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Dr. Mutulu-Shakur-Healer of the People- A History of New Afrikan Struggle Learning Series


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Dr. Mutulu-Shakur-Healer of the People- A History of New Afrikan Struggle Learning Series

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Dr. Mutulu-Shakur-Healer of the People- A History of New Afrikan Struggle Learning Series

  1. 1. Dr. Mutulu-Shakur | Healer of the People | A History of New Afrikan Struggle Learning Series A Video Interview by Monica Moorehead Play the Video
  2. 2. Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of The Use Of Acupuncture By Revolutionary Health Workers To Treat Drug Addiction, and US Government Attacks Under The Cover Of The CounterIntelligence Program (COINTELPRO) Announcer:But, it seems like things have straightened themselves out right about now. We are on. . .we have on the line with us a Brother, Mutulu Shakur, from the. . .who is currently being held in Lompoc Prison. Let me tell you something about Brother Mutulu Shakur. Brother Mutulu Shakur is a doctor of acupuncture. As an acupuncturist and healthcare worker, Brother Shakur worked from 1971 to „78 for the Lincoln Hospital Detoxification Program in the Bronx in New York. Then, from 1978 to 1982 Dr. Shakur was the co-founder and co-director of the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America, also known as BAAANA and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture. At the Lincoln Detox Center, Dr. Shakur lead a program which used acupuncture to assist in the detoxification of thousands of drug addicts. The Lincoln Detox program was recognized as the largest and most effective of its kind by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Acupuncture Research Society and the World Academic Society of Acupuncture. Further, at BAAANA, Dr. Shakur continued his remarkable work against drug addiction. He also treated and/or supervised the treatment of thousands of elderly and poor patients who otherwise would have received no treatment of this kind. Patients were able to receive quality healthcare at reasonable prices. Moreover, the clinic at BAAANA served on a regular basis many community leaders, political activists, lawyers, doctors and various international dignitaries. At BAAANA, Dr. Shakur and his co-founder, Dr. Richard Delaney, trained over 100 students in the medical sciences of acupuncture. Some of the trainees at the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture were already medical doctors licensed by various states in the United States. Also in the late 1970s, just to tell you a little bit about this brother‟s proficiency in his field, Dr. Shakur traveled with Dr. Mario Wexu, Director of Education at the International Association of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in Montreal to the People‟s Republic of China, where he observed and studied acupuncture applied as the primary form of medical care. We are not just talking about someone who, you know, dibbles and dabbles in his field, but he does some serious research, know what I‟m saying.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  3. 3. Page 2 of 19Brother Shakur also worked with the Revolutionary Action Movement, RAM, in his early years.This was a revolutionary Black Nationalist organization which struggled for black self-determination and socialist change in America. Brother Dr. Shakur has furthermore been adedicated worker and champion in the struggle against political imprisonment and politicalconvictions of black activists in America.He has also been a leader in the struggle against illegal United States and local American lawenforcement programs designed to destroy the black movement in America and has worked toexpose and stop the secret American war against its black colony. Brother Shakur served on thecommittee to defend Herman Ferguson, a leading black political activist and educator chargedwith conspiracy in the RAM conspiracy case of the 1960s. Dr. Shakur was a member of theNational Committee to Free Political Prisoners. He has worked to legally defend and supportpolitical prisoners and prisoners of war like Imari Obadele, Ph.D. and the RNA-11, ReverendBen Chavis and the Wilmington 10, Geronimo Pratt of the Black Panther Party, Assata Shakur ofthe Black Liberation Army, Sundiata Acoli also of the Black Liberation Army.He contributed to the development of a petition to the United Nations by the NationalConference of Black Lawyers and others. As a matter of fact, that petition is now documented inthe book “Illusions of Justice” by Lennox Hinds. He used to also work with the NationalConference of Black Lawyers on developing defense committees for numerous politicalprisoners and prisoners of war.In addition, and I‟m running out of breath with this Brother‟s accomplishments, Brother Shakurwas most importantly a co-founder and director of the National Task Force for COINTELPROLitigation and Research which investigated, exposed and instigated suits against the FBI andother American law agencies for criminal acts, domestic spying, dirty tricks, repression, and lowintensity warfare maneuvers against the New African independence struggle and othersstruggling against oppression in America.Now, having given you this amazing biography, one thing I do have to say before I begin thisprogram is that everything you hear on this show is not necessarily, you may be surprised toknow, not necessarily the opinion of the University of Chicago or the University of Chicago‟sBoard of Trustees. But having said that I would like to bring on the air Brother Shakur. BrotherShakur are you with us?MS: Hello.Announcer: Hello Brother Shakur.MS: How you doing. Free the land, Brother.Announcer: All right, free the land. Now, Brother Shakur, I just read over some of the thingsthat you been doing. You been a busy Brother even now that you‟re incarcerated and I‟d just liketo inquiry as to when we look at your accomplishments and we look at what you are doing withacupuncture a lot of people think first off think Ahmm acupuncturist hmmm…How is somebodywith acupuncture going to serve in a struggle etc. etc. doesn‟t usually strike one as the freedomMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  4. 