Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:25 AM
marmar (68,731 posts)
Chris Hedges: The Unsilenced Voice of a ‘Long-Distance Revolutionary’
The Unsilenced Voice of a ‘Long-Distance Revolutionary’
Posted on Dec 9, 2012
By Chris Hedges
I am sitting in the visiting area of the SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pa., on a rainy, cold Friday morning with Mumia Abu-Jamal, America’s most famous political prisoner and one of its few authentic revolutionaries. He is hunched forward on the gray plastic table, his dreadlocks cascading down the sides of his face, in a room that looks like a high school cafeteria. He is talking intently about the nature of empire, which he is currently reading voraciously about, and effective forms of resistance to tyranny throughout history. Small children, visiting their fathers or brothers, race around the floor, wail or clamber on the plastic chairs. Abu-Jamal, like the other prisoners in the room, is wearing a brown jumpsuit bearing the letters DOC—for Department of Corrections.
Abu-Jamal was transferred in January to the general prison population after nearly 30 years in solitary confinement on death row and was permitted physical contact with his wife, children and other visitors for the first time in three decades. He had been sentenced to death in 1982 for the Dec. 9, 1981, killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His sentence was recently amended to life without parole. The misconduct of the judge, flagrant irregularities in his trial and tainted evidence have been criticized by numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.
Abu-Jamal, who was a young activist in the Black Panthers and later one of the most important radical journalists in Philadelphia, a city that a few decades earlier produced I.F. Stone, has long been the bęte noire of the state. The FBI opened a file on him when he was 15, when he started working with the local chapter of the Black Panthers. He was suspended from his Philadelphia high school when he campaigned to rename the school for Malcolm X and distributed “black revolutionary student power” literature.
Stephen Vittoria’s new film documentary about Abu-Jamal, “Long Distance Revolutionary,” rather than revisit the case, chronicles his importance and life as an American journalist, radical and intellectual under the harsh realities of Pennsylvania’s death row. Abu-Jamal has published seven books in prison, including his searing and best-selling “Live From Death Row.” The film features the voices of Cornel West, James Cone, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Alice Walker and others. It opens in theaters Feb. 1, starting in New York City. In the film Gregory says that Abu-Jamal has single-handedly brought “dignity to the whole death row.” ..................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_unsilenced_voice_of_a_long-distance_revolutionary_20121209/
10 replies, 1469 views
Chris Hedges: The Unsilenced Voice of a ‘Long-Distance Revolutionary’ (Original post)
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Response to truth2power (Reply #2)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:11 PM
geek tragedy (52,571 posts)
3. The fact that he was found at the crime scene with the gun that killed the cop
and with a bullet from the cop's gun in him indicates that the prosecution was not based on his political beliefs.
The prosecution presented four witnesses to the court. Robert Chobert, a cab driver who testified he was parked behind Faulkner, identified Abu-Jamal as the shooter. Cynthia White, a prostitute, testified that Abu-Jamal emerged from a nearby parking lot and shot Faulkner. Michael Scanlan, a motorist, testified that from two car lengths away, he saw a man, matching Abu-Jamal's description, run across the street from a parking lot and shoot Faulkner. Albert Magilton, a pedestrian who did not see the actual murder, testified to witnessing Faulkner pull over Cook's car. At the point of seeing Abu-Jamal start to cross the street toward them from the parking lot, Magilton turned away and lost sight of what happened next.
Many, many people have been convicted on much weaker evidence.
Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:21 PM
truth2power (8,204 posts)
4. Link please? And another point of view...
On Dec. 9, 1981, Abu-Jamal was driving a taxi when he saw that police had stopped his brother. He got out of the car to make sure police were not violating his brother’s civil rights.
In the altercation that followed, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed. Witnesses saw a man flee the scene who did not look like Abu-Jamal. But when police arrived, they arrested Mumia Abu-Jamal, who had also been shot.
Ballistics reports prove that the gun found on Mumia Abu-Jamal, a .38 caliber weapon, was not the gun that killed Officer Faulkner. He was shot with a .44 caliber weapon. Police did not even test Abu-Jamal’s weapon to see whether or not it had been fired.
edit> Oh yeah, iacenter was founded by Ramsey Clark. I thought I'd save you the trouble.
Response to truth2power (Reply #4)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:35 PM
geek tragedy (52,571 posts)
5. Ah, the good old IAC, genocide-denialists and diehard fans of Kim Il Sung and Slobodan Milosevic
The Korean Workers Party, a revolutionary communist organization, leads the country, and it has ensured housing and jobs for all the people. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, its major trading partner, it had a booming socialist economy with a higher standard of living than most Asian countries. The Workers' Party adheres to the principles of anti-imperialism, socialism and independence laid down by its founder, Kim Il Sung. Kim is still revered by the Korean people for leading the struggles against Japanese colonial occupation and U.S. imperialism.
Milosevic was president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in 1999 when that country heroically attempted to resist the latest imperialist aggression in the region on behalf of big business. The FRY was the last remaining obstacle to total re-colonization of the Balkans.
Three years ago George Pumphrey wrote this article that exposes the anti-Serb propaganda campaign carried on regarding Srebrenica. We present it as a service to our web readers.
Mumia is perfectly at home in their pantheon of heroes. As would have been Lavrentiy Beria.
Response to truth2power (Reply #6)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:00 PM
geek tragedy (52,571 posts)
7. Hey if you think Slobo, Saddam, both North Korean Kims, Gaddhafi, Assad, Mladic, Mugabe and Karadzic
are/were all misunderstood victims and heroes, you probably think the same of Mumia.
Of course, the rest of us can point out that the IAC never met an anti-American murderer they didn't love.
Response to marmar (Original post)
Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:34 PM
MyTwoSense (46 posts)
10. His brother William Cook...
Has his brother, William Cook, the fellow who was initially pulled over by Officer Faulkner, ever testified? It's my understanding that he has refused to testify in any capacity. Interesting...you'd think he'd want to defend his brother.