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Title: The Struggle Continues! Hands Off Assata

Time Frame: 1 Month

Plan of Action: Distribute Hands Off Assata (HOA) material and hold public activities that highlight the political work of Assata Shakur and the harassement and aggression that activists like her endure.

If you live in New York, read the whole alert, then click here.

Purpose of Action: Raise public awareness and encourage community action to address the continued struggle against racism, economic oppression, police brutality and political manipulation in the united states.

What is HOA?

The Hands Off Assata Campaign is a coming together of organizations and individuals who are outraged by the heightened attempts by the federal government, congress of the united states and the state of new jersey to illegally force thru kidnapping a return of Assata Shakur from Cuba to the plantation United States.

We know that Assata Shakur is a bona fide political exile living in the island nation of Cuba. She was persecuted for her political beliefs and tortured while in prison. We support the international human rights and Geneva conventions, which enabled her to seek and secure political asylum in Cuba, and we support the right of the Cuban people to grant it to her. We are shocked by the actions of new jersey and the department of justice, who has issued a $1 million dollar bounty on head of Assata Shakur.

Doing such a thing is tantamount to a call to "soldiers of fortune" to kidnap and kill Ms. Shakur and for them to engage in international espionage against the sovereign nation of Cuba.

We are shocked by the activities of the United States House of Representatives, which in September 1998 passed House Resolution 254, calling on the Cuban Government to extradite Assata Shakur. Given that there is no binding extradition treaty between Cuba and the United States, such a request is outside the context of international law. In addition, we call on the Congress of the United States to hold public hearings on the past and current impact of FBI's Counter Intelligence Program known as COINTELPRO.

Given that Assata Shakur was not the only one politically persecuted for her political beliefs, we demand that a full airing take place on that program. And finally are calling on the United States end its hostility towards the tiny nation of Cuba by normalizing relations with the Island and ending the US economic blockade.

Assata Shakur: Sister, Woman, Exile, Mother, Grand mother

ASSATA SHAKUR is an African woman. She is a social justice activist, a poet, a mother and a grandmother. She has lived in Cuba since the early 1980s. During the heady days of the 1960s and 1970s, she found herself a victim of both racial profiling and political targeting. After being spotted on the New Jersey turnpike on May 2, 1973, (DWB) driving while Black, it was discovered that she and her two companions were known members of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X, Leonard Peltier and many members of the Civil Rights and American Indian Movements, Assata and her companions had been watched, their phones tapped, their families monitored, their organizations infiltrated, and widespread disinformation campaigns waged against them. They were like many activists of the day targets of the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). In fact, Assata was wanted, not for anything she had actually done, but for a variety of crimes that government and state officials were trying to pin on her. This was common in the 1970s: discredit the voice of activists by painting them as criminals, trumping up indictments, tying them up in courts and if possible jailing them. In the mid 1970s, The Church Committee of the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations and the Domestic Intelligence Subcommittee, headed by Senator Walter Mondale, provided incontrovertible documentation of a government sponsored conspiracy against the civil and human rights of all sorts of political activists.

THUS ON THAT DAY IN MAY, Assata was a marked woman. And after police stopped them, a shoot out occurred. When the smoke cleared one police officer, and one of Assata's companions, Zayd Shakur lay dead. Assata, shot in the back and dragged from the car, lay wounded. Only belatedly taken to the hospital, Assata was then chained to her bed, tortured and questioned while injured. In fact, she never received adequate medical attention even though she had a broken clavicle and a paralyzed arm. Nonetheless, she was quickly jailed, prosecuted and incarcerated over the next few years for the series of trumped up cases. Interestingly, in five separate trials, and with majority white juries, charges were dismissed because of lack of evidence or she was acquitted of all charges ranging from bank robbery to murder. As the manager of one bank said at trial - she is just not the one who robbed my bank. Only in the final trial in 1977, where she was charged with the Turnpike killings, was she found guilty. This even though forensic evidence taken that day showed that she had not fired a weapon. She was sentenced to life + 33 years in prison. In 1979, and after nearly six years behind bars, she escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey and some time later emerged in Cuba where she applied for and received political asylum. Since being in Cuba, she has continued her college education, published an autobiography, and writes on global issues facing women, youth, and people of color.

