movement and accused so as to justify the state abuse of power and violation of human rights similar to patterns that existed and used by the “third forces” revealed during the South African Truth and Reconciliation Hearings. In this setting, there are more prisoners of political character and motive who are in prison. This apparatus that has served as the primary tool of the U.S. justice and prison system function in a parallel axis to smother any acknowledgment that exists of internal conflict that require an alternative dispute mechanism not only for relief for our prisoners but healing of the spiritual and physical wounds the survivor of the conflict has endured.

In a so-called free society and great democracy, the battle between truth and justice is ambiguous. The use of the long unjustified and selective sentencing and denial of patrol create a stage that they hope will further the nation’s collective amnesia that will manifest a class of “forgotten” disappeared prisoners and survivors.

That is why it is essential that the freeing of political prisoners and P.O.W.s would be the crucial result of the TRC Amnesty Committee process. In the South African TRC Amnesty Committee Hearings (HRVC) 854 political prisoners were freed through the process, keeping in mind the period of review was between 1960-1992-(4), clearly a period that addresses our needs.

Culture is Political in the Throngs of Oppression

From 1957-1997, the acts of horror carried out against the various groups and individuals of our resistance became the themes of songs, music, and dance, proving crucial to the political mobilization and awareness of the status of resistance and the department of repression.

Culture served the masses of South Africa to become observers of the non-fictional text, highlighting so many survivors with their tales of suffering that they carried alone with the fear that they and their burden may be forgotten. In turn, it was the culture’s tradition to make use of call and response. The natural response and expression that kept the younger generation engaged in the outcome of both the Human Rights Violation Committee (HRVC) and the Amnesty Committee Hearings (ACH). To much of the world, the Truth and Reconciliation Hearing became the theater of anguish of the apartheid system. In the truest sense of the term, drama was a very important tool in the South African success of the TRC.

The task here in the United States as we prepare to pursue a process that distinguishes our situation juxtaposed to South Africa’s, is that our present younger generation is still suffering paramount abuse and trans-generational trauma based on race and class while lacking engagement and dare we say suffers political amnesia while being emotionally and spiritually disconnected. We demand a political process that heals the pain or at least acknowledges the psychological and emotional damage done to past generations that fought a U.S. style of apartheid system which now demands some aspect of resolution and expressing of the specific details of how the abuse was carried out so as to be warned of such tactics for the safety of their future. There can be no parallel to traumatic events that characterize our resistance to oppression and the terror our freedom fighters repelled many times with nothing but the sound of James Brown telling us “To get up and get down”-”Say it loud I’m black and I’m proud.”

There is no other way for us to realize the outline objectives unless we do not gravitate squarely in the gut of this political process with the participation of our hip hop, reggae, and neo-soul artists by creating a collective narrative for the healing process. What can encourage this process is by having respected artists in the grassroots movement writing screenplays, promoting the saga from the history of our resistance. Examples of this include HBO’s SATRC film “Red Dust,” Lucky Dube of South Africa, Bob Marley inspired our support for the nation of Zimbabwe, and Fela Kuti fought for the freedom of Africa. The so-called generational gap and the period of resistance, this amnesia can be closed by the interconnectedness with all of our artists. If the goal is to guide their motivation, hip hop and reggae can influence the upswing of the younger generation. In the Middle East, it is the songs, the beats, the lyrics that, in absent of a leader, articulated the demands and hopes of those who are in search of a better future. We must acknowledge our artists’ role in our resistance and its healing in our political process. The call to go forward should be heard in the lyrics of our hip hop, reggae, and neo-soul artists, specifically for the freedom fighters, political prisoners and prisoners of war, and the tales of resistance and struggle in ire sounds.

This is most important when we see the similarities to the SATRC model in that public hearings would be key to conflict resolution. The past crisis is also about the optic of the theater of conflict where special reports may not read deep into the pain and suffering lacking expression. Even in the post-TRC South Africa, the analysis commission is somewhat cynical of accomplishing its goal. Many survivors know that the climate of their suffering and resistance and sacrifices are memorialized for future generations by their artists.

gilscott-heronHere in the United States our civil rights/national liberation movement artists are similar to the South African artists of all genres. They too were motivating for our journey into the abyss. To resist, when overpowered, we endured in the face of hopelessness, leading to our older generation and younger generation staying united in spirit because the beat of the drums, the lyrics of our poets, the rhythm of Motown, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, and Gil Scott Heron. It was Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday to Ya” that pushed for the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It was Nina Simone who insisted that we internalized the pain of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. She encouraged us to be strong, and told us to be “Gifted” in her song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black.” As did Chuck D and Public Enemy when they reintroduced Malcolm X to the “X” Generation with “Fight the Power.”

Gil Scott Heron told us that the truth of our revolution “Would not be televised.” Gil Scott connected the struggle to the youth with the anthem “What’s the Word” from the song “Johannesburg.” This document does not provide a clear study of the role of our musical artists, poets, and actors in our resistance. Our artists and the hip hop/reggae movement are the tip of the spear that reminds the people of their past and directs them towards the future.

tupacTupac Shakur, in his song “White Man’z World,” pushed for the release of political prisoners and to bring exiles (like Michael Cetewayo Tabor and Donald Cox) a fair hearing. Tupac, having been raised in the midst of the liberation movement and its culture, was heavily impacted by it and despite the struggles he encountered, he not only embodied the likes of Chuck D, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, and Gil Scott Heron, he reflected for the next generation why such crucial matters like education and equality should always be striven for implacably when he said in “Words of Wisdom:”

“So get up, it’s time to start nation buildin’/
I’m fed up, we gotta start teaching children/
That they can be all that they want to be/
There’s much more to life than just poverty”

Our effort to put forward a TRC in America that will guide our development for a meaningful structure in order to accomplish our objective will have to be driven with the desire for that political process.

