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Lynne Stewart remembers geronimo

July 25, 2011

BY LYNNE STEWART

The untimely death of Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt has hit me very hard because it reminds me of all the work yet to be done. Not only the liberation of the oppressed to which Geronimo dedicated himself as a young man and again after his release but also the liberation of those locked away in the torture chambers of this Gulag USA.

The loss of Geronimo is so difficult because he was robbed of the opportunity to contribute to the long term struggle for liberation of the Black community in his most productive years. Yes, there was always a mention or a placard “Free Geronimo Pratt!” but his ability to publicly inspire and uplift was jailed at San Quentin. He was there in his 20s and 30s and 40s. The movement suffered…Hoover and his like triumphed. We must now undo this evil.

By torture chambers I mean, of course, the Prison “holes,” those places of solitary confinement, where loneliness and total lack of human contact, drive people mad. Even the strong are “modified”. Many of those who have been jailed in this way are political prisoners. Many of them have been in 24 hour lockdown for more than 20 years and face the rest of their lives there. I really don’t need to name name— they are engraved on my heart and I hope on yours. Just check the Jericho website for a complete rundown. And also, dare I say it, the Project Salaam listing of Muslims wrongfully imprisoned.

If we are spared and are still in the world and able to act and activate—this is our primary obligation if we think of ourselves as political, to take up this struggle and liberate those behind bars. As Mutulu Shakur wrote to me (and I paraphrase) “The faith of those who gave their all and still wait for the dedicated comrades, the People, to bring them home, is greater than any religious devotion.”

Geronimo’s death reminds us of this paramount obligation. The enemy, in the BOP, the Nebraska and New York and Louisiana prisons will never act until those unjust imprisonments become more detrimental to them and their system than freeing our brothers and sisters. Action! Action! Change! Change!

GERONIMO JIJAGA PRATT —Presente! Live Like Him!!

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