In Memory of Comrade Akil Al-Jundi

Revolutionary Worker #920, Aug. 17, 1997

"We, the poor and oppressed people in this country, we are only our own liberators. Nobody can protect us but ourselves. We have to stick together and forge a strong alliance. I end by saying to you, self-respect, self-defense and self-determination."--Akil Al-Jundi at the October 22, 1996 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, New York City


The RW is greatly saddened by the recent death of Comrade Akil Al-Jundi. This is a great loss to the masses of people and all those fighting for a better world. Akil was a revolutionary who gave his life to the struggle of the people. He was a leader who inspired others until his last breath.

Akil was born Herbert Scott Dean in the St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. When he was 12 years old his family emigrated to live in Harlem. As a youth, Akil ran with street gangs and was "war counselor" for the Egyptian Crowns in the Bronx. In 1961 he was sent to Attica Prison with a life sentence after being convicted of murder.

In prison, Akil became a revolutionary and in 1971 he was a leader in the famous Attica Rebellion. This prison uprising woke up the world as Black, Latino, Native and white united together to say, "We are men. We are not beasts and we do not intend to be beaten and driven as such."

The government launched a bloody massacre against the Attica Rebellion and retaliated against the prisoners with brutal repression. Akil survived these vicious attacks and was paroled in 1976.

After getting out of prison, Akil continued as a leader and revolutionary activist in the Black community in New York. He was a founding member of the Community Self-Defense Program of Brooklyn, a member of JAMAA Headquarters, and a martial artist. In 1996-97 he served on the National Coordinating Committee of the October 22 Coalition, National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.

Akil had a strong commitment to the masses of people and the fight against injustice. As a paralegal, he worked for Legal Services in New York, and was a union representative for Legal Service workers. He also worked to educate the community about the plight of many political prisoners and prisoners of war.

Akil was a veteran comrade whose heart was with the youth. He was a strong proponent of the people's right to self-defense. And he dreamed of and fought for revolution. At a 1993 New York program to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mao Tsetung, Akil gave a heartfelt toast to Mao in which he said: "On the 100th year of the birthday of one of the greatest revolutionaries of our time, Chairman Mao Tsetung, let me say that I'm honored to be here at the Revolution Bookstore, at this program given by the RCP. While we were in prison, you know that we studied a lot. And one of the persons we studied a great deal was Chairman Mao. As far as we were concerned Mao was a continuator of that process that came forth by Marx, Engels, Lenin--then came Mao. And so we were enriched with some great thinkers, but great doers as well. And so as we commemorate the 100th year of his birthday, let us attempt to pave the road to try and gain here in the United States of America..."

Akil had a profound effect on many people and was a much beloved comrade. Before his death many people came together to support and assist Akil and raise money for his medical expenses.

Comrades and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party who worked with Akil and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him in the struggle were always inspired by his revolutionary example of consistency, courage and dedication. We will miss Comrade Akil and will always remember him as a brave warrior who lived and died, whole-heartedly serving the people.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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