COLUMN FIFTY-THREE, NOVEMBER 1, 2000
(Copyright © 2000 Al Aronowitz)
LETTER TO THE WORLD
(IT'S A LITTLE LATE, BUT WE, TOO, WOULD LIKE TO ADD OUR NAME TO THE SIGNATORIES OF THE FOLLOWING APPEAL)
Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:15:19 -0500
From: Fernando Rendon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Open letter to world leaders from world poets and writers
Colombia, July 15, 2000.
fraternal regards and a copy of the letter that is circulating
We beg you that if it's possible you could make this letter circulate
four your kind news,
International Poetry Festival in Medellin
letter to world leaders from world poets and writers
“Who rejoices in slaughter
shall never see his will accomplished”
international press has recently published that the U. S government
many beautiful cultures have disappeared because of the endless
suffers the oldest and most merciless war of this continent. We
in its more global sense is the foundation and history of being.
poets of almost fifty countries from five continents, engaged with
we extend our call to poets, writers, men and women of
of the poets and writers,
Gelman, poet; Jorge Boccanera, poet and essayist; Manuel Ruano,
Fernando Rendon, poet, director of the International
Medellin, Colombia, July 15, 2000.
fraternal regards and a copy of the letter that is circulating
beg you that if its possible you could make this letter circulate
four your kind news,
International Poetry Festival in Medellin
* * *
BILLIE AND RUBY
"David Weaver" <email@example.com>
Subject: My Man's Gone Now
Date: Sat, 05 Aug 2000 04:33:48 GMT
found your columns on the internet, and enjoyed reading them.
never seen any reference before to Gershwin and Holiday, and his
you very much -- looking forward to more columns!
On May 5, a new Gershwin CD was released, and it has the recording of
"David Weaver" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: My Man's Gone Now
Date: Sat, 05 Aug 2000 14:32:35 GMT
to meet you via e-mail! Thanks for
your quick response and allowing
Elzy died June 26, 1943, in Detroit's Parkside Hospital, one day after
had sung her last performance in Serena one week before -- June 19, 1943
Elzy is buried in her home town of Pontotoc, Mississippi.
February 20, 1908
June 26, 1943
"Now singing in the celestial choir"
April 1, 2000, Ruby Elzy was named one the first 27 inductees into the
I can contribute anything of interest to your website, I'd be happy to do
* * *
AND TO THE POINT
Justan Highland <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 06:18:26 -0800
writing is very interesting ##
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 18:23:59 EDT
Subject: Re: HOW TO GET OFF MY MAILING LIST
thanks for the mail. im glad your
back in the game. there are
a lot of kooks out there, and we have to go far beyond them with
our determination. im a young writer/ actor on the west coast, and
im really into the beats, jazz, and 60s and 70s rock music. im working
on a script right now about berkeley in the 1960s. Stay strong, stay
weird, and i hope to hear from you again, soon.
NOT AL1 NOR AL2
Subject: Re: HOW TO GET OFF MY MAILING LIST
To: al aronowitz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 14:27:37 +0200
Al, you've convinced me. Now you are bookmarked in my system. Looks
like a cool site.
Are you Al, of Al's Bar fame? If so, I like the 2 t shirts I bought
Are you Al, of Reverend Al and the Cacaphony Society? If so, I wish I
if you are not either of the Als above, I look forward to reading your
George P. Johnson Company
Chrysler - Jeep Automotive Europe
Phone: +49 (0) 711 44 01 250 or
+32 (0) 265 80 20 0
* * *
"Milroy, Tom (CY - Business Administration)"
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Keep the faith, Al
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 14:29:07 -0600
goes around, surely does come around. (As
you have so clearly articulated in your last email). This is a law of nature, (cycles), and an absolute truth.
despair either, man. There was some
kind of Kharmic thing that you and that dickheaded virus passer had to go
through. A past life thing that
needed some working out? Only God
(?) knows but I do know that YOU have found the BALANCE in all of that hurt that
he/she caused you and the good news is...
won't have to go through it again in another lifetime because YOU were able to
balance the Kharma in this lifetime, and got the GIFT out of all that hurting.
