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Urban Culture News From Mumia Abu-Jamal's Freedom Journal
From Mumia Abu-Jamal's Freedom Journal PDF Print E-mail
Written by fatirah ID2277   
Monday, 16 January 2006 05:25

On Friday, January 20th there will be a "Honk for Mumia" demonstration on the corner of 11th and Walnut St. (Center City Philly) from 3:30 until 6 pm.

This location was chosen to target journalist, radio commentator and lawyer Michael Smerconish who has been pushing for Mumia's execution for many years (his law office is Beasley Firm, 1125 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107).

Recently he published an article in the Daily News against Mumia and for the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams. Please join in at this demonstration. Now is a very important time to take action! There will continue to have demo's at different locations every two weeks to build up to a large event. Please spread the word! (below is the article Smerconish wrote followed by a response by SJ Friends of MOVE)

Michael Smerconish | HOW MUMIA HELPED WITH TOOKIE's SEND-OFF

THE GOVERNOR of Maureen Faulkner's home state has just shown appropriate support for the memory of her deceased Philadelphia police officer husband, murdered 24 years ago last Friday by Mumia Abu-Jamal.

I refer not to Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell, but to California's Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In denying clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams, Schwarzenegger cited Williams'' support of convicted cop-killer Mumia (among others), as an indication of his lack of repentance.

Three hours after Williams'' death by lethal injection, I broke that news to Maureen Faulkner, who was grateful that Schwarzenegger had acknowledged Williams'' support for the man who killed her husband on a cold December night nearly a quarter-century ago.

"These weeks have been very emotional for me because people have been bringing up Danny's case out here in California," she told me. "Last week, I was driving home from work and a talk radio station was discussing Williams and Abu-Jamal, and there was Mike Farrell, saying many of the same things he has said in Danny's case. I just pulled over and started crying. It's been 24 years, and I am a strong woman, but it was emotional to hear it once again."

Schwarzenegger's denial of clemency is a must-read. The five-page document starts by recounting the facts of that case.

"During the early morning hours of February 28, 1979, Williams and three others went on a robbery spree. Around 4 a.m., they entered a 7-Eleven store where Albert Owens was working by himself. Here, Williams, armed with his pump action shotgun, ordered Owens to a backroom and shot him twice in the back while he lay face down on the floor. Williams and his accomplices made off with about $120 from the store's cash register. After leaving the 7-Eleven store, Williams told the others that he killed Albert Owens because he did not want any witnesses. Later that morning, Williams recounted shooting Albert Owens, saying, ''You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him.'' Williams then made a growling noise and laughed for five to six minutes.

"On March 11, 1979, less than two weeks later, Williams, again armed with his shotgun, robbed a family-operated motel and shot and killed three members of the family: (1) the father, Yen-I Yang, who was shot once in the torso and once in the arm while he was laying on a sofa; (2) the mother, Tsai-Shai Lin, who was shot once in the abdomen and once in the back; and (3) the daughter, Yee-Chen Lin, who was shot once in her face. For these murders, Williams made away with approximately $100 in cash. Williams also told others about the details of these murders and referred to the victims as ''Buddha-heads.'' "

Schwarzenegger noted that the basis of Williams'' clemency request was not innocence, but rather the "personal redemption Stanley Williams has experienced and the positive impact of the message he sends." A message, his supporters said, that he had offered in the form of books written behind bars.

What Williams did not count on was that the governor, or members of his staff, would actually read the books. And they found that in his 1998 "Life in Prison," Williams dedicated the book to "Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the countless other men, women, and youths who have to endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars."

Wrote the governor: "The mix of individuals on this list is curious. Most have violent pasts and some have been convicted of committing heinous murders, including the killing of law enforcement," a reference to Mumia's execution of Faulkner. Schwarzenegger found this list to be a "significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems."

George Jackson, who along with Mumia was one of Williams'' role models, warranted a footnote of his own, where he was identified as a "militant activist and prison inmate who founded the violent Black Guerilla Family prison gang. Jackson was charged with the murder of a San Quentin correctional officer. In 1970, when Jackson was out to court in Marin County on the murder case, his brother stormed the courtroom with a machine gun, and along with Jackson and two other inmates, took a judge, the prosecutor and three others hostage in an escape attempt. Shooting broke out. The prosecutor was paralyzed from a police bullet, and the judge was killed by a close-range blast to his head when the shotgun taped to his throat was fired by one of Jackson's accomplices. Jackson's brother was also killed."

I shared all of this with Maureen Faulkner. "I feel as though justice was done to this man who has never actually said he murdered these individuals, he denied it, he never apologized and it's a sad thing for the families, but at least they have peace," she said.

She was referring to the sort of peace she still seeks.

