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  "Nuh" Washington: No Death in a Cage!
Column Written 2/5/2000 by Mumia Abu-Jamal
All Rights Reserved

For far too many African-Americans, the name, Albert "Nuh" Washington, is virtually unknown. For those in the know, however, and those in touch with 1960s-era black history regarding the Black Liberation Movement, his name is both known and respected.
Nuh (the Arabic form of Noah) was a committed member of the Black Panther Party and later, after the notorious FBI-engineered East coast-West Coast split, worked with the Black Liberation Army (BLA), in defending the lives and dignity of black folk.
Back in the 1970s, Nuh was shot and captured with another Panther, Jalil Muntaquin, and was later charged and convicted of murder along with Jalil and Herman Bell. Evidence has since surfaced strongly suggesting the three men were unjustly convicted in this case.
For over 28 years Nuh has been held in California and New York gulags, and repeatedly punished for his political ideas. Now, Nuh, recently diagnosed with malignant liver cancer, is dying. Doctors give Nuh between 3 to 10 months to live.
Across the nation, Black Liberation supporters, nationalists and human rights activists are trying to spark a movement for Nuh's release due to his terminal condition. At the head of this humanitarian effort is prominent attorney Joan P. Gibbs, Esquire (who may be reached at jgibbs3926@aol.com), who has more information on the campaign. In the book Can't Jail The Spirit (Oct. 1992), Nuh wrote, in part:

My family instilled in me values and a sense of pride in myself, family, and people. They were always there. I am not allowed family reunion visits because I am considered a high-security escape risk, while others, who have escaped, can get them. It is now harder for my mother to visit me. My friends must make plans to get here. I have not held my wife in a long time.
I tell jokes and educate my fellow prisoners, which is why I am transferred a lot. The Black Panther Party is physically gone but the spirit lives in a lot of us. Just recently a brother asked me for the goals and rules of the Black Panther Party, and a few people wish to be part of it again. After 20+ years as a prisoner, the memory of being with the people still brings a smile to my face and it is something I share with my fellow prisoners: the concept of unity, movement, and love.
I am a prisoner of war as well as a political prisoner because of the historical and contemporary acts of war carried out against Blacks/New Afrikan people inside and outside these United States by the government and those who believe in white supremacy.

Nuh's radiant spirit continues to shine nearly 3 decades after he was unjustly caged by the State. Yet, the flame of life is flickering within him.
Let us build a movement which, like the Puerto Rican Independentistas, insures that Nuh does not breathe his last in a cage.


[Sources: Sundiata Acoli: www.afrikan.net/sundiata; Can't Jail the Spirit, 3rd ed., Oct. 1992; Editorial El Coqui, Publ., 1671 N. Claremont, Chi., IL 60647; (312) 342-8027]

İMAJ 2000

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