RIP: Bro. Sekou Kambui, Republic of New Afrika, BPP/BLA Veteran and former Political Prisoner

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Our dear brother and Black Panther comrade, Sekou Kambui (sn William Turk) made his transition last night. The struggle for freedom defined him in so many ways. After 47 years as a political prisoner in Alabama prisons, and his release in 2012, he can now rest in peace. Farewell my dear friend.

Audri Scott Williams


Sekou_Kambui_at_DuckDuckGo_2017-05-10_10-11-28Sekou Kambui – Life After 47 Years as a Political Prisoner – UNICORN RIOT – Because of his activism in the Civil Rights movement, he was watched closely by the FBI’s counterintelligence program entitled COINTELPRO, and was subsequently profiled and pulled over on January 2, 1975 for allegedly running a yield sign and/or speeding. During the traffic stop the officer found a pistol in Sekou’s vehicle, and after strong suspicion by the officer that it was the weapon listed as stolen during a Tuscaloosa, Alabama murder, Sekou was taken into custody and charged for the murders of the two white men; a fireman and KKK official Olmstead Copeland and multi-millionaire oilman John Harbin. Throughout both trials, major witnesses admitted that they had been coerced into testifying falsely against Sekou and were repeatedly visited by certain members of the Tuscaloosa County and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and were deliberately coached on what to say during their testimonies. Sekou was never placed at or near the crime scene, the real murder weapon was never found, nor was there ever any direct evidence to connect him to the murders.

Bloody Sunday Selma: Sekou Kambui (William Turk) Continues Civil/Human Rights Work After 40 Years in Prison | KGNU News – Dissidents point to COINTELPRO operations for the violence and even murders that were explained through false accusations and prosecutions. Organizations such as the Puerto Rican Independence movement, the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, the Weather Underground, Students for a Democratic Society, the Republic of New Afrika, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and others, several of which Sekou Cinque T. M. Kambui / William J. Turk was affiliated. Members of some of these groups spoke at a May 31, 2014 40- year commemoration event of Los Seis de Boulder-six student activists who were bombed in 1974 and whose friends point to COINTELPRO operations as playing a role.

In prison, Kambui continued his activism which turned to advocacy for prisoner rights. He gained the respect of the community through his work including as a paralegal and through his representation of prisoners and his continued defense of civil and human rights. While working for the right to healthcare, a tumor was found in his intestines, which was removed through surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.

In July of 2014 he was released following the work of those outside advocating for his release as well as his own work. Activists pointed to Alabama’s Board of Pardons and Parole Statutes and a change.org petition that might have facilitated his release.

At the 50th commemoration of Bloody Sunday events in Selma, Alabama, he spoke of his incarceration and his work and then later talked to KGNU about where his work will take him now.

Lessons from a civil rights activist – Boulder Weekly – Sekou Kambui, also known as William Turk, is no stranger to the long history of racial prejudice and inequality in the U.S. — tensions that are currently leading to protest, counter-protest and even violence throughout the country. Born in Alabama in 1948, Kambui relocated to Detroit, Michigan, at a young age where he attended a white public school as part of the national integration program instigated by Thurgood Marshall and his Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case. Proud of this heritage, Kambui didn’t, however, experience any of the “drama” that many other children experienced in places such as Little Rock, Arkansas, where white mobs protested the entry of black students. “Fortunately for me,” he says, “I enrolled and went about the business of going to school.” By the early 1960s, Kambui traveled back to Alabama to join the Freedom Riders protesting segregated buses throughout the South and was affiliated with civil rights groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Later he was involved in the Black Panther Movement, the Black Liberation Army and the Afro-American People’s Party among others. “I was raised up in the civil rights movement and I was taught how to organize in the community,” he says. “Pretty much any organization that was down on the ground in the ’60s and ’70s, they used all of us teenagers and kids from one organization to the next, one day to the next. So we became affiliated with them if not a member.” Throughout this time, Kambui says he was harassed by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Council, and several attempts were made on his life. Then in 1975, after being pulled over for a traffic stop and found with a pistol on the passenger seat, he was accused of murdering two white men in Alabama and sentenced to two life terms.

NYC Jericho Movement | SUPPORT SEKOU KAMBUI – To give you a bit of background regarding Sekou, Sekou was unjustly imprisoned for 40 years for crimes he did not commit and for which there was absolutely no evidence against him other than coerced testimony from individuals who subsequently recanted their statements. The judge refused to allow the recanted statements to be stricken from Sekou’s record. Sekou was released from prison less than 2 years ago on parole. Within less than a month of his release he was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer. He had been complaining about feeling sick for months, but the prison medical officials told him it was just a low level of iron.

Throughout the 1960’s, Sekou participated in the Civil Rights movement, organizing youth for participating in demonstrations and marches across Alabama and providing security for meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sekou became affiliated with the Black Panther Party in 1967 in Chicago and New York. While in Detroit, he became a member of the Republic of New Afrika, before returning to Birmingham. Back in Alabama, Sekou coordinated community organizaton activity with the Alabama Black Liberation Front, the Inmates for Action (IFA) Defense Committee and the Afro-American People’s Party in the mid 1970’s. Sekou was also a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA) during these years before his capture. You can find more information about Sekou at https://denverabc.wordpress.com/prisoners-dabc-supports/political-prisoners-database/sekou-kambui/

Interview with Formerly Incarcerated Political Prisoner Sekou Kambui | Houston Anarchist Black Cross

Kite Line #14: Sekou Kambui – IT’S GOING DOWN

Sekou Kambui – Life After 47 Years as a Political Prisoner – UNICORN RIOT

Sekou Kambui | Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Interview with Formerly Incarcerated Political Prisoner Sekou Kambui | Houston Anarchist Black Cross

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