rn: Mumia messages to us


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,            Aug. 14

Here are some messages from Mumia Abu-Jamal for all of "us" in the largest
sense. They are thought-provoking and inspiring and I am grateful that we
can read them, despite all the efforts to silence him.

I would be curious to know what others of you think about Mumia's admiration
for Winnie Mandela. As for me, if it is indeed true that she has been
involved in encouraging the gruesome killings of "collaborators", I cannot
join with Mumia in applauding her actions.

In the second of these articles, Mumia addresses students who are graduating
from university and appeals to them to take up the challenge of revolution.
A beautiful appeal; one that all of us can be inspired by, whether we are
"graduating" or not.

all the best, Jan

Date: Sun, 11 Jul 1999 12:57:43
From: Bill Koehnlein <•••@••.•••>
Subject: 'A Life Lived, Deliberately' - 4 Columns By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 02:59:20 -0700
From: Arm The Spirit <•••@••.•••>
Subject: [AFIB] 'A Life Lived, Deliberately' - 4 Columns By Mumia Abu-Jamal

        |||                                           |||
        |||             A  N  T  I  F  A              |||
        |||                                           |||
        |||   I  N  F  O  -  B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N   |||
        |||                   _____                   |||
        |||                                           |||
        |||  * News * Analysis * Research * Action *  |||
        |||                                           |||
|| * --  SPECIAL  -- *   July 08, 1999    * --  EDITION  -- * ||
                       * SPECIAL EDITION *
                              * * *
                  `A LIFE LIVED, DELIBERATELY'
               Four New Columns by Mumia Abu-Jamal
                    1. For the Love of Winnie.
                    2. A Life Lived, Deliberately.
                    3. What's the 4th of July For?
                    4. Political Un-Solutions.
                              * * *
                     FOR THE LOVE OF WINNIE
                       By Mumia Abu-Jamal
               Column #418 -- Written 2 June 1999
                 Source: Partisan Defense League
                E-mail: •••@••.•••
                    - Thursday, 8 July 1999 -
                              * * *
     "The deadliest form of violence is poverty." -- Gandhi
     For the millions of oppressed poor who continue to live in
the "New South Africa" the days and nights of living in the post-
apartheid nation are not really new. True, the vast network of
political prisoners are now free; true, the various and sundry
liberation groups have been unbanned, and are thus free to
participate in the political process; and true, there is now a
vote for all South Africans, even those who are imprisoned, who
are now newly eligible to exercise their franchise.
     But, for many of this nation's black millions, many who
spent the apartheid years in utter, direst poverty, the present,
while pregnant with hope, is still a now that has little real
material progress. Unemployment for the Black majority stands at
over 50%.
     For the people of South Africa, the rich that were rich in
the apartheid era are still rich (if not richer) and the poor
remain enmeshed and enmired in a muddy poverty. A remarkable
woman, the brilliant and passionate Winnie Madikazela-Mandela,
continues to fight for the interests of the poor, while the new
black bourgeoisie consolidates its place in the new South Africa,
and while class becomes a new barrier inserting itself in between
the vast population, and the still-wealth-encrusted Boers. She
remains the bane of this new bourgeoisie, and the thorn in the
side of the wealthy white elite who remain in control of the
economic levers of power in the nation. She is projected in the
international white supremacist press as a terrorist in a nation
that practiced state terror on a scale that was rivaled only by
Hitler's Germany at the height of the Nazi Reich.
     When the media attacks someone, it is because they threaten
the interests of their corporate and wealthy owners and masters.
For this reason, she has lived in the eye of the storm. For her
fierce devotion to the Revolution, she remains loved and admired
by millions around the world, despite what the media projects!
     The white supremacist media has lionized the former
political prisoner, Dr. Nelson Mandela, for his efforts to create
reconciliation between the Africans and the Boers, while Winnie
has been damned.
     The fierce and bloody repression visited upon the courageous
Black majority by the Afrikaners was a withering thing, reflected
by the term, _kragdadigeid_ (which means: a brutal crushing). And
the heaviest brunt of white racist state repression was dropped
on the poorest of the poor; the women and their children. And
from where did the resistance come? The women and the young! It
was the women who kept the legends of the African National
Congress, and the Pan-Africanist Congress, and the Azanian
Peoples Movement, alive in the minds and souls of the children,
and it was the children -- those beautiful, bold and courageous
children, who fought machine guns with stones and songs, leaving
us with the tragic wonder of Sharpeville; the massacre of the
children by the criminal apartheid state.
     Their blood, and their noble sacrifice gave life to the
Black Revolution that forced the _Kragdadigeiders_ in Jo-burg and
Pretoria, to sit down at the table with Dr. Mandela.
     Who can believe that Revolution is women's work?
     South Africa makes us all a believer, and a lesson for
oppressed peoples the world over.
     Copyright 1999 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.
                    A LIFE LIVED, DELIBERATELY
                       By Mumia Abu-Jamal
             Column #419 -- Written 22 February 1999
               Source: Partisan Defense Committee
                E-mail: •••@••.•••
                    - Thursday, 8 July 1999 -
                              * * *
     Welcome, students of Evergreen, and thank you for this
invitation: _Ona MOVE! LLJA!_ I feel privileged to address your
chosen theme, not because I am some kind of orator, but because a
"life lived deliberately" has been the example of people that I
admire and respect, such as Malcolm X; Dr. Huey P. Newton,
founder of the BPP; like Ramona Africa, who survived the hellish
bombing by police of May 13th, 1985; or the MOVE 9, committed
rebels now encaged for up to 100 yrs. in Pa. hellholes, despite
their innocence, solely for their adherence to the Teachings of
JA! [must be John Africa]
     These people, although of quite diverse beliefs, ideologies
and lifestyles, shared something in common: a commitment to
Revolution, and a determination to live that commitment,
deliberately, in the face of staggering state repression. No
doubt some of you are disconcerted by my use of the term,
"revolution." It is telling that people who claim, with pride, to
be "proud Americans," would disclaim the very process that made
such a nationality possible (even if it was a bourgeois
     Why was it right for people to revolt against the British
because of "taxation without representation," and somehow wrong
for truly unrepresented Africans in America to revolt against
Americans? For any oppressed people, revolution (according to the
Declaration of Independence) is a right!
     Malcolm X, although now widely acclaimed as a black
nationalist martyr, was vilified at the time of his assassination
by one major national media outlet (_Time_ Magazine) as "an
unashamed demagogue" who "was a disaster to the civil rights
movement."(1) The _NY Times_ would describe him as a "twisted
man" who used his brains and oratorical skills for an "evil
     Today, there are schools named for him, and recently, a
postage stamp was issued in his honor.
     Dr. Huey P. Newton, Ph.D., founded the Black Panther Party
in Oct. 1966, and created one of the most militant and principled
organizations American Blacks had ever seen. J. Edgar Hoover, of
the FBI targeted the Party, using every foul and underhanded
method they could conceive of to "neutralize" the group, which
they described as the "number one threat to national security."
     Sister Ramona Africa, of the MOVE Organization survived one
of the most remarkable bombings in American history, one where
Philadelphia police massacred 11 men, women & children living in
the MOVE home, and destroyed some 61 homes in the vicinity. She
did 7 years in a state prison on riot charges, came out and began
doing all she could to spread the _Teachings of John Africa_, the
Teachings of Revolution, and to free her imprisoned brothers and
sisters of MOVE from their repressive century in hellish prison
     These people dared to dissent, dared to speak out, dared to
reject the status quo by becoming rebels against it.
     They lived, and some of them continue to live, lives of
deliberate will; of willed resistance to a system that is killing
     Remember them, honor their highest moments, learn from them!
     Are these not lives lived deliberately?
     This system's greatest fear has been that folks like you,
young people, people who've begun to critically examine the world
around them (some perhaps for the first time), people who have
yet to have the spark of life snuffed out, will do just that --
learn from those lives, be inspired, and then _live_ lives in
opposition to the deadening _status quo_.
     Let me give you an example:
     A young woman walks into a courtroom, one situated in the
cradle of American democracy, to do some research for a law
class. This woman, with dreams of becoming a lawyer, sits down
and watches the court proceeding, and is stunned by what she
     She sees defendants prevented from defending themselves,
manhandled in court, and cops lying on the stand with abandon.
She saw the judge as nothing more than an administrator of
injustice; and saw U.S. law as an illusion. Her mind reeled; as
she said to herself, "They can't do that!" as her eyes saw them
doing whatever they wanted to.
     That young woman is now known as Ramona Africa, who lived
her life deliberately after attending several sessions of the
MOVE trial in Philadelphia. After that farce she knew she could
never be a part of a legal system that allowed it, and she found
more truth in the _Teachings of John Africa_ than she ever could
in the lawbooks, which promised a kind of justice that was
foreign to the courtrooms she had seen.
     The contrast between America's lofty promises and the truth
of its legal repressions inspired her to be a revolutionary, one
that America has tried to bomb into oblivion.
     What is the difference between Ramona Africa and you?
     Absolutely nothing -- except she made that choice.
     Similarly, Huey Newton studied U.S. law with close
attention, when he was a student of Merrit Junior College in West
Oakland, California. His studies convinced him that the laws must
be changed, and the famous Black Panther Party 10 point program
and platform proves, then and now, that serious problems still
face the nation's Black community, such as all, (or
predominantly) white juries still sending Blacks to prison; and
cops still treating Black life as a cheap commodity. Witness the
recent Bronx execution of Guinean emigrant, Amadou Diallo, where
cops fired 41 shots at an unarmed man, in the doorway of his
apartment building.
     Huey, at least in his earlier years, lived his life
deliberately, and set the mark as a revolutionary.
     What was the difference between Huey Newton and you?
     Absolutely nothing -- except he made that choice.
     Each of the MOVE 9, (including the late Merle Africa, who
died under somewhat questionable circumstances after 19 years
into an unjust prison sentence) members of the MOVE organization
whose trial initially attracted the attention of a young law
student named Ramona decades ago, was a person who came to
question their lives, as lived in the system. Some were U.S.
Marines, some were petty criminals, some were carpenters, but all
came to a point of questioning the _status quo_ -- deeply,
honestly, and completely -- irrevocably.
     One by one, they turned their back on a system that they
knew, couldn't care less if they lived or died, and joined the
revolution, after being exposed to the stirring _Teachings of
John Africa_.
     They individually chose to live life deliberately -- and
joined MOVE.
     And although they _are_ individuals -- Delbert Africa, Janet
Africa, Phil Africa, Janine Africa, Chuck Africa, Mike Africa,
Debbie Africa and Eddie Africa -- they are also united as MOVE
members, united in heart and soul.
     What is the difference between the MOVE 9 and you?
     Absolutely nothing -- except they made a choice.
     Now, unless I miss my guess, Evergreen is _not_ a
predominantly black institution, and my choices heretofore given
may seem somewhat strange to too many of you, for far too many of
you may identify yourselves by the fictional label of "white." In
truth, as I'm sure many of you know, race is a social construct.
That said, it is still a social reality, formed by our histories
and cultures.
     For those of you still bound by such realities, I have these
names for you: John Brown, Dr. Alan Berkman, Susan Rosenberg, Sue
Africa, Marilyn Buck, for examples.
     Each of these people are, or were, known in America as
"white." They are all people I know of who I admire, love and
respect. They are (or were) all revolutionaries.
     John Brown's courageous band's attack on Harper's Ferry in
[1859] was one deeply religious man's strike against the hated
slavery system, and was, indeed, one of the opening salvos of the
U.S. Civil War.
     Dr. Alan Berkman, Susan Rosenberg and Marilyn Buck were all
anti-imperialists who fought to free Black revolutionary Assata
Shakur from an unjust and cruel bondage. They are the spiritual
grandsons, and granddaughters of John Brown. Dr. Alan Berkman,
Marilyn Buck and Susan Rosenberg were treated like virtual
traitors to white supremacy and thrown into American dungeons.
