Tag: Mumia Abu Jamal
To the people in California, the name Kiilu Nyasha is familiar, like an aunt or some other relative. For them, she was a voice of resistance heard on public radio and television, mostly on her show, called Freedom is a Constant Struggle. She was an endless and brilliant source of resistance to the system. She became a beloved and respected elder for young people in the Bay Area. We remember Kiilu Nyasha: mother, artist, commentator, revolutionary and inspiration.
On April 15, tax day, we think about money. If we follow the money, we find the root of the rot. That is the unifying theme of 66 incisive interviews with Dennis J. Bernstein on his Pacifica Radio Network KPFA Flashpoints program, in a just-released book, “Follow the Money: Radio Voices for Peace and Justice,” selected, transcribed and edited by Riva Enteen. The interviews, all during the Obama administration, are the writing on the wall that foreshadowed a Trump presidency.
She was born in 1936 and named Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela, but the world would come to know this South African beauty as Winnie Mandela, the wife of African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela. And when, after Nelson’s freedom, the marriage ended, she remained a powerful presence in South African life, loved by the nation’s poor and dispossessed. For they knew, in their heart of hearts, that their struggle was her struggle.
Our beloved Kiilu, 78, passed peacefully into the welcoming arms of the ancestors in the early morning of April 10, 2018. Kiilu was a serious political animal. She didn’t just debate or go to meetings; she was on the frontlines of political struggle. Kiilu personified the spirit of a Black Panther and a dragon breaking free from a dungeon rolled into one, with the resiliency of a Haitian freedom fighter in their revolution and the resolve of a Palestinian resisting the settler colonial Zionist. Kiilu Nyasha, we love you, and we will never forget what you gave.
By now, many of you may have had the opportunity to view the brilliant screenwriter-director Ryan Coogler’s film, “Black Panther,” which was produced and distributed by the for-profit European-American owned and operated Marvel and Walt Disney corporations. For the past few weeks, people of differing ages and nationalities have been flashing the cross-armed “‘Wakanda’ Forever” sign. i will not at this time debate the neo-colonialist and imperialistic politics of this technically-stunning visual work.
He was born in 1933. He, of course, is Minister Louis Farrakhan but, like Oprah or Prince, one name is enough to garner recognition. Say “Farrakhan” – and everyone knows of whom you speak. This has especially been so since Oct. 16, 1995, the day his call for the assemblage of a million Black men was met by at least a million Black men. What other Black leader could have done this?
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!”
For over three decades, thousands of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe have mobilized to save Mumia Abu-Jamal from execution, to overturn his conviction, to demand his freedom. Without these international mobilizations, crucially including the organized labor movement, we would not have saved Mumia from two warrants of execution and compelled the state to concede defeat in trying to execute him.
We concerned members of the international community call your attention to an egregious example of human rights violations in your respective jurisdictions: the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, we call on you both, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, to release all relevant police and prosecution files and free Mumia Abu-Jamal now.
A powerful political figure asks several of his female staffers a favor: “Can either of you gals have my baby? Don’t worry – I’m willing to pay y’all …” In an era in which sexual harassments, assaults and attacks on women seem commonplace, this case seems like something out of a bad sci-fi movie. Is this real life? One wonders. The politician who propositioned his staff members, (Rep. Trent Franks, R-8th, Arizona), was a prominent conservative known for his adherence to ‘family values’.
The Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners was started by Safiyah Bukhari (d. 2003), Herman Ferguson (d. 2014) and Jalil Abdulmuntaqim, who is a Black Panther political prisoner incarcerated for over 44 years. Jericho has maintained a steady course for 20 years. Beginning with its famous march on Washington in 1998, Jericho has continued to campaign to free freedom fighters, community activists and revolutionaries primarily from movements of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Six California prisoners wrote to me in 2015 to ask about the Hepatitis C cure, shortly after the San Francisco Bay View newspaper published my interview with activist attorney Peter Erlinder titled “US prisoners sue for constitutional right to lifesaving Hep C cure.” They’d been able to read it because the Bay View sends a print edition to prisons all over the country every month. I tried and failed to answer those letters and I’ve felt bad about it ever since. I would have swiftly responded to all the prisoners who wrote to me about the Hep C cure if I’d been able to send electronic mail.
In Mexico, the existing political structure is a dizzying patchwork of corruption. Government is sometimes indistinguishable from the notorious drug cartels. Perhaps that’s why indigenous candidates are now emerging, to give voice to the millions of people who were there before the Spanish came, to try to right the ship of state. Today, a woman called Marichuy is crossing the country seeking formal registration for office, but she calls herself a “non-candidate,” a woman content to be called an indigenous spokesperson.
As we continue to raise awareness and lift up our voices so that we may be heard on the issues of systemic racism and economic exploitation in the criminal justice system, as well as prison slavery and police killings and brutality, we continue to see an evil and determined enemy dig in its heels in the name of White Supremacy. In October 2017, it was reported that the Trump administration is seeking more immigration jails and detention facilities to house more immigrants that they plan to arrest.
In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, two names emerged from the Native American and Indigenous community that stood for resistance to white repression and assaults on Native life: Russell Means and Dennis Banks. In a time of mass resistance and social upheaval shown by the anti-war (re Vietnam) and Black liberation movements, Banks was among thousands of young activists of Native, Indigenous communities who rose up to speak – and act – on behalf of the oppressed.
If there is one unifying principle emerging from the disaster known as the Trump Regime, it is the president’s singular mission to erase the executive presence of his predecessor, Barack Obama. This may be seen most recently in Trump’s bumbling undoing of Obama’s executive order known as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, done to further endear him to his so-called “base,” white nationalists who love to hear about the suffering of nonwhite Others.
Saturday morning, Aug. 19, the day dawned bright and sunny, not a hint of the rain that drenched us the evening before. At 10:30 a.m. when I arrived at Freedom Plaza, there were people with posters and event T-shirts and a brother with a bullhorn. Robert King and Albert Woodfox were there in Amend the 13th T-shirts. King was passing out information about the law – the constitutional amendment – that legalizes slavery. Later on, at the rally, he would conclude the event, which lasted about five hours.
His name was Richard Claxton Gregory, born Oct. 12, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. But the world knew him as Dick Gregory, comedian, human rights activist, social critic and presidential candidate. As a young man, he won an athletic scholarship as a runner, which took him to college. But he really hit his mark as a comedian who told sidesplitting jokes about American segregation and racism. The great civil rights activist Dick Gregory died this week.
In the wake of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the left’s anti-fascist response to defend that community and the death of Heather Heyer, a rally that had been planned and organized over a two-year period by imprisoned people and the grassroots prison advocacy group IAMWE offered a powerful opportunity for those looking to actively confront white supremacy. Their demand is the end of slavery in America – the elimination of the “exception clause” in the 13th Amendment.
Called by prisoners to give voice to their demand to strike the slavery clause from the 13th Amendment – making slavery legal “as a punishment for crime,” thus legally holding 2.3 million imprisoned Americans in slavery today – thousands turned out in as many as 16 cities in the middle of Black August, on Aug. 19, 2017, to abolish slavery and end mass incarceration. In San José, about 200 marched to the county jail for a rally with powerful speakers who saluted the prisoners and inspired the crowd.