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Forum Post: Mumia Abu Jamal on Occupy Wall Street

Posted 9 years ago on Dec. 20, 2011, 5:11 a.m. EST by alouis (1511) from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement



Sunday, November 20, 2011 Mumia on Occupy Wall Street In Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park (renamed “Liberty Square” by the demonstrators), the cast of thousands swell in rebellion against the betrayals by the banks, Wall Street’s relentless greed, the plague of joblessness and the craven servility of the political class—both Republicans and Democrats—to their moneyed masters.

In short, the central focus of their protest is capitalism—greed writ large, especially since the economic tumble of Fall 2008.

Begun mostly by unemployed youth, it has drawn the presence and support of public workers, urban youth, students, teachers, and a considerable number of gray hairs. That’s because social discontent is so widespread that it is spreading like wildfire: Wall Street, and then, days later, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and beyond. Demonstrations springing up like mushrooms after a storm, in protest to the crony capitalism brought to us by the professional sellouts called politicians.

And (speaking of), like vampires at a blood bank, politicians are descending on Wall St., to try to suck the life out of a movement that could threaten their monopoly on power. For, the politicians’ only interest in this protest is to exploit it, to weaken it, while they continue to serve the very bosses the protestors oppose. You can count the number of politicians who truly oppose Wall St. on one hand—and still have a few fingers left.

Perhaps America’s greatest white revolutionary, abolitionist John Brown, had little regard for politicians. He told his family: “A professional politician … you never could trust; for even if he had convictions, he was always ready to sacrifice his principles for his advantage.”

Think about that. Now think about every politician you know. See?

This is People’s Power, sparked, in part by the mass protests in Cairo and Wisconsin. Other sparks were the Troy Davis injustice, the assault on several demonstrators by New York cops, the repression on the poor and working class by the political class, and discontent with the long, wasted years at mindless wars abroad.

This is people’s power. May it remain so.

The article above was written by Mumia Abu-Jamal. ©MAJ 2011 Posted by adam ritscher at 11:04 AM



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[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 9 years ago

Is the justice system in this country fully functional? Absolutely not. There are serious issues ranging from the manner in which bail is set to the development of "assembly-line justice" in which plea bargains (which innocent men who are ill-equipped to win a trial may in fact take rather than risk a harsher sentence) to the woeful deficiency in competent public defenders (too few of them means caseloads that are so high that few cases actually go to trial) to the fact that you're actually more likely to find innocent men on Death Row than in the general population to the fact that the war on drugs almost exclusively targets young inner city males.

All of that is true, and all of these issues need to be recognized and systemically attacked. The fact of the matter remains that like it or not Mumia shot a cop and was in fact proud of it. Given the fact that the cop in question may well have been beating the shit out of somebody else there were extenuating circumstances, but even if that was the case the cop should have been hauled up on charges of assault, or at the very least disciplined for use of excessive force, not shot by a random passerby. The idea that what this man did is acceptable is not something we want to be promoting, intentionally or otherwise.

Accepting this man's endorsement to the point of putting it on our main page makes it appear that one of two things is true: either we're a bunch of lovey-dovey idiots who don't believe that there should be consequences meted out for committing crimes (which is not only patently false but really not going to sell well with ordinary people) or that we don't consider Mumia a criminal because we accept as morally just the shooting of police officers (which is even more false and makes for an even more inflammatory accusation).

Given the trouble we're already having with our image, embracing the endorsement of a convicted cop killer is a fast way to blacken ourselves even further in the eyes of mainstream America for no good reason. The letter needs to come off the site and Mumia needs to be told thanks but no thanks.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

"All of that is true, and all of these issues need to be recognized and systemically attacked. "

" Given the fact that the cop in question may well have been beating the shit out of somebody else there were extenuating circumstances"

Okay. Worse case scenario: The cop is beating your brother possibly to death. You come upon the scene. You file a complaint...

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 9 years ago

Lemme put it this way: it all depends on what his brother was or was not doing when the cop started to lay into him. If this was Mumia happening on a Rodney King incident of some sort and responding in anger, then the charge should have been murder three or aggravated manslaughter: enough to make a point about vigilante justice but also dramatically less serious than the charges that would result from an unjustified shooting of a police officer. If this was the brother caught in the act of a serious crime, getting into a fight with the cop while trying to escape, and getting the worst of the fight then Mumia belongs on death row and never should have had his sentence commuted.

[-] 0 points by LardbuttsReincarnation (4) 9 years ago

I love greed -- simply the desire to secure assets to assure one's survival and the survival of one's family. Interesting how those envious of wealth are always the one's wanting to steal what others have.

God bless America and the Second Amendment.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 9 years ago

Do you love murderers too? That's what Mumia is.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

I agree that everyone should have weapons training and a decent weapon. 99 to 1 sounds like a fair fight.

[-] -1 points by thefutureisnow (223) from Newark, NJ 9 years ago

I was at the first huge and epic rally held in Sand Francisco in the late 90,s for Mumia and never really thought he would ever get off death row , but also in that era there were a lot of crooked cops and mafia all over the east coast if you took a guess on how many people have been murdered by corrupt cops on the east coast it would be for sure in the thousands , so may be they figured that into overturning the sentence to life , but i also think he should keep filing for appeal because if they saw that far some evidence might fall out from under their corrupt rug to prove he was only really defending himself , i think they should just let him fukng out they have turned it into a political trip and that makes it more complicated than it really is ,

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

Abu-jamal never included self-defense as part of his defense. It has merely been presented that he didn't have anything to do with the shooting. I think a self-defense claim more reasonable than an 'I didn't do it' defense considering the evidence.

[-] -1 points by thefutureisnow (223) from Newark, NJ 9 years ago

yes self defense against a corrupt law enforcement agent has been potentially justified in similar cases in the past, its totally possible ,

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

I agree. But that has never been presented by Abu-Jamal or his attorneys. He merely states that he was in no way involved in the shooting.

[-] 0 points by thefutureisnow (223) from Newark, NJ 9 years ago

its any one,s guess about that issue of weather or not he actually shot the cop , i think it comes down to a number of issues that led up to the shooting and the witnesses who were there , and what they saw as well as mumia,s testimony hat he did not do it,

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

First of all, Mumia never testified. I would also argue against that statement that it is "anyone's guess" about whether or not he shot the cop. A jury found him guilty, and that sentence has held up over 30 years of appeals. So unless you are part of the conspiracy crowd (which is a totally different argument), i would say that there is no guess work involved.

[-] 0 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

why you guys keep gushing this topic? why dont we talk about terrorist actions of Bradley Manning.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

I'm up for it - though I must confess I don't know much about the case. I know he released a crap load of confidential documents...but that's about it.

[-] 0 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago


as i know US government unable to reach J. Assange. So i think they going to hang Bradley Manning. As far i know, hi is in military jail. he got suicidal trial: no clothes hands in handcuffs. this is not from the movie. i trying to get link

[-] 0 points by thefutureisnow (223) from Newark, NJ 9 years ago

no man i am not really conspiracy one way or the other i saw this post and wanted to explore it because i did participate in two marches with some activist i know , and i always thought he got a raw deal , i mean if they dropped the death penalty after all these years that should say something epic right there if he got the death penalty all those years ago then why did they not go ahead and execute him , what ever it is these is something rotten in denmark that,s been there the whole time and is just now being brought to light , so any way you look at it its for sure out of the bo x and not normal ,

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

I would encourage you to do some reading on the case, if you have a real interest in it. I would caution you - however - to spend equal time on sites both for and against. Each will provide you with "their side of the story." After you have explored it from both sides, you can make your own decision - and then at least you will have the ammunition needed to support your position.

On a side note, the reason the death penalty was overturned was due to a perceived error in the instructions to the jury prior to sentencing, which is separate from the determination of guilt.

Good luck with your research.

[-] 0 points by thefutureisnow (223) from Newark, NJ 9 years ago

thanks for the tip i am interested in the error process in the judicial systems in the US because where there is one error there is usually a second,

[-] -1 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

Had the victim not been a cop, Mumia would already have served his sentence.

[-] 1 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

So your justification for his sentance is that the person he killed was a cop and not the fact that it was another human being?

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

I'm not justifying the sentence. I believe that Mumia never got a fair trial. What I am saying is that over these thirty years of legal and political struggle to save Mumia from execution (which was just won) and get him released (lost that fight) the way the law is had the victim (not at all am I saying Mumia's victim) NOT been a cop the sentence would already have been served.

[-] 1 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

What do you think wasn't fair about it? He was tried, it has been appealed and the only thing that the appeal found was that some jury guidance was given incorrectly. Nothing about the facts of the case were found to be in error.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

DECEMBER 7, 2011 Amnesty International Welcomes Decision on Mumia Abu-Jamal Case http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/amnesty-international-welcomes-decision-on-mumia-abu-jamal-case

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, strimel@aiusa.org (Washington) – In response to the Philadelphia prosecutors’ decision not to seek another death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International’s Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty, made the following comments: “This is a welcome decision by the Philadelphia prosecutors. However, Amnesty International continues to believe that justice would best be served by granting Mumia Abu-Jamal a new trial.” While not taking a position on Mumia Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence, Amnesty International concluded in its report, “The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Life in the Balance” that his original trial was manifestly unfair and failed to meet international fair trial standards. “Mumia Abu-Jamal’s trial featured the dismissal of African American jurors, inadequate defense representation, an openly hostile judge, the use of political statements to argue for a death sentence, and law enforcement’s unseemly agitation for execution throughout the entire process,” said Moye. “Given these fundamental flaws, it would have been unconscionable to put a Mumia Abu-Jamal to death.” Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.



