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Safiya Bukhari, 1950-2003

by anonymous Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 at 1:59 AM

There wasn't anything on the site about Safiya Bukhari, noted prison abolition activist, who passed away recently. She's someone to honor, so, here it is. Follow the link for a good page about her.

Safiya Bukhari


by Sally O'Brien, co-producer, co-host,
Where We Live, WBAI
August 24, 2003

Dedicated, nationally known Black liberation fighter, longtime WBAI producer (Where We Live), and Co-Chair of The Jericho Movement, Safiya Bukhari, died in the early hours of the morning Sunday, August 24, 2003 from complications due to prolonged illness. She was only 53.

Safiya joined the Black Panther Party in 1969 after witnessing a vicious police beating of another Panther standing on a Harlem street corner selling the Party's newspaper. "I tell people straight up that it was the New York Police Department that made me decide to join the Black Panther Party." She said, "In college I supported the war in Vietnam. I was so far to the right it was ridiculous. But by the time the summer of 1969 was over, in November, I was in the Party."

A disciplined and dedicated revolutionary, Safiya went on to join the Black Liberation Army. She spent close to nine years in prison for clandestine actions on behalf of the BLA.

After her release, Safiya dedicated her life to the freedom of her comrades she left behind, and used every means at her disposal. She wrote prolifically about individual cases, designed and made political prisoner T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and mouse pads, wrote fact sheets on each individual case and in 1992 co-founded the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition which she co-chaired until her death. She also served as Vice President in the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, an organization working towards the formation of a separate Black nation comprised of five states -- South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, states built on the backs of enslaved Africans.

In 1998, Safiya became the co-chair of The Jericho Movement to Free U.S. Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. She co-chaired the historic Tear Down the Walls March on Washington, DC. She established a website and traveled throughout the country organizing people to the cause of those behind the walls. Coming from a strong family spiritual tradition, Safiya came to embrace Islam.

Safiya Asia Bukhari, Revolutionary, Mother, Grandmother, singer, writer, comrade, sister and friend. Our loss reverberates throughout the ages.

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