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Image result for sundiata acoli site:.cuSundiata Acoli
www.sundiataacoli.org

Sundiata was in the car with Assata Shakur in 1973 when they were stopped by New Jersey State Troopers known for their Nazi membership (this is not the usual hyperbole, there were cells of authentic WWII Nazis in that organization).                              

"There is something about Sundiata that exudes calm. From every part of his being you can sense the presence of revolutionary spirit and fervor. And his love for Black people is so intense that you can almost touch it and hold it in your hand." --Assata Shakur

Assata escaped from jail and obtained political refuge in Cuba. Sundiata is finding it difficult to even be considered for parole.

Sundiata, a Black Panther, has been imprisoned since 1973 when, traveling the New Jersey Turnpike with two companions, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur, his car was ambushed by state troopers. During the shooting, Zayd was killed, a state trooper was killed, and Assata and Sundiata were wounded, captured and sentenced to life in prison.

After 21 years of imprisonment in the nation's harshest penitentiaries, Trenton State Prison, USP Marion, Il., and USP Leavenworth, Ks., and with an exemplary prison record, Sundiata came up for parole in 1994. He was not permitted to appear before the New Jersey Parole Board in person but was only allowed to participate from USP Leavenworth via telephone without an attorney present. After a 20 minute telephone hearing Sundiata was denied parole. In 2004, there was the possibility for parole, but he did not get it. He has now clocked over 3 decades in the federal system.

You can follow Sundiata's struggles at:
www.sundiataacoli.org

Freedom Dance, Fund raiser for the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign, 11/14/2009

Articles/Artículostop

Sundiata Acoli’s “Affirmation”  2/27/2018 Black Agenda Radio: "Political prisoner Sundiata Acoli, who was arrested with fellow Black Panther Assata Shakur in 1973, is among a host of political prisoners and activists that took part in a reading of Shakur’s poem, “Affirmation,” written in exile in Cuba. Acoli will not be eligible for parole until 2032, when he will be 94 years old. “Affirmation” reads, in part: “I have been locked up by the lawless, handcuffed by the haters, gagged by the greedy, and if I know anything at all, it’s that a wall is just a wall…it can be broken down.”"

Former Black Panther serving life sentence for murder denied release  11/29/2016 Guardian: "New Jersey police have opposed the release of Sundiata Acoli, who killed a state trooper more than 40 years ago, since he became eligible for parole in 1992." See also New Jersey and the Nazis by Hans Wolff, August, 1998

New Jersey Parole Board Files To Block Release Of Trooper Werner Foerster’s Killer  10/8/2014 AP: "New Jersey’s parole board has filed in court to stop the release of a man convicted of killing a state trooper more than 40 years ago. A two-member panel of the state parole board denied Sundiata Acoli’s parole in 2011, but an appeals court reversed the ruling last month and ordered Acoli released."

Sundiata Acoli, Man Who Murdered State Trooper, To Be Released On Parole  9/29/2014 Huff Post: "A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday. Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of state trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, he was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday. In a 28-page opinion, the panel wrote that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier."

Feds Falsely Use Specter of Terrorism to Hunt Down Black Liberation Activist  5/18/2013 Truth Out: "Despite two mistrials--one in 1973 and one in 1974--and despite the fact that Sundiata Acoli had already been convicted of the murder of Werner Foerster, Assata Shakur was found guilty of first-degree murder in 1977. The trial was full of constitutional violations, including a visit by a New Jersey state assembly member to the sequestered, all-white jury, urging them to convict her. After already serving four years in jail, she was sentenced to life in prison."

Life, health care, prisons and cutting costs by Sundiata Acoli  10/4/2009 SF Bay View 

Black August ‘05 Tribute to Assata, Mumia, Evelyn Williams, Esq., Lynne Stewart, Esq., and Zolo Azania by Sundiata Acoli  8/10/2005 SF Bay View: "Lynne Stewart, Esq., our White comrade and a 65-year-old grandmother, not only commands our highest respect, but her present situation also demands our strongest support. She has been on the front lines over 30 years unflinchingly defending political people of all nationalities, particularly Black and other people of color, and oppressed peoples in general. Because of Lynne’s staunch defense of unpopular political defendants, her own freedom now hangs in the balance. She was recently convicted of violating “special administrative measures” in her defense of the blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and now faces up to 30 years in prison. Her sentencing date is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2005. Lynne urgently needs all the “letters to the judge” that we can write to try to convince him that Lynne’s age (65 and counting), her 30 years of service to communities that rarely see vigorous lawyering, and the weakness of the government’s charges and proof should lead to a sentence of no incarceration."

Parole decision due for N.J. trooper's killer  6/29/2004 Home News Tribune: "Sundiata Acoli will learn today whether he will gain his freedom or continue serving time for the May 3, 1973, murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster."

Call for support for Malcolm Shabazz and Sundiata Acoli  2/4/2004 SF Bay View: scroll down for section on Sundiata - "The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign would like to thank everyone who sent letters in support of Sundiata Acoli’s parole. The parole hearing that was to take place last month did not happen. The parole hearing was moved to sometime in February. We would like to encourage everyone to continue to send in letters of support for the release of our dear brotha. Please include in your letter the standard governing the granting of parole under the New Jersey’s 1979 Parole Act: “Prisoners shall be released on parole unless it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the inmate will commit a crime if released.” Sundiata Acoli just turned 67 years old. He has been held captive for the past 30 years, and it is time to bring him home."

Free Sundiata Acoli - Sundiata needs you to send a letter to the parole board now!  11/7/2003 SF Bay View: "Nancy Jacot-Bell, wife of U.S. political prisoner Herman Bell, sent the Bay View this urgent message: We’ve just learned that Sundiata Acoli's parole board appearance has been moved forward. He will go before the board 30-60 days from now, or no later than Jan. 2, 2004. His support group MUST have letters of support no later than Nov. 15! " Actually, one of Sundiata's attorneys tells us letters can be sent until December 15, 2003.

U.S. policy on undermining Black leaders, the Black community and Afrika  10/15/2003 SF Bay View: "Sundiata is a political prisoner, a brilliant mathematician, artist and committed freedom fighter for the New Afrikan Nation. Keep your eyes and ears open for updated information on Sundiata’s most recent parole efforts, as we must answer the call and support! Sundiata submitted the following document for Black August. It was not received at the Bay View in time for publication in August, and so, in honor of Sundiata’s legendary service in the Black Panther Party, we saved it for Black Panther History Month. Here is National Security Council Memorandum-46, an official policy statement issued in 1978 during the Carter administration of U.S. policy on undermining Black leaders, the Black community and Afrika:"

Attorneys Visit With Sundiata/Reflections on Organizing!  12/23/2001 Afrikan Identity: Sundiata, along with many other political prisoners, was put in lockdown after 9-11. He is still heavily restricted, as per his attorney - "Sundiata was not informed that his social visits and mail was reinstated, so Soffiyah believe the administration may have lied to her. i'm encouraging everyone to continue to write Sundiata. He is only let out of his cage upon visits, he showers in the cage as well, anyone thats on his visiting list that can, please go and visit with him." Sundiata was in the car with Assata when they were assaulted by a Nazi cell in the NJ State Police.

You're in the Hole - A CRACKDOWN ON DISSIDENT PRISONERS  11/17/2001 The Progressive: USA is a police state: "Since 1973, Sundiata Acoli has been serving a life sentence for the murders of a police officer and a fellow Black Liberation Army member in a shootout in which Acoli drove the getaway car. Shortly after the September 11 attack, he found himself in the hole. Soffiyah Elijah, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice Institute, is one of several lawyers who represent Acoli. "None of us have had access to him," she says. I talked to Elijah on October 25. The day before, she said, was her first opportunity to speak with Acoli in nearly six weeks. She said she made so many calls that she lost count. "I was constantly on the phone to the lawyers of the B.O.P. [Bureau of Prisons]," she said. Elijah gave me a copy of a letter on U.S. Department of Justice/Bureau of Prisons stationery. It is dated September 26 and is signed Jake Mendez, Warden of the U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, where Sundiata Acoli (whose former name, used on all Bureau of Prison records, is Clark Squire) is incarcerated. "Dear Ms. Elijah," says the letter, "I am in receipt of your letter wherein you request Inmate Clark Squire be permitted a legal telephone call. . . . Inmate Squire is currently not authorized telephone privileges, including legal telephone calls. This has been enacted for security reasons. Moreover, my review indicates Inmate Squire does not have legal action pending at this time. Accordingly, I am denying your request to allow Inmate Squire a legal telephone call." Elijah says that the order for Acoli's segregation did not come from the individual prison, but from Washington."

A Brief History of the Black Panther Party. Its Place in the Black Liberation Movement  6/1/1995 World History Archives: By Sundiata Acoli, from the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign, 1995 

    

FREEDOM DANCE, 11/14/2009


SAVE THE DATE!!!

FREEDOM DANCE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH
7 TO 11 P.M.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. LABOR CENTER, 1199 SEIU
310 W. 43RD STREET, btw. 8TH & 9TH AVENUES
NEW YORK, NY 10036

$20 ADMISSION, FOOD AND BEVERAGES FOR PURCHASE

Fund Raiser for the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign (SAFC)

On Saturday, November 14th, we will dance and celebrate at Freedom Dance. This celebration is an opportunity for us as a community to acknowledge our victories and renew our efforts to continue this essential work. We celebrate the liberation and freedom of our sister Assata Shakur, who along with many other Political Prisoners (who still remain behind the walls) set the example of unselfish sacrifice for our beloved people. We also celebrate the sacrifice of those freedom fighters whose spirits were released due to their physical demise. This is a celebration for them all. We will especially honor Sundiata Acoli. Through music and the warm meaningful collective interaction of dance and laughter, we will reaffirm our commitment to their freedom.

1999 Campaign for the release of Sundiata Acolitop

September 18, 1999

SUNDIATA ACOLI FREEDOM CAMPAIGN

mailto:SAParole@aol.com

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

On May 2, 1973, three former members of the New York City chapter of the Black Panther Party - - Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Malik Shakur-- were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike for a purportedly "faulty tail-light." A shoot-out ensued during which a state trooper, Werner Foster, and Zayd were killed and Assata and Sundiata wounded. Both Assata and Sundiata were subsequently convicted of the murder of the trooper and related charges and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Twenty-six years later Sundiata remains in prison, and if New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman, and the New Jersey State Parole Board have their way, will remain there for the remainder of his life. In 1994, Sundiata appeared before the Parole Board was denied parole and assigned a new parole eligibility date in 2006. At the time of his appearance before the Parole Board, Sundiata had maintained a "charge free" record for eight years and had outstanding educational and work reports. However, the Parole Board, in denying Sundiata's release ignored all of the evidence supporting his release and instead concluded that a substantial likelihood existed that if released on parole Sundiata would commit another crime because of, inter alia, his former membership in the BPP; his characterization of himself as a "political prisoner," and because his family, friends and supporters had written letters to the Parole Board demanding his release. 

In other words, Sundiata is being held in prison because of his and his supporters First Amendment protected beliefs and activities. The transcript of Sunidata's telephonic parole hearings and the Board's decisions also make clear that the Parole Board had predetermined to deny Sundiata parole in violation of his right to due process of law.   Twenty six years is long enough! No evidence exists that if released on parole, Sundiata, who is now 62 years old, will embark on a life of "crime." Sundiata has already served more time than the average person convicted of murder. Just because Sundiata is a former member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted of a murder of state trooper, along with another well known member of the BPP, Assata Shakur who successfully escaped and was deservedly granted political asylum in Cuba, should not mean that Sundiata should spend the remainder of his life in prison. The purpose of prison, except in the instances in which the barbaric punishment of death is imposed, is supposed to be rehabilitation, not torture and revenge!

Sundiata has unsuccessfully appealed the Parole Board's decision up to the United States Supreme Court and is presently preparing to file a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. In conjunction with the filing of his writ of habeas corpus, Sundiata is launching a mass campaign calling on Governor Whitman and the Parole Board to release him on parole. To succeed, he needs your support and the support of others like you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

1. Endorse the following "Call for Release of Sundiata Acoli" by filling out and returning the form below the Call to the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign today at SAParole@aol.com. Please include your full name, address and organizational afflation, if any.

2. Copy and circulate this letter and Call for the Release of Sundiata Acoli to as many people as possible.

Thank you in advance for your support of the freedom of Sundiata Acoli. 

Sincerely,

Joan P. Gibbs, Esq.
Florence Morgan, Esq.
Legal Advisors to Sundiata Acoli


CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF SUNDIATA ACOLI

For the past twenty-six years, Sundiata Acoli a former member of the New York City chapter of the Black Panther Party and one of the "Panther 21" years has been imprisoned on New Jersey state charges stemming from a May 1973 incident involving Sundiata and two other former members of the BPP, Assata Shakur and Zayd Malik Shakur. On May 2, 1973, while driving south on the New Jersey Turnpike, Sundiata, Assata and Zayd, were stopped for a purportedly "faulty tail-light." A shoot-out ensued during which a state trooper, Werner Foster, and Zayd were killed and Assata and Sundiata wounded. Both Assata and Sundiata were subsequently convicted of the murder of the trooper and related charges and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In 1994, Sundiata appeared before the Parole Board was denied parole and assigned a new parole eligibility date of 2006. At the time of his appearance before the Parole Board, Sundiata had maintained a "charge free" record for eight years and had outstanding progress, work and educational reports. In denying Sundiata release on parole, the Parole Board ignored all of the evidence supporting his release and instead concluded that a substantial likelihood existed that if released on parole Sundiata would commit another crime because of, inter alia, his former membership in the BPP and his characterization of himself as a "political prisoner." In addition, the Parole Board cited the fact that his family, friends and supporters had written letters to the Parole Board demanding his release, in blatant violation of his and supporters rights under the First Amendment! Indeed, the transcripts of Sundiata's telephonic parole hearings and the Parole Board's decision strongly suggest that the Parole Board had predetermined to deny Sunidata release on parole in violation of his right to due process of law.

Twenty six years is long enough! No evidence exists that if released on parole, Sundiata, who is now 62 years old, will embark on a life of "crime." The purpose of prison, except in the instances in which the barbaric punishment of death is imposed, is supposed to be rehabilitation, not torture and revenge! Sundiata has already spend more time in prison than others convicted of similar crimes. Just because Sundiata is a former member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted along with another well known member of the BPP Assata Shakur who successfully escaped and was deservedly granted political asylum in Cuba, should not mean that Sundiata should spend the remainder of his life in prison.

We, the undersigned, therefore call on the Governor of New Jersey Christine Whitman and the New Jersey State Parole to immediately release Sundiata Acoli on parole.

Name: ____________________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

Telephone: _______________________ Fax: __________________________

Electronic Mail: _________________________________________________

Organizational Affiliation For Identification Only: ______________

__________________________________________________________________

[ ] Yes, I support the Call for the Release of Sundiata Acoli.

[ ] No, I do not support the Call for the Release of Sundiata Acoli

Return to Assata Index

Assata Shakur writes in honor of Sundiata Acoli's Birthday - 1/9/99top

POEM FOR SUNDIATA by Assata Shakur

I remember your smile
Bright as the sun’s explosion
Wide as the arms of Yemaya
Deep as a gushing well of kindness
I remember your smile

Slow like the dawn of recognition
Quick like the wit of observation
Clear as the logic of common sense
I remember your smile

Frank as a simple declaration
Bold like the taste of naked love
Wasn't no grinning or smirking or sneering
I remember your smile

Even when you were young
You had an old smile,
deep wrinkles spread across your brow
Like worn paths
Crossing familiar ground
Laugh lines descending from eyes made old
By deadly images
Laughter holding back the tears
I remember your smile

Your smile is like an umbilical cord
Pulling me back, pulling us back
to a lost continent
of brown velvet faces with white incandescent teeth
radiating home, radiating peace, radiating love

Your smile
wakes me up from nightmares
turned into day-mares
Reoccurring slave-mares
In the twisted tinsel hell
They call amerika

When they came and they took my baby
When the milk in my breast turned to sour curds
When there was no one there to hold me
And the voices that tried to console me
Sounded like empty words
I remembered your smile

Wrote off our lives with reams of paper
Stained with filthy, greedy lies
Turned us into prison statistics
Using legaleeze linguistics
Regurgitating hypocritical diatribes
Like thin white vomit

In the midst of body bags
And toe tags
And the flood of black blood

In the midst of affirmative negation
And mass extermination
I remember your smile
We remember your smile
We call on your smile
We call on your smile
To give us light

They been trying to take your smile
Wipe it off your face
Like they be wiping us off this earth
But you smiled that smile in cages,
Institutionalized outrages
Twenty year hits
Like contemptuous spit
And in spite of a bitter taste in your mouth
Your smile shines strong

All of us smile lovers
Need to set you free
We need to free your smile
That x-ray smile
Beaming rays of freedom
Unchain that smile
Unchain that smile
Set it free

We love your smile
We need your smile
Your smile is sweet enough
To melt hard hearts
Into love syrup
Sweet and sticky as the nectar of freedom

 

topLinks

www.webcom.com/nattyreb/sundiata/

Klu Klux Klan, Nazis, and other American White Supremacists 

 

 

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