December 22, 1946
|Died||December 13, 1986|
Kuwasi Balagoon (December 22, 1946 – December 13, 1986), born Donald Weems, was a Black Panther, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a New Afrikan anarchist, and a defendant in the Panther 21 case in the late 1960s, for which he was ultimately acquitted. Captured and convicted of other various crimes, he spent most of the 1970s in prison. Balagoon escaped from prison several times, going underground and resuming BLA activity. He was finally captured and charged with participating in an armored truck armed robbery, known as the Brinks robbery (1981), in West Nyack, New York, on October 20, 1981, an action in which two police officers, Waverly Brown and Edward O'Grady, and a money courier (Peter Paige) were killed. Convicted of murder and other charges and sentenced to life imprisonment, he died in prison of pneumocystis pneumonia, an AIDS-related illness, on December 13, 1986, aged 39.
Balagoon authored several texts while in prison, writings that have become influential among black and other anarchists since first being published and distributed by anarchist prisoner support networks in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Associated Press (1984-10-24). "THE CITY; Defendant Guilty In 2d Brink's Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Perez Esquivel, Adolfo; Alston, Ashanti, Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners, PM Press, p. 364, ISBN 1-60486-035-9
- Loughery, Jessica (2006-12-13), "Freedom Song: Building an Icon Out of Kuwasi Balagoon", Philadelphia City Paper
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