4. Page 3 of 19fighter type of thing to do. So could you explain to us how acupuncture fed into your struggle forblack liberation.MS: Yes, Brother Tyehimba, first of all I would like to thank you and the University forallowing me to talk to the south side of Chicago, people I have not had many opportunities tospeak to since I‟ve been incarcerated or since I‟ve come up from being clandestine. It‟simportant for us to understand that the struggle for our liberation is a complete process, Brother,and which requires of us to be prepared to address the causes of our oppression. From thatcontext I have to say that in the ‟60s we had the pleasure of feeling like we were going to be freein „73, you know. That used to be a slogan we would say.Announcer: Yeah.MS: And as the upheavals and the outrage and the rebellion of the ‟60s was waged and thestruggle between intellectual participation in the movement and the grassroots organized and thenew movement began to formulate two lines of the approach to the struggle, some of us werecaught in the period of looking at the community being attacked by chemical warfare.Announcer: Right.MS: And chemical warfare began to change the shape and the attitude of the brothers and sisterswho participated in the, what we called then, the revolution. Whether it be the civil rights aspectof integrating into or assimilating into America or whether it be the revolutionary nationalistaspect of fighting for, in this context and in that period, self-determination and/or liberation bynationhood. So from that point of view the ability to fight chemical warfare was a significantcontribution that many organizations gave to the liberation movement because it was at least aphysical participation in fighting the ills that the community could still come to the liberationmovement for assistance.For example, the Nation of Islam was very instrumental in fighting drug, heroin addiction byhaving homes and clean up houses and sweat-out houses all around the country where they couldtake members of the community who are addicted to drugs and help them cold-turkey. So a lot ofthe nationalist formations and the grassroots formations began to do the same thing.A lot of brothers coming out of the penitentiary, cause the penitentiary movement was important.Ex-cons was not what it was today. An ex-con was an individual who gave character, whoestablished a code of conduct in the community. So they began to set up houses, cold-turkeyhouses and the like to help deal with the problem of drug addiction.So from the mid‟60s to the ‟70s the ability to fight heroin and other addictions that were beingpushed in our community, that ability to do that with the assistance of the liberation formationsor organizations became an important material aid to the community.In view of that, in New York in particular and nationally, the National Drug Abuse Conferenceand Richard Nixon with Rockefeller implemented into the black community an experiment thatthey had been experiment. . . a drug that they had experimented on for a long period of time inMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  5. 5. Page 4 of 19Kentucky which they had a Lexington, Kentucky experiment program. They implemented whatthey called a Methadone Maintenance Intervention Program. Now Methadone Maintenance is adrug that was used allegedly, theoretically, to get a person off of heroin but onto methadonemonitored by methadone clinics and allegedly its intentions were to detoxify a person addicted tochemical warfare off the methadone.We seen that as a clear, clear process of taking from the revolutionary movement and thegrassroots movement an ability to stay in touch with the community and to render aid and anability and a setting for a person to demonstrate their love for their brother and sister by spendingtime, working with that brother or sister through that terrible period of cold-turkey.Announcer: Well it sounds like we need some of that out here today with all this crack out here.You know.MS: No question….this is why the Methadone Maintenance Move was a sickness it can move.What happened is Rockefeller….the history of methadone is a very interesting one. I don‟t knowhow much time we have and I‟m going to try to cut it short. But the Methadone Maintenancecame into the community as a requirement for aid to dependent children, a requirement if youwanted to get on welfare, a requirement for parole and requirement for probation. It was calledthe Rockefeller Program in New York. At the time that Jimmy Carter was Governor of Atlanta,under him was the man named Peter Borne. Peter Borne was the National Drug Abuse CounselCoordinator for Richard Nixon. They brought methadone into the community. In New YorkCity, 60 percent of the illegal drugs on the street during the early ‟70s was methadone. So wecould not blame drug addiction at that time on Turkey or Afghanistan or the rest of that triangle.Announcer: It was the United States government and Rockefeller.MS: It was coming in through Eli Lily and the Brinks trucks that was delivering the drugs to thevarious methadone clinics around the country. And instead of people being detoxified off ofmethadone, they were being increased in dosages. So acupuncture, in the hands of revolutionarythinking, Puerto Rican, Blacks, Progressive White people, was an intervention that thegovernment was not willing to accept at the time because it attacked and exposed the intention ofthe government to impose a chemical warfare on a certain segment of the community. And itexposed the fact that the government wanted to control the flow of drugs into the community. Soour. . . hello. . .Announcer: Yes.MS: . . .our ability to get involved with acupuncture and to learn it, and to learn it from a veryfundamental basis was an important contribution to that struggle. So we became victims ofcounter intelligence not in the classical sense based upon the Hoover documents of stopping therise of the black messiah or stopping the development of black nationalist hate groups thatshowed that famous „67 document. We became targets because we were intervening into thechemical war process here ?? was being dealt with by illegal drugs and was being moved into thephase of legal drugs.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  6. 6. Page 5 of 19Announcer: Well, that was when you were starting to get active with the Lincoln Detoxprogram and could you tell us about some of the development that happened there and thedevelopment of BAAANA.MS: Okay. The Lincoln Detox program was started by the Black Panther Party, the Young LordsParty and a white group called White Lightening. This group began to take over aspects ofLincoln Hospital in order to provide space and treatment care. . .hello?Announcer: Yeah, we‟re still here.MS: . . .for peopleOperator: Are you done with your call?Announcer: No. Hello? Hello?. . .So ladies and gentleman, that‟s where we left last week or Ishould say two weeks ago, that was October 4th, where there was just an interruption by theprison telephone operator. And well, you know, as they say the struggle must continue and sowe‟re going to continue on with Brother Mutulu. So, welcoming you back to WHBK, welcomeback, Brother Mutulu.MS: Free the land, Brother.Announcer: All right, so it‟s good to have you back.MS: Yeah, well it‟s all like you say a struggle always continues, you know, we just have toprepare for the unexpected. It‟s our ability to handle the strain and allow for us to win anyway.You know.Announcer: Right. Okay, so now you had been talking about. . . two weeks ago you weretalking about the influx of drugs into the country and into the African community. . . the NewAfrican community and I was wondering if you could kind of pick up the pieces from where youwere two weeks ago.MS: Yeah,. . . hello? I hear someone messing with the phone so bear with me.Announcer: Okay.MS: This here conversation has been approved by the warden and the captain. Okay, so I shouldbe able to continue the conversation. All right?Announcer: I sure hope so.MS: Okay. I was trying to illustrate how the liberation movements and the civil rights movementand the black. . .Announcer: Can you speak up a little, Brother.
  7. 7. Page 6 of 19 MS: Hello? Announcer: Can you speak up a little? MS: Sure. I was trying to illustrate how the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Nationalist movement was very fundamental to us in the early ‟60s, late mid ‟60s and ‟70s. And that one of the ways that the organization becomes fundamental, respected and appreciated from the masses is that we as organizational members or organization forms provide some type of material aid to the ails of our community and to the needs of our community. And so the drug program in Lincoln Hospital that was developed, as I said before by the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords Party and another formation called White Lightening of ex-drug victims. This became a center for revolutionary, political change in the methodology and treatment modality of drug addiction because the method was not only medical but it was also political. And I think that was the continuing from the independent basis that the various formations had prior to the‟70s, various organizations as I mentioned the Nation of Islam, RAM and SNCC and other formations dealing with the problems themselves. So the Lincoln Detox became not only recognized by the community as a political formation but its work in developing and saving men and women of the third world inside of the oppressed communities, resuscitating these brothers and sisters and putting them into some form of healing process within the community we became a threat to the city of New York and consequently with the development of the barefoot doctor acupuncture cadre, we began to move around the country and educate various other communities instead of schools and orientations around acupuncture drug withdrawal and the strategy of methadone and the teaching the brothers and sisters the fundamentals of acupuncture to serious acupuncture, how it was used in the revolutionary context in China and in Vietnam and how we were able to use it in the South Bronx and our success. Primarily because we had a love for our people and we had a commitment to our people, we started very rudimentary. We started with just finger pressure point and as we began to continue and search for the truth the information came to us, we went to China, we went to Montreal, we went around in England and Switzerland and various parts of the world to understand the theory and the application of acupuncture to drug withdrawal. So we became predictable, we became the base of acupuncturists who were revolutionaries in this country. Most of us belonged to various political formations and we were a part of a cadre of men and women who were not licensed western doctors but we were acupuncturists and oriental medicine and so therefore we opened up a whole avenue of the standards and the oppression of American Medical Association (AMA)against oriental medicine and the whole line of struggle. So acupuncture and Lincoln Detox together was a political and medical threat to the theory of legalized chemical warfare within our community. Announcer: Now that‟s deep ‟cause the more I find out about, you know, how to take care of one‟s body, how to get medical treatment, there seems like there was some many concepts involved in what you were doing. The AMA involved and the concept of western medicine and pumping drugs into your system and the toxification of the community, the chemical warfare. This is a part of our history that, I guess, very few of us have had access to. Now, I wonder if youMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  8. 8. Page 7 of 19could also tell us a little bit about your case and exactly how things came to a head and how youwound up in prison.MS: One of the things that‟s got to be clear is that I am a part of a movement. I have been a partof the movement most of my life and when I became involved in the Lincoln Detox process, Ihad already been in the Republic of New Afrika, the black caucus, I have been the supporter ofthe RAM cases in Queens, New York. I had also been involved in the National Black PoliticalConvention. I was already a political animal. When we all hooked up to Lincoln Detox there wasmajor leadership of the Young Lords Party that was a part of what we called the Lincoln DetoxCollective. We were also a part of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners.Some of us were a part. . . North Americans were a part of the Midnight Special. The Sister ofBernadine Dohrn was there, Jennifer Dohrn, was a part of the Lincoln Detox Collective. So wehad a number of politically conscience people involved in carrying out the fundamental processof dealing with the needs of the community. You follow me?Announcer: Uh huh.MS: And seeing that there was too powerful of a access. . . too powerful access for therevolutionary community to have specially as we were moving into 1973 and the oil embargoand third-world nations emerging around the world, revolutionary struggle, the anti-imperialiststruggle, struggle for national identity that was happening all over the world. The concept of self-determination within the minimum context of community control and control of one‟s ownhealth, was too much of a significant barometer for our community to see the potential offreedom, the potential of self-determination, so we became the target.Announcer: So, it sounds like you‟re talking about a whole type of medical wing of theliberation movement, almost. Like the various collectives that you were talking about. And Iknow here in Chicago they had a brother who was involved in starting up a health clinic etc. Awhole new concept of medicine, medical care and how care should be provided.MS: Really the principal of providing medical care wasn‟t new because if you remember theBlack Panther Party publicized people‟s health clinics. They publicized it from the ‟60s to theearly ‟70s. But, and I mean, the media publicized it. Other formations in the Libya movement inCleveland and various nationalist formations in New York and Chicago and Mid West andSouth, were doing certain type of healthcare. And the voter registration campaign, they weredoing certain things. But the significant part about this was that we had also caught them red-handedly providing a chemical addiction to a people that they alleged were trying to detoxify, toclean up the drugs. So it wasn‟t only that we were providing medical care, we were providingmedical care and exposing chemical warfare. We were not only providing medical care andexposing chemical warfare, we were challenging western occidental medicine to easternmedicine and natural healing. So all the fads and the health foods stores and all of thereflexology clinics and all of these things that allow to function today would not exist ifrevolutionary men and women did not fight tooth and nail to spread the possibilities of anotherform of healthcare system to the third world grassroots community.