The realization of a TRC for our specific purpose should not be solely an intellectual exercise and forum. Our above stated aim should be to stimulate information about specific events, public debates, and advance the discourse on restorative justice, transitional justice, and alternative dispute mechanisms that will help formulate national policy that should be sponsored by our elected representatives.

While there will be a continual critiquing of the ultimate benefit of the SATRC model, many doubters will prudently alert our movement as to its pitfalls. It should be noted that even many of the SATRC commissioners stress the establishment of their TRC was particular to South Africa’s unique needs. There has been at least 16 TRC around the world prior to embarking on the SATRC model. The commission has admitted that their process was not as organized as the results might indicate as there was no precedent for their specific need. Our North American Truth and Reconciliation Commission will have 38 TRCs from around the world to draw from, however we too will be challenged in respect to expressing the inefficiencies of the courts and civil prosecutions in regards to addressing the disclosure of human rights violations.

The task at hand is creating an atmosphere with a broad enough demand focusing on the civil right/black liberation era which indicates a centric demand while giving respect to both segments of the movement’s sacrifice for our people and abuse suffered by our people. This process should primarily be designed on a negotiated agreement.

Our interest and preference is for a structure similar to the SATRC model because of the result of the amnesty committee that freed 849 freedom fighters. The freeing of political prisoners and prisoners of war of the black liberation movement indicates success. There are also unresolved disappearances of many blacks/non Africans carried out during the civil right era including hangings and terror that has yet to even be discussed. The process that opens the flood gates of the level of human rights violations as apart of the testimony to human rights violations will go a long way in the healing process.

The Move House burning after the bomb was dropped on the roof.

The Move House burning after the bomb was dropped on the roof.

As in South Africa, the exposing of the special squads’ such as the ‘Crowbar’ and ‘Third Force’ police counter insurgent units that operated during the 70s, 80s, and 90s will help set the example in how we sharpen the COINTELPRO disclosure, similar to the role the Goldstone Commission on Public Violence and Intimidation did. The bombing of MOVE in Philadelphia is prime for truth resolution and an answer for why all the children (sans Birdie Africa) had to die.

As so many New Africans of the so-called greatest generation are about to make their transformation, our people owe them their true place in history.

There is a new social, economic, and even political agenda in the so-called “black/New African Nations” progressive social struggle.

The past social struggle is still relevant, but part of today’s progressive social political struggle should be the development of the TRC in order to truly define the political social progression from the past to the present progressive political social agenda which will help build a mass organization to accomplish our objective.

We have waged various levels of political social struggles for progress that included self defense in a highly restrictive and racist environment, being surrounded daily by hostile forces while being outnumbered, being deficient materially, and engaged through low intensity warfare with our priorities being manipulated and disorganized. It is very possible that the North American Truth and Reconciliation Commission process will help define how to tactically and strategically overcome such odds in order to achieve for our future generations the concrete goals and objectives we desire.

The general dependence of our movement on international instruments for recognition in a post-9/11 world is an exercise in wishful thinking.

The Obama era has not seen the U.N. and N.G.O. instruments operate constructively. The process of restorative justice and alternative dispute mechanisms are solutions that are an internally generated apparatus for internal conflict and post-conflict. This new language and structure are becoming part of a resolution tool and culture of the international human rights circle.

There are standouts that will help to bring attention and give our North American Truth and Reconciliation Commission the observation and approval to those inside the international culture. We will have to become self-reliant and creative in building a social movement that will create the conditions we seek. An instructive example is Judge Goldstone, who during the South African Pre-Resolution, was a standout that set the precedent in exposing the abuse of power of the racist illegal South African government’s legal system. Goldstone’s report was the precursor to the implementation of the SATRC. It is important that the foundation of the North American Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s conceptualization of philosophy, theory, ideology, and policy drives the concrete objective, principle, values, strategy, and tactics.

The perpetrator will do all to undermine the process. The broader the base demand for this process that will give both sides an incentive to participate in the process the closer we will be in accomplishing our goal and objective.

This is the age of social media where the tragic dramas presented in testimony to a broad base of the American public will hopefully inform and expose the present generation and future generations to lessons this country need not repeat.

“A revolutionary isn’t born out of something ‘good’” but of “wretchedness and bitterness.” Rigoberta Menchu noted. “Out of suffering comes the strongest of soul” Khalil Gibran once said, and with that, may I remind you that history will judge us by our struggle.

Aim High and Go All Out,
Stiff Resistance,

Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Statement for Crew Love V: Behind Enemy Lines (April 2009)

mumiaOur Brother Mumia Abu-Jamal, one of the most notable freedom fighters our struggle has produced, has lost his most important legal battle in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mumia, with the shear strength of character, has mobilized one of the strongest International campaigns in 40 years.  He has not failed to endear himself to dare I say millions of people nationally and internationally.

Its important to realize that the effort to save him from execution was victorious – a victory that should not be taken lightly.  His work to revisit the death penalty has impacted the death penalty in many states to abolish it.

Now what?  What about all the many political prisoners who had no support, who’ve been in prison in the United States for some more than 40 years?  Great minds, great humans, great service to their people with hearts full of courage and humanity.

What are we going to do in an Obama era to finally get some respect and liberty for the many political prisoners and exiles who fell to make this period possible?

Among other tactics, its time for the mass base of Black people to develop a Legislative Lobby on the Local, State and National Legislative body to confront representatives of our community to formulate a process to identify and set into motion the freeing of our political prisoners.

It is said in the Bible, in the Book of Leviticus, that every 50 years prisoners should be freed and all debts forgiven.  Clearly, these are not biblical times, but these are times where a new generation (Hip Hop Generation) has invested in electoral politics.  Sure we can ask you all to use the power that comes with electing folks to now finally, like the Puerto Ricans, Arabs, Jews, and Cubans, mobilize in this period to advance a process to pursue objective standards for freeing captives as the result of political repression.

This process will take hard work on the political, legal and community front, and don’t forget money.  Fortunately, we have various examples in the International theater to draw upon for objective standards of law as precedents to guide us with the application and principles required to achieve our goal.

The Truth and Reconciliation of the COINTELPRO war against the Black Liberation Movement is the background and process to free our political prisoners.

Aim High and Go All Out.

Stiff Resistance,
Dr. Mutulu Shakur

The New African Policy Initiative Lobby Proposal: Urgent Actions & Foreign Policy Objectives to Prevent Africom from Becoming a 21st Century Imperialist Tactic During the Tenure of President Barack Obama (January 2009)

The New African Policy Initiative Lobby Proposal: A Working Paper for Urgent Actions and Foreign Policy Objectives to Prevent Africom from Becoming a 21st Century Imperialist Tactic During the Tenure of U.S. President Barack Obama

by Dr. Mutulu Shakur – 1/30/2009

Africom-out-of-AfricaThe establishment of Africom command by the Bush Administration has Imperialist objective which has been openly rejected by most African State can not be allowed to evolve under the Obama administration.

The urgency for our activist group to be proactive cannot be overstated. Particularly in this period of overlapping transitional stage into the Barack Obama Administration.

A racist vindictive retaliatory agenda is being waged in the congressional House of Representatives and in the Senate by the Republican Party (Although not exclusively), To manipulate and influence intervention and economic military strategy to re-determine various outcome of states of African Nations under Africom’s mission.

Congressmen from Districts with little to no Black/New African constituency have been placed in the National Intelligence Assessment Committee with oversight subcommittee over covert operation in Africa as a part of Africom’s mission.

Their objective reflected by these questions is a white backlash, by developing justification for covert operation internationally so as to interject into the internal affairs of African states setting the stage for US imperialism of the 21st century Africa during the Obama presidency, testing, juxtaposing Obama United States interest irrespective of the African crisis.

It goes without saying that African leadership leaves a lot to be desired. That does not exonerate us from our obligation to distinguish US foreign policy under Barack Obama Era. The world economic forum in Desvo Switzerland was telling, requiring a critical analysis of the African leadership on the world stage. What was also revealing is that all of the western nations have a Zimbabwe fetish – why? Particularly in light of the many challenges and internal conflicts that African states experience trying to fit the western democracy, Zimbabwe represents a crucial question as to rectifying for years of racial apartheid on the key issue of land distribution. A commitment made by the United States and Britain as a imperative element for peaceful transition that has as a promise after all these years since 1980 yet to be fulfilled.

Now to confront a policy initiative in light of the existing background in not only unique to Zimbabwe in the Horn of Africa. The lesson presented in the government of South African model titled, “The Black Economic Development Point System” while it address some of the principle in question at the business level post liberation expectation the land distribution is a mess.

The New African Policy initiative lobby (NAPIL) must resolve to change policy issue of America and it allies who drag their feet, prolonging the post-apartheid solution designed to evolve the quality of life after years of human rights violations. The failure has made the question of land ownership in southern Africa an issue for the black electorate and human right advocates. The many issues that should trigger our moral obligations such as human rights, rape of women, disaster relief, infrastructure development, perpetual war, agricultural underdevelopment all of the above that can undermine the present potential in Africa’s renaissance. Surely while the world is suffering from an economic meltdown, opportunities are created for underdeveloped nations to be apart of the global restructuring on Africa. We must not relinquish our responsibility to monitor and check for any hidden agenda in the United States by racist operative working in the United States house of representative and senate to undermine its possibility. The responsibilities of monitoring the US policies responding to that are not only particular to the African continent but the African Diaspora worldwide is a daunting task. The history of the Atlantic slave trade and western imperialism and colonialism support a prevailing thinking that still exist today; that the lives and conditions of Africans on the continent and of the Diaspora are not as valuable as western Europeans and should not expect human dignity with 33 million Africans living outside of Africa along with the Diaspora.

It’s past time for a change in the paradigm.

Operational Objective N.A.P.I.L. is the development of activist committees through the process of critical thinking, establishing the research preparation, exposure and monitoring focus groups to prevent congressional operatives from moving an agenda on Africom without our input, that conflict with our develop interest.

With 53 nations on the continent even if Sudan and Somalia are apart of the Arab League Africans and the Black Electorate have to take some responsibility. The plan in development to build a African standby force to create a permanent peacekeeping force for Africa which could be deployed on emergency basis will act as a stabilizer in time of conflict by the African Union is the indicator that Africa is moving in the right direction and opens the door for foreign inclusion all have been including South America particularly Brazil. The NAPIL must see how strong policy push in the legislature can hold this Pan African priority.

The Congressional Black Caucus as an apparatus must be requested to provide to our researcher the government policy of Africom for review. It should also be recommended that the CBC call for public review of any policy and allows for transparent interaction and discussion where recommendations of policy of African standby force development is enhanced, paralleling Africom’s intention and that works out and is consistent with the African Union Objective.

The establishment of an Africom open policy focus group must make contact with the various African nation states and sub groups operating on the continent as well as all the NGO relief groups where we formulate a foreign affair agenda to Africom. We must not let an justification or debate on any economic sanctions or military intervention on war crimes until national or international standard of what qualified as war crime which is not unilateral and the addition of CBC representative of said advocacy in the house and gain some voice for debate in the senate were there exist no Black representative of our views on policy position that reject intervention.

Our policy research group should obtain from the state department under the Obama administration their policy on African states in general and Africom mission in particular.

The African union delegation at the united nation can provide some understanding of Africom mission ambassador Susan Rice United State UN representative has a moral obligation for dialogue in light of her position during the Clinton administration that refuse to intervene in the Rwanda genocide. One example confounding many African Diplomats in Southern Africa is ambassador Susan Rice’s position taken on the Kenyan crisis power sharing with all the many lives lost by violence. Dr. Rice has encouraged through the American ambassador for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to reject the negotiations for power sharing so that the issue of Zimbabwe’s future would be referred to the United Nation’s Security Council. Where U.S., Britain and Canada all have veto power, as opposed to allowing the region to solve their issues through S.A.D.C.

Southern African Democratic Country. Knowing full well sanctions, the western nations first reaction in Zimbabwe, which will have a negative effect on the entire region. Telling, the unfortunate accident of Susan Tsvangirai the wife of organ Tsvangirai right after the agreement had been reached at the dismay of the west. Became an issue raised by the west to cause suspicion of foul play toward ZANUPF and President Robert Mugabe. While in fact the footprint of MI6 and the CIA is more evident. Only an international investigation will determine. In any event the misinformation by the West backfired and exposed the real intent of the West of intervention and it consolidate the agreement of the Zimbabwe people and their party NAPIL must make some sense of the right issue to make the African electorate in the united states more informed. The blame falls on our own lack of oversight and political use of our international obligation assets. We lack the power to apply pressure where and when Clinton was the “black president” and had no pressure to respond to black Pan African issues. The real “change we can believe in” is the change to impact on justice and human suffering everywhere but in particular in our home land similar to when the Jewish citizen impact on Israel.

South Africa’s land reform effort post 1994 election is still a ticking bomb. There has been only a 5% white owned land transferred to the Black majority, still leaving 80% of the land owned by whites.

A million people have been illegally evicted by land owners in rural south Africa since 1994 at a time of global food crisis, South Africa has become a net importer of food after decades of being a net exporter of food with the owner slowing production and reinvesting not in South Africa but in places like Australia.

The consequences of land reform failure is growing protest and violence, 10,000 rallies between 2005-2007 for lack of housing as well as xenophobia rallies of violence against Africans of region states in South Africa. If in June 2013, 100 years from the implementation of the “native land act” of 1913 where 87% of the land became the sole property of white after the then legal forces removal of the thousands of African Families and there is no solution critical of Robert Mugabe attempt to address the problem or not if he survives. He will become the hero of the Southern African region for at least trying to right the wrong of the land question. Are we willing to stand by for sanctions of South Africa for the failure of the West to live up to agreements to resolve the land question.

Malcolm X “ If you are not careful the news will have you hating people who are opposed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.

It should be a no-brainer that the CBC enlist the majority whip James Claybourn and Rep. Donald Payne, to appoint a freshman member for that matter any representative that is in line with the perspective of non military intervention in African and a basic search for a balanced allocation and distribution of US aid infrastructure development and other
resources to improve the quality of life that reflects our thinking political status and contribution in this country.

It should be our position that there exists no contradiction for our representative to have as priorities the economic domestic crisis in the US as well as the oversight for African foreign policy, in fact oversight for the Diaspora on the international agenda. In this new global reality it’s both political and economically prudent that there are other ethnic groups who represent these foreign agenda more than their domestic constituency.

During this meltdown the Israel lobby continues to assure millions of dollars a day goes to support the state of Israel. They see no space between the two nor should we with our political power comes responsibility.

The stated objective for Africom, “will coordinate all US military activity across Africa and is responsible for military relations with 53 African countries excluding Egypt.” I guess one wonders why? Upon critical review one understands there is no way central command which cover the Middle East, Central Asia that based in Florida is not monitored by Israel lobby in America, their congressional representative will not allow any decisions in subcommittees that are not in line with Israel interest. No sanctions military intervention, military training or economic aid in the middle east. No enemy of Israel real or perceived will be allowed to get a foothold to alter their design direction in the House of Representatives. My remarks are not intended to address Zionism rather a critical look at the proper use of electoral power that impacts on foreign policy. A strategy that we must now have to engage in as a mature political forces like the Cuban of Florida, and the Irish, “A change we can believe in” for real. There already existing skepticism about this mission in Africa folks in the house of Representative believe there is a hidden agenda to secure oil fight terrorist out flank China and to continue perpetual war in support of the military industrial complex who lobby for these misadventures. The continued use of Al-Qaeda as the bogieman cannot be the straw horse for intervention in Africa just because someone says Allah Akbar. That policy had Africom military operations moving for regions change in Somalia’s Islamic government, the government that had initially been responsible for halting piracy from 2005 to 2006. The end result was the emergence of not respected dysfunctional government, which resurrected the rise of piracy.

The international community has agreed that the dysfunctional government can’t allow piracy to exist off the coast of Aden, effecting the worldwide shipping and economy without military consequence.

Keeping in mind that same International maritime company took advantage of a government and people unpunished for what became the birth of piracy. The surge of piracy has been blamed on Somalian National Volunteer Coast Guard, one of the first pirate groups. It was formed by a group of fisherman who used small guns broken speed boats in an effort to protect their coast line by chasing away vessel they believed were illegally fishing and dumping waste in Somalia’s waters, killing and drying up fish and food supply a rag tag group of young men doing their patriotic duty. The appalling living conditions drive the desperate (rational or not) young Somali to risk their lives and freedom. In which 80% of the population is still living in hell with an ocean view. Similar scenario repeated in many places around the world for those of the Diaspora. Is this a condition of manipulation or design so as not to allow the Somali to realize an economic development possibility by the development of a thriving seaport of Adrian? The piracy issue in Somalia is a military issue because its in need of a realistic economic development plan with dignity.

It should be noted that Rep. Donald Payne was discouraged by the US State Department from going to Mogadishu during the intense period of the Mersek Alabama ship hijacking. In search for a African union and the new Somalian government involvement in the situation. Courageously Rep. Payne succeeds the protection and assurance of the African Union and a general of a African nation to proceed. It was reported that upon departure some form of rocket attacked representative Payne’s plane. This being a not too subtle reminder from the State Department for the CBC to stay out of the National Intelligence Assessment Committee backyard. If we recall it was the same attitude that had many of our people believe that Rep. Cynthia McKinney was not working in our best interest, similar that was attempted against Rep Maxine Waters and Randall Robinson intervening to prevent the assassinations of the then President of Haiti President Aristide. Dialogue with the CBC and general William Ward should be the oversight process to determine his understanding of his mission (who happens to be black) and impress upon him our concerns by what the 21st century strategic engagement under the Barack Obama era. That should be distinguished from the Bush administration. The 300-pound gorillas in the debate are these; Does the International criminal court in The Hague only indict African bad actors? Do we see a role for US military in Dafur, the Congo, Uganda, should military aid be a condition for humanitarian support.

Many of these questions and more should be must be debated factually in our Harlem great debate and all over the country in workshops that internationalize the new political involvement. A coalition of concern organizations who are task motivated for research preparation lobbying exposure and monitoring of Africom. This must be a fact driven process with mobilization with clear focus to accomplish political pressure.

Our overriding objective within the context of this historical political period is to not allow Africom to become an apparatus of 21st century US imperialism in Africa under leadership of President Barack Obama.

  1. It’s important that this task favor young people leadership (not exclusively).
  2. That they learn the lesson of Africa colonization and US imperialism so they know it when they see it. The study of Randall Robinson work is instructive as well as Dambisa Mayo’s book, Dead Aid.
  3. That critical analysis of the various competing political conflicts be reviewed.
  4. Young activists who participated in the Obama campaign and local election with candidate with a working understanding of civil involvement.
  5. Technical geek college students for investigative journalism development of position paper research of alternative press “The New African”.
  6. Hip Hop community activist are most internally aware of the geo-political theatre and generally have international contact perspective.
  7. The young promising elected official who won with the aid of activist young people in local districts should use Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, Rep. Donald Payne and Barbara Lee as mentor and research who in the Senate has our perspective.
  8. As our coalition matures and become predictable we should include other human rights coalitions.
  9. Complicated as the challenges represent in light of the uneven development of the emerging African Nation states NAPIL objective is to formulate an idea that encompasses the totality of the direction guide by principle and policy address a Pan African responsibility within the US legislature format, assisting Africa and the Diaspora into the 21st Century at the pace of the other continents. There are many very important developmental steps taken by a number of nations in Africa models for investments and inventions to improve the quality of life in Ghana, Botswana etc., which we should promote, and support.

Aim high and go all out!

Stiff resistance,
Dr. Mutulu Shakur

SOURCE: New African Magazine

On the Hip-Hop Summits Inside Prison Walls (March 2007)

To Whom It May Concern:

The justification of the Hip-Hop Summit took place in the context of the Cultural Diversity Class through the Educational Department in Coleman II Adult Continued Education (A.C.E.) program. The purpose of this event was to utilize Hip-Hop as a vehicle to discuss social issues and to educate the inmate population on the art form as well as to identify and analyze the challenges for individual development and rehabilitation within the prison setting.

The goal of documentation of the interaction and dialogue between outside and inside participation was to produce publication and audio-visual materials to be used to display the reflection of incarcerated inmates on these issues. Another goal was to service the academic and social development of the Hip-Hop generation. The major question that was posed during the Hip-Hop Summit was centered on the argument that Rap lyrics have played a role in the criminalization of Black and Latino youth, the promotion of crime, the increase of the United States prison population. Over the years certain media outlets and politicians have helped to create the perception that “Hip-Hop” equals crime.

Warden Carlyle Holder, the Chief Administrator responsible for three of the five institutions on the Coleman compound, must be commended for his innovative leadership, style of work, vision, and awareness of the impact of constructive programs on behavior and atmosphere in his prisons. As a result the prisons under his leadership have been distinguished from the mayhem that exists 200 yards away in Coleman (USP) I, under a different leadership and philosophy. A critical statistical review would bear out this comparison.

In Coleman II, the Hip-Hop Summit among other programs are realized because he is more than qualified to put forward a style of work and vision that induces varying concepts into the national debate. His initiative and insight to perceive the subtle differences between perception and reality of Hip-Hop’s effect on his population underline his intellect and astuteness and are a tribute to his stewardship. Just to raise that there may be a plausible alternative, explanation or constructive usage is what raises Warden Holder above his peers.

Allowing the documentation was important memorializing his efforts. This Warden is an asset, not a threat to the organizational dynamics of the B.O.P mission statement. The act of documentation of his program for all three of the institutions he oversees, speaks to his position on transparency.

The Hip-Hop Summit at Coleman II was in fact the second one held. The other was at another institution (The Hip-Hop Community has responded enthusiastically to the dialogue) but it was only one of the many creative Cultural and Religious Diversity programs initiated under his leadership that supported a vision of the role of educational and cultural programs was to establish institutional culture that encouraged self development, personal restraint and the maximizing of personal potential. The diminished cross cultural contradiction and violence that exist in Big Sandy is quite evidently absent from Coleman II, Medium, and the Camp. This is a stark difference and highlights the importance of these programs.

Do Prison Programs, which include outside guest participation, (in fact well known individuals) promote the proper atmosphere in a Maximum Security Prison? The philosophy suggested is that an increase in social awareness and responsibility encourages cultural interaction and empathy, other than on a purely religious orientation. We assume that schools of higher learning that incorporate the Hip-Hop rap dialogues have the same intention in exploring these issues. Many have said that these programs create an outlet for the mind that has given up all hope, that positive achievement was a mere illusion. The ability to see civilians in society interacting with prisoners without a prejudice agenda helps the concept of meaningful re-entry through personal presentation.

The B.O.P mission statement that now has shifted with more emphasis on Programs achievement as the important standard of review, suggests that there must be a motivational tool and programs availability under the Program Statement. Warden Holder has ensured both. And in light of mandatory sentences, it is clear that the women and men prisoners identify with his efforts. The support from his staff is demonstrated by the fact that they continue to volunteer their time for the various programs without being paid. And still no one has come forward with any specific problems, which has resulted from this vision that can outweigh the benefits.

It’s important to look at the specific type and variety of programs which speaks to the breadth of effort to be inclusive of the total populations. First, one must acknowledge Warden Holder personal convictions, as it’s transmitted to staff and prisoners alike. By his own confessions of being a Christian, induces the obligation that everyone has a right to dignity and respect. No matter their station in life, there is hope, no matter how far removed, there is a divine possibility. His detractors are quite aware of his convictions and principles. This exposé and explanation is reasoning to those who are in search for objective facts and results “For truth must be told. It holds up the sky and keeps the powerful honest”.

This list of functions is instructive-half of the events have been realized. And the others are either still in the planning stages or being resisted by subordinate staff. This perspective is not to be viewed as a finger pointing exercise. The reality is Warden Holder is being constrained in his efforts because there is a suggestion of an abuse of the transparent process. Images of the various programs have been made public without approval. As per policy these incidents can be addressed. There has been no suggestion of any violence or disruption of the orderly running of the institution either immediately or potentially – rather just the opposite is true. The crediting of the program in helping to maintain order is what has been demonstrated.

A strict procedure for institutional review of all visual documentation has been required and mostly adhered to. To use those issues to undermine the exceptional leadership and discretion is a “straw horse” to usher in a different vision without the justification or verification of success, particularly in light of the opposite model inside the walls of Beaumont, the attempt by a distant authority to interfere with this eclectic approach that has been so productive, and from a distance, authority will undermine the intuitive insight that distinguishes this particular leadership. Although there will be an opportunity to pattern this model as documentation and access are developed.

This review is not just support for Warden Carlyle Holder; rather it magnifies the need to embrace a vision. The fact that he has the authority and courage to pursue his convictions, by the implementation of programs that insure security and human development, provides for any objective observer, a model that can join the debate on what is the most effective way to advance hope and human development that heretofore has been a failure under the present mission directive in the B.O.P.


A. Christian Motorcycle Group
B. Study of Sexual Deviancy
C. Gospel Chorus
D. Culture of Rehabilitation
E. Hip-Hop Summit
F. Symposium Crime and Gender, Victim Impact
G. Women’s Camp Family Day
H. Re-Entry Program Choices, Challenges, Change
I. NAACP USP Coleman II Visiting Room Family Day
J. Actor “Roc” Ministry (Charles Dutton)
K. Gospel Women’s Harp Players
L. National Director of the NAACP (Bruce Gordon)
M. Kwanzaa Program Sponsored by the Department of African American Studies at Georgia State University
N. Battle of the Bands between USP Coleman II and Medium (Televised)
O. Black Block History- Special Guests: Ja Rule, Jamal Joseph, and Stephanie Agosta
P. Paula White Ministries
Q. Sherrly Merdock- Ministries- Singer
R. T.D. Jakes- Pastor
S. Ministry of Love- Teach Aids Awareness

Men must be judged by their consequences not their intention, and consequences must be assessed by techniques of historical analysis and projection.

Coleman II, Medium and the Women Camp under the stewardship of Warden Holder, demonstrates the history of a man and his staff through their personal accomplishments that have not let personal choices take priority over their social responsibility, which they have inherited by the long struggle for Civil and Human Rights. Any support and inquiries that will lead you to support this vision that’s being tampered with would be strongly considered as an act of allegiance.

Thank you for your consideration,
Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Hurricane Katrina Anniversaries (August 2006)

Dr. Mutulu Shakur on Katrina Anniversaries

Category: News and Politics

new orleans katrinaThe objective reality we face in the wake of Katrina’s horrors requires a decision that we will never again allow our basic survival to depend on any state or any people, but on ourselves. Our oath must be that we will act to formulate basic structured and coordinated strategies, committed to the proposition that we will defend and protect our people against all forms of catastrophe. If we fail, we will have no future. However, if we fail in the course of committed struggle as a people, our legacy will not be one of shame, but of honor.

