Coalition demands that Attorney General Holder drop persecution of Asata Shakur and go after police and vigilantes who terrorize African American and Latino communities


Open Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder


In a letter sent to U. S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, a coalition of community organizations and civil rights activists have demanded that the Department of Justice remove Asata Shakur from its list of terrorists and allow her to return home as a free woman.  The letter also demands that Holder start prosecuting vigilantes, police officers and their leaders who engage in and condone murders, torture, and other crimes, in violation of U. S. law.. 

The letter was sent certified mail to Holder in Washington, DC, and delivered by hand to the U. S. Attorney’s office at 219 S. Dearborn in Chicago.  It was signed by Frank Chapman, Field Secretary of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, on behalf of over 80 organizations and individuals that have convened two People’s Hearings on Police Crimes in Chicago in recent months.

Speaking on behalf of hundreds of people whose loved ones have been stolen from their families by police murders, torture, and wrongful convictions, the letter noted “with dismay and anger” that labeling Asata Shakur a terrorist “is a capitulation to the most extreme racist and reactionary elements in our society.”  These are the same elements that have targeted Holder and President Barak Obama for destruction, the letter declared.   

Calling Asata Shakur “an icon of the struggle for Black freedom,” the letter declares that “If Asata Shakur is a terrorist then we may all be terrorists.”  Nothing she has done or been charged with fits the definition of terrorism. 

“This effort to smear the Civil Rights Movement is a continuation of ‘COINTELPRO,’ the FBI drive against Black leaders,” the letter continues.  It notes that within a few years in the late 1960s COINTELPRO organized the murder and frame-up of many Black leaders by the FBI and local police. 

The letter warns that CIA or far right-wing terrorist elements could use this malicious designation of Asata Shakur as a pretext for an armed incursion into Cuba or the use of drone aircraft to assassinate her.  “We can’t be indifferent to the fact the U. S. Government has declared that it has the right to execute people, including U. S. citizens, without their ever being charged, tried, or convicted of anything,” the letter states.

It calls on Holder to remove Asata Shakur from any list of terrorists, allow her to return home as a free woman, and start prosecuting vigilantes, police officers and their leaders who engage in and condone police murders, torture, and other crimes.  “We have suffered too long for this outrage to continue, the letter concludes.

For a copy of the letter to Holder or information regarding the Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression: 312-939-2750,