Group that protested NRA over 'violent' rhetoric embraces convicted cop killer

The group behind last week's protest against the National Rifle Association over rhetoric it claimed was a "direct endorsement of violence" wished a convicted cop killer and fugitive a happy birthday on Monday.

"Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!" the verified Twitter account for the Women's March tweeted. "Today's #SignOfResistance, in Assata's honor, is by @Meloniousfunk."

The tweet included a painting of Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Chesimard, with the slogan "A woman's place is in the struggle."

The Women's March praise for Chesimard came less than a week after the group organized a protest of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in large part due to a video the gun organization produced. The video, which criticized resistance to the Trump administration and protests that have repeatedly turned violent across the country, was specifically cited as a key motivator for the protest, and the Women's March demanded the NRA take it down. "Recent actions by the NRA demonstrate not only a complete disregard for the lives of black and brown people in America—your fellow citizens—but appear to be a direct endorsement of violence against these citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest," a letter from Tamika D. Mallory, co-president of the Women's March, to the NRA read. "You are calling for our grassroots, nonviolent resistance movement to be met with violence."

While critics of the video have taken issue with its metaphorical call to "fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth," the video does not include any call to actual violence.

Chesimard was the first woman to be added to the FBI's Most Wanted list and was last spotted in Cuba after escaping prison in 1979. As a member of the Black Liberation Army, Chesimard is believed to have committed a number of felonies including bank robbery. She was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with a May 2, 1973, shootout between her group and New Jersey State Police.

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