Freedom Aint Free! Not Even Close!
The Abdullah Majid Defense Committee made this perfectly clear to a Harlem audience at the historic National Black Theatre last Friday to observe the 49th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party.
That was the theme of a moving spoken word tribute to benefit Majid, incarcerated now for 33 years and one of the longest held political prisoners in the country. He is due to come up for parole for the first time in several months.
Young spoken word artists Verbal Artisan, Sincerity, Legendary 12th, ‘LiLi,’ and Divine RBG from Dead Prez, each made moving offerings to the relatively young Harlem audience.
Majid is the surviving defendant of what was known as the Queens Two political prisoners.
Majid and Bashir Hameed were framed for ambushing a NY police officer in Queens over three very racially polarized trials.
“It was very clear from reading those trial transcripts that Majid was being railroaded, “ said his young lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen.
Hameed, died in custody in 2008, under some very questionable circumstances, a point an angry Zayid Muhammad made very painfully plain in his remarks before debuting his new poem, Real Niggas, his creative response to the Last Poets legendary poem Niggas Are Scared of Revolution.
“This man is a flesh and blood human being.
”And the other side doesn’t care if justice compels his release.
“Look at what happened to his comrade and codefendant, Bashir Hameed, who was one of my childhood heroes from Jersey,” he said pointedly.
Dequi Sadiki, the principal organizer of the event, pointed out the painful challenges the prison system puts Majid’s mother, the incredible Rose LaBorde, through.
Now, 93 years old, Mrs. LaBorde has been subjected to “having to take layers of her clothing off when she comes to check on her son,” she raged angrily.
93 years old…Forced to take layers of her clothing off.
Majid also lost his wife, Nandi, who previously ran his freedom campaign, to cancer several years ago.
Sekou Odinga was the special guest of the evening. Majid’s comrade from the legendary NY chapter of the Party and later the Black Liberation Army, Odinga was released on parole on November 25th last year. He noted how he goes back with Majid ‘s family to when Majid was still a young teenager. He expressed how grateful he was for the support he received that aided in securing his own release. He expressed how proud he was to stand up for his comrade, but made a point to say that too many of his comrades “are not getting the same kind of support.”
“So believe me, these kind of things are important,” he finished.
Supporters are being asked to write letters of support to the Parole Board. Address them to the NYS Board of Parole, 1220 Washington Av., Bldg 2, Albany, NY 12226-2050, but send them to his attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen, 277 Broadway, Suite 1501, New York, NY 10007…