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Mumia Abu-Jamals Radio Essays

SHOW STATS
CATEGORY:

 Society & Culture

COMMENTS:

 3 Total
 0 August

VOTES:

 2 Total
 0 August

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Commentaries by the award-winning journalist and activist, "live from death row"
Recent Episodes for Mumia Abu-Jamals Radio Essa...
DATE: Mon, 27 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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The Media And The Boogeyman Syndrome

DATE: Mon, 20 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.53 MB
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Tea Parties: The Politics Of Fear

DATE: Tue, 14 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.46 MB
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The Already Forgotten War

DATE: Mon, 06 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.23 MB
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Jobless On Labor Day

DATE: Thu, 02 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.51 MB
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From Fanon To Africa, With Love Part 2

DATE: Thu, 02 Sep 2010
SIZE: 1.47 MB
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From Fanon To Africa, With Love Part 1

DATE: Mon, 30 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.18 MB
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Honor Rallies After War

DATE: Mon, 30 Aug 2010
SIZE: 0.90 MB
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Mad Nation

DATE: Mon, 23 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.05 MB
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From Shock And Awe To Aw, Shucks

DATE: Mon, 23 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.29 MB
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A Matter Of The Mosque

DATE: Thu, 19 Aug 2010
SIZE: 0.70 MB
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George Jackson

DATE: Thu, 19 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.11 MB
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Looney Laura

DATE: Thu, 12 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.09 MB
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Marilyn Buck Presente!

Black Augustby Marilyn BuckWould you hang on a cliff’s edgesword-sharp, slashing fingerswhile jackboot screws stomp heelson peeled-flesh bonesand laugh“let go! die, damn you, die!”could you hang on 20 years, 30 years?20 years, 30 years and morebrave Black brothers buriedin US koncentration kampsthey hang onBlack light shining in torture chambersRuchell, Yogi, Sundiata, Sekou,Warren, Chip, Seth, Herman, Jalil,and more and more they resist: Black AugustNat Turner insurrection chief executed: Black AugustJonathan, George dead in battle’s light: Black AugustFred Hampton, Black Panthers, African Brotherhood murdered: Black AugustKuwasi Balagoon, Nuh Abdul Quyyam captured warriors dead: Black AugustHarriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ella Baker, Ida B. WellsQueen Mother Moore – their last breaths drawn fighting death: Black AugustBlack August: watchwordfor Black liberation for human liberationsword to sever the shackleslight to lead children of every nation to safetyBlack August remembranceresist the amerikkan nightmare for lifeMarilyn Buck wrote this poem for Black August 2000. She was released July 15, 2010, after 25 years as an anti-imperialist political prisoner. Then suddenly, only 19 days later, she was gone. Her comrade and fellow former political prisoner Linda Evans broke the sad news: “Our dear comrade Marilyn Buck made her transition yesterday (Aug. 3, 2010) at 1 p.m. EST peacefully and surrounded by friends.” Sister Marpessa Kupendua wrote: “Former political prisoner Marilyn Buck made her transition. Peace and blessings be upon her revolutionary soul! Let her passing motivate us to be on point for all those denied medical care within the walls. Serious illnesses ARE death sentences! Much respect to her struggle on our collective behalf and all those who loved her so strong in her final days!”

DATE: Mon, 02 Aug 2010
SIZE: 1.13 MB
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Wikileaks And The Imperial Press

DATE: Sat, 31 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.65 MB
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Malcolm Shabazz In Coversation with Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 26 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.23 MB
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Selling Out Shirley Sherrod or The Beck Effect

DATE: Mon, 26 Jul 2010
SIZE: 0.76 MB
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Brother Charles: 1951-2010

DATE: Mon, 26 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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When Massacre Is No Crime

DATE: Mon, 19 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.55 MB
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Punishing Lynne

DATE: Mon, 12 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.21 MB
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The Mehserle Trial

DATE: Mon, 12 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.26 MB
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From Hero To Zero In 60 Seconds

DATE: Mon, 05 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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The Man Called Robert C. Byrd

DATE: Mon, 05 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.37 MB
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Is Steele Too Real?

DATE: Sun, 04 Jul 2010
SIZE: 1.99 MB
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What to a Slave is the Fourth of July written by Mumia read by Bernadette Devlin McAliskey

DATE: Thu, 01 Jul 2010
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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The New Jim Crow: Book Review

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DATE: Mon, 28 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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For Lynne Stewart

DATE: Wed, 23 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.32 MB
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Message to the U.S. Social Forum

Ona Move! Dear Friends at the Social Forum; As I write this, it has just been announced that the petro-multinational, BP, has failed at its ‘Top Kill’ plan, and the Gulf of Mexico is being more fouled by the hour.If ever there were a time to honestly question the madness at the heart of capitalism, it is now, as people are repulsed by what they are seeing, week after week, and now month after month, of environmental wreckage, corporate greed, and government subservience.Because, in truth, this is what capitalism, unbridled, unregulated, looks like: the spoilage of the natural world for private gain.Just a few weeks ago, we saw the Supreme Court essentially write off the damages awarded to the devastated native population of Alaska, who suffered from the Exxon Valdez disaster. Their award was cut by over 90%, making it a windfall for Exxon. It’s no wonder their bottom line is looking so good.Again – that’s capitalism!If folks at this Forum don’t grasp this moment, to build the Movement, then this moment will pass, and the era of crony capitalism will give us all nightmarish dystopias that will make these days look like the good old days.To quote the late, great Kwame Ture, “Organize! Organize! Organize!”This is written, by necessity, several weeks before the Forum, but I’m willing to bet that even as these words are heard, either the leak will not have been fixed; or, even if it is, then the Gulf waters are still as foul, still as toxic, still as ugly: if not worse.If the struggle isn’t to make such environmental crimes such as these unthinkable, then it is for nothing.Thank you all! Ona Move!Long Live John Africa!Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Tue, 22 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.28 MB
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The Good Empire

DATE: Thu, 17 Jun 2010
SIZE: 0.51 MB
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Message in Support of Sekou Odinga

DATE: Thu, 17 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.24 MB
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From the Spiritual to the Profane

DATE: Mon, 14 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.02 MB
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Gaza Prison

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DATE: Thu, 10 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.42 MB
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Helen's Forbidden Opinions

DATE: Thu, 10 Jun 2010
SIZE: 0.94 MB
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Soul Music

DATE: Wed, 09 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.11 MB
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Before BP (British Petroleum)

DATE: Tue, 01 Jun 2010
SIZE: 1.53 MB
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Ecocide

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DATE: Sat, 29 May 2010
SIZE: 1.40 MB
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John Africa on Water and Pollution

DATE: Mon, 24 May 2010
SIZE: 1.25 MB
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Lessons Lost (re Iraq and Vietnam)

DATE: Sun, 16 May 2010
SIZE: 1.68 MB
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State Against People

DATE: Wed, 12 May 2010
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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The Fall of the House of Labor

DATE: Mon, 10 May 2010
SIZE: 1.35 MB
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May 13th at 25 Years

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DATE: Sun, 09 May 2010
SIZE: 1.68 MB
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This Time, Time Squared

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DATE: Fri, 07 May 2010
SIZE: 1.12 MB
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Arizona

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DATE: Fri, 07 May 2010
SIZE: 1.78 MB
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Union Busting Rio Tinto Style

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DATE: Wed, 05 May 2010
SIZE: 1.15 MB
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Oil on the Waters

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DATE: Thu, 29 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.25 MB
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Teaparties and the Fear of the Future

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DATE: Mon, 26 Apr 2010
SIZE: 0.50 MB
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Message for Civil Rights Rally 4-26-2010 WDC

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DATE: Sun, 25 Apr 2010
SIZE: 0.69 MB
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Message to April 24th Birthday Events

April 24th: Philadelphia Events in Support of Mumia! Join The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Pam and Ramona Africa for the:   RISE UP AND GET READY TO WORK FUNDRAISER!!! FEATURING: UMAR BIN HASSAN OF THE LAST POETS, SONIA SANCHEZ, MAMA CHARLOTTE O'NEAL, MRS. BETTY'S SON, LINN WASHINGTON, ATTORNEY LEON WILLIAMS,  ATTORNEY MICHAEL COARD, SUNDIATA SADIQ, UNIVERSAL AFRICAN DANCE AND DRUM ENSEMBLE! Benefit for THE CIVIL RIGHTS CAMPAIGN to release Mumia Abu-Jamal and rally at the Justice Department in Washington, DC on APRIL 26TH!!   The Justice Department has stated that if we can show there is evidence of an ongoing conspiracy to stop Mumia from having a fair trial, they will intervene. We have the proof.  See freemumia.com and STAND WITH US on 4/26 in D.C. SATURDAY APRIL 24, 2010 12:00-5:00 PM AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE CENTER 1501 CHERRY ST., PHILADELPHIA, PA $15.00 DONATION (Your donation will go toward transportation to Washington, D.C. on April 26th and the on-going campaign to release Mumia!)

DATE: Sat, 24 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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Lynching Then and Now Message for Nationwide Tour

Friends, Brothers, Sisters: Ona Move! The anti-death penalty movement is an offshoot of the global human rights movement, as expressed by private associations, and later, by a variety of governments. It is noteworthy, then, for us to cite the state abolition of the death penalty in Kenya, in 2009. We should also note the fact that the rate of juries meting out death sentences has fallen to its lowest in 30 years. And finally, several months ago, the group that was perhaps most instrumental in fashioning the present death penalty, The American Law Institute, announced it would no longer participate in formulating laws governing the death penalty. The ALI, a distinguished group of 4,000 judges, law professors, and lawyers, were the people who initially proposed the aggravating and mitigating circumstances that the U.S. Supreme Court adopted in 1976 when it reinstated the death penalty. And yet, despite this, the death penalty is alive and well in America. Why? It makes no economic sense, but politicians are wedded to it. That’s because at its core, the death penalty derives from, and thus replaces, lynch law. Is it mere coincidence that the states which are most active in capital punishment are Southern ones? This is also generally true when we examine the establishment and expansion of the American prison system. After the Civil War, when slavery was abolished by law, states in the former confederacy established the convict lease system, where prisoners worked, without pay, for the state. One man, observing the dreadful loss of life and health for such people, called it “worse than slavery.” In essence, these states made a private institution a public one – and both Black men and women became “slaves of the state.” The U.S. death penalty system performs a similar function. It socialized, or made public, that which had been heretofore the province of individuals – lynchings. MAJ c ’10

DATE: Wed, 21 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.66 MB
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Ticking Time Bombs

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DATE: Mon, 19 Apr 2010
SIZE: 0.33 MB
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CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF DENNIS BRUTUS AND HOWARD ZINN - Mumia's Comment on the passing of Dennis Brutus

CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF DENNIS BRUTUS AND HOWARD ZINN Sunday, April 18, 2010, 1-3pm Clapp Hall, 4249 5th Ave. Across from Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel Friends, So many of us in Pittsburgh have had the great fortune to know, learn from and stand together with Dennis Brutus and Howard Zinn on many issues and in many struggles. Through their writings, films and examples they can still inspire young people to take action and help seasoned activists to keep on working for social justice and peace for the rest of our lives. Please join us at this tribute to our wonderful teachers, friends and fellow activists. The program will include speakers, who were their dear friends and collaborators, including Staughton Lynd, "The People Speak" co-producer Lisa Smith, Celeste Taylor, Paul LeBlanc and Marcus Rediker, Chair of the Pitt History Department. In addition, Howard and Dennis will be present through videos. We'll have an open mike for people to speak out or share a favorite poem or excerpt. Their books will be on sale. Spread the word widely and help make this an afternoon of celebration and inspiration. For more info 412-241-6087.

DATE: Mon, 19 Apr 2010
SIZE: 0.57 MB
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CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF DENNIS BRUTUS AND HOWARD ZINN - Mumia's Comment on the passing of Howard Zinn

CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF DENNIS BRUTUS AND HOWARD ZINN Sunday, April 18, 2010, 1-3pm Clapp Hall, 4249 5th Ave. Across from Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel Friends, So many of us in Pittsburgh have had the great fortune to know, learn from and stand together with Dennis Brutus and Howard Zinn on many issues and in many struggles. Through their writings, films and examples they can still inspire young people to take action and help seasoned activists to keep on working for social justice and peace for the rest of our lives. Please join us at this tribute to our wonderful teachers, friends and fellow activists. The program will include speakers, who were their dear friends and collaborators, including Staughton Lynd, "The People Speak" co-producer Lisa Smith, Celeste Taylor, Paul LeBlanc and Marcus Rediker, Chair of the Pitt History Department. In addition, Howard and Dennis will be present through videos. We'll have an open mike for people to speak out or share a favorite poem or excerpt. Their books will be on sale. Spread the word widely and help make this an afternoon of celebration and inspiration. For more info 412-241-6087.

DATE: Wed, 14 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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Storm Over Kyrgyzstan

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DATE: Sat, 10 Apr 2010
SIZE: 6.66 MB
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4-8-10 Cornel West in Conversation With Mumia Abu-Jamal

Recorded 3-3-10 at Labyrinth Books in Princeton NJ

DATE: Mon, 05 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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When Empires End

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DATE: Sun, 04 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.93 MB
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Message for April 3rd Educators for Mumia Event NYC

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DATE: Sun, 04 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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May Day Admist Global Mayhem

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DATE: Sat, 03 Apr 2010
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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Address to Live From Death Row

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DATE: Sun, 28 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.61 MB
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When There is No Precedent

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DATE: Mon, 22 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.55 MB
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A Glitch Without a Hitch

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DATE: Mon, 22 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.38 MB
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Judges Judge Judges

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DATE: Tue, 16 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.14 MB
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Apartheid Schools

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DATE: Sun, 14 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.56 MB
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Educational Industrial Complex

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DATE: Sun, 07 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.11 MB
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Earthquake

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DATE: Sun, 07 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.16 MB
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Democracy of Puppets

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DATE: Mon, 01 Mar 2010
SIZE: 1.32 MB
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Democracy Without Democracy

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DATE: Mon, 01 Mar 2010
SIZE: 0.83 MB
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Against War for Ever More

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DATE: Thu, 18 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.84 MB
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The Haiti Response Guns or Doctors?

   

DATE: Sun, 14 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.80 MB
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Corporate Supremacy --Still!

The recent Supreme Court decision on corporate personhood, The Citizen's United case, has evoked considerable comment, and even some indignation: "Corporations have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on politicians?!" - "outrageous!" Really? While people have every right to be outraged, we should inform our outrage, for, in truth, corporate interests have owned the political process -- and politicians -- for the better part of a century. In the classic history book, The Robber Barons, by Matthew Josephson (Harcourt: 1969), one encounters scenes of major industrialists buying politicians outright with satchels of money - on the floor of State Senates!! The buying is not so overt now, but politicians are still being bought like hot dogs.  What is a modern congressional, presidential or judicial campaign today - but a race for the money? For the man (or woman) who gets money can buy media - and the media decides races. In a real sense, all the court did was open up the spigot for more dough from corporate coffers. In essence, the court said, it's not enough to rent politicians; now you can own them. And they will own them. And where will much of this money go, but into the pockets of corporate media? And what is this but a corporate media stimulus package? What makes this case remarkable isn't so much the result (for this was politically predictable), but the court's reliance on precedent that actually wasn't precedential. For, in the case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. (1886), used as the foundation for the principle of corporate personhood, that principle appears nowhere - but the court clerk wrote it into the head notes of the case, which is not legally part of the case - and 124 years later an error became law, which became precedent, which guides decisions today, which favors corporate wealth and power over democracy. In the 1880's, during the age of the captains of industry who came to be known as the "robber barons", multi-millionaire Andrew Carnegie, threatened with legal action to restrain his corporate excesses, remarked: "What do I care about the law?  Ain't I got the power?" (Josephson 15) Thanks to the Supreme Court, they've got even more.   (c) 2010 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 07 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.71 MB
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When Young People are the Enemy

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DATE: Sun, 07 Feb 2010
SIZE: 7.09 MB
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Interview of Mumia by POCC Minister of Information JR

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DATE: Sun, 07 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.52 MB
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Paying The Costs: SF8

As the once front page story of the San Francisco 8 case winds down, bills are becoming due.   The San Francisco 8 refers to 8 former members of the Black Panther Party, charged with involvement in a 1971 homicide.   There is little doubt now that the case was initiated more for political reasons than legal ones.  The San Francisco District Attorney's office thought so little of the case that it declined to prosecute.  California's attorney general opted to try it instead.   Almost from day one, the case began unraveling. A few guys took plea bargains to relatively minor charges, resulting in probation.  Within months, charges against 5 of the men were dismissed. Only one still has charges pending.   The men - Herman Bell, Ray Boudreaux, Henry Jones, Jalil Muntaqim, Richard O' Neal, Harold Taylor, and Francisco Torres - now middle aged and older, stood firm with each other, and refused to flip on each other.  Some of them were tortured back in 1973, when charges were originally dismissed. (One man, John Bowman, died before trial)   Why this case? Initially, it is the extraordinary resources and papers made available to local jurisdictions by the federal government in the aftermath of 9/11; secondly, California's Attorney General (Edmund 'Jerry" Brown) was anxious to run for governor, and thought this case would prove the right vehicle.   But what was sensational in 1971 loses some of it's punch in 2007.   The newest headlines from the case isn't what the cash strapped stated wants to hear.   San Francisco's Public Defenders office has filed for $2 million in reimbursements owed by the City for its defenses of the men.   They are seeking that sum because the State, not San Francisco County, took up the prosecution of the 36 year old case.   (c) 2010 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 06 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.23 MB
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Black History Month

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DATE: Fri, 05 Feb 2010
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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A Year In: More Same Than Change

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DATE: Thu, 28 Jan 2010
SIZE: 1.36 MB
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Howard Zinn, Master Historian

It should surprise no one when a man, nearly 90, dies. It is as natural as moonlight, as regular as a rainbow after a summer shower. And yet, the passing of Howard Zinn surprises. He was a few months shy of 90, true, but he was still a bright eyed and brilliant lecturer, whose sense of humor gave a wondrous sparkle to his speeches and humanized his writing. He is perhaps best known for his masterwork, A People's History of the United States; 1492 - Present, (Harper Collins, 1980/2003. which sold millions of copies. Zinn was an adherent of the 'history from below' school of history, and wrote from the perspective of the bottoms of societies, not the top. He wrote about Black slaves fighting for freedom, Native folks fighting for sovereignty, poor white workers fighting for the right to unionize, women fighting for the right to work and vote, soldiers, gay folks, prisoners, and students struggling to learn about the history of their country. And while Zinn was indeed a brilliant, ground-breaking historian, he didn't write about the poor from a scholars distance; he grew up desperately poor in New York, joined the Air Force during World War II, and became a bombardier. Like many young service members, he read incessantly. When he left the service, he used the G. I. Bill to study at Columbia where he earned his Ph.D. And while he earned an advanced degree, he learned things he hadn't planned on when he taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, for his teaching took place during the eruption of the Civil Rights movement, and student protests against the U.S. apartheid system of segregation. Spelman, a Black women's college, had its share of activists, who, when they tried to leaflet, were stopped, threatened and prevented from leafleting by the cops. Zinn, teaching legal history and constitutional law to many of these students, learned that what the law books and cases said meant nothing in the real-life world of Georgian apartheid. In his 1990 book, Declarations of Independence, Zinn wrote: The law was plain. A series of Supreme Court decisions made the right to distribute leaflets on a public street absolute. It would be hard to find something in the Bill of Rights that was more clear cut than this. I told my students this. But I knew immediately that I must tell them something else; that the law didn't much matter. If they began handing out leaflets on Peachtree street and a white policeman (all police were white in Atlanta at the time), came along and said "Move!" what could they do? Cite the relevant Supreme Court cases to the policeman. {p.198} This was Atlanta: 1961, and the Movement taught Zinn many realities about America. Howard Zinn. Historian. Activist. Playwright. Prodigious writer. Father of the People's History movement. Friend. --(c) 1/28/10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 27 Jan 2010
SIZE: 2.85 MB
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Alice Walker, If I Was President

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DATE: Tue, 26 Jan 2010
SIZE: 2.22 MB
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Haiti's Suffering

DATE: Mon, 18 Jan 2010
SIZE: 2.71 MB
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Haiti on Our Minds

DATE: Mon, 11 Jan 2010
SIZE: 2.33 MB
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More Bad Intel

DATE: Mon, 04 Jan 2010
SIZE: 2.05 MB
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From How to Why

DATE: Sun, 27 Dec 2009
SIZE: 1.42 MB
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Obama Post Imperial?

DATE: Mon, 21 Dec 2009
SIZE: 1.38 MB
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The Limits of Our Politics

DATE: Fri, 18 Dec 2009
SIZE: 1.80 MB
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Just War? or Just War

DATE: Fri, 18 Dec 2009
SIZE: 1.96 MB
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Wealth Care

DATE: Sun, 13 Dec 2009
SIZE: 0.73 MB
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Solidarity Statement for 12-12-09, Oakland Event

DATE: Wed, 09 Dec 2009
SIZE: 4.15 MB
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Mumia Interview by Noelle Hanrahan on 29th Anniversary

DATE: Tue, 08 Dec 2009
SIZE: 1.95 MB
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Wars to Come

DATE: Mon, 30 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.80 MB
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Ghosts of Vietnam

DATE: Mon, 30 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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Babies Behind Bars

DATE: Sun, 29 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.76 MB
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Children of the Torn

Several months ago, a commentary was written on the children of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where judges sold their very freedom for private profit.Two prominent county judges (Messrs. Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan) allegedly made millions of dollars by sending kids to a private facility (Pa Child Care) in which they had a financial interest, as opposed to state institutions from which they would've received nothing.How could such a thing happen? How could it have happened for years?It happened because, in part, people both allowed it to happen, and they wanted it to happen.Children were sent to juvenile joints -- for months! -- for playing hooky, for being late, for breaking curfew, and the like.And most people said nothing, did nothing and some even praised this judicial example of "zero tolerance."One woman, Sandra Brulo, the former chief of the county's juvenile probation department, asked about the increasing detentions, told a county commission looking into the scandal, "The judge is the final say", adding that most folks simply didn't want "to question the judge." And so they didn't, while dozens, then hundreds and then thousands of kids were sent to detention.Nobody wanted to rock the boat.It's enough to say it was illegal for judges to privately profit from the juvie prison system, but the PA Juvenile Act (the statute  governing this area) made what these judges did illegal as well.That's because most of these transfers to detention took place without legal representation, and the code [§6337] states lawyers "must" be provided for kids, unless a parent or guardian affirmatively waives such counsel -- in court.  According to Brulo, in many cases, orders for detention were signed by the judges before the hearings even began!Moreover, in 1966, in Kent v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of juveniles to have counsel, just like adults.For years, in Pennsylvania, this meant nothing.What use is the constitution when there's money to be made?col. writ. 11/18/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal[Sources: Strupczewski, Leo, "I Had 'Nowhere Else to Go', Official Tells Luzerne Pane," Legal Intelligencer, 11/11/09, pp.1 10.; Tit. 42 Pa. Consolidated Statutes § 6301 et seq., § 6325: Detention of Child; § 6337: Right to Counsel; § 6311: Guardian Ad Litem for child in court proceedings; Kent v. U.S., 541 (D.C.) 1996.]

DATE: Mon, 16 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.96 MB
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Colony Still?

DATE: Sun, 08 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.75 MB
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Carnage at Fort Hood Texas

DATE: Sun, 01 Nov 2009
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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The Pendulum Effect

DATE: Tue, 27 Oct 2009
SIZE: 1.66 MB
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The Good Occupation?

DATE: Thu, 22 Oct 2009
SIZE: 1.45 MB
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The Dow Says Wow: The People Say Ouch

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DATE: Sat, 10 Oct 2009
SIZE: 1.70 MB
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Obama Nobel Laureate

DATE: Sat, 10 Oct 2009
SIZE: 1.93 MB
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The Afghanistan Trap

DATE: Tue, 06 Oct 2009
SIZE: 2.07 MB
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Between Acorns and Blackwater

DATE: Tue, 22 Sep 2009
SIZE: 0.77 MB
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G20 Speech

DATE: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
SIZE: 1.72 MB
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"For the Children...."

The next time I hear a politician promise to do something 'for the children', I may heave. If one thing is clear in this nation, it is that children are hated.  Oh -- we don't use that word to describe our relationships with them, but if we honestly examine those interactions we find that it would be difficult to describe in ways other than 'hate.' For the last several months, I've been reading, studying and thinking about the nation's public school system.  I've read classics in the field, like Jonathan Kozol's 1967 work, Death At An Early Age, a stunning account on his years as a permanent sub [!] in Boston's Black populated schools in Roxbury, where kids were taken down into dark, dank cellars and beaten with rattan sticks. But what happened in the dark basements of the buildings, while certainly dramatic and deplorable, could hardly be worse than the systematic slaughter of the minds of tens of thousands of children, who were, in Kozol's words, "intellectually decapitated" daily by a racist, segregated school system. Truth is, any major U.S. city could've been used  with similar results - Harlem, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, for nationally, the drop-out rate is 50%. Public schools are places where kids go to get their minds and souls killed. And what is war but old men sacrificing young men in often meaningless battles?  What is the so-called 'War on Terror' but a mindless slogan used to sell lies like 'Weapons of Mass Destruction?' And what are soldiers but mostly children, molded into madmen, who fight and die, so that old  rich men can get richer? Daily, we drug millions of schoolchildren, some as young as 4 years old with Ritalin, because we describe them as hyperactive or deficient in attention --which means they don't sit still, while we bore them out of their brains, with what we laughingly call an education. 'For the children' we leave a diseased and poisoned planet, an economy on crutches, and a world boiling with hatred for their fathers. Isn't it about time we really stopped doing more damage to the children? 9/19/09 (c) Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 14 Sep 2009
SIZE: 2.27 MB
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Circle of Sameness

DATE: Mon, 14 Sep 2009
SIZE: 1.81 MB
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Exporting Democracy

DATE: Sat, 05 Sep 2009
SIZE: 1.91 MB
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Labor Day's Blues

DATE: Fri, 04 Sep 2009
SIZE: 2.19 MB
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The Health Care that Equals 'I Don't Care'

DATE: Thu, 03 Sep 2009
SIZE: 1.26 MB
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June's Jump Away

DATE: Sat, 29 Aug 2009
SIZE: 4.11 MB
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Between the Government and the People

    As democratic forces mobilize in response to the suspicions resulting from the recent Iranian presidential election, they are meeting repression from a government that is fueled by the twin forces of paranoia and theocracy.    The Iranian government is paranoid not because they are crazy, but because many remember the U.S. and British supported coup that led to the installment of the dictatorship of the Shah in 1953, and also more recent support for the Iraqis (during the time of Saddam Hussein, btw) when both countries lost nearly a million people during what came to be called 'The War of the Cities', in the '80's.    And although the corporate media has pronounced the notion 'loony' that the U.S. has supported the anti-government protests, in truth the U.S. has supported anti-government terrorism against Iran, chiefly via CIA funding and support for the Baluchis, an Iranian national minority group which comprises some 2% of the population, and which seeks independence.    Those ways of thinking informs their view of the broader, democratic movement, which may reflect the sentiments, not so much of an Iranian ethnic minority, but of Iran's youth - a percentage approaching half of the country's population.    The second force, theocracy, is the very foundation of the government, which is seen in the formal name of the country: Islamic Republic of Iran.    That feature, the rule of the clerics, makes all internal conflicts both religious and political, and therein lies the danger.    As Europe has shown for hundreds of years, few wars are more brutal than religious wars.  For centuries, the Catholic Church waged wars against unbelief, against innovation, against women, and through the Crusades, against Islam.  And although the church won many battles, it lost many wars, such as the war against science, where it sent the astronomer, Galileo, to prison for contending that the earth revolved around the sun -- not the reverse.    Let us not act as if we've not seen this before, when theocracies tortured bodies, brutalized people, in the name of faith.  Have we not seen democracies do the same, in furtherance of the faith in profit -- as the U.S. in Iraq?    Iranians must decide the form their government will take: not the U.S., nor the British.    The Iranian people will decide whether the ungodly repression they face will stall them, or spur them on to demand more than the change of faces at the top.(c) 8/16/09  Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 17 Aug 2009
SIZE: 4.16 MB
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G20 or GMoney

DATE: Mon, 17 Aug 2009
SIZE: 4.57 MB
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Skip Nadra and the Philadelphia Grand Jury

DATE: Sun, 09 Aug 2009
SIZE: 4.02 MB
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Rogue States

DATE: Mon, 03 Aug 2009
SIZE: 4.37 MB
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Beyond a Beer With the Boys

If the arrest, humiliation and resultant brouhaha over the case of Harvard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates has taught us anything, it is that we still dwell in separate worlds -- ones which rarely meet. And while some wags have rushed to tell us that the case shows us the continuous clash of class, I beg to differ. If anything, it shows us just the opposite. When it comes to Black people, of whatever wealth, status, class or prominence, the normal rules don't apply. Indeed, Blacks are the ever present exceptions to the rules. Consider this: Americans have said and believed for the better part of a century, that saying: 'A man's home is his castle. Not Black men. How else could 'Skip' Gates get busted on his doorstep -- for disturbing a non-existing peace? In law, a homeowner's property rights doesn't end at his front door. It extends to the street, at the curbside. This is an appurtenance. Imagine if a person slips and falls on the sidewalk in front of a home. What person has a claim on the homeowner, not the city. 'Skip' Gates was busted not because he violated the law, but because he violated the emotions of the cop who entered his house. He angered him when he initially refused to exit his house; and he angered him further when Prof. Gates demanded the cop's ID. President Barack Obama was right when he called the bust 'stupid', but, as usual, politics prevailed when American rednecks responded with howls of protest. (One need look no further than the email sent by a Boston cop in response to the Gates case, where the distinguished educator was described as a 'jungle monkey' -- no, a 'banana-eating jungle monkey'..' if memory serves! Furthermore, imagine what it takes, not just to write this -- but to write this to a reporter). They took it personally -- just as the cop in Gates' home took it personally. Will a beer with the boys put this fire out? I doubt it, for it ignores what happens everyday, in dozens of states, to countless men and women who don't have Harvard Ph.Ds, or friends in the White House. The sad truth is, being Black in America is akin to being born low-caste in India, where separate and unequal rules remain, despite promises in their constitution. Obama's election hasn't changed reality, but may mask it, by providing cover for the ugly things that Blacks endure in a nation where the elites claim a false 'post-racialism.' A few brewskis ain't gonna change that either. (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 27 Jul 2009
SIZE: 1.97 MB
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Tribute to Reggie Bryant

DATE: Mon, 27 Jul 2009
SIZE: 4.99 MB
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Repression of the Repressed

DATE: Fri, 24 Jul 2009
SIZE: 3.07 MB
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SF Eight No More

DATE: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
SIZE: 3.50 MB
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Nada for Gaza: The McKinney Israel Trip

DATE: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
SIZE: 2.73 MB
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Sonia Sotomayor's Stroll to the Supremes

DATE: Mon, 06 Jul 2009
SIZE: 2.19 MB
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Michael the Meal

DATE: Mon, 06 Jul 2009
SIZE: 3.21 MB
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Michael A Man of Contraditions

DATE: Fri, 26 Jun 2009
SIZE: 3.42 MB
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Michael Jackson Master Entertainer

DATE: Sun, 21 Jun 2009
SIZE: 4.47 MB
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A Revolution Within A Revolution

As the repression of the state comes down on those protesting against the recent elections, voices -- especially from the West -- are all but predicting the imminent fall of the Islamic Republic of Iran.They compare it to the Iranian Revolution of  1979, when forces arrayed against the dictatorial rule of the Shah, a key U.S. ally, brought down the House of Pahlavi.    Is this the same as that?To answer that question requires far more than emotion.  It requires study, insight and clear vision, qualities that seem sorely lacking in too much of the corporate media these days.Iranian scholar, Faridah Farhi, in her book, States and urban-based Revolutions: Iran and Nicaragua (Univ. of IL Press, 1990) found one factor was crucial in the success of a modern day agrarian society's revolutions: "....the incapacitation of administrative and military machineries" (.p8)Other elements at work in revolutionary situations are the existence of "intermediate classes" in society which find economic and traditional centers of Iranian life, the bazaars, the clergy existed, amassing wealth and social power, independent of -- and opposed to __ the state.  These 90.000 clergy formed the core of Khomeini's revolt against the Shah, and therefore had the organizational and ideological wherewithal to steer the growing movement to their ends.  They also had a powerful symbol in the Ayatollah Khomeini.There were other factors - popular mobilizations  of the poor, for example -- but without many of the other factors, the chances of a revolution are limited, at best.The country's administrative and military machineries may be many things, but incapacitated they are not.When the Shah fled Iran, the military and administration was both isolated and deeply loathed by the people. When popular upsurges came, many joined the people's side.The major opposition figure of Khomeini, present in 1979, does not now exist (or isn't evident) in today's Iran.  And it is quite unlikely that Mir Hossain Mousavi, who is being urged on by Westerners, will play that role. He was one of a very few found acceptable to run by the governing council, headed by Ayatollah A. Khamenei.  This suggest he was, like Ahmadinejad, a veteran of the 1979 Revolution, and thus trusted by the clergy.If he learned anything from the Revolution, it was that there's little profit in betraying the revolution.So, unless things change drastically (and that is possible), this is not a revolutionary moment.Demonstrations, standing alone, do not a revolution make.They may be a harbinger of things to come, but as Dr. Huey P. Newton once said, they take "sterner stuff."--(c) 6/24/09  (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 21 Jun 2009
SIZE: 4.49 MB
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Stateless State of Palestine

The presidential election of Barack Obama has so electrified the world, that expectations have swept past reality into the realm of the silly.Some of this is surely driven by the corporate media, which no longer covers the news, but engages in what might be called  'pre-news', as it tends to predict what will (or may) happen, the better to not be scooped by competitors.  And as news makes its hard turn to opinion, it sometimes builds up Obama as a world leader, in ways that are simply unreasonable.This was seen in the run-up to the Iranian presidential elections, where news coverage all but predicted the election of opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Moussavi, and the fall of the irascible Mahoud Ahmadinejad.  The result predicted, talking heads opined about the global influence of Obama over the elections. (As for stolen elections, did millions of Americans take to the streets to protest the stolen elections here -- in 2000?Similarly, much news coverage centered on Obama's hard-line on the Israelis, as in his Cairo address when he called for a freeze in settlements.So slanted is U.S. policy towards Israel that a halt in construction in illegal settlements is seen as somehow 'hard-line.'For their part, Israeli right-wingers, many supporters of newly-elected president Binyamin Netanyahu, has postered Tel Aviv with images of Obama wearing an Arab headdress (known as a kaffiyeh),emblazoned with the words "Jew Hater", and "Anti-Semite" in English and Hebrew (an allusion to his Muslim name and family background)To "freeze" a situation that is fundamentally unjust, is to preserve the status quo--a state of affairs that leaves the Palestinian people in an unjust and untenable situation.On top of that, Netanyahu recently announced an essential rejection of Obama's 'freeze', and an alleged support of the establishment of a Palestinian state -albeit a demilitarized one, with foreign affairs to be overseen by Israel.This is a state only in the sense that the old South African Bantustans were independent territories (that is to say, not at all).The Palestinians have had their best lands seized and Swiss-cheesed by settlements, their parliament has been cast into prison, their water is rationed, and their homes have been bulldozed, all while western leaders crow about a 'peace process' that is, ultimately, a freeze in oppression.Meanwhile, Israel, not only the most powerful military in the region, but an undeclared nuclear-armed state, accepts the idea of a Palestinian state, but only if demilitarized -- and this is seen as progress!--(c) 6/15/09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Tue, 09 Jun 2009
SIZE: 4.56 MB
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GM is G.O.N.E.

