"One does not necessarily have to wait for a revolutionary situation: it can be created...The true revolutionary is guided by feelings of great love.                                               - Comrade Che Guevara

About Us

    The Institute for Tsunamic Justice was founded and established in 1998 by Kwasi Seitu, Bob and Rose Harris, a spin off of having encouraged the establishment of the "Peoples' Defense Network," The "Peoples' Defense Network" is about its name, and it was directed toward bringing various people together for mass resistance to systemic oppression. Our target was the various groups in and around Washington mobilizing against police murders and brutality, with DC leading the nation in police killings and no police ever being prosecuted. No officer was fired, all of the victims of D.C. police shootings are Black.

   Kwasi nd protest as a "strategy," and even though we were able to convince all of the local groups to operate under the name "the Peoples' Defense Network," we understood that would not be enough. We then decided to form a Peoples' think tank, thus, we formed the Institute for Tsunamic Justice. Although we did not succeed at organizing all of those various groups, many of them under the influence of some social pimp in one way or another, we did succeed in pushing the media to report on it, specifically the Washington Post, for which it got a Pulitzer. ITJ dropped off copies of autopsy reports on a number of police shootings to the desks of reporters while they were at lunch. This then led to a deal between the MPD and the DOJ to address the matter, which only changed the way it was reported. They rarely report police shootings now. 

   At the same time, ITJ was also working on the issue mass incarceration with regard to illegal detentions and political imprisonment. with major strategic involvement in a number of major political prisoner cases, while also expanding to organize the African American Environmental Justice Action Network, working in conjunction with the Southern Organizing Committee, a grassroots organization born out of the beginning of the "Civil Rights" struggle, headed byRev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the man that trained Martin Luther King to lead. Even though ITJ came after or as a result of the creation of the Peoples' Defense Network, it consumed our focus, considering that our regional PDN effort was too riddled with issues that only the the development of a think tank could figure out. So, ITJ is not some building in DC where college graduates and wonks come to work, we deal people, community, the People. We are about revolution, because that is the only solution, starting with Justice.

   Although Bob and Rose moved on, Kwasi Seitu has remained, always teaching, reaching, and trying to work with what we have. It is not much in this technological age of oppression, fake news abounding, but it has always all been fake. Over the years many people have joined ITJ as activist to get the strategic work done in a timely manner, as revolutionaries must be, timely. We launched the Wells Fargo boycotts right here in DC at 7th & T, thanks to a lot of support from Occupy/DC-Mc. From there ITJ moved on, back to its roots, ending mass incarceration and political imprisonment, revolution. Fellows come and go, most do not make the grade become ITJ, others need seasoning. But then there are those who are there for that one case, so our whole effort depended on over-coming the apolitical manipulated mindset - sheepalism. So, ITJ has always operated as a Black led revolutionary think tank that engages on behalf of the people. Join Us. 

OUR HISTORY

      The government has never terminated the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), which was created and implemented beginning in the 1960s for the purpose of waging low intensity warfare against progressive social change organizations and leadership primarily within the Black movement. Today, COINTELPRO has been incorporated into the Patriot Act.

     Police Brutality in DC - Formed initially around trying to address the problems of police brutality and political imprisonment, in 1998, an ITJ member took a job at the Washington Post for the purpose of placing information directly onto reporters’ desks concerning the large number of police shootings in DC. This included autopsy reports showing fatal shots to the head, multiple gunshots entering the body from angles indicating that the person was prone, and lists of victims. This, we believe, finally resulted in the paper reporting on the matter as a problem, which led to national attention and a Department of Justice oversight that recently concluded in 2009.

       Political Prisoners – ITJ was intimately involved with the struggles for the release of Mumia Abu Jamal and the Move 9, and took the unpopular position of being critical not only of Mumia’s lead counsel at the time, Leonard Weinglass, but of many within the supportdegree of knowledge and expertise in law, ITJ noted that Weinglass was not providing adequate representation, that he operated out of a conflict of self serving interest to prolong his own retainer, not to free Mumia.  movement for become disciples of Weinglass instead of freeing Mumia. Having some

