Forum With Presidential Candidates Begins With Chant From Fugitive Cop-Killer, Assata Shakur

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Mike Brest Reporter
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A Monday forum in Washington D.C. that featured a number of Democratic presidential candidates began with the opening speaker leading a chant that originated from a fugitive cop-killer.

Jamal R. Watkins, the vice president of civic engagement at the NAACP, led off the “We The People Summit” by reciting a call-and-repeat chant from Assata Shakur.

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains,” Watkins said, referencing Karl Marx while the crowd repeated each sentence, according to Mediaite. (RELATED: CNN Commentator Praises Cop Killer Who Fled To Cuba After Escaping Prison In The 1980s)

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were reportedly all in attendance. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro were also there, according to Mediaite.

Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard, has been on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list for decades after escaping from prison in 1979, where she was serving out a life sentence for murdering a police officer before fleeing to Cuba.

Many activists and organizations, such as the Women’s March and former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill, celebrate Shakur and use her as a symbol of “resistance.”

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