[News] New Video (and audio) of George Jackson - 43rd Anniversary of his assassination

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 21 10:12:54 EDT 2014

*George Lester Jackson - New Video (and Audio)*

*This extraordinary video 
<http://www.freedomarchives.org/George%20Jackson.html> is from a 16mm 
film “work print” made in 1971–1972, and includes interviews with George 
Jackson, Georgia Jackson (George and Jonathan Jackson’s mother) and 
Angela Davis, while she was still in the Marin County Courthouse Jail, 
before her acquittal. We have not been able to identify the other 
prisoners. As you will see, the film has no titles or other credits. The 
discovery of such amazing, previously unknown historic materials always 
leaves us thrilled and in awe, deepening our understanding of those 
times and affirming the mission of the Freedom Archives.*

    *"You see, that’s the whole story of America. They take their
    violence and turn it back around on somebody else.  I don’t have to
    talk about American violence, you can look all over the world and
    see American soldiers everywhere, fighting in other people’s
    countries and killing them. So if I were running the country, in
    America, I wouldn’t open my mouth about violence—as many people as
    they’ve murdered in Vietnam in the past 10 years and they’re gonna
    talk about violence? As many Black people as get killed every day in
    this country and nobody knows or cares—and you tell me about
    violence? How they wiped out a whole nation of Indians and then you
    say something to me about violence—I don’t wanna hear it!”*

    *— Georgia Jackson, from this film - following the assassination of
    her son at San Quentin

    *Ankh Marketing Presents*

      The Freedom Archives Benefit Concert

      Dead Prez - Kev Choice, Jennifer Johns, Jahi As PE 2.0, Sellassie,
      DJ Leydis

        Thursday 8/21
        The new Parish - Oakland - 579 18th St
        Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

          $25 DOS

          Tickets <http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/638549>
          This event is all ages


        George Jackson: Black Revolutionary

    By Walter Rodney, November 1971

    To most readers in this continent, starved of authentic information
    by the imperialist news agencies, the name of George Jackson is
    either unfamiliar or just a name. The powers that be in the United
    States put forward the official version that George Jackson was a
    dangerous criminal kept in maximum security in Americas toughest
    jails and still capable of killing a guard at Soledad Prison. They
    say that he himself was killed attempting escape this year in
    August. Official versions given by the United States of everything
    from the Bay of Pigs in Cuba to the Bay of Tonkin in Vietnam have
    the common characteristic of standing truth on its head. George
    Jackson was jailed ostensibly for stealing 70 dollars. He was given
    a sentence of one year to life because he was black, and he was kept
    incarcerated for years under the most dehumanizing conditions
    because he discovered that blackness need not be a badge of
    servility but rather could be a banner for uncompromising
    revolutionary struggle. He was murdered because he was doing too
    much to pass this attitude on to fellow prisoners. George Jackson
    was political prisoner and a black freedom fighter. He died at the
    hands of the enemy.

    Once it is made known that George Jackson was a black revolutionary
    in the white mans jails, at least one point is established, since we
    are familiar with the fact that a significant proportion of African
    nationalist leaders graduated from colonialist prisons, and right
    now the jails of South Africa hold captive some of the best of our
    brothers in that part of the continent. Furthermore, there is some
    considerable awareness that ever since the days of slavery the
    U.S.A. is nothing but a vast prison as far as African descendants
    are concerned. Within this prison, black life is cheap, so it should
    be no surprise that George Jackson was murdered by the San Quentin
    prison authorities who are responsible to Americas chief prison
    warder, Richard Nixon. What remains is to go beyond the generalities
    and to understand the most significant elements attaching to George
    Jacksons life and death.

    When he was killed in August this year, George Jackson was twenty
    nine years of age and had spent the last fifteen [correction: 11
    years] behind bars—seven of these in special isolation. As he
    himself put it, he was from the lumpen. He was not part of the
    regular producer force of workers and peasants. Being cut off from
    the system of production, lumpen elements in the past rarely
    understood the society which victimized them and were not to be
    counted upon to take organized revolutionary steps within capitalist
    society. Indeed, the very term lumpen proletariat was originally
    intended to convey the inferiority of this sector as compared with
    the authentic working class.

    Yet George Jackson, like Malcolm X before him, educated himself
    painfully behind prison bars to the point where his clear vision of
    historical and contemporary reality and his ability to communicate
    his perspective frightened the U.S. power structure into physically
    liquidating him. Jacksons survival for so many years in vicious
    jails, his self-education, and his publication of Soledad Brother
    were tremendous personal achievements, and in addition they offer on
    interesting insight into the revolutionary potential of the black
    mass in the U.S.A., so many of whom have been reduced to the status
    of lumpen.

    Under capitalism, the worker is exploited through the alienation of
    part of the product of his labour. For the African peasant, the
    exploitation is effected through manipulation of the price of the
    crops which he laboured to produce. Yet, work has always been rated
    higher than unemployment, for the obvious reason that survival
    depends upon the ability to obtain work. Thus, early in the history
    of industrialization, workers coined the slogan the right to work.
    Masses of black people in the U.S.A. are deprived of this basic
    right. At best they live in a limbo of uncertainty as casual
    workers, last to be hired and first to be fired. The line between
    the unemployed or criminals cannot be dismissed as white lumpen in
    capitalist Europe were usually dismissed.

