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Introduction to International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners

February 11, 2006

BY JAILI MUNTAQIM

Ours is an initiative that speaks to many languages, cultures and civilizations bridging these differences into a single purpose. That purpose is to give recognition, solidarity and support to political prisoners, especially those suffering at the hands of US imperialism, either directly or indirectly; either by colonial or neo-colonial forms of oppression. Although we here participate and join in solidarity with this initiative, I am of the belief we in America, in the belly of the beast, need to do more. For decades, I have raised the issue of US political prisoners, and the need to broaden support for political prisoners internationally. We have successfully brought petitions to the United Nations on the issue of political prisoners, and the Jericho Amnesty Movement has established links of communication with political prisoner support groups in the Basque region, Italy, Germany and France, to just name a few.

What does this mean for the future of the solidarity initiative for political prisoners? Unlike Amnesty International, the Jericho Amnesty Movement gives recognition and support to political prisoners and prisoners of war. Jericho understands that the Geneva Accords and Protocols must be applied to those captured and confined for their militant opposition to US imperialism and that the US must abide by these international laws. Despite the United States connivance in conjuring new terminology to identify militant opposition to US imperialism, terms such as “enemy combatants” simply deny them recognition under international laws. There cannot be any true international solidarity without rejecting this conjured terminology. In this regard, the Jericho Amnesty Movement seeks to ensure that all militant freedom fighters are provided the opportunity to be treated in accordance with international laws governing political prisoners and prisoners of war.

To this end, I have proposed that once again a petition alleging human rights violations be brought before the United Nations, a comprehensive petition that speaks to both domestic and foreign held political prisoners and prisoners of war, including the disappeared. I ask all the representative groups and individuals in support of political prisoners attending this event and other events throughout the world to support the petition. We who live in the belly of the beast have the onus to take the lead in furthering this cause. Obviously, there is a need for a new revolutionary international movement. The oppressed peoples of the world are anxiously waiting for progressive and revolutionary forces in the US to get organized and mobilized. The oppressed peoples of the world are depending on progressive and revolutionary forces in the US to fight for our own freedom and liberation, and in so doing, free them of the tyranny of US imperialism. We can not, must not allow history to judge us any longer as being complicit. We can not, must not allow our silence to an oppressive US foreign policy be detrimental to others and beneficial to the ruling class.

There can not be international solidarity without substantial work to manifest the true meaning of solidarity. The task then becomes one of gardening the seeds of our commitment, cultivating our revolutionary determination and harvesting liberation and freedom. At the dawn of the new century, let us build a truly revolutionary international movement that is organized at the very heart of progressive and revolutionary movements throughout the world. Let us work for the amnesty and release of political prisoners and prisoners of war.

Long live the Jericho Amnesty Movement
Long live international solidarity with political prisoners of war!

Jalil A. Muntaqim #77A4283
Auburn Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 618
135 State Street
Auburn, NY 13024 USA

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