Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Fascism Possible Here?
The very word
evokes dark, menacing images of troops, marching in lockstep, in
support of a terrible, malevolent ideology.
In a word, it
suggests the followers of Mussolini in Italy, or Hitler in Germany.
To most of us, its very mention suggests its foreign nature; its
Therein lies its danger. For, because it is seen as a foreign ideology,
the inevitable idea arises: "It can't happen here."
Those who say
this, either don't know, or don't want to know, American history.
They prefer the safe myths, to the ugly truths of how this country
came to be what it is.
What is fascism? In short, it is the merger of state and corporate
What is totalitarianism? On April 23rd, 1976, the U.S. Congress
issued its Final Select Committee report, which charged:
We have seen
segments of our Government adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy
and occasionally reminiscent of the tactics of totalitarian regimes.
... [T]he chief investigative branch of the federal government
[FBI], which was charged by law with investigating crimes and
preventing criminal conduct, itself engaged in lawless tactics
and *responded to deep-seated social problems by fomenting violence
and unrest.* [From Dr. Huey P. Newton, *War Against the Panthers:
A Study of Repression in America* [Ph.D. Dissertation (New York:
Harlem River Press, 1996), p. 110]
Six months earlier,
then-Sen. Walter Mondale (D-Minn.) would make similar comments as
he opened hearings into the COINTELPRO revelations. On Nov. 19,
1975, he stated:
this committee heard some of the most disturbing testimony that
can be imagined in a free society. We heard evidence that for
decades the institutions designed to enforce the laws and Constitution
of our country have been engaging in conduct that violates the
law and the Constitution. We heard that the FBI, which is part
of the Department of Justice, took justice into its own hands
by seeking to punish those with unpopular ideas. We learned that
the chief law enforcement agency in the federal Government decided
that it did not need laws to investigate and suppress the peaceful
and constitutional activities of those whom it disapproved.
added, on the floor of the Senate:
We heard testimony
that the FBI, to protect the country against those it believed
had totalitarian political views, employed the tactics of totalitarian
societies against American citizens. We heard that the FBI attempted
to destroy one of our greatest leaders in the field of civil rights
[here, he refers to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], and then
replace him with someone of the FBI's choosing. [From: U.S. Senate,
*Hearings Before the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations
With Respect to Intelligence Activities:* [ (Vol.6)-F.B.I. (Wash.,
DC: U.S. Gov't Printing Office, 1976), p. 61.]
The state waged
war against its own alleged 'citizens', with impunity.
But now, years
after these hearings, thanks to the cleverly-named U.S. PATRIOT
Act, what was illegal during the COINTELPRO era, is legal today.
People who have opposed the Iraq War, or other actions of the Bush
Regime, have been beaten, pepper-sprayed, framed, jailed, and tortured,
in Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and beyond for following
their alleged 'rights' under the 1st Amendment. They have been caged,
and corralled into so-called 'Free Speech Zones!' Which almost literally
begs the question: If cages are 'free speech zones', what do you
call the huge tracts of land and air that are outside these cages?
Non-free-speech zones? And virtually every judge who has been asked
to protect the people's rights to protest and assemble, over the
cop's 'right' to cage and repress, has gone the cops way.
merger of state and corporate power has made the struggle of
workers for an 8-hour day, for the right to unionize, for vacation
days, for collective bargaining, one stained with the blood of thousands
of martyrs, martyrs for labor, like many of the members of the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW), known as the Wobblies. They were beaten,
thrown off trains, jailed by the dozens, framed, and slain, for
defending worker's rights.
Fascism is more
than a funny-sounding word; it is dyed deep into the fabric of American
life; and creeps forward today, under cover of 'Law.'
Newton, H.P., *WATP*.; Donner, Frank. *The Age of Surveillance:
The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System*.
(NY: Vintage, 1981); McGuckin, Henry E., (Memoirs of a WOBBLY)
(Chi.: Kerr, 1987).]
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.