Aug 8, 2008
The recent world tour of freshman Sen. Barack Obama, was, by any measure, a blockbuster.
The senator's trek to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France, and England was a hit, from the word go.
What was more impressive, however, were the graphics. The crowds (especially in Germany) were nothing if not spectacular.
In political terms, the senator's campaign could hardly have asked for more.
If it wouldn't seem to smarmy, perhaps they ought to give thanks to the Republican candidate, John McCain, who harped on Obama's lack of travel to Iraq for weeks.
Obama goes to Iraq, and the U.S. supported Iraqi puppet, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, essentially endorses Obama's timetable to remove the bulk of US troops.
McCain sought airtime in ethnic eateries, or geriatric golf greens.
His comments attacking Obama seemed, by contrast, petulant and small.
It was, quite frankly, stunning to see world leaders fall under his sway, as if the election were a mere formality.
When he met Germany's Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, one could only flashback to lame duck President Bush's impolitic grasp of her shoulders, which forced her to grimace and gasp at the invasion of her personal and political space.
Right wingers have, predictably, attacked his tour on numerous counts. "He thinks he's already president", some said. "He's arrogant", said others. Still others opined that he was 'inexperienced.'
If his global tour had one flaw, it was that it was too successful, for it cast an unflattering light on the incumbent Bush Administration, which is, to put it lightly, far from popular in the world today. This, of course, also impacts McCain's campaign.
Whether he helped his domestic campaign is questionable.
What is not is the palpable hunger of many countries for a change from what has been.
7/27/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Aug 6, 2008
For most people, August 8th is merely a reference to the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
Because of the sheer passage of time, most people have forgotten August 8th, 1978, when police in Philadelphia unleashed a blitzkrieg against members of the MOVE Organization.
There, police fired hundreds of rounds into the house, fired tons of water, and after people were flushed from their house, several were beaten on the street. The cops who beat one man, Delbert Africa, for example, were ordered acquitted by a local judge, despite videotape!
When MOVE members went to trial, 9 men and women were railroaded on dubious charges for killing a cop who almost certainly was the subject of so-called friendly fire.
The city of Philadelphia made sure that this question couldn't be resolved by literally tearing down MOVE's house -- allegedly an active crime scene -- by nightfall.
But none of this mattered, for there was a railroad in process, and 9 MOVE people were sent to state gulags for 30 to 100 years!
Behind the attack on MOVE was certainly their radical lifestyle and opposition to state power, but there was also the dynamic of powerful real estate interests which wanted to expand their holdings to create a greater University City.
For MOVE, August 8th isn't 30 years ago; it's yesterday. It's that close.
They need your support to end this injustice!
8/4/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Aug 6, 2008
For Haitians, this coming August is a reminder of the kidnapping and disappearance of their brother, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, who was taken after a meeting with a US-Canadian human rights delegation visiting Haiti in mid-August, 2007.
Pierre-Antoine was a co-founder of the Fondayson Trant Septenm, (Kreyol for September 30th Foundation), a group which assisted and supported the people who during (and especially after) the 1991 and 2004 coups against the democratically-elected president, Bertrand Aristide. Members of the Fondayson have been targeted for years.
Around the world, activists have been organizing in Lovinsky's support, calling on various governments, from Haiti's President Rene Preval, Brazil (which forms the bulk of the United Nations forces in the country), Canada, the US and France, which organized the latest coup against Haitian democracy.
When Pierre-Antoine was abducted, it forced other democracy and human rights activists in Haiti to go into hiding to avoid waves of state repression.
Haiti has a proud and illustrious career on the world's stage, becoming the first free Black republic in the West after its 1804 revolution against France, which abolished slavery almost 70 years before the US Civil War spelled the end to human bondage in the US. Their freedom spread the bright lights of liberty and independence throughout the Caribbean, and when South America rose against Spain, it was to Haiti that their Liberator Simon Bolivar turned for support, arms, and a place to rest.
For their bold struggle to bring Black freedom to the West, the US and Europe have unleashed an unholy war. France forced reparations (!) on Haiti -- an act unprecedented in history, forcing the victor in war to pay away it's wealth for almost a century. The US repeatedly invaded the country, brutalized its people, and imposed an assortment of puppet dictators to exploit the country for foreign benefit, and national impoverishment, for generations!
Because Haiti's popularly elected Bertrand Aristide dared to oppose Haiti's rich elite, and tried to make things nominally better for its peasantry, US Marines forced him into exile.
Because Lovinsky comes from the popular mass movements, he was snatched off the streets of Haiti a year ago, and the movement is building to bring him back home to his family, his community, and the popular movements of which he was a part.
Haiti must never be forgotten, and neither must we forget Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine.
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7/30/08 (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal