Tags Black August
Tag: Black August
The decision by the San Francisco Bay View to include coverage of “Black August” in its August 2009 edition was courageous and correct both from a legal and historical perspective. To have refrained from publishing its own editorial and articles from others on this subject would most certainly have strengthened the hand of reactionary state actors who have used prior restraint to curb “dangerous” speech since the days of British colonial rule.
In many ways, Black August, at least in the West, begins in Haiti. It is the Blackest August possible — revolution and resultant liberation from bondage. From its earliest days, Haiti was declared an asylum for escaped slaves, and a place of refuge for any person of African or American Indian descent.
Black August is a month of great significance for Africans throughout the Diaspora, but particularly here in the U.S. where it originated. “August,” as Mumia Abu-Jamal noted, “is a month of meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”
Here at the Bay View, we’ve been debating how to best commemorate Black August and celebrate George Jackson this year. Prisoners around the country often ask us for stories about them, and we have more stories than space to publish them.
Black August begins with a campaign for the acquittal of Francisco Torres, the only member of the San Francisco 8 still charged. Go to www.freethesf8.org for messages to phone or fax to Attorney General Jerry Brown, urging him to drop the charges. Cisco’s hearing is Aug. 10 if the charges aren’t dropped.
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.