Buck and Rosenberg remain so imprisoned.
     They live lives deliberately, and chose liberation as their
goals, understanding that our freedom is interconnected. They
chose the hard road of revolution -- yet, they chose!
     And, but for that choice, they are just like each of you
seated here tonight. People who saw the evils of the system and
resolved to fight it. Period.
     The name Sue Africa, may not be known to you. She is what
you may call white, yet when she joined the MOVE organization,
the system attacked her bitterly for what was seen as a betrayal
of her white-skinned privilege. On May 13th, 1985 she lost her
only son, because the Philadelphia police bombed the house he was
living in. She served over a decade in prison, where the guards
vilely taunted her in the hours and days after the bombing. When
she came out she went right to work, to rebuild the MOVE
Organization in Philadelphia.
     She lives her life deliberately by promoting _John Africa's_
Revolution, each and every day.
     Except for that choice, she is just like you.
     Now, some of you are sure to be wondering: well -- what's
this guy's gig with Revolutionaries?
     Why's he say this to us?
     The answer, of course, is why not? (O.K. -- I know you ain't
'sposed to answer a question with a question) -- do I expect you
guys and gals, who've just received your degrees, to chuck it
all, for so nebulous a concept as "revolution?"
     Nope. I ain't that dumb.
     The great historians, Will and Ariel Durant teach us [in the
_Lessons of History_ (New York: MUF books, 1968) p. 35]: "History
in the large is the conflict of minorities: the majority applauds
the victor and supplies the human material of social experiment."
     I take that to mean that social movements are begun by
relatively small numbers of people, who, as catalysts, inspire,
provoke, and move larger numbers to see and share their vision.
     Social movements can then become social forces that expand
our perspectives, open up new social possibilities, and create
the consciousness for change.
     To begin this process, we must first sense that, a) the
_status quo_ is wrong, and b) the existing order is not amenable
to real, meaningful, substantive transformation.
     Out of the many here assembled, it is the heart of he or she
that I seek: who looks at a life of vapid materialism, of
capitalist excess, and finds it simply intolerable.
     It may be 100 of you, or 50, or 10 -- or even 1 of you who
makes the choice. I am here to honor and applaud that choice --
and to warn you that though the suffering may indeed be great --
it is nothing to the joy of doing the right thing.
     Malcolm, Dr. Huey Newton, Ramona Africa, the MOVE 9, Dr.
Alan Berkman, Susan Rosenberg, John Brown, Susan Africa, Marilyn
Buck, Geronimo ji Jaga, Leonard Peltier, Angela Davis -- all of
them, people just like you -- felt compelled to change conditions
they found intolerable. I urge you, to join that noble tradition.
     I thank you all!
     _Ona MOVE!_
(1)  _Time_, 5 Mar. 1965, p. 23
(2)  _NY Times_, 22 Feb. 1965, p. 20, _NYT_, 14 Mar. 1964, p. 22
     Copyright 1999 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.
                    WHAT'S THE 4TH OF JULY FOR?
                       By Mumia Abu-Jamal
               Column #420 -- Written 19 June 1999
               Source: Partisan Defense Committee 
               E-mail: •••@••.•••
                    - Thursday, 8 July 1999 -
                              * * *
     "When we were the political slaves of King George, and
     wanted to be free, we called the maxim that: 'all men are
     created equal' a self-evident truth; but now when we have
     grown fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves
     ourselves, we have become so greedy to be masters that we
     call the same maxim _'a self-evident lie.'_ The Fourth of
     July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day
     for burning fire-crackers!" -- Abraham Lincoln
     This Fourth of July, the parks, shores, and play-places of
the people will be filled to the brim with tens of millions of
Americans who are enjoying their vacation weekend in the hot,
summer sun. It is truly a holiday, and nothing else. But what
does it celebrate?
     We are told, from our infancy that this date is one which
celebrates the blessings of freedom, and liberty from oppression.
