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A copy of this historic document in its original form was sent to Bay View arts editor Wanda Sabir by Kumasi, a Los Angeles-based prison movement scholar and central leader of the Black August Organizing Committee who was a close comrade to George Jackson. Kumasi was reminded of this Manifesto when he learned of the National Prison Strike that began in Black August 2018 and believed Bay View readers would value the opportunity to witness prison movement evolution.
To the people in California, the name Kiilu Nyasha is familiar, like an aunt or some other relative. For them, she was a voice of resistance heard on public radio and television, mostly on her show, called Freedom is a Constant Struggle. She was an endless and brilliant source of resistance to the system. She became a beloved and respected elder for young people in the Bay Area. We remember Kiilu Nyasha: mother, artist, commentator, revolutionary and inspiration.
It is with great sadness we say good-bye to a truly remarkable revolutionary, Kiilu Nyasha. I first met Kiilu in New Haven, Connecticut, around 1969. She was serving as a coordinator, advocate and cook for the Black Panther Party Breakfast for School Children program there. My comrade, Kiilu Nyasha, was an uncompromising, revolutionary force. We will forever miss her courage and strength of character, her determination, her talents and her absolute devotion and love for her comrades and the people. Kiilu Nyasha, rest in peace.
Our beloved Kiilu, 78, passed peacefully into the welcoming arms of the ancestors in the early morning of April 10, 2018. Kiilu was a serious political animal. She didn’t just debate or go to meetings; she was on the frontlines of political struggle. Kiilu personified the spirit of a Black Panther and a dragon breaking free from a dungeon rolled into one, with the resiliency of a Haitian freedom fighter in their revolution and the resolve of a Palestinian resisting the settler colonial Zionist. Kiilu Nyasha, we love you, and we will never forget what you gave.
By now millions of Americans have heard about COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO was the FBI’s evil and illegal system of spying, lying, telephone wire taps, frame-ups and assassination that violated the constitutional and human rights that they claim to uphold. I was recently asked, while doing a Black Panther Party historical tour in Oakland, how COINTELPRO affected me personally. Here is one of my stories.
"Most people realize that crime is simply the result of a grossly disproportionate distribution of wealth and privilege ... an aspect of class struggle from the outset. Throughout its history, the United States has used its prisons to suppress any organized efforts to challenge its legitimacy," wrote George Jackson in "Blood in My Eye."