[News] Sam Jordan's speech July 4 in Paris for Mumia

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Mon Jul 18 08:45:18 EDT 2005



Remarks - Sam Jordan - July Fourth Demonstration

for Mumia Abu Jamal

Place de la Concorde,  Paris France 2005

(Not a verbatim transcript.)





Free Mumia!  Free Mumia Abu Jamal!  Free Mumia!



I am Sam Jordan and I bring you greetings from our brother, the undefeated 
revolutionary, Mumia Abu Jamal!



I also bring you greetings from the undefeated revolutionaries Leonard 
Peltier, Assata Shakur and the great Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan!



It is ironic that on today, the people of the US prepare to celebrate what 
is called Independence Day on the Fourth of July.  Yet, never before has 
the need for revolution in the US been more urgent!



Not only the people of the US, but the people of the world would be free 
from the greatest threat to peace and security with a people's revolution 
in the United States of America.



The surest signs that the US needs a revolution are easy to see!



Of course, there are many reasons to revolt - after all, one percent of the 
population owns 48 percent of the total wealth in the US and the standard 
of living has begun to reverse for the majority of the people.



But, there are other signs that the US needs a revolution:  When graduating 
college students ask for a speaker who can tell them of the world and how 
they can best use their energy and idealism for justice, for the 
environment and for peace, they ask for Mumia, not for the President.



Mumia gets requests to speak at 25 to 30 graduations every spring even 
though he must broadcast from his cell on death row.



When youth seek leadership from Mumia on death row rather than from their 
President at the White House, we have a sure sign that America, the US, 
needs a revolution!



When Nelson Mandela visits the United States or the UN in New York, he 
makes a special point of expressing his deepest respect and solidarity with 
Mumia Abu Jamal, but gives only his most formal greetings for President Bush.



It is a sure sign that the US needs a revolution when the most respected 
public figure in the world, Nelson Mandela, expresses contempt for the 
President of the US and his war in Iraq and the greatest praise for the 
work and political courage of a death row inmate, Mumia Abu Jamal.



When the native and indigenous people of the Amazon seek a spokesperson for 
their dreadful loss of rain forest and ancestral culture, they appeal to 
Mumia Abu Jamal whose radio broadcasts and essays reach millions of 
activists weekly.  They don't ask George Bush who refuses to sign the Kyoto 
Treaty on the environment and global warming.



When we look at the atrocities of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, at Guantanamo 
in Cuba, Bargram in Afghanistan and the daily detentions and kidnapping of 
men and women right off the streets of the US; when we note the use of 
depleted uranium in the war in the Middle East, the uncounted casualties 
among the Iraqi civilian population, we are looking at the work of one of 
the greatest violators of international law - a man who rules by threat of 
force alone.  There is no consensus of support whether domestic or 
international for the policies of George Bush.



This is the irony, that proves the need for revolution in the US on this 
Fourth of July:  Mumia, a death row inmate is innocent and should be 
freed.  Yet, George Bush remains a free man - the most dangerous on the 
planet - although he has violated every law of the nation and the 
international community.  Mumia is innocent of the murder of Officer Daniel 
Faulkner of the Philadelphia police department in 1981, but George Bush is 
guilty of the murder of at least 40,000 innocent Iraqi civilians.  Mumia 
should be free and George Bush should be in prison!



Mumia, the revolutionary and a major force for respect for human rights, 
survived in the shadow of death while George Bush ordered the execution of 
152 men and women as Governor of Texas.  That's right, Bush executed one 
person every two weeks for five years!



The situation in the US is upside down!  That demands a revolution on this 
July Fourth!



Back in 1852, Frederick Douglass, the great abolitionist, the greatest 
force for freedom of his era asked, "What to the slave is the fourth of 
July?"  We should ask the same question, on July Fourth 2005, "What does 
Independence Day mean to Mumia Abu Jamal?"  Let me help you answer this 
question, "What does the fourth of July mean to Mumia Abu Jamal?"



In the first instance, it is a day with its celebrations and fireworks that 
reveals to him more than any other day of the year, the gross injustice and 
cruelty of which he is the constant victim.  To Mumia, this celebration is 
a sham.  The bloated boast of liberty and national greatness and power is a 
swollen vanity.  The sounds of the marching bands and cheering of the 
crowds are empty of meaning and have no passion  The constant US 
denunciation of tyrants and dictators, its shouts of liberty and equality 
are hollow mockeries, full of deception, fraud, hypocrisy  - a veil of 
words and ceremony -  a veil too thin to cover up crimes which would, as 
Frederick Douglass put it, "disgrace a nation of savages!"



Mumia would say that there is not a nation on earth guilty of practices 
more shocking and bloody than those committed in the name of the people of 
the United States at this very hour!



Mumia would say to anyone - go where you may, search where you will, roam 
though all the monarchies, despotisms, and empires of the Old World - 
Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, the Mogul Emperors of India, the Mings of 
China - and when you find those facts, lay them side by side with the 
everyday practices of the United States and you will say with Mumia that 
for sheer, repulsive barbarity, shameless hypocrisy and crushing, inhuman 
brutality, the United States has no equal and no rival in the world of 
today or of yesterday.  That's what the 4th of July means to Mumia Abu Jamal.



