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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Saturday, 29 September 2012

DNA evidence exonerates death row inmate

A Louisiana man has become the eighteenth death row inmate to be exonerated by new DNA evidence since 1993. Damon Thibodeaux was absolved of the rape and murder of a relative following a seven-year investigation which produced DNA evidence contradicting his confession. Investigators say Thibodeaux's 1997 confession was drawn while under duress by detectives who allegedly took advantage of his exhaustion and fed him details of the crime. The 37-year-old had spent 23 hours per day in solitary confinement awaiting his execution.

into being

into being

through my Supra-Conscious Mind
i speak the words
“Let There Be’

i then proceed to look
for that which i have conjured

if i look for love
i will find it

if i look for troubles
i will find them

if i look for beauty
i will find it

if i look for joy
i will find it

i i look for pain
i will find it

if i look for self
i will find me

that which i look for
comes to be

this is the power we have
we see that which we look for
for we spoke that what we wished for
into being

© 26 September 2012 : William S. Peters, Sr.

you are my purpose

you are my purpose

you are the purpose
for which i was born

this path i walk
has but one destination
and that is to go to my death
where i shall be entombed
in your heart
for eternity

there has been but one vision
that i have held in my eyes
since my inception,
and it’s wondrous beauty
surely rivals any heaven on can conjure
and that is the lovely glow
of your countenance

i look to the skies
and my thought takes wings
for as the clouds billow before me
i see but the shape of expression
of possibilities
of you and i
and our heavenward intention
of love

you are my purpose

© 26 September 2012 : William S. Peters, Sr.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cmSxEKLxOw8/UGZ0ExLyRpI/AAAAAAAAAVI/Aa9Ybfrrcj8/s1600/Mumia-raised-fist.jpg (Photo of Mumia Abu-Jamal during recent contact visit.)

World Premiere of Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal
--An interview with filmmakers Noelle Hanrahan and Steve Vittoria

By Angola 3 News

On October 6, the new documentary film entitled Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal, will be making its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, just north of San Francisco.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a veteran journalist, author of seven books, and a former Black Panther who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial deemed unfair by Amnesty International and many others. Abu-Jamal, who has always maintained his innocence, spent almost 30 years in solitary confinement on death row in Pennsylvania. The death sentence has now been officially overturned and since early in 2012, Abu-Jamal is out of solitary and in general population at SCI-Mahony, with such new `privileges' as contact visits with family and friends (view photos).

Long Distance Revolutionary features interviews with a range of longtime Abu-Jamal supporters including Pam & Ramona Africa of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzales of Democracy Now, Cornel West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and many others. Making his first appearance in a film about Abu-Jamal is actor Giancarlo Esposito, known recently for his role as Gustavo Fring on the AMC TV series, Breaking Bad.

Featured in Long Distance Revolutionary is a clip of Esposito reading from Abu-Jamal's first book Live From Death Row at a mid-1990's event supporting Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia. The rally attracted a large counter-demonstration outside of the event, that had been organized by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). In the film's recent interview, Esposito reflects upon the intensity of that day, and fearing that his acting career would be negatively affected by the broader FOP-led campaign of public intimidation towards those supporting Abu-Jamal. These intimidation tactics surfaced again this week, as Politics PA reported on a National Republican Congressional Committee "campaign consisting of online ads reminiscent of Willie Horton and hundreds of thousands of robocalls" linking Abu-Jamal to congressional candidate Kathy Boockvar.

Philadelphia's disturbing history of racial oppression and officially sanctioned police violence is a central focus of Long Distance Revolutionary's interview with Linn Washington Jr., currently an Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University and a columnist for the historic Philadelphia Tribune--the nation's oldest African-American owned newspaper. In the film, he comments that "Philadelphia has a veneer of liberalism and this whole Quaker mystique. The reality is it has been this ruthlessly racist city—really from its inception."

