Birthday 5-8 [speech writ. 4/24/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Dear Brothas and sistas , Mis Hermanos y Hermanos, Mes Cheres Amies : Ona Move!
For many years, I actually forgot my birthday, and only would be reminded if my mother, my wife , children or other family sent a card. That's because, on Death Row, every day is Iike every other day; and a day alive is the only way you know you're not dead.
It took years--and long, hard work--to really build my birthday into what it is today--part of a movement, thanks to you and the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
I thank you all for coming out today--no matter whether there’s 10 people there, 100, 200--or' many, many folks. I thank you all!
We gather here today 'cuz "We Want Justicel" And in the words of the old Black Panther Party, "We want Freedom!"
We want abolition of the death penalty; an abolition of solitary confinement!
We want Decarceration-and the destruction of the Mass Incarceration Complex! America is the world's prison--and, If you think about it, it holds an unknown—uncounted!- number of people in prisons around the world. Black sites where human beings face silence, torture and death.
The same America that knows that its courts are unjust, yet does nothing to change it. Here, where the judge said, "I'm gonna help them fry the nigger"--said in the presence of a sworn court reporter - a court employee. mind you!--something no court in America has ever condemned. Note, too, that this was the same judge who said (this time in open court )', "Justice is just an emotional feeling".
" "Justice is just an emotional feellng!"--Judge Sabo, PCRA hearing. 1995. And as for jury selection, the courts have used every trick in the book ~to get around its own ruling to not challenge the removal of Black, qualified jurors from the jury. The cases say one thing, but courts say and do another. Or, as in my case. they make up new rules--to avoid granting a new trial! And I'm not alone in this. They did the same thing in CommonweaIth v. [Robert J Cook], and the Pa. Supreme Court did the same in Com. v. Willie Sneed. Under the 1986 Batson [v. Kentucky] case, they should've had a new trial years ago--yet they remain languishing on Death Row.
Remember the men and women on Death Row.
Continue to fight to abolish the death penalty!
You should know that, as we speak, a bill is being considered in California to abolish the death penalty. With 6874 men and women on Death Row in the Golden State, California has the biggest Death Row in America. If they pass the repeal legislation it will be a powerful symbol of the abolition movement!
So, not only do I thank you--I urge you to go on to transform Incarceration Nation! I urge you to work to transform the Prison Industrial Complex!-I' I 'm proud to be a part of that Movement!
Ona Move! Long Live John Africa! Free the MOVE 9 Prisoners!
© ’12 maj
Note: Speech delivered by Mumia Abu-Jamal to Wash., D.C. protest at Justice Dept •• 4/24/12]
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