Friday night’s 10-year anniversary party for Busboys & Poets brought hundreds of well-wishers to the restaurant and bookstore chain’s Brookland location in Northeast Washington.
...D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) took the stage briefly to thank business owner Shallal for creating good jobs in the Washington area.
But that entrepreneurial message was soon eclipsed by Angela Davis, the author and political activist. Davis, who assured the enthusiastic crowd that she is still a communist, began by praising her favorite foods at BB&P and thanking Shallal for using organic ingredients and providing his staff with health insurance and other benefits.
Then she spoke passionately about the incarceration of people who “after 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years are still bearing witness to the injustices in our society from the other side of the walls.” She highlighted the cases of six people she called “political prisoners”: Native American activist Leonard Peltier, Palestinian organizer Rasmea Odeh, and former Black Panther activists Mondo we Langa, Ed Poindexter and Mumia Abu-Jamal, who, she said, is desperately in need of medical attention. She also encouraged the crowd to call for the cancellation of the $2 million reward offered for assistance in the recapture of Assata Shakur, who escaped from prison and fled to Cuba more than 30 years ago. (All six were tried for various murders; their convictions have been the subject of controversy and debate for years.)