Good for you Al, and it serves as a reality (?) check for all of your
I said, Al...
Keep the faith
Saskatoon, CANADA ##
* * *
SHE LOVES OUR STUFF
Tue, 04 Jul 2000 00:29:07 -0400
Subject: Re: don't remove me! I love this stuff!
From: "d." <email@example.com>
To: al aronowitz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
7/3/00 1:31 PM, al aronowitz at email@example.com wrote:
I’m not some hustler trying to tell you how to make a million dollars
> and I’m not a spammer who gives you a phony return email address. If
> you want to be removed from my address book, kindly print REMOVE in
> the subject line above, click on REPLY and then click on SEND. It
> is essential that I have a complete copy of this email I’ve sent you,
> including the lone addressee at the top. As I said that will enable me
> to find you in my address book. Afterwards, you will receive an email
> confirming that you have been removed from my mailing list. But have
> patience, please. So far, THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST is just a one-man
> operation and, although I hope not, there might be a rush of naysayers
> among you.
the virus was just a random thing and not someone going specifically after you.
There's lots of those nasties going round in email and they don't
discriminate who they attack.
someone to put *on* your mailing list: Ben Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He'd be interested in your writings.
your stuff, man.
ait an mac an saol.
* * *
FROM A VETERAN OF THE BLACKLIST
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 15:07:50 -0700
just read your letter regarding the problems you've had to deal with the
destruct of your hard drive. I was touched by your letter and did a brief revue
of the many columns you wrote about many persons I knew over the years. I had
some experience of the Blacklist in the early fifties and I know how damaging it
could be to ones psyche and it's something you never really get out of your
system. I'm a survivor and somehow managed to get my life together and managed a
number of Jazz artists, Rock stars, my own music publishing companies, Record
Companies, Produced Concert Tours, Involved with some major films, touring
Broadway productions through Israel and Europe, and despite getting wealthy
beyond ones dream, I can never forget the Blacklist. I learned to avoid
interviews and keep a low profile. Welcome back to cyber world. I'm in my 80th
year and I've gone a little crazy with 5 computers in my home and one next to my
bed, when I awake for any reason I have my toy to stay in touch with the world.
See you on the internet. ##
A FEW WORDS FROM PIG
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 16:18:07 EDT
Subject: Turn Your Radio ON
when just Six (count 'em) Transistors
HREF="http://www.cosmik.com/aa-july00/gary61.html">Do You Remember
* * *
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 11:30:31 EDT
Subject: Watts Really Happening??
July 9, 2000 London Observer "Life" Magazine contained an interview
those unfamiliar with the case, it was reported that Michael Abram broke
what George really went through was not in the papers," says Charlie.
was stabbed about 40 times. It
happened outside his bedroom on the
papers did say that one wound punctured his lung, but a lot of others
shakes his head ruefully. "I
think George is still going through
not like John Lennon: he's never made statements or anything."
* * *
E FROM A TRAPPIST MONK
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 19:14:32 EDT
came across your website and love your writing.
Those essays would make a
* * *
E FROM A SHRINK
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 23:42:04 EDT
Subject: Great Writing
I've read your stuff since the 60's.
I'm 52 and like you and so many
That bio on A&E was pretty lame, maybe one day a real documentary on
I'm a psychologist (PhD), and there is no doubt in my mind that somehow
He still has been a real schmuck at times.
* * *
E FROM GERMANY
email@example.com (David Elek)
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 22:56:52 +020
Mr. Al Aronowitz,
a word of thanks for your interesting and enjoyable articles,
from Dusseldorf, Germany.
* * *
E FROM YVONNE
Subject: Where have you gone?
