On May 2nd, the FBI named Assata Shakur (fsn Joanne Deborah Chesimard), one of “America’s Most Wanted Terrorists”. Her addition to this listing has show an evolution in the DOJ’s longtime war on black liberation.
We are calling on all people of conscience, all liberationists, radicals, revolutionaries, any other concerned folks to meet on May 19, Malcolm X’s birthday and strategize how we as a community may aid in the struggle to keep Assata free.
Assata is a former Black Panther and member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA). Throughout the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, the BLA was an active clandestine organization seeking to attack capitalism, white supremacy, and imperialism.
In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, during which New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur were killed and Shakur and Trooper James Harper were wounded.
Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.
Shakur was incarcerated in several prisons in the 70s. She escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living in Cuba in political asylum since 1984. Since May 2, 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist list and increased the reward for her capture to $2 million. Attempts to extradite her have proved less than fruitful for the U.S. government and FBI, and to this day, Assata lives in freedom in Cuba.
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