This photo, which has never before been published in a newspaper, puts the lie to the prosecution: 1) Officer James Forbes holds both journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal’s and police officer Daniel Faulkner’s guns in his bare hand and touches the metal parts, which contradicts his later court testimony that he had preserved the ballistics evidence. 2) Faulkner’s hat is not on the street grate where it would later appear in the official police photos. 3) In the background, where Faulkner was found on the sidewalk, only a puddle of blood remains. There are no large bullet divots, or destroyed chunks of cement, which should be visible in the pavement if the prosecution scenario was accurate, according to which Abu-Jamal shot down at Faulkner – and allegedly missed several times – while Faulkner was on his back. The sidewalk was not damaged in any way. Dr. Michael Schiffmann writes: “It is thus no question any more whether the scenario presented by the prosecution at Abu-Jamal’s trial is true. It is clearly not, because it is physically and ballistically impossible.” Visit www.Abu-Jamal-News.com for more of the crime scene photos and a sample letter you can send to the major media to urge them to publish the photos. – Photo: © copyright Pedro P. Polakoff III

[-] 1 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

Amnesty International like Fox News is the last source of info I would use as my hard facts. And using Abu-Jamal-News as anything other than what it is as new facts is crazy. Notably they are using the fact that a police officer is holding a gun that says he didn't but no where do they dispute that the gun was not Abu-Jamals. Nor do they acert that he didn't have or use a gun. What do you think (Not what others are putting out there) was unjust about the trial and have you actually read the case study?

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

It stands to reason that a pro Mumia site or publication would publish information that supports the position that the trial was unfair. Amnesty International is a widely respected organization, they say the trial was unfair: "his original trial was manifestly unfair and failed to meet international fair trial standards." My own words have little credibility as compared to theirs. They say it well and they are widely respected while I am an anonymous blogging taxi driver. Why say it twice? It's been said.

The photos show that the government case could not comport with reality. I didn't say that. The picture did and a picture is worth a thousand words.

[-] 2 points by friendlyopposition (574) 9 years ago

If you want the other side of the story, visit www.danielfaulkner.com. It has a great deal of information to counter what I bet you have read on the others. It is always good to round out your knowledge.

[-] 1 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

I agree with you that Amnisty International is a widely respected orgainization but it's who they are widely respected by that is more the concern particularly when it comes to death row cases, they make no bones about where they stand on all of them. Your words are important that's why I asked you for them. I often listen to what others say about a particular case and then go and look (usually by reading the case study) on that case. After that, I usually can make a pretty reasonable decision about what I was told.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

Yes, Amnesty International has a principled position against the death penalty, but what I cited was their take on the trial itself: "his original trial was manifestly unfair and failed to meet international fair trial standards."

We have an unfair trial, we have photos contradicting the government's assertions, we have a confession by someone who says he did the shooting, we have Mumia's continuing assertion of innocence.

Above and beyond that question we have a man who has remained steadfast, whose words are listened to and who advocates for others and the oppressed in general. At this point it probably doesn't matter whether he did or did not shoot this cop. As far as I know his appeals are totally exhausted. The argument then is about whether OWS should acknowledge the fact that he has offered words of support. If you have the time and the resources to read the entire trial record, all the hearings and appeals, then do so. Don't do it because some guy who drives a taxi says the trial was unfair.

[-] 0 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

So do you think that the United States should be forced to follow international law when it comes to internal cases?

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

The United States pretty steadfastly resists application of international law to its own actions, while demanding international law for the alleged misdeeds of others. The United States is always pushing for international observers in other countries, especially for elections, while we had two consecutive stolen elections that were barely acknowledged, let alon protested.

If Amnesty international says the trial did not meet international standards that's saying something.

[-] 0 points by Tinhorn (285) 9 years ago

Well that would require some study to determine what international standard they are speaking to. If you agree that we should follow international law in our law, then what is to stop other forms of law (i.e. Sharia Law) to be incorporated in our system. I'm not sure that is something anyone really wants.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 9 years ago

That's why the USA is a rogue nation.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 9 years ago

And that statement is why this movement will never grow to embrace anything close to a large segment of the population. OWS is perceived as a "let's hate America" movement, and posts like this one just reinforce that impression. If you guys would just stick to the stuff that inspired the original protests, you would have a shot. Instead, you are all over the map, posting stuff from some of the most divisive characters in society, attracting all kinds of extremists who have one thing in common - hatred of this country. It's not gonna fly, folks.