Burning Spear News
FBI Initiates First BIE Attack on Rakem Balogun in Dallas, TX
Rakem Balogun (center) conducts community outreach in Dallas, TX
At 4 AM on December 12, 2017, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) kicked in the door of 31-year-old Rakem Balogun’s home, apprehending him straight from his sleep while his son was forced to watch.
Sound familiar? It should when referencing the early morning of December 4, 1969; the day the FBI raided the home of Black Panther Party Chicago Chair Fred Hampton and murdered him, ridding his body with bullets as he lay in bed paralyzed next to his pregnant wife.
This was one of the many crimes committed by the FBI to crush the Black Revolutionary Movement of the 60s, as part of the U.S. government’s counter-intelligence program or “Cointelpro” (see counterinsurgency article).
The reason for this FBI arrest of Balogun? He has been labeled a “Black Identity Extremist” (BIE), a term conferred upon Africans organizing around issues in our communities.
This new program should not be regarded lightly by our movement. Just as they had labeled Dr. King, Malcolm, the Black Panther Party, and various other Africans organizing around issues in our community “Black Nationalists Hate Groups” with a program that assassinated and imprisoned these forces, we have to take this new BIE label seriously.
We are in a different position than we were in the 60s. This time around we have the advantage of awareness, which is why we thought this interview with Kila Baruti, the spokesperson for the case of Rakem Balogun and Yafeuh Balogun, a Comrade to Rakem, was extremely important to present to the people.
Not only because Rakem is the first known victim of a BIE arrest, but we must arm the people of our movement and our communities with the information of the existence of this FBI counterinsurgency program so that we organize accordingly.
Our best defense is awareness. There are some who will be inclined to ignore this. As revolutionaries, committed to overturning this social system, we do not have that option.
The following is an interview conducted by two members of the African People’s Socialist Party located in Houston, Texas: Omowale Kefing and Chiwoniso Luzolo.
The interview began with Kefing asking both Baruti and Yafeuh a bit about their backgrounds and their organizational affiliations.
Yafeuh and Rakem are both members of the Guerilla Mainframe, an organization located in Dallas, Texas.
Kefing then raised the question of what happened the morning of December 12. Kila answers:
“In regards to the night that the door was kicked in, the FBI came in around the morning, between 4-5 AM on December 12, kicking in that door.”
“Rakem’s son was there, and they identified him as a juvenile. His son was sleeping peacefully. Rakem was in the bedroom sleeping.”
“They went into his room, apprehended him. Rakem did not resist.”
“They had a warrant and a list of items that they wanted to seize. They seized his properties, went on their way to apprehend him and left the child in the care of one of our Comrades.”
“Just as they kicked in the door on Chairman Fred at 4 AM , I believe they tried to kill him but he did not give them that opportunity.”
Kefing asked what led to the arrest and what were the charges. Baruti laid out the timeline that began with the moment Rakem went under a two-year investigation by the FBI to the point that they arrested him under the guise of a gun charge. Kila stated:
“In a courtroom they spoke about why they initiated an investigation of Rakem.”
“He was at a right to bear arms demonstration in Austin, Texas and the chanters were saying things like, ‘oink, oink, bang, bang’ and ‘there’s no such thing as a good pig, but a dead pig.’”
“They [the FBI] went on to follow him for two years because of this. They isolated Rakem from other people during their surveillance and raided his social media, finding that Rakem shared posts of solidarity with Micah Xavier Johnson” (an African who, in response to the murders of his people by the colonial state police, shot and killed Dallas pigs in 2016).
“They found him [Rakem] wearing a t-shirt reading‘7/7’, commemorating the date that the pigs were killed in Dallas.”
“They followed him for two years and four months. In the court room Rakem’s public defender asked the judge – “you do acknowledge that Rakem has the right to free speech, regardless of if you like it or not? No matter how much it bothers you he is well within in his rights.”
“The judge acknowledged this. The public defender followed up with “at any time during your findings on social media or during your surveillance have you seen him committing a crime or make a threat to do so?” The judge responded “no.”
“So the charge in question, they had no bearings because Rakem was within his rights.”
“In order to initiate an arrest, the police used this two-year period of surveillance to find a reason to issue a warrant.”
“Rakem was followed to Detroit while on his way to do a training. He said going through the airport had been a struggle [during the two-year surveillance period], sometimes to the point of missing his flights.”
“In the case of Detroit he had luggage that he checked in. When he made it to his destination, Rakem had to claim his luggage lost.”
“What he did not know is that his luggage was seized by the FBI. They admitted to it saying, ’we went into his luggage to see what he had inside.’ We know they were looking for something to criminalize him.”
“They found a handgun. They called this an alleged ‘illegal possession of a firearm.’”
“After finding something to pin on him, they left the gun in his suitcase and returned it back to Rakem, gun and all. He returns home and gets back to his daily routine.”
“He does this for three weeks after his luggage was returned to him by the FBI. Three weeks later he’s being arrested.”
“In terms of the arrest information the judge agreed with the prosecutor’s argument that Rakem is a danger to society because of probable cause.”
“The special agent spoke up saying the reason he’s a danger is because they found items at Rakem’s apartment that indicate small children live there and because of the gun they found, the children are in danger.”
“The judge made the final ruling – ‘based on probable cause, we will hold you. You’re a danger to the community. There is no bond at this time.’”
The Burning Spear newspaper encourages all of our readers to keep up with the case of brother Rakem Balogun and show support by donating to the legal fees at gofundme.com/guerillamainframedefensefund.
To get in contact with Rakem’s representative, Kila Baruti, you can email her at GeorgeJacksonUniversity.com.
Kila Baruti expresses that we should continue to reach out to Rakem and write all of our political prisoners.
All of our readers are encouraged to sponsor-a-prisoner so that our brothers and sisters in these concentration camps can get the Burning Spear for free. We must build the prisoner front of the African Revolution!
Special thanks to Kila Baruti and Yafeuh Balogun for your participation in this interview!
Free Rakem Balogun!
Touch one! Touch all!
Down with Counterinsurgency! Forward the Black Liberation Struggle!