We are saddened and angered by the death that Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald suffered behind bars. Chip was a parent, grandparent, uncle, mentor, and Black Panther. He was held for 51 years which makes him one of the longest serving political prisoners anywhere in the world. Chip was continually denied both adequate medical care and compassionate release, though he clearly posed no threat to anyone. Chip became eligible for parole in 1976, and was partially paralyzed by a stroke in 1998. It is obvious to us that even by the inhumane logic of the carceral system he had over-served his sentence by decades, and was only being kept inside out of spite for his active participation in the ongoing struggle for Black Liberation.
The fact that neither the pandemic raging through California prisons nor Chip’s own failing health moved the corrupt powers-that-be to release him proves the callousness with which they regard the lives of Black people, not to mention the emptiness of their “progressive” posturing.
We honor Chip for his years of sacrifice and dedication. Even as we mourn his loss we celebrate the struggle for which he gave his life.
The Struggle continues…
Until All are Free!