Friday is the day SCISSION is devoted to the political prisoners of America.
Sanyika Shakur in a New Afrikan Communist currently held in Pelican Bay's Security Housing Unit. There are those who will argue that Shakur is just a thug, a gangster, and shouldn't even be listed here. Fifty years ago those folks would have made similar arguments about Malcolm X.
Now, Shakur is not Malcolm. I am not making that argument but he is a man who has been at war with America for a long, long time...and America has been at war with him even longer.
Shakur was born in Los Angeles in 1963. He joined the 83 Gangster Crips at age 11. He earned the nickname "Monster" at 13 by brutally beating a robbery victim. By 1988, he had been in and out of jail several times, for robbery, assault and attempted murder. During a stint in solitary confinement, he penned his best selling book, Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member (1993).
So you ask, "Is this a political prisoner?"
The blog Gangs in a biography of Shakur has a section entitled "Political Prisoner." Here is what the blog's author writes:
police arrested Sanyika for abuse and grand theft auto in January 1991. he had beaten up a stubborn drug dealer who sold his merchandise in Sanyika’s street corner. The auto theft was him simply confiscating the stubborn drug dealers van when he didn’t stop. Los Angeles
Because of his past, Sanyika could look forward to a seventeen year sentence. When he finally declared himself guilty, he got seven years.
Back in prison he was placed in solitary confinement during an indefinite period of time. There he sat for more than three years because of his political opinions and comments he had made (meaning, he was a political prisoner).
In prison he wrote his Autobiography, got a book deal and a contract to make a movie about his life. When he was released on parole the book was published and translated to different languages (the Swedish translation was one of the first together with the Spanish). Unfortunately Sanyika experienced what many other revolutionaries in the
have done and do, become to busy and missed a meeting with his parole officer. This automatically meant he would be sent back to prison. US
But Sanyika had no plans of going back to prison, so he simply fled. Since then he was found by the police who chased him. But he didn’t give up, instead he ran, literally over the police when they came to arrest him. This made him one of FBI:s most wanted “criminals”. At the same time the book became a bestseller and he wrote letters to the editor column of The Source Magazine, was interviewed by Rap Pages.
In a 2010 interview Shakur said,
i was initially of course a criminal. i belonged to a street organization. i grew up in South Central and i was captured in 1984 for a crime committed against other New Afrikan people in which a gun battle was the result and some people were wounded. i was put in the hole at San Quentin for 28 months and it was there that i was turned onto the new New Afrikan Independence Movement in general, and the Spear and Shield Collective in particular. i pledged my allegiance then to the independence of the nation, to the New Afrikan ideology, the theory and philosophy of Spear and Shield Collective, and i continued to transform through study and struggle my mentality from criminality to revolutionary nationalism. And i struggled in concert with the brothers who were there, who were conscious, who felt a need to, and the obligation to, raise up cats like myself. So i became a conscious New African citizen in '86, 21 years after the death of Malcolm X, through an invitation by revolutionary brothers who felt that i had the potential to represent the nation, the organization and brothers and sisters at large. So i became a New African nationalist from the heart, because that's where a revolution begins, from the mind, from the people, and i have been struggling ever since, consciously.He added,
The whole issue of political prisoners and prisoners of war strikes terror in the beast, in the state, in the empire and the imperialists. Comrade George Jackson was a common criminal, a thief on the street, and was captured at the age of 18 and transformed his criminal mentality over an 11 year period to be a revolutionary, to be a representative of working class people. He eventually became a Black Panther and a prisoner of war as a consequence of the struggle that was going on in the prisons at that particular time and at large. Comrade brother Fred Hampton, another brother who was a Panther, who was also murdered, assassinated much like Comrade George Jackson, as a response to the seriousness of what they represented. Fred himself was put in prison because they said he stole ice cream and distributed it among children, $70 worth of ice cream. He was sentenced to three years in prison and in fact he was murdered while he was out on bail. But this is the same thing We're talking about.
Brother Malcolm X went to prison a common criminal and transformed his mentality while he was in prison and came out a new man of whom we know today as El Hajj Malik el Shabazz or Malcolm X. Prisoners have the capacity, the ability, like anyone else, to transform themselves to become productive, conscious revolutionaries who, by any means necessary, will struggle to the death like any other person. And this is what the state fears.
So to sum it up and to end it all, for this particular segment, We must support our prisoners of war, our political prisoners and all conscious people who are involved in our movement, in our organization, in our nation. Otherwise the beast will step in with surrogate programs and turn people against us. With that i just want to say Rebuild! Free the Land! Free all New Afrikan Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
The following is from the San Francisco Bay View. It was written by Sanyika Shakur.
We are the ones who refused to be captured in Afrika without a fight, who staged daring raids on enemy supply lines and brought our nationals back to freedom. We are the ones who made longer, sharper spears, thicker shields and turned our backs on collaborating kings.