Veronza Bowers Jr. is a former Black Panther Party member framed for the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger. He is being unjustly and arguably illegally held past his 30-year mandatory release date, making him one of the longest-held political prisoners in U.S. history.
Veronza was convicted in the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger on the word of two government informants, both of whom received reduced sentences for other crimes by the Federal prosecutor’s office.
Herman Bell was born in Mississippi and moved to Brooklyn, New York as a boy. He was a talented High School football player and won a football scholarship to the University of California in Oakland. While in Oakland, Herman joined the Black Panther Party and became active around human rights issues in the Black community.
Zolo Azania is a former Black Panther convicted of a 1981 bank robbery that left a Gary, Indiana cop dead. He was arrested miles away from the incident as he was walking, unarmed, down the street. After a trial plagued with injustices, Zolo was given the death penalty. After years of campaigning and several orders to stop his execution, the death penalty sentence was finally dropped. Zolo still adamantly maintains innocence.
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerlyH. Rap Brown, is a Black liberation leader who became known serving as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and late the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party.
Imam Jamil was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the late 1960s, he was known as H. Rap Brown. After Islam, he adopted the name Jamil Al-Amin.
Sundiatais a New Afrikan political prisoner of war. A tireless worker for Black liberation, Sundiata was a prominent member of the Harlem chapter of the Black Panther Party. After targeting by the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO operation, Sundiata continued the struggle underground with the Black Liberation Army. In 1973 he, Zayd and Assata Shakur were stopped by New Jersey state troopers. Zayd Shakur was killed, while Assata was wounded and taken into custody. One state trooper was killed during the incident and another injured.
Mumia is an award-winning journalist and was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party chapter in Philadelphia, PA. He was a vocal supporter of the MOVE organization and has struggled for justice and human rights for people of color since he was at least 14 years old- the age when he joined the Party. He left the party to become a radio journalist where he made waves defending the rights of black and brown people. In 1981, he was elected president of the Association of Black Journalists Philadelphia Chapter.
Forty-three years ago, deep in rural Louisiana, three young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000 acre former slave plantation called Angola. Peaceful, non-violent protest in the form of hunger and work strikes organized by inmates caught the attention of Louisiana’s elected leaders and local media in the early 1970s.
In 1968, Abdul Majid joined the Black Panther Party, having been previously active with the Grass Roots Advisory Council. Abdul was involved in many of the community-based projects of the BPP including the free health clinic and free breakfast for children program.
As a direct result of their BPP membership and progressive political views, Bashir Hameed and Abdul Majid were hunted, captured, framed and convicted of the 1981 murder and attempted murder of two police officers in St. Albans, Queens.
On the night of April 1981, two NYPD officers were fired on by two suspects during a traffic stop. Police claim that the stop in connection with several burglaries, while they also claim the van was pulled over because of its connection to the liberation of Assata Shakur from a New Jersey prison.