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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/5/11

Former Political Prisoner Geronimo Pratt Dies

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Former Political Prisoner Geronimo Pratt Dies - by Stephen Lendman

Reporting his death, AP said:

"Former Black Panther Party leader Elmer 'Geronimo' Pratt" died at age 63 in a small (Tanzania village) "where he had lived for at least half a decade, a friend of Pratt's in Arusha, former Black Panther Pete O'Neal, said." 

He lived a peaceful life in Tanzania, O'Neal explained, adding:

"He's my hero. He was and will continue to be. Geronimo was a symbol of steadfast resistance against all (he) considered wrong and improper. His whole life was dedicated to standing opposition to oppression and exploitation....He gave all that he had and his life, I believe, struggling, trying to help people lift themselves up."

His lawyer and longtime friend, Stuart Hanlon, who spent years working for his release, also announced his death, saying:

"What happened to him is the horror story of the United States. This became a microcosm of when the government decides what's politically right or wrong. The COINTELPRO program was awful. He became a symbol for what they did."

He had southern, rural roots, and hardworking parents who sent all their kids to college. "He (went) to the military, (fought) and (was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts) in Vietnam, (came) home, (and became) a football star in college. That would be an American hero. It was different because he was black and he became a Panther and then the road went the wrong way."

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