Assata Birthday Statement by Sundiata Acoli

7/16/98

Happy Birthday Assata!- and solidarity greetings to you who are commemorating her birthday. i’m sure all of you are aware of the vicious campaign being waged by Whitman against Assata and Assata’s eloquent defense of herself. It’s time for us to step up our defense of Assata.

Whitman is bankrupt politically, barely won her last election and can’t run for governor again. One of the best ways to defend Assata is to expose the Whitman attack for what it really is. She’s using Assata to distract attention from her horrendous governor’s record and to keep herself in the headlines~and hopeful in position for a vice-presidential nomination or cabinent post.

Whitman’s corrupt, racist, gubernatorial record needs to be exposed. At every turn during her administration, she provided benefits to her rich white constituency while fleecing the poor and scapegoating people of color. Whether it was urban removal in Newark under the guise of building an opera house for the rich; or maintaining the highest car insurance rates in the nation for the benefit of Prudential Insurance whose headquaters are in Newark; or troopers targeting people of color on the Turnpike; or the rise in gasoline taxes, property taxes, AIDS in New Jersey cities and prisons, police murder and brutality, prison administration corruption, unemployment, forcing mothers off welfare, and the overwhelming Black and Latino prison population; you name it.

The message needs to be brought home by organizing demonstrations at her office, home, and public appearances, and by joining others who demonstrate against her, and by videotaping the demonstrations to deter police brutality or at least record it for later lawsuits. Groups need to be assigned to regularly write letters to newspaper editors, call in to talk radio shows, spray paint slogans in the neighborhood and highways denouncing her racist corrupt record and exposing her attempt to cover it up by scapegoating Assata, people of color, and the poor.

That’s one of the best defenses and birthday presents you can give Assata. Last, I urge you to send letters to “The Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court, PO Box 970, Trenton, NJ 08625 and urge them to render a just decision in the case: Sundiata Acoli vs. the New Jersey State Parole Board, Docket No 45,901, which is an appeal of the 20 year hit given to me by the Parole Board even though I am 61, have done 25 years, have satisfied all requirements for parole and should be released. i thank you.

Sundiata Acoli~ New Afrikan POW

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