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 22:18:09 (CEST)
where have you gone at once? You columns only go up to october 1999. Don't tell
me you ran out of stuff to write about? I just wondered why it suddenly stopped.
read your piece about Dylan and the beatles: Silky is indeed some british
folkgroup that had one single (i have it here) with "you've got to hide
your love away". Needless to say I prefer the beatles version but apart
from that..it's just really an awful (and I mean AWFUL) cover, seeing as there's
* * *
E’s FROM JO GRANT
Fri, 21 Jul 2000 10:16:59 -0500
From: jo grant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Three Cheers
is just what I needed this morning
. .articles regarding Ralph Nader's appearence in Tampa, FL on behalf of Steve
Wilson and Jane Akre. I say, "on behalf of Steve Wilson and Jane Akre,"
but his appearence down there is as impoartant for you and me as it is for Steve
and Jane. If Steve and Jane had caved in to Fox and Monsanto incredibly
important information about rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) would not be available
to the public today.
post is also going out to the Wisconsin Greens (of which I am one) and I know
that the scene in Tampa is going to be reflected in future polls on the percent
of people supporting Ralph Nader [Jo is one of those on the left who, we think,
has allowed himself to be misguided into thinking he ISN’T throwing his vote to the far
right by throwing his vote away---but we love you anyway, Jo!]
on, and thanks to all.
TELLS JURY DISTORTING THE NEWS IS AGAINST THE LAW
BY STEVE WILSON
(July 20,2000)-Ralph Nader's appearance on the witness stand highlighted the
fourth day of testimony in the trial of the two former Fox journalists who say
they were fired for refusing directives to air false and misleading information
about bovine growth hormone.
three more courtroom attempts by Fox lawyers to block his testimony as
unwarranted and prejudicial, Nader sat in the witness box and told the jurors
how television broadcasters have a legal as well as ethical duty not to distort
the FCC has not been aggressive in enforcing the law against it, he said, the
commission has previously stated "there is no act for heinous" than
deliberate distortion of the news by companies who hold broadcast licenses and
supposedly serve the public trust. Under questioning by co-plaintiff Steve
Wilson, Nader said any reporter who would go along with such directives would
himself be guilty of violating the law that forbids it.
Fox lawyers had filed and lost a motion en limine to keep Nader from even coming
to Tampa to testify, they put forth another strong argument again after he
arrived at the courthouse. Judge Ralph Steinberg again overruled the objections
after co-plaintiff Jane Akre's attorney made a case that Nader is indeed
qualified to offer expert testimony about the public interest requirements of
the Communications Act which governs broadcasters.
after Nader took the stand and began to testify, Fox lawyer William McDaniels
stood up repeatedly to bvoice objections to many of the Nader's responses. Most
of those objections were overruled by the court. Nader's testimony which lasted
about 30 minutes and that of Florida dairyman Charles Knight interrupted three
days of testimony from Akre who finally stepped down from the witness box at the
end of the day Thursday. Knight drove 200 miles to tell the jury about his
experiences with rBGH and with Akre who had contacted him as part of her
said the reporter was properly skeptical of the information he provide and that
she acted professionally at all times. The defense has suggested the journalist
may have had her mind made up to do a critical story about Monsanto even before
she gathered the facts.
trial continues Friday with testimony from Forrest Carr, the plaintiffs expert
on ethical journalism. Dr. Michael Hansen, a scientist for Consumers Union, will
also testify offer expert testimony on rBGH. Akre was never shaken on the
witness stand in hours of cross examination by Fox attorney McDaniels.
acknowledged a contentious atmosphere with Fox editors and lawyers in wake of
repeated pressure from them to distort the BGH story but she said she never
acted improperly. She said she wrote and handed in stories as requested but in
the end, Fox never broadcast any of the drafts she and Wilson wrote.
20, 2000 - 10:21 PM=20
Fired TV reporters supported by Nader
BY JANET LEISER of The Tampa Tribune
journalists who claim they were fired by a local television station for refusing
to slant a story on milk received a little help from consumer advocate and
lawyer Ralph Nader on Thursday.
at the journalists' civil trial in Tampa, Nader said television stations are
legally obligated to tell the news fairly and accurately.
slant a story at the request of an advertiser, Nader said, violates FCC rules.
stations are more than a business, Nader said. “They are public trustees.”
WTVT, Channel 13 reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, who are married, sued the
Fox network under Florida's Whistleblower Act. They say they were fired for
refusing to broadcast false statements about bovine growth hormone, which is
manufactured by Monsanto, a major Fox advertiser.
and Monsanto contend the reporting wasn't fair. The station gave the couple
months and many chances to redo the story right.
growth hormone, sold under the brand name of Posilac, is injected into cows, to
increase milk production, said Akre and Wilson.
FDA approved its use in 1993, saying it was safe for human consumption. But it
is banned in Canada and several European countries where some scientists claim
its use is linked to higher levels of a growth factor suspected of promoting
told the seven jurors in Courtroom One at the Hillsborough County Courthouse
that reporters shouldn't allow themselves to be used as an “instrument
would be an FCC violation, Nader said, “if they [network officials] held back
the story and told the reporters they had to say something that was false.”
a Harvard Law School graduate, didn't testify about the accuracy of the couple's
he concluded his testimony, he talked to news reporters outside the courtroom.
said Monsanto is a “corporate bully” known for sending threatening letters
to news outlets prior to broadcasts. Even if the reports are accurate and fair,
it still costs stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend themselves.
chilling factor is deliberate,” he said. “They know what they're doing. ...
Every day these intimidations lead to self censorship.”
they worked at Channel 13, Akre was a CNN anchorwoman, and Wilson, a four-time
Emmy-Award winner, reported for Inside Edition.
said they are both “first-class reporters.”
to the couple, Channel 13 promoted the story during the days preceding the
scheduled 1997 broadcast. But the story was pulled at the last minute after a
Monsanto lawyer sent a letter to Fox.
couple and the station went back and forth on the story for months. There were
more than 80 versions of the script before the couple were fired.
Channel 13 reporter did a story about Posilac after the two had been dismissed.
trial, which began Monday and is expected to last three to four weeks, resumes
at 9 a.m. today before Circuit Judge Ralph Steinberg.
Leiser can be reached at (813) 259-7920.
this note from Steve,
fought fiercely but couldn't stop Ralph Nader from telling jurors that
distorting the news is not just a bad idea, it is against the law.
testimony is finished after three days on the stand.
of Fox/BGH suit developments at:
apologize that I cannot crank out these stories as quickly as I had planned.
Being a lawyer in the the courtoom is much harder than it looks and the
on-going preparation takes most hours of the day.
and I would still appreciate help from anybody who may be in the Tampa Bay area
or willing to come help us cover the trial for the website to keep others
informed. If you can help, please
call--don't just e-mail--(727) 560-0749.
Sat, 5 Aug 2000 12:34:37 -0500
From: jo grant <email@example.com>
Subject: Here's a surprise re:News Blackouts
after sending the post about the trial in Tampa/St.Pete I received
their press release they point out that many of the protestors in
are these facts not being reported? Possibly
because rank and file
the average American would be shocked to learn that the police are
the story, is as alarming as the activity of the police in
believe it will be no different in L.A. when the Democratic convention
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common.
They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason. ##
FROM THE SONS OF AFRIKA MAILING LIST
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "Claudia K White" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 20:30:03 -0700
Subject: [soa] [MainLineNews] A death row visit with Mumia Abu-Jamal - by Jeff Mackler
following is an article recently written by one of the Mobe's
death row visit with Mumia Abu-Jamal
By Jeff Mackler
misnamed Progress Drive, a quarter mile long road an hour's drive east from
Pittsburgh, PA. dead ends at State Correctional Institute (SCI)Greene, the
super-modern prison where innocent death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal resides.
Caged 23 hours daily in a tiny cell for the past 19 years at Greene and
elsewhere, Mumia appeared to me in the best of humor. A unique and shining
example of an individual whose gentle revolutionary spirit has enabled him to
face down two execution orders and pursue an inspiring uphill battle for his
life and the lives of all the oppressed and exploited, Mumia greeted my upraised
hands on the impenetrable Plexiglas barrier between us, by placing, "high
five" style his handcuffed palms on mine with a smile as broad and warm as
one could imagine.
you look fantastic," I said in earnest as his eyes greeted mine with
enthusiasm and instant friendship. "You need to lose some weight
Jeff," he answered with a hearty laugh in response to my unflattering
paunch, an all too obvious component of my persona.
was the guest of the Bruderhof Community the day before my June 12 two hour and
ten minute visit with Mumia in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. The Bruderhofs,
associated with the Hutterite faith until some five years ago, live in a gentle,
loving, and highly political religious-based utopian village of 400 members at
New Meadow Run in Farmington, PA. The faith of this 4,000 person religious and
cooperative endeavor (with associated villages nearby as well as in New York
state and other nations) stems from a vision of the meaning of Jesus Christ that
some would compare to the early utopian socialist experiments in Europe and the
respected minister, Steve Wiser, like me, serves as one of the National
Coordinators of Mumia's defense. Steve is also a spiritual adviser to Mumia and
in that capacity takes on a myriad of responsibilities from arranging for drafts
of Mumia's books and articles to reach appropriate destinations, to weekly
consultations on innumerable aspects of Mumia's struggle for freedom.
in Western Pennsylvania's lush mountainous pine forests, deep in the state's
former coal country, many of Bruderhof's social activists are active opponents
of the death penalty, racial and social injustice, U.S. intervention, and the
murderous sanctions imposed on Iraq. Far from a reclusive sect, they send
delegations to learn about politics in nations from Cuba to Nigeria. When Mumia
was transferred to SCI Greene some five years ago, Wiser and the Bruderhofs made
his freedom a focal point of their work.
Greene, midway between the rural Bruderhof community and urban Pittsburgh,
strikes one immediately as a bizarre place. Surrounded by high chain link fences
topped with rows of fearsome razor wire, it is from a visitor's vantage point,
an immaculate institution whose every inch is planned for maximum security,
human repression, and in many instances, death.
entering the visitor waiting area, I was given precise instructions as to my
conduct, including prohibited possessions, (pen, pencil, paper, camera, video
and taping material, etc.) and then subjected to a guard monitoring an
unfamiliar machine that detects minute amounts of illegal drugs. Failure to pass
this test results in exclusion from the prison I was informed. While a written
flyer explains that Greene's policy is aimed at a "drug free" prison,
the obvious impossibility of any visitor passing a package of illegal material
through the massive sheet of plexiglas that separated my visitor's cubicle from
Mumia's was striking.
room visitors were treated to a display case featuring trophies won by SCI
Greene guards in inter-prison guard baseball, bowling, golf and other sports
competition. The guards, however, entered and left the waiting room's
multi-locked steel doors unimpeded, including drug tests.
short order, I was called to begin a near quarter-mile sojourn through what
seemed an endless series of massive sliding doors that opened as I approached
only to clang shut and lock behind me whereupon I had to await the opening of
the next door some ten feet farther. This echoing steel and plexiglas tunnel
finally opened into yet another visitor holding room where I was scrutinized by
yet another security guard who, a the third time, checked my papers and directed
me to a numbered cubicle where I awaited Mumia's entry.
access to CNN cable television, Mumia was intensely aware of the current raging
controversy over the death penalty brought to national attention in June by the
1973-95 Columbia University Liebman study that demonstrated that some 68 percent
of appealed death row sentences were reversed based on police wrongdoing,
"prosecutorial suppression of evidence that the defendant was
innocent," and "egregiously incompetent counsel." While Liebman's
work, unintentionally, of course, served to highlight key elements of Mumia's
trial, the national headlines it provoked became inseparable from the fight for
Shaka Sankofa's life.
expressed his deep appreciation of the fact that the case of Sankofa had been
given the full attention of his supporters. Indeed, in the month before Texas
Governor George Bush Jr. murdered the innocent Sankofa on June 22, Mumia
solidarity groups across the nation took this lesser known case to the attention
of millions, thereby extracting a political price from the state power that
stole Sankofa's life. Shaka died with dignity, purpose, and pride knowing that a
renewed movement against the racist and classist death penalty was on the rise.
broad support Mumia had won for his own case was readily transferred to the
effort to save Sankofa's life as organizations ranging from the European
Parliament and the Japanese Diet demanded that Sankofa's execution be stopped.
