Busted for Shaka Sankofa
Free the Huntsville 8
Revolutionary Worker #1069, September 3, 2000
We received this correspondence from one of the protesters arrested outside the Huntsville prison in Texas on June 22 as the government executed Shaka Sankofa:
The revolutionary memory of Shaka Sankofa is still very much alive in Texas and around the world.
It took hundreds of Texas Rangers, Huntsville police, Walker County Sheriff's deputies, FBI, and ATF with their shotguns, rifles and riot gear for the state to murder Shaka Sankofa. This amidst the unified cry of over a thousand protesters who demanded to be heard outside the Walls Unit that night, marching through the town square, burning Texas and U.S. flags, and torching effigies of Serial Killer Darth Bush.
The outrage of the people was expressed further at the hour that Shaka was scheduled to be executed. According to news reports, minutes before 6 p.m., activists and revolutionaries, including youth from the Anarchist Black Cross and the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, "stormed the barricades" that surrounded the protesters.
Eight people were arrested. This group is now known as the Huntsville 8. Seven face charges of criminal trespassing and up to one year in jail for their daring attempt to stop the execution of Shaka. One faces up to ten years for felony assault on a law officer.
We continue to receive overwhelming support for the actions we took: letters, generous donations to our legal fees, and numerous responses from people both at the courthouse in Huntsville and in the streets of Houston. One supporter stated in his letter, "I really do appreciate the actions taken by you and the others on Shaka's behalf. The absurdity of Shaka's death and many others like it, has swayed my opinion from that of a moratorium supporter to an abolitionist stance..." When we returned from Huntsville to Houston, one sister in the Shaka Sankofa Coalition expressed her feelings at a meeting: "When I saw all of you do what you did, I said to myself, those are my people! It was one of the proudest moments of my life..." And at Shaka's funeral, a few of us were approached by a young brother who said, "Wasn't that you all who I watched on TV getting arrested? That was so great, I'm so proud of what you did!"
To me these remarks from people are a clear indication that, as Shaka said in his final statement, "You can kill a revolutionary, but you can't stop the revolution. The revolution will go on. The people will carry the revolution on." In this spirit, we have made a call to pack the courtroom for our arraignment on August 25. The hearing was postponed, and the next court appearance is scheduled for October 27. The charges against the Huntsville 8 are a politically motivated attempt to hide the crimes of the state by making an example of those who protest their bloody system. If they have the nerve to go through with this trial, instead, we will put them, the real criminals, on trial for the murder of brother Shaka Sankofa!!!
Long Live the Revolutionary Spirit of Shaka Sankofa!
One of the Huntsville 8
Send donations for legal expenses and letters of support to: Huntsville 8, P.O. Box 2823, Houston, TX 77252-2823.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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