Updated on 2/24/2015 at 3:20pm.
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Monday, February 16th, 2015. New York City – Yesterday, Sunday, February 15th, Existence is Resistance, The Sekou Odinga Defense Committee and The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home held a celebration and fundraiser for recently released political prisoner of 34 years, Sekou Odinga.
The event was at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Washington Heights, Manhattan. NYC.
According to the organizers, “Sekou Odinga was a U.S. held political prisoner imprisoned 34 years for fighting for the freedom of Black people and the building of the Republic of New Afrika.”
The sponsors were: MXGM, Universal Zulu Nation, Harlem Copwatch, Brotherhood SisterSol, Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, NY Black Panthersand Party for Socialism and Liberation.
These organizations had information tables and activities such as letter writing to political prisoners and information on knowing your rights. Some of them were also selling t-shirts.
The documentaries “The Mike Brown Rebellion” by Rebel Diaz and “Afraid of Dark” by Mya B were screened. The DJ was Lumumba aka Revolution. The performances were by Divine RBG, Intikana, The Peace Poets, Lah Tere & Mommas HipHop Kitchen, DK Dyson, Mahina Movement. The event was hosted by Hakim Green.
Sekou Odinga website says, “Sekou Mgbozi Abdullah Odinga grew up in Jamaica, Queens. He is a husband, father of eight, grandfather of nineteen+ and a great-grandfather.
He was inspired by the revolutionary principles of Malcolm X when he joined the Organization of Afro-American Unity, followed later by the Black Panther Party (BPP) . In 1970, he was asked to go to Algeria to help set up the international section of the BPP. After the split in the Party, caused by the Cointelpro program, he decided to come back to the u.s. to continue the struggle.
Sekou continued that work until he was captured and charged with attempting to murder police in October of 1981. He was not attempting to murder the police, he was in fact, running away from the police with his brother/comrade, Mtayari Sundiata fearing for their lives. That fear proved well deserved when Mtayari was captured and murdered (executed) while lying face down on the ground. He was captured a little while later; by then lots of people had gathered around so he was taken to a police precinct where he was beaten and tortured for the six (6) straight hours. The local police and FBI were trying to find out information about Assata Shakur and Abdul Majid. “Where they were? Who they were with? Did I know them? When was the last time I saw them, etc. etc.?” That torture left him in the hospital for the next three months with physical damage that he still suffers from. He was snatched out of the hospital before completely healing, forced into two trials (state and federal) for the next 2½ years.
After many lies and prejudicial judge rulings, he was found guilty in both courts, and sentenced to forty (40) years and $50,000 fine by the feds, and 25 years to life by the state. The feds found him guilty of the Liberation of Assata Shakur and the expropriation of an armored-car. The state found him guilty of attempted murder of police. One sentence to start after the other one finished. He was paroled by the feds in 2009, and is now in NYS doing the 25 to life.”
He was released on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
In 2011, Dequi Kioni-Sadiki, married former Black Panther Sekou Odinga over the phone and in a prison visiting room.
Dequi said in an interview with Susie Day, “People mean well. They say, “He’s a lucky man.” But I’m a lucky woman. I discovered the love of my life. I had no idea I would find that person behind the wall. But it’s a journey. Sekou is not in prison because he was trying to get rich or harm his community for his own benefit. He’s there because he dreamed of a better world.
The thing that helps me is that I know I love him and I feel so soothed and comforted and protected by his love. I’ve never loved a man like I love him. And I guess I’m like Ralph, when he kept fighting for Lynne Stewart’s release. I believe that Sekou’s going to come home. The alternative is just not worth considering.”
She also added, “I imagine us walking down the street. I’m in a park and imagine sitting on a bench with him. I’m home, and I see him sitting on the living room couch. I imagine traveling with him. I do allow myself to dream those things in my sleep and in my waking moments. That’s one thing the prison system can’t take away.
It makes me see how much time people waste on things that don’t really matter. How we look at people every day, and we don’t really see them. I don’t look at Sekou every day. But I see him. Every day.”
They can walk down the street together now. She does not have to imagine anymore. It is a reality!
Videos by Existence Is Resistance.
More photos from the event “Love Yourself, Love Your Freedom: Celebration for Sekou Odinga”. Photos by Salim Adofo.
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