DATE: Thu, 04 Jun 2009
SIZE: 5.20 MB
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Obama in Cairo

DATE: Tue, 02 Jun 2009
SIZE: 2.60 MB
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Dawud Akbar: A People's Psychologist

For the Black community of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, this is a time of quiet mourning.For it marks the unexpected passing of Dawud Akbar, a man who made his home there.Since leaving school in the early 1970's, Akbar built a life of service and caring in Pittsburgh, not just as a psychologist, but as a community organizer, teacher and mentor for many.Born January 6, 1949 in Harlem, New York, he witnessed the murder of his mother at the tender age of 8 years.  When he went to college at Morehouse, in Atlanta, GA, he met and was deeply inspired by the renowned Black psychologist, Dr. Na'im Akbar, who so inspired him that he took the name Akbar, and converted to Islam.He earned a Masters degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973, and with his wife, Sama'iyah, built a life and family in his adopted city.  He founded the Nzingha Institute, and helped to bring the Maafa ritual to hundreds of Pittsburgers annually.  The local practice was a ceremony where the history of African captivity, transport and freedom struggles in the Americas was remembered and ritualized.Given the trauma of his childhood, he worked with young people to try to give them a sense of their place in the larger community.    He wrote several books on social and familial health and harmony.He worked long and hard to serve the many needs of his community, and even three heart attacks didn't stop him.Recently, he suffered a debilitating cerebral hematoma.Dawud Albar was 60 years old.(c) '09 maj

DATE: Sun, 31 May 2009
SIZE: 4.59 MB
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On Race, Racism and the Sotomayor Nomination

It would be easy to describe the present faux controversy over the nomination of  2nd Circuit of Appeals Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor, to the U.S. Supreme Court as media-generated, and thus, unreal. But that would be too easy. As forces on the political right decry the jurist as "racist", "reverse racist", or "biased", such terms do far more than spur flagging newspaper sales, it amps up the summer hearings for her nomination. And while it may not reach the temperature of the Clarence Thomas - Anita Hill senate hearings, it will get plenty of attention, if only for the wrong reasons. It is almost laughable to seriously consider the 'racist' claims launched by the Limbaugh, Gingrich and Tancredo axis of the Republican Party, given their manic xenophobia when it comes to Mexican immigrants, an issue that has driven millions of Latinos away from the GOP. But, for argument's sake, let's examine the question, from a central core issue.  Are Latinos a race? The short answer is no. Latinos, or Hispanics, are a linguistic and cultural community, but one of stunning diversity.  In fact, Hispanics are a conglomeration of many races -- and indeed, many cultures, formed over centuries. There are millions of people who are as dark-skinned (or darker) than African Americas, but are classified as Latinos, who are of Puerto Rican, Dominican or Mexican heritage. The lesson in this is that race is often a national construct, which may be transformed by crossing a border. Decades ago, one would think, there were no Hispanics (or at least the term wasn't used).  People were classified according to their national heritage, or they were called "Spanish -surnamed." But the lives, experiences, and dreams of people can be profoundly different, depending on where one's family hails: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Argentina or Cuba. All of these people may be called Latinos, but they are white, red, brown and black. Their familial and genetic histories draw Spain, Italy, the Americas and Africa. In sum, Latinos are not a race, as race is understood in this country, but a linguistic and multi-cultural community of breathtaking diversity. The irony is that Judge Sotomayor, if she were born in many Latin American countries (instead of the Bronx), would have "blanca", or "claro" on her birth certificate (meaning white). Only in the US does she become a 'person of color', simply because whiteness in the American sense, is a narrow, exclusive domain. Many millions who now consider themselves white had grandparents who weren't considered white, especially given their southern European places of origin.But, things change; even our definitions of race. (c) '09 maj

DATE: Fri, 29 May 2009
SIZE: 2.27 MB
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Brown at 55 (and Counting)

It has been over 1/2 a century (55 years) since the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Brown vs. Board of Education case, desegregating American public education. The decision came to be regarded as a landmark ruling, one which transformed the very nature of U.S. public schools. Or did it? There is no question but that Brown dealt a severe blow to the common American practice of educational apartheid, by finding the nation's public school systems, which were unevenly divided between Black and white institutions, were separate and unequal, and thus violative of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. As such, Brown became the precedent by which all racial segregation came to be declared unconstitutional. But back to the public schools. Who can doubt that millions of public school students now attend inner-city schools that are just as segregated as they were 50 years ago? How can this be, we wonder? Well, there are differences.  Funding for schools is based on property taxes, and as inner cities are sited in poor urban cores, where taxes are lessened, there are fewer resources for such schools. And while racial segregation is unconstitutional, class segregation is not.  This, coupled with the segregated housing customs which still determines where people live, also determines where young people go to school. Just because a law changes, doesn't mean life does. There are other reasons, as well. Millions of whites fled to the suburbs, and many built private schools that could legally segregate.  Much of this energy went into the voucher school movement, so that parents could siphon off public monies to pay for private, and even religious schools. With some major American cities facing drop-out rates of 50%, public schools are failing in their mission of teaching and training children to handle the glaring needs of tomorrow. And what of No Child Left Behind?  It was by any honest measure, a disaster. The less said about it, the better. --(c) '09 maj

DATE: Thu, 28 May 2009
SIZE: 4.00 MB
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GM's Newest Deal

As the prospect of GM (General Motors) being forced into bankruptcy looms closer, the company (as well as the government) enters yet the next phase in a long, bitter and seemingly intractable war against workers -- and not just members of the UAW (United Auto Workers).For the courtroom represents a battleground more vicious than any negotiating table, for there, the rules are (to borrow a phrase from segregation days) 'separate and unequal.'That's because civil laws favor corporations.  How could it be otherwise when lawyers are trained in corporate and contract law -- and rarely, if ever -- labor law? Under bankruptcy law, prior contracts can be broken, and new arrangements made, as long as creditors  and investors get paid.What of a man or woman who has spent decades at work for the company? Isn't that an investment?To the investors and bondholders that is irrelevant.They, and the White House, will have driven GM into bankruptcy court, not UAW, which has bent over so far backwards they're in knots.In Sept. 2007, UAW signed a "landmark" pact with GM, in which the union assumed massive health care costs under what's called VEBA (volunteer employee benefit association).  According to the terms, GM donates cash or stock to the UAW to administer VEBA, and GM agrees to the present work force of 73,000 workers.  The VEBA contract was for 4 years, expiring in 2011.Two years later, and tens of thousands have been laid off.  Even before bankruptcy proceedings began, UAW heads were being pushed to accept GM stock (now around $1.40 a share) and corporate debt, instead of cash to run VEBA, and urged to accept "immediate cuts" to retiree benefits at the insistence of Timothy Geithner's Treasury Department, citing GM's "financial difficulties."GM, we tend to forget, is a multinational, which builds and sells cars in Mexico, Canada and Asia.  And while sales have indeed slumped in the Americas, sales are hot in Asia.In China, the world's  most populous market, an American car is still a status symbol, and China's economy is still the healthiest on earth, growing at an annual rate of 6%.Moreover, while jobs are being lost in the U.S., and retirees' benefits are slashed, the bailout billions will fuel GM's efforts overseas, where, for example, a Chinese auto worker earns $3 an hour, versus $54 an hour for an American.Does that make economic sense?  Only when the bottom line is the be-all and end-all of existence (as in capitalism).Meanwhile, six top GM execs recently sold all of their GM stock, sending a signal of imminent bankruptcy.Having eaten the goose of GM profit, they leave the bones.(c) '09 maj

DATE: Sun, 17 May 2009
SIZE: 3.33 MB
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The Politics of Office

DATE: Tue, 12 May 2009
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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Government for Whom

DATE: Fri, 01 May 2009
SIZE: 3.10 MB
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A Party of One

DATE: Fri, 01 May 2009
SIZE: 2.45 MB
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Message to May Day

Message to May Day

DATE: Mon, 27 Apr 2009
SIZE: 4.14 MB
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Before a Nation

DATE: Fri, 24 Apr 2009
SIZE: 0.54 MB
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Mumia's Birthday Message

DATE: Thu, 23 Apr 2009
SIZE: 4.49 MB
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A New Relationship

DATE: Wed, 22 Apr 2009
SIZE: 2.70 MB
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Pirates and Piracy

DATE: Sun, 19 Apr 2009
SIZE: 13.4 MB
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New Left Forum

DATE: Mon, 13 Apr 2009
SIZE: 4.06 MB
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The World To Come

DATE: Mon, 06 Apr 2009
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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Summitry and Pundrity

DATE: Mon, 06 Apr 2009
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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Post Supreme Court Interview with Mumia

DATE: Thu, 02 Apr 2009
SIZE: 2.17 MB
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John Hope Franklin

DATE: Wed, 01 Apr 2009
SIZE: 5.18 MB
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Opening Address at Baltimore City From Below Conference

The City From Below conference opened with this powerful opening statement pre-recorded by Mumia Abu-Jamal. The conference took place 3/27/09 thru 3/29/09 in Baltimore, MD. Their website has updates from the conference.http://cityfrombelow.org/main

DATE: Thu, 26 Mar 2009
SIZE: 1.02 MB
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Capital Amends Rules

DATE: Thu, 19 Mar 2009
SIZE: 1.06 MB
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Wilburt Bill Tatum: A memorial for Notably Black Publisher in NYC

DATE: Mon, 16 Mar 2009
SIZE: 2.15 MB
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The Constitution and Other Illusions

DATE: Wed, 11 Mar 2009
SIZE: 1.53 MB
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The Other Inauguration

DATE: Tue, 10 Mar 2009
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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Money Changers in the Temple

DATE: Tue, 03 Mar 2009
SIZE: 1.50 MB
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More Lessons From Luzerne County

DATE: Tue, 03 Mar 2009
SIZE: 2.08 MB
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The Passing of the Papers

DATE: Mon, 02 Mar 2009
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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Inheriting An Empire II

DATE: Mon, 02 Mar 2009
SIZE: 1.55 MB
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Running Backwards

DATE: Mon, 02 Mar 2009
SIZE: 0.96 MB
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Wildin on Wall Street

DATE: Sun, 01 Mar 2009
SIZE: 0.74 MB
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Osborne Anderson: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Fri, 27 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.71 MB
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Huey Newton: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Thu, 26 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.86 MB
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Shirley Chisholm: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Tue, 24 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.95 MB
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Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Mon, 23 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.83 MB
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William Parker: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Sun, 22 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.97 MB
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CLR James: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Sat, 21 Feb 2009
SIZE: 1.03 MB
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Tupac Shakur: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Fri, 20 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.77 MB
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Thousands of Black Women: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Thu, 19 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.91 MB
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Billy Holliday: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Wed, 18 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.73 MB
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Moses Fleetwood Walker

DATE: Wed, 18 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.89 MB
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Black Women of the Pen: A Profile in Excellence

Black Women of the Pen: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Tue, 17 Feb 2009
SIZE: 2.04 MB
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The Fallen

DATE: Mon, 16 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.74 MB
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Albizu Campos: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Fri, 13 Feb 2009
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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With Judges Like These

DATE: Fri, 13 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.61 MB
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Chinua Achebe: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Tue, 10 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.78 MB
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Harriet Tubman: A Profile in Excellence

DATE: Sat, 07 Feb 2009
SIZE: 0.26 MB
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Statement for St. Denis

DATE: Fri, 06 Feb 2009
SIZE: 1.51 MB
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Economy of Ashes

What we are seeing in the economy is something not seen in this country since the 1930's -- the time of the Great Depression.If we think of the companies shedding jobs like trees shedding leaves, they are so numerous that it may prove easier to name companies that haven't -- (if we could find any!)In January alone, some 1/2 million workers got pink slips.And this economic crisis is global. Europe is locked in a financial vise, and big countries, like England and France, have announced ambitious stimulus packages. England has openly nationalized prominent banks facing default. Iceland has, for all intents and purposes, declared bankruptcy -- with not just banks, but government itself is failing.And while China, the site of the world's most robust economy is still growing, its rate of growth has fallen so fast that some 20 million people -- 20 million! -- have lost their jobs, a direct result of the U.S. economic recession.Over a year ago, American economist Nouriel Roubini, speaking at a meeting in Davos, Switzerland, said the U.S. economy looked "like an emerging market."Roubini predicted that the U.S. would enter a recession which would last at least a year. he added, "The debate is not whether we're going to have a soft or hard landing. The question is only how hard the hard landing will be." *A Chinese economist echoed that sentiment. Yu Yongding, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences described the Chinese economy as at "quite a delicate stage." The problem, he concluded, was the "very bad situation" in the U.S.Globalization was sold as the next best thing to the industrial age, when Americans would live in the warm glow of the information age, lit by computer screens, and the rest of the world would do scut work.How's that working out, as the economy crumbles?[*Source: Landler, Mark, "U.S. Policies Evoke Scorn at Davos: Fed Caved In to the Markets (or Maybe It Dawdled), Critics Say, New York Times, Thurs., Jan. 24, 2008, p. C9.]--(c) 2/4/09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 28 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.69 MB
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Music Over the Mall

Music Over the Mall

DATE: Mon, 26 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.45 MB
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Black in Iraq

Several days ago I read an interesting article in the paper on the tiny Black community in Basra, Iraq.  The piece was basically a foreign take on the impacts of the Obama election, for Black Iraqis hoped this would signal better conditions for them in the land of their ancestors. Black people are hardly new to Iraq. Their present population stems from slave importations from over a thousand years ago, when the city of Basra, in Iraq's southern sliver, was the seat of Mesopotamia.  Africans were kidnapped into bondage, and forced to work (I kid you not) in the region's salt mines. In the early third of the seventh century (ca. 820 C. E.), Blacks staged a powerful rebellion, which forced the government to flee.  This revolution, called  "The Revolt of the Zenj" by Arab historians, lasted for over 20 years.  This revolution was betrayed, and the rebels were slain and some put back into bondage. The name "Revolt of the Zenj" is so named  because Blacks from the southeast coast of Africa, called "Zenjabar" by the Arabs (later Zanzibar, and today a part of Tanzania) were captured by the millions and sold into slavery throughout the Arab world. The hundreds of thousands of Black  Iraqis today are among their descendants.  As such, they live lives of discrimination, poor education, under-and-unemployment and poverty. One Basra father explained his decision to remove his daughter from school because she was teased with the term  abd (Arabic for slave) by her classmates. The father said, "it is my wish that she will read and write, but I cannot let her have these...problems." The Black Iraqi population numbers in the thousands, not the millions.  But even after a millennia and a half in Iraq, they still sing ancient songs of a distant African memory. 1/25/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal [Source: Madhani, AAmer, "Obama's Rise Inspires Arab Iraqis in Politics", USA Today, Jan. 19, 2009, 9A.; Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (N.Y. ; Faber and Faber, 1991) ]

DATE: Sat, 17 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.42 MB
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Oscar Grant & You

Like you, I've seen the searing phone-camera tape of the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, of Oakland, California. And although it's truly a terrible thing to see, it's almost exceeded by something just as shocking.  That's been how the media has responded to this police killing, by creating a defense of error. This defense, that the killer cop who murdered Grant somehow mistook his pistol for his Taser, has been offered by both local and national news reporters -- even though they haven't heard word one from Johannes Mehserle, the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) cop who wasn't even interviewed for weeks after shooting an unarmed man!If you've ever wondered about the role of the media, let this be a lesson to you. You can see here that the claim that the corporate media is objective is but a cruel illusion. Imagine this:  if the roles were reversed, that is, if bystanders had footage of Grant shooting Mehserle, would the media be suggesting a defense for him?Would Grant have been free to roam, to leave the state a week later? Would he have made bail?    The shooting of Oscar Grant III is but the latest, West Coast version of Amadou Diallo, of Sean Bell, and of hundreds of other Black men -- and like them, don't be surprised if there is an acquittal -- again.     Oscar Grant is you -- and you are him, because you know in the pit of your stomach that it could've been you, and the same thing could've happened. You know this. And what's worse is this: you pay for this every time you pay taxes, and you endorse this every time you vote for politicians who sell out in a heartbeat. You pay for your killers to kill you, in the name of a bogus, twisted law, and then pay for the State that defends him. Something is terribly wrong here--and it's the system itself.Until that is changed, nothing is changed, for we'll be out here again (in the streets) -- chanting a different name. -- 1/17/09  (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 16 Jan 2009
SIZE: 5.55 MB
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Imperial Power

Address to the Rosa Luxemburg Conference, Berlin Germany 1/10/09'Imperial Power & Counter-Power':(M.A. Jamal's Remarks to the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Germany / Jan. 10th, 2009[SP. WRIT. 12/30/08] (C) '08 MUMIA ABU-JAMALIf one is to address the reactions to the recent election of Illinois Senator Barack Obama to the U.S. Presidency, this can perhaps be best encapsulated by the term, exultation.For if ever a political figure rode the currents of a stellar alignment, Barack Obama did so.The exultation was both national and global.In my 1/2 century of life, I can recall no presidential election that elicited so profound a political -- indeed visceral! -- response.When one considers what role the left had in such a spectacular political event, again we must look to alignments; not of stars, but of constituencies, which converged to not only elect Obama, but to also close the door to the ruinous politics of the U.S. right wing, represented by the incumbent President, George W. Bush, and his presumed political heirs, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin of the Republican Party.While the U.S. left was a constituent part of the larger constituency, it neither drove nor directed the forces that elected Obama. In many ways it was hostage to those forces.Those forces were youth -- those between 18-28, who mobilized in ways never seen before; it was also African Americans who voted in unprecedented numbers for one they perceived as one of their own; add to this millions of women, some of whom felt, frankly, disrespected by the choice of Palin, who, though a woman, betrayed an astonishing lack of knowledge and expertise on issues, especially given the very real possibility that her running mate, sen. McCain, might not survive the rigors of office.But one cannot ignore the significant segment of those who felt betrayed or disaffected by the hard-right tilt of the Republican Party -- which ran almost exclusively on the notion that Obama was a "socialist", who in Palin's oft-repeated quote, "pals around with terrorists."For those beyond our shores, it may be necessary to briefly decode this language. The "socialist" tag was a kind of cleaned - up, classy version of 'communist', the ultimate slur in U.S. capitalist politics, only exceeded by the post 9/11 term "terrorist" (and by calling Obama a "pal" of terrorists, it was tantamount to calling him one).The last reference was to the alleged friendship between Obama and William Ayers, a Hyde Park educator who, in the 1960's, was a leading member of the Weather Underground, student anti-war and anti imperialist activists, who engaged in acts against property, and who supported the Black liberation movements of the era.In point of fact, Obama was, by no measure, a leftist.In the Spring of 2008 issue of The Black Scholar, African-American studies professor, Charles P. Henry makes the point explicitly, citing both Obama's own words, as well as a political biography of him in the New York Times Magazine. (1)Obama's quoted remarks are instructive:The Democrats have been stuck in the arguments of Vietnam,which means that either you're a 'Scoop' Jackson Democrat or you're suspicious of any military action. And that's just not my framework .(2)Obama's choices were illustrative of two poles of the Democratic Party: Sen. Henry 'Scoop' Jackson was so pro-war that he was called the "Senator from Boeing". (3) ; Hayden by contrast, was a student anti-war activist, and member of S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society). (Interestingly, Obama never referred to himself as a Jesse Jackson Democrat either).This leads us to the next query on the role of the U.S. anti-war movement; in a word, it is moribund.This, paradoxically, can be traced to the massive demonstrations of Spring 2003 in protest of the imminent Iraq War. For millions of people, this was their first, and last experience of mass action. Sadly, the lesson they learned was of their impotence, not their power, for Bush promptly ignored the protests, rattled the sabers of war, and launched Operation Shock and Awe.For many people, unused to popular protests, this short-term failure to stop the war blinded them to the rarity that such mass protests represented: never had the nation seen such mass protests before the war was begun. At this stage, the people were a Counter-Power, but they stopped far too soon.To further analyze the question of whether the election of Obama represents a leftist surge, or if the anti-war movement is in its ascendancy we need only recall that Obama is neither a leftist nor is he anti-war. The early stages of his electoral campaign were explicitly against the Iraq War. As he ran in the later stages, his sound bites announced a troop withdrawal in Iraq was necessary to buttress U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Indeed, given the events occurring as these words are written, there will probably be more U.S. anti-war protests against the Israeli blitzkrieg on Gaza in the next 2 weeks, than there was against the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan in the last two years.That, I think, succinctly states the case of where we are.But where we are need not determine where we can go. For people move by inches and by leaps. This was, undoubtedly, a giant step in U.S. history. This was not a day ever envisioned by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln or even John F. Kennedy.Yet, one of Black America's most revered historians, Vincent Harding, (author of the classic, There is a River), spoke for far more than himself when he said, "So my hopes are very much focused on him, but not on him alone. I see the energy that's been built up over these two years of campaigns, and I see the possibility that we could gather ourselves together and begin to ask, in a very powerful way, not what should Barack Obama be doing next, but where do we go from here? What is our role as committed, progressive citizens to move to the next stages?"Harding, a close confidante of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ended his comments on the Obama election with this fitting suggestion: "Maybe a democracy needs community organizers more than it needs commanders."(4)Maybe so.It appears Dr. Harding is suggesting that instead of empire, we need a republic, for if history teaches us anything, it is that the two realities are un- reconcilable. In the days of ancient Rome, the advent of empire spelled the end of the republic.In 193 C. E., an African seized the throne of Rome. Emperor Septimius Severus extended Rome's power, and strengthened its empire. His sons succeeded him, and exceeded him in cruelty and brutality.They didn't bring change -- they brought continuity.Will this empire be any different?Danke! Aus die Todeszelle,Hier Sprecht Mumia Abu-Jamal.Endnotes1. Traub, James, "Is His Biography Our Destiny?", New York Times Magazine, November 4, 2007, pp.50-55.2. Hayden, Tom, "An Appeal to Barack Obama", post to ariannahuff@aol.com, November 8, 2007; cited in Henry, Charles P., O"Obama '08 -- Articulate and Clean,"The Black Scholar, (Spr. '08) [vol. 38:no.1}, p.6, fn.17.3. Johnson, Chalmers, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), p.211. Boeing received some $20 billion in defense contracts in 2006.4. Wane, Aly (compiled by), "Historical Moment: Black Thinkers Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama", Syracuse Peace Council's Peace newsletter (Jan. '09: #780), p.7.

DATE: Thu, 15 Jan 2009
SIZE: 2.46 MB
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Huey: A Memory (1942-1989)

written 4 POCC 1/15/09 Huey P. Newton's name, and more importantly, his history of resistance and struggle, is little more than a mystery for many younger people in their 20's. The name and works of a third rate rapper is more familiar to the average Black youth, and that's hardly surprising given the failure of the public school system. For the public school system is invested in ignorance, and Huey P. Newton was a rebel -- and more, a Black Revolutionary. Inspired by the civil rights movement and the violent attacks on Blacks trying to vote, Huey felt a bolder, more radical stance was needed. At the age of 24, he co-founded the Black Panther Party, and the group expanded by leaps and bounds.  Begun in Oct. 1966, in 3 years it had grown to over 40 chapters and branches across the country, with an international section in Algiers, North Africa. Dedicated to the principles of Black self-defense and Black freedom, the Party became the foremost radical group of the era, with a wealth of supporters and enemies. Chief among enemies was the US government, which, in the words of the FBI's head, J. Edgar Hoover, considered it "the greatest threat to national security." For many thousands of Black youth, the rebelliousness of the Party spoke to their spirits more truly than did the peaceful resistance represented by Dr. Martin Luther King. Huey was not a pacifist, and neither were millions of Black people. But Huey, for all his brilliance, flair and resolve, was only human, and as the saying goes, 'to err is human.'  Under attack from without and within, the party made missteps that contributed to it demise by the early 1980's. But it is the best of Huey P. Newton that survives -- the bold soldier, the Minister of Defense, the thinker and writer -- who gave his best to the Black Freedom movement; who inspired millions of others to stand. --(c) 1/15/09 maj

DATE: Mon, 12 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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Death In A Cell

36 HOURS: Death in a Cell1/12/09 Mumia Abu-Jamal The strangulation death of 19 year old Ronnie L. White in a jail cell in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Maryland, after 36 hours confinement has confronted Ron Harris, the teenager's father.A month ago Harris told reporters, "it's been six months, and still nobody can tell me who killed my son or what happened leading up to his death." Harris added, "I want to know why there is still so much secrecy in this case and why, after all this time, I still don't have answers."And despite the empanelment of a county  grand jury looking into the case, Harris still has no answers, for the grand jury disbanded without bringing any indictments.Community groups, from the People's Coalition for Police Accountability, Cas de Maryland, and the Princes George's County of the NAACP have protested the death of Ronnie l. White, and braved the bitter December winds to gather together to demand a true, fair and impartial investigation into his death, and the prosecutions of all involved.That's because  White  died 36 hours after his arrest in connection with the death of a Prince George's county cop, who was hit by a car allegedly driven by White.White's father is left with little more than questions after the events of June 2008. Ron Harris says, "My son  died in solidarity confinement in a jail. They knew who was working in the unit and where he was that day. The doors were locked, and only a few people had keys. Yet, after all this time, they say they don't have enough evidence to know who did it? Why not?"Community groups smell a cover up.For more info: call 301-779-7432 or email : fightpolicebrutalityinpg@gmail.com    maj--@'09    {Source:  Thomas-Lester, Avis, "Father Seeks Resolution months After Son Dies", washingtonpost.com, Tues., Dec. 23, 2008, B02}.

DATE: Thu, 08 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.45 MB
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James Main, Jr

DATE: Thu, 08 Jan 2009
SIZE: 1.65 MB
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Bombing For Moderates

DATE: Thu, 25 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.49 MB
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EARTHA KITT -- (1928-2008)

For generations, the name, Eartha Kitt, was synonymous with sexy, sultry, and outspoken.In an industry where careers can sometimes be measured in minutes, Eartha Kitt was the real thing, for quite a while; dancer, singer, actress, and on occasion, a comedian.Since the tender age of 14, she worked the stage, and for nearly 7 decades, she left her indelible imprint by her work on the big screen, TV, and on recordings.On Jan. 26, 1928 she was born in South Carolina as Eartha Mae Kitt.She danced, sang, and acted her way into the hearts of millions.In 1968, she dared speak out against the Vietnam War, when the war was raging at it's hottest, and was both blacklisted and hounded for doing so. That's because she spoke at a photo op at the White House in the face of First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson (wife of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson). For daring to speak her mind at the heart of the empire, and for denouncing an Imperial war, the media and the state tried to 'disappear' her. She had to go abroad to find her freedom of speech, where she remained for nearly a decade.For those who want to see her as a seductive chanteuse, the 1958 film, St. Louis Blues, starring Nat King Cole, Ruby Dee, Pearl Bailey and the gospel great, Mahalia Jackson, is a great source. For a slightly comic turn, see her as an amorous entrepreneurial cougar on the hunt for a young Eddie Murphy in the 1992 film Boomerang starring Halle Berry as the principal love interest.Although she was known as the quintessential sex kitten for her acting, her public outspokenness came at quite a cost. Her comings, goings, doings and sayings were tracked by both the FBI and the CIA.She moved through life with an intelligence, wit and nerve that made her distinctive and unforgettable.Eartha Mae Kitt was 80. --(c) '08 maj[Source:African Arts and Letters, eds, Appiah, Kwame Anthony and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., (Phila., PA: Running Press, 2004.

DATE: Mon, 22 Dec 2008
SIZE: 2.02 MB
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Inheriting an Empire

DATE: Sat, 20 Dec 2008
SIZE: 0.42 MB
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JR of POCC Interviews Mumia

DATE: Sat, 20 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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Somalia Woes of peril of Intervention

DATE: Mon, 15 Dec 2008
SIZE: 9.44 MB
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Deregulation Nation

DATE: Sat, 13 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.76 MB
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Politics of the Present

DATE: Sun, 07 Dec 2008
SIZE: 0.54 MB
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Message to December 6 Philadelphia Rally

DATE: Sun, 07 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.08 MB
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Message to PDC Holiday Event for Class War Prisoners

DATE: Sun, 07 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.90 MB
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False Freedom

DATE: Sun, 07 Dec 2008
SIZE: 2.06 MB
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Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

DATE: Wed, 03 Dec 2008
SIZE: 1.08 MB
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A Secret Recession?

DATE: Sat, 29 Nov 2008
SIZE: 2.18 MB
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More Money for Masters None for You

DATE: Tue, 25 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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Blames the Takers Not the Makers

Blames the Takers Not the Makers

DATE: Tue, 25 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.70 MB
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Masks of Empire

DATE: Sun, 23 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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Miriam Makeba The Great

DATE: Tue, 18 Nov 2008
SIZE: 7.43 MB
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Mumia Interview with JR Block Report Radio re: Election/Obama

Mumia Interview with JR Block Report Radio re: Election/Obamawww.blockreportradio.com

DATE: Sun, 16 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.80 MB
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Bailing Out the Boys

DATE: Thu, 13 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.87 MB
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African Views on U.S. Presidential Campaign

DATE: Thu, 13 Nov 2008
SIZE: 2.08 MB
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When The Dragons Come Home

DATE: Thu, 06 Nov 2008
SIZE: 1.81 MB
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A Day of Days

DATE: Thu, 06 Nov 2008
SIZE: 2.27 MB
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The Meaning of Victory

DATE: Sun, 26 Oct 2008
SIZE: 2.56 MB
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Free the Atenco 14

DATE: Sun, 26 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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Socialism for Some

Socialism for Some

DATE: Thu, 23 Oct 2008
SIZE: 2.05 MB
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Clash of Titans GM Chrysler Merger

DATE: Thu, 23 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.50 MB
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Time for Troy Davis is Now

DATE: Tue, 21 Oct 2008
SIZE: 2.07 MB
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Of Bubbles and Busts

DATE: Wed, 08 Oct 2008
SIZE: 2.05 MB
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Behind the Money Crash

For millions of people, the economic crash and crisis seems almost mystical. What happened?  Why did it happen?  How did it happen? It seems more complex than it really is.  That's because the corporate media is, more often than not, a contributor to confusion, rather than a source of clarity. The media thrives on conflict, chaos and controversy.That's why I found in the {British} left press what I've never seen in the corporate media: the text of a 2002 open letter from U.S. financier, Warren Buffett to his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.  Buffett, one of the richest people in the U.S., warned his shareholders to avoid 'derivatives'. which he described as "time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them, and the economic system." Buffett explained that derivatives are financial agreements for the exchange of money at some future date, which can be 20 years or more. What makes them dangerous is they're collateralized, or guaranteed, based on often faulty reference points.  For example, derivatives may be traded saying  in 10 years, GM stocks will double its 2004 value, and if it does in 2014, the instrument buyer will receive say, $10 million.  In many cases, before the contract is ripe, not a penny has changed hands, yet some companies assigned these instruments a value, recorded them on their books as assets, when in fact, they had no real value. Remember Enron? On paper, they were rolling in dough.  In fact, however, they were rolling in paper -- for, at any time, if they hit a snag, they had no real cash to cover corporate debts -- it was on the books, but not in the banks. Again, Buffett explained six years ago why these instruments should be avoided, writing to his shareholders: The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear.Knowledge of how dangerous they are has already permeated the electricity and gas businesses, in which the eruption of major troubles caused the use of  derivatives to diminish dramatically.  Elsewhere, however, the derivatives  business continues to expand unchecked. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts.* In closing, Buffett warned, "derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that......are potentially lethal." (c) 10/8/08 Mumia Abu-Jamal Source: Labour & Trade Union Review (No. 191: Oct. 2008), pp.16-18

DATE: Wed, 08 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.70 MB
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Markets On Fire

DATE: Wed, 08 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.60 MB
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Jericho at Ten

    Ona Move!     I greet you all who've gathered here today, at the 10th anniversary of the Founding of Jericho-the Movement to free all political prisoners -- and also to remember the life and work of an extraordinary sista -- the late, great, Safiya Bukhari.     When she was here, all we could see was her in motion, working, leafleting, explaining, organizing -- all of these things -- ceaselessly!     She was  a quiet, intense, ubiquitous presence who seemed like a force of nature -- a cloud, a ray of summer sun, a force that would be there -- for quite a while, if not forever.     But, in a blink, she was gone -- and only then did we recognize her strength, her iron will -- for with her gone, we felt a great void.     And all of our movements suffered from her loss.     But her passing shouldn't immobilize us; it should inspire us!     For, though many of us thought of her as a Superwoman, she was, to quote Nietzsche, "Human, All Too Human."     She laughed, she cried; she got angry, she was joyous; she got tired, she was energetic -- she was brilliant, and she made mistakes.  But what made her remarkable was her commitment to all Political Prisoners (PP) and Prisoners of War (POW).     On this, the 10th anniversary of its founding, let us all, in the spirit of Safiya, work to rebuild Jericho into a true social force.     We owe it not just to Safiya Bukhari, but to ourselves.     We owe it to our brothers and sisters in Bablyon's dungeons, like the MOVE 9, Jalil Muntaquin, Ruchell Magee, Russell 'Maroon' Shoatz, Hugo 'Yogi' Pinnell, Jamal Hart, and many other brothers and sistas, from various movements -like Leonard Peltier,  the still -caged Puerto Rican independentistas -- and beyond.     We must salute and join the efforts of Ashanti Alston and Kazi Toure, to help Jericho grow into a true liberation movement.  Ona Move!Mumia Abu-Jamal (c) 10/7/08   Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 06 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.51 MB
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Scare Tactics

With the passage of the Wall St. bailout bill, a major line has been crossed in U.S. economic and political history. The rulers can do anything, as long as they leaven it with fear. Just like the Iraq War authorization, with enough fear Congress will roll over, and say, "Uncle." And there was an avalanche of fear.  The corporate media sold oceans of fear and dread, just as it sold facile patriotism, the Iraq War and the so-called "War on Terror." Using individual tales of fallen 401(k)s, or of a few firings, they successfully insinuated that unless the bailout passed, you might loseyour job, or your 401(k) might turn to dust. They ran the banner headlines of the drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and scared legislators into flipping their prior no votes into yea votes. Here's the deal.  What we've seen from both major political parties is the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands in history.  Indeed, it is privatization run amok. It is a bailout, pure and simple, that the media and its masters want you to call a 'rescue', but who is rescued? You? C'mon. Does  a government that facilitated the loss of millions of jobs; that scuttled public education; that gave away the public treasury to Wall St. bankers; that sold a long war based on lies; that allowed millions of homeowners to fall into foreclosures, give a damn about you? A government that cared about its people wouldn't have led them to this disaster. Think of it this way: the same government that fought for months to privatize social security, or in other words, to invest peoples' retirement funds into stocks, came up with this bailout plan. If the government was successful, some 40 million people (those 65 and over) would've been flat broke.  What they couldn't do one way, they did another, for the economic hole that another trillion dollars will blow into the deficit spells danger to this project. If you elect a government based on its rhetoric of anti-government, of deregulation, of the 'blind hand of the market', you get economic carnage, crony capitalism, and misery for millions. Moreover, what you have is the privatization of the State, by its rental by private capital. For, in both houses of Congress, in both major parties, we find pols who have received tens of thousands of dollars from Wall St.  Can anyone deny that this money donated to Congress was wasted?  (By 'wasted', I mean to those who made those donations -- not to average Americans). As the saying goes, 'you get what you pay for.' It might also be said that you get what you vote for. (c) 10/4/08  Mumia Abu-Jamal Note: Check out www.opensecrets.org for data on Congress for sale.

DATE: Wed, 01 Oct 2008
SIZE: 2.02 MB
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The Fall of the House of Capital?

