[News] NYC Charles Barron demanding clemency for Assata Shakur

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 23 16:43:54 EDT 2005

Contact:  Dasaw Floyd:  718-254-8800                            Dream Hampton:
dreamhampton at aol.com

For Immediate Release

•       Hundreds of New Yorkers Join Councilmember Charles Barron demanding
clemency for Assata Shakur

On Wednesday, May 25th at 1:30PM, Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles
Barron, prominent hip-hop artists and community groups will hold a
press conference on the steps of City Hall condemning a
one-million-dollar bounty offered May 2nd for the capture of exiled
Black Liberation fighter, Assata Shakur.

“I’m infuriated that a bounty has been put on her, placing her in
danger,” said Councilmember Barron ­ who called for Wednesday’s press
conference ­ “She is a shero to our community, its long overdue for
her to receive clemency and come home.”

In an unprecedented move, on May 2nd the Federal Justice Department,
working side by side with New Jersey’s Attorney General, also placed
the 58-year-old grandmother on the same domestic terrorist list as
Osama bin Laden ­ this despite the fact that Assata herself was shot
while her hands were raised above her head, allowing the bullet to
pass through her armpit, traveling past her clavicle.  Barron and
others are demanding that Assata Shakur be removed from that list.

This sensationalized action was taken 32 years after Ms. Shakur and
two companions were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973
allegedly for a “broken tail light”.  There are many versions of what
occurred that night, but what is known is that one Panther, Zayd
Shakur, was shot dead, Assata ­ also shot- was left on the side of
the road to die and Trooper Werner Forester also lay dead.  Another
Panther, Sundiata Acoli, was taken into custody.

Following  trials tainted with documented human rights  violations
and constitutional errors including the exclusion of African people
from the jury, Assata and Sundiata were both found guilty, in
separate trials, of the murder of Trooper Forester and sentenced to
life in prison. Prior to her New Jersey trial, Assata was tried and
acquitted six times on the various false charges.

In 1979 Assata was liberated from a New Jersey jail and seven years
later received political Asylum from the government of Cuba, where
she has continues to speak out for the right of African people in the
United States to freedom and self-determination.
”Assata was granted asylum in Cuba because they understood what many
here understand”    says Kamau Karl Franklin, an attorney and member
of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.  “The Cuban government
understands that Assata was convicted in a climate where she and
anyone who stood up for the human rights of Black people were
completely criminalized.  She never had a chance at a fair trial in
this country and Cuba understood that.”

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