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Support the San Francisco 8 Brothers

February 10, 2008

As 4strugglemag reported in the last issue, this past January eigth Black Panther Party veterans were indicted and arrested for charges relating to the killing of a San Francisco cop in 1971. California courts dismissed this charge against some of these same men in 1975, when it was revealed that police had brutally tortured them during their original arrests.

The government is going full force to railroad these elders-brothers. Part of this is to send these life-long Freedom Struggle workers to prison until they die, and part of it is to try to intimidate younger generations of activists.

The San Francisco 8 case is probably the most important political trial of the last 15 or 20 years. Now, during this period of war and heightened government surveillance and repression, it is both the right thing to do and important for ongoing social and environmental justice, peace and human rights work, that we actively support the SF8 in their struggle for justice and freedom.

Jaan Laaman, editor
Herman Bell, 59, of Mississippi, a political prisoner since 1973. Cointelpro’s “pattern of manipulation and lies, continuing into the present, indicates something more than the ordinary corruption and racism of everyday law enforcement. It can be understood only in terms of the power of the political movement that [we] were part of, and the intensity of the government’s efforts to destroy that movement and to disillusion and intimidate future generations of young activists.” Write to him – 2318931, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103.

Ray Boudreaux, 64, of Altadena. “Actually for the last 25 years I’ve lived a pretty peaceful and quiet life. My politics are still the same. It’s just that I’m not active. People come to me sometimes as a peace-maker. And all of that has to do with all of my experience.” Write to him – 2301300, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103.

Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco. “For the past six years I have been a Community Court Judge Arbitrator working with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. We place a lot of emphasis on restorative justice, so most of the community service done will be done in our own community where the offender can give back to the community.” Write to him – 2300819, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103.

Henry W. (Hank) Jones, 70, of Altadena. “I [have lived] under the constant threat of another … incarceration. In essence I have been robbed of peace of mind, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am therefore compelled to resist these tactics and inform the public of my recent experience, feeling that something similar could happen to anyone given the climate of fear, paranoia, and abuse of authority that is rampant in our country today.” Write to him – 2301301, 425 Seventh St, San Francisco CA 94103.

Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), 55, of San Francisco, a political prisoner in New York since 1978. “The United States does not recognize the existence of political prisoners. To do so would give credence to the fact of the level of repression and oppression, and have to recognize the fact that people resist racist oppression in the United States, and therefore, legitimize the existence of not only the individuals who are incarcerated or have been captured, but also legitimize those movements of which they are a part.” Write to him – 2311826, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103.

Richard O’Neal, 58, has worked for the City of San Francisco for 25 years, most recently at the Southeast Community Center in Bay View. “People who work there said they were stunned by his arrest, recalling him as a kind and gentle man who always had a smile on his face and would stay late to fix lights or other things.” (SF Chronicle) The dean of the campus noted, “He is a trusted employee who would do anything to help us…He would take the shirt off his back to try to help you.” Richard has been charged with “conspiracy.” Write to him – 2300818, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103.
Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City. “In 1971, two brothers and I were set up by the FBI. We didn’t learn about COINTELPRO until years later. In 1973 I was arrested in New Orleans and was beaten and tortured for several days. in 2003 the detectives that were responsible for my torture came to my house to try and question me. I have not been the same since.” Write to him – 2305584, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Francisco Torres, 58, of New York City. Cisco born in Puerto Rico and raised in this country. He is a Vietnam Veteran who fought for the grievances of Black and Latino soldiers upon his return to the states. A fomer Black Panther, he has been a community activist since his discharge from the military in 1969. Write to him – 2307534, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

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