DURING THE 1990S, rightist politicians and police bodies - this time in conjunction with conservative members of the Cuban-American community - reinvigorated their attempts to pursue Assata Shakur. They did this even though Assata has not tried to re-enter the United States and is, according to international law, a political exile who should be left alone. Linking "fear of crime" rhetoric with anti-Cuban sentiment, New Jersey governor Christine Todd-Whitman issued a bounty which was $100,000, on the head of Assata Shakur. She even went as far as to announce her bounty on Radio Marti, the US government radio station which beams anti-Castro propaganda into the Caribbean. To do such a thing put Assata in danger because it is tantamount to encouraging any opportunists to kidnap and/or kill her for pay. In addition, in 1998, Congressmen Franks and Menendez from New Jersey and Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart of Florida introduced and got passed - House Resolution 254 - which calls for the Cuban government to extradite Assata Shakur as a condition to normalizing US-Cuba relations. Interestingly, while Assata and Cuba are portrayed as "criminal", a terrorist bombing campaign - thought to be sponsored by ultra-rightist forces in the United States - has been launched against Cuba, killing and injuring Cuban citizens and foreign tourists alike.



What You Should Do Now:

  1. Add your organization's name to our list of endorsers/Take petitions.
  2. Contact your Congressperson. Demand that he/she rescind House Resolution #254 and ask them to support congressional hearings on COINTELPRO. You can use a Congressional email service to look up your rep's email: http://www.house.gov/writerep
  3. Download and print the "Hands Off Assata Shakur" Flyer
  4. Plan a showing of the film Eyes of the Rainbow (1997). This film portrays the life and current struggles of Assata Shakur. Contact HOA for this: hoa@afrocubaweb.com
  5. Keep visiting www.assatashakur.org for current HOA-Campaign Info.
  6. Organize a Hands Off Assata Shakur Campaign Rally and Teach In in your respective cities and towns
  7. Send contributions: FTP Movement, P.O. Box 1720, Stone Mountain, Ga. 30086 (towards hosting costs, community events and support of other action alerts.)
  8. Contact us at www.assatashakur.org using the contact us form.
  9. Link to this site.
  10. Get an Hands off Assata Action Alert RSS Feed
  11. Participate in future monthly Action Alerts


Statement from Assata's Appeal Attorney June 2005
What is the "Hands Off Assata" (HOA) Campaign?
M1 of dead prez on the case of Assata Shakur
The Fugitive: Why has the FBI placed a million-dollar bounty on Assata Shakur? by Kathleen Cleaver
Assata Shakur: The government’s terrorist is our community’s heroine byMos Def
Resolution for U.S. Justice Dept. to withdraw the 1 Million Dollar Bounty for the Capture of Assata Shakur
Castro Defends Assata
National Conference of Black lawyers
Demands: Hands off Assata
Get Hands Off Assata Fliers
Get an Hands off Assata Action Alert RSS Feed
Read DOJ $1 Million Reward Statement
Millions for Assata (Philadelphia)
Audio Clips

What does the Bounty Mean? | 1,881KB | 2:40 Min #

Why A Bounty on Assata? | 409KB | :34 Sec #
Betraying Assata | 754KB | ? Min #
Assata Shakur Speaks about Mumia | 767KB | 1:38 Min #

Please link your Site to Assata Speaks!


Distribute Widely
Download "Hands Off" flier (english)
Download "Hands Off" flier (spanish)
# Download "Real Facts" flier (english)
# Download "Real Facts" flier (spanish) COMING SOON
Un mensaje para nuestros hermanos y hermanas caribeños
Read Instructions on how to use flier

Goals & Outcomes

Protect Assata Shakur from capture
Increase Public Awareness of the plight of exiles, political prisoners and grassroots activists.
Demand that the New Jersey State Police tell the truth about Assata's trial.
Expose the damage caused by COINTELPRO.

Continued freedom for Assata.
Acknowledgement of the sacrifice of our freedom fighters.
Truthful look at actions of NJ State Police Dept. and united states gov't.


Please take a few moments and provide us with important feedback about this Action Alert. Your opinions are important!

Hands Off Assata (HOA) Survey
What will I do to Keep Assata Free!

Getting my local organization involved in HOA movement.
Contacted my congressperson and said "Keep Assata Free!'
Distributed HOA Fliers!
Contacted HOA about showing Assata documentary.
Organized a HOA Rally in my city.
Made a contribution to the largest HOA site on Earth.
Contacted www.assatashakur.org for more info.
Linked my website to this one.
Subscribed to HOA RSS Feed
Pledge to participate in future Alerts!
I did all of it man! I been busy today!

How much did you know about Assata Shakur?

Nothing until I read this alert
A little, but thanks for the extra info
A whole lot. But now I am going to get active
I am already an active HOA supporter

We need:

more Unity among all HOA organizations
Educational materials for the Youth
To hold a huge public event for Assata once a year

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