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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"Block Report Interview with

Mumia Abu-Jamal"

rec. 1-8-06  

1) 8:11  Essay Mp3

2) 8:27  Essay Mp3  w/ music bed

Ra’shida and I  caught up with political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal to talk about some of the  new developments in his case, among other issues regarding deathrow  prisoners, and the overall war against Black life in Amerikkka. Check it out 

 

… Ra’shida: Describe what death row is like, how the police treat you,  your access to the outside world and loved ones and the physical area  that you are being held captive in.

Mumia: Death row is like a prison  within a prison within a prison. All death rows, at least in Pennsylvania,  and perhaps all across the country, are in the maximum security prisons, and  they’re isolated from even other prisoners. They’re even isolated from  people in the hole, and that’s why I say it’s a prison within a prison  within a prison. In terms of how people are treated, it differs from man  to man, person to person, but it ain’t no such thing as a good death row. I  don’t even think that such a thing is possible, because people are so  isolated because they’re so isolated from the world. There are many  people, here in Pennsylvania and certainly I’m sure in other places all  across the country, who never hear from or see their loved ones, their  families. Many prisons, like for example this place, is situated about as  far as you can get from …

Prison phone: This call is from a  correctional institution and is subject to monitoring and  recording.

Mumia: This place is probably as far as you could get from the  city of Philadelphia and still stay in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s  hundreds of miles away. I’m sure for many people in Texas, it’s the same  thing. And for many people in parts of California, depending on whether  you’re in Northern or Southern California, it’s the same thing. It’s about  as isolated as you could get and still stay on the planet, in many  ways.

JR: Can you give us an update about the new developments in your  case?

Mumia: The court of appeals agreed to hear what is called the  Batson issue, among other issues, but the Batson issue deals with jury  selection. Under the Batson case, it is a violation of the Constitution  to wrongfully, unconstitutionally, racially remove Black people from  jury service. If one Black juror is illegally and improperly removed,  that constitutes such a violation. In our case, it was over 14, so you  know … but that’s the big part of that. There are other issues, but  Batson is the biggest one.

Ra’shida: In the case of Tookie Williams,  there was a lot of evidence in his legal case that points to innocence, and  he also maintained his innocence throughout the 24 years that he was being  held captive. In light of that, what do you think about the position of  so-called supporters that were calling for people to “save Tookie” or simply  “don’t kill Tookie” but not “Free Tookie”?

Mumia: Well, you’re always  going to have supporters from different political perspectives. You’re going  to have some that are radical, some that are straight up warriors, and some  people that are not … some people that are liberals. When you really think  about people calling to “save Tookie,” what they were really saying was,  “Lock him up for the rest of his life,” because they were not talking about  freeing him. And that’s the real tragedy, even when you talk about the  clemency hearings and the proceedings and so forth. I think that  there is no question that his trial was unfair. He may have been innocent,  but it’s also true that political pressure determined whether he lived or  died. If you read the statement of the governor, as I said a few weeks ago,  he essentially used his (Tookie’s) politicization and his consciousness  being raised as a basis for saying that you should kill the man. He  (Gov. Schwarzenegger) said to name Dhoruba Bin Wahad, Malcolm X, Angela  Davis or Nelson Mandela – and me – was reason to kill the man, you know? And  the truth of the matter is if he had said Buddha or Jesus Christ, it  wouldn’t have mattered, you know what I mean? But he used his Black  consciousness as an additional aggravating circumstance to determine that he  was not worthy of life. That’s politics. That’s racism. That’s white  supremacy and white nationalism.

JR: Since Tookie’s execution and the  denial of clemency to Clarence Ray Allen, what has been the response of  other death row captives?

Mumia: Well, the truth of the matter is I would  say that most people in this country, certainly over here, didn’t know about  the last brotha that you named. There were a lot of people that were  speaking in the yard, and they believed that Tookie had a shot, that things  would go his way. And there were other people looking at the politics of the  situation, understanding that Schwarzenegger was a politician first, who  was trying to appease the right wing after losing all of those  referendums (and) wasn’t about to do something humane in that case. So  you know some guys were really … because they knew about Crip-life and  so forth or read about him in the papers or saw him on TV, they were  really messed up about that.

JR: With the Patriot Act in the news  along with Bush’s mandate to go even further than that and Cynthia McKinney  working to get the intelligence files on Tupac Shakur released, what do you  think about the government’s war against people and organizations in  Amerikkka.

Mumia: Well, the truth of the matter is that it has never  stopped. I mean anyone who has consciously and honestly researched and  questioned government war against the people … it didn’t begin with  Cointelpro, and – guess what? – it didn’t end in 1972 or ‘73, when  Cointelpro was discovered. There is a book put out by Tyrone Powers of the  FBI … While he was in the academy, he stayed in the library, he read the  files, he read books and he studied what the FBI was doing, and he was  saying … Camp Phone: This call is from a correctional institution and is  subject to monitoring and recording.

Mumia: Powers said, look, “If it  worked so well” – and it did work in destroying these Black organizations –  “why would they ever stop?” And he said that one of the supervisors, one of  his teachers, told him that.

Ra’shida: Can you talk about why the people  should support political prisoner Aaron Patterson, as well as other  political prisoners?

Mumia: Because specifically with Aaron Patterson,  this was a brotha who as soon as he got, not out of jail but off of death  row, he hit the ground running and he began working with Chairman Fred  Hampton Jr. He began working in Chicago and all across Black Amerikkka to  try to wake young people up to the war against Black life in  Amerikkka. This brotha has proven through his work in the street, not  just in prison, that he is working for the interests of Black people, and I  think that it is for that reason he was targeted and he was taken off of  the streets the second time. Certainly the first time is because he was  a young Black man in the clutches of the state.

Ra’shida: What is the  role of the revolutionary journalist in this movement of people’s  self-determination?

Mumia: To wake people up … to speak truth to power …  to do what Fredrick Douglass did so many years ago with his newspaper, the  North Star: to speak the truth about the conditions that our people and all  oppressed people are facing, no matter what. The job of a revolutionary  journalist is to turn people on to revolutionary possibilities, to show them  that it is possible to speak truth about this …

Camp Phone: You have  1 minute to talk… Mumia: this oppressive system that continues with its  boot on our collective necks. JR: Do you have any final comments for  this interview? Mumia: I thank you all at the Block Report. Remember  those who have remembered you. Keep strugglin’. Keep readin’. Keep studyin’.  And keep raising resistance to the empire. Ona Move! Long Live John Africa!  Free All Political Prisoners! And thank y’all for this time.

JR:  Free’Em All! Mumia: Ona Move! JR: Ona Move! Mumia That’s  what I’m talking about. Email JR at blockreportradio@yahoo.com  <mailto:blockreportradio@yahoo.com>.

[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.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

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

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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icffmaj@aol.com!


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!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

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

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa