[Ppnews] Call for hearings on COINTELPRO

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Dec 10 10:32:08 EST 2006

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In January 2007, Congressman John Conyers will become the new chair of the
United States House of Representative Committee on the Judiciary. The House
Committee on the Judiciary jurisdiction includes the following areas: (1)
the judiciary and judicial proceedings, civil and criminal; (2) civil
liberties; (3) claims against the United States; (4) national
penitentiaries and (5) Revision and codification of the Statutes of the
United States.

Herman Ferguson, on behalf of The Jericho Movement, has written a letter to
Congressman Conyers requesting that he schedule  hearings on "COINTELPRO:
Its Legacy and Continuing Impact." A copy of Herman's letter is below. It is
our hope that these hearings, if held, will not only further expose the FBI
and local law enforcement crimes against the Black Liberation Movement and
many of those involved it, but also result in legislation addressing some of
these injustices.

Of  particular concern to the Jericho Movement is the release and treatment
of our political prisoners.  Though the United States steadfastly denies it,
presently there are many political prisoners in the United States, the
majority of them Black/New Africans who were targets of the COINTELPRO
"Black Nationalist Hate Groups" program.  Many of these brothers and sisters
have been incarcerated for decades.

For example, Jalil Abdul Muntaquin, has been incarcerated since 1971;
Sundiata Acoli and Herman Bell since 1973. It is critical that the human
rights and constitutional violations  surrounding their arrests, trials,
sentencing, conditions of their confinement and continuing incarceration
because of their political histories--all were members of the Black
Panther Party--and continuing commitment to the liberation of Black/New
Afrikan be brought to the wider attention of the public.  Sundiata Acoli,
now 70 and with an near exemplary record, has twice been denied parole.

If nothing else, congressional hearings on "COINTELPRO: Its Legacy and
Continuing Impact" would go along way towards achieving this result.

To this end, we are calling on all supporters of political
prisoners--defense committees; revolutionary nationalist, radical, and
progressive organizations, elected officials, community, religious,
spiritual leaders, etc.--to write, fax, or call  Congressman Conyers to
urge that schedule hearings on COINTELPRO. Congressman Conyers' address is
as follows:

The Honorable John Conyers
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5126
(202) 225-0072 Fax

Your support of Jericho's call will help ensure that it becomes a reality.
Forward, download, copy and  distribute this letter and Jericho's call to
as many people as possible.  Please mail or email copies of your letters
Herman Ferguson at the following address:

National Jericho Movement
P.O. Box 340084
Jamaica, NY 11434
Iyaluua at aol.com

Thank you in advance for your support of this effort. For more information
about The Jericho Movement and Political Prisoners in the United States,
visit The Jericho Movement website www.the jerichomovement.com. Please also
do not hesitate to contact Herman or us if you have any questions about this

In solidarity,
Joan P. Gibbs, Esq. (718) 270-6296 OR  1-718-757-4093
Mani Gilyard, Chair, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee

The Jericho Movement
For Recognition and Amnesty for Political Prisoners
P.O. Box 340084
Jamaica, New York 11434-3104
Tel: 718. 949.5153

December 7, 2006

The Honorable  John Conyers
Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Conyers:

Congratulations on your pending ascendancy to the chair of the House
Committee on the Judiciary. We write to request that you schedule hearings
on "COINTELPRO: Its Legacy and Continuing Impact." For more than a decade,
many of us have been requesting hearings on COINTELPRO, and hopefully,
legislation that begins to address some of the  injustices committed against
the Black movement and activists as result of COINTELPRO. We hope that one
of your acts as the new chair of the Judiciary Committee will be to schedule
these hearings.

As I am sure you are aware, COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI
counterintelligence programs against, inter alia, the Communist party, and
so-called "Black Nationalist Hate Groups." The August 1967 FBI memorandum
announcing the Black Nationalist Hate Group program describes its goals as:

1. Prevent a coalition of militant black nationalist groups;
2. Prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify and electrify the militant
nationalist movement;
3. Prevent violence on the part of the black nationalist groups;
4. Prevent militant  black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining
respectability by discrediting them;
5. Prevent the long range growth of militant black nationalist
organizations especially among youth.

The targets of the Black Nationalist Hate Group program included a wide
array of Black organizations and individuals, among them the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), the Revolutionary  Action Movement, the Republic of New
Akrika, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Kwame Toure, formerly known as
Stokely Carmichael, and countless others.

Though the Black Panther (BPP) was not  among the  original targets of the
program, in September 1968, then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover labeled the
BPP "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country."
Thereafter the BPP became the primary focus of the program, and was
ultimately the target of 233 of the believed total authorized "Black
Nationalist" COINTELPRO actions.

As the Final Report of the 1976 Select Committee To Study Government
Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activists states: "Although the
claimed purpose of the Bureau's COINTELPRO tactics was to prevent violence,
some of the FBI's tactics against the BPP were clearly intended to foster
violence, and many others could reasonably have been expected to cause

In its pursuit of the BPP, the FBI, often together with local law
enforcement officials, knew no bounds. BPP members and supporters were not
only spied on and harassed but, in blatant violation of the both the United
States Constitution and International law, falsely accused of crimes that
they had not committed. Many were wounded and murdered by police and FBI.
December 4, 2006, marked the thirty-eighth anniversary of the assassination
of Fred Hampton, one of the leaders of the Chicago chapter of the BPP, by
local Chicago police thanks to information from an FBI informant, while he
slept in his bed. Hampton was shot twice in the head, once in the arm and
shoulder; while three other people sleeping in the same bed escaped
unharmed. Mark Clark, sleeping in a living room chair, was also murdered
while asleep. Hampton's wife, who was eight months pregnant, was also shot
but survived. Four Panthers sleeping in the apartment were also wounded,
while one escaped injury. Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was
assassinated; Mark Clark was 17.

While the true impact of the COINTELPRO Black Nationalist Hate Group Program
on the Black Liberation Movement  will probably never be known because the
FBI never recorded all of its activities, has destroyed many of its files,
and many of the architects and participants are now deceased, it is crucial
that the impact and continuing legacy of this program be investigated and
remedies developed to repair the damage it has done. This is particularly
true with respect to the many members of the Black Panther party, the
Republic of New Afrika and other organizations that today languish in jail
as a result of their having been targeted by the FBI and local law
enforcement officials as part of the counterintelligence programs.

We urgently request that you schedule hearings on "COINTELPRO: Its Legacy
and Continuing Impact" in the near future. Thank you in advance for your
prompt attention this matter. We expect that you will give our request the
serious attention that it deserves.

Yours Truly.
Herman Ferguson,
Co-Founder, The Jericho Movement

national_jericho at riseup.net

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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