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  9. 9. Page 8 of 19Announcer: As you were saying before, a lot of us are familiar somewhat with the history of theFBI and the CIA, COINTELPRO operations, and the various search and destroy missions ofvarious police departments across the country and in New York it was particularly fierce fromwhat I understand.MS: Oh it was very significant, it was very significant. A lot of the . . . the thing that you have tounderstand is people must read the COINTELPROl document directive clearly. And aspects of ittalk about misdirecting, discrediting, taking off track, taking away credibility, preventing goodwork from looking like good work in the community. Fundamental stuff. And that is strategic asopposed to overt. You follow me. And so federally they were beginning to. . .they couldn‟t comeat us direct because it would be hard to explain. If men and women are trying to do somethinggood, why are you attacking them. So, therefore, the misdirection and the discrediting and themedia‟s collaboration by refusing to announce to the community and to the readers what wasgoing on, allowed for the Lincoln Detox Program to be targeted as if it was poverty pimps goingon up there. At the time that we were moving there was a group called the National Caucus ofLabor Committees.They began to attack us. Now that we have seen their covert operations and understand them tobe destabilizing and working for different forms all over the world, we realize that they were partof the covert action. We attached by Charles Schuman now a Congressman in Washington. Hewas a Congressman in Brooklyn. He lead an assembly evaluation of all the so-called third-partyprograms, which were a residential communities where you could keep people in over a certainlength of time and try to heal. He felt that we had too much control, that men and women had toomuch control over brothers and sisters without them being certified, and you know certified menpoliticized to the Right Wing element. So, Mayor Koch who became the Mayor at the time, wasthe head of the New York City Board of Estimates. And so he lead, he won his campaign onattacking drug programs and anti-poverty programs in New York City.So, during the end stages after they had murdered many BLA members, after they hadtremendous trials and the Lincoln Detox community, the Lincoln Detox patients, the LincolnDetox workers, the Lincoln Detox supporters were always in the eye of the storm when it camedown to supporting revolutionary causes, positive issues, we‟ve struck when the gypsy cabs wenton strike, we struck with the workers. . . the healthcare workers in the hospital, we demandedbetter healthcare, we fought in the welfare department for proper treatment of welfare recipients,we had a legal defense fund and helped indigenous people who couldn‟t afford legal services.These are the kinds of people services that were developed out of a revolutionary context fromLincoln Detox Drug Program as a result of politicizing victims of drug addiction and educatingthe community about chemical warfare, we were able to provide these types of communityservice, therefore, as the COINTELPRO and the media said that the liberation, they had brokethe back of the liberation movement here in the South Bronx under a different banner, under ahealth banner we had cadres of men and women…in the community out there spreading theword of self-determination and liberation.Announcer: So this is between the years in Lincoln Detox that‟s from the years of 1971-78. Isthat right?Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  10. 10. Page 9 of 19MS: Yes.Announcer: And now, eventually was Lincoln disbanded or what?MS: The day that I was fired they sent 200 policemen up to the clinic, surrounded the clinic. . .Announcer: 200 policemen!MS: Yes. . . and just controlled the whole thing and fired all of us or told us that we were to besent to other hospitals. Right now today you can go into New York City and in those municipalhospitals within the community, with the black and Puerto Rican and poor communities, amunicipal hospital, not the private hospital, but the municipal hospitals, you can now receiveacupuncture treatment for drug withdrawal as an alternative method of treatment. And that existstoday because many men and women were put in jail, shot and killed, had mental disorder, allthe things that go with on going low intensity warfare, all the suffering that can be attributed tothat is for ??. The reason why men and women now can go get acupuncture and alternativehealthcare has to do with that cadre of men and women. And they need to be praised and thatsituation needs to be correctly analyzed. Because if we do not analyze it. . .[break in tape]Announcer: You were involved with BAAANA, right?MS: BAAANA was the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. We wentinto Harlem and we bought a home in Strivers Row and opened it as an acupuncture clinic inHarlem. And that clinic began to teach brothers and sisters and others the skill of acupuncture tospread around the country in various segments of the population. And we began to certify theminternationally, under . . . we were opened under the International Association of Acupunctureand the World Health Organization.Because I have always been a revolutionary, I have always been a supporter and a member of theliberation movement. Nothing changes. The acupuncture clinic was a clinic and BAAANA wasbuilt on a similar structure as Lincoln Hospital. It must be political and any person who wasgoing to learn from our clinic had to be somewhat socially conscience and committed to fightingthe ills of the community. And so acupuncture. . . BAAANA became a target just like LincolnDetox. The only difference is that it was easier to focus on BAAANA, to isolate BAAANA inorder for them to deal with this raid on BAAANA that happened in March of 1982.BAAANA became a target in a RICO conspiracy. What they allege is that because BAAANAwas providing this kind of healthcare and the insurance companies were not giving money toBAAANA because they were a part of another counter-intelligence strategy to try to close usdown by refusing to pay rightfully due insurance bills to the clinic, they alleged that the clinicwas being kept alive by the Black Liberation Army. And they alleged that the Black LiberationArmy was robbing armored trucks in order to keep the acupuncture clinic alive as well as otherorganizations and facilities in the black nation. And so I became a target of an investigation,March 20th, 1982 I was indicted for the liberation of Assata Shakur because I was her legalMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  11. 