      At the same time, the support surrounding Mumia was allowing itself to essentially be led by Weinglass, who confused “a new trial” with justice, our position that there could be no “new trial” since the state had destroyed and fabricated evidence. No one could be tried in that case, the government needed to be put on trial and Mumia immediately and unconditionally released. We opposed the International Socialist Organization’s leeching on the case with their “anti-death penalty” recruiting campaign, our concern was further misdirection and the building of energy on an issue that the government would simply take off of the table, resulting in a decline in support. This is exactly what happened a few years later, not only was there a sharp drop off in those who got involved in opposition to the death penalty, but ISO also disappeared. To give your support and to learn more on Mumia's case click this link: http://www.freemumia.org/

        The People’s Petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus - For Mumia, the Move 9, and all other political prisoners similarly held under a cloud of government machinations through its courts, we demand immediate and unconditional release. In 1999, we fashioned the People’s Petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which although never done before, is allowable under habeas corpus where others can file for the writ on behalf of a person or persons they believe are being illegally detained. Mumia, the Move 9, and others in Pennsylvania are being illegally detained and the charade of judicial process is but a poor cover.

      We also thought that it was time to bring the supporters more into the process, let the people see and understand that it is the system that pits itself against all of us, thus, we came up with a habeas petition filed by the general public on behalf of all prisoners in the state of Pennsylvania, demanding that the federal court investigate “whether there existed circumstances in the state court process rendering it incapable of protecting the rights” of those imprisoned within it, we only used Mumia, the Move 9, and a few other cases as references in support. Leonard Weinglass put out mis-information that ITJ was filing things in Mumia’s case and that those things would hurt his chances of appeal, when nothing could have been further from the truth other than the fact that he ever acted in Mumia’s best interest.

        We filed the petition on behalf of all prisoners in Pennsylvania, we only cited the cases of Mumia, Move, and a few others as egregious examples. When we went to file Leonard Weinglass called the federal court and was on the phone with a judge when we arrived, at first the judge had the clerk to tell us that we could not file the petition, which we corrected them on quickly. The petition was filed, but dismissed even before we hade made it out of the courthouse, it relied on that provision of federal habeas corpus authorizing federal judges to investigate complaints of general disorder in the state courts. We then filed a notice of appeal to affect a stay of all executions in Pennsylvania, we never followed up, but we knew that the appeal would be dismissed for lack of prosecution for a few months.

The Angola 3 – In November 1998, Albert Woodfox was being tried for a 1974 murder of a prison guard, ITJ was asked to look into the matter. Unfortunately, Woodfox’s lead support on a national level was coming from the International Socialist Organization and particularly, from David Becker. It took our having to travel to New Orleans and speaking with Woodfox’s sister to begin making sense out of what was going on. Becker was fond of trying to generate sympathy, not understanding, so all of his reporting on the case was about painting the Angola 3 as gallant victims of southern injustice, primarily by telling the story about how bad things were in Angola prison back in the 1970s and how the Angola 3 were part of efforts to change the prison environment. In our view ISO was engaged in the same pimp tactics employed by the Communist Party USA in the case of the Scottsborro Boys back in the 1930s.

Within a few hours after talking with Woodfox’s sister-in-law Pam, she showed us an old dusty box of papers she had in her attic, papers sent to her by Albert more than ten years prior. In that box we found an order overturning the 1975 conviction of Albert for the killing of the guard, the indictment on which the trial was based was invalid because it had been returned by an all white and all male grand jury. We then understood that Albert was in effect being treated as a 23-year “pretrial detainee,” the state waited until Albert finished his original sentence in 1993, took him to the front gate of the prison, where he was taken into custody by the sheriff of the parish where the prison guard grew up. Woodfox was then held for another five years before being subjected to the pretense of being re-tried, all which was absolutely illegal.

Neither, Albert’s attorneys, or ISO, had realized or raised any of this, which actually went way beyond concerning just Albert Woodfox, it opened up a need to review every other indictment and conviction that came out of that parish. It also pointed up the extreme criminality of state actors, for Woodfox was being prosecuted by the State Attorney General’s office, it could not claim that it did not understand that a person could not be held for more than two-decades awaiting trial. The 1990s indictment of Woodfox was no more legal than the 1970s indictment, the trial was a sham, a criminal conspiracy of immense proportions. We urged Woodfox to immediately pursue habeas corpus, ISO urged that he stay with pursuing a “fair trial” and since he was denied of that once again, to seek an appeal and stay locked into a meaningless appeal process.

