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The Jericho Movement 10th Anniversary

May 10, 2008


Co-founder of Jericho Amnesty Movement

The effort to build support for U.S. Political Prisoners is far longer and arduous than the 10-year existence of the Jericho Amnesty Movement. The struggle in support of political prisoners has existed since chattel slavery and the abolitionist movement in this country. Often, various communities band together to demand the release of those who fought against racism, sexism and environmental contamination seeking to make whole what the corporate government has sought to exploit and destroy.

It is in this rich history of struggle that the Jericho Movement evolved and came into existence. From out of the Free Angela Davis, Free Huey, Free the San Quentin 6, movements came the Free the Panther 21, Free the N.Y. 3 and the Move 9 to the continuing struggle to Free Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal and Marilyn Buck. All of these struggles further indicate how over the centuries and decades there has been a continuum of U.S. corporate government repression1 and efforts to fight back leading to activist, dissenters and revolutionaries being captured and imprisoned.

1 The Act to Provide a Government for the District of Columbia, Section 34 of the Forty-First Congress of the United States, Session III, Chapter 61 and 62, enacted on February 21, 1871, states:

“The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a corporation, whose jurisdiction is applicable only in the ten-mile-square parcel of land known as the District of Columbia and to what ever properties are legally titled to the UNITED STATES, by its registration in the corporate County, State, and federal governments that are under military power of the UNITED STATES and its creditors.” (Emphasis added)

Furthermore, pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. 3002 (15) (a), the United States is a Federal Corporation. Title 28 U.S.C. 3002 (15) (3), further informs that all departments of the U.S., is part of the corporation. The Commerce Department acquires birth certificates via county and state governments, which contractually, makes these live births ultimately commerce property of the U.S. Corporation, with a monetary value attached to each certificate.

Today, we are in an unique position to build a united and uniform national organization that represent the issues and concerns of U.S. political prisoners. We are able to build a national and international determination to demand amnesty — calling for their immediate release and exoneration. This is especially true for those U.S. political prisoners who are victims of the unconstitutional FBI Cointelpro operations. In this regard, it is possible to point directly to an illegal and unconstitutional government operation that the U.S. Senate Select Committee condemned. The importance of demanding, for example, the reopening of Cointelpro hearings, is the impact it would have on exposing the repressive nature of the Patriot Act and the plethora of post 9/11 laws & White House enactments designed to repress dissent and usher in State overt fascism in this country.

The Jericho Amnesty Movement is historic in what it seeks to achieve in terms of forging a coalition of activist concentrating on the central issue of U.S. political prisoners. It has been established via a petition to the United Nations, tours by International Jurist visiting U.S. political prisoners, plus several International Tribunals recognizing that U.S. political prisoners do in fact exist. There is no denying their existence, yet progressive forces in the U.S. are so divided they have been unable to force the U.S. corporate government to adhere to the rule of law in the recognition and treatment of U.S. political prisoners. This is a failure of the overall progressive movement that the Jericho Amnesty Movement has sought to rectify. While the Jericho Amnesty Movement has gone through several transitions in the past ten years, it consistently calls for and petitions the progressive movement in this country to join and unite in support of U.S. political prisoners. In order to be successful, this is the ultimate goal of the Jericho Amnesty Movement.

Join the Jericho Amnesty Movement, establish a chapter and develop a working relationship with a U.S. political prisoner. Build a Jericho support group in your community organization, in your faith-based group, at the community center, on college campuses, and ensure the position of U.S. political prisoners are represented at every progressive event. That is what you can do from this day forward, spreading the word across the country and making links to Jericho website and that of the many political prisoners.

Earlier this year, the Honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu and six other Noble Peace Prize Laureates issued an international call demanding the charges against the S.F. 8 be dropped and that Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim (A. Bottom) be immediately released on humanitarian grounds. This is not the first time internationally renowned persons have recognized the existence of U.S. political prisoners demanding their release. Mumia Abu Jamal has a street name after him in France, and gain international support for his release, as have Leonard Peltier. Can we do anything less here today? We must build the kind of national organization and determination that ensure the names of U.S. political prisoners are household word, and streets are named after each of them in the course of demanding their release from prison. That is the kind of movement we need to build to ensure that the legacy of struggle that each of these political prisoners represent is preserved for generations of activists to learn of their examples and sacrifices.

Let us all contribute to this noble task in whatever way we can. As Ojore Lutalo once said, “Any movement that does not support its political prisoner is a sham movement.” The Jericho Amnesty Movement is far from being a sham movement — it is genuine, sincere and courageous and if you possess these qualities, then join Jericho and build this dynamic political movement.

Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators!

Jalil A. Muntaqim
(Anthony Bottom)
P.O. Box 618
Auburn NY
USA 13021

Jericho – Boston Chapter
P.O. Box 301057
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

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