By the time you read this the $700 billion bailout will have been old news, one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history.But it will not heal that which ails the nation as it trips and stumbles like a drunken sailor on shore leave.The reasons are simple.For the problems are systemic, built into the rapacious nature of the machinery humming all around us.  The Rube Goldberg-like contraption of democratic forms at the service of the financial services industry is a bottomless maw, a gaping mouth that is never sated.Why was there no alarm when millions of people lost their homes to foreclosures made inevitable by variable mortgage rates?  When millions lost manufacturing jobs to low paying service gigs?  When living standards crumbled, and when take home pay fell to 1973 levels?Where was the alarm?There was no alarm -- for this was the 'blind hand of the market' at work, the leveling way of globalism, the new world order moving through, preparing the way for the triumph of capitalism uber alles.Few were the politicians who gave voice to this immense social suffering. Fewer still used their power to try to assuage their pain, for they too were drunk on the wine of globalism.But when the ripples spread upwards, from the foreclosed homes to the foreclosing banks -and from the banks to investment houses, Congress stirred from their drunken stupor, and rang alarm bells loudest."It's an economic 9/11!", some bellowed; "It's a financial tsunami!", yelled others.When Americans were hoodwinked into ruinous sub-prime loans, and millions were faced with foreclosures, where was the alarm?More importantly, where was the help for those who were endangered?Nowhere.  Nowhere.If they helped them the present economic crisis would've been mitigated.Instead, we're in a situation where a scam artist sets up shop in a street-corner, playing a fraudulent 3-card monty hustle, and along comes a cop.  The cop, instead of rousting the scam artist, rifles the pockets of every passerby, and delivers the stolen loot to the scammer.The scam artist, of course, is the financial investment houses; the cop, of course, is Congress -- and you are the passerby, hustled and robbed by both of them.Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote, 160 years ago, that the State was but the executive for capitalist.  After what we are all seeing, who can doubt it?The Empire is crumbling.10/1/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 01 Oct 2008
SIZE: 1.38 MB
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A Time for Union Power (the case of Harrison & Ruffin ILWU)

It's been over a year since two members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 10, were harassed, beaten and busted while trying to call their union rep on a cell phone.The men, Aaron Harrison and Jason Ruffin, were beaten by maritime security and West Sacramento cops, for the fake offense of parking -- while Black.They are days away from trial in Yolo County, California on bogus "resisting arrest" charges, really cover charges--to cover up the fact that they were racially profiled for the high crimes and misdemeanor of being two young Black men, sitting in a car, on the docks.It would've been wrong, and just as vile, if it were 2 young guys who were unaffiliated or even unemployed.But the fact is, they are affiliated with a union with a long and proud history of resistance on behalf, not just of ILWU members, but to the working class, and social  justice movements worldwide.And if the ILWU will fight for others, they certainly will fight for themselves!And they are rightfully demanding that all charges be dropped against their ILWU brothers Ruffin and Harrison --not some--all!They will come out in the hundreds for them -- because they understand the old saying, "An injury to one, is an injury to all!"For that -- for their fighting spirit -- for making unity a real part of the union -- they are to be commended.With unity like that unions can expand, and begin to transform this  country from the casino and political whorehouse for Wall St. that it has become.Free Bros. Ruffin & Harrison!An Injury to One Is An Injury to All!10/1/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 27 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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The Fear Bomb Again

If Congress has shown us anything, it is that when they are scared, they'll do anything.Seven years ago, in the twilight after 9/11 and in the wake of the anthrax attacks, Congress passed sweeping authorizations to the White House for war on a whim, and signed the so-called Patriot Act in record time.Some members admitted that they didn't even read the bill before voting "aye."One man, a prominent and even legendary congressman admitted, "We were afraid; they told us we had to pass the Patriot Act -- so we did it."Fear.That same dank, semi-sweet smell is radiating through the halls of Congress, thicker than the clouds of cigar smoke.This time it's financial fear. Politicians are once again dancing to the tune of others, to the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street, who need another bailout, bringing it to nearly a trillion bucks ($1,000,000,000,000!) in less than a month!And just like last time, Congress is being suckered into coughing up the public's money--quickly--or else!The Iraq War was a shell game that exploded into a debacle.Remember how the media initially tried to link anthrax attacks to Al Qaeda? When the source is nailed to an apparently mad American scientist (question: was he really mad, or a scientist following government orders?), it's too late.  The damage is done. The bills are passed. Powers are transferred.  Hundreds of billions are spent and wasted?  Right?Congress has defied the common knowledge that we learn from our mistakes; because here we go again.The administration yells, "Boo!", and Congress answers, "How much do you want?"This is not to suggest (to paraphrase former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt) that the only thing to be feared is fear.There really is a disaster looming in the financial world.And Congress knew about it years ago (or certainly should have).  Why else would they've passed the amended Bankruptcy Act several years ago?  Why would they pass a bill making it harder to file bankruptcies--unless they saw a tidal wave of it coming down the river?They knew it was coming, as certainly as autumn follows summer. Congress is poised to, once again, transfer public wealth to  private businesses, in a mad dash to re- wrap bad loans as new instruments, so that these securities could be peddled to new buyers. Who'll buy? Will Wall Street?  Don't bet on it.  Will you?  Probably not.Perhaps China will buy up these new instruments --but don't hold your breath! 9/23/08 (c) Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 27 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.69 MB
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Empire on E

        In a matter of months, a new man will take the oath of office for the presidency.     Whether he is the oldest in history, or the first Black one, of one thing we may be certain.     He will be hobbled by a sea of red ink, and therefore bereft of most of the resources to bring his campaign promises to reality.     For as the fires continue to rage throughout the financial markets, they will turn tax returns into smoke.     Don't expect any of them to tell you this, but you can rest assured that all of them know it.  And if the office of the Imperial presidency will be strapped for resources, what of average folks?     As an old saying (sorta) goes, 'stuff rolls downhill.'     As businesses tighten up, credit tightens up, and spending tightens up.     This economy (as even the Mad Prince Bush has urged) relies on consumption, or shopping, to function.  Anything that weakens this process has a whiplash effect throughout the economy.     Earlier this year, American financier George Soros announced, shortly after the failure of the economic talks at Davos, Switzerland, that the U.S. economy has reached a new stage marking an end of the era.  "The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom", Soros explained, adding, "It's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency."     Soros made these observations in January of 2008.     Things have obviously gotten considerably worse since then.  The economy is increasingly coming under state control, and social wealth is being aggregated to protect private capital.     What created this crisis was rampant crony capitalism, and unless that is addressed by deep structural transformation, these problems will only worsen.     That is virtually inevitable.     Just as the White House saddled the next administration with disasters in foreign policy, they have effectively stolen the public purse.     So, ultimately, it won't matter who gets elected, because he'll be too broke to do anything.9/24/08 (c) Mumia Abu-Jamal  [Source: Landler, Mark, "U.S. Policies Evoke Scorn at Davos: Fed Caved In to the Markets (Or Maybe it Dawdled), Critics Say, "  New York Times, Thurs., Jan. 24, 2008, p.C9]

DATE: Sat, 27 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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Jury of Peers

DATE: Wed, 24 Sep 2008
SIZE: 2.32 MB
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From Deregulation to National Guarantor: In a Blink

DATE: Wed, 17 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.70 MB
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Silent Riots on Wall Street

DATE: Thu, 11 Sep 2008
SIZE: 2.18 MB
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Obama & The Bubba Vote

DATE: Sat, 06 Sep 2008
SIZE: 2.26 MB
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Beating Back Batson (Batson v. Kentucky U.S. Supreme Court 1986)

    For those who read court opinions, few can ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's 1986 Batson v. Kentucky decision.     Essentially, it prohibited the State from removing Black jurors for racial reasons.  It re-wrote the rules from the Swain v. Alabama ( 1965) case, where the court required systematic discrimination over a number of cases, over a period of years.  Needless to say, such a challenge was clearly beyond the resources of most people, and relatively few were made, and even fewer successful.  It is hard to resist the suspicion that this was merely judicial lip service to a principle that was easily ignored, in the breach.     For, it took over a generation, over 20 years, for Swain to be overruled by Batson, and now, Batson is beginning to bear an eerie resemblance to its unworkable parentage, because courts have been loathe to grant relief, and have either created new rules, or simply ignored its dictates.     We see this at work recently in a number of cases, among them Com. v. (Robert) Cook, WL 284060 (July 24, 2008).  In this case, the DA used 74% of his strikes to remove 14 Black jurors.  Incredibly, the Phila. Court of Common Pleas initially found that even this didn't constitute a prima facie case of discrimination. Later, it found a prima facie case, but ruled that the DA put forth sufficient race-neutral reasons for exclusion, and therefore not a violation of Batson.     Recently, the PA Supreme Court agreed, even though the DA couldn't recall why he removed 2 Black jurors -- or, in other words, couldn't articulate a justification.     Now remember -- Batson states that the improper removal of one juror violates the constitution.  One -- not 14.     But here's the kicker.  The DA in Mr. Cook's case made a video training tape, where he taught his fellow prosecutors how to violateBatson - and how to lie about it to judges.     but perhaps the then prosecutor, Jack McMahon, didn't need to work that hard, for courts would take up the slack.  For where the DA can't remember a reason, the court will invent one.     This is especially egregious in this case, for the man who wrote the opinion was the DA when McMahon made the tapes, but now sits as Chief Justice of the court.  Can you spell 'conflict of interest?'  Did he recuse himself?  (What do you think?)     For over a decade, Pennsylvania courts have painted McMahon as the bad guy, a kind of rogue prosecutor, and most of his convictions have been reversed (except Cook's), but McMahon wasn't, and never should've been, the issue.  For he was simply describing the pattern and practice of the office, and training his colleagues in techniques used over years of trials.     Mr. McMahon was putting into words what DAs did to get convictions.  Does that mean his office sought a fair and impartial jury? In McMahon's words, " Well, that's ridiculous. You're not trying to get that."  In fact, McMahon explained, their jobs were to get the most "unfair" jury possible.  And, in many cases, that meant getting as few Blacks to serve on the jury as possible.     Batson is as empty as Swain was, for if they don't want to give it up, any reason will do.     They proclaim ideals of fairness that bear no relationship to the real process happening daily in courtrooms all across America.     That would be, to quote McMahon, "ridiculous." -- (c) '08 maj

DATE: Fri, 05 Sep 2008
SIZE: 2.36 MB
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Items off the Table: (Presidental Speeches and the Economy)

    As the national political conventions fade into the fog of our short-term memory, few items seem to have penetrated the made-for-TV presentations.     We remember a few snippets (if we're lucky), a few disparate images, an emotional impression, perhaps.     I'm willing to bet that few of us remember any meaningful discussion of the real economic problems faced by the U.S.  That's because none of the major presidential candidates have even the remotest solutions to the economic problems plaguing the country, for both are ardent advocates of globalization -- and globalization ain't the solution -- it's the problem.     For globalization emerged as a tool of U.S. economic power to dominate the world in the post-Cold War era. It was designed to open up foreign markets to U.S. and Western businesses, using the illusion of "free trade" to crowbar into local and national economies.     Chalmers Johnson, in his 2000 book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of Empire (N.Y.: Owl Books)  puts forth precisely this thesis with clarity and conviction.  He illustrates how much of this could be traced to former president Richard Nixon's abolition of the post-World War Bretton Woods agreements, which pegged world currencies to the dollar, and the dollar to U.S. gold reserves.  From that day on, economies became free floating, and whole new industry was born -- finance capital, or the business of speculating in, and profiting from, the  moneys of others.  Such  a system, especially when wedded with the protectionism that prevailed in East Asia for some 50 years, created havoc around the world, where foreign wealth destabilizes local markets, for the quick buck.     A byproduct of this new globalized economy was the hollowing out of American industries, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the failure of America's domestic economy.     Johnson cites the work of City College of New York historian, Judith Stein, for examples of how U.S. industrial policy became a wrecking ball to Black communities both in the South and North, industries abroad was a keystone of U.S. strategic policy, and encouraging steel imports became a tool for maintaining vital alliances.  The nation's leaders by and large ignored the resulting conflict between Cold War and domestic goals" { p.195}.     While presidential candidates argue over taxes on capital gains, millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet.  Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes, due to lost jobs or foreclosures.     It is a globalized economy for capital, high finance, and speculation, but it can hardly be considered one for working people.  For them, a hundred barriers bloom, making it harder than ever to chase jobs.     Both major candidates are deaf to their plight, and thus are ill-disposed to address it, much less solve it. --(c) '08 maj [Source: Johnson's Blowback.; Goodman, Peter S., "U.S. and Global Economies Slipping in Unison," New York Times (Sunday), 8/24/08, pp.1, 12.]

DATE: Thu, 04 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.91 MB
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Power to the Peaceful: 10th Anniversary Message

DATE: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
SIZE: 1.56 MB
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The McCain Gambit: The Politics of Gender

If you ever needed proof that politics is a kind of war, the next-day's selection of Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, to join the presidential campaign ticket of Sen. John McCain should erase all doubts.Putting aside the political positions of Palin, her choice was a transparent attempt to exploit disaffected women voters, who felt burned by the decision of the Democratic nominee to choose someone other than Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-NY) for the number two spot.But transparent doesn't necessarily mean ineffective.For is Sen. Barack Obama's (D. -IL) campaign breaks new historic ground, Sen. McCain is trying to do so as well, by nominating the first GOP woman for the second chair in the nation's history.Notice I said 'first GOP woman' for the post, for Democrats will never forget how former Vice President Walter Mondale in June of 1984 named Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential pick.  In November of that year, Ronald Reagan swept 49 states in a landslide.Now, McCain is no Reagan, and 2008 isn't 1984, but in the 24 years since then women have emerged as pivotal players in the elections.Will Palin prove helpful to McCain's chances?  Time will tell.But, where Sen. Obama opted for a safe bet, Sen McCain opted for boldness. Is it bold enough - or too bold?Again, time will tell.Not since (the first) George Bush chose an obscure Senator, Dan Quayle, as his running mate has there been a greater stretch of years between the two sides of the ticket.Bush was 23 years older than Quayle; McCain is some 28 years older than Palin.Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but McCain, at 72, ain't no spring chicken.  Palin, at 44, could well become the next president of the United States, in the blink of an eye.(c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.07 MB
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The Nomination

From the maelstrom of ambition, politics and power, something new in symbol emerged from the Mile High City; Denver.In a national political convention that was, until then, undistinguished, few saw the political sleight-of-hand that led Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's bitterest rival, New York's Democratic Sen. Hillary R, Clinton to seize the moment to move the convention to suspend the rules, and vote by acclamation that Obama be named the Party's nominee for President.It was a political master-stroke, that left some, Black and white, Latino and Asian, male and female, in tears.In that one, deft move, history turned on a dime, and a new card entered the shifting deck of politics.As a youth, I recalled the thrill when the names of Channing Phillips, and Julian Bond, were entered into nomination, but these were symbolic acts, meant to garner less than a dozen votes (if that), with no possibility of more.This is a different thing altogether, and speaks to a singular moment in American politics.To be sure, a nomination is not an election, and the months to come promise to be hard fought and bitter indeed.But it is a nomination, and marks a moment that this country has never seen before.That is the essence of history.--(c) '08 maj

DATE: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.63 MB
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Fear The Engine of Politics

Although little discussed by major political figures, there is an acidic undertow in the eternal sea of politics.This subterranean issue is immigration, especially from Mexico, and the Latin South.Such voices suffuse the airwaves and the blogosphere, and can reach a fever pitch.At their core is a profound fear, of a dark, brown flood, washing away all that went before of America.As long as there has been a United States (and, in fact, a good while longer), such a fear has found expression in the American psyche.  The first Congress rushed to pass a Naturalization Act that limited citizenship to white people.  Law books are thick with precedents deciding who is (or isn't), white,  and by such a judgment, millions of people were turned away from the U.S. because they hailed from India, China, Syria, Palestine, or even Turkey.  Many such cases shifted like tectonic plates, using various definitions of whiteness, to accept, or reject, a given applicant.The point is, people that were determined nonwhite one year, could be found white a few years later, either by the shift of a vote, or the change of a judge.And, despite the Sturm und Drang, despite the hyperventilation on the net, today's browns are tomorrow's whites, for how could it be otherwise when millions of Latin Americans  hail from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe.Of course, there are millions of Latin Americans who are descendants of African and Native American tribes.In the early 20th century, Italian, Jewish and similar immigrants were derided as threatening, foreign sources of a kind of contagion.  Their languages and customs stirred up fear and profound xenophobia among American nativists.  Indeed, as the movie "Gangs of New York" revealed, U.S. born Irish fought tooth and nail against immigrant Irish, proof, if an is needed, of the illusions of nationality.That fear that throbs beneath the radar of race and politics is long standing and cyclical.Like that of yore, this too will pass.(c) '08 maj

DATE: Wed, 27 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.52 MB
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Obama Biden Change? Not so Much

   The choice of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as the Vice Presidential pick of Sen. Barack Obama (D.IL) and his presidential campaign challenges the central theme of the run, and suggests that the constant critique of inexperience is finding its target.     For, no other analysis makes sense.        Biden is a likable guy, but his past presidential runs have had all the oomph of a ham sandwich. He has been a Washington insider for several generations!     He hails from the tiny state of Delaware -- with perhaps 3 electoral votes.  As a state that has been safely in the Democratic column since 1992, it brings Obama no more that he needs to corral the electoral votes required to prevail.     Also, Biden, for all of his vaunted foreign policy experience, voted for the Iraq War, despite all the evidence to the contrary.  If Obama's star has risen because of his anti-Iraq War rhetoric, how does it help to choose a neo liberal hawk as his number two?     More to the point, Biden doesn't close Obama's perilous Hillary-gap, that of white women amped about the opportunity to make history.  That's why I wrongly suspected he'd select Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas, to give added oomph to the campaign of change.     But, in opting for Biden, Obama chooses not too much change (or more change than many Americans are able to tolerate).     For Biden is as much a part of the Washington establishment as the Washington monument.     Biden is a central character in the so-called Washington consensus, the brain trust that found Iraq war acceptable, that supported globalization, that lives off of the cream of corporate largess, while the average person lives a life of quiet desperation, in the hung for rent, for food, gas, for a better education.     Change has never seemed so much the same.     --(c) '08 maj

DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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68 Then and Now (DNC and democratic protests)

    Ona Move!     Thank you, Re-Create '68, for inviting me to join your efforts in Denver, to practice real democracy in the shadows of the Empire.     When I think of the DNC, I'm reminded of the words of the great French writer, Voltaire, who, when speaking of the Holy Roman Empire, quipped it "was neither holy,  nor Roman, nor an empire."     The Democratic National Committee is neither democratic, nor national, nor a committee.  If it were democratic why would it reject the voices of the people, who protest against its rule?  If it were national, it wouldn't be driven by imperialist and globalist corporate interests.  (Let us not forget William J. Clinton - perhaps the best known globalist (NAFTA?) in the country).  And if it were truly a committee then anybody could join it - not just the political puppets of corporate power.     In 1968, a Democratic mayor named Daley unleashed brutal and vicious cops on people who dared protest against the Democratic Party's support for the atrocities in Vietnam.  Those young people were allegedly protected under the free speech 'guarantees' of the Constitution. Instead, they got the crap beat out them.     It was imperial war then - and it's imperial war now, and only the names and faces have changed (some names - there's still a Mayor Daley in Chicago).     In fact, things are more repressive today than they were in '68, for then, anti-war activists and students could at least march through the streets.  They got their asses whipped, but at least they marched.  Today, city governments have built cages for protest.  So much for respect for the constitution!     Now, as in LA 2000, you can get your ass whipped -- in a cage!     That is what American democracy looks like in 2008.     For another idea, look at what Pakistan did a few days ago.  When the head-of-state violated the constitution, the people took to the streets.  When he brought out the troops, they continued to protest.  And they demanded impeachment!     There, democracy forced a dictator to resign!     There, democracy marches - ona move!     Here, democracy is in cages, hidden in the boondocks, while alleged representatives sell their souls to the highest corporate bidder, to further the interests of imperial war.     Here, politicians take the label of 'democrat', hire the cops to beat you, hire the media to slander you, so that they can send your children to war for oil pipelines, or to protect foreign despots and princes.     Here, democracy is on life-support, while paid-for politicians give mouth to  mouth to imperialism, rampant globalization and the ravaging of the poor.     Our revered ancestor Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without demand.  It never has and never will."  Your protests are in that great spirit of resistance.     We only need more!     Ona Move!  Long Live John Africa!     I thank you all!     Mumia Abu-Jamal     (c) '08 maj 

DATE: Tue, 19 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.72 MB
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Pakistani Democracy and Ours

    With news of the abrupt resignation of Pakistani general-cum-president, Pervez Musharraf, comes the stark realization that, in Islamabad, democracy means the power of the people over that of a dictator.     It also means that Pakistanis so believe in their Constitution that they were willing to confront a military dictator who violated it.     Musharraf, buffeted by the bellows of opposition, chose to switch, rather than fight.  He knew  that parliamentary opposition parties were intent on impeaching him for violation of the national constitution.     They protested in the streets from the elites to the poor, and Musharraf threw them into jails.  Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated under suspicious circumstances.     Some 7,000 miles away, another president violates the constitution at will, and breaks both statutory and international laws on torture, secret prisons, renditions, illegal detentions, wiretaps -- and on and on. But,of course, in this other democracy, the constitution is an historical artifact, held under special glass in a vacuum of a special gas, something to be worshipped from a distance, while violated daily.     And the national legislature? They favor false stability over all things -- and when the party in opposition recently gained the majority, they immediately announced impeachment was "off the table."     In a nation based on precedent, this means every president -- from now on- can feel free to violate the constitution at will.  He - or she - can go to war on a whim - or lies.  She may order her subordinates to torture, to kidnap, to break any law with impunity, and be sure that she is protected by precedent.     The political classes have decided that the only avenue left for the people is every four years or so, during an election where millionaires are the candidates.  In the meantime, anything goes.     Right?     In the US, democracy is a word that we throw out to justify armed invasions and illegal violations of international law -- it has no intrinsic meaning.     In Pakistan, democracy is thriving and alive.  It marched in the streets, it spoke in the courts, and it ran in the actions of Parliament, demanding impeachment.     In democracy, it seems, Americans have a great deal to learn. --(c) '08 maj

DATE: Mon, 18 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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The Foreign Policy of Fools

The Foreign Policy of Fools It is impossible to look at recent US diplomacy without discovering that it is one based more on whim and fancy, than reason. That's because much of what passes for diplomacy and foreign policy is driven by the market, which is ultimately, the only true bipartisan feature of the nation's politics. The market buys politicians by the bushel, and when they are slick enough to gain office, they serve corporate interests first, second, and always. When you think about it, isn't this a perversity of democracy? In Raj Patel's brilliant new book,  Stuffed & Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System (Brooklyn, NY: Melville House Publ., 2008) we find a telling quotation from Robert Strauss, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, describing his relationship with the agricultural business giant, Archer Daniels Midland.  Speaking of the company's former chairman, Strauss said, "Dwayne Andreas just owns me. But I mean that in a nice way" (pp.112-13). If you visited the nation's capital, you'd doubtless find hundreds of men and women who could quite effortlessly replace ADM with Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton ad infinitum. And it is precisely on behalf of such interests that foreign policy is made.  It's not, and has never been, democracy.  It's not freedom.  It's none of these things.  It's what's good for business. This may seem a hard truth, but it is the truth. The Iraq war was a pipe dream of the energy corporations, and opposed by more Americans than almost any war in generations.  Who did the politicians listen to -- the people? -- or the corporations?     The impact on US foreign policy  and democracy couldn't be more pronounced, as shown by incumbent President Bush's recent visit to the Middle East.  America's closest allies essentially gave him the brush-off, and one US-supported leader, Lebanon's Prime Minister, Fuad Saniora, actually told Bush that he didn't have time to rap -- he had another, more important meeting -- with Hezbollah. Indeed, several weeks later Lebanon's Parliament voted to give more power to Hezbollah. That's one side-effect of US foreign policy; here's another. Virtually every elected forum in Pakistan has voted for the impeachment of Pakistan's so-called President (and US ally) Pervez Musharraf, the de facto dictator who locked up his opponents, tossed lawyers in jail, and removed Supreme Court judges who didn't vote his way.  Who has America supported - the dictator? -- or the People? How's this supporting democracy? Over the border in Afghanistan, the US supports what may be called a  narcocracy -- or a narco-state. The preferred US ally is a military junta (or dictatorship) which oppressed its people with violence and terror.  We have nearly a century of examples to prove this all throughout Latin America. What kind of foreign policy is this but an imperial one?  One designed to make millions of enemies, instead of a few isolated 'friends?' Mumia Abu-Jamal (c) 8/16/08=========Source: "Hezbollah Gains Power in Lebanon,"  USA Today, 8/13/08, 5A; Mr. Patel's book, Stuffed & Starved, is available at:www.mhpbooks.com

DATE: Wed, 13 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.59 MB
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A New Russia: A New Reality

The conflict between Russia and Georgia gives us some idea of things to come. It shows, more than conflicts in Eastern Europe, the extra costs of the Iraqi Imperial adventure. For America, though it would dearly love to intervene, hasn't the troops nor the material to engage the Russians on Georgia's behalf. Instead, it is relegated to the sidelines while French President Nicolas Sarkozy mediates a cease fire between the two sides, while the US issues press releases. The US media has, once again, echoed the administration line, which points Russians as the side which provoked the conflict. But most media can only do so if it ignores news reports from early August, which stated that Georgian troops attacked rebel fighters in South Ossetia, an impoverished mountainous region which won independence from Georgia after a bloody war in the early '90's. The Russian incursion also shows that the country, now flush with cash, is a far cry from the debtor nation of a decade ago. This was a demonstration as much to Georgia as it was to the world, of a new Russia, aggressive, armed and willing to enter its former territories of the Soviet era. Russian aggressiveness was made possible in part by its recent oil wealth. As a major oil power, it has profited from the rise in prices since the Iraq invasion, which sent prices soaring worldwide. The actions of one state influences the fate and actions of other states. And where was US outrage at military attacks on neighbors when Israel bombed Lebanon from coast to coast? When the Arab League begged the US to mediate peace between the two warring sides, America's Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, said what people in Lebanon were seeing weren't bombs, death and destruction, but "the birth pangs of democracy." But that was then -- this is now. Russia saw an opportunity, provided a justification; and seized it. Sound familiar? [Source: Schwirtz, Michael, "6 Die as Georgia Battles Rebel Group," Sun. New York Times, 8/3/08, p.12.] (c) 8/13/08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 10 Aug 2008
SIZE: 4.49 MB
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Goddard Commencement Speech

DATE: Sun, 10 Aug 2008
SIZE: 2.12 MB
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The Perils of Black Political Power

As we are on the eve of what may be the most powerful Black achievement in U.S. history, it would be well to examine the history of Black political leadership in this country. Most historical researchers look to the 1967 election of Carl Stokes, (1927-1996), as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio as the emergence of black political power in major American cities.  Many Blacks saw this as the beginning of an age of freedom for our people. From the 1960's to now, we most certainly have been disabused of that notion. For while black political leadership has surely been a source of pride, they have not been a source of black political power. That's because as agents of the States, they must defend the interests of the State, even when this conflicts with the interests of their people. For example, let's look at the experience of Mayor Stokes. Shortly after taking office, Stokes appointed former U.S. Army Lt.-General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. as his public safety director (a kind of super police chief).  Gen. Davis, fresh from the rigors of Vietnam, ordered 30,000 rounds of hollow point  (or dum-dum) bullets, items in violation of the laws of war. The object of his ire?  The Cleveland branch of the Black Panther Party, and a local office of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, a Panther support group. In Aug. 1970, Gen. Davis resigned from the post, and criticized Mayor Stokes for not giving him sufficient support in his battle against radicals (like the Panthers). Stokes, the more politically adroit of the two, made Davis look bad for ordering ammo which violated the Geneva Conventions, but Stokes' personal papers revealed meetings between the two men, and their agreement on dum-dums as appropriate arms to be used against Panthers. Just because he was a Black mayor, didn't mean he wasn't dedicated to destroying a Black organization.  Indeed, in times of Black uprising and mass discontent, Black mayors seem the perfect instrument of repression, for they dispel charges of racism. If Barack Obama wins the White House, it will be a considerable political achievement.  It will be made possible only by the votes of millions of whites, most especially younger voters. This does not diminish such an achievement, it just sharpens the nature of it. But Black faces in high places does not freedom make. Power is far more than presence.  It is the ability to meet people's political objectives of freedom, independence and material well-being. We are as far from those objectives as we were in 1967. 8/6/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal[Source: Nissim-Sabat, Ryan, "Panthers Set Up Shop in Cleveland," p.111; from Judson L. Jeffries, ed., COMRADES: Local History of the Black Panther Party  (Blomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2007), pp. 89-144.]

DATE: Sat, 09 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.81 MB
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"Oooh! -- Sorry About that Slavery Thing!"

Several days ago, a majority of the US House of Representatives approved a resolution apologizing for slavery.  The Senate has not yet moved on such a measure, and probably has no intention to do so. That it comes today, some 143 years after slavery was prohibited in the Constitution (notice I said 'prohibited', and not stopped, for historians and scholars have uncovered that the trade continued long thereafter, as an underground one, kind of like drugs today), gives us some idea of how deeply slavery still resides in American consciousness, and how empty such an apology is in light of all that has intervened in the century and a half since the cessation of the Civil War.It's like robbing someone, growing fat and rich on stolen wealth, and then passing that person on the street, who is now homeless, destitute and starving -- and tossing him a nickel. (Except, of course, in the case of the US House resolution, there isn't even a nickel!).As the great Black historian, J. A. Rogers taught us (especially in his Africa's Gift to America {1961} ) the wealth of America was founded on African slavery.  One need look no further than the brilliant young W.E.B. DuBois, who published his doctoral thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America: 1638-1870 (1896).    For, citing contemporary sources, DuBois quoted the following: "The number of persons engaged in the slave - trade, and the amount of capital embarked on it, exceed our powers of calculation.  The city of New York has been until of late {1862} the principal port of the world for this infamous trade..." [p. 179].Centuries of slavery, the intentional destruction of families, tribes, and nations; ripping people asunder from their religions, their clans, their spouses, children, lands and all that they knew and loved -- for centuries -- to build and enrich a nation of strangers -- who enforced the practices of slavery for a hundred years after it's supposed abolition; only to consign the grandchildren of these people to the bitter half-lives of sub-par education, poor housing, second rate health care, under/employment, the cruelties of mass incarceration and a cynical judicial and political system that endlessly engages in white supremacy (without the labels)....Yeah, a political apology should just about cover that.8/9/08 (c) Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 08 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.57 MB
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Obama Abroad

The recent world tour of freshman Sen. Barack Obama, was, by any measure, a blockbuster.The senator's trek to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France, and England was a hit, from the word go.What was more impressive, however, were the graphics.  The crowds (especially in Germany) were nothing if not spectacular.In political terms, the senator's campaign could hardly have asked for more.If it wouldn't seem to smarmy, perhaps they ought to give thanks to the Republican candidate, John McCain, who harped on Obama's lack of travel to Iraq for weeks.What happens?Obama goes to Iraq, and the U.S. supported Iraqi puppet, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, essentially endorses Obama's timetable to remove the bulk of US troops.McCain sought airtime in ethnic eateries, or geriatric golf greens.His comments attacking Obama seemed, by contrast, petulant and small.It was, quite frankly, stunning to see world leaders fall under his sway, as if the election were a mere formality.When he met Germany's Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, one could only flashback to lame duck President Bush's impolitic grasp of her shoulders, which forced her to grimace and gasp at the invasion of her personal and political space.Right wingers have, predictably, attacked his tour on numerous counts.  "He thinks he's already president", some said.  "He's arrogant", said others.  Still others opined that he was 'inexperienced.'If his global tour had one flaw, it was that it was too successful, for it cast an unflattering light on the incumbent Bush Administration, which is, to put it lightly, far from popular in the world today.  This, of course, also impacts McCain's campaign.Whether he helped his domestic campaign is questionable.What is not is the palpable hunger of many countries for a change from what has been.7/27/08   (c)  '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 06 Aug 2008
SIZE: 0.12 MB
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MAJ Comment on 3rd Circuit Ruling

DATE: Wed, 06 Aug 2008
SIZE: 1.33 MB
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August 8th

For most people, August 8th is merely a reference to the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Because of the sheer passage of time, most people have forgotten August 8th, 1978, when police in Philadelphia unleashed a blitzkrieg against members of the MOVE Organization. There, police fired hundreds of rounds into the house, fired tons of water, and after people were flushed from their house, several were beaten on the street. The cops who beat one man, Delbert Africa, for example, were ordered acquitted by a local judge, despite videotape! When MOVE members went to trial, 9 men and women were railroaded on dubious charges for killing a cop who almost certainly was the subject of so-called friendly fire. The city of Philadelphia made sure that this question couldn't be resolved by literally tearing down MOVE's house -- allegedly an active crime scene -- by nightfall. But none of this mattered, for there was a railroad in process, and 9 MOVE people were sent to state gulags for 30 to 100 years! Behind the attack on MOVE was certainly their radical lifestyle and opposition to state power, but there was also the dynamic of powerful real estate interests which wanted to expand their holdings to create a greater University City. For MOVE, August 8th isn't 30 years ago; it's yesterday. It's that close. They need your support to end this injustice! 8/4/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 06 Aug 2008
SIZE: 2.09 MB
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The Struggle for the Safe Return of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine: Haitian Human Rights Activist

For Haitians, this coming August is a reminder of the kidnapping and disappearance of their brother, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, who was taken after a meeting with a US-Canadian human rights delegation visiting Haiti in mid-August, 2007.Pierre-Antoine was a co-founder of the Fondayson Trant Septenm, (Kreyol for September 30th Foundation), a group which assisted and supported the people who during (and especially after) the 1991 and 2004 coups against the democratically-elected president, Bertrand Aristide.  Members of the Fondayson have been targeted for years.Around the world, activists have been organizing in Lovinsky's support, calling on various governments, from Haiti's President Rene Preval, Brazil (which forms the bulk of the United Nations forces in the country), Canada, the US and France, which organized the latest coup against Haitian democracy.When Pierre-Antoine was abducted, it forced other democracy and human rights activists in Haiti to go into hiding to avoid waves of state repression.Haiti has a proud and illustrious career on the world's stage, becoming the first free Black republic in the West after its 1804 revolution against France, which abolished slavery almost 70 years before the US Civil War spelled the end to human bondage in the US.  Their freedom spread the bright lights of liberty and independence throughout the Caribbean, and when South America rose against Spain, it was to Haiti that their Liberator Simon Bolivar turned for support, arms, and a place to rest.For their bold struggle to bring Black freedom to the West, the US and Europe have unleashed an unholy war.  France forced reparations (!) on Haiti -- an act unprecedented in history, forcing the victor in war to pay away it's wealth for almost a century.  The US repeatedly invaded the country, brutalized its people, and imposed an assortment of puppet dictators to exploit the country for foreign benefit, and national impoverishment, for generations!Because Haiti's popularly elected Bertrand Aristide dared to oppose Haiti's rich elite, and tried to make things nominally better for its peasantry, US Marines forced him into exile.Because Lovinsky comes from the popular mass movements, he was snatched off the streets of Haiti a year ago, and the movement is building to bring him back home to his family, his community, and the popular movements of which he was a part.Haiti must never be forgotten, and neither must we forget Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine.[For petitions to circulate and sign, contact: womenstrike8m@servor101.com;  or call: (215) 848-1120.  www.globalwomenstrike.net]Or sign online:www.petitiononline.com/lovinsky/petition.html7/3 0/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 23 Jul 2008
SIZE: 1.47 MB
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Beyond Elections

