Thursday, April 24, 2008
Iraq and the Recession
Host(s): Krissi S.
When: Thursday, April 24, 5:00 PM
Where: Tarrant County Court House Steps
100 East Weatherford
Fort Worth, TX
After a national survey conducted by MoveOn.org, we discovered that the American people believed that the War in Iraq and the Recession in the US are somehow connected. Today’s demonstration in downtown Fort Worth will draw attention to these two important national issues.
Joining MoveOn in this event will be Eddie Griffin, the 61-year old former Black Panther activist and ex-political prisoner.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT from Eddie Griffin
Since the brokered peace between leftist revolutionaries of the 1970s and the US government, Eddie Griffin has remained largely silent about government policies and the War in Iraq.
In exchange for the release of some revolutionary radicals from the uprisings of the 1960s and 1970s, Black Panther political prisoners, along with other militant organizations, renounced the used of violence through armed struggle. Among the releases were Puerto Rican Nationalist Rafael Cancel Miranda (1979), Black Panthers Lorenzo Komboa Irvin (1979) and Eddie Griffin (1984).
Times had changed. J. Edgar Hoover had died in 1972. President Richard Nixon had been impeached and had resigned, and many members of his administration had been sent to prison, during the time of our incarceration. The War in Vietnam was brought to a tragic end.
During this time, Congress forced the Executive Branch to examine violations against human rights against Black Panthers and other civil rights and radical organization from the 1960s and 1970s movement. When Jimmy Carter became president, his UN Ambassador Andrew Young acknowledged that there were “political prisoners” in the US, to the shock of the American public.
The United Nations declared 1977 to be the Year of the Prisoner of Conscious. The World Peace Council, meeting at the University of Helsinki, Finland, issued an international list of prisoners of conscious around the world. Topping the list was Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Also, on the list were US prisoners including the Wilmington Ten, Leonard Peltier of the American Indian Movement, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Lorenzo Komboa Irvin, and Eddie Griffin.
In 1966, Eddie Griffin was drafted into the US Army, after being expelled for boycotting classes at Arlington State College over it’s Confederate tradition and support of the Vietnam War. In 1969, living under the alias of his cousin, Griffin escaped from the stockade at Fort Hood, Texas, and went underground to join the Black Panther Party.
In a highly publicized 1972 bank robbery, Eddie Griffin and three black radicals were sent to prison with sentences up to 50 years. Griffin became one of the subjects of the US government mind control experimentation program at Marion Federal Penitentiary. After staging a 15-day hunger strike, Griffin was held on "no-contact" status in the notorious Control Unit deprivation chambers, and later freed by international protest and the work of Southern Illinois University Law Students.
Today, Eddie Griffin is an active church member and bible class teacher, as well as a free lance writer and blogger affiliated with MoveOn and the Afrospear.
“When I read where MoveOn was coming to my hometown of Fort Worth, I had to become involved,” said Griffin. “The war in Iraq is dragging us down. It’s dragging our economy down. It’s dragging our spirits down because there is no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. Even worse, it’s dragging our morals down.”
In reference to prisoner torture, Griffin is an expert, having endured CIA experimental mind control techniques now being employed on suspected terrorists.
“They say we do not torture people,” says Griffin. “But that’s only because they do not leave physical marks and scares on a prisoner’s body. But sensory deprivation and sleep deprivation are torture techniques. This is the reason the United Nations Commission on Human Rights took up our case in 1977.”
Eddie Griffin (BASG)
Eddie Griffin is the author of “Breaking Men’s Minds: Behavior Control and Human Experimentation at the Federal Prison in Marion”, now available through U.S. Department of Justice, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, (NCJ Number: NCJ 141852).