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Opinion

U.S. Government Unjustly Imprisons Black Activist

TO THE EDITORS

Geronimo ju Jaga (Pratt), America's foremost class-war prisoner, has endured 23 years of California prison hell. He was framed in the early 1970s for a murder the state knows he didn't commit. A former leader of the Black Panther Party, Geronimo was a named target of the FBI's vicious COINTELPRO campaign against black activist.

Despite overwhelming proof of his innocence, the racist rulers of American capitalism keep him locked away because, as the DA's representative to his 1987 parole hearing said, "he's still a revolutionary."

In January, FOX-TV News ran a three-part series exposing the blatant frame-up of Geronimo: FBI wiretap logs, and recent testimony of former Panthers, showed that Geronimo was in Oakland at a Panther meeting at the time of the Santa Monica murder; unknown to the jury, the key prosecution witness, Julius Butler, was an FBI and LAPD informer; and new, compelling evidence points to two associates of Butler as the likely real killers.

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Two days after the broadcast, prison officials retaliated by moving Geronimo from San Diego to Mule Creek and then denying him his own cell, a necessity due to medical problems stemming from Vietnam war wounds. This retaliatory harassment is an outrage.

Responding to an emergency motion filed by Partisan Defense Committee (PDC) counsel Valerie West and Geronimo's long-time counsel Stuart Hanlon, Federal District Court Judge Weigel granted a temporary restraining order compelling prison officials to grant Geronimo single cell status.

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A hearing for an injunction to maintain single cell status will be held in San Francisco on Thursday, April 14.

The Spartacus Youth Club (SYC) supports the fight for Geronimo's freedom. Geronimo represents the best of a generation who fought against the vicious conditions suffered by Blacks in this racist capitalist society. Under "liberal" death-penalty Democrat Bill Clinton these conditions are only getting worse.

At the last Harvard Law School commencement, the SYC initiated a protest against Attorney General Janet Reno, fresh from the government mass murder of 86 men, women and children in Waco, Texas.

From the Waco massacre to the brutal beating of Rodney King to the racist "war on crime," the U.S. government is viciously increasing repression of those who get in its way, carrying out a massive police mobilization that has its guns trained overwhelmingly on this country's urban Black population.

A multi-racial workers' party is needed to lead the fight against this ruling class onslaught. Racial oppression is the bedrock upon which American capitalism is built, and the struggle for black liberation is integral to the fight for a socialist revolution.

According to FOX-TV, Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti has indicated that his office will review Geronimo's case. But it will take an intensified campaign of publicity and protest, centered in the integrated working class, to smash this frame-up.

The SYC urges all who are interested in Geronimo's case and the fight for Black liberation to join with the SYC, PDC and Labor Black League in defense of Geronimo.

Come see the FOX-TV News video Tuesday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. in Emerson Hall. Henry Seals '96

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