If TV channels are any measure, the US presidential elections, now less than 4 months away, are the permanent stuff of headlines.If candidate A sneezes, it's breaking news; if candidate B hiccups, it's film at eleven. It's hardly worthy of headlines, but the beast [the media] must be fed. For far too many people this news overdose on the elections has bred a kind of passivity among millions, as they wait in front of TV screens and computers, like deer caught in headlights. What happened to anti-war protests? What happened to housing rights protestors? What happened to anti-FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) activists? People are dulled by the almost sure expectation that the Democrats will prevail in the next election due to the low ratings of the Republican Party, and its lame duck President George W. Bush. And those dull expectations are based upon the totally unfounded faith that a Democratic win of the White House really means an end to the war.  (We might ask, which war?) Millions have apparently forgotten the bitter lessons from the 2006 mid term election, when Democrats prevailed in congressional elections, formed a slight majority in both houses, and proceeded to do -- nothing. Peace in Iraq?  Off the table.  Instead, like lemmings leaping off a cliff they voted for more and more billions for war. And what of the recently renewed FISA bill, which legalized the law-breaking of the Bush Administration -- and gave retroactive protection to phone an communications companies which violated prior law? FISA -- signed, sealed and delivered: and even the Democratic candidate (Sen. Barack Obama, D.IL), who blasted the measure, put his John Hancock on it, voting 'yes.' The great abolitionist (and women's right supporter), Frederick Douglass, supported Abraham Lincoln, yet that didn't stop him from protesting against him, when he moved too slowly, or not at all. Reading his criticisms are still biting, even though over a century has passed.  And yet, his teaching remains just as relevant, for Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without demand." If people demand nothing, that is precisely what they will get. These lessons from history must teach us today, that protesters must PROTEST. Elections aren't endings -- they are beginnings -- and movements mustn't stop moving; they should protest more! 7/23/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 20 Jul 2008
SIZE: 2.13 MB
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Business Sense

Business Sense[col. writ. 7/20/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal     If there is an overarching ideology at work in America today, it's the ubiquity of the market.     On TV, stars shred every last fig-leaf of privacy to sell alleged 'reality.'     Everyday folks join the shows in a realm of entertainment that might best be called "Indignity for Dollars."     Politicians and press people are virtually for hire to the biggest corporate bidder.     Thus politics and media news outlets become multi-billion dollar industries.  Moreover, they become industries that feed on each other, as politicians buy millions of dollars worth of commercials, and of course, TV and cable outlets make big bucks by selling ads.     Meanwhile, the everyday economy -- of food, fuel, housing and education -- goes from bad to worse.     To the average network anchor who pulls in millions per year in fees, this is decidedly under the radar.     His (or her) job is to protect the status quo.     From this convergence we get the present political structure, where accepted political debate is that which doesn't ruffle the feathers of Wall Street or the corporate elite.     When's the last time you've seen or read (in the corporate media) about the sub-prime lending debacle as a crime -- as truly the most premeditated of crimes designed to steal the wealth of millions? Not lately, I'd bet.     It's a straight news story, no 'B' roll (or background video).     It's usually an anchor reading a script, dry as day-old bread.     Because it happens primarily to people who are Black and Latino, it's not a news leader nor headliner, even though it represents the biggest loss of Black wealth in history.     According to the group United for a Fair Economy, such people lost between $164 and $213 billion dollars.     If it weren't so tragic, it would remind one of the silly character popularized by comedian Mike Myers in his Austin Powers movies -- the nefarious Dr. Evil. (y'know -'$213 billion dollars!')     But this is no joke.     It is the root of the current foreclosure crisis, which in turn has sent the Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation),the federally insured mortgage assistance agencies to the brink of bankruptcy.     How does the government respond to this crisis?     It has thrown a life preserver to the agencies (and through them the banks and traders who hustled the sub-primes), and turned its back on the people who got swindled.     Typical.     What we are seeing is the perverse logic of the market, or in a tighter phrase, 'business sense.'     Anything goes to get money, and if you fail, don't worry, for the fake free traders in government will bail you out, but only if you're big enough. --(c) '08 maj

DATE: Thu, 17 Jul 2008
SIZE: 2.29 MB
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The Outsiders Road Within

[col. writ. 7/12/08]  (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal     It should surprise no one that the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D.IL), has evoked such fascination; not least because of his presumed outsider status as a man of (at least partial) African descent.     It is this racial inheritance that accounts, to a considerable degree, for the fascination among both Blacks and whites posed by his candidacy.     But, as ever in America, race often hides as much as it reveals.  For, if Barack is an outsider to the American body politic because of his blackness, he is too an outsider to much of Black America precisely because of his direct East African heritage, one unleavened and unmitigated by the 500 years of Black bondage, resistance, repression and rebellion that is at the very heart of African-American experience and identity.     Indeed, it is this very outsider stance that allows so many of us, Black and white, to project upon him so much of what has been encapsulated in his ubiquitous campaign of 'hope' and 'change.'     In this sense, Obama is a double-talker, and as such he has had to work out his own way into what being Black in America really means.     His somewhat unique outsider status reminds us of the uniqueness of another great outsider who became the consummate insider -- Napoleon Bonaparte.  Consider this; imagine a man born on the Italian-speaking island of Corsica in 1789; by the time he was 30 he was named First Consul (or dictator) of France.  In 5 years he was emperor of a vast French empire.     My point isn't to malign Obama as a dictator- in-waiting.  It's to show an example of how an outsider (with incredible ambition) becomes the ultimate insider.     When Napoleon was a boy in military school in France, his fellow students ridiculed him and made fun of him - not because of height (as might be expected) -- but because of his Corsican accent, which marked him as an outsider.  Napoleon eventually became more French than the French, and today, by virtue of his brilliance, his French nationalism and military exploits in the field during the erection of the empire, he is regarded as one of the greatest Frenchmen who've ever lived.     Obama as a boy in Indonesia was made fun of because of his kinky hair (not to mention his slightly darker complexion) which marked him as an outsider.  What does that mean in his formation of a sense of self?     We don't really know, but as Sigmund Freud reminds us, 'the child is father to the man.'     When Obama speaks (especially in his post-primary incarnation) one hears a profound nationalism.  He has spoken in the past of an American history that many of us know has never actually  existed.  It has forced him to denounce a man he once knew, admired and respected (here I speak, of course, of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright) for making whites uncomfortable by speaking ugly truths about American history, at home and abroad.     Is this but the necessary shifts occasioned by the nasty game of politics?     Or is it the road occasioned by one being an outsider, making that transition to the consummate insider?     Time will tell. --(c) '8 maj

DATE: Thu, 10 Jul 2008
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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One Empire, Unchanged

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DATE: Thu, 03 Jul 2008
SIZE: 2.04 MB
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The Boy They Called Bushead

They called him "Bushead", and he is no longer on death row. That's only because "Bushead" is no more. He died on Sunday, June 29, 2008, in the early evening, after a long and valiant struggle against the ravages of Hepatitis C, which had wreaked havoc on his liver. For those who have known him, they are undoubtedly sad at his passing, but as they remember him, perhaps they can't help but snicker, for "Bushead" was a man gifted with a priceless sense of humor. His jests and jokes were so keen, so sharp, that men often laughed until they cried, their sides gripped in delicious pain. On the prison rosters he was recorded as Billy Brooks, but he was born Larry Shavers on April 1, 1958. On the mean streets of Philadelphia, and throughout the meaner halls of state and county prisons, he was known simply as Bushead. Relatively short in height, of once stocky build, Bushead was, simply put, a hell raiser. He took no stuff from anyone, and would fight at the drop of a hat. His fiery temper would send him to Death Row in the '80's when he got into a conflict with a prisoner in Philadelphia county prison over a bathrobe. When they fought over possession of knife, he gained control, and he stabbed the other young man, which would've normally resulted in a voluntary manslaughter, or third degree homicide conviction, except the deceased was the son of a prominent state prison warden. The notoriety meant the State would seek and receive the death sentence against him. Stories about him abound from all who knew him. One fellow on Death Row recalled: "Once, me and Bushead was in the yard, and I was braiding his hair. A guard came out and said I had to stop doing this because it violated the rules. Bushead told the guard,'If you don't stop that dumb stuff, I'm gonna ball your old ass up!' Later, when we was at work, Bushead found a rule book, strolled into the office, and said, 'Find that rule in the rule book!' The Sgt. had to admit there wasn't such a rule -- and Bushead hollered, 'I told ya'll! I told ya'll!" That was Bushead; outspoken, loud, earthy, and wildly funny. When he was housed at the state prison in Pittsburgh, he participated in the Scared Straight program, and spoke to young people coming into the prison, deeply impressing upon them the emptiness and loss of imprisonment. He did all he could to convince them to avoid this fate. Bushead was 50 years old. He lived from the streets to the prison, a high octane, high energy, high volume life. His illness, which led to his long and tortuous suffering, was utterly debilitating. Hi memory among many prisoners, will evoke smiles, and hearty laughter, despite the manner of his passing. (c) '08 maj

DATE: Wed, 02 Jul 2008
SIZE: 2.24 MB
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Paragons of Democracy?

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DATE: Sat, 28 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.95 MB
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Nader: "He Can't be Too Black"

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DATE: Fri, 27 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.91 MB
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Saving Bankers While Home Owners Fail

Throughout the presidential primaries, while politicians amassed millions from both corporate and private sources, how many times did you hear the sub-prime lending disaster discussed? Over a million homeowners, most of them Black or brown, faced foreclosures and the loss of their most valuable financial asset, and most politicians passed over it in relative silence, while they begged or lied for votes. How can this be, unless they, like most pols, were the paid for property of corporations? When the sub-prime mess hit, in a matter of hours, the Federal Reserve Board's head, Ben Bernanke, slipped $200 billion in government guarantees to keep the mortgage loan industry afloat. Thus, the U.S. government used its power to back the banks' hustling of what were essentially junk bonds. A fifth of a trillion bucks to back those who ripped off a million people with loans designed to fail; and for those who got ripped off, nothing. Indeed, the only politician who was attacking this practice was New York's former Attorney General (and later Governor), Eliot Spitzer. But once caught in the web of a hooker's scandal, this threat melted away into mist. These sub-prime loans, saddled with balloon-like expanded repayment rates, were designed to fail (at least for the borrowers), and these legalized hustles were steered at an astonishing rate, at 73% of high-income African-Americans and Hispanic families. Among white high-income homeowners, only 17% were recipients of sub-primes. Should we chalk this up to coincidence? This Greed Riot has sent shivers throughout the economy, not just in America, but overseas as well, because foreign companies and governments invested in these junk mortgage bonds. The foreclosure crisis has slowed housing construction; loans are almost impossible to get, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates banks and investors will lose $1 trillion. But for nearly a million families their losses will be infinitely greater. They lose their dreams, their homes, and perhaps their very families. How many divorces have been spawned by these foreclosures? How many families have been split asunder? How many suicides? These things do not fall on the cold pages of a business ledger. These non economic losses can be traced to pure, unmitigated greed of bankers, investment houses, and the willing blindness of a government addicted to deregulation. (c) '08 maj

DATE: Sun, 22 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.44 MB
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The Crimes of Kings

There is an adage in Anglo-American law that says, "The King can do no wrong," a reflection of the power of kings stemming from the conquest of Britain by William the Conqueror in 1066. It remains in American law under the doctrine called sovereign immunity, which protects the government from suit by its citizens. But beyond the law there is the practice of politicians of bowing to the power of the president, no matter what he (or someday, she) does. There is no question that Richard Nixon broke laws during the Watergate scandal. Nor is there serious question that Ronald Reagan violated the Boland Amendment, which outlawed aid to the contras in Nicaragua. When the present Bush administration wiretapped the phone calls of Americans it violated the F.I.S.A. (or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) law, which required secret court orders to proceed. Yet, in none of these cases were presidents charged for violating the laws. Indeed, when Nixon was threatened with impeachment, his handpicked successor, Gerald Ford, issued a pardon before any charges were even made! There's an important lesson here, in that the presidents known as the toughest on crime, didn't want that toughness when it came to their crimes. Historians have demonstrated that high ranking congressmen worked out a nice, neat deal with Nixon, sparing him the embarrassment of impeachment if he resigned. Centuries after a revolution, in the name of democracy , and it's still 'the king can do no wrong.' Or as Richard Nixon put it, "When the President does it, that makes it legal." Clearly, if George W. Bush has studied anything, it's Nixon. From secret prisons to legalized torture; from renditions abroad to wiretaps at home; from illegal wars to ruinous occupations, crimes - as in violations of both U.S. and International laws - have become presidential prerogatives. And Congress has become legislative enablers, by not only taking impeachment off the table, but by rewriting laws to make crimes legal, and also granting retroactive immunity to those corporate criminals which aided and abetted the White House in its crime sprees. When the White House urged companies to quietly violate FISA by spying on Americans' communications, both sides knew the law was being violated. If this involved poor folks, conspiracy charges would've been leveled, and the conspirators would've been cast into prison. But in the recent FISA amendments, a majority of the members of the House voted to grant immunity to phone companies. How would you like that kind of juice? Well, you can't have it. You'd have to be a multi-million (or billion) dollar corporation...or a president. 6/21/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Thu, 19 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.25 MB
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A Hollow Victory

As millions ready themselves for the general elections in November, it takes some effort to summon up the elections of 2 years ago. In 2006, mid-term elections brought dramatic change to the Congress, and seemed to presage a change in the nation's direction as well. Those mid-terms centered around the public's demand and hunger for an end to the Iraq war and illegal occupation, and was an electoral expression of that deep national discontent. Well, it's been two years now, and the Congress has just voted another $165 billion (that's right, with a b) to fund the Iraq war. It's been two years - and the Iraq mess is still a scar on the national psyche. It's now become the property of both major political parties -Democrats and Republicans. It's the very nature of politics that politicians regularly betray the interests of those who have voted for them. They'll take the votes, yes: but they don't answer to the people. As the saying goes, 'They answer to a higher power' - the military industrial complex. If we think back to the primaries, candidates of both parties who ran on genuine anti-war platforms had to contend with waves of media ridicule. Think about how the corporate media treated either Dennis Kucinich (D. OH), or Ron Paul (R. TX), or former congressman, Mike Gravel. All were depicted as little better than boobs, objects of an occasional sidebar, but never seriously presented as candidates of 'presidential timber.' And, as Marshall McLuhan (1991-1980) said, 'the medium is the message.' The media, hired guns for their corporate bosses, served their interest by coverage which slanted the perceptions of millions, that only those they thought electable were 'serious' candidates. 'Only so-and-so can raise enough money', most reporters opined, selling candidates as surely as they sold soap. These processes have produced the very hour we now live in; a time of peril and disaster. What kind of democracy can such a process engender? And now, 1/2 year from another election, we will hear a plethora of promises, spun with the best commercials that money can buy. We will march into the booth, our eyes shiny with anticipation. In a matter of months, or years, we will look back at the ashes of promises aborted, and wonder how we keep doing it again, and again, and again. 6/19/08 (c) '08 maj

DATE: Sat, 14 Jun 2008
SIZE: 6.61 MB
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Block Report Radio: Boots interviews Mumia Abu-Jamal

For more information on POCC: Block Report Radio you could log on to www.blockreportradio.com

DATE: Sat, 14 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.78 MB
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Real Road Rage

As the price of gasoline soars, Americans are forced to think in ways that they haven't in generations: to drive, or not to drive? Do they park the car and opt for public transportation? Or do they try to sell the ole gas guzzler (better known as SUVs) for a tiny foreign import? For most of the latter 20th century, a car was seen as an American right, more sacred than freedom of the press, for while many may've felt that the functions of a free press was problematic, the freedom to drive (with relatively cheap gas) was part of the national psyche. For 50 years suburbs sprang up in the hinterlands of major American cities -- white rings around blacker and bleaker urban centers. Those mass migrations were made possible by the car, and affordable gas. Those days are fast receding into yesteryear as gas prices break records almost daily. And despite the sound and fury echoing from the nation's Capitol, or various presidential campaigns, the simple truth is that U.S. politicians have little impact on this phenomenon. That's because oil is an international resource, affected by global economic and political forces beyond American control. It's also true that the toxic tensions released by the Iraq war have destabilized the region so much that a mere rumor can send prices spiking, feeding speculation, which profits from his cycle. In 2003, before bombing even began over Baghdad, oil was selling at nearly $30 a barrel. It's now over $135 a barrel. More than a natural resource, oil has become a financial asset in itself, like stocks, bonds, real estate or gold. And like many assets, as long as it appreciates in value it will attract speculators who trade in oil futures, and in the absence of any real regulation, will push the price as far as the market will bear (and, after all, isn't that what a 'free market' means?). One industry observer, Daniel Yergin, of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, noted, "People are hedging against a falling dollar by buying oil and that hits the price. The most important thing that could be done would be for the dollar to rebound. And that is nothing you can legislate. " * Moreover, some industry experts have written that speculation hikes prices from 20 to 40%! That means that the price of a barrel of oil is really closer to $54 than $135, and thus that the price per gallon should be closer to $2.70! So, the next time you coast into a gas station, and your jaw tightens as you notice the latest gas prices, remember why. That price was spiked by the twin forces of the Iraq war, and the government policy of deregulation. Those who expect politicians to ease this problem are dreaming, as shown by the rejection of a recent bill seeking a windfall profits tax on oil companies in the Senate. Exxon, for example, made more money in the last several quarters than any corporation in the history of business. Will the politicians who accepted millions from the likes of them choke this golden goose? I think not. So, get angry at the goof who just cut you off, or stole your parking space. Get angry at the car full of boys who are banging the bass so loudly the highway is bouncing. Get angry at everybody, except the system that made this situation inevitable. --(c) '08 maj [*Source: Mouawad, Jad, "Oil Prices Are Up and Politicians Are Angry, Yawn.," New York Times, May 11, 2008, Sun., p.2 (Week in Review section). ]

DATE: Wed, 11 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.27 MB
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Hillary's Homecoming

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DATE: Sun, 08 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.46 MB
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Is Obama's Victory Ours?

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DATE: Fri, 06 Jun 2008
SIZE: 5.33 MB
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M1 of POCC & Dead Prez Interviews Mumia Abu-Jamal

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DATE: Mon, 02 Jun 2008
SIZE: 1.16 MB
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When Votes Matter and When They Didn't

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DATE: Thu, 29 May 2008
SIZE: 1.20 MB
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Blues for Bill Tilley

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DATE: Sun, 25 May 2008
SIZE: 1.41 MB
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When the State Attacks

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DATE: Thu, 22 May 2008
SIZE: 1.39 MB
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When Empire Fades

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DATE: Sat, 17 May 2008
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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The Politics of Ignorance and Fear

[col. writ. 5/17/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal As the presidential race inches toward November, it brings with it all kinds of detritus, flushed from the hidden psyche of millions. Politicians are used to representing the hopes of others: they're just as used to dashing those hopes against the hard walls of reality. For millions of women, the first real chance of a female president has excited their hopes, some pending for generations. For millions of Black men and women, the first real chance of a Black president had excited their hopes, some deeply held for nearly a century. For most people, however, politics is the art of unrequited hope, for politicians promise the moon, and deliver star dust. There is, after all, a reason why millions of Americans are so cynical about politics, for they've learned that cynicism from the bitter well of experience. But consider these voices drawn from those we call the white working class; middle-aged Al and Evelyn Landsberg; he, a lifelong Republican who recently switched political parties, and was quoted as telling a Washington Post reporter recently that Sen. Hillary R. Clinton (D.-N.Y.) would get his vote, although she wasn't great. Clinton was, however, a good deal better than her opponent, "you know, uh Embowa. He'd take this country right down the tubes." His wife, Evelyn, cited data she gleaned from emails, saying, "From what I can tell, if he (Embowa?} becomes president he will refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and we will leave Iraq unprepared." She added, "I'm not going to sit at home and let that happen."* It's amazing to think that, several generations ago, millions of Blacks were denied the right to vote through bogus literacy tests, while millions of ignorant whites voted unhindered, by virtue of birthright. Politics is often seen and interpreted as, well, 'the will of the people.' It is often described in lofty judicial decisions and thick political science texts as democracy in action--the People choosing their Government, and ultimately, the American 'way of life.' Yet, how much is simply unbridled ignorance? How much is simply blind racial hatred? How much is just plain silliness? And how much has this been force fed by the corporate media, which can almost beat a dead horse back to life? If the role of the media is merely to reinforce and buttress our collective ignorance, what can democracy mean? When ratings become the end-all, be-all of the corporate media, how can it be anything but a mad dash to a mass echo chamber, where ignorance is multiplied into mega ignorance, and wars become inevitable through rumor? --(c) '08 maj [*Source: Saslow, Eli, "Not Just Talking About Change: The Democrats have registered more than a million new voters in the last seven primary states, "Wash. Post, May 5-11, 2008 [Nat'l Wkly. Ed.], p.16]

DATE: Thu, 15 May 2008
SIZE: 2.06 MB
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A Congress That is More Than a Rubber Stamp

[col. writ. 5/15/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal As America limps toward the November elections, fatigued by the exertions of war, numb to the lofty promises of politicians, in dread of the economic dragons growling on the horizon, the role of Congress could not be more irrelevant. That's one of the reasons that GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (R. Ariz.) has called for a change in congressional tradition, to one which allows the President to answer questions before the body. It reminded me of the March 25, 2008 vote in the British House of Commons, where members of Parliament debated whether to open an official inquiry into the reasons for starting the war. Not surprisingly, the vote lost, largely along Party lines, as the ruling Labour members voted to protect their party, which sponsored and spearheaded the Iraq War, and avoided a formal inquiry. Most, but not all. A dozen Labour backbenchers bolted party ranks to express their support for an inquiry, in terms rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic. And even though the inquiry vote failed by some 50 votes, it marked a period of questioning of the sort that should actually precede wars, not follow them. Robert Marshall-Andrews, a Labour member of parliament (MP) from Medway, brought up the infamous Downing Street memo, which told uncomfortable truths about the then coming war. Marshall-Andrews announced: "The first is what was revealed in the Downing street memo of July 2002, reported by The Sunday (London) Times in an unusual contribution to the debate. It was recorded that at that meeting in Downing street in July 2002 Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of secret intelligence or 'C', as he was known, had reported from America to the War Cabinet,....that: 'There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.'" According to the then Foreign Secretary, "Bush has made up his mind to take military action.... But the case was thin." Ultimately, of course, it didn't matter. Who needs evidence, when you can make it up? M. P. Marshall-Andrews then spoke words that will never be heard in the U.S. Congress: "The real point of the debate, and of any inquiry that may be held, is not to learn lessons so that we do not make mistakes again. That is one reason, but I want an inquiry to be held into the Iraq war because I want those responsible to be brought to the book and to justice. If necessary, they should be brought to international justice, but I want us to be the ones who bring them to it." At this point, Conservative Party member, Humphrey Malins, of Woking, joined in: "I support the honorable and learned gentleman's argument with all the strength that I can muster, but may I remind him gently that some Opposition Members at the time took the view that he is expressing? I was one of those who resigned as a shadow Minister because of the illegal war. Does he agree that, when we look back at our parliamentary lives, we may well regard the decision to go to war with Iraq as the worst and most horrible decision that this Parliament has made?" Labourite Marshall-Andrews would heartily agree, and he would add: "Indeed, beside that decision, all our other achievements and deficiencies -- and there have been many of both--pale into insignificance. The circumstances and repercussions of what we did then have swept well past Iraq. As Tacitus noted, one victory can create a thousand enemies, and that is precisely what happened." These are some of just a few voices in the Parliament of the junior partner in the Iraq debacle. When should we expect such voices in the U.S. Congress? 2025? --(c) '08 maj {Source: Labour & Trade Union Review, (No. 187: May 2008), pp.4-5. [www.ltireview.com].]

DATE: Sun, 11 May 2008
SIZE: 1.36 MB
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Thoughts on Africa (for Elombe Brath)

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DATE: Fri, 09 May 2008
SIZE: 1.11 MB
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Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Thugs

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DATE: Mon, 05 May 2008
SIZE: 1.69 MB
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The Politics of Denunciation

The Politics of Denunciation Mumia Abu-Jamal [col. writ. 4/30/08] (c) '08 When was the last time that you saw a politician asked to denounce a religious leader with whom he or she was associated? For generations, we have seen a succession of presidents, from both political parties, under the wing of the Rev. Billy Graham. Historians have recently reported that Graham and his Oval Office acolytes have spoken in racist and xenophobic terms about both Blacks and Jews. The Rev. Graham recently was lionized as the personal spiritual advisor to presidents, in times of stress, pressure, war and peace. Neither he, nor his presidential prayer pals have ever been damned or denounced for profoundly racist speech in the palaces of the powerful. Now, as a Black man begins to climb the greased pole of American political power, he is asked to either defend or denounce a man whom he has known and admired for a generation. Barack Obama opted for the latter. He has all but jettisoned the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright from the close circle to the cold periphery of the political realm. Whence comes this demand for denunciation? If we are honest, it arises from the specter of white fear, that demand of Black people a higher standard than that of their own. For what reason has Jeremiah Wright been jettisoned - if not for his proud, open Blackness? Rev. Wright is an advocate of Black Liberation Theology - a school of Black religious thought that sees the hand of God in the liberation of Black people from bondage. White Americans are so used to hearing Blacks speak with quiet and pacific tones, that when a man expresses himself fully, as did Rev. Wright, they are, quite frankly, frightened. (What do they fear, that Blacks will dare remember?) Through the corporate media talking heads, they demanded that Obama "distance himself" from that scary, Black (uppity?) preacher - and do it fast. Yowza, boss. The politics of denunciation is, ultimately, the politics of betrayal. It asks - no - it demands that the candidate denounce those whom the White Nation opposes. If they don't, then they are presumed to be a supporter of that person, or ideology. Meanwhile, white conservative preachers can say virtually anything, and calls for denunciation are swallowed into silence. Former presidential candidate, and Republican supporter, Rev. Pat Robertson, called for the killing of a foreign head of state! (I speak here of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.) Did the White House denounce this prominent religious supporter? Not to my knowledge (in fact, it would be rather difficult, given the current regime's failed coup d'etat against him). But Barack, the son of a continental African, cannot be seen calling for Black Liberation; for he seeks not to become leader of the Black Nations, but the world's leading White Nation. Once again, Blacks, and their deep indigenous concerns, are pushed to the periphery. Their free expression ain't free, for there is a cost. When I saw his latest dis' of the Rev. Dr. Wright, I thought of a question posed in the Bible, in the words of Jesus of Nazareth speaking to his disciples (in Matthew 16:26): For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?... What would you do to get a job? --(c) '08 maj [Source: Holy Bible, St. Matthew (King James Version.]

DATE: Sat, 03 May 2008
SIZE: 3.92 MB
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Globalization and its Discontents

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DATE: Sat, 03 May 2008
SIZE: 4.46 MB
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The Black Panther Party: The Reign of Youth

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DATE: Thu, 01 May 2008
SIZE: 1.94 MB
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Who's Uncle is Really Crazy?

Who's Uncle is Really Crazy? Mumia Abu-Jamal [col. writ. 5/1/08 (c) '08 When conservative hit-shows first began raising questions about Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, the Democratic candidate essentially played down the relationship, suggesting that Wright was like the 'crazy uncle' common to many families. Due to the pressure of the 24 hour news cycle, we have come a long way from there, to here. While Sen. Obama no longer refers to him in this way, it's more than worthwhile to examine just what the Rev. Wright did say, which set off the belfry of mad bats who hold forth from the dark universe of right wing radio and TV commentators. Among the Rev. Wright's "controversial" comments were these: "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye... and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America's chickens have come home to roost... Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y'all, not a black militant... An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised..." Rev. Wright's words on how America has treated her darker citizens were also termed "controversial." These are some of them: "And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. when it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating her citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains, the government put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, and put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America-that's in the Bible - for killing innocent people." On the role of the U.S. government overseas, Wright preached the following: "Governments lie. The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment... The government lied about bombing Cambodia...The government lied about the drugs for arms Contra scheme orchestrated by Oliver North... The government lied about a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and a connection between 9-11-01 and operation Iraqi Freedom. Governments lie." I don't know about you, but I've not heard one statement that isn't categorically, historically, and absolutely true. As my good country buddy, Bro. Willie might ask, "What the problem is?" Obama's response, served up to placate the fascistic right, sounded like an apology: "I reject outright statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue." The problem isn't that Rev. Wright was crazy, but that he spoke the cold, sober truth. That's the problem. The US nationalists demand that anyone who states such truths be 'denounced.' When will a candidate emerge who will denounce imperialism, and the endless ruinous wars against much of the Third World, for the profit of corporations here? If this election is any measure, no time soon. Who's uncle is really crazy? Uncle Jeremiah or Uncle Sam? --(c) '08 maj

DATE: Thu, 01 May 2008
SIZE: 0.89 MB
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ILWU Strikes for Peace West Coast Port Shutdown

ILWU Strikes for Peace Mumia Abu-Jamal [col./speech writ. 4/25/08] (c) '08 It should surprise no one that the mighty ILWU (International Longshoreman & Warehouse Union) is in the forefront of this 8-hour dock shutdown for peace. The ILWU's proud and illustrious history is one of supporting peoples' movements, for life, freedom, workers solidarity and immigration rights, worldwide! They remember the stirring words of Eugene V. Debs (socialist labor leader and 1900 presidential candidate), who said, almost a century ago "It is the master class that declares war. It is the subject class that fights the battles." For these words, and his antiwar sentiments, Debs was cast into prison. That the ILWU is echoing his words today is proof of their power and truth - 100 years later! It also proves how little we have moved from the dawn of the 20th century, to the dawn of the 21st; for war is still a tool of imperial power, to fuel corporate wealth and global domination. Who can deny that this is a war for oil? Who can deny that this is and illegal occupation (that is, in violation of international law), more concerned with what's under the earth, than for the millions living in dread upon it? For Iraq may not've been a barrel of laughs before the US invasion and occupation, but it's surely hell now. And Congress, like Nero amidst the fires of Rome, does little more than twiddle its thumbs. It's labor power that makes the wheels go round - and this powerful demonstration of the denial of labor for May Day, for peace and an end to occupation in Iraq is workers' solidarity made real. Kudos to the ILWU! For Labor Power, Peace and anti-Imperialism!

DATE: Sat, 26 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.05 MB
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Sean Bell's 2nd Slaying

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DATE: Mon, 21 Apr 2008
SIZE: 0.91 MB
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Pennsylvania The Keystone State?

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DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.41 MB
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None Kissing Cousins

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DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.18 MB
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Food Wars

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DATE: Sun, 13 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.78 MB
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Symbols vs. Substance

[col. writ 4/12/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal Our national politics is largely the stuff of illusion. It is the stuff of spin. It is the manipulation of images to pluck the heartstrings, or to stoke the furnaces of emotion. Any emotion will do: love, hate, fear, all are but instruments upon which politicians will play to move people to the polls, to get them either to vote for them, or against their opponents. What all of this really means in the day-to-day lives of many of the voters, is actually quite minimal, for politicians don't really care about what voters want; they care about those who can afford them -- those who pay them well for their services. In essence, politics is a business, and voters are merely bare necessities. We see this in the vast, obscene amounts of money raised for virtually all political offices. At bottom, politics is the elevation of symbol over substance, for it seeks to create the illusion of change, while leaving unchanged the essential power relations at the lower levels of society. Politics is great for changing forms, but it stumbles at changing essentials. We've seen that in South Africa, where the faces of those in political power have changed dramatically -- in its starkest sense, from palest white to darkest black -- and yet those who hold financial power, immense wealth, and thus, those who control politicians, remain predominantly white -- and remain in ultimate control. Conversely, for the Black urban and rural poor, their lives are almost as hopeless as before, for what has changed is that a Black middle class has arisen into their political ascendency. Here in the U.S., we often boast about Blacks having more and more political offices in local, state and federal government posts. Yet, if this is so (and it is) why are our lives so miserable, so threatened, so endangered? Why are our communities so dysfunctional? Why are Black urban schools so under-performing? Why are Black and Latino homeowners the bulk of folks losing their homes to foreclosures? Why are so many of our lives nightmares of survival in the midst of plenty? How is it that more Black politicians ultimately means less Black political power? It's because black-faced politicians can best advance the aims of white economic supremacy. For they are but employees of white wealth, who do the duty of those who can afford them. That great French observer of American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville, aptly noted, "Than politics the American citizen knows no higher profession -- for it is the most lucrative." Black politicians confuse us with their presence -- not their power. For power is the ability to make change in the conditions of people's lives (for the better), to represent their interests, and to gain resources for the betterment of Black people and their communities. Presence is merely being there, being there in the place of a white politician, doing essentially nothing differently. --(c) '08 maj The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia! PLEASE CONTACT: International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ P.O. Box 19709 Philadelphia, PA 19143 Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180 E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES! Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at: Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335 SCI-Greene 175 Progress Drive Waynesburg, PA 15370 WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!! Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing icffmaj@aol.com! [Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph. #1-800-533-8478.] "When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom, visit: southendpress.org Check out Mumia's NEW book:"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com

DATE: Sat, 05 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.85 MB
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Changeless Change: The Law of Politics

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DATE: Sat, 05 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.63 MB
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When Courts Go Wrong

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DATE: Sat, 05 Apr 2008
SIZE: 6.40 MB
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POCC Interview with Mumia About his Recent Ruling

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DATE: Thu, 03 Apr 2008
SIZE: 1.54 MB
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What Post-Racial America?

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DATE: Fri, 28 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.37 MB
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When International Law Ain't Law

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DATE: Thu, 27 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.79 MB
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Beyond Spitzer: The Abyss of Business

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DATE: Thu, 27 Mar 2008
SIZE: 2.08 MB
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Of Crazy Uncles and Kings

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DATE: Sat, 22 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.83 MB
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Of Power and Empire

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DATE: Fri, 21 Mar 2008
SIZE: 7.34 MB
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Five Years of Hell

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DATE: Thu, 20 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.84 MB
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Why the War Will Not Soon End

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DATE: Sun, 16 Mar 2008
SIZE: 2.07 MB
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The Politician and the Preacher

The recent quasi-controversy over the comments made by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, retired pastor of the United Church of Christ, to which Sen. Barack Obama (D.IL), both belongs and attends, has shown us how limited, and how narrow, is this new politics peddled by the freshman Senator from Chicago. Although first popularized via the web, the Reverend's comments caused Sen. Obama to say he was "appalled" by them, and he has repudiated such remarks as "offensive." Just what were these comments? As far as I've heard, they were that Sen. Hilary Clinton (D.NY) has had a political advantage because she's white; that she was raised in a family of means (especially when contrasted with Obama's upbringing); and she was never called a nigger. Sounds objectively true to me. Rev. Wright's other remarks were that the country was built on racism, is run by rich white people, and that the events of 9/11 was a direct reaction to US foreign policy. Again -- true enough. And while we can see how such truths might cause discomfort to American nationalists, can we not also agree that they are truths? Consider, would Sen. Clinton be where she is if she were born in a Black female body? Or if she were born to a single mother in the projects? As for the nation, it may be too simplistic to say it was built on racism, but was surely built on racial slavery, from which its wealth was built. And who runs America, if not the super rich white elites? Who doesn't know that politicians are puppets of corporate and inherited wealth? And while Blacks of wealth and means certainly are able to exercise unprecedented influence, we would be insane to believe that they 'run' this country. Oprah, Bob Johnson and Bill Cosby are indeed wealthy; but they have influence, not power. The limits of Cosby's power was shown when he tried to purchase the TV network, NBC, years ago. His offer received a corporate smirk. And Oprah's wealth, while remarkable, pales in comparison to the holdings of men like Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet. Would George W. Bush be president today if he were named Jorje Guillermo Arbusto, and Mexican-American? (Not unless Jorje, Sr. was a multimillionaire!) In his ambition to become America's first Black president, Obama is in a race to prove how Black he isn't; even to denouncing a man he has considered his mentor. As one who has experienced the Black church from the inside, politics and social commentary are rarely far from the pulpit. The Rev. Dr. Martin L. King spoke of politics, war, racism, economics, and social justice all across America. His fair-weather friends betrayed him, and the press condemned his remarks as "inappropriate", "unpatriotic", and "controversial." Rev. Dr. King said the US was "the greatest purveyor of violence" on earth, and that the Vietnam War was illegitimate and unjust. Would Sen. Obama be denouncing these words, as the white press, and many civil rights figures did, in 1967? Are they "inflammatory?" Only to politics based on white, corporate comfort uber alles (above all)" only to a politics that ignores Black pain, and distorts Black history; only to a politics pitched more to the status quo, than to real change. Politics is ultimately about more than winning elections; it's about principles; it's about being true to one's self, and honoring one's ancestors; it's about speaking truth to power. It can't just be about change, because every change ain't for the better! - maj 3/15/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 15 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.83 MB
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Whore Nation

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DATE: Wed, 12 Mar 2008
SIZE: 2.11 MB
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Law Maker = Law Breaker: The Spitzer Drama

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DATE: Sun, 09 Mar 2008
SIZE: 2.01 MB
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Parole Time for the MOVE 9

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DATE: Thu, 06 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.40 MB
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NAFTA Democrats

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DATE: Sun, 02 Mar 2008
SIZE: 1.50 MB
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Prisonhouse of Nations

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DATE: Sat, 01 Mar 2008
SIZE: 2.04 MB
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Reporters or Imperial Scribes

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DATE: Wed, 27 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.33 MB
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Cash Culture

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DATE: Sun, 24 Feb 2008
SIZE: 2.16 MB
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'W' in Africa, Part II

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DATE: Fri, 22 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.32 MB
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Support Professor Griff

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DATE: Tue, 19 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.58 MB
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Fidel's Resignation

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DATE: Sat, 16 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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The Black Vote: Lessons from History

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DATE: Fri, 15 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.50 MB
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The Costs of Crime War Myths

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DATE: Wed, 13 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.69 MB
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If It's African It's Tribal

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DATE: Sun, 10 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.68 MB
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Media Trips

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DATE: Sat, 09 Feb 2008
SIZE: 2.60 MB
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Frederick Douglass: The Freedom of Some or the Freedom of All

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DATE: Fri, 08 Feb 2008
SIZE: 2.69 MB
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Between Rap and Reggae

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DATE: Thu, 07 Feb 2008
SIZE: 0.89 MB
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The Politics to Come

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DATE: Wed, 06 Feb 2008
SIZE: 1.72 MB
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Brave New World

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DATE: Mon, 28 Jan 2008
SIZE: 2.12 MB
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The Radical Alternative

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DATE: Mon, 28 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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Project Niggerization

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DATE: Sat, 26 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.93 MB
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With a Brutha like This

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DATE: Fri, 25 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.51 MB
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The Corporate Elections

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DATE: Mon, 21 Jan 2008
SIZE: 2.10 MB
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The Economics of Gangsters

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DATE: Sat, 19 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.34 MB
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Praying with the Devil

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DATE: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.77 MB
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It Ain't the Voting That Counts, It's the Counting

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DATE: Mon, 14 Jan 2008
SIZE: 3.04 MB
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The Madness Called Home, Kenya

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DATE: Sat, 12 Jan 2008
SIZE: 2.02 MB
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America's Martin and Martin's America

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DATE: Fri, 11 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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The Oops Factor

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DATE: Mon, 07 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.32 MB
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Killing 'em Softly

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DATE: Thu, 03 Jan 2008
SIZE: 1.60 MB
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Crimes of State

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DATE: Sun, 30 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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Pakistan After Bhutto

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DATE: Sat, 29 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.92 MB
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When News Ain't New

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DATE: Sun, 23 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.68 MB
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The Politics of Fear

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DATE: Thu, 20 Dec 2007
SIZE: 2.62 MB
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The Power of Black Music

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DATE: Thu, 20 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.85 MB
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Families (Unknown Enemies)

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DATE: Sun, 16 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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The Idea of a Black President

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DATE: Fri, 14 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.69 MB
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Baseball Over Terrorism?

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DATE: Sun, 09 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.37 MB
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The CIA Destroys Tapes, What is New?

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DATE: Sun, 09 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.23 MB
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Omaha Night

Mumia's columns need to be published as broadly as possible to inspire progressive movement and help call attention to his case. The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to please contact as many publications and information outlets as you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and especially off-line)!! The only requirements are that you run them unedited, with every word including copyright information intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ. THANK YOU!!! Keep updated by reading Action Alerts at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com and their links.

DATE: Sat, 08 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.73 MB
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Teaching False History and Its Consequences

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DATE: Wed, 05 Dec 2007
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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Iran: An Imminent Nuclear Threat?

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DATE: Sun, 02 Dec 2007
SIZE: 1.94 MB
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The War Against Ourselves

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DATE: Wed, 28 Nov 2007
SIZE: 2.01 MB
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The Obama Factor (and women's vote as a factor)

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DATE: Sun, 25 Nov 2007
SIZE: 2.57 MB
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Echoes of a Freedom Struggle: A book Review of Muhammad Ahmad's "We Will Return in the Whirlwind Black Organizations 1960-1975"

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DATE: Sun, 18 Nov 2007
SIZE: 2.00 MB
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Dictators in the Empire's Employ

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DATE: Sat, 17 Nov 2007
SIZE: 0.38 MB
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Jane Jackson Presente

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DATE: Fri, 16 Nov 2007
SIZE: 2.18 MB
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Guiness Records: Massacre or Suicide

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DATE: Mon, 12 Nov 2007
SIZE: 1.79 MB
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The Magic Money Machine

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DATE: Sat, 10 Nov 2007
SIZE: 2.49 MB
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Soft Dictatorships and the Misrule of Law

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DATE: Sun, 04 Nov 2007
SIZE: 1.38 MB
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Dictatorship of "Freedom"

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DATE: Sun, 04 Nov 2007
SIZE: 1.77 MB
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What I Meant to Say Was

DATE: Sat, 27 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.42 MB
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Planning to Fail

Planning to Fail col. writ. 10/18/07 It's hard to look at American society today, and not see how everything seems to be a plan for failure. One would be hard-pressed to find a society which seems to see education as little more than a business, which only the well-to-do can begin to afford. There are a plethora of loans, even some provided by the feds, but fewer and fewer grants. When students are lucky enough to find loans, they are saddled with red oceans of debt, some to the tune of over $100,000; the costs, not just of admissions, tuition, books and fees; but of housing, clothing, transport, food, and entertainment for 4 years --more, if one seeks a professional, or graduate degree! How is it that education is fast becoming a pipe dream for millions of young people in the U.S., and is free just 90 miles away from American soil? In Cuba, education is free from kindergarten to college. Indeed, just recently a score of Americans (and hundreds of other nationalities) graduated from Medical School there, with full doctoral degrees. Unlike their fellow students to the North, these men and women earned their degrees with no crippling debts! Their whole education -- 6 years of med school -- was free, courtesy of Cuban generosity. How can a tiny, relatively poor island nation do so well, with such meager resources, and the richest nation on Earth -- the wealthiest empire since Rome -- can't manage to do as well? It isn't that the U.S. can't do so; it's that it doesn't want to -- or feel the need to. If there's a shortage of doctors (or any other professionals here), they'll just outsource the gigs to another country, or revise immigration rules to import talent. That Cuba does this, in the face of its own dire economic straits, imposed by the U.S. through the Embargo, for generations -- borders on the miraculous. And that's the kicker; one sees students as a cash cow to fuel the banking and education industries; the other sees human knowledge as the property of all humanity, and not a gain to the storehouse of human resources. When students emerged from Cuba's med schools, their medical degrees in hand, they were only given one small kind of debt -- to use their skills to help the poor amongst us. Boy -- what an idea! (c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 27 Oct 2007
SIZE: 0.90 MB
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Wars Without End -- Again

!Wars Without End -- Again! {speech writ. 10/14/07} (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Ona Move! LLJA! Thanx for your invitation for me to speak to you today! For millions of people (I among them) the Nov. 2006 elections marked a major turning point in U.S. politics -- or so we thought. The elections had one, single motivation: to end the Iraq war. Well, the elections changed majorities in Congress. But did it change U.S. policy? Nope. Before the numbers of votes could all be counted, you heard the backtracking: "we must be cautious"; "if we leave now, there'd be chaos", etc., etc. Now, Democrats say openly that no significant troop withdrawal can come before 2012- 5 more years! And then, don't you think you'll hear an additional 5 or 10 years? War isn't a Democratic or Republican project - it is a corporate one, where both corporate parties play the game laid down by their sponsors and contributors. Here we see the convergence between neo liberals and neo conservatives, who join in their service to corporate power. Their 'fight' (if it can be called that) is over who can represent their bosses best (and, by this, I don't mean voters!) But, people, working through popular movements, can change how politicians think, speak, and even act. If you put your trust in the same politicians, you'll achieve the same result - disappointment, frustration and yes -- betrayal. What kind of democracy is it if you vote for peace, only to get more war? But the answer isn't less protests -- it's more protests! To finally bring peace, the People must bring it! Thank you! Ona Move!

DATE: Sun, 21 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.31 MB
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The Law That Promotes Punishment

The Law That Promotes Punishment (Instead of Education) [col. writ. 10/21/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal It's been 5 years since the No Child Left Behind law was put into place, and around the nation, it has left wreckage in its wake. That's because, like many such laws pushed by the paranoid right wind, what a law is called has little (or nothing) to do with what a law does. Calling it No Child Left Behind gave it the benign imagery of caring for children and their futures. It's like the so-called Patriot Act -- an act, to be sure, but one so patently unconstitutional in its evisceration of the 4th Amendment (and other constitutional provisions) that no true patriot could ever support it. While the imagery of a catchy title might've helped in it's selling, the lesser known side of the law is now about to kick in -- and it threatens to transform public schools into private businesses, transfer them into charter schools, allow state takeovers -- or close them. This law is of a piece from the right's central array of evils -- an attack on the very idea of public education, and a fixation with privatizing everything. Who will suffer more from these transformations? School staffs, or children? For No Child Left Behind was but another example of business uber alles, and the poor be damned. Can the same states that made boot camps into squalid hellholes of torture for children, somehow make schools pristine halls of learning? Indeed, in many states, the 'business' of boot camping children has been tried, and while it has made money, it has been the epicenter of abuse, mistreatment, and actually, state-subsidized child abuse. So much for the business model. The law was both a punishment for the poor, and a cold, calculating recognition that some children have no real place in the post-industrial society being built, and thus, were to be left behind. Uneducated, left to the tender mercies of the streets, to stew in a hopeless funk, or to feed the cavernous maw of prison...how left behind can you get? According to a recent report in the New York Times, Florida faces the closing of 441 schools; Baltimore has 9 schools on the failure list; in New York State, 77 schools face so-called restructuring; and in California, over 1,000 schools have been designated chronic failures.* By the year 2014, all of the schools located in California's poorest districts, some 6,063 schools, are expected to be on that list! No Child Left Behind was designed to fail, to deliver the coup de-grace to public education, and also to disable or destroy the hated teacher's unions. It was a law designed to fail, not to solve a pressing social problem. The question shouldn't be whether this new (and supposedly 'improved') Congress should tinker with the law. Congress should repeal it. (c) '07 maj {*Source: Schemo, Diana Jean, "Failing Schools Strain to Meet U.S. Standard," New York Times, Tues., Oct. 16, 2007, pp A1, A21.}

DATE: Sun, 14 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.47 MB
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Beat Camp

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DATE: Thu, 11 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.76 MB
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The Aura of Inevitability

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DATE: Thu, 11 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.27 MB
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Beaten on the Docks

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DATE: Mon, 08 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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Iran -- Rumors of War?

{col. writ. 10/7/07} (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal There are forces in this country and in this world that are expending energy to ensure war with Iran. That's right -- Iran. Many of those forces were the same ones that suckered the nation into Iraq, with media - megaphoned fear- mongering. Iran has become the feared bogeyman of the hour; the latest in the simplistic media projection of 'bad guy.' And, just as in Iraq, the media's demonization of the leader becomes reason to destroy, attack, bomb, and occupy a nation. "He's a bad guy!" "He's a ruthless dictator!" Doesn't this sound familiar? Famed scholar and linguist, Noam Chomsky, interviewed recently by radio host David Barsamian, gives a powerful example of the impact of media upon us. Chomps explained: Take a classic example, Germany. Under the Weimar Republic, Germany was the most civilized country in the world, the leader in the sciences and the arts. Within two or three years it had been turned into a country of raving maniacs by extensive propaganda--which, incidentally, was explicitly borrowed from Anglo-American commercial propaganda. And it worked. It frightened Germans. They thought they were defending themselves against the Jews, against the Bolsheviks. And you know what happened next. {Fr.: Barsamian, David, Targeting Iran (San Francisco, Ca.: Open Media/City Lights, 2007),p.47} And speaking of brutal, ruthless dictators, the U.S. backed Shah of Iran used his secret police, Savak, to drench the earth with blood and terror. But, to the U.S., he was cool. Has the nation learned nothing from the Iraq debacle? The U.S. Senate recently passed a non-binding resolution supporting the partition of Iraq. It makes a certain diabolical sense; the U.S. bombed it, invaded it, overthrew its government, and replaced it with puppets of their liking -- all this, not now being successful, why not shatter it into threes? This argument is now being made, not by rabid neo cons, but by so-called 'liberal' Democrats. Why? Because imperialism is a truly bipartisan American project. The newest target may well be Iran, despite the fact that if Iran is indeed more influential today, it's because of the U.S. invasion, occupation, and near destruction of Iraq. In sum, Iran was strengthened by Iraq's fall. The U.S. has a Middle East policy driven by fear and ignorance. It is reactive, emotional, and driven by faith --not reason. Those are dangerous forces to justify war, and unworthy of a nation that considers itself a superpower. Super in power, but petty in reasoning. --(c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 06 Oct 2007
SIZE: 1.04 MB
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When the Union Becomes Management

{col. writ. 10/3/07} (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal The recent contract approval by the executive committee of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors (GM) marks a turning point in relations between labor and management. It may also mark the transition between unions as a representative of workers, and management as a representative for the owners. That's because, if the UAW members agree, the union will (at least partially ) administer almost $30 billion bucks in pension funds. If the general membership signs on, it lifts a $50 billion burden from the backs of GM managers, and places the lion's share of it on the back of the union. In one fell swoop, the union performs the function of GM management! For GM, this is a masterstroke; for the UAW, it may prove a trap, or the first step of the end of unions, or at least pensions as we know it. The trade union movement came of age by becoming the laborer's institution, and the de facto representative of its workers. In the earlier half of the 20th century, it was clear that labor and capital were antagonists, not allies, for each represented differing and conflicting interests. In other words, the union didn't do managements job, nor did the business manage the union. In his masterwork, Capital, Marx noted how workers are divided into functions and hierarchies that serve capitals interests. Marx wrote: Manufacture...develops a hierarchy of labour powers, to which there corresponds a scale of wages. If, on the one hand, the individual labourers are appropriated and annexed for life by a limited function; on the other hand, the various operations of the hierarchy are parceled out among the labourers according to both their natural and their acquired capabilities. (Moscow, 1958, p.349) Now, labor performs a manufacturing function -- the partial administration of pension funds. What happens when too many hands dip into the till? What happens when GM models don't sell as expected? What happens when the union becomes just another institution of management? --(c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 29 Sep 2007
SIZE: 1.89 MB
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Before and Beyond Jena

[col. writ. 9/29/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Until several weeks ago, the name 'Jena' was doubtless unfamiliar to millions of people in the U.S., until the demonstrations around the case of the Jena 6 brought attention to the small Louisiana town. But, before the case occurred, the name became known to hundreds (if not thousands) of young Blacks, who came to know, quite intimately, that Jena was just another word for racism, rape, violence, and humiliation. After the ravages of Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and its surrounding areas, hundreds of imprisoned people were transported to the Jena Juvenile Justice Center, in Jena, Louisiana, a place that became their nightmare. The place was so medieval and tortuous in its treatment of young people, that it was severely criticized by a federal judge as a place where people were "treated as if they walked on all fours," before it was closed. According to published reports put out by the groups Human Rights Watch and the NAACP-Legal Defense Fund, people arriving at JJJC were beaten, brutalized, harassed, and subjected to racist taunts by staff members there. This was after it was reopened in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. They were denied things allegedly required by the Constitution, like grievance forms, calls to family, or pen and paper. They were treated like they were al-Qaeda, and this was Guantanamo -- this, in the country, and in many cases, the state of their births. The Human Rights Watch and NAACP-LDF have tried to interest state officials in a meaningful investigation, but this has led to little more than lip service. Although federal officials have reportedly announced their intention to investigate, it is equally doubtful that any real, serious investigation will emerge. As for the media (except for some segments of the Black press), Jena was little more than a 1 day, or at best, a 3-day story. Their coverage, such as it was, was little more than a platform to allow local Jenites to exclaim how they weren't racists, and that nooses are just 'pranks' used by youngins' to have a little fun. As ever, there has been little attempt to look backwards into recent history, and now that the last Jena 6 accused is out on bail, little looking to the future as well. How is it possible in the U.S. today, for people wearing KKK robes to always intone, "I'm not a racist?" When viewing or listening to locals there, it was almost impossible to not hear the echoes of 50 years ago, when civil rights actions began to stir the South, that 'the problem' was, once again, "outside agitators", like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They were the problem, not 'our darkeys.' Only with the not-too-subtle death threats from Klan-related groups have we seen that the nooses from the so-called 'white tree', which sparked much of the Jena phenomenon, was far more than boys being boys. The Jena case didn't start with 6 young schoolboys. It won't end with them. The case stems from something deep and abiding in the American heart and soul. And it lives in every state of the union -not just in Louisiana. This shouldn't be the end of the movement; but the spark for more. --(c) '07 maj {Source: "First youth, then hurricane evacuees were tortured by Jena prison guards," San Francisco Bay View, Sept. 19, 2007, pp. 1,5,7,9. For more info: naacpldf.org or hrw.org

DATE: Thu, 27 Sep 2007
SIZE: 1.87 MB
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Congress: Government of Which People?

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DATE: Fri, 21 Sep 2007
SIZE: 2.37 MB
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The World of Blackwater: Private Wars for Public Monies

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DATE: Thu, 20 Sep 2007
SIZE: 2.19 MB
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The Latest Battle in the War Against the Poor

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DATE: Thu, 20 Sep 2007
SIZE: 1.85 MB
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The Death of the Pursuit of a Dream: A House

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DATE: Sat, 15 Sep 2007
SIZE: 2.03 MB
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Pakistan: The Democracy of Boots, Bullets, and Brutality

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DATE: Fri, 14 Sep 2007
SIZE: 2.03 MB
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The People Against Congress

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DATE: Sun, 09 Sep 2007
SIZE: 1.08 MB
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The 911 Moment

The 9-11 Moment [col. writ. 9/9/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal It is true that 9-11 changed everything, but not quite the way that the Bush Regime intended. It changed how many in the world perceived the U.S., for sure, but the U.S. response to 9-11 has done more to change such perceptions. As the ashes began to cool from the embers of what was once the World Trade Center, allies and enemies alike expressed solidarity with the U.S., and shed tears of sympathy. What a difference six years makes. What was once solidarity has cooled to bitter toleration, and barely disguised anger. Remember the so-called "Coalition of the Willing?" It has dwindled in number and fervor. Politicians know enough to talk the talk, but precious few are willing to walk that walk. Even America's staunchest ally - England - has marched its troops out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, under cover of darkness. In many of the countries where leaders signed up to join the U.S. crusade, their people have voted them out of office, and sent some leaders into political retirement. Such are the wages of democracy. At home, the war has deepened divisions not seen since the ravages of the Vietnam War. And the President? Not only are his numbers in the basement, but he's pulling his party into the cellar with him. His latest ploy, to buy time by pointing to the Gen. (David) Petraeus report, neatly juxtaposes the power relations between civilians and military. Civilian leaders, in a democracy, aren't supposed to do what military leaders says; the military is supposed to obey their civilian political leaders. But, since 9-11, the nation has fled so far, so fast, from any real semblance of democracy, that listening to the most profoundly undemocratic institution in the American republic seems almost normal. If the Bush regime has changed anything, it has changed this. A war begun in bad faith, cannot end well. From the day George W. Bush announced his "shock and awe" bombing runs over Baghdad, we have seen nothing but a long train of disasters. The Gen. Petraeus report may do quite a few things, but it won't change that. --(c) '07 maj

DATE: Sun, 09 Sep 2007
SIZE: 0.63 MB
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The Best? Federer

The Best? Federer [col. writ. 9/9/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Folks know that I'm a tennis fan, as evinced by my pieces on the magnificent Williams sisters, who have singularly transformed the game. But, in men's tennis, there's one name that equates to the best in the game: Swiss player Roger Federer. He played an outstanding game against 20-year old Serbian phenom, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic stunned the tennis world recently when he beat three of the top players of the game; Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, just weeks before the U.S. Open. Federer would best the young Serb in straight sets, and by so doing, set a standard not seen since Big Bill Tilden won consecutive titles in the U.S. championships, back in the 1920's. In the first 2 sets, Federer actually came from behind to win. In the second set, Djokovic led him by 4 games to 1; only to see Federer utilize his serve to inch his way back by tying him and then dominating in the second tie break. Truly, Roger Federer is a Master of this game. With moves described as ballet-like, 11 aces, and a brutal return game, Federer outclassed a game young opponent by scores of 7-8, 7-6, and 6-4. In the world of sport, this 12-time grand slam champion is in a class of one. --(c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 08 Sep 2007
SIZE: 3.02 MB
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Fear and Hatred in the Apple

Massacre?' -- 'What Massacre?' -- Haditha [col. writ. 9/6/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal The calendar has shed weeks and many months since the name, Haditha, stirred so many people in Iraq, the US, and around the world. Within days of its announcement came the horror of recognition; it reminded us all of the carnage of Vietnam's My Lai massacre, where women, babies, dogs and chickens shared the sleep of death in a tropical ditch. It differed from Vietnam only in its scope, and number, but, in every sense of which the word 'massacre' may be used, this was it. For here, in the Iraqi city of Haditha, women, children, old men and young, were swept away from life, by the automatic weapons fire of American guns, held in American hands; an apparent retaliation for an IED blast which killed an American soldier several hours earlier. Here, US soldiers entered Iraqi homes on free fire, unloading on anything moving, or not moving quickly enough. Well, the US military justice system has finished its work, and -- voila! -- except for a few letters of censure (the military form of reprimand) no one has been punished for the Haditha Massacre. Indeed, one might ask, albeit facetiously, 'What massacre?' For it seems that no US military rules of engagement were violated, and if US military judges are to be believed, no war crimes occurred. Of the dead Iraqi women and children? They were not victims of American killers in uniform; they were victims of the nebulous 'fog of war.' In war, stuff happens. Let's move on. One military prosecutor said he declined to punish the soldiers further because to do so would "harm unit morale." That's US justice, for all the world to see - the 'law' of the Occupier. If ever we engaged in the illusion that the puppets in government in Iraq were little more than U.S. stringed mannequins, their silence on Haditha is evidence enough. Dozens of Iraqi civilians were slain in their homes, under their beds, while holding their babies, unarmed, and the US Imperial Government issues its final ruling. 'No harm, no foul.' We are looking at something that will mark the world for a generation; it is the poisoning of Imperialism, which warps the mind and stains the soul with the semblance of superiority. 'Massacre?' 'What massacre?' Only some Arabs were killed. To the Empire, they don't count. (c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 08 Sep 2007
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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Massacre?' -- 'What Massacre?' -- Haditha

Massacre?' -- 'What Massacre?' -- Haditha [col. writ. 9/6/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal The calendar has shed weeks and many months since the name, Haditha, stirred so many people in Iraq, the US, and around the world. Within days of its announcement came the horror of recognition; it reminded us all of the carnage of Vietnam's My Lai massacre, where women, babies, dogs and chickens shared the sleep of death in a tropical ditch. It differed from Vietnam only in its scope, and number, but, in every sense of which the word 'massacre' may be used, this was it. For here, in the Iraqi city of Haditha, women, children, old men and young, were swept away from life, by the automatic weapons fire of American guns, held in American hands; an apparent retaliation for an IED blast which killed an American soldier several hours earlier. Here, US soldiers entered Iraqi homes on free fire, unloading on anything moving, or not moving quickly enough. Well, the US military justice system has finished its work, and -- voila! -- except for a few letters of censure (the military form of reprimand) no one has been punished for the Haditha Massacre. Indeed, one might ask, albeit facetiously, 'What massacre?' For it seems that no US military rules of engagement were violated, and if US military judges are to be believed, no war crimes occurred. Of the dead Iraqi women and children? They were not victims of American killers in uniform; they were victims of the nebulous 'fog of war.' In war, stuff happens. Let's move on. One military prosecutor said he declined to punish the soldiers further because to do so would "harm unit morale." That's US justice, for all the world to see - the 'law' of the Occupier. If ever we engaged in the illusion that the puppets in government in Iraq were little more than U.S. stringed mannequins, their silence on Haditha is evidence enough. Dozens of Iraqi civilians were slain in their homes, under their beds, while holding their babies, unarmed, and the US Imperial Government issues its final ruling. 'No harm, no foul.' We are looking at something that will mark the world for a generation; it is the poisoning of Imperialism, which warps the mind and stains the soul with the semblance of superiority. 'Massacre?' 'What massacre?' Only some Arabs were killed. To the Empire, they don't count. (c) '07 maj

DATE: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
SIZE: 0.85 MB
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For Kenneth Foster? No More Death Row...

For Kenneth Foster: No More Death Row [col. writ. 9/1/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal To the state of Texas that sought to extinguish his life, his name is Kenneth Foster; to many of his friends and supporters, his name is Haramia KiNasser, an eloquent and outspoken activist. By whatever name that he may be known, he is now a past denizen of Texas Death Row, for, by a governor's order of commutation, he is on Death Row no more. That he was ever on Death Row at all is due more to a quirk of Texas law, than anything else. For the judge, the defense and the DA agree that Foster hurt no one; he shot no one; he killed no one; nor did he rob anyone. He was a driver in a car full of guys, just rolling around one night, when, all of a sudden, one of them (unbeknownst to Kenneth) steps out, robs a guy, shoots him and kills him. In Texas, under what's called the Law of Parties, Foster's presence near a crime was enough; even though he didn't commit a crime, didn't participate in it, nor profited from it, he was convicted, and sent to Death Row. If that were not enough, when he still had less than a month to live the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) banned the man from receiving or reading a book on sports! The book, titled What's My Name Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the U.S., penned by sportswriter, Dave Zirin (pronounced like 'siren'), was banned from Texas Death Row because, in the words of the Aug. 9th, 2007 memo from the TDC publication review committee, "It contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to achieve the breakdown of prisons through offender disruption such as strikes or riots."' Wow. I never thought sports was so powerful. The author, sent the notice by Foster, was, understandably quite shocked. He checked out the objectionable pages, and was even more amazed. The pages cited by the TDC dealt with baseball icon, Jackie Robinson, and heavyweight boxing champ, Jack Johnson. Both dealt with their resistance to white repression; one, about 1/2 a century ago; the other, perhaps 80 years ago. Yeah. That'll start riots in prisons all over the country! For Kenneth Foster, at least, his Death Row days are behind him. Unfortunately, he's now doing a life bit in Texas gulags. His dozen years on Death Row politicized him, and gave him an historical perspective that he did not possess when he first arrived there. Thanks to supporters across the country, his last day of life wasn't August 30th, as the warrant decreed. Now, the struggle for his freedom begins. (c) '07 maj *Source: Zirin, Dave, "In Texas, books are a danger to death row", Houston Chronicle, Sun., Aug. 28, 2007, p. E5.

DATE: Tue, 28 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.00 MB
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Gonzo Justice: AG of Cronyism

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DATE: Mon, 27 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.10 MB
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Katrina Tribunal Solidarity Statements

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DATE: Fri, 24 Aug 2007
SIZE: 2.24 MB
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A Lesson from Vietnam

A 'Lesson' From Vietnam col. writ. 8/23/07 (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaking before a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) group recently, US President George W. Bush evoked the slaughter, concentration camps, and devastation following the US pullout from Vietnam, to warn against the costs of precipitous withdrawal from the Iraq debacle. The argument boiled down to the recent conservative claim that if the US leaves Iraq now, it'll result in a societal bloodbath. There is something quite unseemly about a man who, when he was of age, declined to go to Vietnam, now arguing for its lessons before men who did go, some of whom have lost limbs. There is another odd, almost surreal quality to hearing the president who went to war on the most naked of lies, who authorized a bombing campaign called "shock and awe", who sent the entire region into a tizzy of maddening discontent, which led to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqis, argue about the costs of withdrawal. His "stay the course" is as empty an echo as was that of one of his presidential predecessors, Lyndon B. Johnson when he called for troop increases in Vietnam. What is missing from his convenient 'lesson' from Vietnam, is the reckoning of just how such pain, suffering and death was visited upon the Vietnamese by the American war. According to many sources, some 3 million Vietnamese were killed by US military forces (the number isn't clearer, simply because, as they were Asians, it wasn't deemed necessary for an accurate count). What Bush conveniently forgot to mention was the continuing costs of war facing Vietnam, because of the US use of toxic chemicals, such as the defoliant, Agent Orange. The US dropped over 10 million gallons of that poison on Vietnam, and the country still suffers from this aerial assault. According to Anthony Arnova's The Logic of Withdrawal (N. Y.: The New Press, 2006), some four million people suffered from this barrage, which has left an untold number with serious birth defects, and has caused an unprecedented environmental and ecological damage to the rural regions. A recent civil lawsuit against Dow Chemical (which created the weapon) was dismissed by US courts. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from Vietnam after all, but not ones the Bush Regime may wish to address. Recent Bush Administration criticisms of Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki, that his government is 'ineffective', and doesn't listen enough to his American paymasters, sounds eerily similar to mumbled musings against South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem. The CIA 1st key military leaders know that the US was losing faith in their chosen puppet, and thus laid the groundwork for a military coup that not only toppled Diem's government, but led to his brutal assassination. Are we witnessing the opening stages of this 'lesson', being replayed in Iraq? Let us not think for a moment that the US doesn't prefer generals to presidents; or, as in Pakistan's Musharraf, both for the price of one. The history of 20th century Latin America has been one of an American love affair with generals, and -- yes, with death squads (many trained in the infamous School of the Americas --since renamed --at Fort Benning, Georgia). "Dubya", who was apparently a poor student of history, is not much better as a teacher, for if this is the only lesson learned from Vietnam, then he needs to go back to summer school. One lesson is that lies and scare tactics may lead people to war, but it won't keep them there once they learn the truth. (c) '07 maj

DATE: Wed, 22 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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The Vick Kick

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DATE: Mon, 20 Aug 2007
SIZE: 2.05 MB
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The Power of History: Haiti

The Power of History: (Haiti) [col. writ. 8/19/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Recently, while speaking with a younger journalist, I made mention of several points of Haitian history, and the writer looked at me blankly. Although he was well-read, and had even traveled to Haiti, he hadn't the faintest idea of many of the historical facts to which I made reference. He simply had never read nor heard of them. As a student of history, I recommended he read the work of the late radical scholar-activist, C.L.R. James on Haiti: The Black Jacobins: Toussaint Louverture and the San Domingo Revolution, originally published in 1938. He knew of the book, but he never read it. C.L.R. James was a man of remarkable brilliance, and a man who wore many hats and mastered many skills. His book, The Black Jacobins, is regarded as a masterwork of history, with perhaps the best telling of the story of the Haitian Revolution (at least in English). James, a revolutionary organizer as well as an accomplished scholar, probed deeply into the forces that led to revolution, both in Haiti and in France. One such factor was the relentless brutality of French slavery in Haiti, where sugar factories exploited black labor so totally that the life span of a captive worker there was 7 years. 7 years. To replenish this slave labor force, more and more Africans were captured from West Africa's coast, to work the sugar factories of Haiti. Black suffering and death meant white profits and sweets. James cites an axiom commonly used in France at the time of the French Revolution: "The Ivory Coast is a good mother." What that meant was slavery and brutality was good for business! Were it not for the immense wealth extracted from African slavery in Haiti, James explains, the French Revolution would never have happened. Quoting the French historian Jaures, James teaches us that "The slave-trade and slavery were the economic basis of the French Revolution." "Sad irony of history," comments Jaures. "The fortunes created at Bordeaux, at Nantes, by the slave-trade, gave to this bourgeoisie that pride which needed liberty and contributed to human emancipation." Nantes was the centre of the slave-trade. As early as 1666, 108 ships went to the coast of Guinea and took on board 37,430 slaves, to a total value of more than 37 million, giving the Nantes bourgeoisie 15 to 20 per cent of their money. [p.35] Haiti also had other impacts on the world. Its Revolution spelled the end for Napoleon's dream of a Franco-American empire. Shortly after the Revolution cut off profits to France, Napoleon communicated to Thomas Jefferson his willingness to sell Louisiana to the US for several million bucks, Jefferson leaped at the offer, and by the alleged sale (so-called because Napoleon sold land that belonged to Indians, not France), the United States doubled its size overnight. History is important; it teaches us why things are the way they are. It teaches not only about yesterday, but about today. --(c) '07maj

DATE: Thu, 16 Aug 2007
SIZE: 2.32 MB
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The War Against Shadows

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DATE: Thu, 16 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.47 MB
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One of the Politics of Promises

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DATE: Fri, 10 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.76 MB
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Stink Tanks

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DATE: Wed, 08 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.45 MB
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August 8th, Again

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DATE: Mon, 06 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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The War Against Ward Churchill

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DATE: Fri, 03 Aug 2007
SIZE: 59.2 MB
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Ramona Africa on MOVE

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DATE: Fri, 03 Aug 2007
SIZE: 1.53 MB
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Dread in Zimbabwe

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DATE: Thu, 02 Aug 2007
SIZE: 10.2 MB
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Mumia on Uprising Radio KPFK 91.7FM LA w/ Sonali Kolhatkar

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DATE: Mon, 30 Jul 2007
SIZE: 0.90 MB
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Troy Anthony Davis: Witnesses Lie

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DATE: Sat, 28 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.95 MB
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The Quest: The Battle of Barry Bonds

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DATE: Sun, 22 Jul 2007
SIZE: 2.88 MB
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Of White Trees, Black Boys & Jena, LA

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DATE: Sun, 22 Jul 2007
SIZE: 0.27 MB
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Message for Herman Wallace

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DATE: Thu, 19 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.42 MB
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Jamming Up Janet Africa

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DATE: Wed, 18 Jul 2007
SIZE: 3.17 MB
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1967 The Year of Fire, the Year of Rage

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DATE: Tue, 17 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.40 MB
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The Fall of Faith-based Foreign Policy

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DATE: Sat, 14 Jul 2007
SIZE: 0.45 MB
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Personal Message to Blue Note Senders

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DATE: Thu, 12 Jul 2007
SIZE: 2.44 MB
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When Wars Backfire

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DATE: Sun, 08 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.77 MB
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Venus Again

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DATE: Fri, 06 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.26 MB
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The Beating of Black Lawyers

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DATE: Fri, 06 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.61 MB
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Of Cronies and Kings

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DATE: Mon, 02 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.81 MB
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Crimes of the CIA

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DATE: Sun, 01 Jul 2007
SIZE: 1.99 MB
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What Independence, What Freedom

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DATE: Thu, 28 Jun 2007
SIZE: 0.99 MB
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Message to US Social Forum

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DATE: Wed, 27 Jun 2007
SIZE: 2.18 MB
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Blair to the Rescue?

