A 24-year-old political activist appeared a New York City Council meeting wearing a sweatshirt that paid tribute to convicted cop killer Assata Shakur. The activist is Brooklyn-native Jaritza Geigel. She had been invited to speak at a discussion on discipline on public schools, that featured NYPD speakers. Geigel’s sweatshirt bore the phrase “Assata Taught Me.”
In 1977, Assata Shakur was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. She escaped prison in 1979 and escaped to Cuba in 1984 where she received political asylum.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Geigel Called Assata Shakur ‘Really Dope’
It was New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s spokesman Eric Koch who told Newsday “No one from the City Council, including the speaker, was aware of what the sweatshirt meant and we strongly reject the hateful message it sends.” As she left proceedings, Geigel was asked about the shirt by the newspaper to which she responded “She taught me just to speak my mind, to be proud of being a young person and that we can a part of creating the solutions that we want to see in our communities and to just continue to do the right thing and do whatever it takes and fight for the things you believe in. You should probably read her biography. It’s really dope, actually. Her story’s insane.”
2. She Works Tirelessly for Better Security at New York Schools
According to her profile at the website for Make the Road, she’s a native of the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. There, she graduated from the Bushwick School for Social Justice. Her group, Make the Road, specializes in helping students and families who have been affected by school closings in Brooklyn. She told Vice in June 2014, that her school had been heavily policed, which led to her campaigning against such security measures. Geigel told the magazine “School is supposed to be a safe space. Young people are already harassed constantly on a daily basis, especially young folks who live in low-income neighborhoods of color. They are constantly harassed by cops on the street and now they have to face cops in schools.” She added that fundamental problem was a lack of training for school safety officers.
3. She Is Not a Fan of American Mass Media
Geigel could be seen wearing her infamous shirt during a town hall meeting in June 2015 entitled “Young People Fighting for a Voice.” During that meeting, she criticized the mass media in America, echoing another panelists statement about how “1,100 magazines, 9,000 radio stations, 1,500 TV stations in America are all owned by six corporations.” Geigel added “The problem is, if the story is not being put out there on a consistent basis and they are not getting a thousand and one retweets, then they stop telling the story. But you have to keep with the grind, because it is connected to money. If people don’t see there’s a value at the end of it, then they stop.”
4. It’s Unlikely She’ll Be Voting for Donald Trump
No HUMAN is illegal. IF people want to get technical then every US citizen should go back to their ancestral home, because no one is originally from her except the Native Americans. FYI Undocumented folks pay more taxes than citizens, because they have to report money they make (no matter how little it is) and never see a dime back. FACT. People are quick to use them for free labor, but when there is an opportunity to help them and in the long run help our economy people dont see the bigger picture.
If you read the DREAM ACT you would know that although it is a step in the right direction it is also harmful to Undocumented students. In order to even qualify they must do 2 years of military or 2 years of college. They CANNOT AFFORD COLLEGE PERIOD so that means many will go into the military where most of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters dont come back.
Being a citizen we are PRIVILEGED to HAVE the OPTION. They really dont have a choice. Until people can learn to work together and stop speaking hatefully then we are going to continue to be divided until there isnt an economy left to save.
PS WHEN YOU go on vacation to another COUNTRY guess what you are UNDOCUMENTED in that COUNTRY. Your citizenship may allow you to travel but it does not mean you are a citizen there. We are lucky that they haven’t simply stopped letting us travel there even if just to prove a point.
They are Americans too, remember in school when we learned that there was a SOUTH and CENTRAL AMERICA! Just saying.
The rant was attached to an article about the New York state governments decision to offer financial college aid for undocumented immigrants.
5. Assata Shakur Believes She Is a ’20 Century Escaped Slave’
During a rare interview in 1998, Assata Shakur, godmother to slain rapper 2Pac, referred to herself as a “20 century escaped slave.” There is a $2 million reward for her capture being offered by the FBI, since 2013 she’s been the only woman on the agency’s most wanted list. There is an extensive section of her website dedicated to her innocence.