Assata

Special Agent Ford got on TV to put a price on someone’s head
Two million dollars, bring her back alive or dead
On the very anniversary of the killing of Osama
In the endless War on Terror, the next victim of Obama
Enemy number one of those who brought us Cointelpro
It’s the FBI’s Most Wanted, a real-life cop show
It’s not enough to kill them or have them jailed, old and gray
You have to double the bounty for the one that got away

(But) if Assata is a terrorist
What does that make you?

She was born in Alabama in an apartheid state
Ended up up north, where she found another shade of hate
Terrorized by racism in the schools and in the street
Terrorized by policemen for giving children food to eat
Terrorized by agents sent to disrupt and kill on sight
Terrorized for daring to stand her ground and fight
They tried to frame her for whatever, take your pick
Finally they found something and they managed to make it stick

Chorus

One racist cop was dead, Assata’s hands were in the air
She didn’t fire a shot, the all-white jury didn’t care
They tortured her in prison, years alone in a basement cell
Her comrades liberated her and broke her out of solitary hell
For years they tried to find her, but in 1984
She made her way to Havana and found asylum on the Cuban shore
And they terrorize the Cuban people, try to bring them to their knees
But despite the terror of the empire this so-called terrorist is free

Chorus

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“Assata” originally appeared on the 2013 online album, Into A Prism. I wrote the song (and put it up as an iPhone broadside) after the press conference in New Jersey given by the FBI on the anniversary of a 1973 shootout with police on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the deaths of a cop as well as of members of the Black Liberation Army. BLA member and former Black Panther Party member Assata Shakur was wounded in the shootout, with her hands in the air when she was shot. On May 2nd, 2013, the FBI, together with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, decided it was time to double the bounty on Assata’s head, from $1 million to $2 million. Assata Shakur remains in Havana, Cuba, where she materialized in 1984, after unknown white and black comrades broke her out of prison years earlier. One of the FBI’s biggest manhunt in history failed to capture her. At the time of the 2013 press conference, Assata Shakur was the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist. In case you didn’t know, the FBI changed the name of it’s “Most Wanted Fugitive” list to “Most Wanted Terrorist.” Of course, the question for the FBI that I pose in the song is after the deadly, illegal, terroristic Cointelpro counter-intelligence program (not to mention earlier FBI campaigns of death and destruction such as the Palmer Raids that christened the agency), who is the real terrorist here? To me it’s obvious. The FBI is a terrorist group conducting terrorist activities systematically, since its inception. Assata Shakur was and is a freedom fighter, along with the vast majority of the rest of organizations such as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the Black Liberation Army.

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