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DATE: Sun, 24 Jun 2007
SIZE: 2.68 MB
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Another Rap About Rap

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DATE: Sun, 24 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.34 MB
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Refugees From Hell

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DATE: Sun, 24 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.43 MB
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Suspicious Behavior

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DATE: Sat, 23 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.52 MB
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Breaking the Prison Habit

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DATE: Tue, 19 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.04 MB
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The Puppet Makers

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DATE: Thu, 14 Jun 2007
SIZE: 0.03 MB
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Dead Soldiers and Dead Dreams

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DATE: Tue, 12 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.28 MB
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Paris Crying

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DATE: Wed, 06 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.03 MB
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Death & Texas: The Kenneth Foster Case

written 5/31/07 Mumia Abu-Jamal For a decade Kenneth Foster, Jr. has languished on one of the worst Death Rows in the U.S. - Texas. He now faces an execution date (of August 30, 2007) despite the fact that even the trial judge, the DA, and the jury that sentenced him to die admit he never killed anyone. Whoa! I know that it sound funny (or fishy), but it's not. It's just a fluke of Texas law. In Texas, that fluke is called the Law of Parties - a variant on conspiracy law, but like most things Texas - this law takes a bigger chunk out of the accused. In essence, the Law of Parties criminalizes presence, not actions. Under U.S. Law, as announced by the Supreme Court in its 1982 Edmunds v Florida decision, a death sentence for one who killed no one, nor intended to, nor assisted in such a killing was a violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. But again - this is Texas. This is the same state that ruled in the Herrera case that innocence is irrelevant; that poisoned the Black activist Shaka Sankofa (born Gary Graham); that twice violated court orders from the US Supreme Court in the Miller-El cases; and that sent George W. (as in Warmonger) Bush to the White House. These items are noted, of course, to make clear the very real danger that Kenneth Foster, Jr. faces. A young Black man - an innocent man - on Death Row - in Texas! If you wish to read more about his amazing case on the web, go to: www.freekenneth.com or write: Kenneth Foster Support Group P.O. Box 14268 San Antonio, TX 78214 Kenneth (also known by his adopted name, Haramia KiNasser) is a talented writer, poet, and father of an adorable 10 year old girl named Nytesha. Help free her dad.

DATE: Wed, 06 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.37 MB
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President or Priest

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DATE: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
SIZE: 1.10 MB
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Nafta Weapon of Mass Destruction

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DATE: Sun, 27 May 2007
SIZE: 1.19 MB
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Memorials of Madness

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DATE: Sun, 27 May 2007
SIZE: 1.18 MB
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Police and Thieves

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DATE: Mon, 14 May 2007
SIZE: 1.04 MB
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Chomsky: Columnist with out a Place

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DATE: Mon, 14 May 2007
SIZE: 1.05 MB
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Blair's Britain

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DATE: Sun, 13 May 2007
SIZE: 0.98 MB
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Congress: Your Money and Your Life

With congressional passage of the administration's supplemental money bill, the president threatens a veto because of his aversion to timetables. But whether he vetoes it or not, the die is cast. More money for war, a war that never should have been waged in the first place. When news broke of the congressional passage, I thought not of Congress but of a robber, like the ones of old time movies who snarled your money or your life. Congress goes one better, for it's your money and your life. For while bowing to the false political imagery of supporting the troops, congress has socked more US billions into a losing proposition to prop up a doddering regime in Baghdad. The troops trope is a political maneuver meant to evade the charge that the democratically controlled Congress is soft on defense and betrayed the military in the midst of war. Instead of recognizing the handwriting on the wall, imperial huberis of left and right feeds the illusion that more money can save Iraq. Only Iraqis can save Iraq. What we are witnessing are simply the limits of US imperial power. When Rome reached the limits of its stretch, Emperor Hadrian ordered the building of a wall across Britain's colonial areas. The US has ordered the building of walls throughout Baghdad, to further divide an already divided city. Echoes of empire, echoes of history. Vietnam was waged years after it was abundantly clear that peace was inevitable. In that interim, tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, perished in a maelstrom of madness to save the faces of presidents. A generation later, although the scope is different, the dismal reality is the same. More war, more needless death. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 13 May 2007
SIZE: 0.89 MB
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NYC Writer's Event Speech for 5/12/07

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DATE: Thu, 10 May 2007
SIZE: 0.81 MB
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For All of Our Mothers

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DATE: Wed, 09 May 2007
SIZE: 1.55 MB
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Democracy or Puppetry

With wars waged abroad purportedly for "spreading democracy", it's time to face some uncomfortable truths. People are awake and aware that the U.S. and the West doesn't give a fig about democracy. They care about puppets -- people in state power who are answerable to them -- and fear democracy more than terrorism. From Karzai in Afghanistan, Siniora in Lebanon, al Maliki in Iraq, and beyond, people are rising up against these shills for Western, corporate interests. Protests from Kabul to Pakistan are raging against America's alleged allies, who rule by brutality, barbarity and torture. There are several reasons for this state of affairs, but perhaps it all bubbles down to two: Abu Ghraib, and the Iraq invasion/occupation. American performance on the ground, their treatment of Iraqis, the chaos that has seized the country like a fever, had fueled protests far beyond the borders of Iraq, blowing around the world like the borderless wind. The war in Iraq, and all of its consequences, has caused the U.S. to be one of the most-feared and most-hated nations on earth. Beyond the rhetoric of democracy lies the gloved hand of international business; or, in a more commonly-used term -- globalization. Globalization is far more than the newest expression of an old economic theory (capitalism); it is the force that requires the installation of puppets throughout the Middle East. One of the many, many protesters against the Siniora regime in Lebanon, in explaining her opposition to the government, voiced a concern not usually translated for American audiences: We are peacefully contesting the government to show that people without a voice are actually the majority... It is only the rich people who have a voice in this current government, while the middle and lower classes are not listened to. There is a class mentality in this government. [Fr.: Jamail, Dahr, "Lebanon: this protest won't go away," Asheville Global Report (May 3 - May 9, 2007), p.12]. The reason for this infiltration? Oil Do you really think that Americans suddenly care about Arab suffering? One glance at the pain of Palestinians will answer that question. Indeed, life under any of America's allies in the region ain't no cup of tea; in Eygpt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or in Iraq, democratic activists have faced the brutality of their regime's police in the streets, and the sneer of their torturers in the dungeons beneath the streets. America's response is little more than stony silence, broken intermittently by the cold academic listing in the State Dept. report. The message couldn't be clearer: "We'll talk about democracy, but that's it!" The U.S. didn't march to Iraq to bring democracy, to spread freedom, or anything even remotely like it. It didn't go there to stop the oppression of Iraqis. It didn't go there because Saddam Hussein was a "bad guy." It went there to make that access to the most precious commodity left on earth, oil, was there. And, it figured, as a Superpower, it was its imperial due. Every nation in the world knows this. Billions of people around the globe know this. The tragedy is that there are still a few Americans who claim to believe in this madness. If there really waas democracy, America's closest allies would be out of a job (at the very least, or hanging from the spires of their professional palace. If there really was democracy either in the U.S. (or Britain), the most unpopular governments in generations wouldn't still be in power. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu–Jamal

DATE: Sun, 06 May 2007
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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Jamestown: The Lessons of Indians and Empire

It was a bright spring day, May 14th, 1607, when one hundred and eight men and boys from England went ashore in an area that we now call Virginia. Before a generation could pass, the indigenous people would be all but destroyed. They would become the sad reflection of the English missions of civilization and Christianizing. Having failed in this dubious experiment, the so–called Indians would be reduced to beggars in the land of their fathers. Jamestown. During this month, and throughout the year, we may be hearing of memorials or even celebrations of the English settlement. We’re taught about the great English leader, Captain John Smith, and the struggle on an Indian’s chief’s daughter, Pocahontas, to save his life. Her plea to for the man’s life is as central to America’s founding mythology as the fantastic wolf–fed children of Romulus and Remus was to Rome. When most Americans think of America’s founding families, they think more often of Plymouth, Massachusetts, than of Virginia. England’s settlers landed in Virginia thirteen years before settlers arrived in New England. When local Indians resolved to let the English starve rather than endure their harsh treatments, Smith chose to attack and take what he wanted from his neighbors. As one recorder noted, “seeing by trade and courtesy there was nothing to be had, he, Smith, made bold to try such conclusions as necessity enforced, though contrary to his commission, let fly his musket, ran his boat on shore, whereat they all fled into the woods.? Englishmen were poor farmers, and further, many felt such work beneath them, so they either bartered foodstuffs from the Indians, stole it, or forced them to work for them. How many of us know that the first cross–cultural slavery in the Americas was of Indians, not Africans. The Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas, who accompanied Columbus on the voyage from Spain, wrote home to request permission to exploit Africans as slaves because the Indians were dying too quickly. Jamestown was four hundred years ago, yet it set a pattern of conquest, destruction, and self–deception that continues down to this very day. The history that began with Indians did not end with them. The successful conquest of Indians led inexorably to the conquest of a third of Mexico, and seizure of their lands. It led to the Monroe Doctrine, looking at the nearest continent as this nation’s ‘backyard’. Jamestown. Four hundred years. Yes, let us celebrate and commemorate conquest, death and genocide. There’s something to be learned in this. But I doubt it’s the lesson we think it is. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu–Jamal.

DATE: Wed, 02 May 2007
SIZE: 0.97 MB
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Lessons From Virginia Tech Massacre

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DATE: Wed, 25 Apr 2007
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Viva May Day

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DATE: Sat, 21 Apr 2007
SIZE: 1.29 MB
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Jackie Robinson Plus 60

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DATE: Sat, 21 Apr 2007
SIZE: 1.31 MB
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Imus Amongst Us

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DATE: Mon, 09 Apr 2007
SIZE: 2.13 MB
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Insights into a Terrorist-Supporting Country

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DATE: Mon, 09 Apr 2007
SIZE: 0.91 MB
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Death in Cell #5

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DATE: Sun, 01 Apr 2007
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Beyond Gonzalez

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DATE: Fri, 30 Mar 2007
SIZE: 1.49 MB
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Tribute to Safiyah Bukhari

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DATE: Sun, 25 Mar 2007
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War Games

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DATE: Mon, 19 Mar 2007
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Anniversary of Disaster

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DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
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Furor Over Politicizing Justice

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DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
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Troops Out Now Message

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DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
SIZE: 1.82 MB
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The Tyranny of the Think Tanks

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DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
SIZE: 1.63 MB
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Women's World's (Women's History Month)

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DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
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Anti War Speech, for Pittsburgh

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DATE: Sun, 04 Mar 2007
SIZE: 1.53 MB
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Another Side of Black History

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DATE: Fri, 02 Mar 2007
SIZE: 1.13 MB
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What a Difference Congress Makes

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DATE: Mon, 26 Feb 2007
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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The March to Tehran

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DATE: Fri, 23 Feb 2007
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Royal Presidents

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DATE: Fri, 23 Feb 2007
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Malcolm's Meanings

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DATE: Fri, 23 Feb 2007
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Proxy Wars

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DATE: Sun, 18 Feb 2007
SIZE: 2.16 MB
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Harriet Tubman: A Woman Called General Moses

She has been gone for almost a century, and still her name is on millions of lips; her memory sacred among those who love freedom. Her parents named her Araminta, the daughter of Black slaves in the Tidewater area of Maryland, perhaps in 1820 (or 1821 -- no one is sure). As a baby, the slaves shortened her fancy name into the nickname, "Minty." History remembers her by her married name: Harriet Tubman, freedom fighter. She began on the road to freedom as a child, for she wasn't even 10 years old when she ran away from cruel slaveowners, people who used naked violence against babies and children to force them to do their will. Harriet was a tender 5 years old, when she was forced to take care of a white baby, to keep house, to work day and night for others. She was all of 7 years old when she got caught eating some sugar, food that only white people were allowed to eat. Threatened with a beating, the girl fled, and running so fast that her little legs gave out, she fell into a hog slopping sow. Hunger forced her to return to the house of her 'mistress', where she was promptly and viciously flogged by the 'master.' This child no doubt learned an important lesson by the violence, but doubtless it wasn't what the slaveowning class wanted her to learn. They wanted to instill the seed of terror into the child, so that she never thought of running away again. Instead, it appears she learned that if she ran, there would be no return. She married a 'free' man, John Tubman, who was free in name, and in law, but hardly in mind. When she talked about freedom, he shouted at her to stop it. "You take off and I'll tell the Master. I'll tell the Master right quick," he threatened. As she looked at her husband, a feeling of disbelief washed over her, "You don't mean that." But, in her guts, she knew. He did mean it. Yet, she meant to be free. No doubt she learned another important lesson. Everybody can't be trusted. She must be watchful, attentive, and observant. When the time came, she left, walking through thick forests, over rivers, and over hills. She avoided open roads. She followed the North Star, and when she got to Pennsylvania (a so-called 'free' state), she noted: "I had crossed the line. I was 'free': but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land; and my home, after all, was down in Maryland; because my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and friends were there. But I was free and they should be free! I would make a home in the North and bring them there!" She said it. She meant it. She did it. She returned repeatedly to the Tidewater, and carried folks off, with cleverness, courage, and determination. She returned to the plantation 2 years after her escape for John Tubman, but the 'free Negro' had remarried, and thinking himself free, didn't want to leave Maryland! Still, this wouldn't deter her from her sacred mission: freedom. She carried a pistol, and once, while leading some 25 captives North, came within a hair's breadth of using it. One of the men, bone-tired, hungry, and scared, decided that nothing was worth this scampering through the swamps. He refused to be persuaded to move on, until she moved close to him, and aiming the weapon at his head, said, "Move or die." He moved. In several days they were in Canada. Harriet knew that a returned slave would be tortured until he told all he knew, thus endangering all who wanted to be free. To her, it was freedom or death. That simple. She would later say, of her upbringing, and of slavery itself: "I grew up like a neglected weed -- ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it. I was not happy or contented: every time i saw a white man I was afraid of being carried away. I had two sisters carried away in a chain gang -- one of them left two children. We were always uneasy .... I think slavery is the next thing to hell." Her raids into the prison-states of the South led to the freedom of literally hundreds of Black people -- including her own aged parents, Harriet and Benjamin Ross. It is thought her family originally came from the Ashanti people, a tribe which hails mostly from the West African coast. (The central region of Ashanti life would be modern-day Ghana.) Her life, from beginning to end, was one of resistance and struggle in freedom's cause. There may have been 15 to 19 raids led by her into the South to free Black captives. In these raids, she liberated between 300 to 500 people. Recruited to aid the Northern forces during the U.S. Civil War, Tubman organized and led the Combahee River raid in South Carolina, which netted some 800 slaves, and caused thousands of dollars damage to Southern installations. She reported with glee the sight of so many people escaping bondage. Tubman would later recall the scene: "I never saw such a scene. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Here you'd see a woman with a pail on her head, rice-a-smoking in it just as she'd taken it from the fire, young one hanging on behind ... One woman brought two pigs, a white one and a black one; we took them all on board; named the white pig Beauregard (a Southern general), and the black one Jeff Davis (president of the Confederacy). Sometimes the women would come with twins hanging around their necks. It appears I never saw so many twins in my life; bags on their shoulders, baskets on their heads, and young ones lagging behind, all loaded .... [Fr. Butch Lee, Jailbreak Out of History: The Re-Biography of Harriet Tubman] (Brooklyn, NY: Stoopsale Bks., 2000), p. 78] Harriet Tubman left this life in 1913, living into her nineties. Her name has come to mean freedom fighter. It is a holy name, high on the altar of freedom. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal [Sources: Lee, Butch. Jailbreak Out of History: The Re-Biography of Harriet Tubman] (Brooklyn, NY: Stoopsale Bks., 2000). Petry, Ann, Harriet Tubman, Conductor on the Underground Railroad. (NY: Harper Collins, 1955 [1983]; unpubl. sources].

DATE: Sun, 18 Feb 2007
SIZE: 1.21 MB
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For the Love of Huey

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DATE: Thu, 08 Feb 2007
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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What War on Terror

Have you ever thought (but were afraid to admit) that there really wasn't such a thing as a 'war on terror?' Well, worry no more. England's top prosecutor has set the record straight. Britain's director of public prosecutions, Ken McDonald, gave a speech in late January to the nation's Criminal Bar Association. In words that few U.S. figures of such stature could ever muster, McDonald told the assembly: "On the streets of London, there is no such thing as a 'war on terror', just as there can be no such thing as a 'war on drugs'." McDonald, who heads the Crown Prosecution Service, warned of the "fear-driven and inappropriate response" of the nation's political and legal community, which could threaten the fairness of trials and due process of law. McDonald added: "The fight against terrorism on the streets of Britain is not a war. It is the prevention of crime, the enforcement of our laws and the winning of justice for those damaged by the infringement."* How utterly refreshing! Leave it to the Brits to stick a pin into the U.S. balloon of the 'war on terror.' Presidents love to sell the war metaphor to support their prerogatives to accrue more power than their predecessors. Every war sets the stage for the strengthening of the nation's executive power. That's what McDonald meant when he referred to 'fear-driven responses.' It may begin in Britain, but it won't end there. That's because neither wisdom nor common sense can be segregated behind borders. That's because fear doesn't last forever. Generations ago, during World War II, thousands of Japanese-Americans, men, women, and babies, were placed in concentration camps all across the country -- based purely on fear and racist projections. Today, people look back at that era with embarrassment and deep misgivings. There was no real, honest basis for this kind of treatment of such citizens. It took decades, but presidents have condemned such treatment, and reparations (albeit quite modest) were made to survivors of that social tragedy. Today, a host of errors and evils accompany the so-called 'war on terror.' The president has tried to sell the Iraq debacle as 'the central front' of this war, but fewer and fewer Americans are buying it. And while politicians insist on swearing their false fealty to it (even though they don't believe in it, but are afraid to do so, lest they be marked as 'soft'), public opinion polls show most folks are echoing the views of a British prosecutor. False pretexts -- false wars. With millions of people refugees, hundreds of thousands dead, land and lives ravaged by American maniacs, and their imperial subjects. Americans hear 'war and on terror' today, and turn to American Idol. That's because they know -- in their innards -- that it's a crock. The time will come when we look back, and may dare to smile. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal [Source: Asheville Global Report, No. 420, Feb. 1-7, 2007, p. 15.]

DATE: Mon, 05 Feb 2007
SIZE: 0.91 MB
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Who Protects Whom

A woman is stopped for a traffic violation. She tearfully explains that she is pregnant, she is bleeding, and she begs -- at least a dozen times -- to be taken to the hospital. She might as well have been talking to the wall. The cops either ignore her, or make light of her plight. They respond, when they bother to do so, with replies like, "What do you want us to do about it?" She was jailed -- and not taken to a hospital despite her pleas. Several days later, upon her release, she gives birth to a premature baby, who breathes precisely for one minute -- and dies. When I heard this story, I thought of the motto, 'protect and serve' -- and wondered, 'protect who?' -- 'serve who?' A young pregnant woman, bleeding -- begging -- and it means nothing. Less than nothing. One of the cops, a female, replied, "How is that my problem?" Will these cops, who saw a pregnant woman suffering -- bleeding! -- ever face reckless endangerment charges? Nope. Were they fired? Nope. Will they be? I doubt it. The most that may happen -- I say may -- is the woman may file a civil suit -- and some years later, she may even win (unless a judge decides the cops are immune from suit, as is often the case). But it will mean nothing -- for a baby is dead, forever. No judge on earth can restore that infant's spark of life. That all of this was caught on video, and was hot news (until the tornadoes ripped through Florida), tells us that the cops weren't terribly concerned about it. It was just the job -- hospitals might've involved too much paperwork -- or perhaps overtime. I've named no city: nor the woman. I haven't had to. For it could've been anywhere -- and almost anyone. It's not like these were mutually exclusive choices -- take her to the hospital, or take her to jail. Observers know that when folks are injured, they are often carted to the hospital, where facilities exist to insure security. That didn't happen -- because those two people holding her hostage didn't want to. It's really that simple. It happened in early 21st Century America, and shows us vividly what's going on these days. 'Protect and serve?' Protect who? Serve who? Not her. Not that baby. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 04 Feb 2007
SIZE: 1.65 MB
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Give War a Chance

A lifetime ago, when the British rock band, the Beatles were at the top of the charts, and before cable TV and the reign of computers, anti-war activists sang a haunting chorus as they demonstrated by the tens of thousands at the Pentagon: "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." Decades later, and there is still war (albeit in another place, and for another 'cause'), and demonstrations seem far less potent than times past. American imperialism, unshackled by the prospect of a true global rival, now fairly bellows in the face of its own unpopularity (in the voice of its acolytes, like George W. Bush): "Give war a chance." The Iraq invasion and occupation has been an admitted disaster, and those who called for it the loudest are deserting that sinking ship like rats on a wharf. The US imperial president, flirting with disapproval numbers that rivals Nixon's at the height of the Watergate scandal, is overwhelming only in his irrelevance, and perhaps his inability to convince anybody to believe his blather about the so-called 'war on terror.' So, in light of the administration's latest maneuver to support the flagging war with 'new ideas' about a "surge", the White House and its minions on the Hill are asking Americans to 'give the president's plan a chance.' In the face of this catastrophe, what is the role of Congress? It proposes to debate, and then, after debating, to issue a nonbinding resolution, which condemns the current troop build-up, and also critiques the president's present handling of the war. In essence, Congress agrees to say, 'We don't like what you're doing, but we won't stop it.' This, in a time of war, a war launched on lies and subterfuge. Apparently, over 600,000 dead Iraqis, over 3,000 dead Americans, and over 400 billion dollars lost in this failing effort, isn't quite enough. In fact, the Congress could stop the war today, by cutting the war budget. But it won't do this, for it might endanger a congressman's future political prospects. Most of the millions of people who voted in the mid-term elections did so to send a strong anti-war message. The majority party heading both houses of Congress has indeed changed, but little else has. It has resolved to issue words, while the president launches bombs. And given his profoundly neoconservative bent, it is entirely possible that, before the remaining two years have passed through time's hourglass, the US may've launched a strike against Iran. Even now we hear the media stirrings, provocations meant to soften up the American populace for a new 'preemptive war.' What did your votes really mean? Do you really still believe that you live in a democracy? What you voted for, and what you believe, is ultimately irrelevant. The words of the legendary Black freedom fighter, Frederick Douglass echo through the annals of time: "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has, and never will." Voting is never enough. These ruinous wars didn't begin in a voting booth; nor will voting, standing alone, end them. It will take much stronger stuff. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 03 Feb 2007
SIZE: 0.63 MB
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Message to the 3rd World Congress to Abolish the Death Penalty

This message was delivered at the Opening Session of the 3rd World Congress against the Death Penalty on February 1st. The Congress, held this year in Paris from February 1-3, 2007, gathers hundreds of abolitionists from all over the world: activists, elected officials, legal specialists and others. The Opening Session, an "Overview of the situation of the death penalty worldwide and its abolition," featured Mumia's message and presentations from Sidiki KAaba, President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Piers Bannister, death penalty team coordinator at Amnesty International, Danielle Mitterand, President of France Libertés, Peter Rothen, office of the presidency of the European Union and Emmanuel Maistre, Director of Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty). For more information, go to the website of Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty), hosts of this year's World Congress.

DATE: Fri, 02 Feb 2007
SIZE: 2.15 MB
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How Black is Our History Month

For years, decades now, folks have celebrated Black History Month, with a plethora of events. There will be movies, book readings, poetry events, concerts and the like. Coming, as it does, on the heels of the nation's celebration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., much of what will be heard will no doubt echo that event. But Black History is far richer, and far deeper than King. Rev. Dr. King, who has been edited into a safe, sweet, nonviolent modern-day Christ-like figure and icon of peace, forgiveness and forbearance, has himself been transformed into a one-dimensional figure which ignores his fullness as a growing, thinking, developing man. He was far more radical than many of those who now call his name are ready to admit. There will be little, if any, remembrance of the men and women who fought for freedom in far more aggressive, and militant ways. While some may hear the occasional names, usually they too are softened and sweetened with time, to make them safe historical morsels for white, and corporate consumption. It's doubtful that the name William Parker will be shouted out, even though, over a century and a 1/2 ago, he led the Christiana Revolt in Pennsylvania, which, because of its nature, sent shock waves across the country, so much so that historians of that era, like James McPherson and Phillip Foner considered Christiana to be harbingers of the Civil War to come. Parker, his wife, Eliza, and other members of "The Special Secret Committee" (a black self-defense group) fought against slaveowners and U.S. marshals who wanted to send people back into slavery. The Parkers and their neighbors fought with guns, machetes, and sticks. Parker and his clan of freedom fighters had to flee the US to find freedom. The Christiana Revolt of 1851 should be on millions of lips during Black History month. But there will be no movies, no special notices in the corporate press, and few scattered references to this signal event in the history of the struggle for freedom. The great Frederick Douglass later wrote of Christiana, that it "more than all else" destroyed the fugitive slave law. Douglass wrote: "It became almost a dead letter, for slaveholders found that not only did it fail to put them in possession of their slaves, but that the attempt to enforce it brought odium upon themselves and weakened the slave system." [Cited in: Forbes, Ella. But We Have No Country: The 1851 Christiana Pennsylvania Resistance. (Cherry Hill, NJ: Africana Homestead Legacy, 1998), p. 114.] And while we may know the name of the famous rebel, Nat Turner, how many of us actually celebrate his memory? His fight for freedom echoed around the world, for it showed that the violence of slavery would be answered by the violence of the oppressed. For what was slavery but violence, and resistance against that violence but self-defense? I doubt that the name Charles Deslondes will elicit the least flicker of recognition, but he was the leader of a slave revolt that rocked New Orleans in 1811. The revolt aboard the Amistad is known to many (due in part to movies). But the Amistad wasn't the only one. Ships like the Little George were seized over a century before the Amistad, but, today, who knows its name? Here in 1730, some 96 captives seized the craft, and in 9 days, successfully sailed back to Africa. Two years thereafter, Africans aboard the William did the same thing, set the crew adrift, and sailed back home. The late, great Herbert Aptheker, in his classic American Negro Slave Revolts, recounted over 250 such rebellions against the vile slave system. Coming closer to our time, how many of us will look back, not centuries, but mere months, to the horrors and hypocrisies of Hurricane Katrina? For Black History didn't end centuries ago; and didn't begin with the Civil Rights Act. It's an ancient history, and also as present as yesterday. Katrina -- the ravages, not of weather, but of government, as Black Arts Movement poet, playwright, and essayist Marvin X put it so eloquently in his recent *Beyond Religion -- Toward Spirituality: Essays on Consciousness* (Cherokee, CA: Black Bird Press, 2006): "We have tried their sham democratic elections to no avail, as we saw in the 2000 general election when our votes were discounted. Between our treatment in the 2000 election and Katrina, what else do we need to know about American democracy? What part of no don't you understand? Both events revealed America to be nothing more than a banana republic with respect to us: we were treated worse than dogs in both respects." [p. 192] Another poet, Palestinian-American Suheir Hammad, used her art to pose a potent question raised by Katrina: "Who do we pledge our allegiance to? A government that leaves its old To die of thirst surrounded by water Is a foreign government." [Fr.: What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation, ed. South End Press Collective (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2007), p. 187] Black History Month -- a time to remember that which the corporate culture wishes is forgotten. A time to remember rebellion, resistance, and what it means to be Black in the White Nation -- today. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
SIZE: 0.92 MB
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Speech to Jan 27 Anti-War Marches in SF and Washington

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DATE: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.65 MB
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State of Chaos

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DATE: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
SIZE: 0.46 MB
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Special Message to Young People via Byard Lancaster

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DATE: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.47 MB
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The Other Army

While media pundits and politicians bum rush the mike about President George W. Bush's plans to "surge" U.S. troop forces in Iraq, little is being said about another army there. By this I refer not to the British, who, as the junior partners in this nefarious occupation, have contributed a significant number of troops to this operation, nor to the other so-called 'coalition of the willing', most of whom have only sent token numbers. I mean the private armies, known best by the term "contractors" -- men (mostly) who work for private corporations, who are often heavily armed, and who number some 100,000. They often wear camouflage fatigues -- and many are paid six-figure salaries! Remember the notorious scandal of Abu Ghraib prison? While the fate of 7 low-level soldiers (and one female general) is generally well-known, there is rarely discussion (and rare still, legal action) on the actions of contractors. Such people played a key role in Abu Ghraib -- and play vital roles everyday in Iraq, separate and apart from the U.S. military, or any governmental structure. In Abu Ghraib, around the exact time of the events that are now infamous and historic, all of the interpreters at the prison worked for one U.S. company -- Titan Corp. At the same time (as of Jan. '04), over 1/2 of all interrogators and analysts worked for a Virginia-based company -- CAGI International. As novelist-essayist Joan Didion noted in a recent edition of The New York Review of Books: "There are now, split among more than 150 private firms, thousands of such contracts outstanding. Halliburton alone had by July 2004 contracts worth $11,431,000,000. "Private firms in Iraq has done more than build bases and bridges and prisons. They have done more than handle meals and laundry and transportation. They train Iraqi forces. They manage security. Contract interrogators from two firms, CAGI International (according to its web site 'a world leader in providing timely solutions to the intelligence community') and Titan ('a leading provider of comprehensive information and communications products, solutions, and services for National Security'), were accused of abuses at Abu Ghraib, where almost half of all interrogators and analysts were CAGI employees. They operate free of oversight. They distance the process of interrogation from the citizens in whose name, or in whose "defense," or to ensure whose "security," the interrogation is being conducted. They offer 'timely solutions.'" [Fr.: Didion, Joan, "Cheney: The Fatal Touch," The New York Review of Books, October 5, 2006, p. 56.] More than any other war in U.S. history, big companies are making big bucks by privatization of almost everything. Indeed, in a very real sense, it can be said that even torture was privatized -- as shown by the allegation that Abu Hamid, a Titan employee, hired to do interpreting at Abu Ghraib, reportedly raped a 15-year old boy there. Titan held contracts worth an estimated $657 million. CAGI had contracts in the tens of millions, at least. Speaking of Halliburton (where Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO), it proceeded to run up so many bills that it overcharged the U.S. government by more than $1 billion! One Billion! Halliburton, by the way, provided U.S. service members with contaminated drinking water -- and charged Army folks $99 to wash their laundry -- and didn't get it clean! No matter what Bush ultimately decides, a private army continues to roam Iraq, answerable only to their bosses. Armed to the teeth, they are a private army for business. Who says war is bad for business? Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
SIZE: 0.94 MB
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Harold Wilson Organizing After Death Row

Harold C. Wilson is still fighting -- even though he's been 'free' since November 2005. He's been off Death Row since his acquittal on *three* counts of murder by a Philadelphia jury on retrial. DNA evidence proved his innocence of the crimes, after 17 years on Death Row -- years that have left him almost broken in health, but not in mind. He's fighting these days to teach people what the death penalty really means -- not in theory, but in fact. He's been forced to work to build the Harold C. Wilson Foundation, to create awareness about what it means for people to live on Death Row, how easily prosecutors and judges can railroad people there, and also to impact public policy about how those who are exonerated should be meaningfully remunerated upon their release. Speaking recently at a panel discussion on the death penalty at Philadelphia's Drexel University, Wilson explained: "My life was gone, and no one in the system cared about my innocence. Even when one tries to fight for the rights one is granted by the Constitution, you are immediately beaten down mentally ...." [Qari, Ali, "Death penalty 'is not a simple question'," The Triangle (Nov. 10, 2006).] In describing his experiences Wilson told those assembled: "Imagine your hands and your feet chained whenever you left your room. Imagine living in a room the size of your standard bathroom. Imagine being told you could only shower twice a week. Imagine seeing bodies bloodied and beaten before you. I do not have to imagine. I lived it for 17 years." [Ibid.] Harold C. Wilson is working to build his foundation, not just to teach folks about the horrors of Death Row, but because he hasn't been able to get a real job since his release. In part, that's because of his health problems spawned by living so many years in cold cells on bare concrete. It's also because potential employers can't get past his three murder convictions -- as if the acquittals don't really matter! He therefore has had to grab the bull by the horns, and engage in public speaking about the worst years in his life, instead of private employment, where he could try to rebuild what's left of his life and family. Wilson returned to a world with an elderly mother, a son in Iraq (who has since re-enlisted!), and a daughter who works -- in of all places -- as a *prison guard* -- in another state. If you want to know about life on America's Death Row, Harold Wilson is quite able to tell you, or your group. Contact the Harold C. Wilson Foundation, at: Ph.#: (215) 834-4676 Mail: P.O. Box 32084, Phila., PA 19146 email: haroldcwilson@gmail.com Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 22 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.76 MB
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How the Forces of Capital Got us Where We Are (or "Global Warming II")

Quite recently, I offered some thoughts on the startling warm winter weather we're having. While I talked about the probable impact of global warming (greenhouse gases), I didn't directly address the sources of much of it. Let's be clear. Much of it, perhaps most, is cars. Some folks may be thinking -- 'uh oh -- here he goes again with that back-to-nature, John Africa talk again. He actually wants us to give up our cars!' But how many of us know that in the good old days -- say, in the 19-teens, and the '20s, cars were electric cars -- run on batteries? In the early third of the 20th century, most American mass transit was an electrical affair -- relatively quiet, with far fewer pollutants being belched into the air. What happened? Greed happened. Corporate crime happened. Then mass pollution happened. Writer and researcher Mark Zepezauer, in his brilliant 2004 book, Take the Rich Off Welfare (Cambridge, Ma.: South End Press) tells the story with brevity and clarity, as he writes: "The extent to which automobiles dominate our lives didn't just happen by accident -- at least part of it was the result of a criminal conspiracy. Back in the early 1930s, most people living in cities got around on electric streetcars. Concerned that this wasn't the kind of environment in which they could sell a lot of buses, General Motors (GM), using a series of front companies, began buying up streetcar systems, tearing out the tracks, buying buses from itself, and then selling the new, polluting bus systems back to the cities -- usually with contracts that prohibited the purchase of 'any equipment using fuel or means of propulsion other than gas.' Sometimes the contracts required that the new owners buy all their replacement buses from GM. "GM was soon joined by Greyhound, Firestone Tire and Rubber, Standard Oil of California (also called Chevron), and Mack Trucks. In 1949 -- after these companies had destroyed more than 100 streetcar systems in over 40 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City -- GM, Chevron, and Firestone were convicted of a criminal conspiracy to restrain trade. They were fined $5,000 each, and the executives who organized the scheme were fined $1.00 each." [p. 139] Boy -- what does that tell you about 'equal justice under law?' (Speaking of John Africa, I'm reminded of the opening words of his The Judges Letter, which reads, "The courts are the tools of industrial plague, granting big business privilege to poison our earth.") There are some 520 million cars in the world today; 200 million (38.5%!) are driven in the U.S. The U.S. has only 5% of the world's population, and drives nearly 40% of the cars. When we are faced with the chilling spectacle of global warming, with the rising of the oceans along with temperatures, and with the very real threat to coastal cities and populations all around the world, there's a reason for it. And some big U.S. businesses made plenty of money off it. The pollution in our lungs, the warming air currents melting the arctic snow and creating rising sea levels, the very same man-made temperature changes that have spawned stronger, more destructive hurricanes was translated into billions of dollars in U.S. corporate coffers, amassed over decades. It is the very essence of capitalism. It didn't have to be this way. It could've been very different. Only people, awake and aware -- and determined to build a new world, can begin to change it. Time is running out for over 1/2 a billion people, whose living space is seriously threatened with flooding. It's not too late to reverse this monstrous trend. But, it can't be kept for later.

