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What Independence, What Freedom

recorded 7/1/07

 

1) 2:51 Radio Essay Mp3

2) 4:22 Radio Essay Mp3

         What Independence? What Freedom?

   Column written. 7/1/07 (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal    

 

    As Americans take days off, to barbecue, to visit relatives, to sit back on the sofa and watch the tube, the 4th of July weekend actually washes over them, its actual meaning and significance lost to many.  The date notes the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the formal statement of separation between the British crown and the British colonies to North America.

    The Declaration actually reads like an indictment against King George III, his  ministers and his military.  It is a document which alleges violations of rights, traditions, and customs by the British king, and declares: " To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World."

    It is, in a sense, certainly a radical document, for it represented the rejection of, and the separation from, the strongest kingdom in the world at that time.  What made it revolutionary is that it demonstrated resistance to an idea that, in principle, ruled large parts of the earth (that of royalty). Does it make the slightest bit of sense that the descendants of those radicals now head a virtual world war against 'radicalism?'  The document, while radical, also had its share of hypocrisy, which some of the men there apparently recognized, as they voted down the section charging the king with encouraging and fostering what Thomas Jefferson called "an execrable commerce" --slavery.

    But it's interesting to note some of the charges which remained, such as:

            He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone.....

            He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitutions, and

            unacknowledged by our Laws: giving his  Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.

            For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops amongst us:

            For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should

            commit on the Inhabitants of these States:......

    Towards the end of this document, the signers declare, " A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People."

    Reading those charges from 231 years ago, makes on think sore of the present George in power, rather than a British monarch.

    

    For, as the Declaration itself notes, in its opening lines, "...Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it....."

    Over 40 years ago, when the Black Panther Party was born, Huey P. Newton borrowed the words from the opening paragraphs of the Declaration to state the right of all people to rebel against repressive governments.

    Today, Americans mouth the words, or stuff them in the heads of unwitting children, while freedoms become more scarce than buffaloes, or bald eagles.

    The state has passed bogus laws that annihilate the rights allegedly 'guaranteed' by the Constitution. Like the Patriot Act, and the Military Commissions Act, and many more.

    The President wages war on a whim and a pretense.

    One wonders how Iraqis feel, reading translations of the American Declaration, reading about 'quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops' among them.

    In an hour when rage at immigrants is almost at a boiling point, how many folks know that almost 15% of the guys who signed the Declaration were born in other countries, like Scotland, Ireland, or Wales?

    How free is the average American when NAFTA sends his job away, or when the cost of education rises beyond reach of even the middle classes?

    How free is this average American when the President can, by himself, sign away national and economic sovereignty under so-called 'fast-track' authority?

    Many members of Congress signed the Patriot Act without even reading it, so full were they of fear.

    Over 2 1/2 million men, women and juveniles are en caged within U.S. prisons, with many more to come.

    How free is this country?

    If you can afford it, pretty much.  But if you're not wealthy, you're at the mercy of the elites.

    Happy 4th.

--(c) '07 maj

 

[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.
#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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
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