Sundiata Acoli (born in 1939, as Clark Edward Squire), a New Afrikan political prisoner of war, mathematician, and computer analyst, was born January 14, 1937, in Decatur, Texas, and raised in Vernon, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A & M College of Texas in 1956 with a B.S. in mathematics and for the next 13 years worked for various computer-oriented firms, mostly in the New York area.
During the summer of 1964 he did voter registration work in Mississippi. In 1968 he joined the Harlem Black Panther Party and did community work around issues of schools, housing, jobs, child care, drugs, and police brutality.
In 1969 he and 13 others were arrested in the Panther 21 conspiracy case. He was held in jail without bail and on trial for two years before being acquitted, along with all other defendants, by a jury deliberating less than two hours.
Upon release, FBI intimidation of potential employers shut off all employment possibilities in the computer profession and stepped-up COINTELPRO harassment, surveillance, and provocations soon drove him underground.
In May 1973, while driving the New Jersey Turnpike, he and his comrades were ambushed by N.J. state troopers. One companion, Zayd Shakur, was killed, another companion, Assata Shakur, was wounded and captured. One state trooper was killed and another wounded, and Sundiata was captured days later.
After a highly sensationalized and prejudicial trial he was convicted of the death of the state trooper and was sentenced to Trenton State Prison (TSP) for life plus 30 years consecutive.
Upon entering TSP he was subsequently confined to a new and specially created Management Control Unit (MCU) solely because of his political background. He remained in MCU almost five years, … let out of the cell only ten minutes a day for showers and two hours twice a week for recreation.
In September 1979, the International Jurist interviewed Sundiata and subsequently declared him a political prisoner. A few days later prison officials secretly transferred him during the middle of the night to the federal prison system and put him en route to the infamous federal concentration camp at Marion, Illinois, although he had no federal charges or sentences. Marion is one of the highest security prisons in the U.S., also one of the harshest, and there Sundiata was locked down 23 hours a day …. In July 1987 he was transferred to the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.
In the fall of 1992, Sundiata became eligible for parole. He was not permitted to attend his own parole hearing and was only allowed to participate via telephone from USP Leavenworth. Despite an excellent prison work, academic and disciplinary record, despite numerous job offers in the computer profession, and despite thousands of letters on his behalf, Sundiata was denied parole. Instead, at the conclusion of a 20 minute telephone hearing, he was given a 20-year hit, the longest hit in New Jersey history, which dictates that he must do at least 12 more years before coming up for parole again.
The Parole Board’s stated reason for the 20-year hit was Sundiata’s membership in the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army prior to his arrest, the receipt of hundreds of “Free Sundiata” form letters that characterized him as a New Afrikan Prisoner of War, and the feeling that the punitive aspects of his sentence had not been satisfied and that rehabilitation was not sufficiently achieved. The real reason for the 20-year hit is to attempt to force Sundiata to renounce his political beliefs and to proclaim to the world that he was wrong to struggle for the liberation of his people.
Write Sundiata Acoli:
Sundiata Acoli #39794-066 (Squire)
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501
"Get up stand up,stand up for your rights get up Stand up don’t give up the fight",it’s times like this we as a people should step forward and show solidarity,be strong and show support to Brothers and Sisters,who are persecuted by the system,
The System has chained our people so much, that when things like this happen, we can can not offer support,as everyone is to busy with their own problem, the system has made us poor,drugs,violence,as well as entertainment that drives our youths into the Gangsta life,all this combined plus our black brothers.n sisters who are chained in Hollywood and not worried at all what happens underneath them.
We got to get a united black front, we need to get brothers n sisters in the music industry, movie industry to unite, they are already up there, then the middle class, then ones in the ghettos.
Throw away the guns,keep drugs of the streets,this is what the system wants us to do,drugs,gangs,guns,= Violence, the system manufacture which we buy and use on each other,it’s makes the white man rich,drugs as well, and makes us poor, thus chained to system, we start to unchain our minds our bodies will follow, then we can be free, then the system will take notice.