Sunday, December 18, 2005

Patriot Act used against former Black Panthers

Former Black Panthers Still Paying a Price
An all-star cast of Black activist stood with former Black Panthers last week opposing what they consider continued harassment... pleading for peace on behalf of former Black Panthers, who have, since 9/11, been subpoenaed and penalized for refusing to answer questions.

They compared the recently enacted Patriot Act, passed as part of the United States’ War on Terrorism with COINTEL PRO, used to dismantle the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. “This seems to indicate a return of COINTELPRO,” Ogletree said in a press statement. “The Black Panther Party was targeted for destruction by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI with the COINTELPRO program, and this was confirmed by the Church Senate report in 1976. It seems clear that it continues under an anonymous name now - different operating system, but the same program.”

The former Black Panthers being protected include John Bowman, Hank Jones, and Ray Boudreaux. In recent months they each have been held in contempt of court and jailed for refusing to testify before a San Francisco grand jury investigating a police shooting that took place in 1971. Bowman, Jones, and Boudreaux were among 13 alleged “Black Militants” who were arrested in 1973 in New Orleans and tortured for several days.

In 1974, a court in Los Angeles ruled that San Francisco and New Orleans police had engaged in what amounted to torture to extract a confession from one of the men and threw out the tortured statement. In 1975, a San Francisco grand jury indicted three suspects, all of whom had been tortured in New Orleans, in connection with the 1971 shooting.

However, in 1976, a San Francisco judge dismissed the indictments finding that the prosecution had failed to tell the grand jury that the men’s confessions had been coerced... the New Orleans police would proceed to torture the men with the following methods: stripping them naked and beating them with blunt objects, blind folding them and throwing wool blankets soaked with boiling water over their bodies, placing electric probes on their genitals and other parts of their bodies, inserting an electric cattle prod in their anus, punching and kicking them, slamming them into walls while blindfolded.
Such a lovely story, isn't it? But- the United States doesn't torture! I mean, that's what Das President told us.

Can you believe this bullshit, harassing former Black Panthers for a crime they didn't commit that happened 34 years ago using the (un)Patriot(ic) Act as a justification? How can the Land of the Free act so soviet? Sweet land of liberty? I think not.

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