Monday, April 04, 2005

Stalinists for MOVE

“The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowleged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States...”
-George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

There are fewer and fewer groups who still actively support MOVE and their chief supporter and apologist, Mumia Abu-Jamal. One group that has remained steadfast in it’s support of Jamal and MOVE is a group that calls itself the International Action Center.

If you have heard anything about the International Action Center (IAC) than what you have likely heard is what the group and it’s various offshoots (such as the International A.N.S.W.E.R) are opposed to.

According to the group’s website the IAC is dedicated to:

"Information, Activism, and Resistance to U.S.
Militarism, War, and Corporate Greed,
Linking with Struggles Against Racism and Oppression
within the United States"

The IAC has made enormous contributions to the movement to “free Mumia” and has been a conduit for MOVE’s inane propaganda throughout the years. The IAC and it’s various front groups are well funded and relatively organized. But what lies behind the facade of leftist populism that the IAC uses to recruit followers and raise funds?

Looking at the reality of the IAC, it is not hard to see why they so readily support a murderer and a cult that enslaves it’s children and threatens it’s critics.

A website that examined the IAC concludes that:

“The International Action Center is a prominent Left organization located in New York City which is known for organizing large Left protests. What most people don't know is that an authoritarian left organization stands behind the IAC, an organization known as the Workers World Party. Both organizations have been criticized by Left activists for supporting unsavory leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. They support these unsavory rulers because they subscribe to a shallow version of anti-imperialism. Quite simply, they will support any regime, no matter how vile they really are, if that regime is opposed to U.S. imperialism and aggression.”

Perhaps the best known IAC figure is former U.S. Attorney General under the Johnson administration, Ramsey Clark. Clark, who recently offered his legal services to his friend Saddam Hussein, is an apologist for, and defender of, some of the most vile human beings that one could imagine. He also has no problem defending cultists in their efforts to dupe and extort money from their followers and supporters. Again, from the same website:

“Things started to smell really fishy in 1989, when Clark represented ultra-right cult-master Lyndon LaRouche and six cohorts on conspiracy and mail fraud charges. The LaRouchies had been bilking their naive followers of their savings by getting them to cough up their credit card numbers. Clark (who had been silent when the real COINTELPRO was conducted under his watch at the Justice Department) now charged that the LaRouche case was an "outgrowth" of COINTELPRO. He said the case was manufactured by LaRouche's "powerful enemies within the establishment" who targeted the cult because of its crusade "to combat the traffic in so-called 'recreational drugs'...and the practice of usury."

Ramsey Clark however, did not limit his activism to merely protecting quirky and relatively harmless political cults. He moved onto to terrorists and war criminals. A look at Ramsey’s career is like looking at a snap-shot of pure evil. Consider:

“Clark also represented PLO leaders in a suit brought by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly vacationer who was shot and thrown overboard from the hijacked Achille Lauro cruise-ship by renegade Palestinian terrorists in 1986...Another Clark client was Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia (where he had overseen the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews), who was being deported from the US to the USSR to face war crimes charges. Clark again lost the case, but again went to bat for his client in the public arena, questioning the need to prosecute Nazis "forty years after some god-awful crime they're alleged to have committed."...In 1992, Radovan Karadzic, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, was served with federal subpoenas when he touched down in New York for UN meetings. The National Organization for Women and the Center for Constitutional Rights, acting on behalf of Bosnian refugee women, were charging him with ordering mass rape and war crimes. Clark, of course, immediately came forward to represent Karadzic. Clark also made junkets to Serb-occupied Bosnia to schmooze with Karadzic (as did various Russian neo-fascists, like Vladimir Zhirinovsky)...Clark..., represented Elizaphan Ntakirutimana,, a Rwandan Hutu fighting extradition from the US to face charges of genocide collaboration before the UN tribunal. The WWP line simultaneously (and predictably) tilted to the genocidal Hutu militias as the UN wrote up war crime charges against their leaders for ordering the slaughter of half a million Tutsi civilians in 1994. (Clark lost the case, and in March 2000, Ntakirutimana was deported to Tanzania, where the UN tribunal on Rwanda was held).”

Upon reading through the above information one might be tempted to conclude that it is all just “right wing” propaganda designed to demonize the one of the largest anti-war groups and it’s most visible and articulate spokesperson. This conclusion, however would be wrong. All of the information cited about the IAC and Ramsey Clark came from an anarchist website.

I guess not everyone on the left is duped by the Stalinists at the Workers World Party and the numerous front groups that they use to hide their nefarious agenda. And I must say that it is refreshing to see true anti-authoritarian leftists speaking out against the IAC “hacktivists” who have attempted to hijack progressive movements with their thuggish and dishonest tactics.

For groups like the IAC it doesn’t matter that Saddam Hussein murdered thousands of his own people just as it doesn’t matter to them that MOVE enslaves their own children and forces their twelve year old daughters to be sexually violated.

This is a group that cares nothing about freedom or justice or even peace. Their aim is for the destruction of democratic values and the installation of hardline communist regimes. And they will take up the banner of anyone who claims to be anti-American, no matter the crimes they commit or how disconnected from reality they are.

And people wonder why the left in this country has a hard time getting people to listen to their message...


At 1:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony tony tony (remember that group?)

you will fade away just like them. that same website you use to slam the IAC and MOVE/MUMIA actually support freedom for Mumia and the MOVE 9.

