Mumia Abu-Jamal turns 55 tomorrow. And if US “justice” has its way he will spend every birthday until he dies, naturally or at the hands of the state, in prison. I try to listen to Mumia’s commentaries every week at Prison Radio, his is a voice I cherish. Unbroken, lucid and a genuine revolutionary Mumia has provided some of the sharpest commentary of these last years and now is no exception. Mumia is never afraid to speak his mind, but the audience of the Left Forum meant that Mumia could speak to the left in the language of the left. And what did he say? Listen and find out. Again, Mumia proves to be one of the most eloquent advocates of socialism in the United States. Which is at least one of the reasons he will, without a massive movement in support, remain in jail. Send Mumia a birthday greeting:
175 Progress Dr.
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Happy Birthday Comrade. Free Mumia!
Every time I hear Mumia speak I am reminded of just why he facing death at the hands of the state. Perhaps it is the discipline imposed on a lucid mind having to communicate from the confines of death row that allows Mumia to say in just a few lines whole ideas and arcs of history. As a revolutionary propagandists he has no equal in the United States. Imagine Mumia on the streets agitating and organizing around these words and you’ll understand why he speaks from a cell.
Here Mumia points out that the origin of the capitalist crisis is….capitalism. Further, the state is not neutral but a capitalist state. It is with the state that the capitalists legitimate and formalize their rule. All the while the state is presented as the arbitrator of society’s conflicts rather than the embodiment of them. Mumia, with his usual clarity, damns the whole system in the present crisis.
We would do well to heed Mumia’s view of the state during this time. All too often even the left bows before its omnipotence. Recently I have read remarks on the economic crisis from some even claiming a little Marx in their past seeking solutions from the state’s good offices all the while chiding revolutionaries for their lack of “realism”.
These, with their unmitigated faith in a god that can not and will not deliver, are the genuine starry-eyed idealists and not those whose solutions to the social crisis begins by denying the parameters laid down by capitalism and its states. Thankfully history tells us that states are finite; they don’t go on forever. On occasion they even get overthrown by the people they claim to represent.
It is only the organizing of his supporters here and around the world that has kept Mumia alive. As his legal case narrows and justice seems even more difficult it is no time to let up. Free Mumia!
For a report of this meeting see the Pan-African News Wire story.
Detroit Public Meeting to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, the MOVE 9 & All Political Prisoners
Hear Guest Speakers:
Ramona Africa, Minister of Communication for MOVE and the only adult survivor of the May 13, 1985 massacre of 11 MOVE members by the police in Philadelphia
Pam Africa, Minister of Agitation for MOVE and the Coordinator for the International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Date: Saturday, Aug. 2, 1:00-4:00pm
Location: Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit
This event will be held in the Orientation Theater in the Museum on East Warren between John R and Brush
Award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has been imprisoned since 1981 after being falsely accused and railroaded for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Mumia remains on death row despite two federal court rulings vacating his death sentence. His case is still on appeal in the state of Pennsylvania. Come out and hear a political and legal update on the struggle to release this long-time activist who was a founding member of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia as well as a staunch supporter of the MOVE organization. Also hear a report on the denial of parole for the MOVE 9 who have been incarcerated 30 years for a crime they did not commit. Additional reports will provide updated information on the imprisonment of BANCO leader Rev. Edward Pinkney from Benton Harbor, the Cuban Five Defense Campaign and the prison industrial complex in Michigan.
This event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), the Detroit Green Party, Detroit Solidarity, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and others.
For more information contact:
Mumia’s case has now come down to this; his conviction is upheld, but a new sentencing hearing will condemn him to either life in prison without parole or death. This Saturday will see a demonstration in Philadelphia in support of Mumia. Mumia’s defense is as vital to us now as the campaigns to defend Sacco and Vanzetti and the Scotsboro Boys were then.
I wish I could be there. In Anti-Racist Action throughout the 90’s we fought for Mumia in lots of towns around the Midwest and beyond. The movement around Mumia was always creative, this is largely because most liberals wouldn’t touch it so the movement could develop its own radical voice. This combined with the white counter-culture largely from the punk scene hooking up with seasoned black revolutionaries created, an occasionally tense, dynamism when there was very little dynamism to be found politically in the States. I learned a lot as part of that movement and at that time.
Some of those demonstrations would anticipate what happened in Seattle at the end of the dry decade, in spirit and vibrancy in any case. I remember a few times in Cincinnati where Mumia demonstrations were harassed by fascists. And we hear now that fascists plan to counter-demonstrate this Saturday’s protest. I hope they get their asses kicked. Bad. Metaphorically speaking.
The fascists organizing against Mumia are none other than the National Socialist Movement led by Jeff Schoep. These guys are dangerous. They are as close as neo-nazis get to a successful regroupment project. The NSM is a repository of all kinds of far-right flotsam including some of what is left of the old Order, midwest Nazis and skinheads with a sprinkling of the more ideological Klan. They had a provocative demonstration in a black Toledo neighborhood a few years ago that ended in a local uprising.
Schoep and the NSM have recently relocated from Minnesota to Detroit. Yes, you heard me Detroit. Since there is no one in Detroit for these fuckers to recruit we must assume they have only come to participate in the Racial Holy War. Wherever they go there is going to be trouble and not coincidently Detroit has recently seen swastikas and racist graffiti on a Lodge overpass near downtown. I have a feeling Detroit is going to say “No Thanks, and don’t let this brick hit you on your ass on the way out!” Metaphorically speaking.
Free Mumia! Death to Fascism!
Here is a Mumia commentary from last week on Obama or Clinton. Keep his voice heard.