COMMITTEE TO FREE CHIP FITZGERALD
July 21, 2008
Dear Supporters of Chip Fitzgerald,
On July 2, 2008, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald was denied parole by the California Board of Parole Hearings, to wait one more year for a new hearing. Serving a life sentence from 1969 convictions for murder and assault on police when he was a member of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles, Chip was first eligible for parole in 1976. Since then, he has not been charged with any prison violations sufficient to justify this denial. Chip remains the longest held Black Panther Party political prisoner in the United States.
The spirit of all of us, the People, is greater than the authority of the Board! Our June 28, 2008, tribute to Chip in Los Angeles demonstrated our unity and strength and the power of our commitment to free Chip. Our seven-hour event was one of the most significant gatherings of community leaders Los Angeles has seen in a long time. Hosted by KJLH radio host Dominique DiPrima and our event coordinator Sikander Iqbal, the tribute lasted many hours longer than expected because everyone sensed the historic importance of our inter-generational, multi-ethnic assemblage, to resurrect the spirit of the Panther embodied in Chip and launch a new movement for progressive change in this country.
The Committee thanks Ben Caldwell of Kaos Network for providing his beautiful space in Leimert Park; and Paul Hiles of Chef Marilyn’s for his donation of a wonderful meal for the hundreds who attended the tribute; and Gregory Everett for showing his documentary, 41st & Central; and filmmaker Fatima Washington for filming the entire event. We especially thank hard-working volunteers Eric Lambkins, Stephanie Roberts, Ashley Level, Sade Elhawary, Tiana Braner, Kristoffer Ealy, Nafassi Ferrell, Esme Taylor; committed supporters Matt Hart of the LA-ABCF, LA Brown Berets, A.O.A, Building Communities and Families, UCLA African Men’s Collective; and the artists who performed at the event, particularly the great poet Ojenke, and Sadiki Bakari.
Let us not be discouraged by the Board’s decision. Let’s remain vigilant! Keep getting signatures for the online petition advocating for Chip’s release. Help the Committee raise money for legal counsel for Chip’s appeal of the Board’s decision in a court of law. Let’s free Chip Fitzgerald! Please send Chip a letter of support:
Centinela State Prison
PO Box 921,
Imperial, California 92251-0731
With gratitude and love for the People.