Dem candidates' forum kicks off with chanted quote of cop-killer

The 2019 “We the People Summit” is taking place in Washington this week and it’s expected to draw many of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates. They might want to exercise just a bit of caution, however. The tone for the event seemed to be set early on when the NAACP’s Jamal Watkins offered some opening comments and then led the crowd in a lively chant. Rather than quotes from the Founding Fathers or Democratic presidents, Watkins chose a chantable quote from a very different figure. That would be Joanne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, who is best known for murdering a New Jersey State Police officer, escaping jail and fleeing to Cuba where she remains to this day. (Mediaite)


Top 2020 Democrat candidates are taking the stage this week at the 2019 ‘We The People Summit’ in Washington, DC. As the event began on Monday, there were a series of opening remarks from participants and organizations, and Jamal Watkins of the NAACP led the crowd in a chant.

“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.”

These possibly familiar words are from convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard). In this famous quote, Shakur is herself referencing Karl Marx, who famously wrote “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

I’ve heard that one before, though I’ve often wondered if Chesimard was actually quoting Karl Marx. There are some historical video clips of her delivering public remarks and she never really struck me as someone who spent a lot of time poring through the dusty pages of The Communist Manifesto or Critique of Political Economy.

No matter the source, the result is the same. The crowd was definitely chanting along with a quote from the only woman to make it onto the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. With Bernie and Beto and most particularly Corey Booker (who is from New Jersey) taking the stage, would they have anything to say to distance themselves from this highly unpatriotic display? Will anyone from the media ask them about it over the course of the week? Don’t hold your breath for either.


We shouldn’t be all that surprised, of course. The hard left has long been fascinated with Chesimard and made her into something of a cult figure. Her name keeps popping up in liberal circles to this day. You may recall that Colin Kaepernick was raising money for a group honoring her as recently as last year. In 2017, the students at Berkeley were pushing to rename one of the buildings on campus in her honor.

She was also a hero of the Black Lives Matter movement, with her name being invoked during many marches and speeches. Back in 2014, Chesimard complicated Barack Obama’s moves toward rapprochement with Cuba, with many critics of the negotiations calling for Cuba to turn her over before any normalization of relations could begin. (That failed, sadly, but it was a worthy effort.)

All of this over the hero worship of someone who murdered a police officer in cold blood and then fled the country like a coward. And now she’s being honored on the same stage where many Democratic candidates for the presidency will be standing. It truly is a funny old world sometimes, isn’t it?

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024