Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Latest From The Partisan Defense Committee-Free The Class-War Prisoners-Free Sundiata Acoli!

Click on the headline to link to the Partisan Defense Committee website.

Reposted from the American Left History blog, dated December 1, 2010.

Markin comment:

I like to think of myself as a fervent supporter of the Partisan Defense Committee, an organization committed to social and political defense cases and causes in the interests of the working class and, at this time of the year, to raising funds to support the class-war prisoners’ stipend program. Normally I do not need any prompting in the matter. This year, however, in light of the addition of Attorney Lynne Stewart (yes, I know, she has been disbarred but that does not make her less of a people’s attorney in my eyes) to the stipend program, I read the 25th Anniversary Appeal article in Workers Vanguard No. 969 where I was startled to note how many of the names, organizations, and political philosophies mentioned there hark back to my own radical coming of age, and the need for class-struggle defense of all our political prisoners in the late 1960s (although I may not have used that exact term at the time).

That recognition included names like black liberation fighter George Jackson, present class-war prisoner Hugo Pinell’s San Quentin Six comrade; the Black Panthers, as represented here by two of the Omaha Three (Poindexter and wa Langa), in their better days and in the days when we needed, desperately needed, to fight for their defense in places from Oakland to New Haven; the struggle, the fierce struggle, against the death penalty as represented in Mumia’s case today; the Ohio 7 and the Weather Underground who, rightly or wrongly, were committed to building a second front against American imperialism, and who most of the left, the respectable left, abandoned; and, of course, Leonard Peltier and the Native American struggles from Pine Ridge to the Southwest. It has been a long time and victories few. I could go on but you get the point.

That point also includes the hard fact that we have paid a high price, a very high price, for not winning back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when we last had this capitalist imperialist society on the ropes. Maybe it was political immaturity, maybe it was cranky theory, maybe it was elitism, hell, maybe it was just old-fashioned hubris but we let them off the hook. And have had to fight forty years of rear-guard “culture wars” since just to keep from falling further behind.

And the class-war prisoners, our class-war prisoners, have had to face their “justice” and their prisons. That lesson should be etched in the memory of every pro-working class militant today. And this, as well, as a quick glance at the news these days should make every liberation fighter realize; the difference between being on one side of that prison wall and the other is a very close thing when the bourgeoisie decides to pull the hammer down. The support of class-war prisoners is thus not charity, as International Labor Defense founder James P. Cannon noted back in the 1920s, but a duty of those fighters outside the walls. Today I do my duty, and gladly.
22 May 2012

Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013


Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252

Free Sundiata Acoli!

The following letter was sent on 22 May to the Chairman of the New Jersey State Parole Board:

Dear Sir:

The Partisan Defense Committee once again joins with those supporting the release of the political prisoner Sundiata Acoli. Given that Mr. Acoli is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, is now a 75-year-old having survived 39 years of incarceration with no disciplinary reports for many years, there is absolutely no reason that he should be denied parole.

We are well aware that a common ploy used to deny parole to political prisoners is that they are said to "lack remorse" for their alleged crimes. But Mr. Accoli is an innocent man who, along with two of his companions, was a victim of a New Jersey state trooper attack in May 1973. As a former Black Panther, Mr. Acoli had long been targeted by the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO program.

We feel it is an injustice that Sundiata Acoli was incarcerated at all much less for 39 years. We call for his release.
July 31, 2012

We have just received a copy of a post sent out by Sundiata Acoli informing his supporters that he was denied parole again. Sundiata's case was referred to a three-member panel to determine the size of his "hit" (the amount of time before becoming eligible for a parole hearing again). On May 22, the PDC sent a letter to the New Jersey State Parole Board on behalf of Sundiata stating, "We feel it is an injustice that Sundiata Acoli was incarcerated at all much less for 39 years. We call for his release."

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