“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa died in the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary on 11 March 2016 while serving a life sentence for the murder of an Omaha police officer. Right up to his death he remained loyal to the revolutionary perspective of the Black Panthers. Mondo was convicted and imprisoned in the early 1970’s at the age of 23 as David Rice along with Ed Poindexte for a murder they didn’t commit – together they were known as the Omaha Two. They were both at the relevant time leaders of the “Omaha’s Panther Chapter” referred to as “the National Committee to Combat Fascism”. We note that the person who confessed to the said murder concluded a deal with the state that resulted in him being released for falsely implicating Mondo and Poindexter.
While in prison Mondo continued to speak out. His revolutionary offerings has featured in countless literary and other publications including his 1994 compilation, “A View from Taney’s Place” and his poetry anthology “The Black Panther Is an African Cat”. He also contributed regularly to the “The Omaha Star” and was a columnist for the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper for a brief time.
It is reported that “Great Bateleur” a revolutionary poem by Mondo was featured in “Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary” by Walter Dean Myers. Also many of Nebraska’s youth theatre groups have performed Mondo’s revolutionary plays. He was a proud member of the Harambee Afrikan Cultural Organization while in prison.
The finding of the trial court in respect of the “Omaha Two” was overturned by the Federal District Court. To this end Judge Warren Urbom held that the “Omaha Two” should be acquitted as there was insufficient reason to issue a warrant to search Mondo’s house. Arising from the “search” the state claimed to have found the dynamite that was employed to make the “suitcase bomb” that was used to kill the police officer. However on appeal the Supreme Court upheld both the finding and sentence of the trial court. In this regard the ruling of Judge Urbon was overruled by the Supreme Court.
From 1968 to 1970 the FBI evidently led an onslaught against the Omaha Black Panther Party. In 1974 when the FBI confessed to violating the human rights of hundreds of US citizens through COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) the state apologized but did nothing to rectify the situation.
We know that, as with the cases of Mondo and Ed, being black before the justice system under a white supremacist system means you are operating on the principle of “guilty until proven innocent”. This situation will continue to prevail until white supremacy is completely obliterated!
As a revolutionary before and during his incarceration Mondo demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of the black revolution. BLF Salutes Mondo for his life’s service to the revolutionary cause and for his contribution to the revolutionary legacy of the Black Panther Party!
Long Live The Revolutionary Spirit Of Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa!
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
28 March 2016
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