Assata

from by David Rovics

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Assata Shakur has long been a heroine of mine, along with the organizations she has long been associated with, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the Black Liberation Army. When the FBI teamed up with New Jersey authorities to announce that she had been declared the #1 Most Wanted Terrorist on their list, and the first-ever woman to occupy that esteemed position, I was appalled, as were many others. It is well-documented that despite her one conviction by a kangaroo court, Assata is innocent of all charges and allegations made against her over the years, including the killing of the cop. The terrorists who should have a lot to answer for, in a remotely just society, are the FBI and other federal and local authorities who considered members of the Black Panther Party and other organizations guilty until proven innocent.

lyrics

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

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

credits

from Into A Prism, released July 2, 2013

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC

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