The FBI has announced that Joanne Chesimard, best known as Assata Shakur, aka JoAnne Chesimard (Tupac Shakur’s Godmother), a former Black Liberation Army member is the first woman on its list of living terrorists. In addition to the designation, the reward for the capture has been doubled to $2 million dollars.
Assata: In her own words:
My name is Assata (“she who struggles”) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.”
Assata: Exile since 1979
On May 2 1973, Black Panther activist Assata Shakur (fsn) JoAnne Chesimard, was pulled over by the New Jersey State Police, shot twice and then charged with murder of a police officer. Assata spent six and a half years in prison under brutal circumstances before escaping out of the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 and moving to Cuba.
On May 2 2005, the xxth anniversary of Assata’s escape, The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney General, and the New Jersey State Police raised the reward (read: blood bounty) being offered for the capture of Assata Shakur to $1,000,000 US Dollars, encouraging mercenaries and freelance joy seekers to find, kidnap and if necessary break Cuba law so that Assata might be returned to the U.S. to resume her sentence and be tried on additional charges. Charges which also include the ridiculous and slandeorus description of “domestic terrorist”.
This obsessive and barbaric attempt to malign, imprison and/or asassinate important and legitimate Black (Afrikan) activists is an ongoing expression of the contempt and hatred that the U.S. government has always shown Black people and their leadership in America. It is all out assault on our rights as both citizens of the United States and human in general, to voice, dissent and challenge social, economic and political obstacles that hinder our progress, threaten our lives and derail our destiny. The government wants us dumb, silent, docile and compliant. Assata Shakur is one voice that will not be muffled!