[News] Sam Jordan's speech July 4 in Paris for Mumia
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
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
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
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
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
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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