While we claim this, the truths taught us by bitter history
reveals a long legacy of oppression, repression, and death. The
history of this country is rife with the foul excrescence of
human bondage and slavery; and the word "slavery" is absent
(Until the 13th Amendment) from the very text of the U.S.
Constitution. Former President, and counsel for _Amistad_, John
Quincy Adams made that point plain:
     "The word slave and slavery are studiously excluded from the
     Constitution; circumlocutions are the fig-leaves under which
     these parts of the body politic are decently concealed"
     [(1841), _U.S., Appellants, vs. Cinque, and Others,
     Africans_ 39].
     While millions of Africans born in America were held, in the
eyes of a blinded "law", as human cattle (chattel), they were
professing the "blessings of liberty" while millions labored in
     And now, today, over a million African-American men are
still in shackles laboring in new age slave plantations, being
held under conditions that are the shadows of what their
forefathers went through. What is liberty in the midst of these
newly enslaved? Where is liberty in the prisonhouse of nations?
     The courts, _John Africa_ explains, are but "process houses
for slavery" where "liberty" and "justice" are just words. Their
practice is _unfreedom_, and that is the way of America.
     In 1999 how is it that there are hundreds and thousands of
new cells being built every few weeks in the land of the free?
Because this is not the land of the free, but of the imprisoned,
and the repressed.
     The revered Frederick Douglass once asked, "What, to your
slave, is the 4th of July?" It was, he said, nothing but a sham.
To his descendant people a century later, the same answer may be
made. For, though it may be considered by most a day of rest and
relaxation, the foreboding sight of a cop car in the overhead
mirror is more than enough to dash such soft moments, and cases
from across the country scream out the deadly reality of DWB --
Driving While Black. For men such as the West African in the
Bronx, it wasn't necessary to drive. He was SWB: Standing While
Black. And in Black America, any of these nebulous "violations"
carries an implicit death sentence.
     Some may try to remember America's Founding Slavemasters, if
they wish: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, _et al._ But it
might be more fruitful and more realistic to remember the names
of Africans and African-Americans who could not practice the
simple, alleged "right" to drive, to walk the streets, or to
answer their doors in the night: Amadou Diallo. Tyesha Miller,
Abner Louima, Dontae Dawson, _et al._ and on and on.
     No doubt, their loving families will have somewhat subdued
celebrations of America's Day of Liberty on the Fourth.
     For millions, that day will bring somewhat slight respite,
for, too many Black families are trapped in the prison of
poverty. Joblessness means, among other things, not having to
worry about a holiday. What can any freedom mean when one can't
afford to do anything meaningful in this cash-mad society?
     The Fourth of July is truly just another day.
     Copyright 1999 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.
                    POLITICAL UN-SOLUTIONS
                       By Mumia Abu-Jamal
               Column #421 -- Written 24 June 1999
                Source: Partisan Defense Committee
                E-mail: •••@••.•••
                    - Thursday, 8 July 1999 -
                              * * *
     "These politicians are so devious they would disown their
     father, denounce their mother, deny they were born of
     parents, and burn their birth  certificates if they thought
     it would cost 'em a vote, effect their influence, cut into
     their so-called power." -- John Africa, "On the Move...,"
     _The Philadelphia Tribune_ (29 July, 1975)
     In the wake of the rash of school shootings occurring across
the U.S., a number of politicians have spoken out on the issue,
with many claiming to have solutions to the crisis. Several,
including the perennial dim bulb, Dan Quayle, have called for the
inclusion of prayer, and Bible study into the national curriculum
as a sure-fire preventive to the scourge of violence in schools.
Some have called for the posting of the Ten Commandments in
schools as another solution.
     One wonders: Have they ever _read_ the Bible? I've had the
pleasure of reading the Bible (as well as _The Qur'an_, the
_Bhagavad-Gita_, and the _Analects of Confucius_), and frankly,
the Bible, although certainly a book of wisdom, is also drenched
with violence. From rape to murder, from parricide to genocide,
the Bible is rife with a virtual riot of violent acts, and has
been used to justify violence throughout American history. The
ruthless slaughters, like Joshua's crushing of the twelve
thousands (men and women) of the city of Ai; his destruction of
Debir, Hazor, and other cities, using techniques that "utterly
destroyed all that breathed" (Joshua 8:25; 10:40) are not rare.
