Political Prisoner Calendar October 2011
Fannie Lou Hamer was born October 6, 1917 in Ruleville, Mississippi. She was leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which garnered extensive support. In 1963 while returning from South Carolina where she and other activists had attended a literacy workshop, Ms. Hamer was arrested in Winona, Mississippi and jailed on reportedly false charges. While in jail, she and her colleagues were beaten savagely almost to the point of death. She continued to speak out and fight for justice, most notably, voting rights, as she is quoted, “I guess if I’d had any sense, I’d have been a little scared-but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it seemed they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember.” Ms. Hamer died March 14, 1977 at age 59 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Her tombstone reads the words she had become famous for, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
Robert Seth Hayes was born October 15, 1947 in Harlem, New York. At an early age, he grew weary of injustices leveled against black people. His intolerance escalated when, while in Vietnam his troop was assigned to patrol the streets during rebellion following Dr. Martin L. King’s assassination. Returning home from Vietnam, Mr. Hayes joined the Black Panther Party. Like other member of he BPP, Mr. Hayes was targeted by the FBI’s Cointelpro. He later became a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA). Mr. Hayes was tried and convicted in 1973 of several charges of Attempted Murder of police officers who opened fire on him and his family while they were in their home and Murder of a Transit police. He was sentenced 25 years-life. Incarcerated for nearly 40 years, Mr. Hayes is being denied adequate medical treatment and has been denied parole seven times for the same reasons other similarly situated political prisoners have-“not sufficiently rehabilitated” and the unalterable factor that guarantees denial-“serious nature of the crime”. He remains incarcerated in a New York State prison.
Jalil Abdul Muntaqim was born Anthony Bottom on October 18, 1951 in Oakland, California and grew up in San Francisco. Drawn to the civil rights activism during the 1960’s, Muntaqim joined and began organizing for the NAACP as a teenager. At the age of 18, Muntaqim joined the Black panther Party (BPP) after the assassination of Dr.
Martin L. King and later joined the Black Liberation Army (BLA). A target of the FBI’s Cointelpro, Muntaqim was arrested in August 1971, along with two other political prisoners (Herman Bell )& Albert “Nuh’ Washington (who died in a New York State prison in April, 2000). Muntaqim was convicted of murder of two NYC police officers and sentenced to twenty-five years to life. Since incarceration, Mr. Muntaqim has obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. In 1976, he founded the National Campaign to petition the United Nations to recognize the existence of political prisoners in the US. He, as have other political prisoners who were targets of the FBI’s illegal surveillance, has repeatedly been denied parole. Jalil Muntaqim like Robert Seth Hayes, remains incarcerated in a New York State prison
The continued denial of parole for Hayes and Muntaqim constitutes human rights violations. In the name of Fannie Lou Hamer, a well known human rights activist, NCBL calls for the release of Jalil Abdul Muntaqim and Robert Seth Hayes