Politic365

 
 


National

12:22pm May 18, 2013

Black Revolutionary Assata Shakur is No Terrorist

asat

By Bill Fletcher, Jr

When the FBI announced that they were placing fugitive Assata Shakur (Joanne Chesimard) on the list of most wanted terrorists and that they were offering an additional $1 million for her capture, it caught most of the world by complete surprise. Assata has been living quietly in exile in Cuba where she was given political asylum for 30 years.

The former member of the Black Liberation Army escaped captivity after being tried and convicted — under controversial circumstances — in connection with the killing of a New Jersey state troopern. Several other allegations against her were dropped either through acquittals or mistrials.

Assata Shakur had been a member of the Black Panther Party, later joining the Black Liberation Army. Like many other Black activists in the late 1960s and early 1970s, she witnessed the vicious repression of the Black Freedom Movement — and other movements of the time — by agencies of the U.S. government, including through the use of the now notorious COINTELPRO (the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program). COINTELPRO involved the infiltration and disruption of organizations that the FBI concluded were a threat to the U.S. elite. Disruption included rumor-mongering, provocation, the encouraging of splits, imprisonment and murder. The intensity of the repression of the Black Freedom Movement, in this case, led many activists to conclude that, at a minimum, self-defense was necessary. For others the conclusion was that a military arm of the Black Freedom Movement was needed.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the conclusions arrived at by Assata Shakur, one thing is very important: She was never a terrorist. Let us be clear about the meaning of this word that we hear so regularly these days. A “terrorist” is someone who uses military methods/violence against civilians in order to advance a political objective. There is nothing in the activism of Assata Shakur that displays anything approaching terrorism. Additionally, since her exile, she has not been involved with any activities in the U.S. that could be construed as terrorist.

So, what is this about? It appears that the main inspiration for this outrage is to derail any efforts at the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Upon the re-election of President Barack Obama, there have been rumors circulating that there might be efforts to remove Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism. There were additional suggestions that there might be efforts towards normalization.

There are groups in the U.S. who oppose normalization of relations with Cuba and they will do anything that they can to disrupt such efforts. Whether those elements convinced the FBI to take this step is irrelevant. The fact is that this step complicates discussions about changing the terms of U.S./Cuban relations. Right-wing Cuban exiles as well as ultra-conservative elements in our political establishment have an interest in the status quo; most of this country is more interested in improvement in relations with Cuba.

For this reason, we need to understand the upping of the ante on Assata as not only a threat to her existence, a violation of Cuban and international law, but also a cynical move to disrupt efforts to end the Cold War in the Western Hemisphere.

Now is the time to demand that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder reverse the decision of the FBI. Let’s end this ridiculous melodrama.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” — And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him at www.billfletcherjr.com.



About the Author

The Philadelphia Tribune
The Philadelphia Tribune





 
 

 
voting5

Midterm GOTV: DCCC Chair Says GOP Impeachment Plays Will Boost Dems

Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday morning with reporters, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and “Red to Blue” chief Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) spoke to reporters on the...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
46046014_e539cf9b12_o

New poll: Latinos continue to worry about unemployment & face economic challenges

Last  week a new poll was released by the National Council of La Raza and Latino Decisions showing that Latinos are still feeling the effects of the recession even though the economy has been improving. Despite their worry abo...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
belhaven

#NC: Butterfield Joins GOP Mayor at End of Medicaid Expansion Walk

North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield joined Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal during the final leg of O’Neal’s 300-mile walk from Belhaven, North Carolina to Washington, DC. The Republican Mayor walked for two ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 

Advertisement
 
78818

House Floor Tonight: CBC to Speak Against GOP #Obama Impeachment Moves

#CBCTalks. Tonight members of the Congressional Black Caucus will take to the House floor in opposition to legislation offered by House Republicans to sue President Obama. “Tonight, during the first hour of Special Order ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
2

 
 
sharpton_jackson_morial_121609

Legislators, Civil Rights Leaders Remain Front and Center in Tech/Telecom Space

In 1995, digital inequality based on race, gender, income and geography captured the nation’s attention:  the “digital divide.”  Over the next two decades, legislators of color and civil rights organizations have been f...
by Kristal High
0

 




One Comment


  1. [...] about the information that touches our history, our communities or even our fashion? I say the least we could do is balance our interest in [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>