Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some musings on the subject of political prisoners and Mumia

March 10, 2011 By Lynne Stewart

In the USA we hope we are experiencing that
groundswell of a time when events and history
come together; that the protest against what is
happening to civil service workers will result in
such a wave of people power that change will
start breaking out for all of us. (It should be
noted that this outpouring of people's outrage is
not INSTITUTIONALIZED -- not led by the unions or
the established Left but mainly by outraged
individuals and students, who are not coming out
for a rally on the weekend and then resuming life
as usual -- the plasma tv, the remote control,
beer, sports and the SUV. No, People seem to be
ready to make it happen this time. The Common Good.

We need it and mostly we need it for our
Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. This
group of morally incorruptible and creative and
clear political thinkers, dating from the
righteous struggles of the '60's; some of whom
have been in the depths of dungeons for more than
a lifetime, and others, who are relative
newcomers (like me, Bradley Manning, of
Wikileaks; and Tim DeChristopher, the man who bid
on the Utah oil leases and disrupted Bush's last
environmental gifting to the financially elite.)

Of course, officially there are "no political
prisoners in the US"; just like officially, the
government is now trying to say, they always
supported the anti-Mubarak forces and democracy
for Egypt. History says differently, and we must
be ready to seize the moment to pressure for
release of the unjustly imprisoned 100+ men and
women, known to be incarcerated for their
espoused political motivations. (This number
sadly does not include the Muslims, but that's
a struggle for another day.)

We do not deserve to be called a movement if we
do not rescue our own. Their absolute and abiding
faith in us to do so remains the litmus test of
our dedication and belief in solidarity. It is
stronger than any religious belief I know of.

We must recognize that COINTELPRO has now morphed
into the outrageous entrapment tactics of FBI
informants targeting mosques and youth of color.
It is hard to believe that juries are swallowing
the swill served up to them by the Government --
but the history of America says differently. How
many Black men were lynched and more lately
convicted of rape because it was an easy kill --
racism + sex = GUILTY? Then it was communism and
anarchism -- Sacco and Vanzetti -- the
deportation of Emma Goldman followed by McCarthy
and the witch hunts of the 50's. Then the 60's
and the attacks on the Black Panthers and Black
Liberation Army and any movement that sought real change.

Fast Forward to Now and we have countless
"terrorist" plots by men and women who can't
even do the math or who have been lured by dollar
or glory promises, and grand jury subpoenas for
Green terrorism and supporters of righteous movements abroad.

Many of our U.S. political prisoners are well
known internationally. Mumia Abu Jamal epitomizes
the best among us politically and as a racial
champion. His brilliant insights collected weekly
by Noelle Hanrahan for broadcast and his courage
as he toughs it out on Death Row must bring a
deep commitment from all of us not to allow them
to subject him to his state-contrived death. He
is the best of the best. Likewise Leonard
Peltier, a warrior who enlisted in a war that has
been waged for 400 years against the U.S. planned
genocide of native people. Both men are innocent
of the crimes for which they continue to rot in
prison. And the State knows it. At this time
there is little hope for relief for either man
through legal channels. No! Their freedom
depends on whether, we, the People can be
organized, rise up and demand it. May it
happen. We challenge a wily opponent, one who in
the sixties was able to buy our movement and con
people with notions that poverty pimping was
organizing for change. We know better. There is
a new generation. The freedom of our own must be
realized and it must be soon. We cannot be deterred.

We ask and resolve that the international
community join us. This struggle is a dire one
because of the age of our captured heroes. We
must Free Mumia! Leonard shall be returned to the
Lakota and all native peoples! Free All Political
Prisoners! Free 'em all.

Lynne Stewart
Carswell Federal Prison
Fort Worth TEXAS


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