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"Mumia's Address To The Rosa Luxemburg Conference"
Recorded 1-8-11 (Posted 1-30-11)
Thet Rosa Luxemburg Conference took place on Jan. 8th, 2011 in Berlin. The main slogan was: "Learning how we have to fight". It is part of a quote by Rosa Luxemburg in her book about the Russian Revolution. The whole quote: "Amidst history, amidst the development, amidst the struggle, we learn how we have to fight."
1) 4:40 Mumia's Address To The Rosa Luxemburg Conference Mp3
Lessons from the Past for the Struggles to Come
[written for the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Germany, Jan. 2011]
*'10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Meinen Fruenden -- Wie Gehts? Bewegung!
Ona Move! All Power to the People!
Brothers, sisters, comrades:
We continue to be inspired by her spirit … her sterling resistance and her struggle against the forces of conformity and repression.
I am delighted to share some thoughts and memories with you, about the experiences and lessons from the Black Panther Party (for those who wish to study it more in depth, I recommend We Want Freedom, my book on the Party).
The Party was, primarily, a youth organization. Its average age was about 19, and many of its leaders were in their early 20s.
What that means is that we all were still learning.
Of course, that means that we were open to learning, and hungry for knowledge, quite Iiterally, from all around the world.
We read about Marx, Mao, Guevara, Nkrumah, and struggles now long forgotten.
We tried to take what was useful from all of them.
That gave us far more flexibility than many other formations that featured a fully formed, and essentially, closed ideological framework.
They were often unable to adapt to new realities, and were like tall, rigid trees in the storm. Those that couldn't bend, were often snapped.
The Party, although of course, it did not achieve its revolutionary ideals, did last longer than most formations, and many of its ex-personnel continue to be active in many realms of radical and socially transformative politics.
Clearly, too much rigidity is not a good thing (nor, for that matter, is too much flexibility).
That said, in all honesty, we must state the obverse. The Party essentially exempted its Founder, Huey P. Newton, from all rules, and, as a Nietzschean, this was (to say the least) problematic. For, as a Nietzschean, he felt unbound by bourgeois morality. He therefore behaved in ways that had significant and detrimental effects on the organization, and beyond that, the movement itself.
Rosa, like Huey, was a true intellectual. In her letters (and, of course, her articles), we find, not just a first-class mind, but a tremendous heart.
She is always studying, thinking, feeling, and growing, even whiIe in the state's dungeons.
Let me please use this excerpt from her letter from Breslau, In Silesia. She writes of war, its ugliness, and its potential to transform into something infinitely better. She writes:
"...How I deplore the loss of all these months and years in which we might have had so many joyful hours together, notwithstanding all the horrors that are going on throughout the world. Do you know, Sonichka [She's writing to Karl Liebknecht's wife, Sonya], the longer it lasts, and the more the infamy and monstrosity of the daily happenings surpasses all bounds, the more tranquil and more confident becomes my personal outlook. I say to myself that it is absurd to apply moral standards to the great elemental forces that manifest themselves in a hurricane, a flood, or an eclipse of the sun. We have to accept them simply as data for investigation, as subjects of study."
This way of thinking, an open mind, allowed her to see, sense and perceive beyond many of her colleagues, and also gave her the raw material from which to make the great strides she did in her theory, no matter where she was, in place or time.
We all must learn from her, and from all of the past behind us, successes and errors, so that we can grow in our practice, and expand the reach, breadth and scope of the movement.
She was a remarkable teacher, just as Huey was, and Eldridge was, and D.C. was, and all the older brothers and sisters who gave their energies to the Black Liberation Movement.
I thank you all for your time and attention here at the Rosa Luxemburg Conference. Ona Move!
Thanks to you all!
Aus die Todestraffe....
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[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal
For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,
Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith f Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com