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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"When the Prison Nation Goes International: Attica to Abu-Ghraib "

  rec 4-2-05 

1) 3:49 When the Prison Nation Goes International: Attica to Abu-Ghraib"

2) 4:10 Speech When the Prison National Goes International: Attica to Abu-Ghraib"

 

WHEN THE PRISON NATION GOES INT'L
==================================
[Speech Writ. 4/2/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   Thanks for your kind invitation to join the 'Attica to Abu Ghraib' Conference; *Ona Move!*

   When we think about the atrocities of Attica, and the abominations at Abu Ghraib, we are sometimes caught searching for a common denominator.  What could it be, we wonder, as we look at the brutal state assault on both prisoners and staff at Attica, and the human
rights violations, and yes - torture, that marked American behavior at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq?

   The commonalities, however, are more than first meets the eye.  Of course, they are both prisons (but that's obvious).  They both came to public consciousness through the actions of people who were prison guards. And they both were, initially, defended by the State by a flood of lies.

   What matters really least, is that they occurred in different countries.  They both happened in the same empire.

   What marked the differences between them is the critical element of time, and even this quality does not speak well of things to come.  For, as time is the difference, yet it tells us how far things have fallen; how the 30 years between Attica and Abu Ghraib have marked a coarsening of American character, and a brutishness of imperial defenders.

   Attica opened up an era of prison reform across much of the nation, and fueled the movement to attempt to eradicate the most depraved elements of the nation's repressive prison systems.

   Abu Ghraib was met by quasi-official justifications, government obfuscation, and the incredible spectacle of right-wing pundits likening the torture and human rights abuses there to 'college pranks.'  The humiliation of naked Arab men was compared to the field displays of cheerleading squads!

   There is, of course, another monstrous difference: the architects of Abu Ghraib, and high-level defenders of torture, have been rewarded by higher, and more prestigious posts in government!

   In a nutshell, torture pays!

   We have not spoken of the pivotal American issue of race.

   Without prisoners actively advocating Black liberation, there would have been no Attica.

   The tortured, maimed, and humiliated prisoners at Abu Ghraib were targeted by the U.S. Army because they were seeking to intimidate and eliminate people who were trying to fight to free their country from foreign occupiers.  In other words, they were fighting for their own
national liberation.  In an empire, which picks puppets for other nations, this is not acceptable. It wasn't acceptable under the Roman Empire, the British Empire, nor its North American successor empire, the American Empire.

   To this latest global incarnation of the White Nation, Arabs are but sand niggers, to be
beaten into submission and obedience.  It is the refusal to accept this status that is fueling
what the U.S. media calls 'the insurgency.'

   There is another element that arises from the evidence: American cruelty.  Big Black, the
late veteran of Attica, told stories of the torture and beatings that he endured, as he was naked, and held under gunpoint.  It is an eerie precursor of the treatment of Arab prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

  Nor is it mere coincidence that some of the most brutal, most vicious actors at Abu Ghraib were U.S. Reserves, who, in their civilian lives, were prison guards. How else could they learn it?

   One of the most infamous was from SCI-Greene, in Southwestern Pennsylvania, named Charles Graner.  Recently his ex-wife came forward to tell of the terrors to which she was exposed daily.  She said Graner promised to cut her into little pieces, and that no one would ever find her body.

   Welcome to U.S. 'corrections' as the Prison Nation goes Global.
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"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

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

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THANK YOU!!!

 
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visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com


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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa