Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia Abu

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Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia Abu

Postby admin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:00 am

Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal -- Illustrated Screenplay
Written, directed & edited by Stephen Vittoria
© 2013 Street Legal Cinema

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Re: Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia

Postby admin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:15 am

PART 1 OF 4

Screenplay:

[Giancarlo Esposito, Actor, Director] "Wrapped in the sweet, false escape of dreams, I hear the unmistakable sounds of meat being beaten by blackjack, of bootfalls, yells, curses; and it merges into the mind's movie-making machine, evoking distant memories of some of the Philadelphia Police Department's greatest hits -- on me. "Get off that man, you fat, greasy, racist, redneck pig bitch muthafucka!" My tired eyes snap open; the cracks, thuds, "oofs!" come in all too clear. Damn. No dream. Another dawn, another beating on B-Block, another shackled inmate at Pennsylvania's Huntingdon prison pummeled into the concrete by a squadron of guards." - Mumia Abu-Jamal "B-Block Days & Nightmares"

[Telephone Operator] You have a collect call from Mumia Jamal, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Green___. This call is from a correctional institution, and is subject to monitoring and recording. Custom calling features are not allowed during this conversation. The cost for this call is $4.35 for the first minute, and $0.59 cents for each additional minute. If you do not wish to accept this call, please hang up now. To accept the call, press Zero. Thank you for using Verizon Select Services, Inc. Go ahead with your call.

Street Legal Cinema in association with Prison Radio Presents

LONG DISTANCE REVOLUTIONARY: A JOURNEY WITH MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

From Death Row, Mumia Abu-Jamal calls Amy Goodman & DemocracyNow, 16 April 2004.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] On the move.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] Hello, Mumia?

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Hello.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] Hi. This is Amy Goodman.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Hello, Amy. How are you?

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] Very good. Welcome to the airwaves of DemocracyNow.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Well, welcome to hell.
From death row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

[Fox News Reporter] That is the voice of Communist Mumia Abu Jamal.

[Fox News Reporter, Michelle Malkin] The left’s favorite deathrow murderer.

[Michael Smerconish Faulkner] It’s arguably the highest profile death penalty case in the nation.

[Joey Vento, Proprietor, Geno’s Steaks] I don’t know. Maybe it’s just his look. I know he’s so guilty and I know that he’s playing everybody.

[We Honor His Memory: Officer Daniel Faulkner, Murdered by Mumia Abu-jamal, December 9, 1981]

[Man eating hamburger] I don’t think he should have all of the notoriety. I think he should be below us in the ground.

[Fox News Reporter, Michelle Malkin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cop Killer, VENT, YouTube] He thrives on lavish attention, praise, and financial support from the left, and has fashioned a healthy career as a “revvvoollutionary” journalist.

[Michael Smerconish Faulkner Monologue, YouTube] And Jamal, he’s still alive on death row writing books, mugging for the camera, giving commencement addresses.

[Glenn Beck Plays Audio of Van Jones With Communist Mumia Abu Jamal, YouTube] Is it a smear campaign to notice that Van Jones associated himself the effort to free a Communist cop killer!

[Joey Vento, Proprietor, Geno’s Steaks] Like in France they, what, named a street after him. If you’ll notice, my fries don’t say “French fries.” They say “Freedom Fries.”

[Fox News Reporter, Michelle Malkin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cop Killer, VENT, YouTube] Mumia sheikh runs rampant in Hollywood in socialist circles and across the Internet.

[Michael Smerconish Faulkner Monologue, YouTube] It’s all so wrong!

[Fox News Reporter, Michelle Malkin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cop Killer, VENT, YouTube] Those who slavishly demand “truth” and “justice” on this hustler’s behalf wouldn’t know truth or justice if it smacked them in the face.

[Man eating hamburger] [Laughing]

[Fox News Reporter, Michelle Malkin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cop Killer, VENT, YouTube] He has manufactured a repulsive reality-denying myth that he is a “polliittical prisoner” punished for his Black Panther’s membership and his race rather than for his murrrdderrous actions.

[Joey Vento, Proprietor, Geno’s Steaks] He’s just a lowlife that should have been executed. And I hate giving needles, but give me it, I’ll give him the needle. You don’t need to worry about that.

Violence

Violence violates the self.

Yet that's exactly what the system believes in, what the system preaches, what the system practices: violence. Certainly I believe in the necessity of fighting the system, but one thing I'm not going to do is employ the same tactics and methods the system uses every day. Why replace the system with the same thing?

We need a new system, one where people are free of all violence of the system. I would hope for a day when there are no bombs, no guns -- no weapons whatsoever -- no war, poverty, or other injustices; no social and class hatreds; no crime and no prisons.

I reject the tools and weapons of violence.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Martha Boles] In every generation there is a case like Mumia’s.

[Christina Moses, reading from Alice Walker’s foreword to “All Things Censored”] A young black man is noted to be brilliant, radical, loving of his people, at war with injustice.

[Vanessa Born] Often, while he is still in his teens, as is the case of Mumia, the authorities decide to keep an eye on him.

[Martha Boles] Indeed, they attempt to arrest his life for crimes he did not commit, and incarcerating him in prison.

[Christina Moses, reading from Alice Walker’s foreword to “All Things Censored”] There they think of him as something conquered. A magnificent, wild animal they succeeded in capturing.

[Vanessa Born] They feel powerful in a way they could not feel if he were free.

[Alice Walker, Author] They do not know they have encaged their own masculine beauty, their own passionate soul. Alice Walker.

[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the lost souls of the revolution.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Mumia, how are you dealing with all of this darkness, and despair and despondency and so forth? He said, “I’m going to write about it; I’m going to tell the truth about it. It’s a living hell. It’s a nightmare.”

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] They have contained his body, and they’re trying to figure out how to shut him down entirely.

[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] They have moved heaven and earth to stop his voice being heard in the United States.

[____ Guy with dreadlocks] Anybody who has the ability to draw a crowd with their voice, and then speak truth – oh my God!

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] I’ve known a lot of political prisoners, and Mumia is locked in as hard as anyone I’ve ever met. But I’ve also never met anybody that has such a warmth, and such a sense of humor, and such a perspective on the world.

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] Mumia Abu Jamal is a revolutionary person. So he’s like a guerilla in the jungle, in a tent, in the rain, writing to the community with next to nothing.

[Dave Zirin, Sports Journalist] I find him to be a tremendous thinker about sports and society in the world today. And he’s somebody who the state of Pennsylvania thinks needs to die.

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] He come to [inaudible]. That the technology was there. They could go around the world. And one day we will find out that he was the voice of America. The voice of [inaudible] is a fraud.

[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] Powerful governments like to control. They love to control. And they love to silence people. They cannot silence Mumia.

[Ramona Africa, MOVE Organization] When you’re pushing the lie, the truth is very threatening.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] So here we have somebody who defiantly says, “Yes, I’m not only a journalist, but I’m a revolutionary journalist, and no, I don’t agree with anything that you’re doing, and yes, I have an international platform, interestingly enough, a platform that I never use to talk about my own case – they want him ground up.

[Alice Walker, Author] I know about the midnight hour. I know about the darkness. And I know about the terror. And I know how hard it is to maintain one’s humanity in the face of injustice. We don’t see his midnight hour except sometimes in his writing.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] We would not be who we are as African-Americans of this day were it not for the Reverend, the Prophet Nat Turner, who brilliantly merged the religious and the political, who didn’t just talk about the world to come, but fought to transform the world that is. He is honored, and revered today. Not because he could quote that Bible well. He could do that. But because he worked in the fields of life to get the slave master off of his neck, off of all of our necks.

[Myles Cranford, quoting Frederick Douglass, 1862] There is not, perhaps, anywhere to be found, a city in which prejudice against Color is more rampant than in Philadelphia.

Frederick Douglass, 1862.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] No doubt that Philadelphia has a long history of very, very deep white supremacy. W.E.B. Du Bois’s classic 1899 The Philadelphia Negro is the first sociological study of black people in the history of the country. He reached the same conclusion that the great Frederick Douglass did.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] Philadelphia has a veneer of liberalism, and this whole Quaker mystique, but the reality is that it has been a very ruthlessly racist city really from its inception.

[Ramona Africa, MOVE Organization] America but Philadelphia particularly, the cradle of independence, and all that. It’s a lie. It’s all a lie. These people do whatever they want to do.

[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] It’s like what Malcolm X said, “America is Mississippi.”

[Malcolm X] America is Mississippi. There’s no such thing as a Mason-Dixon line.

"Brotha ... I say to you here and now, the white man is the devil! Why, when you look at how this man has stolen millions of our people from Africa, sold our mothers and fathers into slavery in the hells of North America for four hundred years; beat us, abused us, lynched us, and tortured us -- well, how could any man be anything but a devil?"

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] There’s no distinction, whether it’s Philadelphia or New York. The white supremacists are in place.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] My first memory is the lynching of Emmett Till. And of course, this didn’t happen in Philadelphia, but this was the mood of the country.

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] When you went downtown to the major department stores to shop, you couldn’t try a hat on, you couldn’t try shoes on, you couldn’t try a coat on, because white folks didn’t want to put nothing on that a negro had on their body.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] Philadelphia is poor, both black and white.

And there’s competition for jobs. African-Americans are fighting for a better life. They are seen as encroaching on white space. There is an increase in police brutality, and there’s poverty. So it’s a city rife with racial tension.

[White guy with mala] Richie Dick Allen, an outspoken black militant with a giant afro, was pelted with bottles and batteries, and ordered by jeering Philadelphia fans to go back to South Street with “the rest of the monkeys”. Jonathan Mahler, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning.

[Dave Zirin, Sports Journalist] African-American Philly, huge sports town, white, black, what have you. But if you look at who’s actually at the games, it’s still largely a white affair. And I think that really does reflect itself in the fact that it has never embraced the greatest boxer, I would argue to ever really hail from Philadelphia, and that would be Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
And the fact that Rocky Balboa, a fictional white boxer, gets the statue. I think it says so much about the city of Philadelphia, quite frankly.

[The Great Migration, by Jacob Lawrence]

[Eartha Robinson] Philadelphia in the 1950s was a city in transition. African-Americans were migrating en masse from the South.
And Mumia’s mother, Edith Louise, is part of this historic migration. Her family settles in Philadelphia right after World War II.

THE EARLY YEARS

[White guy with mala] He was born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Until you’re an adult, and you’re working, you don’t know what poverty is. We didn’t have a lot of things, but we didn’t think anybody had a lot unless you looked on TV and then you saw outrageous wealth. But when everyone is poor, there’s a sense that this is the norm.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] My memories are great. We lived in public housing that may have consisted of 250-300 families. Most of the families were either first or second generation people who had moved from the South. So they still had, what we would call, Southern ways. They would look out for each other, they’d cook a pot and share a pot.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] He and his brother were just part of a huge pack of kids that ran around what he called “The PJs,” the projects.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Children believe what parents and teachers and preachers tell them. I believed it was the city of brotherly love, the Quaker city, where the founding father, Ben Franklin, came to live, and conducted his wondrous experiments. I was no different than any other kid.

[Halima Scott, reading Mumia] I was no different than any other kid.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Black folk were always marginalized in a very ugly way, especially in relation to the oppressive apparatus, especially in relation to the police.

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] If I got 22 Ph.D.s and $10 billion dollars in the bank, and I’m driving down the street and I hear a cop call with the siren, I squeeze the steering wheel because I assume that they are coming for me. And when they go past me, I reduce myself to the level of thanking God for something that didn’t even pertain to me.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] One of the other things that I remember very vividly is, very young, Mumia used to sit on my mother’s front step with a lot of children around him. He was always reading to the other children.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I didn’t know it then, but I was a nerd. My best friends were also nerds. We read comic books like Superman, Batman the Fantastic Four, and Spider Man. We traded them, and rapped about them like they were real people. Well, to us they were real.

[Rodney Charles, reading Mumia] None of us noticed that all of our superheroes were white.

[TV Reporter] Heavy-weight champion Cassius Clay, refused to take the oath of induction into the army. The black muslim fighter …

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Muhammad Ali was a hero, especially to black boys. Even though he wasn’t from Philly, it seemed like he was always there. And when he came through the neighborhood, the word was passed like electricity. For many of us, he was the initiator of black consciousness. For us, he truly was the greatest.

[Muhammad Ali] I am the greatest!

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] Mumia would travel outside of the complex. And I believe he really started that at around 9, 19 years old.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] I think Mumia was beginning to check out the world in a more serious way. He was raised a Baptist, and then he began to think, “What are the Jews all about? What are these Quakers all about? What are the Muslims all about?”

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] Mumia knew all of these ministers, because he traveled to the church searching for God. And if they answered the question, he always had another question for them. And he did not discriminate where he went.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] Maybe it was a spiritual quest on his part, but I also think he was a bit of a journalist. He was trying to figure out, “Where are all these people coming from?” or “How does this all add up?”

[Tameka Cage, Ph.D., Professor, Author] I don’t think that he was really invested necessarily or interested in finding a religion or finding a faith as much as he was finding the center of love.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] So he was seeking an answer to something at a very young age. Again, we’re like, you know, you fell and hit your head. Why are you doing this?

The Search

LIFE HAS EVER BEEN in search of answers to basic questions -- What is Life? Who is God? Why?

As a boy, this quest took me to the oddest places. When Mama dragged us to church, it seemed more for her solace, than ours. A woman who spent most of her life in the South, she must've felt tremendous social coldness up North. "Down home" was "down South," for even after over a decade, the brick and concrete jungle we walked daily didn't seem like home.

Only at church did it seem that Mama returned home. It was a refuge where women her age sought a few hours for the soul's rest while the preacher performed. In a sense, Sunday trips to church were her weekly "homegoing." They were islands of the South -- its camaraderie, its rhythms, its spiritual community -- come north.

Yet for myself, as for most of my siblings, church was a foreign affair. We had never lived (and seldom visited) in Mama's southern birthland, and the raucous, tambourine-slapping, sweat-drenched, organ-pounding milieu couldn't be more alien. We weren't southerners.

Black preachers, especially those of southern vintage, are extroverts in style, diction, and cadence. They may yell, shriek, hum, harrumph, or sing. Some strut the stage. Some dance. Black Baptist preachers, especially, are never dull or monotonal. Their sermons aren't particularly cerebral. Nor should they be. They preach to congregations whose spirits have been beaten down and battered all week long. To them, Sundays are thus days when the spirit, not the mind, needs lifting. So preachers must perform, and sermons become exercises in exuberance.

I remember staring at the preacher -- his furrowed face shining with perspiration, eyes closed, lips locked in a holy grimace -- and wondering to myself, "What da hell did he just say?" His thick, rich, southern accent, so accessible to Mama, was Greek to me.

Part of me was embarrassed, but the other couldn't give a damn. I couldn't care less what the preacher was saying, and he couldn't care less what I was thinking. I was thinking: I am bored to tears.

The only "salvation" I felt in church was the rapturous joy I felt when I looked around me. Here, I thought, are some of the most beautiful girls in the world.

I was lost in a reverie, in rapt adoration, my eyes locked on a girl a few pews back. She had fresh pressed hair; a crisp, starched dress; patent leather shoes that shone brighter than the real stuff. Her dark brown legs shimmered with the luster of Vaseline ...

Then a painful pluck would pull me from my rapture, and Mama's clenched lips whispered, "Boy! Turn yo' narrow behind around now! Straighten up!" I would simmer. Who would choose to stare at an old preacher when there was a pretty girl to look at? If I hadda choice between 'em -- well, that wouldn't be no contest. But I was only ten. Mama made the choice for me. I turned, glowering.

It was only several years later, when I was no longer forced to go to church, that I really began to explore the realm of the spirit. Sometimes I went to Dad's church. Although Mama was a bred-in-the-bone Baptist, Dad was Episcopalian. He had taught me how to read by using the Bible, and seemed to take pleasure in listening to me read Holy Scripture.

After the raucousness of Mama's Baptist church, Dad's Episcopalianism seemed its quiet antithesis. Whereas Second Pilgrim's was cramped, Episcopal was spacious. Baptists sang and danced; Episcopalians were reserved and stately. Mama's friends shook their tambourines in North Philly. Dad's sang hymns in the foreign outlands of Southwest Philly.

Dad's church was vast, reflecting substance and wealth, yet it didn't feel like home. Maybe Mama's church was a sweatbox. Dad's seemed a cold fortress. Soon I began to seek my own spirit-refuge, going wherever I felt the spirit lead me. Like to the synagogue.

THROUGH READING the Bible and other books, I knew that the Scriptures were supposed to be the Word of God. I thus reasoned that among the Jews, whose faith is rooted in the Old Testament, I would find this Word in a purer form. One day I went to seek it.

In North Philly's bustling black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods, Jews were a distinct and rare minority -- old men, and a few women, who sold chickens, clothing, or peanuts. Their house of prayer, however, was hardly distinct: a small synagogue, it stood recessed, tucked in between the storefronts that margined it like the edges of a book cover.

Inside the vestibule, six or seven old men stood, chanting in an unknown tongue. They wore yarmulkes on their heads, and prayer shawls fastened across their chests covered their stooped shoulders. The room was dark, and what little sun seeped in hardly penetrated the dimness. Dust motes swam like goldfish in thin ribbons of filtered light. To this day, I remember the dust; the dust of old stones, of old men. And the smell of old men.

The rabbi, his eyes enlarged by bifocals, shuffled over to me, his shoulders stooped, his eyes sharp. "Can I help you, young man?" His speech was guttural, thick; colored with Yiddish isms. There seemed to be -- or was I only imagining it? -- an aura of fear around him stirred, perhaps, by my entrance. Who was this big, beardless youth confronting him?

As tall black men learn to do, I made myself mentally smaller, and looked askance as I explained my reason for entering the synagogue.

"Yes, sir. I -- umm -- I'm -- umm ... I wanna learn about Judaism."

"Vy iz dat?"

"Well, I'm interested in learning about the religion that really began Christianity."

"Vell -- Vy?"

"Umm ... becuz I think I wanna become a Jew."

"Dyou vat? Vat you mean? Vy dyou say dat?"

"Well -- I'm interested in a pure religion. I've read that the Bible has been tampered with; there are different translations and stuff. I wanna study what God really said, you know ... "

The rabbi stared at me. He was trying to formulate an answer, but the words stuck to his tongue. I looked into his eyes and saw incredulity dueling with quiet surprise. Is he serious? silly? he seemed to be asking. Then he turned and looked around, as if searching for something.

"Vait uh minute."

"Zis vill help you, young man," he said, handing me an envelope, and walking me to the door.

"Ven you are finished, come back, ya?"

"Thank you, sir!" "By ze vay, dyou know, zair ah black Chews. Haf you efer heard von Sammy Davis chunior?"

I nodded assent.

"Vell, he is a black Chew, you know?"

He bade me farewell. I left the Market Street Synagogue high with expectation, racing home.

Once in my room, I tore apart the thick brown envelope and found a slim, rust-colored volume bound in leather. I opened it, but stopped short in dismay. What was this? There was not one English word within its covers! It was entirely in Hebrew. Tears leapt to my eyes. The search was sure to continue.

MY FIRST VISIT to a Catholic church was a visit into a place of contrasts, a place where the visages in stone radiated reverence, but faces of flesh reflected unmitigated hatred.

I remember sitting in Mass, listening to the strange intonations of the priests -- Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi ... miserere nobis. -- and noticing their turned heads, faces tight with spirals of hatred, aimed at me, a lanky black youth kneeling in the white midst.

"Do they know me?" I wondered. "Why are they angry at me?"

Confusion warred with amazement: how could the House of God so plainly be a house of hatred toward one who sought the divine presence within its walls? Wasn't this the Church Universal, the Mother Church?

Although barely in my teens, I knew what I saw, and I acknowledged the feelings of the people around me. Matronly heads covered in firmly-knotted scarves, these silent, solid, middle-aged Poles, Ukrainians, and Slavs (there were also a few Puerto Ricans) never said a thing, but their faces -- their coldly darting eyes, and tight, wrinkled mouths -- spoke to me louder than screams:

"Nigger! What are you doing in this church? Our church?"

Day by day, week by week, month by month, I began to ask myself that very question.

Where once the church had offered a quiet place for spiritual reflection on its catechismal mysteries, it now pulsated with resentment at my dark presence.

When I went to catechism I heard of one world; when I walked into church I saw another.

The straw of severance came on April 4, 1968, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. I was on my way to catechism, and as I trudged my way to the rectory, my slowing gait seemed to reflect my inner reluctance. A weight hung on my mind like an anvil.

"King believed in nonviolence -- and still they killed him!"

"They? Who they?"

"White folks -- white folks couldn't bear to hear him -- to see him!"

My conversation with self went point-counter-point ... By the time I got off the trolley near St. John's, my legs were leaden. I walked at a snail's pace.

Sitting down with Father to begin the lesson, he noticed my reticence.

"What's wrong, young man? You seem distracted."

"Father ... "

"Yes, go on."

"I heard on the news today that Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated ..."

"I heard it too. Some of the Fathers and brothers are glad."

"Glad?"

"Yes. They saw him as a troublemaker."

"Really? Really, Father?"

"Some -- not all. Especially not one of our Fathers."

"Why 'especially' not one?"

"Well -- how do I put it ... Well -- one of our Fathers is half-Negro."

"Really, Father?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Do you think I could talk to him?"

"Why?"

"Well, Father -- perhaps ... maybe he can understand how I feel."

"That may be, but, uh ... you cannot talk with him."

"Why not, Father?"

"Well ... it's a secret. I can't tell you which Father it is."

A man, a priest, ashamed of his race? I had come to catechism that night seeking peace for the tempest that raged in my soul. Now, leaving St. John's, I was more at sea than when I arrived.

All those months! A half-black priest! Ashamed of his race? Priests who were glad that King was killed? Where was I? What was I doing here? I wept bitter tears. Not for King -- I felt he was wrong, a soft-hearted non-realist -- but for my parents and all others who revered him. King was an educated preacher of nonviolence, yet to these priests he was just another nigger.

What was I doing in this place, a place that hailed his murder? If they thought that way about him, how did they really feel about me?

I cried for the loss my mother and her generation felt -- the assassination of their dreams, the scuttling of their barely-born hopes. I cried for the loss of a boy's faith. I cried for a nation on the razor's edge of chaos.

A BLACK NATIONALIST even in my pre-Black Panther youth, it was perhaps inevitable that my search for meaning would bring me, sooner or later, to test the waters at a local mosque. Little more than a storefront on an out-of-the-way street in South Philly, the building seemed the antithesis of all the religious sites I'd been to before. Christian and Jewish houses of worship were ornate as a rule, especially their cathedrals. This place could not have been plainer: walls painted white, with the front of the room adorned by a chalkboard that faced the assembled. There was also a flag featuring a white star and crescent in a bright field of red, with a letter in each corner: F, J, E, and I -- Freedom, Justice, Equality, and Islam.

It was a summer night and mid-week, so the gathering was small, yet Brother Minister, a dark-skinned man in navy suit, glasses, and bow tie who went by the name of -- was it Benjamin? Benjamin X? -- preached passionately. The captive audience punctuated his every sentence: "Uh-huh!" "That's it!" "Teach, bro minister! Wake 'em up!" His baritone was smooth, colored by that ubiquitous southern accent I was to find later in almost every mosque I visited, whether north or south of the Mason-Dixon Line. His message was not.

"Brotha ... I say to you here and now, the white man is the devil! Why, when you look at how this man has stolen millions of our people from Africa, sold our mothers and fathers into slavery in the hells of North America for four hundred years; beat us, abused us, lynched us, and tortured us -- well, how could any man be anything but a devil?"

"Uh-huh!"

"Preach it, Bro. Minister!"

"Our leader and teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, teaches us, brotha, that the devil's time is almost over!"

"That's it, brotha!"

"Wake 'em up!"

"I said, 'The devil's time is almost up!' Why, look all around the world -- from Vietnam to Detroit -- and you'll see the white man catching hell! Am I right, brothas?"

"That's it!"

"Uh-huh!"

Minister Benjamin X spoke for what seemed to be hours, and after his lecture, a collection was taken.

Returning home, I reflected on the similarities between my Baptist and Muslim experiences. I was struck by how the Muslim minister -- though his mouth vibrated with the rhythms and cadences of the black South, and though his message was shaped in a way that spoke to my ethnic, historical, and cultural realities -- sounded for the most part like a Christian in a bow-tie.

The main difference, perhaps, lay in their views of evil. Where the Baptist spoke of a metaphysical devil, the Muslim preached of a living one. I couldn't bring myself to believe that the white man was supernatural, even supernaturally evil -- if anything, they were sub-naturally human, I thought to myself. Yet it seemed as improbable that they were devils, as gods. The search would continue.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Mumia Abu-Jamal] It has been over three decades since I last looked into his face but I find him now, sometimes hidden, in the glimpse of a mirror. He walked with a slight limp and smoked cigars, usually Phillies. And because of his age, of over half a century, he was openly affectionate in a way not usual for a man of his time.

[White guy with mala, reading Mumia] Often his words tickled his sons.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Boys? Cut out that tusslin', heah me?" And the boys would stop their rasslin', their bellies near bursting with swallowed, swollen laughter, the word vibrating sotto voce, barely heard in their throats. “Tusslin, tusslin', tusslin', tusslin', tusslin', tusslin'.

[White guy with mala] Tusslin'!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] So every man that exists in this world, at least half of him is his mama. For every black man it might be more. I am who I am because of my mama.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] I often wondered how he dealt with my mother’s death up there by himself.

[Barbara Cox Easley, Former Member, The Black Panther Party] His mother was the Rock of Gibraltar for him. And you can see that throughout his writings if he speaks about her.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I thought she would live forever -- that this woman who carried me, my brothers, and my sister, would never know death.

[Sheila Grenham, reading “Mother-loss” from Mumia’s book “Death Blossoms,” 1996] For thirty years she smoked Pall Malls and Marlboros, yet still I thought she would live forever.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] When she died of emphysema while I was imprisoned, it was like a lightning bolt to the soul. Never during my entire existence had there been a time when she was not there. Suddenly, on a cold day in February …

[Sheila Grenham, reading “Mother-loss” from Mumia’s book “Death Blossoms,” 1996] Suddenly, on a cold day in February, her breath had ended, and her sweet presence, her wise counsel, was gone forever.

[TV Reporter] Zora, let me ask you, what did Cassius say to you when you stepped into the ring and shook hands with him before the Terrell fight?

[Muhammad Ali] Muhammad, not Cassius.

[TV Reporter] Excuse me, Muhammad Ali.

[Eric Davis, quoting Muhammad Ali] Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I didn’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] He had a few great teachers, and one of them, who was from Kenya, taught the kids Swahili. And Mumia thought this was super cool. And so he decided he was going to take a Swahili name. He called himself Muzia at first, because he didn’t quite get it right.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] I guess that’s when I kind of gave him [inaudible]. You got a new name, you know, this is really great, you dropped your slave name.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] I don’t know what his mother thought of that. I’m not sure he insisted that she call him Mumia.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] I don’t care nothing about that stuff. I named you Wesley Cook. That’s your name. I don’t care what you try to call yourself, you’re Wesley Cook. And she fought it for so long. But I know that Mumia went through some days where he ignored her calling him Wesley Cook. You know, I changed my name, Mom.

[Gov. George Corley Wallace, Inaugural Address, Montgomery, Alabama] In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] George Wallace is running for President in ’68, the Civil Rights movement is in full cry in the South, the country is changing, it’s being led by groups like SNCC and the Panthers. Mumia wanted to be part of that.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] George Wallace was a candidate for the American Independent Party. Very, very right wing, although he probably wouldn’t be considered very right wing in terms of America’s political context today, would he? We were black kids, teenagers, from North Philadelphia. And this avowed white supremacist, this racist from the depths of the South, dared to come to our city. Well, we went down to the Spectrum, there were tens of thousands of white people waving flags. You had George Wallace making his standard stump speech.

[George Wallace, The Spectrum, 1968] And I want to tell you this: that anybody who raises any money and [inaudible] and clothes for the Viet Cong Communists who are today killing American servicemen are guilty of treason under the Constitution of the United States.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] At that time we weren’t very original, so the only thing we said was ungawa – black power – ungawa – black power.

[Giancarlo Esposito, Actor, Director, Performs Mumia’s “Death Row Notebook,” New York City, 1995] Ungawa, ungawa, black power. They shouted, [inaudible] white power, and send those niggers back to Africa. We shouted, “Black power, ungawa.” Don’t ask what “ungawa” means. We didn’t know. All we knew was that it had a helluva ring to it.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] The police surrounded us in a matter of moments, and escorted us, rather roughly I should say, out of The Spectrum. There were people spitting on us, “nigger this, nigger that.” I remember being pummeled, being beaten to the ground. And I remember looking around and I saw a pant leg, it was blue and had a stripe on it, so it told me this was a cop. So doing what I was taught to do all of my life, I said, “Yo, help, police.” And I remember the guy walking over very briskly and his foot going back and kicking me in the face. And I’ve always said thank you to that cop because he kicked me straight into the Black Panther Party.

[“The Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” – J. Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI]

[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] If half of what you say about the imperialists and the capitalist rule is true, they’re not going to let you organize openly for this kind of struggle, and they were set up and they were systematically knocked off.

[Fred Hampton]

[Bobby Hutton]

[Bunchy Carter]

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] You might argue that the Black Panther Party took the first bold step toward creating a movement that didn’t simply ask for incorporation into a system, but challenged the very system itself.

[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] They believed in mobilizing people for a real revolutionary struggle, and here’s the difference with King, that race was not the primary contradiction, that it was class oppression.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] And I think that’s the context in which the young, brilliant Mumia Abu-Jamal grows up. And of course, his early awakening, very early awakening in terms of his political consciousness, his political education, the Black Panther Party at age 15.

[Huey for Congress, Black Panther Peace & Freedom]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I remember reading Ramparts Magazine many years ago, and there was a very lengthy, informative piece on the Black Panther Party, and I remember being fascinated by that. I didn’t know that a year later, that I would be one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.

[Reggie Schell, Defense Captain, The Black Panther Party] You know, I came up in the gangs. And most people came up in the gangs. But Mumia was, I don’t know, man, he was just a brilliant student. He was concerned about people’s feelings. He was in tune to life, man, you know, at 14, 15 years old. Mumia was just ready.

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Reggie Schell wasn’t stupid. When he saw that Mumia had this above-average intelligence, and that he had a talent for writing, he applied that to the paper, and said, “Okay, Mumia, you are the lieutenant of information.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] Mumia was always a quick study. There was a woman named Judi Douglas there that ran the paper. She actually had a lot of newspaper experience. And she leaned on him pretty hard and he turned out to be a professional journalist in pretty short order.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I think it impelled me towards radicalism generally with of course the help of the Philadelphia Police Department.
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Re: Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia

Postby admin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:15 am

PART 2 OF 4

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] I was astounded at the fact that at 15 years old, he was essentially the same writer. The style was a little more dogmatic as a Panther, you know, because he’s using all this Panther rhetoric: “Do something, nigger, even if you only spit,” but at core it is the same black leftist analysis that he does at 56. And I was shocked at that.

[Barbara Cox Easley, Former Member, The Black Panther Party] The thing that struck me the most about him at that time, was his youth, his enthusiasm, his height, and his slew-footness. He slewfoot, walked like that.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] They were engaged like never before. They had to read Franz Benon, they read Marx, they read Lenin, they wanted to understand society. That required an understanding which Huey Newton, Bobby Seal, Mumia Abu Jamal, understood could only come through study.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] My job was radical journalism from a Black revolutionary perspective. Writing about the life that we lived without having it edited by the system.

[Mutulu Olugbala/M1, Activist, Rapper (Dead Prez)] [15 minutes after visiting Mumia on Death Row] I talked with Mumia hours upon hours about joining with the Black Panther Party and his political education that came from a practical, theoretical approach. Theory, practice, theory.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] A lot of people would tend to deprecate that kind of work. “Well, you weren’t a professional journalist.” Or “Well, you weren’t a mainstream journalist.” But consider this. The Black Panther newspaper at its height of publication, when I was working for it, sold over 250,000 newspapers every week, all across the United States. And we sold internationally. How can you write for or edit a newspaper that sells over 250,000 copies and not be considered utterly professional.

[United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, WESLEY COOK]

[Noam Chomsky] In comparison with COINTELPRO and related government actions in the 1960s, Watergate was a tea party.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] We don’t know if we will ever be aware of the reach of COINTELPRO.

[UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
Memorandum
TO: SAC, 157-2004
FROM: SA [DELETE] 67C
SUBJECT: BLACK PANTHER PARTY RM]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] The State is very clever in terms of keeping track of especially the courageous, visionary ones, the ones who are long-distance runners. If you can keep track of them, absorb them, dilute them, or outright kill ‘em, you don’t have to worry about opposition to them.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] The COINTELPRO program was a terroristic program. It’s function was to terrorize radicals, revolutionaries, opponents of government programs, and to stigmatize and isolate them from the general population.

[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild] Under the guise of needing to protect national security, the government infiltrated, disrupted and tracked numerous groups, including Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers, Students for a Democratic Society, and anti-Vietnam war activists.

[I]t is only fair, it is only honest, it is only accurate to point out that the function of the United States Government at that time and before and since has been to retard, destroy, disrupt, and tear asunder the black liberation and black nationalist movements of that period. That's proven by FBI files that have been released after the fact. How many people who celebrate the memory of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. know that the FBI hounded him relentlessly, tapped his phones and hotel rooms, worked through snitches, with the full blessings of the United States Government at the highest levels -- I mean in the White House? How many people know that's true of A. Philip Randolph, the African-American labor leader who helped create the march on Washington back in the early sixties? Or Marcus Garvey? Or Malcolm X? The list can go on and on. There's also Adam Clayton Powell, who was a Congressman from Harlem. Here he was, a Congressman, and he was under complete and total surveillance by the government of which he was a member. The late J. Edgar Hoover made it very clear that the function of the FBI was to prevent the rise of a black Messiah: anyone who could unite black America into one cohesive force.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] From the very beginning, J. Edgar Hoover, hated Black people, and was extremely afraid, as it is written in the COINTELPRO files, that a Black messiah would arise. So while the white radicals had to be disrupted, the Black radicals had to be destroyed.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] If you tell the truth about the operation of our power, this is what happens to you. It’s like Jesus on the Christ. This is what happens to you.

[Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture, The Black Panther Party] So you had these shootoffs that went on, between the Panthers and the police, because of the agent provocateurs who were planted in those chapters and branches to create the conditions so there would be these shootouts and things that would take place during that time.

[BLACK PANTHER PARTY
At the time of SCHELL’s arrest by the FBI, officers of the Philadelphia Police Department, Civil Disobedience Unit, observed ROLANDO HEARN in the Web Bar and arrested him on a bench warrant for Contempt of Court and Failure to Appear. HEARN is the BPP Breakfast for Children Coordinator. The Philadelphia police detained the following BPP officers for investigation as they followed the arresting agents out of the Web Bar:
1. CLARENCE PETERSON: BPP Minister of Finance
2. WESLEY COOK: BPP Minister of Communications]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Early on they zeroed in on Mumia Abu Jamal. And of course, on the one hand you have to say, the State understood they had a very, very special freedom fighter. They had a very special revolutionary. They knew he was for real, so they really needed to keep track of him.

[Michael Tarif Warren, Attorney, 1995 ] This is a document that reflects a request that was made by the FBI back in 1972 for this photo, and guess who that request was made to? The Philadelphia Police Department.

[C. Clark Kissinger, Former Nat’l Secretary, Students for a Democratic Society] There were reports being written on him since he was 14 years old.

[Michael Tarif Warren, Attorney, 1995 ] This is an enlarged photo – they call him Wesley Cook, we call him Mumia Abu Jamal.

[C. Clark Kissinger, Former Nat’l Secretary, Students for a Democratic Society] Interestingly, one of the photographs that was obtained, had handwritten across the back of the photograph, “Dead.”

[White guy with mala] On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided the apartment of Black Panther Fred Hampton, and then executed him while he slept, a sleep induced by a barbiturate cocktail courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Local authorities claim the Panthers opened fire on the police, but clearcut evidence later emerged that told a much different story, that the Chicago police, along with the Cook County Attorney’s Office and the FBI, planned to assassinate the 21-year-old Hampton. Shortly thereafter a delegation of Panthers from Philadelphia visited the crime scene. Mumia Abu Jamal was part of that delegation.

[Cops Remove Hampton’s Body]

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] There was a memorial service in a church in Philadelphia right after that. And Mumia was actually one of the primary speakers.

[THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WELCOMES YOU: THE CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE
Here in 1974 the first eleven women Episcopal priests were ordained. This noted Gothic Revival church, built 1887-97, served a growing African American community after 1930. Host to major Black Power events of the 1960s and '70s. National Historic Landmark. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.]

[Voice of Fred Hampton] When I leave you can remember I said with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] What Mumia said on that day was said in many memorial services across the country, which was that the police had just assassinated one of the bright lights of the Black movement.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] It foreshadowed what he became known for, and that is telling good stories about those events and incidents which the mainstream media just ignored, flat ignored.

[Eric Davis] And during his speech that day, Mumia used the famous quote often attributed to Mao Tse Tung, that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

[Dynamite! Black Power. Use the gun. Kill the pigs everywhere."

Included in the introduction to an article appearing in the October 5, 1968, edition of "The Black Panther" is the statement, "... we will not dissent from American Government. We will overthrow it."

Issues of "The Black Panther" regularly contain quotations from the writings of Chairman MAO Tse-tung of the People's Republic of China and feature MAO's statement that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun".

The national headquarters of the BPP is located at 3106 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, Calif. Branches have been established at various locations throughout the United States.]

[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] Mumia was recognizing the fact that the ultimate authority in any state is the mobilization of force and violence.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] This statement was later used in his trial to condemn to condemn him as if he was talking about Panthers shooting police, when in fact it was quite the contrary.

[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] There is no terrorist organization, no Communist country, there are no jihadists or anyone else who has the record like the U.S. has in terms of imperial violence. So to focus on the Panthers and say, “they’re violent, they’re violent, they’re violent,” is kind of ridiculous.

[Rachel Robinson, quoting FBI Special Agent Gregg York] We expected about 20 Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place. Only two of those black nigger fuckers were killed: Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. FBI Special Agent Gregg York.

[WAR IS NOT HEALTHY FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER LIVING THINGS]

[Hippies & Frank Rizzo]

[Tejah Signori] In 1972, Mumia attends Goddard College in Vermont.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] Mumia goes to Goddard because Goddard was giving up a lot of money. And hey, if you want to go some place, Vermont is not a bad place to land, even if you don’t like maple syrup.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] And it was known as a hippie school in those days, and it had kids from around the world, and kids that were bright and not always terribly conventional. And Mumia fit right in.

[Dave Lindorff, Investigative Journalist] I remember in the 70’s, as a long-haired, counterculture journalist, that Philadelphia was a city you avoided, because if you went in with long hair, you were basically a white nigger to these cops. And there were plenty of stories, and tried to avoid being one.

[Jim Underdown, quoting Frank Lazarro Rizzo, Philadelphia Police Commissioner] Just wait until after November. You’ll have a front-row seat, because I’m gonna make Attila the Hun look like a faggot.

[White guy with mala] Police brutality in the City of Brotherly Love, reached horrific levels under the reign of Frank Rizzo, levels so outrageous that the Federal government, for the first time in American history, filed a lawsuit in 1979, charging Police Commissioner Rizzo and three of his top officials with aiding and abetting police brutality.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] A classic Philadelphia story, the rise and fall of Frank Rizzo.

[C. Clark Kissinger, Former Nat’l Secretary, Students for a Democratic Society] Rizzo was archtypical of what came to be known as a “Reagan democrat.” He was a product of the political machine in Philadelphia, which is very similar to the machine in Chicago.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] I moved to Philadelphia, actually, from New York City, in 1973, and by the time I got there, the Philadelphia Police Department under Frank Rizzo had unquestioned power, and the ability to run roughshod over the entire city.

[Frank Lazarro Rizzo, Philadelphia Police Commissioner] I’ll say this for the record: The Philadelphia police are going to do their job. That I promise.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] Even the mainstream historians today actually acknowledge that Philadelphia became a police state.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] He was very savvy, proud to be a highschool dropout, but he knew how to promote himself, so one of the things that he did was to ingratiate himself with the news media at the time, who were like lapdogs then as they are now, and they just built him up in the press.

[C. Clark Kissinger, Former Nat’l Secretary, Students for a Democratic Society] Rizzo was a great showboat guy, too. There’s a famous picture of him where he came to put down the Black community, as he frequently did, he came from a fancy dress dinner, and he’s wearing a tuxedo with a cummerbund, and a nightstick stuck in his cummerbund.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] He basically gave the police department carte blanche to do whatever his men needed to do to keep the natives in Philadelphia under control.

[Frank Lazarro Rizzo] You’re dealing with criminals, with barbarians, you’re safer in the jungle.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] He says his police force is so crack, and they have so much military armament, that they could invade Cuba and take it over.

[Frank Rizzo] This police department in Philadelphia could invade Cuba and win. What’s I’m saying is that we are now trained and equipped to fight wars.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] He was like a walkin’ night stick. This guy, he saw every black youth in Philadelphia as a potential perp.

[Reggie Schell, Defense Captain, The Black Panther Party] I knew of Rizzo when I was a kid. You know, I mean you were on the streets. He was a brute. And you know, he’d beat the shit out of you, I mean the man was a brute, man, and we had to deal with this guy. This guy had to be dealt with. This guy had to be stopped.

[BLACK PANTHER PARTY, RICHARD REGINALD SCHELL]

[THE MAYOR SAID: THE PRESS IS TO BLAME]

[Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General] Well, I tangled with him a few times when he was Chief of Police. In my opinion, he was an unprincipled person with compelling prejudices and caused abuse of police power, and harmed good people.

[Reggie Schell, Defense Captain, The Black Panther Party] This was the man that Mumia knew had to be stopped, who was Frank Bizarro Rizzo. And he saw we called him that name, and he didn’t like that either.

[Linn Washington, Journalist, 1995] Throughout the Rizzo years, the mainstream media ignored police brutality. There are a handful of journalists who courageously covered it. One of whom in the late 70s was an eloquent journalist, a gentleman named Mumia Abu Jamal.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] From the time that Mumia was about 15 years old, Frank Rizzo knew who he was. So did Georgey Fencl, who was the head of the Intelligence squad that kept track of radicals.

[CITY POLICE, FBI RAID BLACK PANTERS’ HQ]

[White guy with mala] And when Fencl saw Mumia, he would aim a finger and cock his thumb, a thing he would do years later when Mumia was reporting news stories that the cops simply didn’t want told.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] And Fencl knew Mumia from A to Z. So the top people in the police department always knew who Mumia was and saw him as an enemy.

[George Fencl, Philadelphia Police Department]

[Mumia Abu Jamal, quoting John Africa] Revolution is not a word, but an application. It is not war, but peace.

[Myles Cranford, quoting John Africa] It does not weaken, but strengthens.

[Eartha Robinson, quoting John Africa] Revolution does not cause separation, it generates togetherness.

[From “Strategic Revolution” John Africa (Founder of MOVE)]

PHILADELPHIA 1978

[Police Provacateur] If the city does try to come in here and get you out, what are you going to do?

[Chuckie Africa] We’ll do what’s necessary, man.

[Police Provocateur] What is that?

[Chuckie Africa] Well, first understand why he’s coming in here.

[Police Provocateur] What are you going to do?

[Chuckie Africa] We’ll do what’s necessary.

[Police Provocateur] What is that?

[Chuckie Africa] The strategy of John Africa.

[Police Provocateur] What is that?

[Chuckie Africa] Our only defense.

[Police Provocateur] What is that?

[Chuckie Africa] The strategy of John Africa.

[Police Provocateur] You’re not telling me anything. You’re just saying the strategy of John Africa.

[Chuckie Africa] Hey, I wouldn’t tell my strategy to you.

[News reporter] The year Rizzo took office in 1972 was the same year that the MOVE organization, comprised of the family Africa, began to mobilize. MOVE demonstrated against police stations, school board officials, and public figures such as Jane Fonda, Jesse Jackson and a variety of others who would, in their words, mislead the people with misinformation, offering only the problem and not a solution.

[MOVE woman] You’re making a big mistake. I'm saying, people look at us, because our hair is uncombed, and because we dress like this, they’ll turn the fuck off. They don’t want to live next to us, but they’ll turn the fuck around and live right next to a motherfucker like Rizzo.

[News reporter] Rizzo announced that if MOVE did not leave their Palatin headquarters, the City would erect a blockade so tight, even a fly wouldn’t be able to get in.

[Frank Lazarro Rizzo, Philadelphia Police Commissioner] So they can’t get back in again.

[RIZZO AIM: EQUALITY FOR WHITES
ON MOVE FRONT: A WAITING GAME]

[News reporter] That night, Rizzo lost a campaign urging all whites to fight blacks for better jobs, decent housing, and a better life.

[Newsman] In came a bulldozer, and the slow demolition began.

[From the Film MOVE: Confrontation in Philadelphia]

[Woman] There’s not one black cop over there.

[Newsman] Then at 8:15, several shots rang out, followed by a barrage of police gunfire.

[Black woman] How they live ain’t nobody’s business. If they don’t never comb their hair, that ain’t nobody’s business. If they don’t never take a bath, it’s nobody’s business. They weren’t fuckin’ with nobody when they was down there.

[White woman] I was about the only one who didn’t get hit, probably because I’m white.

[Pat Warren, Action 6 News] There had been much concern on the part of many people that the police would make a violent assault on the MOVE members. [Shakes her head “no.”] As it turned out the police acted with precision and restraint.

OBJECTIVITY IN JOURNALISM is an illusion, a hollow word, yet it becomes so real to its perpetrators, who have been poisoned with the lie from the first day of journalism school, that they end up not only believing in it, but letting it form the whole foundation of their profession. It's always been a great ideal, but in reality it's a misguided belief. And they end up using it to justify everything they do.

When you look at the news today -- I'm talking now about national network newscasts -- it is astounding that what used to make the local news, if that, is now considered as having national importance. Local crime stories, especially the most lurid ones, become national news stories not because of anything extraordinary about them, but because that is the stuff that sells. It's the old jingle: "If it bleeds, it leads." They don't feed the public pieces that stimulate intelligent thought, pieces that might make people talk or even ask questions about the fundamental relationships of power, rank, and status in this country. They're more interested in sensation.

It's almost as if the average newscast has been reduced and molded to fit Hard Copy or some other such show like that. The end product is trash, but it is trash that has been carefully designed to attract you emotionally, to touch you sensationally, to get you looking (but not thinking). It doesn't provoke you or encourage you to question the fundamentals. The real issues behind a story are often ignored. They're not considered important enough to be raised. That's why many people -- not only MOVE, but other groups who are misunderstood and misrepresented -- share MOVE's "f.t.p." attitude toward the media: Fuck the press!

By the seventies, people began to admit that the media was in the hip-pocket of big business. Well, today the media is big business. The major media organizations are not just controlled by it -- they are part of it. Many of them are owned by huge multinational corporations. And if you think they don't control what comes over the air, you're in for a surprise. If I control your paycheck, I tell you what to say and what not to say.

When Rizzo was mayor, he was always taking the Philadelphia media to task and -- especially during the time of the 1978 MOVE confrontation -- accusing them of stirring things up with their advocacy journalism. They lacked objectivity, he complained. Well, Rizzo was right on one count, because, as I said earlier, journalistic "objectivity" is non-existent. Who's objective? But as far as the slant of their advocacy goes, I don't know who Rizzo thinks they were advocating. It sure wasn't MOVE.

Neither the brutal police assault on the MOVE compound in August 1978 nor the bombing of their new compound in May 1985 -- in which eleven of their members were killed, and a whole neighborhood was destroyed -- could ever have happened without the media. It was in their interest to create the fires of carnage and hatred, and feed those fires. The media built the scaffolding around the MOVE standoff, and the information they disseminated became the catalyst for the final conflagration. The next step after that was for them to whitewash the whole thing to save face for the "investigative" commission.

The frightening thing is that the press's involvement in the MOVE debacle was in no way unique; it is instructive for the present, the future, and for any number of contexts and loci, not just racist Philadelphia. Don't forget -- two things always define the media's perspective: money and power. And the resulting "blindness" is therefore often willful.

I remember being down in Philadelphia at my petition hearing in the fall of 1995 -- I was being shuttled back to the prison, and the sheriff had turned the radio on. The newscaster was announcing that ABC had just been acquired by the Disney Corporation. I laughed. I was in the back of the van laughing and laughing and thinking to myself that it won't be long before they have Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the evening news.

On a deeper level, of course, it's no laughing matter. When the power of the press is exercised in concert with the political machinery that is in place today -- I'm talking about the right wing shift in American politics -- what you have is a dangerous, malevolent concoction. It might sound paranoid, but that's what you have.

Just recently there's been considerable controversy about the planes that were shot down over Cuba. The alternative press is asking some interesting questions, but what about the mainstream media? There's a whole history to this incident that is being withheld by the government and the press. I can't help wondering about the fact that when Cuba was the whorehouse of the Caribbean -- when it was a Mafia safe-haven -- you didn't hear anybody talking about invading Cuba or changing the government. It was only when a government of the Cubans' own choice rose to power and said that they were no longer willing to be our whorehouse -- "We are an independent sovereign country, and we will have the government we want, not the government you want" -- that our government began plotting to kill President Castro and to destroy Cuba through an economic blockade that, according to international law, amounted to an act of war. Has our government, our press, acted on the right side of history? Have they stood on the right side of fundamental justice?

Cuba's only one of many examples. Fundamentally, the United States Government has allied itself for decades with some of the darkest forces in history for the sake of economic gain, for political self-interest, for the protection of the status quo. And it continues to do so, domestically as well. That's why we have the likes of David Duke running for governor and the likes of Pat Buchanan running for President (in spite of having Klansmen on his staff). It's why everybody is talking about welfare queens and slamming the poor. It is also why the safest political platform of the decade is based on promises of "getting tough on crime." Their line is that it's okay to despise the poor, because they have it "too good" anyway. Besides, they claim, it's the poor, the minorities who are causing a rise in violent crime: "What we need is more executions. What we need to do is start chopping people's heads off ... " The level of political discourse in our country is anti-life. And the press is not innocent.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Linn Washington, Journalist] The first televised beating in American history wasn’t Rodney King. It was a guy named Delbert Africa.

[Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Political Kingpin, D.A. During Abu-Jamal’s Trial] Every step of the way, including the final act today, the police used commendable restraint. The police probably would have been legally within their rights to have subsequent to the shooting of Officer Ramp, stormed the house and killed all of the twelve people in that basement.

On August 8, 1978, after a brutal police assault on MOVE during which their home in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia was destroyed, nine members of the organization were arrested for allegedly killing James Ramp, a police officer. These "suspects" were in the basement of their home at the time of the shooting; Ramp, who was facing the house on the street above them, was shot from the back. Several MOVE sympathizers were arrested too but released after agreeing to renounce their ties to MOVE. Convicted and sentenced (30-100 years each) in a trial marked by blatant racial and political bias, the "MOVE 9" remain incarcerated in Pennsylvania prisons. They, and growing numbers of supporters across the country, continue to maintain their innocence.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[White guy with mala] Come on, Ed! Really?!

[Ramona Africa, MOVE Organization] The people that framed government, the scriptwriters, their aim was never freedom, justice, equality. When they were talking about, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” who the hell were they talking about? They weren’t talking about women, they weren’t talking about the African slaves that they brought over here, they weren’t talking about the indigenous people, they weren’t even talking about white men that didn’t own land. So who the hell were they talking about, “all these men created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.” It was all a lie. And it’s still a lie.

[Rodney Charles, quoting Mumia] It was, in fact, a barons’ revolt, a revolution for the liberty of deciding who would hold Africans in bondage: the Americans or the British Who would receive the fruits of this stolen land that African labor produced? Liberty indeed. Mumia Abu-Jamal, from “We Want Freedom.”

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] Mumia was probably the only reporter in Philadelphia that covered the MOVE organization with any kind of balance or attempt to understand that they were essentially a political, anarchistic group.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I was not part of the [inaudible]. I did something that was actually unheard of, rarely done, which is to talk to them, listened to them, and considered what they had to say about one of the most momentous events in recent Philadelphia history. And it wasn’t popular.

[COPS KILLED OUR BABY!]

[Dave Lindorff, Investigative Journalist] He portrayed it as an assault on a group of people, and rightly so, whereas the corporate media presented them as lawbreakers and community nuisances that the police had to do something about.

[Male reporter] I don’t think it’s important what MOVE really stands for.

[Pat Warren, Action 6 News] I think it’s safe to say that the rats use more common sense than the people inside the house: the rats ran when the fence came down.

MOVE is a family of revolutionaries, of naturalist revolutionaries, founded in Philadelphia in the late sixties/early seventies, who oppose all that this system represents. For years in Philadelphia, there's been continual and unrelenting conflict between the MOVE organization and the city -- that is, the police, the judiciary, and the political arm of the system. They have fought it bitterly. We reporters have a herd mentality. Reporters tend to do what other reporters do -- it's almost like herd instinct. The "herd" in Philadelphia was describing MOVE in frankly animalistic or sub-human terms. I remember an editorial that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer that used, I think, precisely those terms: it said they were "sub-human." Wow! That was an editorial that just expressed a tone that was reflected in the coverage. Based on what I had read in the newspapers, I could not say that MOVE were my favorite people -- probably the opposite was the truth.

But I found something out that was very interesting when I began covering MOVE as part of my work as a reporter for a radio station that's now known as WWDB, WHAT at that time: I found out they were human beings. That doesn't sound like an earth-shattering revelation now, but it was then, because the complete dehumanization of them was almost total in terms of how local and regional media projected this group -- as though they were literally beyond the pale. What I found were idealistic, committed, strong, unshakable men and women who had a deep spirit-level aversion to everything this system represents. To them, this system was a death system involved in a deathly war. To them, everything this system radiated was poison -- from its technological waste to its destruction of the earth, to its destruction of the air and water, to its destruction of the very genetic pool of human life and animal life and all life. MOVE opposed all this bitterly and unrelentingly, without compromise.

I remember the first time I heard about MOVE -- perhaps it was a television report -- in the early seventies. Some of the MOVE people had gotten busted, and the gist of the television broadcast was: "These nuts, these crazy people, were protesting outside the zoo for no reason." Of course they didn't explain what MOVE's position was. Well, what you found later, when you got closer and began examining the reality, was that according to the teachings of MOVE's founder, John Africa, all life -- all life -- is sacred and has worth, and should not be exploited for money and profit. MOVE people were busted because they were protesting the reality of the zoo, which they called a "prison" for animal life. Today you have groups like Earth First and so forth, across the world, who embrace many of those same positions that were once called bizarre. MOVE did it twenty years ago. What I found was a remarkable and incredible family that continues to thrive, to grow, to grow stronger, to build, and to touch bases with people. I mean, if someone told me twenty years ago that there would be MOVE support groups in London and Paris, I'd have said: "Get out of here, you're out of your mind!" Today that's a reality.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Dave Lindorff, Investigative Journalist] And that was not Mumia’s approach.

[Mumia Abu Jamal, From Mumia’s Raw Audio Tapes, 1978] Why did you join MOVE in the first place?

[MOVE woman] Anything I heard about the teachings of John Africa, I heard, and I seen it to be true.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Well, things were not well after that. But it hadn’t been the first time, and I felt it wouldn’t be the last time that I would get into a conflict with my bosses about what I chose to report.

[TODAY MEMBERS OF THE MOVE ORGANIZATION WERE BEATEN BY COPS.]

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] He was drawn to their militancy. He was drawn to them personally because they were black revolutionaries who didn’t take any shit from the Establishment.

[Powelton Village, West Philadelphia, 1978]

[MOVE woman] We know Rizzo is a racist, and the only thing we let him do is put his racism out there, put his credentials out there. We’re going to let him put his face all over the world with the headlines, “Baby Killer!”

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] I think to some degree he really did become sort of a partisan and direct supporter of MOVE in a way that I certainly don’t think served his interests much.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] He just became persona non grata in the news media. And that’s why he was driving a cab that night, because of his insistence on reporting exclusively on MOVE. MOVE national news, MOVE local news, MOVE sports, MOVE weather. I mean, yo, Mumia, you got to do a little something different. Uh, “no, it is the story.” Okay, so that’s why you’re driving a cab.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I remember my boss going off, essentially, and saying, “Well, Jesus, Mumia, they’re calling you “Mumia Africa!”

[Saro Solis] It’s interesting how mainstream journalists are never questioned when they’re embedded with troops, or hobnobbing at cocktail parties with generals and corporate criminals, the fact that conglomerates that sell news never truly challenge the status quo, nor will they ever speak truth to power.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] It wasn’t about the quality of my work. It wasn’t about the truth about what I was reporting. It was about the perspective from which that work emerged. They were people, and what happened to them was fundamentally unjust. By using my microphone as a reporter, I allowed them to say that, and to say it on one of the most influential frequencies in Philadelphia.

[Radio reporter] The boycott at City Center Philadelphia’s fashionable Bijou Café continues. Mumia Abu Jamal was there.

["ANYBODY WHO HEARD MUMIA'S VOICE ON THE RADIO WAS TRANSFIXED." -- NICK PETERS, NEWS DIRECTION, WUHY-FM PHILADELPHIA]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] For the second time this week, nearly 100 protesters and supporters of the United Black Concert Promoters of America joined air personality George Woods and State Representatives Milton [inaudible] and Dave Richardson for another night of a boycott of Center City’s Bijou Café. The reason?

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Black radio came of age as a result of the assassination of Martin Luther King.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] He never came home and said, “I got a job on the radio.” Or, “Well, I’ve got this job.” He never boasted like that.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] Mumia loved radio. He knew it was his spot.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Most break in on radio, working on small stations, for little pay until they develop a style. Most advance by moving up to bigger stations. The goal of most is to have their own show or network assignments. The hours are long, often irregular, and on holidays.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] And in the early 70’s, this particular portion of Annenberg Hall, housed the radio station WRTI FM, which is Temple’s radio station, and this is where Mumia got his start in radio in Philadelphia.

[Temple University, Philadelphia]

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] He had a very distinctive voice, he had very distinctive politics, very radical politics, and he was popular. And so a lot of stations picked him up and used him.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Gray’s comments on protecting the environment come several days after the nuclear accident developing at Three Mile Island, and the western section of the state.

[Three Mile Island Report For the National Black Network, 1979]

[Pam Africa, MOVE Organization] When the news came on at WDAS, you ran into your home so you could hear the news.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] When you hear, especially women, say, “Ah, listen to Mumia. You hear that voice? Is that your brother? Is that your brother? But then I had to go listen, and I’m like, “Wow, that’s Mu?!”

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Nonetheless, he urged them to intensify their efforts. Mumia Jamal for the National Black Network in Philadelphia. End of feed.

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] So, he joins WUHY, a National Public Radio affiliate in Philadelphia, and he becomes the star reporter of their local daily newscast called 91 report.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] It was obvious that he was a cut above, that he could rise up in the broadcast business. If no more than listening to his voice. [Kisses his fingers]

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] And once he signed in and started talking, he captured you. You know, you had to listen to him because he was telling you something.

[Linn Washington, Journalist, imitating Mumia’s voice] This is Mumia Abu-Jamal for WHYY FM.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Tonight, Representative Richardson warned Bijou officials and factory personnel to expect a bigger and bolder boycott for the upcoming performance of a disco group known as “Sheikh.” So the controversy clearly continues.

[Martha Boles] The voice of black journalism, and the struggle for the liberation of African American people, has always proved to be decisive throughout Black history.

[Eric Davis, quoting Manning Marable] When you listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal, you hear the echoes of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robson, and the sisters and brothers who kept the faith with struggle, who kept the faith with resistance.

[Christina Moses] Historian, Manning Marable.

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] Mumia told me that when he was working as a journalist, he didn’t pay too much attention to the serious journalist dress codes. And he said, “One time I showed up at a press conference for President Jimmy Carter with dreadlocks and a [inaudible] t-shirt, and this big crowd of journalists were all in suits and ties, and I looked over in the corner and there’s my boss. And he’s giving me this evil look, and especially when I asked a couple of questions and identified the station I was with. And I thought, ‘I’m going to be in big trouble with this guy.’ And then, on the way out, after the conference was over, we’re on the elevator, packed with people, and Carter looked straight at me and he said …”

[White guy with mala] … “Young man, you asked some very serious and probing questions, and I really appreciated that.”

[Terry Bisson, Author, Mumia Biographer] And then Mumia said, “I can’t remember now what the questions were, but I’ll never forget that Jimmy Carter saved my ass that day.

[Saro Solis] Mumia flirts with a career in television, and is offered what today would be a six-figure salary on a Philadelphia network affiliate …

[DaJuan Johnson] … but he turns it down because the station makes it mandatory for him to cut off his dreadlocks.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] He said, “My hair is not the biggie here. My concern is once I begin to compromise, will I compromise other things? And he decided he wasn’t taking the position. I said, “That’s mighty damn big of you.” You know, it’s like [makes face] oh!!!!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal Interviews Julius Erving for WHYY-TV, Channel 12, Philadelphia]

[Linda Wertheimer] Good evening. For National Public Radio in Washington, I’m Linda Wertheimer …

[Bob Edwards] And I’m Bob Edwards with All Things Considered. Both President Carter and Ronald Reagan will campaign in Virginia today. Mumia Abu-Jamal reports on the President stumping in Pennsylvania yesterday.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal Reporting for National Public Radio, “All Things Considered” National Broadcast, 1980]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Landsdown is a largely Republican district located above the southwest section of Philadelphia in Delaware County.

[White guy with mala] Mumia becomes a featured reporter on radio stations throughout the Delaware valley. And then he’s elected president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] Mumia asked me to go to a meeting of the NABJ. And I said, “Well, Mumia, that’s some Black journalists organization.” And at the time, I was the only Hispanic journalist in the city anywhere.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] With Mumia being the President of the Association of Black Journalists, it’s a no-brainer in terms of him, you know, paving the way for Juan’s involvement and also letting people know that, “Hey, you know, the struggle is just not about us.”

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] And several people raised questions about, “Isn’t this a Black organization?” And Mumia immediately went into, it must have been like a 10 minute speech, about the close relationships between the African American and Latino communities in the United States. He went into a short history of Puerto Rico. He talked about Lolita Lebron and the Nationalist Party, and he made clear to all of the members that as the President of NABJ, he was going to go in a more inclusive direction and a more, sort of, politically conscious direction.

[White guy with mala] Ed Rendell, longtime Philadelphia Political Kingpin and District Attorney during Abu-Jamal’s trial.

[Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Political Kingpin, D.A. During Abu-Jamal’s Trial]

[White guy with mala] Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist, and really likes calling people “Douche Juice.”

[Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Likes Calling People “Douche Juice”]

[Saro Solis] In 1999, Vanity Fair publishes a hatchet job by Pulitzer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger, whose relationship with Abu-Jamal prosecutor Ed Rendell is defined as “extraordinarily close” by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. Among other farfetched and debunked claims rehashed by Bissinger, the article attempts to portray Abu-Jamal’s journalism career as “dead on arrival.” To accomplish this, Bissinger interviews one of his buddies at The Philadelphia Inquirer, writer William Marimow.

[BUZZ BISSINGER ON THE ABU-JAMAL CONTROVERSY]

[Linn Washington, Journalist] Well, did you hear anything about Mumia Abu-Jamal and Abu-Jamal covering police brutality? And so this guy’s response was, “No, he never appeared on my radar screen.” And so saith Pulitzer prize winning reporter X, Y and Z. So this notion of Mumia being a reporter is bogus! It’s B.S. Blah blah blah blah blah.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Speaking at a day-long conference on Occupational Safety and Toxic Chemicals, Gray said, “The time has come for the U.S. Congress to face …”

[Linn Washington, Journalist] Mumia at that time was working for a Black radio station. Now what is the likelihood of a white, albeit an alleged liberal, listening to a Black radio station?

[Radio voice] Um, zero to none?

[Linn Washington, Journalist] And then the other claim about Mumia and his journalism is that “We can’t find any evidence of any writings. I mean, we go back and we look at old newspaper clips, and we can’t find anything that Mumia authored. Mumia was a radio reporter! So there would be no bylines or other newspaper file evidence of Mumia’s existence as a journalist.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Well, these days it is not uncommon to find associations for about every cause. WUHY’s Mumia Abu-Jamal found such a group in Philadelphia.

[Saro Solis] In 1979, when Buzz Bissinger is claiming that Mumia’s career resembles a disappearing act, Abu Jamal, along with other staffers at 91 Report do an extensive piece on the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. The series goes on to win the coveted Major Armstrong Award from Columbia University.

[Major Armstrong Award, Columbia University, 1979)

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] This is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[Saro Solis] Then, in 1981, Philadelphia Magazine names the 81 people to watch in greater Philadelphia. Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal is in this elite group. Here’s what they wrote: “his eloquent, often passionate, and always insightful interviews bring a special dimension to radio reporting.” So based upon easy to find public information, there’s no way Buzz Bissinger could have missed the history of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s journalistic career, unless, of course, he disregarded the mountain of evidence standing right in front of him, while dreaming of the day when his “douche juice” trademark would make the Pulitzer folks proud.

[SHE SAYS DOUCHE JUICE IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR PULITZER PRIZE WINNER. BE SURPRISED IF I EVER SEE HER AGAIN. FUCK IT ... -- BUZZ BISSINGER]

[BUZZ BISSINGER DECLINED TO BE INTERVIEWED]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] What if good ole Mother Earth had only 30 days until the big, last blast. That’s the hub of the wheel around which a humorous and very human play, brought to us by that dynamic Davis duo, Ozzie and Ruby, as the playhouse in the park revolves. Well, that’s 91 Report for this evening, and we’d like to ask you, by the way, to to let us know what you feel about …

[He had one of the greatest voices I’ve ever heard. I found him to be a superb reporter. He could have been an anchor at NPR.” – Bill Siemering, Founding Member, National Public Radio.]

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] At the time, he was married, and you never saw Mumia without his son.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Say, “My name is Mazi.”

[Mazi] [Mumbles]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Say, “My name is Mazi.”

[Mazi] Mani.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Mazi!

[Mazi] Hey!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Mazi!

[Mumia & His Son Mazi, Philadelphia, Late 70s.]
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Re: Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia

Postby admin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:16 am

PART 3 OF 4

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] And he was just so excited. He was just so into family right then. He was just so into trying to make everybody in the family happy.
This is a voicer. It rolls in 3, 2, 1, mark. Georgia State Senator Julian Bond today called ….

[Howard McNair] As 1981 unfolded, Mumia’s uncompromising approach to life and reporting, along with what was seen as his renegade and rebellious behavior, begins losing him favor in the broadcast world. Even at Black radio stations, Mumia has his problems. He was accused of being inflexible, and told that his hairstyle and attitude simply did not fit. If Mumia believed in something, and he believed in smoking pot, he didn’t mind standing up for it.

[POT: NO WAY]

[______________] After all, he was President of the Philadelphia Marijuana Users Association. This behavior did not endear him to newsroom bosses.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] At the Tasca Homes Project, this is Mumia Abu Jamal reporting for WDAS.

[Howard McNair] Mumia was experiencing the emotion of the demotion, his talent devalued by news directors throughout Philadelphia. So at night, he drives a cab to support his growing family, while still working freelance at radio stations and community newspapers.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I was driving a cab to make money to support my family, you know.

[POLICEMAN SHOT TO DEATH: RADIO NEWSMAN CHARGED, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/10/81]

[JAMAL SHOT ONCE IN THE CHEST DURING EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/20/81]

[ACCUSED FRIENDS CAN’T FATHOM “BRILLIANT” NEWSMAN AS MURDER SUSPECT, Philadelphia Daily News, 12/10/81]

[ABU-JAMAL FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER. COULD GET DEATH FOR KILLING OFFICER, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/3/82]

[ABU-JAMAL SENTENCED TO CHAIR IN COP-KILLING, Philadelphia Daily News, 7/3/82]

[SLAIN OFFICER’S WIFE PRAISES THE JURORS, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/4/82]

[SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. NEVER FORGET THE FALLEN HEROES]

[Filmmaker] Do you have an opinion?

[Karin Phillips, Reporter, KYW Newsradio, Philadelphia] No, I’m not allowed to give an opinion on him. No, they’ve told us at the station we really can’t talk about it. Well, a lot of us in journalism in Philadelphia, knew him, before this happened. I met him at least twice before this happened. And I thought he was an extremely articulate, sensitive, terrific radio journalist. I did not work with him, but I did meet him a couple of times. I was very shocked when it happened. Well, I remember that morning when that happened, and I remember, it split right down the middle, black and white.
Even in our newsroom, it split right down the middle.

[Rodney Charles] After recovering from his gunshot wounds, and surgery, Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote an essay entitled, “A Christmas Cage.” In it, he describes the beatings he suffered at the hands of a Philadelphia police on the night of his arrest.

[BANG BANG]

[Martha Boles] Nowhere have I read how police found me, lying in a pool of my blood, unable to breathe, and then proceeded to punch, kick and stomp me, not question me. I remember being rammed into a pole or a fireplug with police at both arms. I remember kicks to my head, my face, my chest, but I have read no press accounts and have heard tell of no witnesses. Where are the witnesses to a police captain or an inspector entering the wagon and beating me with a police radio, all the while addressing me as a black motherfucker! Where are the witnesses?

[Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia, 1982]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] The history of Blacks in this court system is clear enough. When a Black man confronts a policeman, he’s not supposed to survive. He’s not supposed to walk away from that confrontation.

[Reggie Schell, Defense Captain, The Black Panther Party] When they saw who they had, this was number 1. I mean, “Wow. Look what we ran into? We’ve got a Panther, and we’re going to kill this Panther. We’re going to kill this nigger right here.

[VIOLENT REVOLUTIONARY]

[Eartha Robinson] In an affidavit signed by court reporter Terri Maurer Carter, she quotes Abu-Jamal’s trial judge, the Hon. Albert F. Sabo, as boasting in chambers: “I’m going to help them fry the nigger.”

[ALBERT F. SABO, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY COURT]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Hang on, Lucius. The question that should be asked, perhaps is, “If Mumia Jamal died, and Officer Faulkner was alive, would he be here?

[White guy with mala] On Friday, at the July 4th weekend, 1982, the jury finds Mumia Abu-Jamal guilty of first degree murder in the killing of Philadelphia Patrolman Daniel Faulkner. The 25-year-old slain police officer is survived by his wife, Maureen Faulkner.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I was charged with homicide of a police officer in Philadelphia. I was convicted of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to death.

[White guy with mala] Amnesty International declares that “Abu-Jamal’s original trial was irredeemably tainted by politics and race and failed to meet international fair trial standards.” A year later, Abu-Jamal was transferred from Philadelphia to the State Correction Institution at Huntington, a medieval, 100 year old maximum security prison in Central Pennsylvania.

[SCI HUNTINGTON]

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] I can’t remember the first time I heard one of his essays, but I know the one that has always stuck with me. “Imagine living, eating, sleeping, relieving oneself, daydreaming, weeping, but mostly waiting in a room about the size of your bathroom. Now, imagine doing all of those things but mostly waiting for the rest of your life. Imagine waiting, waiting to die.”

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] It’s almost impossible to communicate the reality of what life on death row is for someone who hasn’t had that experience. In some ways, it defies description.

[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] Prison is raw, naked violence, hatred and humiliation. Every day of my life in prison, my life was threatened. Every day of Mumia’s life in prison, his life is threatened.

[Reporter] You’re sitting here behind glass with handcuffs on, how does that feel to you?

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] I always wonder how does that feel to you? Does it make you feel safer? It appears bizarre I think only because it is bizarre.

[Pranidhi Varshney] Since his incarceration, Mumia has been subject to non-contact visits.

[Giancarlo Esposito, Actor, Director] I imagine he must be extremely sensitive on his skin, and on his touch, so that when someone is taking his shackles off, someone brushes his arm, I imagine he must savor that, even if they are guards who don’t dig him.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] What visitors do not see prior to the visit, is a horrifying spectacle: the body-cavity strip search.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] So you go in and you visit in what we call a “closet,” and in this closet is a piece of glass and chickenwire that separates us from Mumia.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Once the prisoner is naked, the visiting room guard spits out a familiar cadence: “Open yer mouth; stick out your tongue; you wear any dentures?”

[From the Essay, “Teetering on the Brink: Between Death and Life”]

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] Why do you have him handcuffed and you’re separated that way?

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Pull your foreskin back; lift your sac; turn around; bend over.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Most human beings would shrivel up and become very coarsened in their conscience and very hardened in their hearts, and very chilly in their souls. It had the opposite effect on Brother Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Spread your cheeks; bottom of yer feet; alright, get dressed.

[Tameka Cage, Ph.D., Professor, Author] I once heard Mumia’s daughter say that her contact with her father has been all through just letters and phone calls. It’s very painful not to be able to hug him.

[LIVE FROM DEATH ROW]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] In the midst of darkness, this little one was a light ray. Tiny, with a Minnie Mouse voice, this daughter of my spirit had finally made the long trek westward, into the bowels of this man-made hell, she burst into the tiny visiting room, her brown eyes aglitter with happiness; stopped, stunned, staring at the glassy barrier between us, and burst into tears at this arrogant attempt at State separation. In milliseconds, sadness and shock shifted into fury as her petite fingers curled into tight fists, which banged and pummeled the plexiglass barrier. “Break it, break it,” she screamed. My eyes filled to the brim. I turned away to recover.

[Tameka Cage, Ph.D., Professor, Author] I can’t even imagine the thread of suffering.

[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor] I put on a silly face, turned back, called her to me, and talked silly to her. “Girl, how can you breathe with all them boogies in your nose?” Amid the rolling trail of tears, a twinkle started, like dawn. Over five years have passed since that visit, but I remember it like it was an hour ago. The slams of her tiny fists against that ugly barrier, her instinctual rage against it, the State-made blockade raised under the rubric of security, her hot tears. They haunt me. (November 1994)

[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] You know, the worst thing is that people get used to atrocities. I remember when I was in Vietnam during the war in the late 60’s, and I first saw the effects of American bombing, and I couldn’t function properly for a day or so, seeing dead children lying in the street, and the horrific thing is, I spent six weeks there. And you get used to it. The first day you’re shaken, the next you’re not so shaken, you’re always angry. And so in a strange sort of a way, a political prisoner in prison, knowing he’s there indefinitely, comes to terms with it. It’s horrific.

[Mumia Abu Jamal, from the “Murder Incorporated” Sessions, 2007] There was never a time when Africans blindly, obediently accepted their fate. They poisoned their captors, they burned down houses and barns, they ran away. The Africans fought in every way possible against their inhuman fate.


[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] Charles Bukowski said, “No one worth a damn ever wrote in peace.”

[Alice Walker, Author] My sense of Mumia is that he is working almost all the time. I mean, he must work as much as I do, and I work a lot.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] I think that writers, above all, need a room of their own, and space and time to write. And Mumia has a room of his own and time and space to write.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] From a writer’s perspective, the conditions are rather Spartan. All of the books that he’s written have been written in longhand.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] I think he reminds us of what writing really is all about, and he reminds us of a period when it was not possible to produce a book in two weeks.

[Rachel Robinson] Mumia has no access to the Internet whatsoever. He’s never even been on a computer. No email, no twitter, no facebook. Nothing.

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] Mumia is a very serious writer. He doesn’t write about anything historical unless he has read 10 or 20 books. He does an enormous amount of research. And on his third finger, near the side of his thumb, he had a callous the size of a finger.

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] This is the fierceness to which he is dedicated to this craft. It’s a fierceness that even makes just the act of writing defy the prison authorities.

[Dave Zirin, Sports Journalist] About five years ago, an envelope just showed up at my house, and who writes letters anymore, right? And I remember seeing that it said, “Inmate Mail, PA Dept. of Corrections.” It was a letter from Mumia Abu-Jamal about a book I wrote called, “What’s My Name, Fool?” which someone had sent to him. Of course, I wrote him back, and it started a correspondence between the two of us, and it let to me interviewing him for a book I wrote called “Welcome to the Terrordome.”

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] You know, sports often mimic the most repressive agencies in the broader life, for example, the military.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Here is Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row, no parole, speaking from the depths of his soul, depths of his heart, depths of his mind about the suffering of others, not even his own suffering. The suffering of others.

[Loudspeaker Warning by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor] Attention MOVE: This is America!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] It was the Philadelphia Police Department, it was the State government of Pennsylvania, it was the FBI, the ATF of the U.S. Government, that bombed the MOVE people on May 13, 1985. But no one would call any of those organizations or their employer, the U.S. Government, terrorists. Well, why weren’t they?

[Saro Solis] Seven years after the massive assault by Rizzo and Philadelphia’s finest on the MOVE organization, the Philadelphia police, now under orders from Mayor Wilson Goode, returned to West Philadelphia to carry out a military assault on the MOVE house. Tear gas, water cannons, and then a barrage of gunfire, as police launched 10,000 rounds of ammunition into the compound. And finally, as a coup de grace, a police helicopter drops an FBI supplied C-4 plastique bomb onto the roof of the MOVE home.

[Martha Boles] 11 murders, including five children.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] They created mass murder, holocaust, in a major city in America. And not one of them has ever been charged with any crime at all. Only Ramona Africa, guilty only of survival, is in jail.

[Interview Conducted at SCI Huntingdon, 1989]

[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor] Somebody needs to keep saying, “No, no, no, it’s not acceptable to bomb your own citizens.” Like, you shouldn’t bomb anybody, but it’s extra crazy in your own city to bomb your own citizens. Like, you can’t do that!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] The twisted mentalities at work here are akin to those of Nazi Germany, or perhaps more appropriately, of MyLai, of Vietnam, of Baghdad, the spirit behind the mindlessly murderous mantra that echoed out of Da Nang: We had to destroy the village in order to save it. On the MOVE from death row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[From Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Essay: “May 13th Remembered”]

[Jim Underdown] In 1995, Mumia Abu-Jamal is transferred from Death Row at the Gothic Penal Colony at Huntingdon, to one of the crown jewels in America’s Prison Gulag, SCI Greene, a supermax nestled in the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania, once a major path to freedom on the underground railroad.

[SCI GREENE, MAXIMUM-SECURITY CONTROL UNIT PRISON]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] 300 billion dollars since 1980 put in the Prison Industrial Complex. Can you imagine if half of that money had been put into education, job training, houses, and so forth? “We don’t have the money!” Same is true in Iraq; same is true in Afghanistan. They don’t have the money, but when it comes to war, we find the money. When it comes to prisons, especially incarcerating poor people, black and brown, they find the money. Always.

[Mutulu Olugbala/M1, Activist, Rapper (Dead Prez)] Instead of calling it a prison, I will call it a concentration camp. We’re not able to see the blood, the oppression, the outright brigandry, and [inaudible] tactic that this place is behind me, and what it represents inside the psyche of America.

[Lydia Barashango, Mumia’s Sister] I hate going to that place. It’s like going on the Starship Enterprise. You know, you go in and the doors just “swish.”

[SCI GREENE, WAYNESBURG, PENNSYLVANIA]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Some corporations made a mint off of this thing. You have small, rural counties and districts begging the government to “build a prison here, please.” There was a time when it was, “Uh, uh, not in my backyard. You better not! I don’t want that here!”

[Michelle Alexander, Law Professor, Ohio State University] There are more African-American adults under correctional control today, in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.''

[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] See, you have to control a marginal population, a subservient, sub-human – as once thought – population, like Black people. You’ve got to control ‘em. Slavery, you can control them and define them as property. But after the Civil War, they were supposed to be free. Then you segregate them and you lynch them. That’s control.

[Michelle Alexander, Law Professor, Ohio State University] You know, most criminologists and sociologists today will acknowledge that crime rates and incarceration rates in the United States have moved independently of one another. You know, incarceration rates, especially Black incarceration rates have soared regardless of whether crime is going up or down in any given community or the nation as a whole. So what does explain this? Well, the answer is the War on Drugs, a get-tough movement that was inspired not by drug crime, or crime generally, but instead by racial politics. The War on Drugs is part of a grand, Republican party strategy known as the Southern Strategy, of using racially coded “get tough” appeals on issues of crime and welfare, to appeal to poor and working class whites, particularly in the South, who were anxious about, resentful of, many of the gains of African-Americans in the Civil Rights movement.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] And also to provide a Final Solution to America’s nagging problem of the Black presence.

[Michelle Alexander, Law Professor, Ohio State University] In the words of H.R. Haldeman, President Richard Nixon’s former Chief of Staff, he quoted Nixon as describing the strategy this way: “The whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”
Well, they did.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] When you look at organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and you look at their reports on the prisons of this country, it’s frightening.

[Dave Zirin, Sports Journalist] People have to remember this: By 1992 in this country, 1 million people were behind bars. That means from 1776 to 1992, this country had managed to go up to the point where they were imprisoning 1 million people, which is a monstrous number, without question. Then from 1992 to 2000, another 1 million people. And Mumia was this pivotal figure in helping us understand why that was taking place.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] There’s nothing, nothing corrective being done to people in these jails. You can’t correct people by putting them in a box, you know, by denying them every right this so-called Constitution gives to all so-called Americans.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] The fact that there’s really this whole other country in our own country that so few people know about, and of course, those that do are the people behind bars, the people who do not get a voice. Mumia Abu-Jamal provides that voice.

[Vanessa Born] And that voice wrote: “Teetering on the Brink: Between Death and Life, published by the Yale Law Journal in 1991.

[From “Teetering on the Brink: Between Death and Life,” Yale Law Journal, 1991]

[Rodney Charles] For several years now, I have been assigned disciplinary status for daring to abide by my faith: the teachings of John Africa. And in particular, for refusing to cut my hair. For this, I’ve been denied family phone calls, and I’ve been shackled for refusing to violate my beliefs. Life here oscillates between the banal and the bizarre.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] When I wrote a book on mass incarceration, and questioned why the churches weren’t addressing the problem of mass incarceration more forthrightly, I found it necessary, unavoidable to begin with a paragraph from Mumia’s “Death Blossoms” book. He writes …

[Christina Moses] Isn’t it odd that Christendom, that huge body of humankind that claims spiritual descent from the Jewish carpenter of Nazareth, claims to pray to, and adore a being who was a prisoner of Roman power, an inmate of the Empire’s death row.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] How to comment on that?

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] We’re so ignorant as Christians, we don’t know the State killed Christ, which means if Jesus Christ came back to America today and bugged the wrong people, America would give him the electric chair. And all of us Christians would be walking around with electric chairs around our neck. How do you make the sign of the chair? But how can you cry over the crucifixion of Christ and not get rid of capital punishment?

[Ellen Weiss, Executive Producer: NPR’s “All Things Considered] The American public needs to hear these essays.

[Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Republican Leader] Yesterday, taxpayer supported National Public Radio was scheduled to start running commentaries by a convicted killer on death row.

[Saro Solis] In the Spring of 1994, Mumia became a regular commentator on NPR’s leading news magazine, “All Things Considered.” Producer Noel Hanrahan recorded Mumia in the visiting room at Huntingdon State Prison. NPR then launched a national ad campaign promoting Mumia’s unique voice from death row. His commentaries would reach an audience of 10 million listeners on more than 400 stations. But on the eve of Mumia’s first broadcast, National Public Radio fired their new commentator. Intense pressure by the National Fraternal Order of Police, along with the political elites on Capitol Hill, tempered NPR’s natural instincts to get the story right.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] It was surprising that a United States Senator would care about whether Mumia’s commentaries would be allowed on NPR.

[Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Republican Leader] Officer Michael Lutz, President of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police argued, and I quote: “I was under the impression he was supposed to be punished. This man is a cold-blooded killer whose appeals went to the highest courts in the land, and he’s getting a radio show out of the deal.”

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] Being able to turn this issue into a cause among Conservatives throughout the country would benefit his own political career.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] There’s a reason why our profession, journalism, is the only one explicitly protected by the U.S. Constitution, because we’re supposed to be the check and balance on power.

[Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Republican Leader] The last time I checked, we were trying to fight crime, not subsidize it, or promote the fortunes of convicted murderers through taxpayer supported public broadcasting.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] We’re not here to win a popularity contest. We have to go where the silence is.

[Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Republican Leader] And all of this is so bizarre I can’t believe it happened, but it did happen. And even thinking about putting it into some program where somebody on Death Row, some convicted cop killer, would be profiting from his commentaries.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] It’s not about a person’s case, whether they’re guilty or innocent. It’s about the experience of living behind bars and what that means.

[Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Republican Leader] And I’m pleased that the program was canceled, but I think we need to be on the alert because those who probably thought up this idea will probably be thinking up some others that could be just as harmful, and just as bad.

[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] The fact that Mumia was still able to find a national audience for the work was very significant.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] In 1997, when Democracy Now! was just beginning, we decided to air the commentaries of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] We didn’t think anything about it. Okay, if NPR won’t run them, we’ll run them.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] On the day that we began running these commentaries in Pennsylvania, the public radio network, run by Temple University, dropped us seconds before we were to go on the air. Not just dropped that show, but ended their contract altogether. It was their most popular show. We also asked the Fraternal Order of Police to come on. They refused, but that shouldn’t determine that his voice couldn’t be heard.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] Sometime you have to take unpopular stances if you believe that the information or the news that you’re getting out, is something that the public needs to hear.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] In every phase and facet of public life, there is a war being waged on America’s poor. In social policy, poor mothers are targeted for criminal sanctions.

[Rodney Charles, reading Mumia] Don’t tell me about the valley of the shadow of death. I live there.

[Dave Zirin, Sports Journalist] Mumia is a practitioner of what is sometimes referred to as “independent journalism,” or “independent media.” I call it myself, “resistance media.”

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] He’s struggling in there on Death Row for everybody else. And there’s somebody who solved this and said “let’s do some writings.” That’s unheard of. It brought dignity to the whole death row.

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] One day over the transom I got a manuscript. And I thought it was terrific. And I made 12 copies, and I sent it to 12 of the people whom I thought were the most radical people in publishing.

[Ted Nace, Author, Publisher] Well, the first time I heard of Mumia was at a publishing conference where his book “Life on Death Row” was announced. My first impression was completely bewildered.

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] One of the 12 – one! – offered $30,000. I tried to make it more, but I didn’t succeed. So we got more money in that year than Mumia has made in the 15 years following that.

[Saro Solis] After the publication of “Live From Death Row,” and at the beck and call of rapacious politicians, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections subjected Abu-Jamal to disciplinary proceedings, for “conducting the business or profession of journalism.” And then banned all interviews. But Mumia won the subsequent court battle and the right for journalists to film and record his work on site, arguing that he could not be singled out. So in order to shut these voices down, prison authorities banned cameras and recording devices from all prisoner visitation sessions at all prisons across the state. The rule is unofficially referred to as “The Mumia Rule.” In the wake of this attempt to silence prisoners, Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge signs Mumia’s death warrant.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] When I raised the First Amendment as a defense, I was told, “Well, this has nothing to do with First Amendment rights.” Essentially, I was punished for communicating.

[Giancarlo Esposito, Actor, Director, Performs Mumia’s “Death Row Notebook”, New York City, 1995] “But why, daddy? Why did they shoot you and why are they hitting and kicking you, Abu?” “They’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, baby girl, but don’t worry, daddy’s fine – see?

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I don’t even feel it!”

[Giancarlo Esposito, Actor, Director] The press obviously contacted me and wanted to know why I was supporting this guy. I certainly had a fear, you know, that I wouldn’t have a career anymore. I think during the performance, we even got a phone call – yes!, we got some kind of tipoff that the police were going to come. You know, you take me back a lot of years, and it was just like, Oh, man! That we may be shut down or stopped, that there was Danger Will Robinson, and everyone got nervous. You know you’re doing the right thing, you know you have to give this a voice, otherwise, he’s dead tomorrow.

[Angry Man Yelling] Whoopi Goldberg, Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Ozzie Davis, you have dirty politicians who are sponsoring this benefit for a cop killer!

[Ted Nace, Author, Publisher] The company was coming under attack from the police for publishing the book. And the Fraternal Order of Police sent an airplane over the headquarters of Addison-Wesley with a banner that read something like, “ADDISON-WESLEY PUBLISHES COP KILLER.” And that hit Addison-Wesley pretty hard. One of the ironies is that the book was selling so well, the controversy was working so well, that they were breaking records in their sales.

[ON DEATH ROW: FADE TO BLACK]

[ALL THINGS CENSORED, FOREWORD BY ALICE WALKER]

[Ruby Dee, Actress, Activist] I speak from Pennsylvania’s Death Row.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] A bright, shiny, highly mechanized hell.

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] The first time I read Mumia was when I was working at Seven Stories Press as an editor, and we were publishing his book, “All Things Censored.”

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] In this place, a dark temple of fear, an altar of political ambition …

[Ruby Dee, Actress, Activist] Death is a campaign poster.

[PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, EXECUTED RICKY RAY RECTOR (SEVERELY MENTALLY IMPAIRED), OMNIBUS CRIME BILL, ANTITERRORISM & EFFECTIVE DEATH PENALTY ACT]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] A stepping stone of public office. In this space and time, this dark hour, how many of us …

[Ruby Dee, Actress, Activist] … How many of us are not on death row?

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] We feel energized that there is somebody else out there who is seeing the world, who is seeing race, class, power and gender, from a liberation point of view. It’s not from the point of view of profit.
Not from the point of view of who is going to win a two-party contest. But from the perspective of “How are we going to live in a liberated society?”

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Mumia is imitating the first cry of the first slave brought to this country who said “No.”

[Mumia Abu Jamal, from the “Murder Incorporated” Sessions, 2007] There was never a time when Africans blindly, obediently accepted their fate. They poisoned their captors, they burned down houses and barns, they ran away. The Africans fought in every way possible against their inhuman fate.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Enslave these people. Keep them so intimidated, scared, hateful of themselves, don’t allow them to worship god without white supervision, exploit their labor, degrade their bodies, and what do black people do? They stole away at night, and held hands and lifted their voices in a rain shelter and sang “Swing low, sweet chariot, swing low.”

Meditations on the Cross
by Rufus, a slave

Lawd, Lawd, I look at the cross and pray --
Can you hear the words I say?
Can you see the things I do?
Things done by folks
who look like you?
Can you snap these chains offa my feet?
Can you make it so's I don't get beat?
Can you bring my wife,
son, daughter back to me!
Can you bring an end to slavery?
Lawd, O Lawd -- can you truly make us free?

Come to think of it, why am I
asking you?
What I mean to say is --
what can you do?
Your hands is nailed to this here cross --
How could you ever be the Big Boss?

Also nailed is your two feets --
you cain't even walk the streets!
And on your head, that crown
of thorns,
Will it stop new ideas
from being born?

Lawd, I don't mean to sound too smart,
it's just that these things be in my heart;
The last time I thought of you,
was when they lynched my daddy, Lou --
They tied his hands and bound his feet,
lashed him, slashed him like a piece of meat,
cut him, burned him, and just before they let him die,
they hung him from a tree, swingin' high.
How could your people do this, Lawd?
How could you give them the Power of the sword?
How could you let 'em hang Daddy on a tree,
when that's the very same thing they did to thee?
How could you let 'em bring us here as slaves
over roiling miles of ocean waves?
How could you do this, Jesus,
Weren't you king of the Jews --
Weren't they themselves broken and beaten,
battered and abused?

Lawd, O Lawd, I ain't tryin' to be
no big man,
I'm just tryin' to understand.
And if you don't wanna speak to me,
can't you at least let me see?
Ol' preacher say you died for the poor;
Does that mean we won't be poor no more?
I'm not try'na run things in heaven above,
I just wan' freedom, my family, Love.
They say it's compassion
your life demonstrated,
but I wonder, if that's so,
why am I hated?

Well, Lawd, I guess I gotta go,
It's just that I'd like to be more in the know.
Just think of this as my personal letter,
asking how things could be made better --
Finally, Lawd, lemme say I Love You,
'cause you went through the same
hell as we still do.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Alice Walker, Author] One of the problems with so many of our people is that they are so abysmally ignorant of their own history, and their own people.

[FROM HARRIET TUBMAN'S WRITINGS]

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I grew up like a neglected weed, ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.

[Rachel Robinson] 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. I think slavery is the next thing to hell.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] They had been terrorized, but they don’t create a black Al Qaeda. No, no, no. They don’t want to terrorize others. They’re fighting slavery. They don’t want to enslave white brothers and sisters. No, no, no, no, no, no. They want freedom for everybody.

[Mumia Abu Jamal, from Mumia Abu Jamal’s essay: “A Woman Called General Moses”, 2007] Harriet Tubman, freedom fighter. Her name is a holy one, high on freedom’s altar. It should be forever remembered.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] That’s brother Mumia. Justice, not revenge. Freedom for all, not just freedom for my friends and people who look like me.

[Rachel Robinson] It should be forever remembered.

[WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE FOURTH OF JULY?]

[Martha Boles, reading Frederick Douglass] What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?

[Christina Moses, reading Frederick Douglass] To him, your celebration is a sham. Your shout of “liberty” and “equality,” a hollow mockery. Your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy …

[Martha Boles, reading Frederick Douglass] … a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.

[Christina Moses] Frederick Douglass, 1852

[Sonali Kolhatkar, KPFK Radio, Los Angeles] This is http://www.prisonradio.org to listen to all of Mumia Abu Jamal’s commentaries.

[Mumia Abu Jamal, from Mumia Abu-Jamal’s essay “De Profundis”, 1997] One is amazed and even astonished to consider those millions who today claim spiritual lineage from a being called “Christ” …

[White guy with mala] For a decade, Mumia’s voice was silent, a journalist trapped in solitary confinement. His melodic, silky baritone gone way too soon. But in July of 1992, Prison Radio producer Noelle Hanrahan traveled to rural Pennsylvania to record the death row prisoner. These were to be his first radio broadcasts since he was shot and arrested. For a few hours, Mumia was back in a funky old recording studio. Even the thick plexiglass separating talent from engineer was the same. The difference? Heavily armed guards and tightly shackled wrists. But it was hard to tell that they were recording in a hell on earth with the reporter sentenced to die.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] For if one were from outer space and able to view life on this planet for a century or so, one might observe this …

[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] The first time I heard Mumia’s words, I was kind of struck. They took me back. I was like, “Wait – who is this?”

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Christians are the wealthiest humans on the third planet. They seem to be the most violent humanoids, having brought about two world wars, tens of thousands of murders, and millions of rapes, assaults and lynchings.

[Alice Walker, Author] I can’t bear to listen to people who sound phony. And so if I had detected any hint of phoniness in his voice, I would not have listened to him at all.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] They are the only group to have dropped an atomic bomb on other non-Christian people, to have colonized and enslaved whole races of other humans, and to have committed genocide on an unsurpassed scale: American Indians, Jews for example.

[Ted Nace, Author, Publisher] I’m particularly struck by Mumia’s ability to work what we call “short form radio.” The fact that he has to research them from a prison cell where he is allowed very restricted access to research materials, the fact that he has to put them together with no editorial support, and then the fact that he has to produce them generally in one take, I mean, all of these are working circumstances that I don’t think most professional journalists or commentators would be able to function under.

[Greg Bridges, KPFA Radio, Berkeley] Transitions on Traditions at listener-supported radio KPFA, this is Greg Bridges in your ear …

He is a studied and noted journalist who has community roots. He speaks truth with logic. I think that frightens government because so many people are listening to Mumia.

[Anita Johnson, Executive Producer, Hard Knock Radio] What’s up fan? You’re tuned to [inaudible] radio here on listener-sponsored station KPFA in Berkeley, California. Up next on the program, political prisoner and commentator Mumia Abu Jamal on [inaudible] in the Middle East …
Think about hip hop culture being in your face, Mumia is in your face, whether you want to hear it or not. Many times you have hip hop artists that are saying what no one wants them to say. We’re the ear to the streets, right? Mumia is that for so many different people and individuals.

[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] I’ve worked in juvenile lock-down facilities and adult prisons giving writing workshops and poetry workshops, there’s a handful of writers that seem to really really resonate. For some reason, it tends to be Mumia, Tupac and Bob Dylan. I don’t know what that triumvirate or evil or good is about.

[IT’S NOT ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA]

[Larry in Philadelphia] We rolling? Justice means if the jury finds him guilty, then that’s justice to me. That’s the way we do things in America, right?'

Once again, Pennsylvania's highest court has shown us the best justice that FOP money can buy. Ignoring right reason, their own precedent, and fundamental justice, they have returned to the stranglehold of death. In their echoes of the tortured logic of Judge Albert Sabo, they have reflected a striking fidelity to the DA's office. If it is fair to have a tribunal who are in part admittedly paid by the FOP -- and at least one justice who can double as DA one day and a judge the next in the same case -- then fairness is just as empty a word as "justice." To paraphrase Judge Sabo, it is just an emotional feeling.

In recent months the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld death sentences in cases where an impartial reading of transcripts or pleadings would make an honest affirmation all but impossible. They have ignored all evidence of innocence, overlooked clear instances of jury taint, and cast a dead eye on defense attorneys' ineffectiveness. What they have done in my case is par for the course. This is a political decision, paid for by the FOP on the eve of the election. It is a Mischief Night gift from a court that has a talent for the macabre.

I am sorry that this court did not rule on the right side of history. But I am not surprised. Every time our nation has come to a fork in the road with regard to race, it has chosen to take the path of compromise and betrayal. On Oct. 29, 1998, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court committed a collective crime: It damned due process, strangled the fair trial, and raped justice.

Even after this legal legerdemain [sleight of hand] I remain innocent. A court cannot make an innocent man guilty. Any ruling founded on injustice is not justice. The righteous fight for life, liberty, and for justice can only continue.

-- Mumia Abu-Jamal, October 31, 1998


[Joey Vento, Proprietor, Geno’s Steaks] I say take him out and put him in the regular population. Maybe somebody out here will do the job for us, and we won’t have to worry about this nonsense.

[OPINION LETTERS: MUMIDIOTS -- WHY SO MANY MUMIA SUPPORTERS WEAR NOSE RINGS. MUMIA IS INNOCENT ALL OUR EVIDENCE SHOW]

[Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News] I’m glad to be credited for creating the term “Mumidiots.” They hate America. And they use him as a symbol and a focus of their hate.

[Larry from Philadelphia] It’s a big thing in Philly, okay? I think too many people like the Beastie Boys and like that are trying to make it their own cause …

[Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News] And Mumia becomes a handy symbol for them to use against a system that they believe is (rolling his eyes) racist, and [rolling his eyes) colonial, and (rolling his eyes) homophobic and (rolling his eyes) military and (opening his mouth real wide) capitalist, and everything else that they despise.

[Nanette] [Shaking her head back and forth with eyes closed] But why all the people in Hollywood and stuff are so into it, I just can’t even fathom!

[Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News] He’s articulate. He’s good-looking. I have to ask myself if he would have quite so much support if he were ugly and inarticulate.

[Joey Vento, Proprietor, Geno’s Steaks] Paul Newman, who I liked, I stopped watching his films after a while because he came out in defense of Mumia. They have no clue about it.

[MICHAEL SMERCONISH, AUTHOR OF “MURDERED BY MUMIA” DECLINED TO BE INTERVIEWED]

[Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News] The overwhelming majority of Philadelphians believe he is guilty, and they are just tired of it.

[White Man 1] I don’t know that much.

[Narrator] We want to know your opinion on Mumia Abu Jamal.

[Black Man 1] Who?

[Narrator] Have you ever heard of him before?

[White Woman 1] No.

[Narrator] Okay. Great. Thank you for your time. Thanks a lot.

[STEVEN LEVITT, “FREAKONOMICS,” AUTHOR OF “THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU WEAR YOUR FREE MUMIA T-SHIRT,” DECLINED TO BE INTERVIEWED, BECAUSE HE SAID: “I’M NOT AN EXPERT”]

[Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News] I’ve never read any of his books. I didn’t feel any need to, because I understand they are diatribes mostly, or they’re propaganda.

[“REIGN OF TERROR,” BY ANN ERPINO, ARTIST]

[Mumia Abu Jamal] We live within the shadow of Columbus today, which means there have been over 500 years of manifest destiny, meaning white supremacy over all non-white life.

[Tejah Signori] Any form of art is a form of power. It has impact. It can effect change. Ozzie Davis.
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Re: Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary. A Journey with Mumia

Postby admin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:16 am

PART 4 OF 4

[LOS CABOS, MEXICO, 2011]

[Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza, Artist] It’s beyond me to know that there are more journalists dead in Mexico than in Iraq.

[Saro Solis] Moved by the struggle of Mumia Abu Jamal, young Mexican artists, Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza and Helena Moguel Samaniego, created this installation entitled “Corridor of the Silenced Ones,” or “El Corredor de Los Silenciados.”

[Helena Moguel Samaniego, Artist] Mumia as a journalist and writer is important not only because of his work before his imprisonment, but what he has achieved there, and in the way he has proven all of the injustices and the corruption in the legal system in the United States.

[Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza, Artist] And I think this has more to do with people who are on top. Maybe it’s not convenient for the United States government to reveal these types of situations and cases because of their image, without caring who they stomp over or whose hands their justice lands on.

[Helena Moguel Samaniego, Artist] And I think that’s important because he has proved this, and because if this has happened to him, it may have happened to other people before him that we don’t know about, and the people should be aware of this.

[THE STATE WOULD RATHER GIVE ME AN UZI THAN A MICROPHONE – MUMIA ABU-JAMAL]

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] If somebody goes out into the streets using the tools and mechanisms of an imperial power, you can’t win. You can’t win with money; you can’t win with guns. To quote the Zapatistas, “Our words are our weapons.”

[MUTULU OLUGBALA/M1, Activist, Rapper (Dead Prez)] This is what he is able to do with political theory. This is what he’s able to do to make what’s on CNN the lie that it is, and tell it to you with the charisma of a Malcolm X.

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] And that’s dangerous. That’s beautiful. That’s what Mumia does.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] It’s this ability to connect with people that I think inspires other people on the outside to connect with him to say, “Yes, I want to go on a journey with this man because I need to connect like that, too.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] We should remember that during slavery, even post-reconstruction, there were people who functioned to benefit from the system, black people, even while the vast majority suffered from horrendous and, to be honest, terroristic conditions. Their function was to teach passivity in the face of repression.

[Alice Walker, Author] He’s a remarkable teacher. I think, for me, that is what I most treasure.

[Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General] If Mumia’s words could be taught to school children, we’d be a better people, and a better country.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] Which is one of the reasons I organized Educators For Mumia, because he’s a co-teacher with us, in fact a teacher of us in many respects.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] I have Mumia speak to my students via conference call on a regular basis.

Mumia!

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Hello, hello, hello.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] Hello. It’s wonderful to hear your voice.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] The response, is first of all, visceral. It’s emotional. And I think it’s emotional not just because it’s eloquent, but also because it takes one to the heart of struggle.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] And yet, he’s depicted as a monster, as a raving lunatic.

[Mumia Abu Jamal] We have yet to acknowledge, much less agree, that there is still a caste system at work in the U.S.

[Weldon McWilliams, Ph.D., Professor, Cheyney University] We see this man who is behind bars, continuing to fight against injustice, and fight against racism, fight against poverty, and encourages us who are on the outside, those of us who are not incarcerated, it gives us motivation to do more, and it also raises our expectations of what we should be able to do, us being outside these walls.

[Tanay Harris, Temple University] You understand that we have to continue this fight, because it is still going on to this very day. And it’s not about him; it’s about everyone else, and about the collective. He’s holding the media outlets accountable; he’s holding the world accountable; he’s holding ourselves accountable for understanding the truth behind what’s really going on. And in his mind, he sees the possibility of freedom.

[Gabriel Bryant, Temple University] I think that he’s given so much to humanity that it’s our obligation to continue that sense of truth, and to be kind of warriors for justice.

[Benjamin Cuozzo, Baruch College] For a student who had missed the class today, I think the only thing I would have to say to them is, “I’m sorry, because they really truly did miss out on something spectacular.”

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] We get a lot of heat from authorities – supposedly we’re just getting political. Not so! We as educators are into Mumia Abu Jamal’s writings – and others! – because he provokes a profound analysis from perspectives that educators often ignore and neglect. And if they’re ignoring and neglecting it, they’re not being good educators.

[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] [Everyone clapping] That was wonderful!

[Mumia Abu Jamal] Thank you for this lift. I love you all.

[Students] Thank you, Mumia.

[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor, reading from “Prayer Warrior: Poems of Struggle”] No prison walls, cell block, iron bars, solitary hell hole death row speech ban bullshit will ever, ever hold his spirit.

I wrote the poem “In the Flesh,” which was really about knowing that Mumia had made a decision long ago that he was going to be free.

[Singing] Steal away, steal away, steal away, oh steal away home. Steal away, steal away, we haven’t got long to stay here.

There are forces that are stronger than the state of Pennsylvania, and the governor. And there are forces that are stronger than bars and brick and barbed wire.

[Singing] Didn’t we shout for glee when you freed Geronimo Ji Jaga? Didn’t I cry for joy when you freed Nelson Mandela?

In the history of black folks, through slavery, through reconstruction and chain gangs, black people have always found ways to find freedom, even in the midst of physical constraint.

Oh! Let him be free in the flesh.

[“IF THE NUREMBERG LAWS WERE APPLIED, THEN EVERY POST-WAR AMERICAN PRESIDENT WOULD HAVE BEEN HANGED.” – NOAM CHOMSKY, AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER & DISSIDENT]

[Mumia Abu Jamal, 1989] When you talk about the PLO and other groups that are maligned and slurred as terrorists in the major media, they’re really small fry. They’re retail terrorists. Wholesale terrorists are the United States Government, which arms like the Arena government in El Salvador so that they can have helicopter gunships come in poor neighborhoods and bomb the FMLN like they did a few days ago. But it’s the FLMN who, in the New York Times when you read it, is described as a terrorist organization, not the Cristiani government that Roberto D’Aubuisson who tortured people with blow torches and was called by Pat Robertson, “A pretty nice fellow.”

[Linn Washington, Journalist] Here’s a man who speaks eloquently, and perceptively on the systemic problems in this country. America doesn’t like critics. You didn’t see Congress stop and pass a resolution honoring Howard Zinn when he passed. Howard Zinn documents the problems. He’s a historian.

[White guy with mala] In 2003 and 2004, Mumia wrote and published two critically acclaimed works of history, “Faith of Our Fathers,” which explores the spiritual life of Africans and African-Americans, and “We Want Freedom,” a personal narrative of The Black Panther Party.

[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] I was surprised with what he knew, and how much he knew, about African-American religion and spirituality.

[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] Even though it’s about a very physical, bodily struggle of a whole people over 500 years for emancipation under conditions under slavery, the reason that it’s about faith, and spirit, because faith and spirit are about finding an artful way of being in the world under the agonistic conditions of imposed social suffering.

[“SLAVE SPIRITUAL” FROM “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS”, 2003]

[Rachel Robinson] Lord, how came me here? I wish I never was born.

[Eartha Robinson] They know freedom here, Lord. I wish I never was born.

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Now, I’m reading this in the comfort of graduate school, going “How the hell was he doing this?” And I still haven’t completely figured that out.

[Rodney Charles, reading from “Faith of Our Fathers”, 2003] The repeated, plaintive refrain of the captive encapsulates the monstrous toll of human bondage: the wish for non-existence, for self-annihilation in the face of barbarous oppression.

[Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defense, the Black Panther Party] You can read the back of the program, and it simply says exactly what black people have been crying for for 400 years: “We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our own black communities.”

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Then he produces a history of the Black Panther Party. That’s one of the best histories of the Black Panther Party. I’m like, “he doesn’t have the Internet! He can’t go to the library! How’s he doing this?

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] There have been a lot of books written about the Panthers. And I think this one is unique. In the first place, he talks a lot about the female Panthers, which very few books do.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] We’ve lost the memory of the fact that it was by and large women who ran virtually every chapter in the country.

[Barbara Cox Easley, Former Member, The Black Panther Party] Mumia, you asked the question about Mumia talking about women: He was never a chauvinist. From the day he entered the party, he was never a chauvinist.

[Christina Moses, reading from “We Want Freedom,” 2004] For me, political life began with the Black Panther Party, when an older sister named Audrea handed me a copy of the Black Panther newspaper. Around the spring of 1968, my mind was promptly blown. It was as if my dreams had awakened and strolled into my reality. I joined in my heart. I was all of 14 years old.

[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] When Obama got the Peace Prize from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, 10,000 people in Norway demonstrated against the decision because Obama had just announced that he was going to escalate the war in Afghanistan, which he then proceeded to do after receiving the prize.

[WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] DemocracyNow producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous asked Tariq Ali for his reaction to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Price.

[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] I could have given them two candidates who are very deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize this year. One is, of course, Noam Chomsky, who has fought for peace all his life, and the other is Mumia Abu Jamal. Now that would have given people something to think about.

If there were any justice in the world, they would award him the Peace Prize next year, but I’m prepared to bet you that they won’t.

[Man, in France, 2007] Free Mumia Abu Jamal!

[Harlem, Saint-Denis meme combat! Une Rue pour Mumia!]

[Keine Hinrichtung! Freiheit fur Mumia Abu-Jamal!

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I was deeply and gratefully surprised by the international solidarity. Stunned by it in a way.

[Suzanne Ross, Ph.D., Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition] We have been extremely heartened by the response all over the world. This is one of the moments where you really international solidarity.

[FREIHEIT FUR MUMIA!]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] People around the world, I was just in Germany a few weeks ago, walking down the street, there’s a picture of Mumia!

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] And I’m always impressed that everyone in Germany knows Mumia’s name. And in Paris, of course, he became the first honorary citizen of Paris since Pablo Picasso.

[ANGELA DAVIS ACCEPTS ABU-JAMAL’S HONORARY CITIZENSHIP]

[IN 2011, THE POSTAL SERVICE OF FRANCE ISSUED A FIRST-CLASS STAMP FEATURING MUMIA ABU-JAMAL]

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] He’s such a threat. The only person I can think of that represented the same threat to this country was Paul Robson.

[Paul Robson] What you’ve been seeing here makes a lot of sense.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author]And so that trajectory reminds me a great deal of Frederick Douglass who used his powerful oratorical and writing skills to reach millions of people, literally, all over the planet.

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] And people feel him that don’t even know how to spell his name around the world. And then they feed back to you, “I love you; bless you.” And he feels that.

[VOICE OF THE VOICELESS]

[FREE MUMIA RALLIES, PHILADELPHIA]

[FREE MUMIA: ABOLISH THE RACIST DEATH PENALTY]

[Mumia Abu Jamal] I’m experienced at an extreme distance, and an extreme isolation, but even at that depth of isolation and distance I was able to receive those messages of solidarity, of support, of oneness.

[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] There’s cops out here dressed like us, looking like hippies – they need to be here. Wrong has always tried to spy on right. Right never spies on wrong. There’s something about light that wipes out darkness.

There’s only privilege for decent folks, not for thugs and hoodlums.

[Speaker of the House] The gentleman from Wisconsin is recognized.

[Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, Judiciary Committee Chairman] Speaker, I move that the House suspend the rules and agree to House Resolution 1082 condemning the decision by the city of Saint-Denis, France, to name a street in honor of Mumia Abu Jamal, the convicted murderer of Philadelphia Police officer Danny Faulkner.

[SAINT-DENIS: RUE MUMIA ABU JAMAL]

[FREEDOM ROAD]

[Julia Wright, Author, Activist, on DemocracyNow!] In the city of Saint-Denis, where the kings and queens of France are buried, there is a street that was named on the 29th of April, 2006, in honor of Mumia Abu Jamal. The FOP had gone hysterical –

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] The Fraternal Order of Police …

[Julia Wright, Author, Activist, on DemocracyNow!] Yes.

[CONDEMNATION OF ST. DENIS, FRANCE, C-SPAN, U.S. HOUSE]

[Linn Washington, Journalist] And it’s enough to cause the U.S. Congress to come to a halt, and violate all their rules to pass a resolution to condemn Saint-Denis. “We, the U.S. Congress, order you, to change the name of your street.”

[Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pennsylvania, 13th District, Philadelphia, Jenkintown] Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow Officer Faulkner’s public service to be diminished by the actions of a foreign city.

[Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, 8th District, Langhorne, Doylestown] Mr. Speaker, Mumia Abu Jamal is not a political prisoner. He’s a murderer with a penchant for public relations.

[Linn Washington, Journalist] A sovereign city, in a sovereign foreign country, can do what they want to do. If they want to wave the middle finger at America, they can.

[Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pennsylvania, 15th District, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton] Abu-Jamal, a cop killer, is now featured and feted as a minor celebrity by people like Fidel Castro, a few Hollywood movie stars, and of course, the leadership of a small suburb of Paris, France.

[Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, 8th District, Langhorne, Doylestown] He’s been able to sway extreme liberal and socialist groups to his side, in a sick effort to ride his story of political oppression to freedom.

[Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pennsylvania, 15th District, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton] We have a death penalty statute in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania precisely because of cases like this one.

[Reporter, Book TV, C-Span 2] Former Black Panther Party member and deathrow inmate, Mumia Abu Jamal, discusses his book, “Jailhouse Lawyers,” about prisoners defending other prisoners in the U.S. court system.

[PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE U.S.A.]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] He forces us to come to terms with the depths of the crisis of the American Empire, and how do you create some awakening?

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] This is what he said about his own book; his words.

[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] This is the story of law, learned not in the ivory towers of multi-billion dollar-endowed universities …

[Howard McNair, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] Surrounded by neatly kept lawns, and served by the poor, who clean, sweep, and wash their cares away!!

[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] It is law learned in the bowels of the slave ship, in the hidden, dank, dark dungeons of America: the prisonhouse of nations.

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] That’s Mumia’s words about his book. Well said, Mumia!

[Virginia, Book TV, C-Span 2] Hello, this is Virginia at Labyrinth Books.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Hello Virginia at Labyrinth Books.

[Crowd] [Shouting and clapping]

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] You know, I find this book remarkable. And who should read it mostly? Lawyers. All lawyers should read this book, because I think they’d become better lawyers, and more compassionate if they did.

[ON THE PHONE: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, AUTHOR, “JAILHOUSE LAWYERS”]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Thank you for coming. I know it’s a cold, somewhat snowy night, at least it is in Green County, Pennsylvania. So welcome. This is from the preface of “Jailhouse Lawyers.” I mean, c’mon – seriously! What in the hell is a “jailhouse lawyer”?

[Saro Solis] In “Jailhouse Lawyer,” Abu-Jamal draws a direct and tortuous line from SCI Green in Pennsylvania to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] In the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, one can see almost the manic glee, reflected in the shiny, white faces of Americans …

[DaJuan Johnson, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] … as they thrill at the abuse, torture and humiliation of stripped Iraqi men.

[CHARLES GRANER]

"18 U.S.C. § 2340A–torture or attempted torture committed outside the United States by a person acting under color of law, where death results. United States jurisdiction under this provision covers offenses where the alleged offender is a U.S. national or where the alleged offender is present in the United States, regardless of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender."

-- Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes, by CRS Report for Congress


[Amy Goodman, Journalist] The whole word gasped when we saw the pictures in 2004 of Abu Ghraib, depicting pictures of prisoners tortured by their prison guards. Those guards were U.S. military, like Charles Graner.

[Pranidhi Varshney, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] Only Americans, with their electronic toys, capable of sending digital images abroad, could have outdone the Ba’ath party in depravity and infamy.

[Amy Goodman, Journalist] Well, he got his start at SCI Green where Mumia Abu-Jamal is imprisoned. And what exposed him were the photographs. Just think if we had those photographs back at SCI Green.

[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild] Mumia knows that. And that is why he is writing books, and speaking out about others’ cases.

[PRISON RADIO: A PROJECT OF THE REDWOOD JUSTICE FUND – MUMIA ABU-JAMAL’S RADIO BROADCASTS]

[BEFORE GUANTANAMO OR ABU-GHRAIB WAS THE BLACK PANTHERS’ SHOUT OUT FOR NORMAL RICHMOND]

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] The roots of Guantanamo, of Abu Ghraib, of Bagram Airforce Base, of U.S. secret torture chambers operating all around the world, are deep in American life.

[Teddy Robinson, Engineer, KPFK, Radio, Los Angeles] Mumia gives me a lot of joy, a lot of empowerment, as we broadcast his voice, because I know it’s going to millions. I know there’s so many people that are tuned in and listening to what he has to say.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Mumia is a very distinctive kind of celebrity. He’s a celebrity that calls into question the superficiality of most celebrities.

[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] I wanted to go see Mumia for myself. And the next day, I was going to fly on a private jet, going to L.A., hoping vainly, it seemed, that Denzel Washington would win the Academy Award as the starring actor in the movie “The Hurricane.”

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] When you juxtapose Mumia Abu-Jamal with Oprah Winfrey, you know that’s like John Coltrane and Kenny G. You know what I mean? It’s like, good God almighty, you’ve got depth, tremendous sacrifice, willingness to bear any cross – that’s Coltrane, and that’s Mumia Abu-Jamal.

[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] The contrast between the two places were so extreme, because there I was sitting with Mumia, and he was daring to dream from death row.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Oprah is an entrepreneurial genius, we know that, but thin, superficial, well-adjusted to the injustice of society even as she surfaces.

[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] And then the next day, I rode in this private jet to Hollywood, to the plush limousines, the plush suits and dresses, and the empty eyes of Hollywood. Nobody was dreaming there!

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] You never hear her talking about critiques of Wall Street. You never hear her talking about critiques of capital. You never hear her talking about the plight of poor people. You never hear voices on her show that allow that vision to be heard. Never. She is a “success.” American-style.

[“ALL GOVERNMENTS ARE RUN BY LIARS AND NOTHING THEY SAY SHOULD BE BELIEVED.” – I.F. “IZZY” STONE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST.]

[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] He’s going to go right next to I.F. Stone, and all the other leftist journalists of the 20th century. And into the 21st century.

[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor] I don’t agree with everything that he says, but I know that I can trust that it is uncut and unfiltered in a way in a way that I can’t trust so many other forms of news.

[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] You know, like embedded reporters. They make me want to throw up. Because you are censoring yourself does not mean the news you’re providing is uncensored.