    The latter were considered as misfits and regular toilers served as
    the vanguard. The thirty-odd million black people in the U.S.A. are
    not misfits. They are the most oppressed and the most threatened as
    far as survival is concerned. The greatness of George Jackson is
    that he served as a dynamic spokesman for the most wretched among
    the oppressed, and he was in the vanguard of the most dangerous
    front of struggle.

    Jail is hardly an arena in which one would imagine that guerrilla
    warfare would take place. Yet, it is on this most disadvantaged of
    terrains that blacks have displayed the guts to wage a war for
    dignity and freedom. In Soledad Brother, George Jackson movingly
    reveals the nature of this struggle as it has evolved over the last
    few years. Some of the more recent episodes in the struggle at San
    Quentin prison are worth recording. On February 27th this year,
    black and brown (Mexican) prisoners announced the formation of a
    Third World Coalition. This came in the wake of such organizations
    as a Black Panther Branch at San Quentin and the establishment of
    SATE (Self-Advancement Through Education). This level of
    mobilisation of the nonwhite prisoners was resented and feared by
    white guards and some racist white prisoners. The latter formed
    themselves into a self-declared Nazi group, and months of violent
    incidents followed. Needless to say, with white authority on the
    side of the Nazis, Afro and Mexican brothers had a very hard time.
    George Jackson is not the only casualty on the side of the blacks.
    But their unity was maintained, and a majority of white prisoners
    either refused to support the Nazis or denounced them. So, even
    within prison walls the first principle to be observed was unity in
    struggle. Once the most oppressed had taken the initiative, then
    they could win allies.

    The struggle within the jails is having wider and wider
    repercussions every day. Firstly, it is creating true revolutionary
    cadres out of more and more lumpen. This is particularly true in the
    jails of California, but the movement is making its impact felt
    everywhere from Baltimore to Texas. Brothers inside are writing
    poetry, essays and letters which strip white capitalist America
    naked. Like the Soledad Brothers, they have come to learn that
    sociology books call us antisocial and brand us criminals, when
    actually the criminals are in the social register. The names of
    those who rule America are all in the social register.

    Secondly, it is solidifying the black community in a remarkable way.
    Petty bourgeois blacks also feel threatened by the manic police,
    judges and prison officers. Black intellectuals who used to be
    completely alienated from any form of struggle except their personal
    hustle now recognize the need to ally with and take their bearings
    from the street forces of the black unemployed, ghetto dwellers and
    prison inmates.

    Thirdly, the courage of black prisoners has elicited a response from
    white America. The small band of white revolutionaries has taken a
    positive stand. The Weathermen decried Jacksons murder by placing a
    few bombs in given places and the Communist Party supported the
    demand by the black prisoners and the Black Panther Party that the
    murder was to be investigated. On a more general note, white liberal
    America has been disturbed. The white liberals never like to be told
    that white capitalist society is too rotten to be reformed. Even the
    established capitalist press has come out with esposes of prison
    conditions, and the fascist massacres of black prisoners at Attica
    prison recently brought Senator Muskie out with a cry of enough.

    Fourthly (and for our purposes most significantly) the efforts of
    black prisoners and blacks in America as a whole have had
    international repercussions. The framed charges brought against
    Black Panther leaders and against Angela Davis have been denounced
    in many parts of the world. Committees of defense and solidarity
    have been formed in places as far as Havana and Leipzig. OPAAL
    declared August 18th as the day of international solidarity with
    Afro-Americans; and significantly most of their propaganda for this
    purpose ended with a call to Free All Political Prisoners.

    For more than a decade now, peoples liberation movements in Vietnam,
    Cuba, Southern Africa, etc., have held conversations with militants
    and progressives in the U.S.A. pointing to the duality and
    respective responsibilities of struggle within the imperialist camp.
    The revolution in the exploited colonies and neo-colonies has as its
    objective the expulsion of the imperialists: the revolution in the
    metropolis is to transform the capitalist relations of production in
    the countries of their origin. Since the U.S.A. is the overlord of
    world imperialism, it has been common to portray any progressive
    movement there as operating within the belly of the beast. Inside an
    isolation block in Soledad or San Quentin prisons, this was not
    merely a figurative expression. George Jackson knew well what it
    meant to seek for heightened socialist and humanist consciousness
    inside the belly of the white imperialist beast.

    International solidarity grows out of struggle in different
    localities. This is the truth so profoundly and simply expressed by
    Che Guevara when he called for the creation of one, two, three -
    many Vietnams. It has long been recognized that the white working
    class in the U.S.A is historically incapable of participating (as a
    class) in anti-imperialist struggle. White racism and Americas
    leading role in world imperialism transformed organized labour in
    the U.S. into a reactionary force. Conversely, the black struggle is
    internationally significant because it unmasks the barbarous social
    relations of capitalism and places the enemy on the defensive on his
    own home ground. This is amply illustrated in the political process
    which involved the three Soledad Brothers—George Jackson, Fleeta
    Drumgo and John Clutchette—as well as Angela Davis and a host of
    other blacks now behind prison bars in the U.S.A.

    NOTE: George Jackson also authored Blood In My Eye which was
    published posthumously, or after this article was written.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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