11. Page 10 of 19assistant on many of her cases during the ‟70s. They target me with her liberation, I was targetedas part of the liberation of freedom fighters as well as the expropriation of 9 or 10 armored trucksduring the course of „76 to „81.So I went underground in 1981. I knew I was a target, Mtayari Shabaka was murdered. A greatrevolutionary by the name of Sekou Odinga who had been a part of the Panther 21 case, who hadbeen a childhood friend of mine, who was a leader of the Black Panther Party, who went toAlgiers and opened up the international section. Was captured at the time Mtayari was murderedand he was indicted for being one of the leaders of the clandestine formation of the BlackLiberation Army, New African Freedom Fighters. Many other brothers and sisters, KwasiBalagoon, Chui Ferguson-El, Assata Shakur, Nehanda Abiodun, great sister who was a part ofthe aboveground structure, who is still underground, who is still being hunted by the law, theFBI, CIA, Interpol, she was a sister who helped start BAAANA on 129th Street between 7th and8th Avenue in Harlem. She was a great sister, she was a part of the Republic of New Afrika‟scadre and was one of the first organizers of the New African People‟s Organization. Manypeople know of Assata Shakur and they should but there is another sister named NehandaAbiodun that they have been hunting and trying to catch ever since we went underground andshe is a great comrade, a great sister and all sisters need to know about her. She is a veryimportant contributor to the development of acupuncture and drug withdrawal in the blackcommunity, New African community.So, we felt the wrath of COINTELPRO. We were also, prior to and during the time of theLincoln Detox Process, my political work was the National Committee for the Defense ofPolitical Prisoners and the National Committee for COINTELPRO Litigation and ResearchCommittee. Now that formation was made up of various political formations and organizationswho had suffered during the decline of the revolutionary movement, who were . . . theseformations were victims of counter intelligence and COINTELPRO and low intensity warfare.We came together to try to find out why we, political formations such as the African People‟sParty, the Republic of New Africa, All African People‟s Revolutionary Party, segments of theBlack Panther Party, segments of the Houses ??. How come we could not sit down and unite andfurther the struggle for human rights of New African people in America and socialistdevelopment of our struggle. And that discussion and those people coming together made usrealize that we had not thoroughly understood and accepted low intensity warfare and counterintelligence in relationship to the ideological struggles that we were having so-called pettycontradictions between ourselves. So that committee became the National Committee forCOINTELPRO Litigation and Research. And what we did was begin to go out and look at issuesthat were dividing us. . .Announcer: Excuse me, Brother. Give us an idea of what time period you are talking about.MS: Now we‟re talking between „73 and „77.Announcer: Okay. I just wanted to get that.MS: Right. We‟re talking about after Assata Shakur was captured and Zayd Malik Shakur waskilled and Sundiata Acoli was captured. Okay. Because between „70 and „73 there was complete
  12. 12. Page 11 of 19assassination of BLA members. There was assassination of potential organizers withinaboveground formations. There was also false charges ??. All over the country men and womenwere falling to all kinds of various situations. No this happened somewhat different then to „67to, well let‟s say „66 ‟cause we have to put in Ahmed Evans and what happened in Cleveland,from the „66 to „70 period the consensus of the police and the FBI and the white community wasthat direct attacks against visible fronts of the black liberation movement was legal and proper.Do you follow me?Announcer: Yeah.MS: So that many organizations who had store fronts who were providing various care andoffice open to the community were being militarily attacked. Do you follow me?Announcer: Yeah.MS: And those attacks began to kill the momentum of the visibility of liberation formationswithin the community. So after they confronted us in that fashion, from „70 to „71, the lowintensity hunt and destroy method was the second phase of COINTELPRO and us killing eachother.Announcer: A lot of people, I think a lot of people in the audience wonder what low intensitywarfare is, but in terms of clearing it up, it‟s the same tactics that the United States governmentused against Chile, used against El Salvador and uses around the world to destabilizegovernments and here, in the United States, to destabilize the African community, the NativeAmerican communities, the island of Puerto Rico, etc., etc., etc.MS: Nothing spooky about it. I think a lot of times we put titles on things to cut the explanationand where we need to put the explanation, make the explanation more clear. Low intensitywarfare very simply put, is the play on the weaknesses and uncovered flanks of organizations orformations that are a threat, to the powers that be or to your adversary. As it relates to us and theUnited States government and military government, we, the liberation movements, wereinfiltrated with agents, money was stolen and we were beginning to accuse each other, work thatwe were doing to educate and propagate to the community was being subverted and converted‟cause we did not control the media process. Our own egos were being used against us veryfundamentally. Your mail was being stolen when you expected the mail to come for this, that orthe other. Shoestring budgets were being stretched to the limits so we would fail to make certaindeadlines. So we began to feel inconsistent, impotent, incompetent and we felt that the thingswere falling apart. So our morale began to weaken. So with a weak morale and a vicious militaryattack, an assassination of key leader, or a car accident driving him off the road, or an addictionor a supporter or something, anything that can breakdown the fundamental structure and thespirit of a formation is low intensity warfare. Where you‟re being attacked everyday but it‟s notthe clear line that you anticipate. And it‟s not haphazard attack. It‟s a very fundamental, thoughtout, programmatic attack at the weaknesses that have been reported by the agent to the superior.