Mumia, whose tribute to Sankofa had been widely disseminated, was delighted that
the compelling evidence of Sankofa's innocence, banned from jury and court
examination by technical time limits approved by the Supreme Court, had
compelled The New York Times and other major media to take up the case and
question the legitimacy of the impending execution.
learned that Mumia had recently earned a Masters degree and that his thesis
dissertation was on the Black Panther Party. Mumia, a former Panther himself,
was acutely aware of the intense and illegal government pressures on the
Panthers as well as the critical internal disputes and disagreements over
political orientation that contributed to its eventual decline and demise.
Similarly, he expressed a passionate concern in regard to the current state of
the movement for Black liberation today. We spent considerable time exchanging
ideas and information about this subject.
on history, Mumia noted, constituted the core of his reading list. No doubt,
Mumia was widely read and saw the lessons of history as an
was inspired by works such as C.L.R. James' "Black Jacobins," the
account of the successful Haitian slave revolt in the mid-1790s against the
French government of Napoleon Bonaparte. Led by the fifty year old slave,
Touisaint L'Overture, the liberation army of Haiti's oppressed defeated
successive attempts by the world's most powerful military force to suppress the
expressed a particular interest in the political background of C.L.R.
works on Malcolm X by another former SWP leader, George Breitman, had also found
their way onto Mumia's reading list. He was particularly impressed with
Breitman's work, "The Last Year of Malcolm X: The Evolution of a
Revolutionary," an important work that traced Malcolm's views on the key
issues facing the Black liberation movement of the 1960s.
spent time exchanging ideas about the political orientation, affiliation and
evolution of a number of today's historians and political writers, including
those above. Mumia's essential modesty was ever present. When he was unfamiliar
with any aspect of a subject I inquired about, he immediately asked for
should not have been surprised to learn that Mumia was unfamiliar with many of
the accomplishments of the broad solidarity movement that had arisen in his
defense. While often aware of the general outlines of this work, he delighted in
the details, as with the recent successful student efforts at Antioch College
and the University of California at Santa Cruz to mobilize campus support to
include Mumia as a graduation speaker. In these instances, as with others of a
similar nature, Mumia's role was to graciously accept the invitation to prepare
an audio tape to the graduating class, labor conference, or other event where
his voice was requested. But he was largely unaware of the magnificent efforts
of so many people to bring these events to fruition. "Jeff," he said,
perhaps to emphasize his desire to hear more from his supporters, "I
probably know some ten percent of what's happening out there."
often focused on the central importance of today's youth in the coming struggles
that he saw developing in the U.S., from the new battles for civil and
democratic rights to the inevitable struggles of working people to reinvigorate
the labor movement. He marveled at the role of youth in the WTO and IMF protests
in Seattle and Washington, D.C. and was especially impressed with the prospect
of labor's rank and file taking action in their own interests. He made a special
point to emphasize his interest in and delight at learning from many sources
about the emergence of high school age youth in many of today's developing
asked Mumia for his impressions of the many prominent people who had visited him
in prison to express their solidarity. He was especially impressed with the
visits of Alice Walker and Ossie Davis, two individuals who have made great
efforts to bring Mumia's case to the attention of the broader audiences they
both instances, however, Mumia was more interested in the character of these
individuals, in their political insights and lifelong commitment to social
justice, and in their work as artists and writers, than he was with their
advocacy of his personal struggle. He judged them as equals, as real human
beings who were part of the same struggle he was. In this regard, Mumia appeared
to me more as an unusually modest and dedicated participant in the struggle for
human liberation as opposed to a man preoccupied with his own grave situation.
like the best of the activists I have known, he had the capacity to see humor in
the darkest situation. As we meandered through one subject after
was pleased to learn that the Cuban government had decided to devote a special
television presentation to his case and to the related issues of police
brutality and the prison industrial complex in the U.S. His chief legal counsel
Leonard Weinglass, and the central organizer of his national defense, and
closest associate, Pam Africa, had been invited to Havana for a June 18
broadcast on the popular Cuban television program, "Roundtable." Also
joining the show were other national coordinators of Mumia's defense including
Monica Moorehead of the International Action Center.
explained to Mumia that I was also invited to participate in the program but was
unable to attend for personal reasons. The Cubans insisted, however, that I
participate via a phone hook-up. I accepted their invitation.
