Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jalil Muntaqim's New Book now available

Jalil's new book, the second edition of We Are Our Own Liberators, is now available from Arissa Media Group.

Review of We are our own liberators by political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim.

by Kit Aastrup

I have been waiting more than 3 month for this book, as it's
publishing was delayed. Now it is finally lying on my table with its
shiny cover in brown and purple with a photo of Jalil taken months
before he was incarcerated at the age of 19. Consisting of more than
36 years of prison writings by Jalil Muntaqim, this second edition
contains numerous updates, poetry and additional essays added by Muntaqim.

This is not a book you read from page one till the end. I started
with the Last Word by George Jackson: "Settle your quarrels, come
together, understand the reality of the situation, understand that
fascism is already here. That people are dying that could be saved,
that generations more will die or live poor butchered half-lives if
you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and
your life in revolution. Pass on the torch, join us, give up your
life for the people."

This collection represents some of the significant contributions
Jalil has made to the Black Liberation and New Afrikan Independence
Movements, and it is not bedtime reading. His poems are strong and
multi-layered and his analytical insight is sharp as a razor. One of
my favorite essays is The Criminalization of Poverty in Capitalist
America. Although it was written years ago, it is still as relevant
today as it was then.

Another one is added after 9/11, America reaps what it sows?
In the 60s, U.S. progressives evolved the slogan 'Bring the war home!'
"The question is, what will be the slogan this time, now that the war
has been brought home? Free the land!!"
I really like the poems, What color is your blues?, Scream Black,
Outpost, Chairman Fred and Captain Mark, The Bush Family and more.

The following poem is written after the assassination of Puerto Rican
independentista leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios by FBI snipers on September 23,

Filiberto's Song

My machete is adorned, draped in red
and green, sharpened with the blood
of a patriot whose life beckons.

Viejo, I hear you from a distant land,
your words of liberation, freedom and
independence cut the wind of tyranny,
the howling ravishing wolves of the
U.S. neo-colonialism and exploitation.

The ancestors speak through you on this
137th anniversary of El Grito de Lares,
telling our youth NOW is the time to
restore and rebuild our nation.

Their echoes reverberate into chords of
African drums and coquitos "Libertad, Libertad,
Libertad, Libertad, Libertad"

We will not forgive or forget!
We will heed the call!
We will champion the Patriots!
We will free our nation.

For our machetes are adorned, draped in red
and green, sharpened with the blood of a
patriot whose life beckons.

Jalil Muntaqim calls on the Black progressive forces in A challenge
to the Black Bourgeoisie to take the lead in building national
campaigns and mobilizations within a popular civil and human rights movement.
"The struggle for the preservation and restoration of democratic and
civil rights must evolve towards a struggle for human rights, which
in turn will take the class struggle for national unity toward the
final and complete destruction of corporate-capitalist class
exploitation and racist imperialist neo-colonial oppression."

This new edition of the book is published by Arissa Media Group, Portland.

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