Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Marching Towards Mediocrity


(Free MUMIA With Every Happy Meal: Some restrictions may apply.
McDonalds is not responsible for personal injury incurred while playing with Mumia. Some assembly required)

What does any organization do once it’s novelty has run it’s course?

Diversify of course.

That is what the incredible shrinking International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia has been doing lately.

Now that the group has to "share" a website with the "NYC Free Mumia Coalition", it has also now taken to embracing any and everybody even loosely connected with the far left as a means of stemming the attrition from the Mumia cause and more importantly, finding ways to convince people to part with their money in the name of Jamal.

I would argue that is the reason that ICFFMAJ decided to hold a nighttime rally for a whole menagerie of supposed"political prisoners". This, a mere two days after the anniversary of Sept 11th. Another reason for that I could presume could be to use the darkness to mask the fact that many of those who came out to "protest" are children of MOVE members who don’t exactly have a choice in the matter.

The image of totalitarian societies busing in citizens for their state-sponsored "activities" comes to mind.

It is not a question to me that forcing young children to participate in such activities is barely a step above child abuse.

I can recall with stark, sickened, vividness, of my time with MOVE when Sue Africa would call me to bring my than infant daughter out for this MOVE protest or that Mumia action. She was emphatic that it was crucial that our little "white" baby would stand out and help to garner the sect the media attention that it so craved prior to the murder of John Gilbride.

In a sense, Sue Africa, one of MOVE's white leaders, was correct. When the media did come out to events and my daughter was there, her picture was almost always taken and it is a fact that my little girl’s face has been in newspapers many more times than has mine.

Thankfully, she remembers nothing of MOVE and instead concerns herself with the important things in life like dinosaurs, her friends, and her cat. Her life is a million miles from what it might have been had we stayed with MOVE. A life of compulsory, near slavish devotion to the whims of the sect’s leaders, a life of enforced ignorance, of intellectual deprivation, and being that she is a girl, the strong likelihood that she would have been expected to become a mother once she entered adolescence.

That is what I see when I see these MOVE protests. All of the "Free so-and-so" signs are just petty props in a psycho-drama that is not really aimed at anyone in particular except for those close to MOVE. As with any cult, it is imperative that the devotees be kept busy lest they have time to think and possibly doubt the validity of the world they have built around them.

As for the children in MOVE, I hope nobody suffers under the idea that they know the slightest about Leonard Peltier, The "Cuban 5", or even Mumia, outside of the fact that they have been told what to think about such things.

For an entity like MOVE, teaching the children how to think instead of what to think, would be more devastating that any "bomb" or "police conspiracy" that could ever be imagined.

3 Comments:

At 9:08 AM , Blogger Trench said...

Do not taunt Happy Fun Mumia.

 
At 11:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Day With Mumiaq


September 14, 2007 is a day I will remember always. It was the day that I had long hoped for, the day when I would be face-to-face with this great man of indomitable spirit, razor wit, and uncompromising insight and critique on our world and society.

After a 7 hour drive with Pam Africa, Kevin and Maiga (ICFFMAJ), and a sister named Quita who had come to see another inmate, we arrived at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, PA. Of course I expected the brick walls, the barbed wire and the omnipresent guards. I was surprised though by how absolutely clean the inside was. Kevin said that the place is repainted almost monthly (by inmates, of course), and there is not a spot there that isn't clean.

After leaving all of our belongings and going through two scanners, we were told to wait in the room reserved for visitors. A woman came and checked Pam and my locks and we waited some more.

Finally, we were allowed in and went down what seemed an endless corridor. There are locked doors at intervals, and we needed to wait to be buzzed in. All is very quiet there, and the only other people we saw were guards.

To say that I was nervous is a gross understatement; I still could hardly believe that I was here!
Pam said, "There he is!", and sure enough there was Mumia Abu-Jamal, looking just as you see him in the pictures, which though they are years ago, still reflect the same man. Mumia was there, locks down to his ankles, the requisite orange jumpsuit, and shackles on his hands. Even though he spoke with us through the glass and there is absolutely no physical contact, they still put shackles on him. He is in good health and spirits and during the visit, many times he flashed that smile, and when someone said something funny, (often it was Mumia himself), the room echoed with his booming laughter.

We were allowed to stay with him for six hours and in that time Mumia talked about so many things; the war in Iraq of course, and the recent commercials that show people who supposedly lost someone in the war and saying that America shouldn't pull out now because to do that would mean that the thousands who have died, have done so in vain. Mumia said that is the same as saying that 10,000 people have died, so we have to send 20,000 more to die to justify that. Then 30,000 more to justify that.

He talked about the Kahlil Gibran school, (many of you have read his touching article on that subject, entitled 'Fear and Hatred in the Apple', 9/8/07) He said that as many of us had, he had read 'The Prophet' back in the day, but that he also enjoyed Gibran's friends work, 'The Forerunner', some of which is also quoted in that column.

