Dawud Akbar: Peoples Psychologist Passes in Pittsburgh

Just for the record, I knew Brother Dawud as well. It is amazing that a man behind bars under the most oppressive conditions, on death row, remains in such close touch with what is going on outside those walls of concrete and steel bars. FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL! LONG LIVE MUMIA!!

[col. writ. 4/29/09] (c) ’09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

For the Black community of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, this is a time of quiet mourning.

For it marks the unexpected passing of Dawud Akbar, a man who made his home there. Since leaving school in the early 1970’s, Akbar built a life of service and caring in Pittsburgh, not just as a psychologist, but as a community organizer, teacher and mentor for many.

Born January 6, 1949 in Harlem, New York, he witnessed the murder of his mother at the tender age of 8 years. When he went to college at Morehouse, in Atlanta, GA, he met and was deeply inspired by the renowned Black psychologist, Dr. Na’im Akbar, who so inspired him that he took the name Akbar, and converted to Islam.

He earned a Masters degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973, and with his wife, Sama’iyah, built a life and family in his adopted city. He founded the Nzingha Institute, and helped to bring the Maafa ritual to hundreds of Pittsburgers annually. The local practice was a ceremony where the history of African captivity, transport and freedom struggles in the Americas was remembered and ritualized.

Given the trauma of his childhood, he worked with young people to try to give them a sense of their place in the larger community. He wrote several books on social and familial health and harmony. He worked long and hard to serve the many needs of his community, and even three heart attacks didn’t stop him. Recently, he suffered a debilitating cerebral hematoma. Dawud Akbar was 60 years old.

–(c) ’09 maj

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The Power of Truth is Final

— Free Mumia!

Audio of most of Mumia’s essays are at: http://www.prisonradio.org http://mumiapodcast.libsyn.com/

Mumia’s got a podcast!

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Radio Essays

– Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia’s radio commentaries online.

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s new book — JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis — has been released! It is available from City Lights Books

If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or stacey@citylights.com Let’s use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD’s; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION! Please make a contribution to help free Mumia.

Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC). WWW.FREEMUMIA.COM

Please mail donations/ checks to: FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL COALITION PO BOX 16, NEW YORK, NY 10030 (CHECKS FOR BOTH ORGANIZATIONS PAYABLE TO: FMAJC/IFCO) FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 215 476-8812 212-330-8029

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at: Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335 SCI-Greene 175 Progress Drive Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

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Neo-Colonialism in the Racist US Police State

In this period of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, our colonial experience as Africans reminds us that we have previously traveled this road. To qualify this as a colonial experience clarifies the fact that African history does not begin with slavery or any relationship with Europeans. Therefore, any statements or feelings that the presidency of Barack Obama is in any way history-making or even “the end of racism” grossly misrepresents reality. It smears our role as a people in the vast interwoven social fabric that produces history thru COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTION.

So some racist ideologues continue to say that “your own people sold you into slavery”, and if it weren’t for slavery we could not enjoy freedom, etc. These views, all too often backed up by negro preachers and politicians at some level or another, derive directly from colonialist self-justification rather than any message that will liberate our people from the bondage of colonialism and Imperialism.

True, the seeds of ne(gr)o-colonialism took root when the first slatees received handfuls of beads in exchange for capturing their fellow Africans and selling them to white slavers. Hence, the guilt of neo-colonialism – beyond being an emotional game but embedded in a criminal activity – requires that the crooks engaged in this enterprise maintain their grip on the minds of a people sold out and eviscerated. In hand with slavery, neo-colonialism justifies Imperialism and obstructs our community from elevating critical issues like reparations, prisons, the war-of-drugs, health-care, and so forth.

It must be said that Obama is a neo-colonialist who speaks very differently from any prior US president. Obama seems to support the unions; he points out how Cuba’s relates to Latin America by sending physicians, while the US has historically sent weapons. If Obama wants to place a human face upon Imperialism, that will fail in the long run. He cannot dismiss any of the deep-seated hostility of a racist system, which presses down upon our community.

Thru out our colonial experience, those wielding power whose faces remain indistinguishable from ours have typically remained unable or unwilling to diminish the State monopoly on violence. Obama has yet to discuss critical issues relating to the State’s conduct in its operations, policies, and undue weight of forces on the black community. The apparent diluting effect of Obama-ite neo-colonialism, on the concentrated class question better known as racism, so far has failed to dilute anti-black police State repression.