I explained that I felt compelled to turn down the Cuban invitation to travel to
Cuba to speak on Mumia's case because I had promised to attend my
is a parent himself who understood all too well the pressures on political
people to too often subordinate personal and family considerations for urgent
political purposes. As most proud parents do, we exchanged stories about our
kids and shared the joys of seeing them grow up with loving hearts and a
dedication to social justice.
was a partisan of the struggle of the Cuban people for the return of Elian
Gonzales. Cuba was a special place for Mumia, not just because it was the only
nation whose government was actively concerned with his fate, but because of
Cuba's unique position in the world revolutionary movement as a nation that had
not abandoned its revolutionary optimism and commitment to its original
I told Mumia about the success of the April 29 Berkeley (California) Community
Theater "Children of Resistance" event that featured his soft-spoken
son Mazi Jamal and the daughter of the deceased environmental activist Judi Bari,
a bright smile came over his face. But it was not just because 3000 people had
participated in this unusual theater-like remembrance of the Rosenberg's fight
for life and justice, and its linkage through three generations of fighters, to
today's battles. Mumia explained that years before his imprisonment he had met
and interviewed the Berkeley event's central organizer, Robbie Meeropol, the son
of the falsely convicted and executed McCarthy-era witchhunt victims, Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg. He remembered asking Robbie at that time if a similar frame-up
could be engineered today. With a sardonic smile Mumia recalled that both men
agreed that it could and would happen again.
was pleased to learn of the details of the massive nationally coordinated
marches and rallies of last April and May including of the 6,000 people who
mobilized in New York City's Madison Square Garden Theater, the 6,000 who
marched in San Francisco a week or so later on May 13 and the myriad of protests
that took place in some 70 countries on the same day on his behalf. Again,
however, he was pleased to be sure, but more so as a participant in the success
of a growing social movement that is capable of challenging injustice on all
fronts than as an individual recipient of respect across the globe.
is a man with an incredible warmth and modesty. He has a laughter that touched
me deeply, an intense interest in ideas, old and new, and an unflagging
revolutionary confidence in today's fighters to win his freedom and to change
the world for the benefit of all.
our two hour visit drew to a close when a loudspeaker signaled the end of my
visit, we joked about and planned what we would do upon his release. We agreed
on the long walks in freedom we would take, the special dinners we would share
with friends old and new and the far away places Mumia would like to visit.
was a visit with a stranger that was like having a best friend in one's home.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is the stuff that revolutionary fighters are made of. When we
win his freedom, we will have liberated a precious addition to our struggle and
we will have recaptured our own freedom as well.
Mackler is a National Coordinator of Mumia's defense and the Co-Coordinator of
the Northern California-based Mobilization to Free Mumia
* * *
From: "Marpessa Kupendua" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 01:23:23 -0400
Subject: [soa] !*Mumia Speaks! Two New Articles
statement September 6, 2000 reg. Cuban Delegation
behalf of the committee to welcome the Cuban delegation to the
is time for us all to recognize the futility of the blockade that continues to
stifle Cuban economic life. In a time when the watchword on every major
politician's lips is 'free trade'. How can such a thing as the blockade, a naked
restraint of trade if ever there was one, be maintained?
is an anachronism, a rusty tool of the Cold War era, due for storage in a dusty
museum of another century. It should be joined by the Cuban
gather today to join our voices to the swelling chorus of millions
also want to thank you for your continuing resistance to the empire, for four
decades of remaining true to the revolution, for building a system where
education is a fundamental human right; for
aiding in the long and arduous fight to free South Africa from the obscenity
called apartheid; for
thank you and we welcome you to Riverside.
Viva la revolucion!
Viva John Africa!
Death Row, this is
Mark Clement <MClement@bruderhof.com>
ECHOES OF OSAGE
Column Written 8/20/2000
Mumia Abu-Jamal, M.A.
All Rights Reserve
is past time for all poor people to release themselves from the deceptive
strangulation of society, realize that society has failed you, for to attempt to
ignore this system of deception now is to deny you the need to protest this
failure later; the system has failed you yesterday, failed you today and has
created the conditions for failure tomorrow...."
