[News] Michael Moore- Show and Prove-A man’s life hangs in the balance

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Thu Oct 21 09:01:20 EDT 2004

Submitted by:  Jason Corwin

Title: Michael Moore- Bush dissed the NAACP and you- they did the right
thing, will you?
Michael Moore- Show and Prove-A man's life hangs in the balance.
Or Michael Moore-You're Not a Stupid White Man When It Comes to Mumia are

You're here in Philly, Mumia Abu Jamal's hometown-What do you have to say
to Mumia, Michael?

Almost exactly one year ago, Michael Moore released the book "Dude,
Where's My Country?" to much acclaim.  Defenders and supporters of
world-renowned journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal  noted
that in a blatant display of ignorance, after writing about injustices in
America, Moore stated that people could curry favor with conservatives by
declaring that Mumia was guilty.  If it's any comfort to Moore, Bill
O'Reilly and others in the mainstream media went on an anti-Mumia tirade
at just the same time because Mumia was bestowed honorary citizenship by
the city of Paris.

Presently the victim of one of the most blatant cases of injustice in the
American legal system, Mumia and his supporters have struggled to expose
the blatant racism and oppression  meted out by the Philadelphia Police
Dept., DA's office and court system.  His case has garnered international
attention due to lack of any physical evidence, a sham of a railroad trial
in which the judge told a colleague "yeah, and I'm gonna help them fry the
nigger" with legal experts noting more than 25 Constitutional violations
that the courts have refused to deal with; not to mention the fact that
ANOTHER MAN HAS CONFESSED TO THE KILLING for which Mumia awaits execution-
the first openly state-sponsored political execution in this country since
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.  The death sentence that was argued for by the
DA was based on Mumia's having helped found the Philadelphia chapter of
the Black Panther Party in his teens.  Mumia Abu-Jamal's case highlights
the corruption, racism and suppression of freedoms that has plagued this
country and creates the conditions for Michael Moore to write and make
films about.

Moore attempted to minimize the outrageousness of his statement in this
book by professing opposition to the death penalty and acknowledging
Mumia's eloquence.  Arrogantly, he stated "he probably did shoot that cop.
There I said it."  Sadly, he revealed a tendency that has existed in the
white left for a long time-when under pressure from conservatives,
liberals and leftists will turn their backs on the legitimate struggles of
people of color-the largest recipients of American injustice.  After being
booed in many places of his book tour because of this statement, and
challenged about it by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now (after she was
challenged for failing to do her job as a journalist and question a
controversial statement like this when he first came onto her show
promoting the book) Moore admitted he made a grievous error.  He said that
he was trying to be funny and satiric in that part of the book and that he
realized it was not only just not funny in light of an innocent person's
struggle to avoid being MURDERED for the crime of being an eloquent
spokesperson against injustice, but that it was just plain wrong and that
he would have it removed from future printings of the book.  The
seriousness of this life-threatening act cannot be understated, as many
people interested in issues of justice, fairness, and equality have been
attracted to Moore's take on current affairs.  The popularity of his films
and books necessitate that he come correct in regards to perhaps the most
infamous and world-renowned case of racism and injustice in modern

We are demanding that Michael Moore, if he is to take any place in the
national and international consciousness regarding social and political
justice, must clearly state his position on Mumia to the people of
Philadelphia. Mumia's one of our great advocates for justice and we don't
have time for BS when his life is at stake.  While a lot of pundits say
that people in Philly don't support Mumia, and that his case is only
popular outside of here where it's suggested people don't know all the
details, we know that is not the case.  While the local and national media
have been complicit in demonizing Mumia and his supporters to the point
that the majority of anti-Mumia sentiment here comes from the white
working class and vested interests in the notoriously corrupt city
government from the mayor to the cop on the beat. Michael Moore's
constituency is white "middle American" people and he needs to take a
strong stand against the censorship and persecution that has been
conducted against Mumia.  When we've conducted "Honk for Mumia" street
rallies, the love and support for Mumia in Philly is evident and
clear-among a diverse spectrum of people.  While in Philly there are white
labor activists and other everyday white folks who feel that at a minimum
he did not get a fair trial, it is clear in this backwards city who uses
fear as a tactic and generates the most hate against Mumia and his