---

Initially, Philadelphia newspapers the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News wrote nothing regarding the Dec. 6, 2005 ruling of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals; reversing two critical Federal District Court decisions in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Then, after stories were written nationally and internationally, printed in hundreds of local papers, and discussed on NPR, perhaps they felt they had to print something. Each paper ran a tiny caption about the decision, not that much bigger than a want ad. These are the same papers that in the past ran front-page articles bashing Mumia, spreading misinformation when there had not been a court decision or any action to provoke a large article. Now, after 24 years, there is a decision that could open the doors wider towards a new trial. In essence, this decision claims, “Well, maybe racism was involved in the trial,” and now, the Philadelphia press are practically silent. Until December 15th 2005, soon after Tookie Williams was murdered in California, when the Daily News printed a commentary by Michael Smerconish titled, “How Mumia Helped With Tookie’s Send-Off.” This commentary clarifies the position of those in opposition to Mumia’s freedom. Smerconish’s racism, lies, and hypocrisy unequivocally show that this is not just about Mumia’s freedom; he is against freedom, period.

Smerconish applauds Schwarzenegger’s denial of clemency for California death row inmate and activist, Tookie Williams and the “reasons” he based his denial on. Schwarzenegger wrote that he was denying clemency because of whom Tookie dedicated his 1998 book “Life in Prison.” The dedication listed thanks to: “Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assatta Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the countless other men, women and youths who have to endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars.” Schwarzenegger stated, “The mix of individuals on this list is curious. Most have violent pasts and some have been convicted of heinous murders, including the killing of law enforcement.” Schwarzenegger claims that the list was a “significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems.” This statement exposes the hypocrisy, and death addiction of this system, and how these attributes are always blamed on the victim. Schwarzenegger killed Tookie Williams, Smerconish is a long-time, staunch advocate for murdering Mumia, and yet they are saying that they have a problem with seeing “violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems?!” What is more violent than containing someone in a cell the size of a bathroom for over 20 years and then one day strapping them to a chair and electrocuting them or injecting poison into their veins, a process that in some cases, such as Tookie’s, takes over 40 minutes. That is violence, torture, more twisted than anything anyone on death row has ever committed!

These people advocate murder and then call those that are fighting for justice and peace murderers. Some of the people on the list, such as Mumia and Peltier, have spent decades in prison despite evidence of absolute innocence. Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt was found innocent after spending 27 years in prison because of a government frame up. The US government assassinated Malcolm X. The US government bombed Ramona Africa and JOHN AFRICA, murdering JOHN AFRICA along with 10 other MOVE people. Ramona Africa survived and served 7 years in prison solely for living to tell the tale. George Jackson went to prison when he was 18 years old for stealing $70 from a gas station and was given a maximum sentence of life. He was killed 11 years later for fighting for his freedom.

Schwarzenegger, Smerconish, and the like call these freedom fighters violent for resisting oppression but ignore the conditions that caused them to fight. They will call the American Indian Movement (AIM) violent and ignore the murder of over 100 million indigenous people by this system. One hundred million murdered is beyond comprehension! They will imprison an AIM person for theft when they stole this land! They will say that these former members of the Black Panther Party (BPP) are violent and ignore the fact that their system was founded on slavery of Africans—on millions being stolen from their homes and brought here in chains, tortured, raped, and murdered. They want to say that MOVE people are disturbing the peace but they came to MOVE’s home and dropped a bomb, they fired machine guns as children tried to flee the fire. This is Smerconish and Schwarzenegger’s twisted, homicidal logic.

At the end of the article Smerconish quotes Maureen Faulkner. Maureen, Daniel Faulkner’s widow, says that now that Tookie is murdered at least the families of “his victims” have peace. Smerconish closes his piece claiming that is the peace she is still seeking. These people don’t know the meaning of the word peace. They talk about peace but this is sugarcoating their real message—trying to rush the murder of Mumia! An innocent man! A man that even the courts now state could have been unfairly convicted! And yet they claim that murdering these men is “peace” for these “fair, just, law-abiding” white people. Their “peace” is the priority. The peace Europeans gained here in the Americas by slaughtering natives. The peaceful plantations whites enjoyed in the south thanks to the blood, torture, rape, death, and destruction of African slaves. The peace US troops are fighting for now as they terrorize innocent Iraqis for their oil.

These people are as they do: they are murderers, and yet, they call their victims the criminals! American Indians incarcerated on reservations, fighting for the land stolen from them are the “criminals.” Palestinians incarcerated in refugee camps fighting for the land stolen from them are “terrorists.” Blacks incarcerated in ghettoes fighting for their freedom are “murderers.” Schwarzenegger, Smerconish, and all those sharing this systematic mentality don’t know the meaning of their own words. They don’t want peace, they want murder, war, death. They don’t want justice or freedom, they want incarceration, a police state, worldwide terror. This has to end somewhere. It is up to each one of us to value ourselves enough to fight for our own freedom! How many more Tookie’s have to die? None, if we don’t let it happen.

Please visit Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Freedom Journal for more information HERE.

Free Mumia!

Free the MOVE 9!

Free All Political Prisoners!

LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA!

This article was posted on http://www.mumia.org/freedom.now  and posted there by fatirah.

 
Urban Culture News From Mumia Abu-Jamal's Freedom Journal

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