For this reason, Africans must recognize the realities of Imperialism. The State continues to display naked aggression against the black community. Arizona’s Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio recently expressed his admiration of the Ku Klux Klan in a broadcast interview. This same official imposes the worst work camp conditions on detainees, and recently fired NBA law and order slatee Shaquille O’Neal.

Former US congressman turned Oakland mayor, Ron Dellums attempted to intervene in a demonstration protesting the recent police murder of Oscar Grant. Officers involved in the execution of Grant, a New Year’s Day reveler, in full view of scores of people on a BART platform, had remained at large. The State dragged its feet, despite more than ample footage captured by camera phone users, plus eyewitness accounts. For some reason, Dellums obviously believed that protests were uncalled for and people should never take to the street. Well, the demo turned int a rebellion when the mayor disappeared and the pigs moved in to arrest San Francisco Bay View activist/reporter JR Valrey.

Following that day’s uprising, the State finally arrested the trigger man, tho his two accomplices – who accessorized the crime by confiscating camera phones – have not been charged. Meanwhile, Valrey continues to fight charges for participating in a demonstration.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, another journalist, has spent 26 years on Pennsylvania’s death row for a wrongful murder conviction. He steadfastly continues to write about the plight of poor and disorganized working people. The State refuses to not only recognize his innocence, it refuses to review exculpatory testimony from witnesses, and ignores established legal precedents where Mumia’s rights have been violated.

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

One of two orgiastic statues on the Pennsylvania State Assembly

Indeed, across Pennsylvania more political prisoners waste away in prison than in any other state. Maroon Shoatz has been on 23-hour lockdown since 1991. The MOVE Eight cannot receive a fair and lenient parole hearing for a crime that they did not commit.

A group of human rights activists traveled to Harrisburg on April 22 to discuss with state lawmakers the conditions that prisoners face inside the state prison system. These people complained of sons, friends and contacts who were on 23 hour lockdown, had urine and other contaminants in their food, denied medical attention, and subjected to other horrendous problems. Some of the lawmakers or their aides seemed concerned, while a few appeared nonplussed. In any event, the struggle for prisoner rights will not stop there, let alone the struggle for those wrongly convicted to serve as fodder for the Imperialist system.

These are the conditions which real freedom fighters face, and our community must not wait for anybody else to speak for these oppressed sisters and brothers. Four percent of the world population, the US accounts for 25% of all prisoners worldwide. Of that number, fully two-thirds are colonized workers, being Latino and African. Together, these two groups make up one-fourth of the US population. FBI crime states have consistently stated that crimes are committed fairly evenly across populations, meaning that white commit the same crimes at the same rate as anybody else, which means that white prisoners should out-number blacks or Latinos by eight-to-one. But they do not because law enforcement and the prison system are based upon colonialism and racism.

While any number of somebodies still need to justify the State by pleading for balance when conditions demand mass uprisings, that blind lady with the sword and scales comes from mythology. Our mistress for justice is Mama Assata Shakur, living in exile in revolutionary Cuba with a $1 million bounty on her head by this same injustice system.

Cuba, the embargoed country which sends doctors to Latin America while America sends guns. Cuba, a land where people took up arms and joined the fight against apartheid South Africa ten thousand miles away, while America deepens African oppression. Negroes want to become doctors and politicians not to help their own people but to help capitalism. Yet African people need revolutionary physicians, revolutionary politicians and journalists, and revolutionary thinkers and doers who will help liberate our people. We must not believe in neo-colonialism no matter how well it works; we must pick up on revolution.

Happy Birthday Greetings to MAJ from Subcommandante Marcos

via:  Greg Ruggiero

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Hi All–

I thought you would like this birthday letter written to Mumia ten years ago by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos spokesperson for the clandestine Mexican insurgent group, the Zapatistas. The original letter was written in Spanish. Both the English and Spanish versions were first published here in the books “Our Word is Our Weapon, Selected Writings of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos” and “Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra.”

