by Comrade Malik and Nube Brown, Liberate the Caged Voices
“Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others. The true leader is of a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficent purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake and, holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspiration.” – from “The Wise Mind of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellasie I,” Chapter 10, Leadership
Bomani Shakur (Keith LeMar) is an intelligent and compassionate Black man who has been sentenced to DEATH in the state of Ohio. The state of Ohio falsely accused Bomani of murder in 1993 in connection with the events that transpired during the Lucasville Prison Uprising.
There was no physical evidence, nor was there any forensic evidence that connected Bomani to the crime of murder. Nevertheless, an all white jury, a white judge and a large crowd of bigoted white bystanders subjected Bomani to a modern day lynching inside a courtroom in rural Ohio.
In the year of 2020 an army of young white, Black, Asian, Arab, Latinx and First Nation activists have teamed up with us and many others in order to save the life of Bomani Shakur. BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!
Murdering Black men has become a favorite pastime for the authorities in states such as Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Alabama. We hear politicians like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker telling us that Joe Biden is the presidential candidate for all the people!
Ok! If that is true, then we say to Joe Biden, show us some love! Advocate for the life of Bomani Shakur! Nevertheless, my confidence and hope does not rest with politicians, who continue to mislead us and spout lies and false promises.
My confidence and hope rests with THE PEOPLE! In the month of April 2020 I strongly encourage everyone to support our solidarity actions which seek to save the life of this remarkable human being known as Bomani Shakur.
We implore you to join activists and freedom fighters of all races and genders all across the United States and Europe as we DEMAND that the state of Ohio halt its pursuit of the death penalty against another innocent Black man here in Amerika! BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!
His life is worth saving! This is a movement and not just a moment in time.
End Prison Slavery in Amerika! Liberate the Caged Voices! Incarcerated workers, never give up!
Dare to struggle, Dare to win, ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
April: A month of action for Bomani Shakur
by the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement
“Shakur is best known for the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, a rebellion inside the walls of an Ohio prison against tyranny and harsh conditions.”
This April, 2020, we invite you to participate in a month of actions and events for comrade Bomani Shakur.
Bomani Shakur has been showering our world with beautiful gifts. His words and actions haven’t missed a beat in elevating those he knows and even those he has never met. His voice and his words came to be widely recognized when he was unjustly persecuted after the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, a rebellion inside the walls of an Ohio prison against tyranny and harsh conditions.
In the aftermath, Bomani was falsely accused of having murdered prisoners and having “led a death squad.” No physical evidence connects him to the murders that took place when the prison in Lucasville was in uprising.
The verdict itself only came about due to forced testimony by a prisoner turned snitch. In 2004 Bomani wrote a book called “Condemned” to highlight his life and the truth about what happened.
Prisoners organizing, confronting their oppressor and the organizers being attacked by the state as retaliation is nothing new. In 1971 prisoners in San Quentin, California, revolted.
George Jackson was killed and Hugo Pinell would spend the following 44 years in California’s harshest prisons only to be stabbed to death in 2015 by white supremacists. It’s important to recognize that prisoners stand up, organize and are attacked by the state for it. In response, the prisoner strikes back by persevering, surviving and continuing to build with fellow prisoners and those of us on this side of the wall.
As we see with letters, articles or the book Bomani wrote, the message carried by his words have touched people inside and out and spread far. How could a man sitting on death row, his execution date only three years away, be the source of so much kindness and inspiration?
It is because, as he says, this situation is much bigger than him. This is about the entire movement.
The fact that the state has set Bomani Shakur’s date of execution is not a moment of tragedy or for despair, but a moment to build from, and to be moved to action.
It is about how we come together, learn how to work together, and prepare to rescind the power of those who run the most efficient life destroying machine: the prison system.
He is clear how this works on his end: He’s not interested in allowing others to characterize him as unsuccessful, as a victim. He doesn’t want activists crowding around, showing pity.
It is not for them to decide who he is and if he is successful. Success has already begun the day you decide to get up and do something about the situation. He is looking for collaborators, people who understand and want to struggle together.
This is where we come in. The fact that the state has set Bomani Shakur’s date of execution is not a moment of tragedy or for despair, but a moment to build from, and to be moved to action.
This is how we follow his excellent example and this is how we turn this situation against the state. Their system thrives off despair. We will build our bonds of solidarity, lines of communication, respectful dialogue and comradely exchange.
We will amplify the words of Bomani Shakur and become an impenetrable and intractable force – a force for life, a force for comradeship. We will be as kind and accepting to our comrades and those hunted by the state as we are dangerous to and unrelenting against the prisons.
We begin with April, a month of solidarity actions with Bomani. Please join in this initiative by:
- holding a letter writing event,
- screening the movie about the Lucasville uprising,
- putting up posters,
- posting about it on social media,
- hanging banners,
- inviting Bomani to do a call-in event with you and your comrades, or
- any other action or event that raises his profile and builds the kind of movement that is a reflection of his steadfastness and generosity.
April is the anniversary month of the Lucasville prison uprising, a powerful decision to stand up and reclaim a life of dignity and an example of the power of unity among prisoners. This month is to raise awareness about Bomani and his contributions, and by doing so, to build stronger connections with one another, and with comrades inside.
Join together with us and carry forward Bomani’s strength and spirit!
From your comrades in
Blue Ridge ABC
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement
Salish Sea Black Autonomists
Page One Collective
To sign on to this call, message firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poster to download: Bomani Poster
Zine for printing: Bomani Zine
The movie “The Shadow of Lucasville”: https://vimeo.com/73858846
Zines about Lucasville:
Bomani’s book: https://www.keithlamar.org/condemned
Articles by Bomani:
To learn more about the 1971 San Quentin uprising: https://nycabc.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/rest-in-power-hugo-pinell
Send our brother some love and light: Keith LaMar, 317-117, OSP, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH, 44505.