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Black Riders Under Attack in L.A.

February 10, 2008

by Michael Novick

August 7th 2007

At least six members of the Black Riders Liberation Party, including its leader T.A.C.O. (Take All Capitalists Out), and sisters Aryana, Nadia and Isabel, also important leaders of the party, plus one child, were arrested yesterday in two separate raids, one in San Bernardino County, where sheriff’s deputies arrived with warrants for a number of members of the BRLP, and one in Los Angeles by the LAPD. Sister Aryana is being held on $500,000 bond on a Los Angeles warrant and is to be transferred to L.A. from San Bernardino. Sister Nadia Shakur has a court appearance scheduled for Friday in San Bernardino and has the possibility of being released on her own recognizance at that point. Two of those arrested in Los Angeles have already been released, but T.A.C.O. is being held on $50,000 bond at the Century Detention Center near the LAX Courthouse.

Legal, material and other forms of solidarity are needed immediately and urgently! The Black Riders immediate priority is to obtain T.A.C.O.’s release on bail, which requires both cash for the bond (at least a substantial portion of the $5000 – ten percent) and people willing to act as guarantors or cosigners on the bond. The members of the Black Riders who would have been in a position to do that are in custody themselves. Most of those out on the street and dealing with the situation are young and poor; they need a co-signer on the bond note. I can put up a significant amount of the cash for the down payment on the bond, as I have done before, but I am not in a position to co-sign. The current bail on Aryana is totally prohibitive and legal assistance is needed there and with the other cases as well, including T.A.C.O. James Simmons, who had frequently represented members of the Black Riders on previous cases of repression and harassment, is not practicing law currently. Other lawyers are needed. Folks with stable housing and resources are needed. Financial donations large and small are certainly needed. Political support is most definitely needed.

These arrests are not new, but their scope and the high bails are a measure of the growing impact of the Black Riders not only locally but around the state of California and beyond. The BRLP led two recent news-making demonstrations in Leimert Park; one at the head of the Unity Mission to Free the SF Eight, the former Black panther Party members and associates who have been charged with conspiracy in a 35-year-old case based on torture. As T.A.C.O. said at the time, the SF Eight is an attack not only on the elders and the legacy of the BPP, but on the current forces struggling for Black liberation and self-defense, such as the BRLP. They were also involved in the self-defense of the Black community in its opposition to the provocation by the Minute-klan anti-immigrant, pro-police forces fronted by Ted Hayes.

The BRLP has recently been building chapters and making contacts in San Diego, Sacramento and the Bay Area. As their recognition and support in the Black community of south L.A., Crenshaw, Watts and the Inland Empire has grown, the police have grown more intent on disrupting their activities. These latest raids and high bails are further proof that the system hates and wants to destroy organized resistance among Black and other colonized and resisting people. The BRLP in particular, which has worked on both truce-making among Black youth and Black-Brown unity against the empire and repression, have become prime targets and must be a prime rallying-point for solidarity.

You can call ARA-LA at 310-495-0299 to offer your support; send funds (cash or checks made out to cash, or US POSTAL money orders only made out to Boxholder) to Black Riders, PO Box 8297, Los Angeles CA 90008.

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