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Message for the French Delegation

mp3, 2.6 MBs, 3:13

[Col. recorded 1/19/03]

Long Live John Africa. [French salutation]. I thank you all for, merci, for the chance to share a few moments together. I communicate with you from America’s death row, the [french].

And as the ripples from the splash heard around the world radiates from the recent action of the outgoing governor of Illinois, where the seventh largest death row in the United States was just emptied by commutation, this was due to the strenuous and continuous efforts of anti-death penalty activists in Chicago and other cities in the state who fought to show that the death penalty was a state exercise of racism of
class warfare and the result of a culture of torture and lies.

At last count over a hundred and sixty people were removed from death row in one day, an unprecedented act. Four others left death row to being their lives in freedom. So never give up on the movement, for the movement made this happen, not one court, nor one single legislature but the efforts of activists, of students, of dedicated lawyers, and journalists. So the undeniable lesson from Illinois is that the system doesn’t work, but activism does.

That said dear friends, [french word], we can take what we have learned from the anti-death penalty movement and apply it elsewhere I speak here of the growing and controversial anti-war movement of course. If we oppose the death penalty at home, how can we be in support of what is essentially the imposition of a mass death penalty on innocent people abroad? For war is not but the death penalty writ large. As an anti-imperialist I am particularly opposed to wars to expand empires.

It was French intellectuals at La Monde who first coined the term hyper power to
describe the outsized reach and grasp of the US Empire. As an anti-imperialist I oppose empire, whether it is Rome and British, French or the land of my birth American, whatever. What man is meant to rule over another? Now I know this is a matter of some dispute and indeed some controversy, yet I announce my position openly, for I believe that war leads not to a cessation of terrorism but it fuels it.

George W. Bush the US president with the cowboy complex came into office with the death of over 100 men and women from death row in Texas. Those instincts are driving him towards war in Iraq. Another George, governor Ryan of Illinois came into office with little hoopla, but leaves with his name firmly etched into the annals of history. One is known for death, the other known for life, which one will reflect America’s best face to the world? Which one will inspire countless youth around our world?

The battle the highest human battle is for life, always life. That in psychological terms is the root of the libido within us. It is the spring that goes through us into generations yet unborn. It is our essence. I thank you for joining life’s battle for itself. [french] merci. I thank you for joining this struggle. [french], Love and Victory.

On a Move, to life your brother Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa


Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.