By Judy Greenspan
Published Nov 6, 2008
The government's witch hunt and persecution of the San Francisco 8
continue unabated despite growing public support to drop the charges
and release the former Black Panther Party members.
Harold Taylor, one of the SF 8, was convicted on Oct. 23 of what
activists believe to be a bogus drug charge, and remains locked up in
a Florida jail. According to Randy Montesano, Taylor's attorney in
the SF 8 case, "It is clear from the arrest and all surrounding
circumstances that the charge against Harold in Florida is totally baseless."
Taylor was swept up in a "sting operation" in a neighborhood where he
had gone to thank people who had written letters of support on his
behalf. Just days before his arrest, Taylor had attended a press
conference held by the World Council of Churches at Riverside Church
announcing international support for the SF 8 launched by a group of
Nobel laureates headed by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Meanwhile, back in the San Francisco Jail, SF 8 defendants and
longtime Black freedom fighters Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim have
been denied their right to attend their parole hearing in New York
state. Both men were targets of COINTELPRO and former leaders of the
Black Panther Party in New York City. They have served over 35 years
in New York state prisons.
San Francisco Judge Philip Moscone signed an order in May allowing
Bell and Muntaqim to return to New York to attend their parole
hearings. However, the governors of both New York and California have
blocked Moscone's decision, effectively denying their long-awaited
Harold Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced in Panama City, Fla., on
Dec. 9. Letters of support can be sent to Harold Taylor, 5600 Nehi
State Road, Panama City, FL 32104.
Please contact the governors of New York and California to demand
that Herman Bell and Jalil (Anthony Bottom) Muntaqim be returned to
New York to attend their parole hearings:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA
95814; phone 916-445-2841; fax 916-558-3160; e-mail at URL
Gov. David Paterson, State Capital, Albany, NY 12224; phone
518-474-8390; e-mail by going to 22.214.171.124/govemail.
A short court hearing on this case of eight former Black Panther
Party membersmost of whom are now community activists and
organizerswill be held on Nov. 6 at 850 Bryant Street in San
Francisco. Unfortunately, the preliminary hearing in this case has
been postponed until 2009.
For more information contact the Committee for the Defense of Human
Rights at freethesf8.org.