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‘Axis of Justice Radio Interview Tom Morello &Serj Tankian

w/ Mumia Abu-Jamal"

rec. 3-24-06

1) 14:39 Radio Interview Mp3   (transcript below)

Our Mission: Axis of Justice is non-profit organization formed by Tom Morello of Audioslave and Serj Tankian of System of a Down. Its purpose is to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice together.

We aim to build a bridge between fans of music around the world and local political organizations to effectively organize around issues of peace, human rights, and economic justice. The Axis of Justice Radio Network is a monthly radio program that combines music, passion, politics and activism. System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello weave together 60 minutes of "rebel music," discussion and interviews about our world and the struggle for justice. Each program features passionate dissident songs from artists like Public Enemy, Bob Marley, and the Clash, while Tom and Serj explain the political messages and motives behind the music, as well as their relationship to the political and social issues we face today. Shows also feature interviews with courageous activists fighting the power and making a difference. The Axis of Justice Radio Network can be heard at 7pm, the second and fourth Friday of each month on KPFK in Los Angeles, 90.7FM, 98.7FM in Santa Barbara. You can also listen online at www.kpfk.org. The Axis of Justice Radio Network can also be heard on XM Satelite Radio (NOTE: AOJRN has moved from XM's "XM Live" channel to their punk channel, "Fungus" (channel XM 53). Check their schedule for details).


Interview with Rage Against the Machine

Tom Morello     Serge Tankian

SERGE DUNCAN: You’re listening to The Axis of Justice Radio Network. This is Serge

Tankian .

TOM MORELLO: I’m Tom Morello.And now we have the privilege to be able to  interview  Mumia Abu Jamal from Death Row, live from Death Row. Mumia Abu Jamal is an author, activist, award-winning radio journalist, former member of the Black Panther Party, and a political prisoner who’s been on Death Row for nearly twenty five years. His books Live from Death Row, Death Blossoms, All Things Censored, Faith of our Fathers and the recently released We Want Freedom have sold over a hundred and fifty thousand copies world wide and been translated into seven languages. His 1982 murder trial and subsequent conviction have been a subject of great debate. While fighting for his life and his freedom, Mumia manages to educate and inspire millions with his words, insight, and passion. Mumia Abu Jamal is now calling from Death Row. Mumia, welcome to The Axis of Justice Radio Network.

MUMIA: How are you, man?

TOM MORELLO: Mumia, this is Tom Morello.

MUMIA: Hey Tom.

SD: And Serge. How’s it going Mumia?

MUMIA: Hey Serge.

TM: Welcome to The Axis of Justice Radio Network. We’ll get right into it, cause I know that our time is limited.

MUMIA: Absolutely.

TM: There are now more then two million people behind bars in the American prison system. Looking at the prison population, what can we learn about race and class exploitation in the United States.

MUMIA: Well prison is kind of a microcosm of what’s happening in the larger, or so-called “free world”. I mean, I hesitate to use those words because when you look at how people really live in the so-called “free world”, the question arises: How free are they? What kind of freedoms do they have? I’m reminded of the French saying about the freedom that poor people have to beg under the bridge, and to essentially starve. And we live really I think in what I like to call, especially when I write about it, the prison house of nations. And this is like 6-7% of the world’s population live in the United States. 25% of all the prisoners on Earth are in U.S. prisons right now.

TM: What do you see as the role of art, in particular music, in social justice movements? MUMIA: Art can be pivotal, and by that I mean not just commercial art. I’m talking about popular art. When you think about social movements, like Civil Rights Movement, the Black  Liberation? Movement, the Women’s Movement, when you actually think back to those movements, there were people who were marching [THIS CALL IS FROM A CORRECTIONAL INSTUTIONTION AND IS SUBJECT TO MONITORING AND RECORDING] There were people who were marching and singing as they were marching, and it gave them a sense of unity. It also gave a lot of people in times of real state terrorism courage. It fueled movements in many ways. I mean you think about the spirituals that were sung in churches just before people you know went out on the Selma Petis bridge for example. Art can be a reviving force, a liberating force, a freeing force, a force for courage. Of course, you know I’m not talking about commercial art here. I’m talking about popular art.

TM: What contemporary social movements in the United States do you find particularly inspiring?

MUMIA: Ah that that sounds like a loaded question from my perspective. You know, we can talk about the absence of movement, right?

TM: Please be candid.

MUMIA: Well, let’s be real. I mean, I think that right now, with very few exceptions, say for example the S.O.A. people, the people who organize against the school of assassins, most people in this culture in this country at this time are immobilized, paralyzed by fear. They’re afraid of being targeted, they’re afraid of being wire-tapped, they’re afraid of being called say terrorist or enemy combats by the government. And in many ways, they are right to be afraid, in one sense, because this government is kind of crazy. It will do those kinds of things. But the other side of the coin, of course, is no matter what you do, things are only gonna get progressively worse unless people organize, and protest, and gather, and speak what’s in there hearts, what’s in there minds about this extraordinary time in American history.

TM: Of all the writings and radio commentaries over the years, both in and out of prison, is there one that stands out as your favorite, one that you’d be most proud of .

MUMIA: Well, at the risk of sounding modest, I’m kinda proud of all of them. But there are some that kinda touch me. The one about Manny, the guy I saw that was almost dying, he was the ex-boxer, built like a little fire plug. That moves me. And about the mother in Philadelphia who came home to find her house destroyed by the city. That moved me, and you know. Really, I guess when I talk about regular people, that’s what moves me, cause you feel that. Cause we’re all regular people.

