Radical left-wing groups including Black Lives Matter have launched a coalition that calls for the abolition of the US prison system, and that several specific prisoners be released, including multiple cop killers.
The Movement for Black Lives is a coalition of over 50 groups including the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which said in a blog post on Thursday that it was commemorating Black August, a prison-based holiday founded by the Black Guerrilla Family.
The letter states: “In 1979, a group of incarcerated people in California came together to remember George and Jonathan Jackson and other freedom fighters, for a commemoration that became known as Black August. Over time, Black August expanded beyond prisons. Organizations like the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) joined in the call to honor Black political prisoners and activists killed by the state, bring awareness to harsh prison conditions, and highlight the radical tradition of Black resistance against anti-Black state violence and systemic oppression,” it reads.
“This week, in partnership with our comrades at [Malcolm X Grassroots Movement], we’re highlighting five current Black political prisoners to raise awareness and support for these warriors,” the post states. “We’re calling on you to sign petitions, write letters, donate, and spread the word, as we advocate for the release of all prisoners and the abolition of the prison industrial complex,” it continues.
Included on their list is Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981; Kamau Sadiki, a Black Liberation Army member that killed two police officer in Atlanta in 1971 during a Brinks robbery, and Ed Poindexter, who was convicted alongside David Rice in 1970 after bombing an Omaha police officer.
The list includes Imam Jamil Al Amin, a Black Panther-turned-Muslim cleric who was convicted of murdering a Georgia sheriff’s deputy and wounding another in 2000.
They say in their post that they believe in the fall of the capitalist system and that “prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives.”