Black people continue to be heroic on the battlefields of a foreign country, as law enforcement officials against a robber, or as Black militants against the system, and have affirmed a commitment to our peoples survival. Although there are laws which have been challenged as a result of this commitment, the rule of right and wrong should, above all else, achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I believe that what is embodied in this principle is a dedication to all people’s human rights.

That said, our people who violate the masses and embarrass the dignities of our peoples endurance in times of war or natural disaster, should meet with their just termination. Gangs that allow their members to commit crimes against the people during our struggle to survive a catastrophe are the enemy of us all. During riots and revolts of the 1960’s through the 1990’s, during blackouts, snowstorms and earthquakes, there was always a common understanding of truce between crews and gangs. This Principle of the Thug Code of Conduct must be upheld. Violation will not be tolerated or forgiven.

Morality is so instinctive that even monkeys make moral judgments. If one were to act on what was right, it would have positive results. Conversely, if one acts immorally, the results are predictably negative. Witness the collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Guard and the US military with Operation Blessing, an organization owned by Reverend Pat Robertson.

The same Pat Robertson who suggested the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, never mentioning America’s involvement in a failed coup attempt there a year earlier. The same Pat Robertson who used the tribal conflicts in Liberia and Uganda as an excuse to wrangle donations from US citizens, by playing on their sympathies. The same Reverend who then used these donations to buy mining equipment to ship to his conflict gold mines throughout Africa, particularly within Liberia and Uganda.

Real power is defined, in earnest, by the ability to respond to crisis by or against a specific group. Katrina exposed us. Although in the past we have been faced with the crisis of drug proliferation, indiscriminate police violence, gentrification and land exploitation, this was the 21st century test that exposed our lack of power.

Have we relinquished our obligation to respond to the various crises of our people to the point that we are too paralyzed to plan for immediate and long range crises? We are confused around this issue, because a decision to prepare ourselves challenges by its nature the present power structure.

We must become psychologically committed to the idea that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, at any time, when our peoples lives are endangered as a result of a natural disaster or unnatural crisis, we will come to their aid. We must prepare and organize in anticipation of these possibilities.

In the early years of my study of the predictability of acupuncture against the crisis of the 1960’s and 1970’s drug epidemic (another government endorsed catastrophe), we were motivated as a generation to prepare for war, prepare for natural disaster, and do all we can for the people. As we enter the anniversaries of Katrina’s horrors, we must make a pledge. Protect ourselves at all times.

Straight Ahead, Stiff Resistance.
Dr. Mutulu Shakur
Coleman Federal Penitentiary (Florida)

My Katrina Perspective

[Hurricane Katrina aftermath at sunrise] Photo by Donn Young

[Hurricane Katrina aftermath at sunrise] Photo by Donn Young

Human rights cannot be realized without power. The unequal living conditions between Blacks and Whites became apparent to all in the Katrina disaster. This government is global centered and not people centered. This global ethic is in direct conflict with any form of enlightened leadership. Faith-based initiatives not withstanding.

This analysis calls for an urgent response on the part of the haves and have-nots. The ascent to real power must dominate our agenda in every aspect of this political reality-economic, political, military, etc. The objective reality we face in the wake of Katrina’s horrors requires a decision that we will never again allow our basic survival to depend on any state or people but our own. Our oath must be that we will act to formulate basic structured and coordinated strategies committed to the proposition that we will defend and protect our people against all forms of catastrophe. If we fail, we will have no future. However, if we fail in the course of committed struggle as a people our legacy will not be one of shame but of honor. If dignity in life and death is the best we can offer our future generations, then we as a people continue to live.

It will be proven that there were no political or military “mistakes” or “miscalculations” vis-a-vis the New Orleans catastrophe. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Guard and military did their job per their mission statement to wit: To secure critical resources and personnel of the status quo. This is not a political ideological assessment, although this conspiracy required such. This is an assessment of moral vs. amoral behavior on a grand scale. The media manipulation of public perceptions about events in New Orleans played to a cultural and racist ethos. The result was a response that was delayed for a week while a genocidal horror evolved.

Morality is so instinctive that even monkeys make moral judgments. If one were to act on what was right it would have positive results. Conversely, if one acts immorally the results are predictably negative. The manipulation of the collective consciousness stymied a natural response to save lives in New Orleans.

The images and stories of marauding and mayhem allegedly committed in the New Orleans horrors, the deviant behavior and horizontal aggression were projected to justify the lack of crisis response and was used to usher in a police state-to murder and to take the property of the same victims.

My belief is that some events were orchestrated. Witness the collaboration between FEMA and the military on “Operation Blessing”. An organization well schooled in, mass sympathy and manipulation, with their news media credential (conveniently plating the first on the scene) to establish the atmosphere and conditions around the Astrodome. The organization “Operation Blessing” is owned by Rev. Pat Robertson–the same person who suggested the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, never mentioning the US involvement in a coup attempt a year earlier. This is the same Pat Robertson who used the horizontal aggression and tribal conflicts in Liberia and Uganda to wrangle money from US citizens (by playing on their sympathies) then used the money to buy mining equipment to ship to his gold mines throughout Africa-in particular Liberia and Uganda.

Three card monte is a tool of survival used on the urban streets which we can see a mile away. That said, our people who violate the masses and embarrass the dignities of our people’s endurance in times of war or natural disaster should meet with their just termination. Gangs that allow their members to commit crimes against the people during our struggle to survive a catastrophe are the enemy of us all. During the riots, after Martin Luther King, Jr., the revolt of the 60’s through the 90’s, and during the blackouts, snowstorms and earthquakes there was always a common understanding of truce between crews and gangs. This Principle of the Code of Conduct must be upheld. Violation will not be tolerated or forgiven.

