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Letter From Mark Cook

by Comrade Mark

I appreciate the political support folks want to give regarding my case and will compliment it whenever I can. I will mostly focus on the legal aspect and do the major portion of that work with the attorneys. As of this date I have still not received any paperwork from the ISRB [Parole Board] concerning my minimum term status. I don't disagree with the 196 month decision, but only the "time start" date they set. [His state time and federal time should have been set concurrently, as Ed's was, which would entitle Mark to immediate release.]

My input on the "political line" to take involving my case may not agree with yours. The issue is not Mark Cook's case but the historical conditions that were the impetus of Mark Cook's activities and the actions of all political prisoners and POW's.

The impetus of the various social-economic-political movements of the late '60s and early '70s was the Viet Nam War. It was a war the U.S.A. had no justifiable cause of involving its military. Television allowed the young people to witness the ravages of that war as well as the older peoples' debates as to whether we should or should not be involved. This began a division in the consciousness and the patriotism of both young and old on the injustice of the war. Some folks were just peace-niks and were against all war, some saw racism in America's war on Vietnamese and other Asians because of a communist philosophy, yet they would not war against European communists. Women saw the participation of Viet Nam's women in all aspects of the war and drew feminist inspiration to fight for justice. We who suffer injustice here in the U.S. found common cause with those who suffered injustice from B-52 bombers and such.

t was the common cause of injustice that was the true impetus for the movements of the 1960s and 1970s. It was the same Red Book of Mao that gave the Vietnamese people the political inspiration to challenge the injustice of the U.S.A. that gave the Black Panther Party and other leftists groups their inspiration. The common cause was so strong among the Panthers that the BPP volunteered to send members of the Party to fight for the liberation of Viet Nam. It is immaterial that the offer was graciously rejected, the Panther Party was then in active support against the U.S.A. in that war. This is merely a demonstration of how intertwined the left in the U.S.A. became with the left of the communist world. We saw the left politics as our salvation against racism, sexism, poverty and serfdom to capitalism.

This impetus affected the Weatherman movement, A.I.M. movement, B.L.A., B.P.P., and even the moderate movements led by Martin Luther King. This analysis of the political history of the '60s and '70s is not speculation. It is not only what happened then, it points to what will happen in the future if the U.S.A. involves itself in another Great War--unjustly!

In sum, the political prisoners and prisoner of war in U.S.A. prisons are unjustly imprisoned as criminals. Common cause draws the militant as well as the moderate. We cannot support injustice in any form. When we choose not to support it in foreign countries we are bound not to support it at home.

The Viet Nam war ended and caused the demise of the common cause within the U. S.A. 's left and the non-initiated grass roots movements. Many of us struggled on militantly and many ended up in prison. I, as many others, was part of a political movement striving for justice in an unjust U.S.A. As my African-American ancestors before me, I was born into a racist society and I will die in a racist society. My children and grandchildren will suffer the same hurts and injustices, yet they have the right to fight against injustice with moderation or militancy, and they must never be ashamed of their political positions because actions in support of justice are never criminal.

The former members of the George Jackson Brigade must define themselves and their politics. In the 1970's it was my duty and responsibility to find out who and what the GJB was because they were using the name of an honored and martyred brother, a political theorist and Field Marshall of the BPP. I did find out who they were and what I believe they were about. I gave them my full support as a member of the BPP and out of my own personal convictions. I'll not say what specific support I gave them. But because of my position as a BPP member I was fully responsible for every action taken by the GJB before and after my imprisonment as if I were an active participant.

From the heat of the Viet Nam War, the social-political-economic movements of the left soared like eagles over the land, and when the war ended those updrafts of common cause ended. People must acknowledge this reality before they can truly understand why the political prisoners and prisoners of war exist in the U.S.A.

It is important to me that if you wish to take a political line in support of my freedom, you must understand, at least in part, that we stood in common cause with millions though we fell alone in prison.

As to the "line" on my innocence. It is simple; I'm innocent of the criminal acts but guilty before and after the facts. I've done enough time from any perspective.

Have faith in the people!

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