Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt
by Lynne Stewart, political prisoner
The untimely death of Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt has hit me very hard because it reminds me of all the work yet to be done. Not only the liberation of the oppressed, to which Geronimo dedicated himself as a young man and again after his release, but also the liberation of those locked away in the torture chambers of this Gulag U.S.
The loss of Geronimo is so difficult because he was robbed of the opportunity to contribute to the long term struggle for liberation of the Black community in his most productive years. Yes, there was always a mention or a placard, “Free Geronimo Pratt!” But his ability to publicly inspire and uplift was jailed at San Quentin. He was there in his 20s, 30s and 40s. The movement suffered. Hoover [J. Edgar Hoover, longtime head of the FBI] and his like triumphed. We must now undo this evil.
By torture chambers I mean, of course, the prison “holes.” Those places of solitary confinement where loneliness and total lack of human contact drive people mad. Even the strong are “modified.” Many of those who have been jailed in this way are political prisoners.
Many of them have been in 24-hour lockdown for more than 20 years and face the rest of their lives there. I really don’t need to name names – they are engraved on my heart and I hope on yours. Just check the Jericho website for a complete rundown. And also, dare I say it, the Project Salaam listing of Muslims wrongfully imprisoned.
If we are spared and are still in the world and able to act and activate, it is our primary obligation, if we think of ourselves as political, to take up this struggle and liberate those behind bars. As Mutulu Shakur wrote to me, and I paraphrase, “The faith of those who gave their all and still wait for the dedicated comrades, the People, to bring them home, is greater than any religious devotion.”
Geronimo’s death reminds us of this paramount obligation. The enemy in the BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisons), the Nebraska, New York and Louisiana prisons will never act until those unjust imprisonments become more detrimental to them and their system than freeing our brothers and sisters. Action! Action! Change! Change!
Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt – Presente! Live Like Him!
Legendary lawyer for the people Lynne Stewart is currently a political prisoner. Send her some love and light: Lynne Stewart, 53504-054, FMC Carswell, Unit 2N, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.