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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things You Can Do in Atlanta to Support Justice!

Support Political Prisoner Kamau Sadiki (Freddie Hilton)

Last month i did a post talking about the case of the San Francisco 8 and how the police/FBI war continues against former Black Panthers continues today.

Former Black Panther Party member and political prisoner Kamau Sadiki (Freddie Hilton) will appear in Judge Stephanie Manis courtroom on Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 9:30 am. Sadiki is seeking a re-trial on a murder conviction in 2003. Atlanta Police had closed a case of the 1971 killing of an Atlanta police officer. In 1999, the FBI in pursuit of collaboration in their attempts to recapture Assata Shakur, a political exile in Cuba, threatened Sadiki with life in prison if he did not assist them. When Sadiki did not comply the FBI convinced Atlanta police to re-open the case and charge Sadiki. The FBI assisted the Atlanta police and prosecutors in manufacturing witnesses (none who actually saw the shooting) against Sadiki. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison 32 years after the incident.

Please come to court and show Brother Sadiki moral support. Judge Manis court is at the Fulton County Superior Court Building, 136 Pryor Street, SW Fulton County Courthouse / Courtroom 5c Atlanta, Georgia (30303).

To learn more about the life, activism and case of Kamau Sadiki, please click here.

See the Film "American Violet"

The info below is from the e-mail that was sent out by Color of Change, but i'll just add my two cents. I saw the movie yesterday, and it was great! Powerful story, good acting, and as someone who has lived in a small town like the one in the movie, it does a good job of depicting how the power of the so-called "justice" system is intertwined all throughout everyday life. Go see it. Then talk about it. And then let's ORGANIZE around it!

Too often, police drug raids in low-income communities across the county sweep up innocent people. Once in the system, it can become nearly impossible for these folks to prove their innocence. They lose their freedom; their families are broken; and the true story is rarely told.

American Violet is a new award-winning film that's playing for a limited run in Atlanta that can help shine a light on the problem. By going to see the movie, you can help it get more exposure--it will run longer in theaters if it does well at first.

American Violet tells the amazing story of a young, single mother swept up in an unjust, out-of-control drug raid that targets the Black community in a small town in Texas. The film is based on true events and it examines how our country's drug laws and enforcement practices target African-Americans, and how the justice system uses threats and intimidation to steer people towards guilty pleas, regardless of their innocence or the evidence against them.

You can watch the trailer below:

The film is inspired by the real life story of Regina Kelly, an African-American, single mother of four girls who was arrested in 2000 in a military-style drug raid. The raid resulted in the arrest of nearly 15% of the town's young Black male population for felony cocaine distribution. Kelly was innocent. Her name, along with the names of many others arrested (nearly all African-American), were given to police by a single, highly unreliable informant with personal reasons to antagonize her. Despite Kelly's innocence, she was urged to plead guilty by her family and even her public defender so that she could return to her children and receive a minimal sentence. A felony conviction, however, would have resulted in the loss of her right to vote and the public assistance programs on which her family depended, not to mention the tainting of her personal reputation and her ability to obtain employment. She chose to maintain her plea of not guilty. American Violet tells the story of her fight for justice.

Click here to find showtimes and buy tickets:

Please consider supporting this film, and please forward this email to friends and family to spread the word!

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