DATE: Sun, 21 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.87 MB
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The Planet's Death Row

When I went into the yard several days ago, (OK--cage) I couldn't help but be shocked. It was still dark, as the sun hadn't yet risen, not quite 7 a.m. It was nearly 60 degrees. When I felt how warm it was, I was absolutely stunned. The grass was still green, and it felt like a moist, spring morning. I couldn't help but think of global warming -- the dumping of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which traps heat near the earth's surface, like a blanket on a bed. It has been clearer than I've ever seen it in over 50 years of life. I then thought that it was a mixed blessing that Al Gore wasn't elected in 2000, for if he had been it's doubtful that he would've been so outspoken about the causes of global warming, and the consequences for the powerful oil companies. The theft of the election freed him to spend his time and attention on a matter close to his heart, and his resultant filmed lecture (and book), An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Melcher Media/Rodale) has reached more people, at a deeper level, than any presidential press conference could've. Although long derided by corporate-paid pundits and conservatives (why are people called 'conservatives' who don't care about conservation of the planet?) as tree-huggers and many environmentalists who want to destroy U.S. business, there are few thinking people who dare to challenge the obvious signs of global warming. In December and January, cherry blossoms bloom in Washington, D.C. Flowers and bugs react to the warmth like it's an early spring. In the frigid polar region, polar bears are drowning -- drowning! -- because of the growing distance between ice floes. Human habitation (at least in cities) is endangered in this new world formed by human hands. How serious is global warming? Jim Hanson, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote recently in The New York Review of Books (7/13/06) in the article, "The Threat to the Planet", what the difference of 5 degrees warmth means to global sea levels: "Here too, our best information comes from the Earth's history. The last time that the Earth was five degrees warmer was three million years ago, when sea level was about eighty feet higher. "Eighty feet! In that case, the United States would lose most East Coast cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Miami; indeed, practically the entire state of Florida would be under water. Fifty million people in the US live below that sea level. Other places would fare worse. China would have 250 million displaced persons. Bangladesh would produce 120 million refugees, practically the entire nation. India would lose the land of 150 million people." [p. 13] That means the land and living areas for over 570 million people, all around the world would go underwater: 5 degrees! Never in human history have people caused so much vast devastation on such a scale. This is civilization? This is one of the costs of 'the American way of life.' The catastrophe threatened by such an ecological crisis kinda puts terrorism on another plane of worry, doesn't it? There have been wars and rumors of wars for fuels that are contributing to the destruction of the earth, and the flooding of its cities. Politicians haven't moved a muscle to solve this very real crisis. That's because they are, by their very nature, but henchmen for corporations, which are concerned only about profit. This system ain't the solution. Indeed, it is the problem. Only the people, repudiating the system, can begin to change this emergent tragedy, by working together to build a new world.

DATE: Mon, 15 Jan 2007
SIZE: 0.84 MB
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Hornblower Strike SF Docks

Waterfront union workers will mark Martin Luther King's birthday Sunday, January 14th, with a special demonstration starting at Hornblower headquarters, Pier 3, at 11am and marching to the Alcatraz ferry at Pier 33. The ten year "exclusive and lucrative Alcatraz ferry contract" was awarded Hornblower Cruises by the Bush Administration last fall and workers have been protesting ever since as Terry MacRae, Hornblower boss, "refuses to hire qualified, trained, professional Inland Boatmen's Union (IBU) and Masters, Mates, and Pilots association (MM&P) workers who have performed this work safely since 1973." For the VERY latest visit: www.alcatrazunion.com.

DATE: Mon, 15 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.63 MB
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Martin Luther King's Second Martyrdom

Soon, every TV station and network, and many of the nation's radio stations, will air stock film footage (or tape) of Martin Luther King, Jr., his handsome dark face shining in a sea of dark faces, captured in his moment of triumph: the "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington. They will gladly air this 'safe' Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who spoke loftily and eloquently of dreams. Few will dare air his remarks made at Riverside Church in New York City, where an older, wiser Martin spoke, not of dreams but of realities -- of social, and especially economic injustice -- of rampant American militarism, and yes -- the nightmare of white racism. One of those with him, who, too, would become a Rev. Dr., was Vincent Harding, a man who loved Martin, and who knew him as a brother, rather than an icon. Rev. Dr. Harding, a leading theologian and historian, wanted others to know the Martin he'd known; so he wrote a book: Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1996 [8th printing]). As Harding teaches us, King fell into the pit of betrayal, when he took on the war in Vietnam: ".... King was bitterly rebuked for taking on the issue of the war. Some called it a diversion from the issue of black rights. Others feared the terrible rage of [President] Lyndon Johnson who brooked no opposition (certainly not from black Martin Luther King!) to his destructive policies. "Some members of King's own Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) board of directors opposed his role in the antiwar movement, partly because they had seen the way in which the liberal white allies of the movement had withdrawn financial support from the radicalized young people of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), who dared stand in solidarity with the Vietnamese opponents of America's intervention ... "In the face of all this, partly because of all this, King persisted, and the Riverside speech - delivered exactly one year before his assassination, was the most notable result of his decision. Immediately the drumbeat of harsh criticism was heightened. It came from many ... including such black stalwarts as Jackie Robinson, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and Carl Rowan." [pp. 70-71] Rev. Dr. Harding also recounts how the allegedly 'liberal' Washington Post assailed Rev. Dr. King for daring to oppose the war. The newspaper editorial called his words "Bitter and damaging allegations and inferences that he did not and could not document." In the view of the Post's editors, "many who have listened to him with respect will never again accord him the same confidence. He has diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people." [Harding, p. 71] To his credit, Harding explains, King did not heed such criticisms, for he knew that they were on the side of war and death. Harding writes that King became increasingly radicalized, and emboldened to speak out against injustice; Riverside was a turning point: "(Who knew that night, April 4, that he had precisely one more year to live, that the bullet was closing in?) For King saw the larger context. He had already declared in other places that his "beloved country" was "engaged in a war that seeks to turn the clock of history back and perpetuate white colonialism." Underlying this backwardness, he said, was America's refusal to recognize that "the evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism." [p. 101] This ain't the Martin Luther King we see on commercials, nor the ones we see in newspaper ads around the days of his birth or death. That Martin Luther King, anti-war critic, economic justice activist, advocate for the poor, fellow sufferer of the bombed and oppressed in Vietnam, a budding socialist (or at least anti-capitalist), had become, in Harding's words, 'the inconvenient hero.' May we remember who he really was. That King has almost vanished from our popular media, white-washed culture and history. Were it not for folks like Vincent Harding, he might have. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sat, 13 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.04 MB
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No Matter What : Bush Speech Jan 10th

I did not wait with baited breath for the President's long-anticipated speech on a "new strategy" for Iraq. For I knew, with chilling certainty, that no matter the 'strategy', it would hardly be 'new.' I knew that more didn't mean new -- just more. And I knew that this president was incapable of little more, than more of the same. More troops -- more war -- more death -- more disaster. There may be a new phrase -- but after "Bring 'em on!", "We're winnin'!", or "War Against Terror", what can a new phrase mean, but more b.s.? Wars aren't fought with phrases; they're used to sell wars; to stir the blood; to quicken the pulse; and to enliven the bloodlust in men. This is no different. I fought my journalistic urge to watch the President's press conference. It's a lot like watching Elmer Fudd stuttering something about catching that 'wascally wabbit' (Bugs Bunny). I can actually hear Bugs laughing at Elmer's latest antic, saying, between guffaws, "What a maroon!" Madness! And yet, as is often the case, the journalistic urge wins out, so as a compromise, I turned on the local NPR affiliate, and listened to the speech. And despite advance billing by party and PR flacks about the contents, Bush managed to do it again. Within moments of his latest offering came appeals to the events of Sept. 11th, which he blamed on "extremists." Like Iraq had a damned thing to do with 9/11! Once again, he sprinkled his speech with calls to supporting 'liberty', and essentially said the problem was 'too few U.S. and Iraqi troops, and too many restrictions.' And the solution? 21,000 more troops. With each twist and turn of administration policy, I've scoffed. This 'new strategy' evoked the same old emotion. This too is destined for failure. Why? Because the U.S. Army hasn't an ounce worth of trust in the Iraqi forces. Because Iraqi insurgents" (or dead-enders" -- or "extremists", or whatever we're calling them now) have seeded themselves within the Ministry of the Interior -- the Army, the police -- you name it. If the U.S. delivers new arms to the Army, it will be in the hands of the so-called 'insurgents' by dawn. And what is this American antipathy against 'extremists' or 'insurgents', anyhow? The U.S. was formed by armed groups of insurgents -- and yes, 'extremists.' Those who stood against the British King in 1776 were opposing the biggest, baddest superpower of the era. The Crown was the seat of legality, order, and power. To dare to challenge them -- to fight the mighty British Empire, was -- well, extreme. The U.S. did it, and at least one 'founding father' -- Thomas Paine, had to flee Britain, or face time in the Tower awaiting the national noose. (It was just his bad luck that he fled to France, where the Robespierre-led National Assembly tried to feed his head to the guillotine -- but that's another story.) The point? A war against extremities, or terrorism, is misleading and stupid. It's a war against an idea. It's now approaching 4 years of this madcap and illegal war -- now is hardly time for a 'new strategy.' Failure leads to failure. Disaster leads to disaster. This 'new strategy' is kinda like putting lipstick on a pig. Its other flaw is its obvious tilt towards the Shia, with Sunnis targeted by the U.S.-Iraqi forces for a kind of 'super-occupation.' What will this lead to? Everything that the administration has done -- from Day One -- has made more enemies, not less. It has made the threats facing the U.S. more dangerous -- not less. Good work, Elmer ( or should I say, Daffy -- as in 'Lame' -- Duck?).

DATE: Fri, 05 Jan 2007
SIZE: 1.72 MB
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In Praise of Princes and Presidents -- Ford

I have struggled to not write about the passing of U.S. President Gerald Ford. I sought to not do so for days. Yet, the imperial fashion adopted by most of the American press, which praised his administration almost unanimously as "his salvation of the republic," forced me to put pen to paper. Much of the reporting that we have seen has simply been dishonest, historically inaccurate, and a national amnesiac. What I found particularly perturbing was the virtually unanimous official opinion that former President Ford's pardon of Richard M. Nixon was an act of "courage." Why? Because he opposed the will of the majority of the American people? There is something unseemly about issuing a pardon to a man before he was criminally charged with anything, and further, one who built much of his political career on law and order. Ford, to hear the corporate press tell it, simply made a deep, inner decision to save the nation the trauma of a trial against Nixon, by issuing a preemptive pardon. The problem with this official reading is that there's plenty of evidence that it just ain't true. Acclaimed historian, Howard Zinn, in his phenomenal A People's History of the United States - 1492-Present (New York: Harper Collins Perennial, 2003) tells us that months before the Nixon resignation, ".... top Democratic and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives had given secret assurance to Nixon that if he resigned they would not support criminal proceedings against him." (p. 546] The New York Times reported that what Wall Street wanted in case Nixon resigned was, "the same play with different players." It took a French journalist to voice what no mainstream American paper would -- that U.S. political leaders wanted a change of face, but not a change of politics. Zinn writes: "No respectable American newspaper said what was said by Claude Julien, editor of Le Monde Diplomatique in September 1974. 'The elimination of Mr. Richard Nixon leaves intact all the mechanisms and all the false values which permitted the Watergate scandal.' Julien noted that Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, would remain at his post -- in other words, that Nixon's foreign policy would continue. 'That is to say,' Julien wrote, 'that Washington will continue to support General Pinochet in Chile, General Geisel in Brazil, General Stroessner in Paraguay, etc....'" [p. 545] Clearly, for millions of people in the U.S., and in Latin America, 'the long national nightmare' was far from over. Nixon's regime was criminal to the core, despite his rhetoric about 'law and order.' It was a government that broke laws frequently and flagrantly, and got away with it. Slush funds, burglaries, illegal corporate campaign contributions, illegal wiretaps, corruption -- you name it. A deal. A pardon. A swift goodbye, and the imperial press applauds. 'Law and order' was a program for Blacks, Hispanics, poor people, political opponents, and radicals. For the wealthy and well-to-do, it was business as usual. Ford was part of that program. And because he played his part, the media played their part: 'the king is dead, long live the king.' From Shakespeare's "Richard II," the immortal lines are writ: "For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings:...." The stories, we see, are still being told. Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 31 Dec 2006
SIZE: 1.18 MB
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Saddam on the Gallows

Saddam Hussein is gone. The President of Iraq, who fell out with his imperial paymasters in Washington, was hanged for his hubris, amidst taunts by hooded supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr, head of the Shi'a Mahdi Army. His crime? Surely not the killing of his Shi'a opponents, nor his torture of Iraqis; for in the grim aftermath of these events, US envoys continued to skin and grin with him, shaking his hand (as did the then-Reagan Administration's Donald Rumsfeld), and sending him more tools of war and weapons of mass destruction. If he was guilty of crimes against humanity, what of those many Americans who aided and abetted him? What of those many Western businesses which armed him (and greatly profited from such arms deals)? It is a sign of our cynical times that the nation that egged on and armed Saddam during his long and brutal war with Iran, that looked the other way when he waged his reign of repression against the Shi'a majority, now deigns to punish him for doing their bidding. Saddam was sentenced to death for human rights violations that happened in 1982, right? Well, why did the US sign diplomatic treaties with Iraq in 1984? In the remarkable book, "Behind the Iraq War", written by the Indian activist group, Research Unit for Political Economy (New York: Monthly Review, 2003) we learn that diplomatic relations between Iraq and the US were formally restored "well after the United States knew, and a U.N. team confirmed, that Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranian troops" [p. 31]. In fact, in 1986, when the U.N. Security Council tried to condemn Iraq for using mustard gas against Iran's troops, the US blocked the resolution! As RUPE writes, arming Iraq against Iran was good business: "Brisk trade was done in supplying Iraq. Britain joined France as a major source of weapons for it. Iraq imported uranium from Portugal, France, and Italy, and began constructing centrifuge enrichment with German assistance. The United States arranged massive loans for Iraq's burgeoning war expenditure from American client states such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. administration provided "crop-spraying" helicopters (to be used in chemical attacks in 1988), let Dow Chemicals ship its chemicals for use on humans, seconded its air force officers to work with their Iraqi counterparts (from 1986), approved technological exports to Iraq's missile procurement agency to extend the missiles' range (1988). In October 1987 and April 1988 U.S. forces themselves attacked Iranian ships and oil platforms." [p. 31] If that ain't aiding and abetting, what is? But those who aided Iraq have since joined hands to condemn him, and to rip the nation into strips (a Shi'a strip, a Kurd strip, and a Sunni strip). They could care less about the Iraqi people, or even such canards as 'democracy'. For the farthest thing from American and Western concerns is the will of the Iraqi people. According to every reputable poll, Iraqis are sick and tired of their occupiers, the Americans. The U.S. loved Iraq during 'The War of the Cities' when almost a million people on both sides were slaughtered. But Saddam got too big for his britches. He thought he could act with impunity in his region of the Middle East. Saddam didn't know that this was a pleasure reserved to the US Empire. For only the US could start a war on this scale, cause the death of over a 1/2-million people, use false pretexts to invade a sovereign state, torture its people, ravage cities like Fallujah, almost shatter the nation into threes, wreak untold national and regional havoc -- and call it liberation. The execution of Saddam Hussein was purely an exercise of raw American power. History will prove this is but a minor blip on the road to oblivion. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 24 Dec 2006
SIZE: 0.86 MB
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The Urge to Surge

Within days the Bush regime is expected to announce its so-called "new strategy" in Iraq -- the most talked-about plan being a surge in U.S. forces in Iraq. By 'surge' is meant the significant increase in troop size in that beleaguered country, a plan meant to address the obvious failures in Iraq. In light of the rumored 'surge', one wonders, what does it take for the administration to listen to the voices of the People? In February and March, 2003, the U.S. and much of the world spoke, with millions marching in the streets of cities the globe over, against the scourge of war. The Bush regime ignored them. No -- "ignored" isn't right. President Bush belittled the protests as 'a focus group.' As journalism professor Robert Jensen notes in his book, The Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (San Francisco: City Lights Publ., 2004) Bush's response to the "single largest public political demonstration in history", was unbelievable: "When asked a few days later about the size of the protest, he said: 'First of all, you know, size of protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group. The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security -- in this case, the security of the people.' "A focus group? Perhaps the leader of the free world was not aware that a focus group is a small number of people who are brought together (and typically paid) to evaluate a concept or product. Focus groups are primarily a tool of businesses, which use them to figure out how to sell things more effectively. Politicians also occasionally use them, for the same purpose. That's a bit different from a coordinated gathering of millions of people who took to the streets because they felt passionately about an issue of life and death. As is so often the case, Bush's comment demonstrated his ignorance and condescension, the narrowness of his intellect and his lack of respect for the people he allegedly serves." [pp. xi-xii] Decades ago, during the height of the Vietnam War, presidents and their military advisors extended the hostilities long after it was abundantly clear that the conflict could not be won. President Lyndon B. Johnson escalated it, but could not bring himself to rein it in, for fear that history would judge him one who 'lost' Vietnam. His successor, Richard M. Nixon further escalated the conflict, by ordering bombing of neighboring countries. Some historians now say that the escalation and continuation of the Vietnam war cost some 20,000 Americans lives; the numbers of Vietnamese, and other southeast Asians are unknown to us. The point is, the war and its needless carnage was extended for years, at a horrific cost: to save U.S. face. It seems that this not-so-distant history is repeating itself. In a few weeks, we shall hear what "the Decider" has decided. You can bet that it will conflict with the will of most Americans. What kind of democracy is this? Demonstrations don't matter. Elections don't matter. Study groups don't matter. No matter what most Americans think -- it doesn't matter. Nothing matters -- but what the decider decides. There's a word for that -- and it sure ain't democracy! Americans have seemingly settled for a dictatorship of one -- in fact, a dictatorship of disaster. Like good little sheep, they plan to silently acquiesce as more of their young people are slain on an altar slick with oil. This isn't patriotism. It's the very essence of subservience. There's another word for it. Madness. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 18 Dec 2006
SIZE: 1.62 MB
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When War Crimes Ain't War Crimes

In the last few years, we've all seen nothing but mass violations of virtually every international human rights treaty. Torture, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, violence against civilians, orders to ignore the Geneva Conventions .... The list goes on and on. How has the American government dealt with this state of affairs? It has virtually ignored it. There have been a handful of military prosecutions against relatively low level people, but there is a steel ceiling, above which the prosecutors dare not go. That's because the violations of international law go to the highest levels of the U.S. government. Writer Lila Rajiva argues, in her remarkable The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005), that the tortures at Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad shows something deep and ugly in the American state: "The Prometheans of today acknowledge no limits except of their own imagining, and at least for now the world that they find themselves in allows them the self-indulgence of that imagining. With such absolute power comes absolute corruption, only not the corruption that the law easily unmasks, the simple corruption of bribery and chicanery. The occupation of Iraq displays ample evidence of that as well, but the deeper corruption that rote the institutions of America today is one legitimated by law, whose presence is revealed not in the courthouse but in the solitary recesses of prison cells hidden from the light. Torture is the insignia of this corrupt power. Torture is the deadly proof of the metastasizing cancer of American empire." [p. 186] Rajiva tells us many of the stories from Iraq that have been largely whitewashed from the safe coverage that the corporate media airs. She tells us the many cases where Iraqi women were raped by Americans, and subjected to public humiliations. Perhaps if more Americans read, saw or heard such accounts, they would not be mystified by the steady growing of the insurgency in Iraq, which is surely fueled, in part, by how Americans treated Iraqi men and women in prisons there. The corporate US media has done more to misinform its public than to inform them. They keep Americans in the dark, while people all around the world know more about America than Americans. In this context, we can continue the illusion that the US is 'doing good' in this new kind of colonialism of Arab lands. It is this mass disinformation campaign that allows political figures to float the mad idea of more troops in Iraq. The somewhat tame Iraq Study Group report has come and gone, with supporters of the military-industrial-complex working their media assets to insure that their defense contractors keep getting paid. Discussions over Geneva Conventions might as well be about treaties with space aliens, as arcane as they are to most of us. But the Geneva Conventions aren't rocket science. There are 4 of them. The first governs wounded and sick soldiers; the second relates to the treatment of war prisoners captured at sea; the third deals with treatment of prisoners of war; and the fourth governs how citizens should be treated in times of war. Under the articles of these conventions, people had express rights to fair, humane treatment, family visitation, and the right to be processed by "competent tribunal"[s]. As the flicks from Abu Ghraib showed, in living color, folks were treated like dogs. Geneva, though, to be 'quaint', didn't apply. When it comes to the Empire, there is no higher law. The Emperor has spoken: that is all that is needed to launch wars, torture, terrorize, bomb, imprison, kill, obliterate. That kind of logic can only lead to more disaster. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal [Source: Rajiva, L., *The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media* (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005).]

DATE: Fri, 15 Dec 2006
SIZE: 5.85 MB
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Other People's Congress

It actually may be too early to tell, but are you getting the vibe that Congress is going to betray you -- again? The Congress -- both the House and the Senate -- are seen as honest and trustworthy by an astonishingly low 14-and-16%, respectively, by most Americans according to a recent poll. The converse of this, of course, is that 84-86% of most Americans don't trust their Congress. A term like that just ended at least partially explains that gap; for Congress routinely sells its collective soul to the lobbyists and corporate powers-that-be. Only these wealthy forces could explain the actions and inactions of Congress in its most recent term; complete servility to the military-industrial-complex; the bankruptcy bill; their unbridled hostility to a minimum wage -- you name it. If you could afford their services -- cool; if you were a regular Joe (or Joanna), working-class, or -- heavens forfend! -- poor -- forget it. The Congress, in violation of the Constitution, ceded its power to the President, and the executive has made a complete mess of every power it was granted. The mid-term elections, thought by many to have been a partial remedy of this disaster, was predicated upon the wide public will to get out of Iraq. The new congress was not yet in their seats, and already there are whispers in the air of sending more troops to Iraq! The march towards betrayal of the public will may have already begun. As journalist Richard Swift explained in his book, The No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy (Toronto, Ontario: New Internationalist Publ, Ltd./Between the Lines, 2002), today's political parties strive to actually be less and less representative: "Such parties run the ideological spectrum from Right to Left (although here differences between them are certainly narrowing). ... Such parties have loose ideological commitments and use a vaguely populist rhetoric (often of the Left) while campaigning. They typically contain a number of powerful factions and interest groups each of which stakes a claim on policy and economic awards once the party is in power ... "Under most present circumstances these 'representatives' are only answerable to us in a very general sense. Once they have been elected any number of factors may weigh more heavily for them than the wishes of their constituents; their own views, Party discipline, personal ambition or the influence of powerful lobbies. Voters by-and-large do not get to hold them accountable until the next general election. In the meantime they form a virtual dictatorship -- particularly if they are part of a majority government." [pp. 102-3] For millions of people, especially those who voted for Democrats, there is the expectation that this new class (or new majority) would headline an Iraq withdrawal. Now, it looks less so. As the new congressional majority forms, lobbyists are bellying up to the bar to make new and lucrative deals -- and with money comes influence. Americans may learn that, in politics, faces may change, and parties may swap -- but the same game goes on. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Sun, 10 Dec 2006
SIZE: 2.25 MB
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Chavez Rises, Pinochet Succumbs

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DATE: Fri, 08 Dec 2006
SIZE: 1.90 MB
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Why The Iraq Study Group is No Solution

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DATE: Wed, 06 Dec 2006
SIZE: 6.41 MB
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Interview with Mumia on 25 years as a political prisoner

(Mumia interviewed by Fred Hampton Jr and Jr Valrey) December 9th marked the anniversary of Black Panther revolutionary journalist and death-row political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal's abduction from the community and his family for political reasons. He is one of thousands if not millions of Black people who are in this situation, either as a political prisoner or as a political victim of Amerikkka's war crimes on the Black community. Mumia sits on death-row for killing a police officer, although evidence shows that the caliber of the bullet that killed the police officer didn't fit Mumia's gun, another man confessed to committing the murder, the presiding judge Sabo said that he was going to "help fry the nigger", as well as police coercion, and some more. Chairman Fred Hampton Jr and myself, Minister of Information JR talked to Mumia about the 25 years that the government took from his life. Check it... Ch. Fred: As we speak we are on the heels of honoring the anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we're also embarking on dates that I wish that I didn't have to talk about or have to deal wit'; one date December 13th will mark one year since the state of California executed brotha Stanley Tookie Williams, December 4th will mark the 37th year after the assassination of deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark, and December 9th marks 25 years after you yourself was literally kidnapped by the state of Philadelphia. If you can, touch on each one of those dates, the significance of those dates, what message the state is sending us with those dates, and the message that we got to send as the people. Mumia: You know when you were mentioning those dates, what came to mind for me was how for every year for at least the last decade, people all across the country and in other parts of the world have celebrated Black August... Concentration Camp: This call is from a "correctional" institution and is subject to monitoring and recording. Mumia: And even I have participated and written about it, and talked about it, but I've always been, I guess, impressed by the simple truth that no one month can encapsulate our people's struggle. No one month, even though in August a number of great things happened and significant things happened in our people's history, our people's long history, every month in the year is a month to be remembered for many of the reasons that you discussed right there. Every month in the year, every day in the year, has significance because after 500 years, here, in the wilderness of North Amerikkka, how could it not be significant? Many of those events evoke memories of resistance, some of them are heart rending, and some of them are inspiring, but every one of them are about our people's continuous struggle for freedom against tremendous odds. Ch. Fred: As in any battle, we will experience ups and downs, morale highs as well as battle fatigue, is there any advice or moves that we should be making, in reference to the campaign, to get you back out here on the street? Mumia: Well I would just urge people to continue to struggle because it is bad, for people that are not active in it, they may see an article in the paper or hear something on the radio, and it will come back to mind, but believe me it is not just a struggle for me, but for many people; people whose names you know, and some people's names that you don't know, people struggling in little ways that they can. They might be putting out leaflets or speaking to friends or teachers talking to students. What is missed is the campaign of repression that goes against those people for daring to speak out, for daring to wear a t-shirt, for daring to read a book. Freedom ain't free, And freedom has to be excercised. It has to become an activity or else it's just a word. And as we speak, we're literally living in a time where the state is using fascist powers, and passing fascist laws, very similar to what Nazi Germany did. I'm talking about the so-called Patriot Act, I'm talking about the recently passed M.C.A., the Military Commission Act. All of these things are profoundly repressive, and the least that can be said about it, is that it violates the Constitution, but when have they not violated the Constitution. In the past, they violated it under Cointelpro. Well they simply rewrote the laws. 9-11 gave them a perfect opportunity so what used to be illegal when Fred Hampton Sr. was active in Chicago, and the Black Panther Party was active in over 40 states, cities, and branches has been made legal in the last 5 or 6 years or so. What does that tell you? Ch. Fred: On your comments, I was just thinking about this statement that Minister Huey P. Newton said in reference to the Constitution, he referred to it as pagan poetry. Mumia: It sounds good, don't it? Ch. Fred (laughing) It sounds real good. Other than battling in the courts, what other apparatuses has the government been using to impede the process to get you out here in the community, whether it be the media or what have you? Can you comment on that? Mumia: Well its a war on all fronts. I mean, if I spoke of 5 fronts, then I would be ignoring 15 others. You know the state uses what it has, which is the power of the purse on one hand, the power of repression on the other, the power of wealth and money. The state uses all of its resources, you see, so that's why I always invite people to do what they feel they can do. You know it really is more of us than it is of them but people, especially now feel like they can't make a difference or what they do doesn't count. Well believe me, it does count. What every person does is important so they have to in a sense follow their heart. Ch. Fred: In the electoral political arena, there has been this news of the democratic majority in the House of Representatives, crazy as it sounds this day and age, I encounter some people who are breathing some sigh of relief that the democrats are in the majority, so on and so forth. Can you commit on the contradictions in that? Mumia: Well, there are always contradictions in the ruling class in every state, the problem is that many of the people who either consider themselves or are considered progressives are what I call "left-wing imperialists". We remember back in the year 2004, during the last presidential election, I keep repeating this to people because it shocks me, I remember John Kerry, the so-called democratic quasi-progressive candidate saying during a debate that the U.S. needs to send over 40,000 more troops to Iraq. What that did of course, was that it decimated the anti-war movement, and even though many millions of people who got out and voted, voted against the war, that doesn't mean that the people that they voted for would actually do anything about that, you see? So you know, we shall see. What will happen is what will happen, but already there are forces in the democratic party that are trying to quiet down those anti-war voices. They're talking about withdrawal to bases or re-positioning, or some other, really, pro-war strategy, because there are no good options, you dig, because both parties are corporate parties. Both parties are running on sheer imperialism so what can they do, you see? Ch. Fred: I'm going to tag-team wit' my comrade Minister of Information. Comrade, revolutionary love and respect. We love you, respect you, and appreciate you. Free Mumia Abu Jamal! Free'em All! Dare to struggle, dare to win! Mumia: Thank you brother. Ch. Fred Thank you. MOI JR: With all the evidence that points to your innocense, including Arnold Beverly's televised confession, the police coercion of witnesses before the "trial", and Judge Sabo saying that he was going to help the government by way of the prosecutor "fry the nigger" in reference to you, what do you have to say about this death-row case, as we fight for your life? Mumia: People who believe purely in the law are sometimes met with unbelief. They can't believe that the law hasn't done the right thing, and that's because they have a misunderstanding of the law. What has happened in my case has happened in other people's cases, the question is not the law, but the people. If people organized and people understand that it will take the power of the people to change this thing, then they'll understand what they need to do, if they feel compelled, if they feel pushed, if they feel that this is the right thing to do. If we know anything from history, we know that the law has been the force for the outlaw for hundreds of years for our people. I mean, right after the Civil War, the so-called reconstruction amendments were put in the Constitution, but for millions of our people, all across the country, it was if no such amendments were written, because our people still couldn't vote, we were not free, we couldn't make contracts or have jobs or go to descent schools. Look at our condition today. So the law is one thing, the people are another. I rely on the people. MOI JR: Black Panther political prisoner Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 recently had his conviction overturned after being held in solitary confinement for over 3 decades, what do victories like these mean to the Black Liberation Movement? Mumia: Well it means dare to struggle, dare to win. You know, it didn't just happen, that brotha and his many supporters fought for many years, I mean there was a film made, people all across the country continued to work on his behalf, and many ex-Panthers came out to support that struggle so you know, it took struggle. It didn't just happened. You know... Concentration Camp: This call is from a "correctional" institution and is subject to monitoring and recording. Mumia: Everything that led to his release could've been determined 15 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, you know? It wasn't like there was any new information, it was just one court saying "oh, ok", so dare to struggle, dare to win. People really have to understand that they do have power. There not as powerless as the media or the politicians project them to be. People really have the power, but they have to believe that they have the power then they have to act like they have the power.

DATE: Sun, 03 Dec 2006
SIZE: 0.98 MB
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Lessons Unlearned

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DATE: Sat, 02 Dec 2006
SIZE: 1.06 MB
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No Safe Age re shooting of Shawn Bell

It's boy's night out, and a group of brothers are having a bachelor's party at a neighborhood club. One of them is particularly thrilled, because his marriage to the woman he loves is just hours away. But he will never marry, because a pack of wild, undercover cops will execute him, and unleash a deadly rain of 50 bullets on he and his friends. The crime? Cruising While Black ... Sean Bell, unarmed, was 23. And the corporate media merely explains it may've been a case of "contagious" shooting -- one cop fires, two cops fire, three cops ... get the picture? It's a kind of social illness, like alcoholism. But neither Sean Bell, Trent Benefield, nor Joseph Guzman were armed. According to some reports, one of them *said* he was armed. Like the madmen who launched a preemptive war on the unsubstantiated suspicion of weapons of mass destruction, undercover cops launched an urban preemptive war on unarmed young Black men, reportedly based on unsubstantiated suspicions. *50 shots*. Death, and serious injury. No cellphones; no wallets; no threatening candy bars -- for such trifles are no longer deemed necessary. In America, blackness is sufficient. Even maleness isn't required, as shown by the recent shooting of an elderly woman who allegedly allowed a drug dealer to use her home. Katherine Johnston, having lived almost 9 decades, was shot to death while trying to defend her Atlanta home after it was attacked by undercover cops. According to a neighborhood snitch, he never claimed her house was a drug site, despite police pressure to do so. No significant quantities of drugs were found at the home. What was her crime? Trying-to-survive-to-90-while-Black? What's more dangerous -- drugs, or armed undercover cops kicking in doors allegedly on drug raids? Police suspicion, it seems, is a weapon of urban war. Several years ago, writer Kristian Williams noted a case where a whole community was held under siege, because of police suspicion. In his remarkable 2003 book, Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press), Williams recounted an amazing story: "The racial politics of police suspicion are well illustrated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's 'Operation Ready-Rock.' In November 1990, forty-five state cops, including canine units and the paramilitary Special Response Team, lay siege to the 100 block of Graham Street, in a black neighborhood of Chapel Hill. Searching for crack cocaine, the cops sealed off the streets, patrolled with dogs, and ransacked a neighborhood pool hall. In terms of crime control, the mission was a flop. Although nearly 100 people were detained and searched, only 13 were arrested, and one of them convicted. Nevertheless, and despite a successful class action lawsuit, the cops defended their performance and no officers were disciplined. "When applying for a warrant to search every person and vehicle on the block, the police had assured the judge, 'there are no 'innocent' people at this place ... Only drug sellers and drug buyers are on the described premises.' But once the clamp-down was underway, they became more discriminating: Blacks were detained and searched, sometimes at gunpoint, while whites were permitted to leave the cordoned area." [p. 121] How many of the armed maniacs who shot Johnston, Bell, Guzman or Benefield will ever see the inside of a cell? How many will reach the confines of Death Row? We know the answer -- because we've seen this movie before ... Paid leave (which amounts to paid vacations), a whitewash of an investigation, and a 'they-were-doing-their-jobs' is all that ever happens. It's a damned shame. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Thu, 30 Nov 2006
SIZE: 0.34 MB
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French Message For Press Conference

November 30, 2006 Sisters and Brothers, The right wing forces of Philadelphia and wherever else were not able to pull off their attempt to intimidate the French with threats of a legal suit, with offers of life in prison without parole (which they had no power to enforce), and after being prepared for in France, both in Saint-Denis and in Paris, with Pam Africa and Ramona Africa right there, with a series of meetings with the mayors, with demonstrations, and a press conference -- backed off completely and never even showed up! All Power to the People! The international solidarity movement for Mumia just won a great victory in forcing the enemy to back down. See the message below from Saint-Denis. Also, check out Mumia's perfectly pronounced French message to the press conference tomorrow in Paris on www.prisonradio.org, under messages. [Or here it, and all of Mumia's commentaries, on his podcast. Go to http://mumiapodcast.libsyn.com/ for more info] -Suzanne Ross, Co-Chair of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC Here's the latest letter from Saint Denis city hall in response to the "non-existant delegation" and their demands... We just got it today: Press release The city hall of Saint Denis denounces the manipulations of certain ultra-conservative pressure groups, and reasserts its commitment in favor of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The city hall of Saint Denis re-affirms yet again its support to the women and men who are demanding Mumia Abu-Jamal be treated with fairness and justice. The picket this 30th day of November 2006 has been organized to protest against the pressure brought to bear on the city of Saint Denis by members of the american extreme right in order to bring about the cancellation of our decision to name one of our streets after an African American militant who has been unfairly incarcerated and sentenced to the death penalty. This ultra conservative pressure group, based in Philadelphia, has not hesitated to make use of the grossest manipulations. Thus, the widely disseminated information according to which the city of Philadelphia is suing the cities of Saint Denis and Paris, because of their commitment in favor of Mumia Abu-Jamal - is nothing but a lie. The Mayor of Philadelphia, as well as the president of its city council, informed the city of Saint Denis that they never intended to file any kind of suit, and have absolutely nothing to do with this campaign. This manipulation was unmasked, and it should be know that the Philadelphia politician who initiated it, though a member of George Bush's party, was defeated during the recent american elections. Whatever the case may be, the city hall of Saint Denis is proud to have named a street of this city in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has become one of the symbols, of the struggle for justice and the abolition of the death penalty in the US and throughout the world. It is not the first time that an international mobilization has taken place in favor of American citizens who are unfairly sentenced in their own country. Such was the case for Nicola Sacco, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, between 1920 and 1927, for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who died on the electric chair in 1953, and subsequently in 1972 for Angela Davis initially sentenced for murder, before being acquitted of all charges. The city hall of Saint Denis will steadfastly pursue the struggle to save Mumia Abu-Jamal, so that this man incarcerated for a quarter of a century for a crime he has always claimed he did not commit - be reinstated in his human rights. Saint Denis 30th of November 2006