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  13. 13. Page 12 of 19Announcer: Okay. Now, you experienced a lot of that as you were just saying in BAAANA andin the Detox, the Lincoln Detox, and as a matter of fact, one of your fellow doctors was killed ordied on this scene.MS: Well, Lincoln Detox was hot-bed for COINTELPRO. During the time from „71, „70 to „77we had suffered at least 3 or 4 assassinations. The most notable assassination, if you willremember we were talking about the fact that we had. . . we were unlicensed in Westernmedicine but licensed in Eastern medicine?Announcer: Yes.MS: Well, during the time that we were licensed in Eastern medicine and practicingacupuncture, the only way that we were able to maintain and continue was that we had a westerndoctor to support the work program. He was the sign-off person.Announcer: Okay.MS: This person was not necessary have to be an acupuncturist, matter of fact they prefer he notbe, or she not be. And during the course from „70 to „73 initially it was the man by the name. . .one was Steve Levine was the first doctor at Lincoln Hospital but he was not an acupuncturist. Aman by the name of Frank Atfeld, M.D. was one of the first western medicine doctors workingwith the cadre, we evolved the acupuncture collectively together. He left and there was a man bythe name of . . . his name was Richard Taft. Now Richard Taft was the grandson of PresidentTaft, or the great grandson of President Taft. When Frank Atfeld left, Richard Taft was theresident doctor okaying the western. . .the eastern treatment modality. You follow me?Announcer: Yes.MS: And so therefore, he was essential to us in terms of continuing treatment.Announcer: Okay.MS: The day he was murdered, two days before he was murdered Charles Schumer and theNational Caucus of Labor Committees created an attack, a verbal media attack as well as a massrally to create a diversion of energy from the Lincoln Detox program. The day he was killed, thenight he was killed, they had just attacked our clinic, physically. And anyone in the historicalperiod would know that a National Caucus of Labor Committees had … tight tactics. Theywould just jump on the people, would beat them with nunchakus. That was their modus operandi.And so the day that Richard Taft was killed Peter Borne who was Reagan‟s . . . I mean. . . I‟msorry. . . Carter‟s East Coast Regional Campaign Manager, and the survey of the InternationalAcupuncture availability for drug addiction, came to the clinic. He was the one. . . he was therewas Richard Taft‟s body was found. You want to know who Richard Borne was, I mean . . .Borne, his father was the person in Grenada who owned the American Medical University overthere, who called in the troops saying that the Americans were under attack. So his son was therethe same day that. . . Richard Taft was murdered. Now the murder was he was shot up with drugsMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  14. 14. Page 13 of 19in the back of the auditorium. That‟s how he died. So that was to discredit the Acupuncture clinicas if the doctors of the clinic was drug addicts.Announcer: Right, right. That he O.D.‟edMS: And now, even if you accept the fact that he used drugs, which we don‟t, why would he useit in the back of the auditorium. And die. Very shaky circumstances. Another great man that waskilled, associated with the Lincoln Detox program was a man by the name of Stanley Cohen. Afantastic lawyer. This man had won every case that we had from Lincoln Detox. BLA cases,cases dealing with rights of the welfare clients, workers rights. He had defended Assata Shakurfrom three major trials. He was getting ready to go into Jersey for the last and final trial, becauseAssata Shakur was never convicted of the things that they allegedly were looking for her for. Shewas convicted for defending herself against an assassination plot on the New Jersey Turnpikewhich killed my brother Zayd Shakur and imprisoned Sundiata Coli. That last trial, just beforewe were going into that last trial, they found Stanley Cohen O.D.‟ed on cocaine. He was the bestattorney that the clinic had and that the revolutionaries had at that time, not famous like the restof them.Announcer: Okay. Now, we‟ve covered so much. It‟s been so fascinating.MS: The reason why I‟m covering all of this is because when you read about me and the BigDance or you read about my POW position in the courts and the stand I take on internationallaws relates to our struggle. When I say that I‟m a prisoner of war, I‟m talking about lowintensity warfare. I‟m talking about a warfare that has been sanctioned as legitimate war byProtocols 1 and 2 of the International UN Convention. You follow me?Announcer: Yeah.MS: And I‟m saying that we have to recognize that our suffering cannot be passed off ascriminal. Follow me?. . .violation. I am part of a liberation movement. I accept that. I accept thefact that the United States government has waged war on us as a people and I believed in myactions are part of resistance to that war. Consequently, I am catching as a prisoner of war. Doyou follow me?Announcer: Yes.MS: And so when I tell you what the war was like. When I talk to you about acupuncture, and Italk to about healing and I talk to you about legal work, and I talk to you about welfare work,that work is work that must be considered war work. Do you follow me?Announcer: Right.MS: Because if we are to save ourselves, we must be clear about what we‟re dealing with. Thelack of clarity creates the confusion. Do you follow me?Announcer: Right.