[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] There’s quite a number of eminent people on the left – I won’t mention names, some of them very, very prominent, and maybe the very top people, too – that go so far about certain things. And they’ve got to flash their anti-communism to maintain their bona fides. Mumia doesn’t do all of that crap.

[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] I don’t want to go to Doha and live at the press center, and treat whatever press release that came from the White House as though it were a fucking story. That was obscene to me. The stories were out in the streets.

[LETTER FROM THE BIRMINGHAM JAIL, BY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.]

[Linn Washington, Journalist] There’s a lot of journalists who don’t like this guy. Not because they think he’s guilty – a lot of them do – but look at the jealousy factor. Here’s a man who is NSL 23 hours a day, no Internet access, writing everything he does longhand, a person who has authored thousands of commentaries that are broadcast and published all over the world every week. And here’s journalists in America who may get published once every other week, once every other month. “Why is this guy getting so much attention?” Because he’s good at what he does.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Mumia Abu-Jamal has found his voice, as a blues man in the life of the mind, of a jazz man in the world of ideas.

[Alice Walker, Author] You can sell your soul and not swing, but the music would not be sweet to anyone.

[Anita Johnson, Executive Producer, Hard Knock Radio] The hip hop generation, if anything, they identify with him because of his honesty, as artists, “let’s push the envelope; let’s be truthful; and let’s really talk about what our parents are trying to ignore.

[“THE FIRST LESSON A REVOLUTIONARY MUST LEARN IS THAT HE IS A DOOMED MAN.” – HUEY P. NEWTON, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] In both dialogues that I had with him, he said over and over again, “I’m a revolutionary because of the love. When you love people, you can’t stand the fact that they’re being treated unjustly.

[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] I think Mumia would agree with what Che said, and at the risk of sounding ridiculous, “A revolutionary is guided by feelings of love, and for love of the people.”

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] I think that’s really what made him a revolutionary. That’s why he’s a long distance revolutionary. Most revolutionaries are not long distance.

[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] What makes Mumia so threatening to many people in the United States is that he is still a revolutionary. And because he has been in jail for so long, the system has not had the opportunity to calm his down.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Like Eldridge Cleaver for example. He ends up right wing, living in Utah, making men’s clothing. Excuse me. God bless the brother, and god bless his soul, but he was not a long distance revolutionary. And he ends up as not just a counter-revolutionary, but reinforcing the worst of Reaganism, which is a war against poor people and working people. “Eldridge, how did you get over there?” His love is not deep enough.

[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] For all of these decades, he is a vibrant member of a community of resistance, a community of struggle. As a matter of fact, he’s one of the most important contributors to that community.

[Mumia Abu Jamal, from his essay, “Teachers Baaad”, 2011] Teachers Baaad. According to a number of new governors across the country, the newest boogey-man (and I guess boogey-woman), are teachers, who are portrayed as greedy, selfish, and overpaid. Now, honestly, who better fits that description: teachers or politicians?

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] You’d think that the mic was dead! I was a soldier of the ministry of information, and my weapon was a typewriter. The media, as constituted is an element, a leg, a tool, of white supremacist power. We often operate with the illusion of freedom. We rarely achieve the reality. You have the right of association. You have the right of your political beliefs. Well, of course, you have that right, but the government will penalize you, will chase you, will hound you, will frame you, and if they can, they will kill you.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Death row forever. And he comes back stronger than ever.

[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] He doesn’t do time. He’s using it like no one I have ever met is using it. [Holding back tears]

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] A prison cell, and the U.S. oppressive apparatus can never steal that joy from you.

[Alice Walker, Author] If you cannot have mercy, it is you, you are in prison.

[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] If the kingdom of god is within you. Then everywhere you go you leave a little heaven behind. Truth crushed to earth will rise again.

[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Hey, did we get it all?

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Yeah, we got it all.

[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] All right! Which country do you want to go to when you get out?

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Uh, which ones are there?

[Telephone Operator] You have fifteen seconds left to talk.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Every one of them: Brazil, Cuba – you know what I mean?

[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Yep.

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] France.

[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Whoo hoo!

[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Netherlands. You name it. I love everybody.

[Telephone hangs up]

[SHORTLY AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THIS FILM, MUMIA’S DEATH SENTENCE WAS OVERTURNED. HE REMAINS IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. HE CONTINUES TO FIGHT FOR HIS FREEDOM]

A Call to Action

The choice, as every choice, is yours:
to fight for freedom or be fettered,
to struggle for liberty or be satisfied with slavery,
to side with life or death.

Spread the word of life far and wide.
Talk to your friends, read, and open your eyes --
even to doorways of perception you feared
to look into yesterday.

Hold your heart open to the truth.

-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal


WRITTEN, DIRECTED & EDITED BY STEPHEN VITTORIA

PRODUCED BY KATYANA FARZANRAD, NOELLE HANRAHAN AND STEPHEN VITTORIA

CINEMATOGRAPHY & EDITOR: ERIK SORENSEN

MUSIC WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY ROBERT GUILLORY

SOUND DESIGN & RE-RECORDING MIXER: DINO HERRMANN

CO-PRODUCER: RIKKI JARRETT

PRODUCTION DESIGN: ADAM REDNER

8MM PHOTOGRAPHY: SKYE BORGMAN

LOCATION SOUND MIXERS: ED NOVICK, BENJAMIN S.L. WONG, JOHNPAUL GOLASKI, MAX COOKE

ADDITIONAL FIELD PRODUCERS (NEW YORK & PHILADELPHIA): DREW WILLIAMS, MARISSA COSTIDIS, SHANNON VITTORIA

ADDITIONAL CAMERA & LIGHTING: ALEX LEVIN, CHRISTOPHER BAUER, SKYE BORGMAN, RAY DOMINGUEZ, CHRISTOPHER SAVAGE

LONDON CREW: CREATIONVIDEO LTD.; MARK SLOCOMBE, PRODUCER; DAVID STEVEN LEE, LIGHTING CAMERAMAN

TELEPROMPTING LOS ANGELES: PC PROMPTING, STEVE GRAHAM

TELEPROMPTING SAN FRANCISCO: RALPH KELLIHER

STUDIO SERVICES: MAD DOG VIDEO (NORTH HOLLYWOOD); ERIC BOURGOUJIAN; MIKE JORDAN

ART DIRECTION SERVICES: JEREMY CLAUSON; HISTORY FOR HIRE (NORTH HOLLYWOOD)

DRIVER: CHRIS FARZANRAD

MOTION GRAPHICS: DESIGNPATH

ASSISTANT EDITOR: COLIN ARCHDEACON

DIALOGUE EDITOR: CINEHYTE INC.

ADDITIONAL SOUND DESIGN: FRANCOIS BLAIGNAN

TROY ALCENDOR PLAYED MUMIA (IN THE CELL)

BRANDY SCOTT PLAYED MUMIA’S MOTHER & AUDREA

SYDNEY BLOOM PLAYED MUMIA’S DAUGHTER

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ARTWORK: SETH TOBOCMAN, ERIK DROOKER, MAC MCGILL, ANGELA BOCAGE, MENIRA GILDEN

BLACK PANTHER ARTWORK: EMORY DOUGLAS

ANIMATION: DMITRY BORISOV

PANELS FROM “THE GREAT MIGRATION” BY JACOB LAWRENCE © 2011 THE JACOB AND GWENDOLYN LAWRENCE FOUNDATION, SEATTLE ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

“EL CORREDOR DE LOS SILENCIADOS”, RICARDO SAMANIEGO MENDOZA: PROJECT & IMPLEMENTATION; HELENA MOGUEL SAMANIEGO: RESEARCH & VISUAL ARGUMENT

RESEARCH: MICHELE AWEEKY, SHANNON VITTORIA, KIRA LIPP

SPANISH TRANSLATIONS: ISABEL MORA, NATALIE VASQUEZ

PRISON RADIO STAFF: CAROLE SELIGMAN, MILES MONTABANO, EMMA SHAW CRANE, JUSTIN FIELKOW, KATRINA FULLMAN, JOHN JUDGE, JOANNE CABELLO, ALLI STARR, SHAWN BERRY

INTERVIEWS: MICHAEL AFRICA, PAM AFRICA, RAMONA AFRICA, MICHELLE ALEXANDER, TARIQ ALI, LYDIA BARASHANGO, TERRY BISSON, HEIDI BOGHOSIAN, GREG BRIDGES, GABRIEL BRYANT, TODD STEVEN BURROUGHS, STU BYKOFSKY, TAMEKA CAGE, DR. RUBIN “HURRICANE” CARTER, RAMSEY CLARK, JAMES H. CONE, BENJAMIN CUOZZO, ANGELA DAVIS, AYA DE LEON, EMORY DOUGLAS, BARBARA COX EASLEY, ANN ERPINO, GIANCARLO ESPOSITO, JOHANNA FERNANDEZ, GLEN FORD, FRANCES GOLDIN, JUAN GONZALEZ, AMY GOODMAN, DICK GREGORY, BARIKI HALL, LAKOTA HARDEN, TANAY HARRIS, ANITA JOHNSON, C. CLARK KISSINGER, SONALI KOLHATKAR, GLORIA LARIVA, DAVID LINDORFF, WELDON MCWILLIAMS, TED NACE, MUTULU OLUGBALA/MI, MICHAEL PARENTI, JERRY QUICKLEY, TEDDY ROBINSON, GREG RUGGIERO, REGGIE SCHELL, MARK LEWIS TAYLOR, JOEY VENTO, ALICE WALKER, LINN WASHINGTON, CORNEL WEST, DAVID ZIRIN

NARRATORS & READINGS: RUBY DEE, AHSABI MONIQUE BURRIS, LORIN BECKER, MARTHA BOLES, VANESSA BORN, RODNEY CHARLES, MYLES CRANFORD, ERIC DAVIS, GERALD EMERICK, ADRIAN GERMANY, SHEILA GRENHAM, ELIJA HALL, RACHEL HASTING, DAJUAN JOHNSON, HOWARD MCNAIR, CHRISTINA MOSES, MARQUES RAY, EARTHA ROBINSON, RACHEL ROBINSON, HALIMA SCOTT, TEJAH SIGNORI, SARO SOLIS, CORNELIOUS SWOPE, JIM UNDERDOWN, PRANIDHI VARSHNEY

ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE & IMAGES: TEMPLE URBAN ARCHIVE, NATIONAL ARCHIVE, PRISON RADIO, PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, FOOTAGE BANK, ALL AGES PRODUCTIONS/TED PASSON, BERLIN FREE MUMIA COALITION, POND 5, 3 FOOTAGE, CRITICAL PAST, BUYOUT FOOTAGE, C-SPAN, DEMOCRACYNOW!, BLACK PANTHER ARCHIVE/IT’S ABOUT TIME, CHRIS MEIER, ARLETTE STUIP, KHALIL BENDIB, ANNETTE SCHIFFMANN, CLAUDE GUILLAUMAUD-PUJOL, DEEP DISH TV, PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK, J.C. ALSTON FAMILY MOVIES, ALAN LIGHT, DOUGLAS BROWN

“BLACK AND BLUE” FOOTAGE: COURTESY OF LAMAR WILLIAMS & HUGH KING

“MOVE: CONFRONTATION IN PHILADELPHIA”, A FILM BY KAREN POMER & JANE MANCINI, © TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

EXCERPTS FROM THE EXCLUSIVE MUMIA INTERVIEW COURTESY OF THE OTMOOR PRODUCTIONS FILM

“MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: A CASE FOR REASONABLE DOUBT”, DIRECTOR JOHN EDGINTON

FULL INTERVIEW AVAILABLE ON THE DVD http://WWW.OTMOORPRODUCTIONS.COM

1989 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER BRATTON

1995 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: COURTESY OF TOM FILMYER

1996 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: KAOS KUNST ARCHIVE, GERMANY

1996 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW (LAST VIDEOTAPED INTERVIEW): INTERVIEWERS: MONICA MOOREHEAD & LARRY HOLMES; CAMERA: KEY MARTIN; COURTESY OF PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL PRISON PHOTOGRAPHY: LOU JONES, JENNIFER BEACH, NOLAN EDMONSON, APRIL SAUL

BLACK PANTHER PARTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ILKA HARTMANN – http://WWW.ILKAHARTMANN.COM, IT’S ABOUT TIME

“MURDER INCORPORATED” SESSIONS (2007): COURTESY OF STREET LEGAL CINEMA

AUDIO RECORDING SESSIONS & PHOTOS FROM DEATH ROW: COURTESY OF PRISON RADIO AND NOELLE HANRAHAN, http://WWW.PRISONRADIO.ORG

COLOR BY FILMLOOK (BURBNAK): DA VINCI COLORIST: ALLEN KELLY

LABORATORY SERVICES: SMV COMPLETE MEDIA (SANTA MONICA), DUART FILM & VIDEO (NEW YORK), VTI (BOSTON), PRO8MM (BURBANK)

SHOT WITH PANSONIC DVCPRO-HD CAMERAS, 8MM FILM CAMERA: CANON 514 XL, FILM STOCK: PRO8/19,PRO8/70, CRANE: ALAN GORDON ENTERPRISES (HOLLYWOOD)

EDITED ON FINAL CUT PRO

LEGAL SERVICES: MICHAEL DONALDSON, DONALDSON & CALLIF

INSURANCE SERVICES: HEFFERNAN INSURANCE, ALLISON PARSHALL

MUMIA ABUL-JAMAL EXCERPTS FROM THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:

LIVE FROM DEATH ROW
ADDISON-WESLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY
© 1995 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

DEATH BLOSSOMS
SOUTH END PRESS
© 1996 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

ALL THINGS CENSORED
SEVEN STORIES PRESS
© 2000 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL AND NOELLE HANRAHAN

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
AFRICA WORLD PRESS, INC.
© 2003 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

WE WANT FREEDOM
SOUTH END PRESS
© 2004 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

JAILHOUSE LAWYERS
CITY LIGHTS BOOKS
© 2009 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

“MIDNIGHT SPECIAL” (TRADITIONAL), PERFORMED BY HUDDIE WILLIAM LEDBETTER, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS RECORDINGS

“SPIRIT IN THE SKY”, WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY NORMAL GREENBAUM, COURTESY OF TRANSTONE PRODUCTIONS

“ROCKS THA WORLD”, MUMIA 911, FRANK SOSA, PRODUCER, REALIZED MUSIC

“SOCIETY”, PERFORMED BY EDDIE VEDDER, WRITTEN BY JERRY HANNAN, COURTESY OF MONKEY WRENCH/RCA RECORDINGS, BY ARRANGEMENT WITH SONY MUSIC LICENSING

It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
'Cause when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me

There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more how're you keeping score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me

Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me



SPECIAL THANKS: ANSWER COALITION; BRIAN BECKER; IAN THOMPSON; ANTHONY ARNOVE; BARUCH COLLEGE, CUNY; CHARLES L. BLOCKSON AFRO-AMERICAN COLLECTION; ERICA BRIDGEMAN; KELLY CARLIN; CENTER FOR INQUIRY WEST; JAMES UNDERDOWN; MARTHA CONLEY; CARRIE CORE; KIM DELGADO; DEMOCRACYNOW!; KRISTEN DEVLIN; TIM DILLARD; ALAN GORDON ENTERPRISES; EDUCATORS FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL; THE ELLA BAKER CENTER, OAKLAND; LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI & CITY LIGHTS BOOKS; ELLEN FREUND; NICK FURRIS; KIM FURST; GENO’S STEAKS, PHILADELPHIA; ROSALIND GODDARD; CLAUDE GUILLAUMAUD-PUJOL; AARON HARPER; RON HARRIS; SUE HARRIS, PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK; APRIL HAYES; JANET HICKS; ERIK JACOBSEN; BILLY X. JENNINGS; EMILY KIRSCH; PETER KLEINERT-TRALAU; KEN KLONSKY; LEDA KNEE-GUINE; KPFA-FM BERKELEY; KPFK-FM LOS ANGELES; JOYCE LIEBERMAN, WHYY-FM PHILADELPHIA; DARYL & JAMIE LIGGINS; LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE; LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE LIBRARY; MALCOLM MARSHALL & THE STAR PEOPLE; NICOLE MARTIN; MARK MCMAHON; MARK MCPHERSON; CHRIS MEIER; RAPHAEL MOGUE; ALBERTO MORENO; DENIS MOYNIHAN; BRENDA MURAD; NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD; SUSAN NOVICK; TED PASSON; MATTHEW PERELMAN, MAC ENTHUSIASTS; NICK PETERS; ANDREW PHILLIPS; SUSAN RICKETTS; MARY ANN RODRIGUEZ; JEFF ROSEN; BILL SIEMERING; FRANK SOSA; SAM STOLOFF; NEIL TANNER; TEMPLE UNIVERSITY; SABINE TRUNZER; JIM TULLIO; WALTER TURNER; JULIA WRIGHT; MICHAEL YOSHIDA

LONG DISTANCE REVOLUTIONARY: A JOURNEY WITH MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

“We were blessed by the prisoner who knew how to be free.” – Lucinda Williams

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