He languishes in prison innocent of all crimes charged against him and 
George Bush, the President of the United States, the greatest threat ever 
known to a world in need of peace, economic stability and respect for 
humane laws - is a free man.  The situation is upside down!  Mumia should 
be free!  Bush should be behind bars!



Let me speak about Mumia's case.  Mumia is innocent!  After 23 years, not 
one scintilla of evidence has been produced by the prosecution, the police 
or the courts linking Mumia in any way whatsoever with the murder of the 
police officer, Daniel Faulkner



State and federal courts have seen the power of the movement to free 
Mumia.  They can't ignore the power of the people!  As a result, they have 
made decisions lately that are directed at the movement, not only at 
Mumia.  For example, in 2001 federal Judge Yohn ordered a stay of execution 
to give the state of Pennsylvania and Mumia's defense a chance to argue the 
controversial sentencing phase of Mumia's trial.  Judge Yohn made it appear 
that Mumia had escaped the threat of execution.  Many in the movement still 
believe that Mumia has been commuted to life in prison.  Nothing could be 
further from the truth!  Make sure that your friends and colleagues get the 
facts right!  At any moment, Governor Ed Rendell can issue a death warrant 
for the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal.  We are still racing against the clock!



Judge Yohn questioned the jury selection process in Mumia's trial in 
his  decision in 2001 and said the issue could be appealed.  However, he 
did not challenge the finding of guilty.  His action was deceptive.  He 
knew that the concern of many in the movement was for Mumia's physical 
safety.  He created the illusion that Mumia was free from the death penalty.



Judge Dembe in the state appeals court refused to hear any criticism of the 
actions of Judge Sabo who presided at Mumia's trial.  Yet, Sabo, has sent 
31 men to death row in Pennsylvania - more than any other judge in the 
history of the nation - 26 of the men were African-Americans.



Sabo was overhead saying that he would help the prosecution fry Mumia, and 
used a most indecent, racist reference to an African American.  Dembe ruled 
that it was not important what Sabo said, since the jury makes the 
decision.  But this wasn't just any jury!  This was a jury that was 
carefully selected with Sabo's help to minimize the presence of African 
Americans and to maximize the presence of whites!



The one juror selected by Mumia when he could act in his own defense was 
replaced by Judge Sabo by a juror who said when questioned, that he could 
not be fair.  That juror became the jury foreman!  That's what Mumia thinks 
of the Fourth of July!



A man named Arnold Beverly has come forward and confessed to the murder of 
Officer Daniel Faulkner  That is not unusual.  20 of the 119 men and women 
who have been released since 1973 from US death rows due to innocence were 
released because someone else confessed  Twenty of them!

More than have been released from death row because of DNA science.



We are not saying that Arnold Beverly killed Faulkner.  That's not our 
job!  The police and courts are supposed to find out who killed 
Faulkner.  And while they're at it, they should find out who shot 
Mumia.  But it is the court's responsibility to get at the truth and 
examine Arnold Beverly's testimony  Judge Dembe refuses to examine 
Beverly's testimony - abdicating her duties as a judge.  She has to do her 
job!  We're gonna do our job!



Our movement has twice saved Mumia from the executioner's poison.  We must 
maintain the pressure and build our movement!  The court has directed its 
attention to the power of the movement - to weaken it with deceptive 
decisions.  We must counter this deception with the facts!



A recent US Supreme Court decision - in the case of Thomas Miller-El who is 
on death row in Texas - bears directly on Mumia's case.  In Miller-El's 
case as in Mumia's, the prosecution and the judge seated a jury that 
assured a conviction and death sentence.  The jury was selected on the 
basis of race and sympathy to the prosecution.  Just like Mumia's jury!



91% of the  prospective African-American jurors in Miller-El's trial were 
challenged but only 12% of the white prospects were challenged.  The US 
Supreme Court, the same conservative court that crowned George Bush 
President said a blatantly racist jury selection process violated the US 
Constitution.



The Miller-El case indicates that the legal system will yield to constant 
pressure, but that pressure must grow and we must be unrelenting!  We must 
not divide into camps and ideologies.  There is only one ideology with 
Mumia.  He is innocent and must be freed!



There are other Supreme Court decisions that if applied to Mumia's case as 
they should be, would lead to his release.  But the courts don't act in a 
vacuum  The power of an international movement will give the courts a 
political context and sense of urgency leading to the justice that is long 
overdue.



If we keep our pledge to Mumia and fight until he is free to speak right 
here in the Place de la Concorde, he will keep his pledge to us and fight 
for the truth in his books, essays and broadcasts.  Mumia will keep the 
fire burning proving that you can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail 
the revolution!



That's what the Fourth of July means to Mumia Abu Jamal!



Free Mumia!  Free Mumia!  Free Mumia Abu Jamal!  Thank you.

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