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The frame-up of rapper Meek Mill by Philadelphia cops bears a telling resemblance to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Both stand as indictments of the entire injustice system. Recent revelations about the fraudulent arrest and imprisonment of Mill demonstrate what police and prison abolitionists have known for decades: The entire institution of mass incarceration is a crooked, racist system. When we say, “Free Meek and free Mumia!” we also say, “Free them all!”
Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist, a former Black Panther, a MOVE supporter and an innocent political prisoner. His freedom from false murder charges is long overdue, after 36 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Winning Mumia’s freedom would be a victory against this injustice system and pave the way for others, as did his victory to get Hep-C treatment, which helps Pennsylvania prisoners as well as other thousands nationwide.
My thoughts are the reflections of my life experiences. As to whether that is a life lived well or poorly, I will leave those questions and answers up to historians, critics, the general public and you, the reader. In that respect, while time permits, I will express some of my opinions. I think that 78 years in the game we call “life” grants me that privilege. Current events and conditions demand this of me. To jump right in, take “Black Lives Matter.”
In the wake of Muhammed Ali’s transition come the voices of praise and adulation heaped on the man for his political stance and courage for holding to his convictions in 1967, that brought him face-to-face with a racist U.S. regime. But the voices are silent in the face of Jasmine Abdullah Richards’ reality in 2016, against an identical racist regime to the one who persecuted Ali.
The following information is drawn from letters received from prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois, and compiled on Feb. 2 by Attorney Alice Lynd. The prisoners have not heard anything about Armando Velasquez. Officers have told the prisoners that an independent review is being conducted, but no one has talked to the inmates.
How did the world get here? Did you hear what they said: Another young brother is dead. Meanwhile Zimmerman is set free; how the fuck can this be? A man with a gun killed Sybrina and Tracy’s son. Yet he received an acquittal while Trayvon was only armed with a bag of skittles, showing once again how little America values Black life.
On Nov. 6, a majority of the voters in California voted to amend the Three Strikes Law. In Cali alone, according to the film “Cruel and Unusual,” there are over 4,000 people locked up doing life under Three Strikes for nonviolent offenses. The Documentary Film Fest is featuring “Cruel and Unusual” on Nov. 11, 12 and 15 in San Francisco and Berkeley.
As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.
I have been constantly pushing for liberation quite vigorously and many of you inspire me to push harder and remember the words of a great freedom fighter, Sis. Harriet Tubman, who said: "I started with this idea in my head. There's two things I have a right to: death or liberty."