John Africa, The Judges Letter
May 13th, 1985 police-state bombing of the home and headquarters of the MOVE
Organization, which marked the government's massacre of 11 MOVE men, women and
children, sent shock waves around the world.
It also marked the second major assault by the state against the
naturalist revolutionaries of MOVE. The first state assault came on August 8th,
1978, when hundreds of heavily-armed cops stormed the old MOVE house in Powelton
Village, West Philadelphia. What united the two assaults was the state's attempt
to evict MOVE people from their homes. In
the case of Osage Avenue, politicians and their media minions focused on the
claimed discontent of neighbors to justify their murderous massacre of MOVE
people. To the average reader, it
no doubt appeared that politicians truly cared about neighboring residents, whom
the corporate media portrayed sympathetically.
a difference a decade or so makes. For
15 years later, after the city's first Black mayor okayed the police bombing of
their homes, the 2nd Black mayor has ordered them to leave.
Now, the same Osage residents who saw their homes rebuilt on the ashes of
mass murder, are now threatened with mass evictions.
The same Osage residents, who called for the state to evict MOVE people,
are not themselves evicted. Indeed,
the state now justifies this eviction on the basis of public safety, as the
homes that were rebuilt have been deemed unsafe.
the city got a court order to shut off heat to the Osage residents, in an effort
to force them out. In 1978, it was
the city which cut off heat, light and power to the old MOVE house. What seems
to actually motivate city hall is not so much public safety, as it is public
monies, for the city, which is acquiring the land under the law of eminent
domain, surely is interested in opening up the land to a wealthier clientele.
is motivating politicians in Philly, San Francisco, Chicago and in cities all
across the nation is gentrification: the
selling of ghetto areas off to speculators and yuppies.
This also splits up and scatters Black urban populations, forcing them to
the outer peripheries of big cities. Once again, politicians-yes, even Black
politicians-serve the interests of those who are able to hire them; not those
who vote for them.
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 22:00:13 EDT
Subject: Dick Cheney's Oil Connections
ensured the continued flow of cheap oil from the Gulf by waging a war with Iraq,
and after his boss, George Bush's ouster from office by Clinton in
October of 1995 he became president and chief executive officer of the
Halliburton Company in Dallas, Texas. He also serves on the boards of Procter
& Gamble, Union Pacific and Electronic Data Systems Corp.
Co. is the leader amongst the world's diversified energy services
Cheney's leadership, Halliburton has been accused of involvement in human rights
violations most notably an incident reported by the group, Environmental Rights
Action (ERA) which occurred in September of 1997 when eighteen Nigeria's Mobile
Police (MOPOL) officers on the orders of Halliburton (contracting for Chevron
Oil Co.) shot and killed Gidikumo Sule at the Opuama flow station at Egbema in
the city of Warri (<#footnote22).
record on environmental issues is dismal too: as a house rep from
& Root Murphy LLC, a joint venture equally owned by Halliburton's Brown
& Root Energy Services business unit are involved in a controversial
is a member of a group called COMPASS (Committee to Preserve American Security
and Sovereignty) that is affiliated with the conservative George C. Marshall
Institute. COMPASS members including Cheney wrote to President Clinton in 1998
to protest the Kyoto climate change treaty, concluding with the Zinger that
Kyoto appeared to be "nothing more than a 'feel good' public relations
once drew parallels between his role as CEO of Halliburton to his role as
defense secretary. Addressing the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies
convention in Corpus Christie in 1998, he stated; "In the oil and gas
business, I deal with many of the same people." (<#footnote55) With a
$45.5 million stake, he is the company's biggest individual stockholder. Last
month he sold 100 000 shares of stock for an estimated $5.1 million, cashing in
on the high price of oil. The company has also been active on the political
front giving almost $200 000 in the 2000 Republican campaign.
to an examination of regulatory filings showed on Monday (July 24,
motivations are clearly guided by his stated philosophy. In October 1999
therefore brings to the Bush campaign and possible presidency an agenda of
Drillbits & Tailings: vol 5, number 11, June 30, 2000 2. ERA field report
#16, October 16, 1998 3. Pratap Chatterjee, Independent journalist 4. Ben
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