This is no small deal, as there has been a concerted campaign of character 
intimidation, and censorship here in a city that
claims to be the birthplace of American freedoms.  From local street
vendors and community members to the Roots, Sting, Michael Sheen, Rage
Against the Machine and former Mumia defense attorney Leonard Wienglass
have all had this police-instigated terror campaign waged against them in
one form or another.  Some have stood strong in Mumia's defense, but many
caved in under the fear generated by this anti-Mumia McCarthyist
witchhunt.  At one time, before he was the current mayor, John Street
expressed that Mumia's conviction was clearly unjust.  You'd be hard
pressed to get him to share that sentiment these days.  Even the venerable
NAACP when confronted recently at their national convention here with the
question of whether to publicly support Mumia or not did the right thing
and came out with a strong resolution for all chapters to support Mumia
and oppose the death penalty.  Perhaps Bush's diss of their convention was
telling them just what time it is.  Is Bush and the right wing telling
you, Michael Moore, what time it is?

Michael Moore, are you afraid of stupid white men?  We hope not as you
travel the country speaking out against censorship of your work, and the
republicans who want you arrested in Michigan.  We're sure you would be
comforted in knowing that with all the money your speaking engagements,
book and film sales are generating, that you can make a strong stand for
what needs to be fixed in this country by giving a meaningful contribution
to Mumia's defense-verbally and financially.

The price paid for freedom in this country by the people of color who've
been systematically killed, enslaved, discriminated against, ridiculed,
and censored is too great perhaps for you to comprehend.  While the powers
that be have tried to have your movie censored, though to no great avail,
and you probably find the republicans wanting your arrest in your home
state to be a sign of the times-the complications and obstacles you have
overcome in doing what you do are far away from the sacrifices of those
who have died  and watched families grow up from behind plexiglass and
prison bars in the pursuit of  freedoms "your country" says on paper and
in proclamation are supposed to be legal.

We are not interested in you being a good liberal and giving to the cause
to ease your guilt.  If you want to be down you need to be down like John
Brown.  Remember him?  If you are really to be for justice in a time of
crisis in this country you need to remember the commitment of John Brown,
as well as the commitment of your friends Rage Against the Machine, who
never backed down when they came to Philly.  At the same venue-the
Electric Factory, where in 1999 Ozomatli expressed solidarity with Mumia
and had white kids and event security people throwing beer and bottles at
them, a few years prior, Rage backed the club ownership down from
censoring Mumia supporters who were their invited guests.  They had former
NJ governor Christine Whitman and Howard Stern going ballistic in the
media in an attempt to shut down a benefit concert for Mumia just a few
months prior to the Ozomatli incident.

Remember the price paid by the white people who've taken strong stands in
solidarity with all oppressed people.  John Brown gave his life to end
slavery.  The white anti-imperialist political prisoners like Tom Manning
have experienced their own Abu Gharibs here in America for daring to stand
on the front lines with people of color.  Remember Leonard Peliter, America's
Nelson Mandela to many, passed up for clemency by the last
Democrat in the Oval Office, despite clear of evidence before him of FBI
terror tactics and misconduct in the case.  Remember that there are many
more just like them, men and women who have languished in this country's
prisons for decades, all for taking a strong stand in defense of what's
right.  Thousands of years of collective experience censored from the rest
of humanity while their own humanity struggles under the weight of a white
supremacist police state nightmare.

Remember, by all means, Mumia Abu-Jamal- father, grandfather, world-class
journalist-facing government sanctioned murder for daring to speak the
truth.  His commentaries are as needed and as relevant to our current
situation as they ever were.  His legal case is at a critical stage and
the activists working on his behalf do a lot with very little resources,
as many white leftists stopped supporting him after he was forced to fire
Leonard Weinglass for failing to keep one of his colleagues from writing a
book and profiting off of the case he was supposed to be working on.
Remember all this, as your credibility depends on what you do with this
information.  If you do the right thing maybe then you will begin to
understand where your country really is.  Does this white man speak with
forked tongue?

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