TM: What’s your analysis of what transpiring in Iraq three years after the U.S. invasion? MUMIA: It’s the worst of all possible worlds, in many ways. It certainly, I think any sane person looking at that situation would say, “Iraq is hell for the Iraqi people.” I just finished reading a book by the independent journalist Robert Fiske from the independent newspaper in London, The Great War for Civilization. One cannot read that, and not see from the beginning to end, and we’re nearing some kind of an end, disaster, sheer disaster. So, you know you have to go back almost a century, beyond, for when some guys in a room in Vienna drew up the false borders of Iraq, and then when you look at what’s happening now, to see Shiite vs. Sunnis, and Kurd and so forth. I think we’re looking at a pre-civil war, if not the low grade of a civil war right now. I mean, how many hundreds of people have to die before you say, “This is a civil war,” is there a kind of number?

TM: And the Shiites have been holding back based on a lot of, you know working with the administration and trying to run the majority of parliament and the government with all the attacks that have been placed against them from the Jihadis and stuff. If that breaks out, it’s gonna be complete civil war I think.

MUMIA: They have been holding back because, you know, they can count, they know what time it is. They know that this is their hour, this is there moment, but with the attack on the Al Asgoti Mosque, Shiite holy place several weeks ago. To use a real ugly phrase, the gloves have come off, in many ways. And I don’t see a good end, well it didn’t begin well…because it began so badly, it can only end badly, and no politician can really claim otherwise, not any with a brain I think.

TM: What do you propose people in the United States do in response to the Iraq war, and how to inspire a mass anti-war movement that can even maybe move beyond being anti-war movement?

MUMIA: You know, Americans are notorious for short memories, and I think if people are reminded about February and March of 2003, when larger demonstrations took place in dozen of cities all across the United States and all around the world, and millions of Americans put their feet to the pavement, you remind them that they were right, I mean they know that in their hearts, but I think even the New York Times had to say that this was another super power, the power of the people. And people need to be reminded to that they can kind of gain strength from that, and not fall for kind of a depressing dismissal of the news. I mean, there are millions of people, when the news comes on, they just turn away, because it’s so ugly. But that’s not the right solution, you know. People need to organize. And, I think, if people come together, and protest again about this war, people will learn that they can come together for other social issues, because it’s all related in many ways.

T: Although the power of corporate capitalism threatens to overwhelm the globe, a number of Latin American countries recently have elected populist socialist governments. Do you think that these governments can have a positive effect on global politics?

M: Well they can, if they’re not bought off or intimidated. There was an article in the New York Times recently about that, “The Confessions of an Economic Hit-man”. And the guy essentially told how he would go to world leaders and offer them, like, a satchel full of money or a bullet, and it’s like, “It’s your choice.” That’s kind of gross, but in many ways with the IMF, with the CIA, with the US government, with the crazy State Department, those things really happen. I mean anyone who knows an inkling of the history of Latin America knows that many governments, you know like Chile for example, under Pinochet. These governments were in the pocket of Western Capital. They were paid to wage repression against their own people. I think what we’re looking at right now is a kind of breath of fresh air coming from the South, coming from Latin America. And you know, if people understand what can happen, they can organize against media attacks, IMF attacks, and even military attacks from the government, which are real possibilities. T: Mumia what are your reflections aon hurricane Katrina and what it exposed about race and class in America? M: My first impression strange as it may seem, was sure disbelief  I mean not at the power of nature, not at the power of the water or the winds but at the long, long days of suffering of people, who were stranded on rooftops or left on there own , you had to ask questions like is this America are these people what we can call Amereicans? Well theroticaly there born in America they have American citizenship, and I was reminded of the great  Nigerian African writer Bole Seginca who said when is a nation this is his poetic voice and it essentially asked what is a nation when are you a part of a nation because it looked as if we were looking at something that was happening in another country another time the truth of the matter is it was right here in the United States. It was happening now and in fact it still happening, Katrina is not one day one storm one hurricane one destruction of the levy situation Katrina is happening right now when people cant find housing, you know there are many people we don’t here about that are homeless who still homeless from that situation people being kicked out of hotels, there are people who have still not found there family members from a year ago its crazy, it was I say a eye opening, soul opening mind opening moment and I hope people really opened there eyes and saw and try to feel what was happening cause it says much more about the rest of America then about New Orleans and Louisiana or about a certain hurricane by the name of Katrina. T: in our travels Mumia around the globe touring with rage and Audioslave and System of Down as well we just wanna let you know what an undieing inspiration you are for people throw out the country and throw out the world I mean its really impressive, theres plenty of two thousand five two thousand six graffiti “free Mumia” on Italian walls and Spanish walls and Israeli walls and you should know that you are in peoples mind and peoples hearts, the question I got for you, is what gives you hope and how do you manage to remain so full of life giving the conditions on death row? M: Well its no thanks to the conditions on death row I should tell you, years ago as a very young person when I heard about the struggles of the people of the world I mean they entered my heart they became part of me and they remain part of me today. I love people and I love to here that people support me and care about me in places like you mentioned so its reciprocal you know love is a circle it aint a box. T: well we like to thank you so much apperntly we gonna be cutoff very soon I can tell, M: welcome to the real world T: yeah I know , But stay strong my brother and you are in our thoughts and you continue to be a inspiration to us and our radio show as well we appreciate your efforts, are there any new books coming up soon? M: Im working on one on jail house lawyers so il let you know how it goes, on a move this is Mumia Abu Jamal. T:  and so our interview with Mumia ands rather ubruptly  but we like to thank Mumia so much  for calling the Axis of Justice radio network as he only gets three fifteen minute phone calls a week and he used one of them to be on the air with us today.

[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.

[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


The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
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P.O. Box 19709
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Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
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Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

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

The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa