Rest In Power Mutulu Shakur
Mutulu Shakur passed away on 6 July 2023, about 8 months after being released from prison. From a young age Shakur got involved in the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), and soon after became a citizen of newly founded Republic of New Afrika in 1968. Ey was a leader in the movement in eir late teens.
Shakur was a Prisoner of War for 36 years before eir release this winter. Shakur was imprisoned for the Brinks robbery case where a guard and two cops were killed. This incident is analyzed in detail in the book, False Nationalism, False Internationalism by Tani and Sera.
While in prison, Shakur spent most of eir years in torture cells. Ey was sent to the original control unit in Marion, IL for eir organizing of young New Afrikans, and was later sent to the infamous ADX prison. During this time ey also worked with step-son Tupac Shakur to develop the THUG LIFE code.(1)
Mutulu Shakur is also well-known for eir participation in the Lincoln Detox Center in New York, where ey spearheaded the practice of using acupuncture, as opposed to methodone, which the revolutionaries of Lincoln Detox saw as just hooking the people on another form of dope.(2) This history has been an inspiration to our own work, and the development of the Revolutionary 12 Step Program, which we aspire to develop into a Serve the People Program at the level that Lincoln Detox did in the early 1970s.
While Shakur continued to have an impact, as an educator, and especially through eir collaboration with Tupac, the decades spent in solitary confinement were a great loss to New Afrika and all oppressed people. There is no question that Shakur had decided to wage war against U.$. imperialism, renouncing eir citizenship at 17 years old. And the imperialists waged war against em through the prison system and the extreme isolation of the control units. This is why shutting down control units and supporting prisoners organizing against imperialism remains an integral part of the anti-imperialist struggle to this day.
This Black August, we will remember Mutulu Shakur, along with many others who gave their lives to the New Afrikan Liberation Struggle.
1. MIM(Prisons), March 2009, Peace in the Streets, Under Lock & Key No. 7.
2. Wiawimawo, November 2017, Drugs, Money and Individualism in U.$. Prison Movement, Under Lock & Key No. 59.