DATE: Tue, 28 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.03 MB
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The Worms Turn

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DATE: Sun, 26 Nov 2006
SIZE: 5.76 MB
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Wars Against Memory re: Charles Blockson

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DATE: Sat, 25 Nov 2006
SIZE: 2.20 MB
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Deals With The Devil

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DATE: Wed, 22 Nov 2006
SIZE: 2.08 MB
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Some Who Feel no Reason for Thanksgiving

To this day, I can hardly bear to think of that quintessentially American holiday -- Thanksgiving. When I do, however, I do not dwell on pilgrims with wide black hats sitting to sup with red men, their long hair adorned with eagle feathers. I think not of turkeys, nor of cranberry, foods now traditional for the day of feast. Unlike millions, I don't even think of the day's football game; and not thinking of it, I don't watch it. I think of the people we have habitually called 'Indians'' the indigenous people of the Americas. Those millions who are no more. I think of those precious few who remain, and wonder, what do they think of this day; this national myth of sweet brotherhood, that masks what can only be called genocide? Several years ago, I read a thin text that was pregnant with poignancy. It was a collection of Native remarks from the first tribes who encountered whites in New England, and down through several hundred years. Throughout it all, the same vibration could be felt, no matter what the clan or tribe. A profound sense of betrayal and wrong; from people who were treated like brethren when they first arrived. In New England, the name Powhatan (ca. 1547-1618) is still recalled (even if that wasn't his name, but what the English called him). Known as Wahunsonacock by his people, he headed a confederacy of 32 tribes, and governed an area of hundreds of miles. He was the father of Pocahontas, the young Indian maiden who saved the life of Capt. James Smith. A year after sparing Smith's life, the white captain threatened the great chief. This is some of his response given in 1609: "...Why should you take by force that from us which you can have by love? Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food? We can hide our provisions, and fly into the woods; and then you must consequently famish by wronging your friends. What is the cause of your jealousy? You see us unarmed, and willing to supply your wants, if you come in a friendly manner, and not with swords and guns, as to invade an enemy. I am not so simple, as not to know it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English; and, being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns, roots, and such trash, and to be so hunted, that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep. In such circumstances, my men must watch, and if a twig should but break, all would cry out, "Here comes Capt. Smith"; and in this miserable manner, to end my miserable life; and, Capt. Smith, this might be soon your fate too, through your rashness and unadvisedness. I therefore, exhort you to peaceable councils; and, above all, I insist that the guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy and uneasiness, be removed and sent away." [Blaisdell, Bob, ed., Great Speeches by Native Americans (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Press, 2000), p.4.] That great chief's sentiments would be echoed for over hundreds of years, but injustice would just be piled on injustice. Genocide would be the white answer to red life. Centuries later, what can Thanksgiving Day mean to Native peoples? Thank you for stealing our land? Thank you for wiping out our people? Thank you for placing a remnant of our once great numbers on rural ghettoes called 'reservations?' Thank you for abolishing most of the ancient traditions? Thank you for poisoning what little Indian lands remain with uranium? Thank you for poisoning the lands now inhabited by the whites? Thank you for letting Indians fight in American wars against other people? Thanks. The real tragedy is that millions of Americans don't know, and don't want to know about Indian history and traditions. Today, the names of rivers, lakes, and landmarks bear indigenous markers of another age. The people, except for an occasional movie, are mostly forgotten; out of mind. The easier to replace with false images of happy meals, and turkey dinners. Happy Thanksgiving. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 20 Nov 2006
SIZE: 2.18 MB
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The Taming of the Democrats

Since the recent Democratic wins in the U.S. House and Senate, there has been a concerted effort from the corporate media to evoke from them pre-installation promises of moderation, and a mass denial that there are any plans to impeach a widely unpopular President, George W. Bush. There has been equally aggressive attention paid to House Speaker-elect, Nancy Pelosi (Dem. - Ca.), who makes history as the first American woman to reach what is essentially the third most powerful office in the nation. With few exceptions, most outspoken legislators have pooh-poohed the idea of impeaching the President, even before there have been hearings into the events that led to the ruinous disaster in Iraq. Columnists lecture, "It would be too divisive." Others decry such talks as 'radical.' What is more radical than war? Why are the same voices and institutions that led the cheerleading squad to war now setting the parameters of acceptable political debate and activity? Perhaps the most influential newspaper in the U.S., the New York Times, used its front pages as a virtual billboard for the Bush administration, and high-ranking people like Vice-President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State (then National Security Advisor), Condoleeza Rice quoted the NYT incessantly in the run-up to the Iraq War. Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter, Judith Miller essentially served as a scribe for the White House. It was press scrutiny that led to the recent downfall of outspoken anti-war figure, Congressman John Murtha (Dem.-Pa.) in the race for House Majority Whip, using grainy tapes from almost 3 decades ago -- the FBI ABSCAM attempts to bust corrupt politicians. It certainly appears like the so-called 'Washington consensus' was unilaterally opposed to Murtha in the Whip post, for it would have provided the critic with a platform that could not be easily ignored. It was precisely this so-called 'consensus' that lined up to support the Iraq adventure, virtually without a whisper of dissent. It very well may be the case that these same forces wanted to humble the House Speaker-elect. And yet it was this same alleged 'consensus' (driven, to be sure, by the mad neocons in the White House, the Defense Dept. and the corporate think tanks) that led to this mess. Consensus, here in the U.S., is actually the agreement of a fairly narrow slice of the American (and sometimes foreign) elite. In the brief but brilliant book, Behind the Invasion of Iraq (N.Y.: Monthly Review Press, 2003) written by the Humbai, India-based Research Unit for Political Economy, this theme is argued quite strongly: "Typically apart from legislators and the press, a proliferation of research institutes, semi-governmental bodies, and academic forums circulate proposals voicing the case of one or the other lobby (leaving the administration free to deny that they constitute official policy). These proposals elicit objections from other interests, through similar media; other powerful countries press their interests, directly or indirectly; and the entire discussion, in the light of the strength of the respective interests, helps shape the course of action finally adopted and helps coalesce the various ruling class sections around it. (This process, of course, has nothing to do with democratic debate, since the people are excluded as participants, and are included only as a factor to be taken into account)." We shouldn't haggle with theory here. One need only recall the unprecedented mass pre-war protests, all around the nation, and abroad. The experts and think tank types decried the ignorance of the masses, but time has proven that the mass demonstrations were right. Now, the Democrats, being seduced by the lobbyists, the media, and the know-it-alls (who might best be called 'the know-nothings') are being persuaded to be bipartisan; to take impeachment off the table; to cool that rap about ending the war. That, like before, is the recipe for disaster, for it ignores the people who turned out to vote, largely disgusted with Bush's war. People are sick to the soul about Iraq. If they ignore the public mood, they will, once again, be digging their political graves. For this war, from beginning to now, has been an unholy disaster, causing the deaths of at least a 1/2 million people. That ain't impeachable? Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Fri, 17 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.72 MB
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Winners and Losers

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DATE: Sat, 11 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.93 MB
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The Road From Oaxaca

Several weeks ago, a long, dusty trail of thousands winded their way from the southern city of Oaxaca, to the capital of Mexico City, some 800 kilometers (or over 250 miles) to support democracy, and demand the removal of the governor, who got there through a stolen, and deeply corrupt election. The marchers, a motley crew of teachers, students, farmers, vendors, and the like, made their tortuous way over mountain and valleys, through slashing rains, blistering heat, and numbing cold, marching for 19 days, to take their complaints to the seat of government. The group, calling itself the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (or APPO, the Spanish acronym for Asemblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca), has rocked Mexico with its strong, principled insistence that elections be truly fair and free of corruption, and that the will of the People be heard. I've actually been reading about the events in Oaxaca for several weeks, and every time I read about them, I thought of Americans, who quietly accepted the corrupt elections of 2000, and of 2004, like lambs being led to shishkabobs. For, the stolen elections of 2000 in Florida, and later 2004 in Ohio, have done unprecedented damage to the very notion of democracy, and shattered the faith of millions in the electoral process. The people of Oaxaca, braving not just the natural elements, but the political ones as well, indeed, the terrorism of the 'instruments of the state' (police and military violence), have proven by their march and protests that true democracy is deeply important to the people. The APPO, which has sparked resistance throughout Mexico City, and in other parts of the country, has created a political crisis in the nation, by its fervent demand for the removal of Oaxaca governor, Ulises Ruiz, and the restoration of democracy. The crisis arises from the fact that many of the country's political parties are doing their damnedest to silence, derail, or intimidate the people; for if they are successful (they fear) there will be two, three, a dozen Oaxacas all across the country. Oaxaca, although the poorest state in Mexico, and one with the largest indigenous population, is inspiring people far and beyond its southern Mexican borders. The Oaxaca resistance was born in repression, when Governor Ruiz ordered the police assault on the striking Oaxaca teachers' union in June. The teachers fought back, and within days, over 300,000 people gathered in a mass march to support the union. Out of that massive outpouring of support came the APPO, the Popular Assembly. The continuing crisis in Mexico may push social forces to join the radicalizing efforts of the APPO, or may open the door to the threatened terror of the 'instruments of the state.' To be frank, what began in repression may indeed end in more repression; but that will not, nor could truly be the end. That's because the forces that gave rise to APPO are still rumbling barely beneath the surface, ready to emerge in another state, where workers and the poor are struggling to resist the ravenous forces of globalism. When the poor are treated poorly, when workers are poorly paid, the conditions for resistance are already present. And while the temptation of the State to use its brutal 'instruments' may be strong, it's also very possible that it may spark more resistance, deeper and broader. Oaxaca is spreading like the wind, and the examples of popular and indigenous resistance from Mexico, like the APPO, and the Zapatistas, and various struggles from throughout Latin America, are spreading also. The people of Oaxaca should be supported, not just with words, but with similar organizing against flawed and corrupt elections, from folks all over the world. It should begin with the people of the U.S. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal [NOTE: Many of Mr. Jamal's commentaries may be found in Spanish at: http://refugiodelriogrande.tripod.com]

DATE: Fri, 10 Nov 2006
SIZE: 2.02 MB
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Thomas Merton Award honors Angela Y. Davis

Thomas Merton Award 2006 honors Angela Y. Davis! November 10, 6pm at Sheraton Station Square Student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer, Davis is an advocate of prison abolition and has developed a powerful critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She has received the distinguished honor of an appointment to the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies. In this podcast, Mumia introduces Angela Y. Davis at the Awards Dinner

DATE: Sun, 05 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.86 MB
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John Kerry and the Politics of Wusses

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DATE: Sat, 04 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.70 MB
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Saddam's Sentence

With excitement and barely suppressed glee, the media announced the death sentence returned against Iraqi strongman, Saddam Hussein, for crimes against humanity during the 1982 Dujail massacre. In the face of the deadly horror that is Iraq, Hussein has become little more than a bad, but distant memory. Indeed, in both print and audio interviews I've read and heard in the last few weeks, Iraqis looked to life under the Hussein regime as the good old days. That is a measure, not of how 'good' the old days were, but of how anguished is the present. While Shi'as groaned under the repression of the secret police, and the Kurds lived in terror of the central government, the day-to-day life of Iraqis was one that was among the most envied of the Arab world. Its populace was among the most educated, certainly one of the highest among women in that region. With the very serious exception of the omnipresent threat of government security forces, Iraqis lived lives of relative safety and security. Today, Iraq is bedlam; the police and army are little more than ethnic death squads. The U.S.-backed puppet government in Baghdad is a 'government' in name only. Real power is in the militias and regional religious leaders, like Moqtada al-Sadr, a man who is both! In light of Saddam's death sentence, you'll probably hear some pundits claim it's a 'turning point', or a 'benchmark', of the new Iraqi democracy. In truth, it's neither. The forces unleashed by the invasion and occupation have become bigger than Saddam. The irony is that Saddam Hussein, according to recently published reports, never believed that the U.S. would actually take Baghdad; not because he thought his Republican Guard was so fierce, but because he thought that Americans couldn't be so stupid. Peter Galbraith in an Aug. 2006 article in the *New York Review of Books* criticized the military knowledge of both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Saddam Hussein, as leaders who routinely ignored advice from their generals. In the article, "Mindless in Iraq," Galbraith noted: "Men who had put their lives on the line in combat were mostly unwilling to put their careers on the line to speak out against a plan based on the numbers pulled out of the air by a cranky sixty-nine-year old [i.e., Rumsfeld]. "Fortunately for the US troops who had to invade Iraq, they were initially up against an adversary who was also convinced of his own military genius. Saddam Hussein knew it made no strategic sense for the US to invade Iraq and therefore he assumed it wouldn't happen. He had maintained ambiguity about whether he had WMDs not because he had something to hide but to intimidate the two enemies about whom he really was worried, the Iranians and Iraq's Shiite majority. "Even before the invasion began ... Saddam could not quite believe the United States intended to go all the way to Baghdad .. Saddam could not imagine that the United States would see an advantage in replacing him with a pro-Iranian, Shiite-dominated regime." [Fr.: Galbraith, P., "Mindless in Iraq," NYROB (Aug. 10, 2006), p. 29.] And so, Saddam will soon have a date with the hangman; but events and forces at work in Iraq will barely ripple from his passage. His death warrant, signed and sealed in Washington, D.C., will bring it no closer to US regional objectives. Hasn't Iraq had enough death? The hell of today is far worse than the hell of yesterday. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Thu, 02 Nov 2006
SIZE: 1.23 MB
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Fear Merchants

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DATE: Thu, 02 Nov 2006
SIZE: 2.30 MB
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Scarier Than Any Halloween

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DATE: Wed, 25 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.79 MB
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Iraq Echoes of Vietnam

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DATE: Wed, 18 Oct 2006
SIZE: 2.23 MB
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Of Radicals and Extremists

If the minions of the neocon right are to be believed, the struggle in Iraq, (and by extension, the Middle East) is essentially a war against what they call "extremism." Even the verbally challenged President George W. Bush has argued, quite strenuously, against "Islamic extremists." It seems like many in the right are trying out new terms every week, to stoke the fires of fear about new and foreboding threats to the besieged American republic: "extremists"; "Islamic extremists"; "Islamofascists"; "dead-enders", et al. For politicians words are weapons, which are used to sell images, such like Madison Ave. sells soap. Every so often, even the best product must be made "new" or "improved!" And why shouldn't they? Hasn't it worked before? We now sneer at the phrase 'weapons of mass destruction', but several years ago it rang in the head like a klaxon. Is it radical or extremist to fight against foreigners who invade your country, and try to impose strangers who function as puppets for these foreigners? Why is the administration never seen as "extremist" for invading a foreign country based on false pretenses? Why isn't it viewed as "extreme" for its mad plan to 'remake the face of the Middle East?' Why isn't its response for the desperate acts of 19 men, (9/11), of invading a nation that had nothing to do with that act, seen as "extreme?" That it isn't is largely because of the obedient services of the corporate media, which sought obscene ratings by playing the fear card, and waving the flag. They did so because their paychecks are signed by big business, and this administration has been good for big business. They served their corporate masters, but betrayed their publics. Yet this is hardly a new thing. Scholar and writer, Michael Parenti, in the 2004 book Super Patriotism (San Francisco: City Lights Books) looks beyond the present manic Bush Regime, to view a long history of US extremism all around the world: "US LEADERS HAVE LONG PROFESSED A DEDICATION TO DEMOCRACY, yet over the last half century they have devoted themselves to overthrowing democratic governments in Guatemala, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Syria, Indonesia (under Sukarno), Greece (twice), Argentina (twice), Haiti (twice), Bolivia, Jamaica, Yugoslavia, and other countries. These countries were all guilty of pursuing policies that occasionally favored the poorer elements and infringed upon the more affluent. In most instances, the US-sponsored coups were accompanied by widespread killings of democratic activists. "US leaders have supported covert actions, sanctions, or proxy mercenary wars against revolutionary governments in Cuba, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Iraq (with the CIA ushering in Saddam Hussein's reign of repression), Portugal, South Yemen, Nicaragua, Cambodia, East Timor, Western Sahara, and elsewhere. "US interventions and destabilization campaigns have been directed against other populist nationalistic governments, including Egypt, Lebanon, Peru, Iran, Syria, Zaire, Venezuela, the Fiji Islands, and Afghanistan (before the Soviets ever went into the country). "And since World War II, direct US military invasions or aerial attacks or both have been perpetrated against Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, North Korea, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, and Iraq (twice). There is no 'rogue state,' 'axis of evil,' or communist country that has a comparable record of such criminal aggression against other nations." (pp. 133-34] In light of this kind of history, who are the "extremists?" In light of this history, who are the "radicals?" This isn't a 'war against extremism' -- it is a war waged by extremists. It is a war waged by ideologues drunk on power, and willing to break a nation to prove their theories of the so-called 'free market.' Iraq is essentially a broken state, awaiting its final crack. Like hungry wolves, these dudes are looking for the next morsel to munch on. Column Written 10/15/06. Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 18 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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Wages of War - Civilian Casualties

The numbers recently announced from a John Hopkins University study could not be more stunning: since the March 2003 start of the Iraq War, some 600,000 Iraqi civilians have died. 600,000! The number, drawn from a random sampling of Iraqis, drew almost immediate condemnation from the military-news media establishment. Even George Rex III, sniffed at a recent press conference, "That study is flawed." This from the guy who, when asked several months ago, how many Iraqi civilians died, blithely replied, "I dunno -- around 30,000." The John Hopkins study, published in a recent edition of The Lancet, the journal of the British Medical Association, did not claim that 600,000 Iraqis were slain by so-called ''coalition forces." The number reflected deaths from all causes, including illnesses, and accidents. But what Dr. Gilbert Burnham did say could hardly be called reassuring. Burnham, the study's lead author, and professor of international health at John Hopkins, said that the coalition directly caused the deaths of 31% of Iraqi civilians. Now, I ain't no math wiz, but according to my trusty calculator, that means the so-called 'coalition' is responsible for the deaths of a stunning 186,000 Iraqis! 186,000! What the study tells us is that war brings both direct and indirect causes of death, for the destruction of resources and infrastructure leads, inexorably, to serious health problems that can lead to death. As I thought of those numbers -- 186,000 -- 600,000 -- I thought of the talking heads from the White House and the think tanks, echoing "Iraq is better off," "Iraq is much better ..." Madness. The study, a joint undertaking of the Baltimore-based John Hopkins University and the Baghdad-based School of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University, estimated that the country has suffered some 600 deaths a day since the U.S. invasion. 600 deaths -- a day. Do Iraqis think that things are better now than they were under Saddam? Why not listen to the voices of some Iraqis, instead of paid shills for the administration? The writer Anthony Arnove, in his recent book Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal (New York: The New Press, 2006) made the following observations: "Three years into an occupation that its defenders boasted would rebuild Iraq, many Iraqis say conditions were better under sanctions and dictatorship. In much of the country, there is less electricity than before the invasion, with predictable consequences, including 'patients who die in emergency rooms when equipment stops running.' Even many Iraqis who had supported the U.S. invasion, in the hope that it would bring some improvement to their lives, now denounce the occupation. 'We loved the Americans when they came. I believed them when they said they came to help us,' said one Iraqi, Hossain Ibrahim, a former student. 'But now I hate them, they are worse then Saddam.'" [p. 14] A mad war, driven by mad men, with their shiny eyes on oil, and the dream of 'remaking the Middle East', have dreamt a disaster, where over 1/2 a million people are now and forever gone. There is something fundamentally insane about this. There is the sub rosa, and quiet assurance that the lives of Arabs don't really count for much. This is what you get for a billion bucks a week! This is what occupation looks like. Column Written 10/12/06. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 18 Oct 2006
SIZE: 2.07 MB
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The Vampire's Freedom

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DATE: Mon, 16 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.88 MB
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Lynne Stewart and the Law 2

ONA MOVE! I greet you all, those gathered here in support of the work and liberty of Attorney Lynne Stewart, on the eve of her sentencing in federal court. It is my pleasure to join y'all, if only in this limited way. I also want to be clear that the sentiments expressed here are my own, and are not those of Lynne. I speak only to support her, and wish her a very favorable outcome in the days ahead. Lynne Stewart is, simply speaking, a legend in the realm of law, for her defense of people engaged in struggles against the powerful. That said, I think it's safe to say that although she has defended Black nationalists, Lynne Stewart is not a Black nationalist. She has defended Puerto Rican nationalists, though I bet she isn't a Puerto Rican nationalist. And though she has defended Omar Abdel-Rahman (known as the blind Sheikh), who was convicted of involvement in the first terrorist strike at the World Trade Center, we can all agree she's no terrorist. It is only in the maddening age, in the shadows of 9/11, that a prosecution like this could even be contemplated, and won! And that is a testament more to fear, than to reason. Let's be honest -- She was convicted of essentially breaking a prison rule! You know, if a prisoner violates a prison rule, he or she may get 30 or 60 days in the hole. Or, perhaps, a reprimand. In the United States of America, Lynne Stewart faces 30 years! That should make you wonder, not about Lynne Stewart, but about the country you're living in. About the nature of the thing we all call the 'law'. Lynne Stewart, a 66-year old woman, is facing a life sentence for breaking a prison rule! Of course, being the feds, prison rules have fancy titles, like the Special Administrative Measures (or SAMs), and yes, lawyers had to sign it to see their clients, but that's what it is, a prison rule. Lynne's only 'crime' (if it can be called that), is thinking that the old rules sill applied after 9/11. We -- all of us -- live in a world where Congress recently debated torture, and agreed to let George W. Bush decide! Where secret prisons now sit, administered by the CIA, in the former Soviet bloc countries! Where habeas corpus -- remember that so-called 'Great Writ?' -- will be denied to those who are tortured by U.S. military, government employees, (or private contractors) -- on King George's say so! Lynne, like any thinking person, probably read the rules, saw that they were profoundly unconstitutional, and presumed that any judge who swore an oath to the Constitution, would say so too. Maybe before 9/11. Not now. This is our world. This is the madness that passes for sober thought in today's America. But, the people -- each one of you -- aren't powerless. By being here tonight, you want to join your voice with Lynne's; to say, to show, that this woman isn't alone. That is a good and powerful thing! Yet, I must say one other thing (again, my opinion -- not Lynne's). Egypt is a terrorist state. It uses brutal and monstrous torture against its political opponents. Does that mean that one endorses terrorism against that, or any state? Of course not. But it means we cannot ignore state terrorism. Whether in Egypt -- or here in the U.S. of A. Secret prisons. Torture chambers in Guantanamo, Cuba. Prisoners disappeared in Bagram, in Diego Garcia, and in places -- so-called 'black sites' with names unknown, where who-knows-what goes on. It's time for people to join hands, join forces, and join movements, to change this sad state of affairs. Lynne Stewart's work, in support of human rights for all, and a zealous defense for all, is a damned good starting point!! Speech Written 10/7/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 11 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.12 MB
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Lynne Stewart and the Law

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DATE: Fri, 06 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.22 MB
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Message to 1st Annual Central NY Locks Conference 2006

FIRST ANNUAL CENTRAL NEW YORK LOCKS CONFERENCE Saturday, October 21, 2006 Tompkins County Public Library 101 East Green Street Ithaca, New York 11 AM - 4 PM FREE The First Annual Central New York Locks Conference will embrace the beauty of natural hair throughout the African diaspora, while also focusing on the history and contemporary impact of "dreadlocks" or locked hair. The theme of the this year's conference is the effect of mass incarceration on communities given that certain appearances within communities of color are often negatively stereotyped and criminalized. The First Annual Central New York Locks Conference will feature... Mumia Abu-Jamal special welcome address Harold Wilson 122nd innocent person released from death row Pam & Ramona Africa MOVE Organization/Int'l Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal New York Campaign for Telephone Justice Coalition working across NYS to STOP THE CONTRACT between DOCS and Verizon/MCI Ewuare Osayande People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism (POWER) Vanessa Johnson presenting HAIR TALES... films, exhibits, vendors, and much more.... (vendor inquiries welcome) plus.... THE AFTER PARTY.... evening EDU-TAINMENT featuring roots | culture | spoken word | rebel music Saturday, October 21, 2006 Lost Dog Lounge 106-112 South Cayuga Street Ithaca, New York 8 PM $5 featuring... Taina Asili Vanessa Johnson Ewuare Osayande cypher:dissdent BROADCAST LIVE for more info... 607-277-2121 or info@stamp-cny.org

DATE: Sun, 01 Oct 2006
SIZE: 1.67 MB
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Message for 40th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party

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DATE: Sun, 01 Oct 2006
SIZE: 7.96 MB
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John Brown: His Truth is Marching On

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DATE: Sun, 01 Oct 2006
SIZE: 0.71 MB
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Elombe Brath 70th Birthday Message

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DATE: Sat, 30 Sep 2006
SIZE: 2.02 MB
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The War That Won't Stop

THE WAR THAT WON'T STOP [Col. Writ. 9/29/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal There has been a blizzard of books released about the ill-fated Iraq War. Some have been penned by Bush insiders; others by outsiders. Such is the blizzard that the net result is often confusion, for each is written from the perspective of the writer, and to project or protect one side or the other. Well, here's another one for ya. Now comes Greg Palast, the irascible author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2004), whose newest work is a broad, if irreverent, look at not just the Iraq disaster, but also the nation's economic debacle, and other perfidies of the governing classes. Palast's new book is: Armed Madhouse (New York: Dutton, 2006). Palast is perhaps best known for his BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) reports on the stolen elections in Florida, and the subsequent assaults on democracy in 2004, in Ohio, and beyond. What hit me, however, was his analysis of the conflicting interests in the Bush administration on the Iraq invasion and occupation. One side, he argues, wanted to use the Iraq takeover as a massive tool to crack OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), and by so doing, kick the Saudis out of the driver's seat, and flood the market with cheap oil. The second option was a relatively modest invasion, the installation of a dutifully obedient puppet, but hands off oil, except to control its flow. According to Palast, the objective was never to take the oil, but to control it, and thereby moderate its flow. By so doing, this would keep the price at a high level, based on the principle that plenty would bring prices too low. Palast writes: "In the short term, Iraq's fields were trashed even before saboteurs torched them. The CIA and the Pentagon knew it no matter what (Paul) Wolfowitz said to bobble-headed Congressmen. In the long run, however, many years from now, Iraq, with 114 billion barrels of proven reserves, might be able to crank up above its OPEC quota. "*But that won't happen*. The globe is littered with the economic skeletons of nations that fragrantly busted their OPEC quotas.. There's the skeleton of Venezuela. In 1973, Venezuela broke the first Arab oil boycott. But in 1997, when Venezuela again ramped up production, punishment was swift. Saudi Arabia, which can live without big oil revenues for up to a year, opened its spigots and drowned the market. The price of oil dropped to $8 a barrel and Venezuela went bankrupt. Its government fell. The current President of that nation, Hugo Chavez, is now a good member of OPEC, indeed its most fanatic adherent to the quota system." (pp. 86-87) This was a war, Palast explains, not to get oil, so much as it was to keep goo-gobs of oil in the ground! The rarer a commodity, the higher its price. In fall, 2005, Exxon Oil raked in $9.9 billion, net. It made more profit during its third quarter than in the history of money! Now why would they want to threaten that? The guy makes one hell of a point. These were wars of capital, with the army, air force, and generals, but footmen for big businesses. This was a 'war for oil', as millions of protesters screamed in spring, 2003. But not the way we thought it. It was a war to make more profits, profits that have only grown since the war began -- till now. Hey, Congress belongs to the corporations. Why shouldn't the army? In a real sense, oil explains everything, in ways that other explanations do not. It seamlessly slips throughout the political, theological, and military justifications for the carnage in Iraq, and emerges as the only consistent rationale for this continuing disaster, which seems to so easily elude logic. Reading Palast's latest book, I thought of a quote from the book, The Lessons of History by Will & Ariel Durant: "...[T]he men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all." [p. 54] This hot, deadly war is but a front in the invisible economic war. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Wed, 27 Sep 2006
SIZE: 1.74 MB
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With Allies Like These

The recent U.S. and New York performance of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has led to conniption fits by the chattering classes, sending some right-wing stations into overdrive. I am always amused at times like these, for, because I have some limited knowledge of U.S.-Latin American history, I sense where Chavez is coming from, and can honestly say, if I were looking at the world from a Latin American perspective, I'd feel pretty damn strongly that norte americanos behaved toward their southern neighbors like devils. Since at least 1823 (when U.S. president James Monroe announced his 'Monroe Doctrine'), Latin America has been little more than a colonial playground, or perhaps more fitting, basement for the United States. The Monroe Doctrine essentially was a threat against Europe that any intervention in *any* country in the Americas, would be perceived as a threat to U.S. security. Although pitched to the Europeans, it of course involved Central and Latin America, which was said to be the U.S.'s 'backyard.' In 1927, New York Times columnist Walter Lippman kicked it straightup when he wrote that the US had imperial claims over the Latin South: "All the world thinks of the United States as an empire, except the people of the United States. ... We shrink from the word 'empire,' and insist that it should not be used to describe the dominion we exercise from Alaska to the Philippines, from Cuba to Panama, and beyond. ... [W]e control the foreign relations of all the Caribbean countries; not one of them could enter into serious relations abroad without our consent. We control their relations with each other. We exercise the power of life and death over their governments in that no government can survive if we refuse it recognition. We help in many of these countries to decide what they call their elections, and we do not hesitate, as we have done recently in Mexico, to tell them what kind of constitution we think they ought to have. Whatever we may choose to call it, this is what the world at large calls an empire, or at least an empire in the making."** There it is. And what of U.S. allies? We've just heard reports of how the U.S. acquired Pakistan as an 'ally' in the so-called 'War on Terror.' According to published reports, U.S. officials gripped up President-General Pervez Musharraf, and told him, "If you don't support us, we'll bomb Pakistan back into the stone age!" Whoa! Now that's gangsta! This is less a 'coalition of the willing', than a 'gang of the bullied.' The Mafia could learn from these dudes! As Chavez might say, 'That sounds like the devil!' Nor should we delude ourselves into thinking that this is a Bush thing, or a Republican thing. No. It's an imperialist thing! The late President Lyndon B. Johnson, during a political dispute with the Greek ambassador, told him, "F--- your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good ... If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament, or constitutions, he, his parliament and constitutions may not last very long."** So this is not a new thing. It is an old thing, that people all around the world know about. That old thing is imperialism. It is the U.S. exercising a choke-hold over much of the world for their resources. It's this strong-arm, imperialist arrogance that resulted in U.S. President George W. Bush getting modest, polite applause, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez receiving prolonged applause, even a standing ovation by some delegates. They recognized that the Venezuelan leader was doing something that perhaps they wished they could do -- speak truth to power. Empire always makes enemies, for oppression breeds resistance. It has resulted in false allies, and real resistors. The lessons of Rome are lost in this new age of arrogance. **[Sources: Nieto, Clara. Masters of War: Latin America and U.S. Aggression (from the Cuban revolution Through the Clinton Years) (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003), p. 22.; Zepezauer, Mark. The CIA's Greatest Hits. (Tucson, AZ: Odinian Press, 1994), p. 33.] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Mon, 18 Sep 2006
SIZE: 1.75 MB
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Why There is No Iran War on the Horizon

If we listen to the speech of Bush administration officials, or of vocal senators, it seems unavoidable that the Bush regime will unleash yet another military disaster against the Imamate in power in Tehran. Readers of our work in the past certainly have read my earlier commentaries which suggested such an attack was all but imminent. I am now of another opinion. Iraq has so shattered the U.S. military capability, and so undermined its credibility in the Middle East, that it seems unlikely that the U.S. empire could muster up enough wherewithal to mount an effective campaign. Also, any attack on Iran would only serve to further destabilize Iraq, where its 60% Shia majority would not sit idly by as their fellow Shias fall under the American gun. The Iraqi armed resistance has been largely a Sunni affair, but surely an attack in Iran would bring armed Shias into the fray. This, the U.S. neither wants nor needs. There is another reason: good old American greed. The big oil companies are licking their collective lips to try to get a taste of the black gold sitting there. Iran has the second highest proven oil reserves in the world, right after Saudi Arabia. Oil companies all around the world are slaking their thirst in the black lake, like ENI (Italy), Gasprom (Russia), Petronas (Malaysia), Shell (Dutch-UK), and Total (France). Back when Dick Cheney still had his desk at Halliburton, he spoke out against US sanctions on Iran, calling them "unproductive." Similarly, when former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, was going through his confirmation hearings, he noted: "differences with Iran need not preclude greater interaction, whether in commerce, or increased dialogue." It is a rare day when Powell and Cheney agree on something, but this was just such a day. And while Bush threw a monkey wrench into the corporate wrangling with his "axis of evil" rhetoric, Big Oil has its interests, which cannot be served if Iran turns into a bigger, bloodier Iraq. Business likes stability to extract its profits. The latest grades on the Iraq adventure, coming from usually supportive sources like the Brookings Institution, are "F" for failure. In the words of Philip H. Gordon, writing in a recent edition of *Foreign Affairs*: "Bush has gotten the United States bogged down in an unsuccessful war, overstretched the military, and broken the domestic bank. Washington now lacks the reservoir of international legitimacy, resources, and domestic support necessary to pursue other key national interests." While there is no love lost between the Iranians and the Americans, they each have their own interests, and neither is served by a military conflict at this time. If Iraq were the bustling, bright, shiny Shangri-La that neocon warmongers promised, perhaps things would be different. But it isn't. By any sane measure, it is a disaster, getting worse, more deadly, more unstable by the day. Even seemingly immortal empires reach their limits. This is America's. So, there will be harsh words. There will be saber rattling. But this is mere bombast. After all is said and done, deals will be made, dollars will cross palms, baksheesh will open locked doors, and oil will flow. It's nothing personal. It's just business. [Source,/i>: "U.S. Policy Towards Iran Takes a New Turn", Class Struggle (Aug-Sept. '06) [Iss. #52], pp. 18-24.] Column Written. 9/14/06. Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

DATE: Tue, 12 Sep 2006
SIZE: 1.85 MB
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Five Years Later: Do you Feel Safer Yet?

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DATE: Sun, 10 Sep 2006
SIZE: 1.30 MB
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9/8/06Mumia's Message to the Power to the Peaceful Festival

The Power to the Peaceful Festival began humbly in 1999 as an international day of art and culture in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The name and date “911? were chosen to call attention to the emergency status of Mumia’s impending execution and drew roughly 6,000 people to the Mission’s Dolores Park. In 2000, PTTP expanded; showing support for all prisoners on death row, and speaking out against the exponential growth of the prison industrial complex. When the attacks of September 11th, 2001 occurred, the festival took on a new significance, serving both as a day of remembrance for the lives lost in the tragedy as well as a day in which Northern Californians called for and end to all bombing around the globe. The 2002 and 2003 events offered a space for healing and compassion for all the people killed or displaced by terrorism and the war on terrorism. By this time, the festival had outgrown Dolores Park, and was resituated in the lush mile acre of Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park, with over 20,000 people attending. In 2004 the festival was themed "Stand up and be Counted", encouraging people to get out and vote. Last year's festival, themed "Bring 'Em Home" emphasized that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home now and drew upwards of 50,000 attendees participating in a day of music, art and social justice.

DATE: Sat, 09 Sep 2006
SIZE: 1.26 MB
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Hasan Shakur: Presente

Hasan Shakur: Presente September 7, 2006 On June 28, the state of Texas killed Hasan Shakur. Since executions resumed in the U.S. following a very brief hiatus in the 1970s, thousands of men and woman have been exiled to death row, hundreds executed, and the largest number killed in George Bush's home ground of Texas. Mumia speaks of Hasan, of his death, of his life, and reads Hasan's last poem.

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