The following is Geronimo ji Jaga’s intervention at a September 14, 2000 forum that Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) hosted during the Congressional Black Caucus’s legislative weekend in Washington, DC. It was initially included in a pamphlet published in 2001 by the Human Rights Research Fund (founded by activist attorneys Kathleen Cleaver and Natsu Saito) in collaboration with Release 2001, which was subsequently reprinted in full in the book Let Freedom Ring, available from Kersplebedeb Left-Wing Books.
This panel has established important truths already today, but there is one thing that has been omitted: the activists of the ’60s who were killed by cointelpro. What it boils down to is murder. That is something that we have been trying to get established since I have been out of prison. We are trying to get hearings into actual murder cases. And here’s how it would work. When you would have everyone together, like we are all together right herd, we all say, “Okay, we are all going to not disrespect each other,” and everybody agrees. But then the fbi sends someone in who stirs things up, tells lies and causes us to begin to disrespect each other. So one may begin to disrespect another one, and then another one stabs him and he is dead, and then you have the murderers in the background boasting and bragging about it. cointelpro came in so many forms. But the first thing I would think of is these murders. When you have beautiful sisters and brothers such as Fred Hampton, who was shot and killed; you have Robert Wells, put in a sleeping bag and thrown off a freeway, killed in New York City, still unsolved. All of these cases I am talking about are clear cointelpro murders. Fred Bennett, who was killed in San Francisco. Franco Diggs. John Huggins. Bunchy Carter.
They Were Victims. They Were Murdered.
All of the names I have mentioned are victims of cointelpro. They were murdered. Their murderers have never been brought to justice. So this is where we need to begin. We are dealing with straight-up murderers who turn around and call me a murderer and put me in prison for 27 years, when I murdered no one. These murderers are running around. They still are practicing their art of murder, outright murder. [Audience begins to call out names.] John Clark. Watature Pope.
These brothers and sisters were murdered. Mark Clark. Twyman Meyers.[Geronimo: Come on with some more.]
John Africa. Kombora. Komboze. Tracy. Kayatta. Ralph Featherstone.
That’s very true. There is Malik el Shabazz. And we can continue to call names. This is how important and serious this is to us.
These brothers and sisters we have mentioned, they were family members. They were mothers, they were fathers, they were sisters, they were brothers. And they are dead. They were murdered. It was done by the U.S. government. They have admitted it.
You have brothers like Mutulu—and myself when I was in, and others—who call ourselves prisoners of war. We say political prisoners, okay. And you try to understand, what are you talking about? This war continues. It is an actual war against our people. And it should be handled just as they handled the trials in Nuremburg.
So I want to urge everyone to support and put muscle behind this effort that will expose the true murderers and let the victims out. What is Sundiata Acoli doing in prison? Ruchell Magee. Yogi Pinell. Chip Fitzgerald. There are so many.
We can’t allow that to happen. These hearings will make it very clear, and then these brothers and sisters will be released out of these prisons.
cointelpro didn’t stop at the Black liberation movement—we all should study this—but it went into every movement that was involved in liberation. This is why Laura Whitehorn spent so much time in prison; why Marilyn Buck and Susan Rosenberg and so many who are victims of cointelpro continue to languish.