Real power is defined (in earnest) by the ability to respond to crisis by or against a specific group. Katrina exposed us. Although we have been faced with the crisis of drug proliferation, indiscriminate police violence, gentrification, and land exploitation this was the 21st century test that exposed our lack of power.

Have we relinquished our obligation to respond to the various crises of our people to the point that we are too paralyzed to plan for immediate and long range crises? We are confused around this issue because a decision to prepare ourselves challenges by its nature the present power structure. We must become psychologically committed to the idea that wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, at any time, when our people’s lives are endangered as a result of a natural disaster or unnatural crisis we will come to their aid. We must prepare and organize in anticipation of these possibilities.

Black people are heroic on the battlefield of foreign countries or as law enforcement against a robber or as a Black militant against the system and have affirmed a commitment to our people’s survival. So we are all morally obligated.

Although there are laws, which will be challenged as a result of this new commitment, the rule of right and wrong should (above all else) achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I believe that what is embodied in this principle is a dedication to all people’s human rights.

In the early years of my study of the predictability of acupuncture against the crisis of the 60’s and’70’s drug epidemic (another catastrophe) we were motivated as a generation to “prepare for war, prepare for natural disaster, and do all we can for the people.” Never Again. Protect ourselves at all times.


Stiff Resistance

Dr. Mutulu Shakur

September 2005


Honoring Dr. Beatrice Kinsey



It brings me great joy to bestow the Health Activist Award upon our sister Dr. Beatrice Kinsey. This is the first award granted in the field of acupuncture from our community to one of our own.

Dr. Kinsey searched out The Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (B.A.A.A.N.A.) in Harlem in the late 1970’s. B.A.A.A.N.A. was the forerunner of New African acupuncture in Harlem and North America. Our organization was under intense repression and media attack for providing alternate health care in general as well as for treatment of drug addiction. Dr. Kinsey chose our school knowing the risk of being labeled politically and professionally.

B.A.A.A.N.A. was not just a health care provider. It maintained a connection and support for the various struggles of self-determination of Third World people. As a result the FBI’s Counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) targeted and attacked B.A.A.A.N.A. in the early 1980’s to the degree that we were unable to survive in that form.

Remaining in our community, Sister Beatrice followed our first B.A.A.A.N.A. graduate cadres under the able and dynamic leadership of Sister Dr. Urayoana Trinidad at the First World Acupuncture Association of Harlem.

Finishing her training at First World, Dr. Kinsey was accredited internationally by the International Association of Acupuncture headquartered in Montreal. Our historical ally and professional master of acupuncture Dr. Mario Wexu representing the great Dr. Oscar Wexu did this.

Dr. Kinsey fought with Dr. Trinidad to force New York State to fulfill its obligation and commitment, demanded by the earlier work of B.A.A.A.N.A. to establish acupuncture licensing in New York. The end result has brought into reality the organization Positive Education Always Corrects Errors (P.E.A.C.E.) Health Center located in our community of Brooklyn making alternative health care available to our people.

What I’ve outlined is a description of what our Sister Dr. Beatrice has done to become a healer. I will attempt to outline the type of person she is to master the art of healing. The art of healing requires a high form of spiritual intuitiveness. The struggle to learn acupuncture over the last three decades within the context of our political and philosophical view was not easy. It required a realistic New World view after experiencing COINTELPRO and the resistance of the American Medical Association.

The skill of treatment required that we become spiritually based. I’m not talking about the “spirit” unconnected to matter or spirit on a cerebral intellectual level. I’m talking about the spirit, which is a part of your own spirituality that gives you an appreciation of cosmic inter-relationships. One’s ability to relate to metaphysical levels of experiences. It unites thought and feeling and therapy. Specifically and most important as a healer the spirit gives us health intuitiveness, an understanding of our environment, community and interpersonal thought that guides us to our future. A future unattainable without the spiritual guidance in “Bolekaja,” a Yoruba term meaning “Come on down let’s fight.”

This is the type of person Dr. Beatrice Kinsey is. We thank you Sister Beatrice. It is my hope that a tradition has been established in honoring you.

It is written, “Be not impatient in delay but wait as one who understands when spirit rises and commands, the gods are ready to obey.”

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart-this you will build your life by. This you will become. Congratulations on Becoming.

I am honored to be a part of this history.






Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Statement to the 7th Annual Health Activist Awards in Honor of Midwives (August 8, 2004)

I’m honored to be a part of the 7th Annual Health Activist Awards sponsored by the Family & Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur.  Over the years, we’ve identified various health workers by recognizing not only their work, but more importantly their particular commitment to our community and human rights.

Nothing in the present healthcare system based on the capitalist agenda has made the healthcare for our community any better.  The great work of midwives as an alternative to hospital deliveries creates a culture that can provide options to the young women of the hip-hop generation.  It is an art and science practiced with skill by the truly great women being honored here today.

The birth of our children has an important impact on the whole community.  That is why I prevail upon all of our health activists to reach out to the hip-hop generation to propose the options that midwives and alternative healing represent.  It is so important because unwed pregnancy is still at an all time high in our nation.  The negative stereotypical image is combated when we take control and power over our bodies.  Also it can diminish the objectification of women that seems to be more intensified in certain aspects of hip-hop culture.  I hope our young families will embrace the skill and care of midwives as an alternative.  In a group that is isolated by this society it might be a remedy and make a difference.

I thank you all for your work on the many levels that bring children onto the earth.  Let us struggle for a better quality of life for us all in these times.

Stiff Resistance,
Dr. Mutulu Shakur
August 8, 2004