Mumia is up to date on all of the events that are recent, as evinced by his columns, and I asked him if his living quarters are filled with books? He said no, he is only allowed a few books at a time and so he writes down all of his references and quotes for his articles. He said that he has numerous piles of papers with these writings and that is what he refers to. Have you noticed how in his columns he is able to quote word for word and then give the date of publication, the page numbers, etc.? He did the same when he was speaking with us, but he had no paper to refer to, everything was stored in his mind.

Mumia was surprised and happy to find out from Kevin that his commentaries are downloadable on the Ipod. You can set it so that as soon as a commentary is available on Prison Radio (www.prisonradio.org),
it will automatically download onto the Ipod!

What was really surprising (to me), was his sense of humor. He can do dead on impressions of everyone from Dubya to Cuban expatriates, and believe me, they are hilarious! It was he who entertained us, rather than the other way around.

It seemed that the guards were announcing that our six hours were almost up far too soon, but sadly, it was time to leave. Mumia gave the raised fist and what is apparently a custom with visitors; on both sides of the glass, we knock hands with him. He knows of course that so many are fighting for his freedom, and he sends love and thanks to all.

The day was so uplifting for me, which may seem strange from seeing someone on Death Row, but it truly was. Mumia is our symbol for all political prisoners; his fight is all of their fight. We must continue the struggle, we cannot lose this shining light!

The day was good for us, I only hope that it was for him also.

Fatirah

 
At 11:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Day With Mumia


September 14, 2007 is a day I will remember always. It was the day that I had long hoped for, the day when I would be face-to-face with this great man of indomitable spirit, razor wit, and uncompromising insight and critique on our world and society.

After a 7 hour drive with Pam Africa, Kevin and Maiga (ICFFMAJ), and a sister named Quita who had come to see another inmate, we arrived at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, PA. Of course I expected the brick walls, the barbed wire and the omnipresent guards. I was surprised though by how absolutely clean the inside was. Kevin said that the place is repainted almost monthly (by inmates, of course), and there is not a spot there that isn't clean.

After leaving all of our belongings and going through two scanners, we were told to wait in the room reserved for visitors. A woman came and checked Pam and my locks and we waited some more.

Finally, we were allowed in and went down what seemed an endless corridor. There are locked doors at intervals, and we needed to wait to be buzzed in. All is very quiet there, and the only other people we saw were guards.

To say that I was nervous is a gross understatement; I still could hardly believe that I was here!
Pam said, "There he is!", and sure enough there was Mumia Abu-Jamal, looking just as you see him in the pictures, which though they are years ago, still reflect the same man. Mumia was there, locks down to his ankles, the requisite orange jumpsuit, and shackles on his hands. Even though he spoke with us through the glass and there is absolutely no physical contact, they still put shackles on him. He is in good health and spirits and during the visit, many times he flashed that smile, and when someone said something funny, (often it was Mumia himself), the room echoed with his booming laughter.

We were allowed to stay with him for six hours and in that time Mumia talked about so many things; the war in Iraq of course, and the recent commercials that show people who supposedly lost someone in the war and saying that America shouldn't pull out now because to do that would mean that the thousands who have died, have done so in vain. Mumia said that is the same as saying that 10,000 people have died, so we have to send 20,000 more to die to justify that. Then 30,000 more to justify that.

He talked about the Kahlil Gibran school, (many of you have read his touching article on that subject, entitled 'Fear and Hatred in the Apple', 9/8/07) He said that as many of us had, he had read 'The Prophet' back in the day, but that he also enjoyed Gibran's friends work, 'The Forerunner', some of which is also quoted in that column.

Mumia is up to date on all of the events that are recent, as evinced by his columns, and I asked him if his living quarters are filled with books? He said no, he is only allowed a few books at a time and so he writes down all of his references and quotes for his articles. He said that he has numerous piles of papers with these writings and that is what he refers to. Have you noticed how in his columns he is able to quote word for word and then give the date of publication, the page numbers, etc.? He did the same when he was speaking with us, but he had no paper to refer to, everything was stored in his mind.

Mumia was surprised and happy to find out from Kevin that his commentaries are downloadable on the Ipod. You can set it so that as soon as a commentary is available on Prison Radio (www.prisonradio.org),
it will automatically download onto the Ipod!

What was really surprising (to me), was his sense of humor. He can do dead on impressions of everyone from Dubya to Cuban expatriates, and believe me, they are hilarious! It was he who entertained us, rather than the other way around.

It seemed that the guards were announcing that our six hours were almost up far too soon, but sadly, it was time to leave. Mumia gave the raised fist and what is apparently a custom with visitors; on both sides of the glass, we knock hands with him. He knows of course that so many are fighting for his freedom, and he sends love and thanks to all.

The day was so uplifting for me, which may seem strange from seeing someone on Death Row, but it truly was. Mumia is our symbol for all political prisoners; his fight is all of their fight. We must continue the struggle, we cannot lose this shining light!

The day was good for us, I only hope that it was for him also.

Fatirah

 

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