Woodfox chose the course urged by ISO, that was more than ten-years ago and Woodfox is no closer to being free than he was before we got involved with his case. When his case was overturned in 1976, if the state had the ability to re-trie him, it would have had to have been in 1976 or 1977 at the latest, unless Woodfox escaped and fled to Brazil and could not be found until 1998. However, Woodfox had not escaped, he was held in maximum security at Angola prison until 1993, at which point he was kidnapped and taken to the Tangapao Parish prison and illegally held for another five years before being subjected to the charade of a “trial.” Habeas corpus remains available to Woodfox exclusively on the issues that we raised, it was unnecessary and incorrect to pursue criminal appeals, “you can lead a horse to water, but…” To find out what currently is going on with the Angola 3 case, click this link:  http://www.angola3.org/

Fighting Violent Black Voter Repression in Gadsden County – In February 1999, Connie tucker of the Southern Organizing Committee requested ITJ’s assistance in helping the black majority population of Gadsden County in Florida, finally begin to  overturn white minority rule in the county seat, Quincy. Under the community leadership of Glendell Russ, the long repressed black majority rose up and began to strike down white minority rule in the county. The response to which was an intense all out attack by various departments of the Florida state government, per the instruction of Jeb Bush. Specifically, orchestrating repeated baseless state ethics probes, threats, bogus police charges, and finally being summarily and illegally “suspended’ from office by Bush. ITJ provided critical legal research, analysis, and assistance, including participating in visits to elected officials and community meetings. Conclusively showed that Bush had illegally had Russ removed from office and then his brother became commander and thief. 

The African American Environmental Justice Action Network – in March 1999, Kwasi Seitu then agreed to serve as the coordinator of the African American Environmental Justice Action Network (AAEJAN), a project of SOC as part of the “environmental justice movement.”  This then became a joint effort of SOC and ITJ, allowing SOC to focus on governmental policy, as ITJ focused on organization.  Within the first 90-days the network membership grew substantially as we brought on new communities and new states, while strengthening existing network communities.

We began aiming toward recruiting and organizing whole counties and got the network members to think about organizing entire regions. We established a formal network structure that generated power at the base, eliminated pimping, and provided organizational cohesion across the entire South. Finally, we got the entire network membership to see and agree on an expanded definition of “environmental” that raised their sights beyond landfills and focused on the oppressions of the local sheriff, prosecutor, and judges.

Unfortunately, SOC itself was not stable, there was a serious lack of vision and creativity within its directory. Many bad decisions were made that increasingly crippled SOC’s ability to function, especially the decision to terminate the role of ITJ, no one within SOC was capable of picking the ball up and running with it, certainly not its director. Eventually, SOC’s ability to obtain funding dwindled down to nothing within two-years after it essentially its own project, it collapsed and a year later so did AAEJAN. However, before the termination of the relationship between ITJ and AAEJAN, in accordance with the network plan, ITJ had begun to develop initiatives toward addressing abuses by local white power holders and opening new areas of Georgia and South Carolina for potential network expansion.

Since 2003 - ITJ has been working on the development of platforms to take things to the next level, keeping certain initiatives alive, making it possible for local groups to develop and take the lead on addressing some major problems confronting them. In South Carolina and Georgia, ITJ has kept a hot pursuit on local officials engaged in the routine false imprisonment, and illegal detention, of the local black population and any black person passing through. 

The practice of using “law enforcement” as a means of waging un-ending low-intensity warfare on blacks goes back to slavery and is widespread throughout this country, but is particularly intense in the south where the majority of blacks in this country reside. We have successfully exposed not only state actors, but federal officials, which resulted in a show prosecution of state officials in Georgia by the U.S. Attorney there, which although resulted in those state officials we complained of, it did not address the criminal scheme they operated against blacks.

WHAT WE NEED

Researchers     Writers    Reporters     Proofreaders

Investigators   WebMasters    Videographers

Advocates    Artist      Organizers    SoulJahs 

       To become a fellow of ITJ please click here, you will be re-directed to our contact page where we provide a contact form. If you would simply like to make a cash donation, then please click here, you will be re-directed to our donation page. We hope that you do both.

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Kwasi Seitu is the founder and lead adocate for the Instiute for Tsunamic Justice, with over 40-years of grassroots work experience in organizing, advocacy, education, and training. A former political prisoner for over a decade, Kwasi Seitu provides keen insights into the law and the legal system, and unique ways of countering the racism one encounters under i