Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
for German Conference Honoring
3.88 MBs, 4:46
PDF version: 25.8 KBs
On the MOVE,
greetings to the gathering at this latest conference on the extraordinary
life of Rosa Luxemburg. I thank you all for your kind invitation.
We're all, I'm sure impressed and moved by the courage and resolve
of Rosa Luxemburg and when we remember her contributions, we're
renewed and inspired by her militance.
to inspire us generations after her passing. When I think about
her, I re-read her letters to Sophie Liebkenick, the young wife
of her comrade Carl, and find in there not Rosa the militant, nor
even Rosa the martyr; we find Rosa the humanist, Rosa the environmentalist,
even Rosa the human being yearning or freedom from the dungeons
of her captivity.
I often surprise
myself when I find a passage that touches me deeply as it is often
one that I hadn't expected would do so. It was the end of May 1917,
while she was interned at Ronqui prison. When last we spoke, I think
I quoted her letter where she felt more animal than human (not surprising,
as she was locked in a cage). Yet I was moved by her experience
of seeing a butterfly trapped in her cell, as she wrote to Sophie
whom she endearingly called "Sonia" or "Sonyesha"
such an experience yesterday, I must tell you what happened. In
the bathroom, before dinner I found a great peacock butterfly on
the window. It must have been shut up there for two or three days,
for it had almost worn itself out fluttering against the hard window
panes so that there was now nothing more than a slight movement
of the wings to show that it was still alive. Directly, I noticed
it. I dressed myself, trimly with impatience, climbed up to the
window and took it cautiously in my hand. It had now ceased a move
and I thought it must be dead. But I took it to my own room and
put it on the outside window sill to see if it would revive. There
was again a gentle fluttering for a while, but after that the insect
did not move. I laid a few flowers in front of the antenna so that
it might have something to eat. At that moment the black cad sang
in front of the window so lustfully that the echoes rang. Involuntarily,
I spoke out loud to the butterfly saying "just listen how merrily
the bird is singing. You must take heart too and come to life again."
I could not help laughing at myself for speaking like this to a
half-dead butterfly and I thought, you are wasting your breath.
But I was not, for in about half of an hour, the little creature
really revived. After moving about for a while it was able to flutter
Isn't this the
very essence of her love of life? If this were shared with many
of the environmentalist movement, how many might be drawn to socialist
ideas and radicalists?
We learn much
about the real Rosa Luxemburg from this exchange. We also learn
a lot about prison conditions at the beginning of the 20th century.
At Ronqua, Rosa spent over six hours outside in the open air daily.
How far we've come when prison officials grudgingly grant one or
two hours a day- these days? Yet what touches us all over a span
of almost a century, is a deep humanism, her lust for life, her
loving nature. She teaches us how to deepen and broaden our feelings
for others- And we learn that much of this is the fountainhead of
our political viewpoints. We are all at the dawn of the 21st century,
imprisoned, in need of freedom, in the cage of capitalism and neo-liberalism.
Like the people of Iraq, we're occupied. Our media is occupied territory,
our schools are occupied territory, we live in silence imposed by
martial/neoliberal/globalist law, and we all need a hand getting
some fresh air.
Let us learn
from Rosa and care for all of us
From Death Row,
this is Mumia Abu-Jamal (Spoken in Gernan)
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Check out Mumia's
"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!
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.