Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., a progressive lawmaker belonging to the “Squad,” on Tuesday celebrated Angela Davis, a civil rights activist who once worked with the Communist Party USA and the Black Panther Party.
Pressley tweeted a photo that indicated she introduced Davis for virtual speaking event hosted by Health Law Advocates – a public interest law firm providing pro bono legal services to Massachusetts.
The event was a benefit breakfast, according to the organizers, which is held annually as a primary source of corporate and individual gifts for Health Law Advocates.
Davis has spent decades fighting for civil rights. She was an active member of the Black Panther Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Communist Party USA.
ANGELA DAVIS, FORMER FUGITIVE WANTED BY FBI, TO OFFER MLK DAY LECTURE
Then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan tried to fire her from a teaching post at University of California, Los Angeles, due to her ties to the Communist Party – but students and faculty came to her defense.
Davis was also charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charges after authorities linked her to the purchase of weapons that were later used by three inmates who took a judge and juror hostage during their trial in 1970 for killing a prison guard.
Law enforcement officials responded with a barrage of bullets and the inmates and judge died. Davis was accused of providing weapons used in the incident and was put on the FBI list until she was captured in 1972.
Davis spent 16 months in prison before she was acquitted of all charges.
She is considered a symbol for many activist movements, including Black liberation, anticapitalism and feminism.
Pressley, along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., make up what is known as “the Squad” on Capitol Hill. All are women of color who have had an increasing progressive influence within the Democratic Party.
Davis previously defended Omar against attacks launched by President Trump.
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Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.