La lucha sigue!

va un abrazo desde Brooklyn,

Greg


Greg Ruggiero | Editor | City Lights Books | www.citylights.com

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Letter To Mumia Abu-Jamal

April 24, 1999

For: Mumia Abu-Jamal, American Union

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Mexico


Mr. Mumia:

I am writing to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in order to congratulate you on April 24, your birthday.

Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1, 1994 demanding a voice, a face and a name for the forgotten of the earth.

Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us, pursues and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance and our absolute silence. The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all Mexicans. The government sees our lands as a business. We see our history written in these lands. In order to defend our right (and that of all Mexicans) to live with liberty, democracy, justice and dignity we became an army and took on a name, a voice and face.

Perhaps you wonder how we know of you, about your birthday, and why it is that we extend this long bridge which goes from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast to the prison of Pennsylvania where you are incarcerated unjustly. Many good people from many parts of the world have spoken of you, through them we have learned how you were ambushed by the North American police in December of 1981, of the lies which they constructed in the procedures against you, and of your death sentence in 1982. We learned about your birthday through the international mobilizations which, under the name of “Millions for Mumia,” are being prepared this April 24.

It is harder to explain this bridge which this letter extends, it is more complicated. I could tell you that, for the powerful of Mexico and the government, to be indigenous, or to look indigenous, is reason for disdain, abhorrence, distrust and hatred. The racism which now floods the palaces of power in Mexico goes to the extreme of carrying out a war of extermination and genocide against millions of indigenous. I am sure that you will find similarities with what power in the United States does with the so-called “people of color” (African-American, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Asians, North American Indians and any other peoples who do not have the insipid color of money).

We are also “people of color” (the same color as our brothers who have Mexican blood and live and struggle in the American Union). Our color is “brown,” the color of the earth, the color from which we take our history, our strength, our wisdom and our hope. But in order to struggle we add the color black to our brown. We use black ski-masks to show our faces, only then can we be seen and heard. Following the advice of an indigenous Mayan elder, who explained to us the meaning of the color black, we chose this color.

Old Don Antonio, this wise elder, died in these rebel Zapatista lands in March of 1994, a victim of tuberculosis which gnawed away at his lungs and his breath. Old Don Antonio used to tell us that from black came light and from there came the stars which light up the sky around the world. He recounted a story of a long time ago (in the times when time was not measured), when the first gods were given the task of giving birth to the world. In one of their meetings they understood that the world needed to have life and movement, and to have life and movement, light was necessary. Then they thought of making the sun in order that the days move and so that there would be day and night and time for struggling and time for making love, and the world would go walking with the days and nights. The gods had their meeting and made this agreement in front of a large fire, and they knew it was necessary that one of them be sacrificed by throwing himself into the fire and himself become fire and fly into the sky. The gods thought that the sun’s work was the most important, so they chose the most beautiful god so that he would fly into the fire and become the sun. But he was afraid. Then the smallest god, the one who was black, said he was not afraid and he threw himself into the fire and became the sun. Then the world had light and movement, and there was time for struggle and time for love, and while it was day the bodies worked to make the world and while it was night the bodies made love and sparkles filled the darkness.

This is what Old Don Antonio told us and that is why we use black ski masks. So we are of the color brown and of the color black. But we are also the color yellow, because the first people who walked these lands were made of corn so they would be true. And we are also red because this is the call of blood which has dignity, and we are also blue because we are the sky in which we fly, and green for the mountain which is our house and our strength. And we are white because we are paper so that tomorrow can write its story.

So we are 7 colors because there were 7 first gods who birthed the world.

This is what Old Don Antonio said long ago and now I tell you this story so that you may understand the reason for this bridge of paper and ink which I send to you all the way from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

And also so that you may understand that with this bridge go greetings and embraces for Leonard Peltier (who is in the prison at Leavenworth, Kansas), and for the more than 100 political prisoners in the USA who are the victims of injustice, stupidity and authoritarianism.

And with this letter-bridge walks as well a greeting for the Dine (the Navajo), who fight in Big Mountain, Arizona against the violations of their traditional Dine religious practices.” They struggle against those who favor large businesses instead of respect for the religious freedom of Indian peoples, against those who want to destroy sacred grounds and ceremonial sites (as is the case of Peabody Western Coal Company which, without reason, wants to take the lands and the land rights, and the history which belong to the Dine and their future generations.)

But this letter-bridge has more than just stories of resistance against North American injustice. In the extreme south of our continent, in Chile, the indigenous Mapuche women in the Pewenche Center of Alto Bio-Bio confront stupidity. Bertha and Nicolasa Quintreman are accused of “mistreating” members of the armed forces of the Chilean government. There you have it.  An armed military unit with rifles, sticks, and tear-gas, protected by bulletproof vests, helmets and shields, accuse two indigenous women of “mistreatment.” But Bertha is 74 years old and Nicolasa is 60. How is it possible that two elderly people confronted a “heroic” group of heavily-armed military? Because they are Mapuche. The story is the same as that of the Dine brothers and sisters of Arizona—it repeats itself throughout the Americas. A company—ENDESA—wants the Mapuches’ land, and in spite of the law which protects the indigenous, the government is on the side of the companies. The Mapuche students have pointed out that the government and the company with the military intelligence made a “study” of the Mapuche communities and concluded that the Mapuche could not think, defend themselves, resist, or build a better future for themselves. Apparently, the study was wrong.

Now it occurs to me that, perhaps the powerful in North America carried out a similar “military intelligence” study (frankly, this is a contradiction, because those of us who are military are not intelligent, if we were we would not be military) about the case of the Dine in Arizona, about Leonard Peltier, about other political prisoners, about yourself, Mr. Mumia.

Perhaps they made this study and came to the conclusion that they might be able to violate justice and reason, to assault history and lose the truth, and that no one would say anything. The Dine Indians would stand by and watch the destruction of the most sacred of their history, Leonard Peltier would be alone, and you, Mister Mumia, would be silenced. ( I remember your own words: “They not only want my death, they want my silence.”)

But the studies were wrong. Happy mistake? The Dine resist against those who would kill their memory, Leonard Peltier is accompanied by all those who demand his liberty, and you sir, today you speak and shout with all the voices which celebrate your birthday as all birthdays should be celebrated, by struggling.

Mr. Mumia:

We have nothing big to give you as a gift for your birthday. It is poor and little, but all of us send you an abrazo—an embrace.

We hope that when you gain your freedom you will come to visit us. Then we will give you a birthday party, even if it isn’t April 24, it will be an unbirthday party. There will be music, dance and talk, which are the means by which men and women of all colors understand and know one another, and build bridges over which they walk together, towards history, towards tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Vale. We greet you and may justice and truth find their place.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, April of 1999

P.S. I read somewhere that you are a father and a grandfather. So I am sending you a gift for your children and grandchildren. It is a little wooden car with Zapatistas dressed in black ski-masks.

Tell your children and grandchildren that it is a gift the Zapatistas have sent you. You can explain to them that there are people of all colors everywhere, just like you, who want justice, liberty and democracy for people of all colors.

Letter To the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, USA

April of 1999

For: Mr. Tom Ridge

Governor of Pennsylvania

United States, North America

From : Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico


To the Magistrate and Governor

Dear sirs:

I write to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the EZLN. Most of us are indigenous Mexicans and we struggle for liberty, democracy and justice.

The purpose of the following letter is to demand justice in the case of Mr. Mumia Abu-Jamal, condemned unjustly to the death penalty in 1982. As you know, the judicial process against Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal was plagued with lies and irregularities: the police who accuse him lied about a supposed confession of his, one of the witnesses has changed testimony and declared that he was forced to lie or face prison, the ballistic evidence has proved it was impossible that Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal fired the weapon which killed the policeman. This should be enough evidence for a new trial, but even this recourse has been denied to Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. If the Judicial system of Pennsylvania and the governor are certain of the guilt of Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal, they should not fear a new trial which adheres to the truth.

I do not ask clemency, pardon, nor mercy from you for Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. I demand justice, something which I believe is within your powers. No one within the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or governor Tom Ridge has anything to lose. A new trial can bring the truth forward, and justice, supposedly, is all that should matter.

That is all. From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos




Check Langalibalele’s Political Journals I & II:
Mbantunyankompong
Kilombo Republic

Kilombo Republic II

Find Langalibalele’s Work also at these Sites:
Whispering Art
Urbanite Dweller
Umshini Wam
Afro Spear
My Train of Thoughts
Assata Shakur Forums


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WELL PAST TIME TO RAISE UP:
Stop the Police State Execution of
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!!!