  15. 15. Page 14 of 19MS: And so I give you this whole background because when you read about me or when theysay things. . . I mean most of the time they don‟t like talking about me because they can‟t makeme a classic criminal. They can‟t make me a petty thief. You see. They have to deal with thewhole, you can‟t deal with the part. And so when we talk about all the ??, Abdul Majid of theQueens Two and Bashir Hameed. These men worked on housing. They worked for betterhousing in areas like Chicago and New York and Detroit and Philadelphia and Boston. We knowwhat it is to have cold water flats. We know what it is to have rats and roaches and the landlordnot coming taking care of that. More tropical areas might not understand the significance offighting landlords and slumlords. You follow me?Announcer: Uh huh.MS: But these brothers, that‟s the work they did in the community. And so now they are in jailfighting for a new trial for allegedly killing the policemen. You got Mumia in Philadelphia whowas a radio personality, a person who dealt with the media, who gave the news, who dealt withthe arts of African people, New African people. He‟s getting ready. They are trying to executehim for defending himself against a policeman. Now how can you execute a political prisoner, aprisoner of war. You can‟t do that and not violate the treaties of war. When you look at what‟sgoing on with African National Congress (ANC) and the Pretoria government right now. Therelease of prisoners, the phases of release of prisoners. And this is why we must save Mumia,because if we allow him. . . allow them to kill Mumia, execute Mumia all of our future will beexecuted in pursuant of political struggle. When in other countries, prisoners of war are put indetention camps and saved until the negotiation happens.Announcer: Well I find that in this country most people say Aprisoners of war, well you mustbe talking about those people that Ross Perot is talking about or something like there aren‟t anyprisoners of war or political prisoners in this country. I think that‟s probably the myth that wehave to dispel.MS: Well it‟s a myth because our movement, our people who deal with the media, do not ourinterpret our situations properly. So sure, if there‟s only one war that people know about, the waragainst Saddam Hussein, then that‟s the only war they‟re going refer to. The war against drugs,Noriega. Then that‟s the only war they‟re going to refer to. So, we have to understand and wecan‟t charge genocide, we can‟t demand reparations if we don‟t realize that we can‟t say at thesame time that the existence of New African people is a war-like existence inside an oppressivecolonized situation.Announcer: Yes. You know that it seems to me along with the concept of being in war is theconcept of nationhood. And when we talk about the concept of nationhood, in context of blackpeople, New African people, we‟re talking about a land base on this country. I wonder if you willtell us. . . if you could just elaborate for me how through your struggle you came to become aNew African. What compelled you, what were the things that compelled you to identify yourselfas such.MS: Let me just say. You can‟t put the cart before the horse.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  16. 16. Page 15 of 19Announcer: Okay.MS: Right?Announcer: Yeah.MS: The issue is, are we at a state of conflict. If we are at a state of conflict, what is going to bethe solution.Announcer: Okay.MS: You have to first accept there is a conflict. If you don‟t accept there is a conflict, then youcan‟t fathom a separate nation. And if you do, it‟s egotistical. Well I want my own. It‟s withoutbasis. But if you understand that we do not coexist in a vacuum, that we are in a life and deathstruggle. That the history of us being brought here and how we are treated since we‟ve been here,demands that we come up with some formula to resolve this contradiction or else our condition,our condition and our circumstances might be the cause of the fall of all humanity on the planetearth. Because we must be free. Now, everybody doesn‟t agree with that scenario. You followme?Announcer:Yeah that‟s true.MS: Some people believe that we can formulate a better living and life condition byparticipating in an integrated political and economic cultural system. Now, I do not say thatthey‟re not revolutionaries. If they are hell bent on changing and changing the rights of peopleand forcing this government and developing a new government that integrates everybody into anequal formation and rights for everybody, well then all praises due to Allah. Fine. It still does notdeal with the question: where do we find ourselves as New African people brought here asslaves. Okay?Announcer: Right.MS: But even in that society I will co-exist because you allow me to have my own culture or atleast try to find where I‟m going. You follow me?Announcer: Yes.MS: But, I contend that Utopia or that possibility for the last 150 years has not come to be. Andin the process, we have been dying, dying, dying, dying, dying. And in order for us to understandwhat it is that we were fighting for, we must label what we‟re for, and I‟m fighting for a nation.A nation of New African people, not exclusively, but conclusively our nation that develops aculture that deals with our experience and that a culture that will allow the exercise, creativity,the potential of every man, woman and child that enters our nation. So, I come to that because Iunderstood that I have to know why I‟m fighting and might die. Why I sacrifice.Announcer: Okay.
  17. 17. Page 16 of 19MS: People come to it for different reasons. You follow me?Announcer: Yeah.MS: And so we can intellectualize it. We can talk about what Malcolm talked about that allstruggle is fought for land. The Turkish struggle, the struggle that you see in Europe and in theSoviet Union is a struggle for national identity. The different nations in the Soviet Union feelthat they must have their own land base, they must make their own decisions, and formulate theirown policies as it relates to other peoples in the world. And that was the mighty Soviet Union. Soare you saying that that is not possible in America? And if it is possible, it‟s going to be a war ofArmageddon. Well I might agree with you. But it does not take away from the fact that you mustknow why your fighting and why you‟re sacrificing and why you might die. You can‟t be vagueabout that. „Cause what we‟re struggling for is the control of the natural resources. And what yousaw in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq was a struggle to take a piece of the natural resources thathas escaped the U.S. Imperialist‟s powers because the emergence of territory nationalism.Announcer: Okay. Now, let me ask you this, I‟ve heard about the Shakur family. I mean, I‟veheard a lot of beautiful, positive things about. I wonder if you could tell me a little bit about howthat. . . what that family is or that connection is. Could you?MS: Yeah.Announcer: I mean, it‟s out of curiosity. I just heard a little bit about it.MS: The Shakur family extends from a man by the name of Aba Saladin Shakur. Aba SaladinShakur was responsible for fathering ?? Shakur, Zayd Malik Shakur, myself, Assata Shakur,Sekou Odinga, Abdul Majid, Malika Majid and many other New Africans who were part of theRepublic of New Africa and the Black Panther Party and we were of the Shakur tribe. A very . . .Abba Shakur was one of the loyal members of the OAU and the Muslim Mosque Incorporatedand a close associate of Brother Macolm Shabazz.Announcer: Okay. Now, I understand your brother Tupac Shakur is . . . raises someconsciousness through his records. As a matter of fact, I heard his last record. It was great.MS: Yeah. Tupac is my son.Announcer: Wow, Great, no kidding.MS: He is being attacked by the powers that be because of his own individuality, his ownmessage and ways of demonstrating how our lives, the absence of his extended family, me,Lumumba, Zayd, his mother a great woman, Afeni, one of the only two women in the Panther 21case, who defended herself during the Panther 21 case and won. She was also a very key figurein the national COINTELPRO Litigation and Research formulation. A fantastic worker inhousing and one of the key supporters of political prisoners and prisoners of war during the1970‟s. We understand that our children and a lot of things that men. . . you know it‟s interestingthat up, ‟cause we just been talking in the family about how we‟re going to handle the ??Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  18. 18. Page 17 of 19confrontation. Let us be very clear, it is always admirable to have your children believe what youbelieve. It is always the legacy you like to continue. You feel like you commit yourself, yoursacrifices so that they will know, and we have many children. Many of our children, the X-Clanis Sonny Carson‟s son brother Lumumba. A great comrade. We grew all . . . this is all ourfamily. But they all have seen what low intensity war means. My other son, little Mutulu isinvolved . . . was involved in the Toni Toni Toni thing, now him and his brother are together.Announcer: Okay.MS: Yeah. But we see is that many of our children suffer in ways that is yet to be analyzed fromthe intensity of the war that we have been struggling against. And because our community hasnot accepted that as a reality and because we are in jail. We are not able to give our family whatyou might give, not you personally, but they might be able to do in the confines of their homeand in founding the culture and in going back to the Egyptology and the history of the Nile andthe great cultural lessons that our children are getting. They always seem to forget to give thereal, or research the struggle, the contemporary struggle that a major part of our people played apart in, in the ‟50s, „60, ‟70s and ‟80s and ‟90s. And because we forget that our children who aredirectly connected to the intensity of the war are constantly evaluating the consequences.Announcer: I see.MS: And the way that they respond to the repression, oppression, sometimes might not be whatwe want them to do. But we, we have begun to understand what the residue of war means. Justlike the people, the fathers and mothers in Angola who‟s children have been shooting theirmothers and shooting their fathers at the orders of Savimbi. Just like in South Africa wherenecklaces was required to rid the townships of informers. Just like the killings and beatings ofyoung kids that are in the ANC and PAC. We will have to see in another generation how that hasaffected ?? ??, how that affected the masses of people. Are we immune to life and death. Doesthat mean we lose our passion for living. Is that why we see the killing of old ladies and the driveby shootings of innocent children and the lyrics. . . you know, explaining phenomena heretoforenot connected to the principals of our community. We must make that analysis and when youmake that analysis I think that the audience will agree that we have a serious problem and youcannot call it genetic like their trying to evaluate our children and say that we are violence prone.And if we allow that you going to allow the gas chambers. If you allow every child to befingerprinted and foot printed, you‟re going to allow the gas chambers. If you do not understandthat the Tuskegee experiment about the sex allowing men to walk around with syphilis for 30and 40 years and then we come up with AIDS. If you don‟t see it, I mean, you know. . .Announcer: Yeah, what can you say?MS: It‟s nothing. . .so you know we all go to the next level with a different understanding. Soyeah, those are our children and, you know, KRS1 and MC Light and all of the Rappers, brotherPrince and all of these people are yelling out what they see as a political reality. But for lack of astructure and you have to accept the fact that Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam areovertly courting and supporting Ice T and Ice Cube and rightfully they should, they should. Andsay you got to admire that, but we must do the same. Not we meaning separate from the NationMutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  19. 19. Page 18 of 19of Islam but a non-religious formation must purely embrace and support and protect the ?? of theyouth of today.Announcer: Wow. It‟s been just fantastic having you on the air. I really hope we can do thisagain sometime. It has been. . . you know we talk. . . I talk about it on the air, the history that youdidn‟t get from Eyes on the Prize.MS: Oh no question.Announcer: You know what I‟m saying.MS: But it‟s a good foundation. It‟s a good foundation. I think what is missing from Eyes on thePrize is the filler. How did Willy Ricks get to. . .you know. . .Black Power. And how did thestruggle between SNCC develop and. . . you know. . .how did the love that you see betweenMartin and Kwame even though they disagreed practically.Announcer: Yeah. yeah.MS: I think it‟s important to see that when the Deacons for Defense were securing the men andwomen marching from Montgomery to Mississippi that they were being protected by theDeacons for Defense. That was a capitulation on Martin‟s behalf that security was needed atsome point. So everybody was growing. You know. It‟s an evolutionary process. And we have toanalyze that. One of the things that it made clear is that we had to clearly define what it is wewant. Non-violence cannot be an objective, it can be a strategy but it can‟t be an objective.Announcer: Okay, Brother. We‟re about to sign off right now ‟cause I‟m about to run out oftime in about 2 minutes. If there is any final message that you like to shout out the Chicago landaudience and who ever else this may go out to.MS: Yes. I‟d just like to say that I‟ve met some great men that have come out of Chicago, thathave been in prison. This is my first time in prison. I think that we need . . . all the communitiesneed to come closer together. I think we have to realize that we must support our politicalprisoners. We must internationalize our support for our political prisoners. We must make that arequirement for our support for other causes because all other causes support their politicalprisoners. It is not suspicion for the whole half of America to raise up for Nelson Mandela andnot raise up for Sekou Odinga and Mumia Abu Jamal and Geronimo Pratt. We must see ourstruggle in its proper context and we must see the severity of it. And we must have more love foreach other. And we must stop being afraid to be in the community offering the solution and dealwith it completely and decisively.Announcer:, All right, Brother. It‟s been good having you on the air.MS: Okay.Mutulu Shakur: On The History Of Acupuncture & COINTELPRO
  20. 20. Page 19 of 19 Announcer: Free the land. MS: Free the land and the man. Announcer: Okay. Bye bye. All right brothers and sisters, that was sure inspirational. Man, some type of history, huh. I‟m going to be clearing the airways here Who is Dr. Mutulu Shakur? - A Lifelong Activist in the New Afrikan Independence MovementVisit RBGz New Afrikan Independence Movement TV, Feat. Assata Shakur Documentary Eyes of the Rainbow