Workers Vanguard No. 1061
6 February 2015
Free Sundiata Acoli!
(Class-Struggle Defense Notes)
The grotesque vindictiveness of the racist rulers against the courageous black radicals who joined the Black Panther Party decades ago knows no bounds. Like so many other militants, Sundiata Acoli was railroaded to prison, together with Assata Shakur (see “Hands Off Assata Shakur!” WV No. 1059, January 9). The two were framed up for killing a cop following a 1973 ambush by New Jersey state troopers, during which one of the cops died from his own revolver’s bullet. While Shakur escaped prison hell in 1979 and fled to Cuba, where she still resides, Acoli has been in prison for over 40 years.
Last September 29, a judicial panel ordered that Acoli—now 77 years old—be released on parole, reversing a 2011 parole board decision. In its order, the court noted that the parole board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” by dismissing evidence favorable to Acoli and ignoring positive psychological test results. Over the years, Acoli’s parole had been denied repeatedly on the basis of his radical political views and activities.
Acoli still rots in an American dungeon. Immediately after the court ruling, the New Jersey State attorney general and the parole board announced plans to appeal it, indefinitely postponing Acoli’s release. The Partisan Defense Committee demands: Freedom for Sundiata Acoli, now!