Samson killed thirty men at his wedding feast in a fit of rage,
and slew 1,000 more a few days later with the jawbone of an ass
(Judges 14:19; 15:14-15). When David married the daughter of King
Saul, the King asked for 100 foreskins of dead Philistines; David
brought him 200 as a dowry (I Samuel 18:27). In the war against
the Ammonites and the Syrians, David slew 40,700 men (II Sam.
10:18). In the Book of Esther, Mordecai, the King's counselor,
orders the killing of 75,500 men throughout the nation (Esther
9:16) who are said to be "enemies of the Jews."
     Yes. By all means. Let _all_ kids in American public schools
read the Bible. In fact, compel it! But let's not pretend it'll
do anything even remotely close to making people less violent.
Indeed, for most of American history the Bible formed the entire
library for poor, rural or frontier folk. And it was misused to
justify the theft of the land, the slaughter of millions of
Indians, the chained importation of millions of Africans, and
their enslavement. Yeah. Listen to the politicians; while the
problems fester -- unsolved.
     Copyright 1999 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.
                              * * *
     Funds are urgently needed for legal defense! Make a
     contribution to the Bill of Rights Foundation (earmarked
     "Mumia Abu-Jamal Legal Defense") and mail it to:
                 Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
                   163 Amsterdam Avenue No. 115
                      New York, NY 10023-5001
     For more information on how you can become involved in the
     struggle to Free Mumia!, check out the following groups and
     get involved!
    International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
                          P.O. Box 19709
                      Philadelphia, PA 19143
               Tel: (215) 476-8812 or (215) 476-9405
                       Fax: (215) 476-7551
                      E-mail: •••@••.•••
                    Web: http://www.mumia.org
             The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
                        3425 Ceasar Chavez
                     San Francisco, CA 94110
                       Tel: (415) 821-0459
                       Fax: (415) 821-0166
                      Partisan Defense Committee
                  P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station
                       New York, NY 10013-0099
                          Tel: 212-406-4252
                  E-mail: •••@••.•••
                         Refuse & Resist!
                   305 Madison Ave. Suite 1166
                       New York, NY 10165 
                        Tel: 212-713-5657
                        Fax: 212-822-8535
                    E-mail: •••@••.•••
                Web: http://www.calyx.net/~refuse
                              * * *
                    ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN (AFIB)
                        750 La Playa # 730
                  San Francisco, California 94121
                     E-Mail: •••@••.•••
     On PeaceNet visit ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN on pol.right.antifa
     Via the Web  --> http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aff/afib.html
     Archive --> http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aff/afib-bulletins.html
                     ANTI-FASCIST FORUM (AFF)
     Antifa Info-Bulletin is a member of the Anti-Fascist Forum
     network. AFF is an info-group which collects and
     disseminates information, research and analysis on fascist
     activity and anti-fascist resistance. More info: 
                    E-mail: •••@••.••• 
                  Web: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aff
     Order our journal, ANTIFA FORUM, cutting-edge anti-fascist
     research and analysis! 4 issues, $20. Write AFF, P.O. Box
     6326, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1P7 Canada
     +:     * A N T I F A   I N F O - B U L L E T I N *       +:
     :+                                                       :+
          ++++ stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ++++
   ++++ if you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ++++
  ++++ see: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ++++

Arm The Spirit is an autonomist/anti-imperialist information
collective based in Toronto, Canada. Our focus includes a wide 
variety of material, including political prisoners, national 
liberation struggles, armed communist resistance, anti-fascism, 
the fight against patriarchy, and more. We regularly publish our 
writings, research, and translation materials on our listserv
called ATS-L. For more information, contact:

Arm The Spirit
P.O. Box 6326, Stn. A
Toronto, Ontario
M5W 1P7 Canada

E-mail: •••@••.•••
WWW: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~ats/
ATS-L Archives: http://burn.ucsd.edu/archives/ats-l