At 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why, in heavens name , would ANYONE or any organization support freedom for PROVEN AFFIRMED convicted murderers such as Mumia or the MOVE 9. "political prisoner" B.S.

At 10:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following background on his case is excerpted from a 1995 article by Terry Bisson in New York Newsday:

In 1978, Philadelphia Mayor (and ex-police chief) Frank Rizzo blew up at a press conference, threatening what he called "the new breed" of journalists. "They [the people] believe what you write and what you say," said Rizzo, "and it's got to stop. One day--and I hope it's in my career--you're going to have to be held responsible and accountable for what you do."

What the "new breed" was doing in 1978, and is still doing today, was exposing police misconduct. A cop had been killed in a confrontation between Philadelphia police and the radical MOVE organization (the same MOVE that was fire-bombed by the city seven years later), and the police version of who shot first hadn't been accepted without question. Rizzo feared a new trend, and he was right.

Mumia Abu-Jamal began his journalism career with the Black Panther Party. Mumia (then Wesley Cook) was Minister of Information for the Philadelphia chapter at age 15, writing for the national newspaper. After the Panthers fell apart, Mumia turned to broadcasting. He had the voice, the writing talent and the ambition, and by age 25, he was one of the top names in local radio, interviewing such luminaries as Jesse Jackson and the Pointer Sisters and winning a Peabody Award for his coverage of the Pope's visit. He was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, called "one to watch" by Philadelphia magazine.

But Mumia was still a radical. His vocal support of MOVE's uncompromising life-style lost him jobs at Black stations, and he was forced to moonlight to support his family. The mayor's outburst marked the beginning of a campaign of police harassment that included such subtleties as a cocked finger and a 'bang bang' from a smirking cop, and escalated to a late-night police beating of Mumia's brother on the street.

Mumia was driving a cab that night. It is undisputed that he intervened. It is undisputed that both he and officer Daniel Faulkner were shot, and that Faulkner died. What is in dispute is who killed Faulkner. Mumia says it was someone else, and several witnesses saw another shooter flee the scene. Mumia's legally registered .38 was never decisively linked to Faulkner's wounds.

Mumia's murder trial was a policeman's dream. Denied the right to represent himself, he was defended by a reluctant incompetent who was later disbarred (and who has since filed an affadavit in Mumia's support detailing his delinquencies). Mumia was prosecuted by a DA who was later reprimanded for withholding evidence in another trial. He was allowed only $150 to interview witnesses.

But best of all was the judge. A life member of the Fraternal Order of Police, branded as a "defendant's nightmare" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Judge Albert F. Sabo has sentenced more men to die (31 to date, only two of them white) than any other sitting judge in America. A fellow judge once called his courtroom a "vacation for prosecutors" because of bias toward convictions.

Sabo wouldn't allow Mumia to defend himself because his dreadlocks made jurors "nervous." Kept in a holding cell, he read about his own trial in the newspapers. A Black juror was removed for violating sequestration, while a white juror was given an court escort to take a civil service exam; in the end all the Black jurors but one were removed. A policeman who filed two conflicting reports was never subpoenaed (he was "on vacation"). Mumia's Black Panther history was waved like a bloody flag: Had he said, "All power to the people?" Yes, he admitted, he had said that. Character witnesses like poet Sonia Sanchez were cross-examined about their "anti-police" writings and associations.

Thus with Judge Sabo's help, an award-winning radical journalist with no criminal record was portrayed as a police assassin lying in wait since age 15. After Mumia's conviction, Sabo instructed the jury: "You are not being asked to kill anybody" by imposing the death penalty, since the defendant will get "appeal after appeal after appeal." Such instruction, grounds for reversal since Caldwell vs. Mississippi, was allowed in Mumia's case.

Mumia's appeals have so far gone unanswered. After being on Death Row for thirteen years, he is now the target of a police-led smear campaign. Last year NPR's "All Things Considered" canceled a scheduled series of his commentaries after the Fraternal Order of Police objected. Mumia's book, LIVE FROM DEATH ROW, has been greeted with a boycott and a skywriter circling the publisher's Boston offices: "Addison-Wesley Supports Cop Killers" Officer Faulkner's widow has gone on TV claiming that Mumia smiled at her when her husband's bloody shirt was shown--even though the record shows that Mumia wasn't in the courtroom that day.

Mumia and his supporters want only one thing--a new trial, with an unbiased judge and a competent lawyer. Unless Mumia Abu Jamal's final petition is answered, and he gets the fair trial he deserves, America will see its the first explicitly political execution since the Rosenbergs were put to death in 1953. Frank Rizzo's angry threat will be fulfilled, for one "new breed" journalist at least. It will stop. We won't hear any more criticism of the police from Mumia Abu-Jamal. Forever.

At 9:01 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

What's funny to me is that Bisson is a "science fiction" writer.

The above excerpt proves that he is quite good at his craft.

Something else that I find amusing about Bisson's piece is that it mentions the now infamous "press conference" where Mumia is supposedly singled out for his advocacy journalism.

Actually, Rizzo's beef was with the Philadelphia Inquirer which had one a Pulitzer Prize for it's coverage of Police Brutality and Corruption. Mumia was hardly a blip on the journalistic radar screen


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