imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Hasan Shakur: A Maroon on Death Row

by Walidah Imarisha Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006 at 9:29 AM

"Whether they murder me or not on Friday, I'm telling you, watch what Ima do, the ancestors are gonna be proud." Hasan Shakur uttered these powerful words a few days before he is scheduled to be executed in Texas, Thursday August 31st.

I am sitting in my rented Chevy Equinox outside of the Polunsky Unit, in Livingston, Texas. The middle of farm country, there are stables right next door to the prison, within pissing distance of the electrified fence and concertina wire. I wonder if they belong to the prison. How much of this farmland is the prisons? The inmates wear all white here. It is ghostly figures I see pushing wheelbarrows, carrying rakes through a manicured lawn with flower boxes shaped like the star of Texas. This place reminds me so much of the California state prison my adopted brother Kakamia is in, the town, the hotel I’m staying at, the prison itself, that I walked into the visiting room expected to see my afro-haloed hermano. But I guess maybe all prison towns start to look the same.

The processing is the fastest I‘ve ever been through going to a prison. I have had to wait hours before to be cleared. I do not know if it is this prison, or the fact that I’m visiting at off times, or the fact that I am visiting someone who has an execution date set. Set for Thursday. Days are bleeding away, the 29th is just a breath away from the 31st.

Hasan Shakur, aka Derrick Frazier, aka #999284, is dressed all in white as well. Visiting is only through glass, and Hasan sits in a cage, the telephone pressed to his ear. He is as big as I figured he would be. He stands up to go to the bathroom, sticking his hands through the slot so they can put the handcuffs on him and he towers over the three guards around him.

But what doesn’t come through in the photos on his website is his baby face. 29 years old now, with a face of a 15 year old. He barely made it to 29, wasn’t supposed to make it. His life reads like a text book case of black ghetto life (“I always felt more comfortable in the ghetto, you know?” he says, eyes clear as spring water): dad gone, addicted beloved mother gone, didn’t graduate high school, slanging and banging and hardening his face to survive, and here he sits, for 9 years, on Texas’ death row, dressed in baptismal white. He was reborn here, held not by heavenly loving hands but by night sticks and pepper spray. Not gently laid back to be quietly submerged, but head pushed into toilets, and balls crushed under boots. Hasan Shakur born out of Derrick Frazier, not through water but a hail of bullets and billy clubs, child of George Jackson and Angela Davis, Mumia and Sundiata and all the political prisoners. Grandchild of Nat Turner and great great grandson of Seminoles and maroon colonies and quilombos. He takes his heritage serious as a heart attack, induced by a pound of poison shoved into your veins by the state.

The visiting room is busy today. Yesterday was family day, with his aunt and grandmother coming in to see him, making a three hour drive both ways. Today is supporter day. Hasan’s wife and support coordinator Debbie came from Canada a few days ago. Ray from the New York-based group the Welfare Poets came, and me from Philly. Only two people are allowed in the visiting room for him at one time, so we keep trading off, two hours in, two hours out, a game of death room musical chairs.

I met Hasan six years ago when I helped to found the Human Rights Coalition, a prisoner family organizing group. It was the brainchild and heartchild of Russell “Maroon” Shoats, a Pennsylvania political prisoner, former Black Panther/Black Liberation Army who has served almost 20 years straight in solitary confinement, never touching another human being except for his captors. Hasan is also Maroon’s heartchild, his adopted son. “This,” Maroon wrote, ”this brotha is our future, with his lion’s strength and determination.” Hasan wears a bracelet embroidered “MAROON” around his wrist that twists and turns as he writes and organizes groups and organizations, concerts and newsletters, campaigns and strategy planning from a cell the size of a bathroom that has the held breath of murder in it. Hasan started a chapter of HRC in Texas and serves on our advisory council. He has given invaluable insight to our planning and visioning for the organization, and he keeps us grounded. “Wa Wa, I’m a workhorse,” he says with a half smile, “and I’m going to push everyone around me, if I see someone leaning back, Ima crack that whip.” He says I should be proud of him, because he got six hours of sleep the night before, double his usual dose, which I often nag him about. “Yeah but how many did you get the night before?” I ask, laughing.

Debbie comes back in and says the affidavits will be filed in court today. The hope is that these affidavits will win a stay of execution for Hasan. There is also hope of perhaps getting a stay of execution from the governor, and an international letter writing campaign has been in effect since the date was handed down several weeks ago. Hasan was convicted of killing a white woman and her son in Refugio, Texas. There is a lack of physical evidence to tie Hasan to the scene. In fact, the main piece of evidence against him is a forced confession the police illicited from him, a 19 year old black young man, while in their custody, after a promise that he would only get 30 years for it. He was found guilty by an almost all white jury, some of whom had contact with the victim’s family during the trial. He had an incompetent lawyer who was later suspended, and a questionable indictment that outlined several different theories about the murders. I said to Hasan that some people, even black folks, still believe in the inherent goodness of they system, that there are some glitches but once those get cleared up, it will be back on track. He snorted and said, “That’s where we go wrong, believing that simple shit. The system is on track… it’s on track to ride over us.”

But there is still reason for hope. Hasan had an execution date scheduled for April 27, the day before his 29th birthday. Three days before, the courts gave him a stay. The prison shut down his visiting the minute the paperwork was filed, so I didn’t get to see him on that trip. This is our first time meeting face to face, even though we have organized and worked together for years. Also, another brotha was released from death row last week, a new trial won him a different sentence, and since he’d already spent 20 years on the row, they let him go. Debbie said, “Of course they got tight restrictions on him, he can do nothing, can’t use the computer, can’t leave the house, can’t drink… but shit, at least he’s home.”

But this is Texas, after all, and hope does not grow well in this soil. When it manages to take root, it is promptly stomped back down. “Our people don’t prepare for the future, you know?” Hasan says, scowling. The shatterproof glass between us reflects the light from the vending machines behind the cages, and it looks like Pepsi is written sliding down Hasan’s face like tears, cracked right down the middle. “It took us damn near thirty years to recover after we lost Malcolm. We have to set it up so that things will continue even if they take us out, cause you know that’s what they’re going to do. Wa Wa, just wait, just wait until you see some of the things I’m going to do. Watch what I’m going to do,” he says, smile showing the nine-year-old face I saw on the internet, little 80s afro and solemn eyes. “Whether they murder me or not on Friday, I’m telling you, watch what Ima do, the ancestors are gonna be proud.”



www.hasanshakur.com

Call and fax to Governor Perry and ask for a stay of execution:

phone: (512) 463-1782

fax: (512) 463-1849



Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT A05 6:51AM

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia A05 3:34AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy