Freedom Rider: Support Assata Shakur, At Your Own Risk

by BAR (Black Agenda Report) edit­or and seni­or colum­nist Mar­garet Kim­ber­ley

Thanks to The First Black Pres­id­ent and The First Black Attor­ney Gen­er­al, “the only people safe in speak­ing of or con­tact­ing Shak­ur are those who mean her harm.” To speak of Black lib­er­a­tion, its her­oes and his­tory, is a crime of ter­ror. “Barack Obama has made mani­fest his predecessor’s desire to cre­ate a truly fas­cist machinery in this coun­try.”

The Pat­ri­ot Act made giv­ing ‘mater­i­al sup­port to ter­ror’ a fed­er­al offense.”

The announce­ment that the FBI added Assat Shak­ur to the list of most wanted ter­ror­ists was ini­tially mys­ti­fy­ing, a real life example of the shock doc­trine. Shak­ur has been a fugit­ive ever since 1979 and was gran­ted asylum by Cuba in 1984. It seemed inex­plic­able that the gov­ern­ment would rein­i­ti­ate search­ing for a 65-year old woman who had already been at large for more than thirty years. Yet the FBI made a grand show of the announce­ment, com­plete with a black agent at the podi­um and a phalanx of New Jer­sey state troop­ers. Not only was Shaukur added to the most wanted ter­ror­ist list but the gov­ern­ment added $1 mil­lion to the $1 mil­lion bounty already in place.

Because of Barack Obama, Assata Shak­ur now faces the pos­sib­il­ity of being kid­napped or murdered by the United States gov­ern­ment. She may be held indef­in­itely without being charged or tried. Not only is she in danger, but because of Obama any­one who does as little as pub­licly defend her may poten­tially face the same fate.

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It is the ter­ror­ist label which puts her and her sup­port­ers at greatest risk. The Pat­ri­ot Act made giv­ing “mater­i­al sup­port to ter­ror a fed­er­al offense which not only is pun­ished very harshly, but is so amorph­ous as to mean any­thing the gov­ern­ment chooses it to mean. In the Supreme Court decision which began the mater­i­al sup­port onslaught, a group attempt­ing to teach peace­ful act­iv­ism was found non­ethe­less guilty because they had con­tact with the group des­ig­nated as ter­ror­ist. The justices ruled that their inten­tions were of no con­sequence.

Assata Shak­ur now faces the pos­sib­il­ity of being kid­napped or murdered by the United States gov­ern­ment.”

The only people safe in speak­ing of or con­tact­ing Shak­ur are those who mean her harm, and a bounty of $2 mil­lion will increase the num­ber of per­sons who fall into that cat­egory. Not only is it import­ant to res­ist the gov­ern­ment and defend Shak­ur but also to name the vil­lain in this story and that per­son is none oth­er than Barack Obama.

One can­not be sep­ar­ated from the oth­er. It is sad to see the con­tin­ued effort to excuse Obama’s crimes and let him off the hook on so many occa­sions, but in the case of Assata Shak­ur the disin­genu­ous­ness is par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous. Barack Obama has made mani­fest his predecessor’s desire to cre­ate a truly fas­cist machinery in this coun­try. He resur­rec­ted the all but dead espi­on­age act to pro­sec­ute whistle blowers and at a rate unknown under pre­vi­ous admin­is­tra­tions. George W. Bush claimed the right to impris­on any­one he wanted but Obama claims the right to kill any­one he wants.

On a recent broad­cast of Demo­cracy Now Angela Dav­is and attor­ney Len­nox Hinds spoke quite elo­quently about Shakeur’s plight yet neither of them man­aged to men­tion the words Barack or Obama. The omis­sion made the rest of their words mean­ing­less. The justice depart­ment is Obama’s justice depart­ment. The FBI is his FBI and any and all of its decisions must get the green light straight from the pres­id­ent. If Assata Shak­ur or any­one else is labeled a ter­ror­ist by the United States gov­ern­ment it is with Barack Obama’s express per­mis­sion.

Not only is it import­ant to res­ist the gov­ern­ment and defend Shak­ur but also to name the vil­lain in this story and that per­son is none oth­er than Barack Obama.”

Assata Shak­ur could well end up dead at Obama’s hands like Anwar al-Awlakki and his six­teen year old son. Cuba may be attacked on the pre­text of cap­tur­ing Shak­ur. No pres­id­ent since John F. Kennedy has attemp­ted an actu­al mil­it­ary assault on Cuban soil. Obama is known for his abil­ity to go where oth­er pres­id­ents have dared not. He killed Gad­dafi and over­threw the Liby­an gov­ern­ment. Why wouldn’t he try the same with Cuba?

The sig­ni­fic­ance of the renewed attack on Assata Shak­ur is not just of inter­na­tion­al sig­ni­fic­ance. Obama is mak­ing a point about black Amer­ica and those few who still dare to speak out again­st their nation’s domest­ic and inter­na­tion­al poli­cy. Imme­di­ately after announ­cing the increased bounty and ter­ror­ist des­ig­na­tion the FBI pos­ted bill­board sized wanted posters in Newark, New Jer­sey.

It seems a strange thing to do when Shak­ur is liv­ing thou­sands of miles away in Cuba. Of course the bill­boards are not meant to cap­ture Shak­ur but to send a not so subtle mes­sage about the state of black lib­er­a­tion. Simply put, there won’t be any talk of black lib­er­a­tion. The Shak­urs of the world who weren’t imprisoned, killed off by Coin­tel­pro or bought off, have to be des­troyed once and for all and any memory of them must be dis­ap­peared as well.

Assata Shak­ur will be used as a les­son to every­one else who didn’t get the memo. Obama’s elec­tion meant that any and all dis­cus­sion of a black agenda will not only be ignored but will be con­sciously des­troyed.

Time will tell if Cuba can with­stand fifty years of attack from the United States and defend Assata Shak­ur and its right under inter­na­tion­al law to grant her asylum. The nearly for­got­ten Shak­ur has brought to our atten­tion the imper­i­al designs of Amer­ica towards the rest of the world and why the people who have that power chose Barack Obama as their pres­id­ent.

Spe­cial thanks to Mar­garet Kimberley’s. Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprin­ted else­where. She main­tains a fre­quently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. 

Ms. Kim­ber­ley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.assata shakur 1

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Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra

Edit­or / Research­er at No Bounds
Gata is a music and arts lov­er, stud­ied anthro­po­logy, art man­age­ment and media pro­duc­tion ded­ic­at­ing most of her time to cre­at­ive pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.
Gata Malandra

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About Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra
Gata is a music and arts lover, studied anthropology, art management and media production dedicating most of her time to creative projects produced by No Bounds.

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