Linn Washington has been covering the Mumia Abu-Jamal/Daniel Faulkner case since the morning of December 9, 1981. While not spotlighted in Long Distance Revolutionary, Washington has continued to report on the many different reasons that Abu-Jamal deserves a new trial, including a recent test he conducted with journalist Dave Lindorff. The results are interpreted by Washington and Lindorff to have conclusively disproved the prosecution's scenario of the shooting presented at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial (see article and video).

We interview Noelle Hanrahan and Stephen Vittoria about their new film examining Mumia Abu-Jamal's life and work as a revolutionary journalist. Vittoria is the writer, director, editor, and co-producer of Long Distance Revolutionary. His last film, One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern won "Best Documentary Features" at the Sarasota Film Festival. He also recently was a producer on two feature documentaries by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney: Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Magic Trip.

Noelle Hanrahan co-produced the film alongside Vittoria and co-producer Katyana Farzanrad. The director of Prison Radio, Hanrahan first began to record Abu-Jamal's radio commentaries from SCI-Huntington's death row in 1992, which now total over 2,000 (archived at www.prisonradio.org).


Angola 3 News: Unlike previous documentary films about Abu-Jamal, your film deliberately avoids the legal/factual background of Abu-Jamal's case and instead focuses entirely on his life and work as a revolutionary journalist. Why did you choose to do this?

Steve Vittoria: First of all, John Edginton made an excellent film about Mumia's case and it was broadcast here in the States on HBO entitled Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt? Even though it was made back in 1995, it's a fairly comprehensive look at the legal narrative. Books, articles, other films, as well as a myriad of videos have been distributed worldwide that deal with the case.

As a documentary filmmaker, unless I've uncovered something so different than what's already been created, why traverse ground already traveled? What has really interested me about Mumia Abu-Jamal since I first heard his commentaries and read his work was his extraordinary ability to transcend the Draconian hell that is Death Row and suggest alternative narratives to the myths of so-called American justice and liberty. His work over the last decade or so has evolved into a sophisticated and searing indictment of American imperialism – on a par with Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and the ever courageous Arundhati Roy.

In the film, Cornel West sums it up this way: "He forces us to come to terms with the depths of the crisis of the American Empire." In a country run by mass murderers, economic rapists, and general run-of-the-mill sociopaths, you're forced to look for some sanity, some compassion, maybe even some love in the bowels of this asylum. I found that sanity courageously written from a dark, dank hole in America's prison gulag.

Here's a man who has been fighting for the victims of a violent empire since he was fourteen years old. Here's a man who has published seven books from death row and who has written thousands of commentaries that have been broadcast all over the world from death row, that impact real people every day. Remember, thirty years on Death Row and he hasn't blinked. As a storyteller, that's an incredible story to tell.

The story about his case can be summed in one line uttered by the judge in his case, the Honorable Albert F. Sabo, who boasted in chambers: "I'm going to help them fry the nigger." That's all you really need to know about the case.

Noelle Hanrahan: The impact of Mumia Abu-Jamal's writing and his radio commentaries is far greater than one, albeit dramatic, incident. Yes, Mumia was shot and critically injured on Dec. 9th 1981, yet that is clearly not the defining moment of his life. It is not who he was or who he has become. For the very first time, through this movie, people can begin to see what circumstances and forces shaped Mumia, and how he in turn has shaped the world.


A3N: The film begins with a variety of right-wing talking heads, ranging from Michelle Malkin to Michael Smerconish, who are shown calling Abu-Jamal a `cop-killer,' among other things. Why do you begin the film this way? How do you respond to their `cop-killer' accusation?

SV: The entire film is a response to their lunatic ravings. It's like taking candy from a baby. I wanted to let the bed-wetters have their say right off the bat and let the audience experience how ridiculous their gibberish really is. Some may think that it's vile, that it's ugly, that it's hate mongering or fear mongering, but it's really absurdist comedy because there's no basis in reality, and that's the light it should be seen in. Why not begin the film with a clown parade?

Documentary audiences need some laughs. In 1932, Tod Browning directed a horror film called "Freaks" about circus sideshow performers, including a bearded lady, pinheads, a sword swallower, you know freaks. Maybe this is homage to Tod Browning.

NH: First, mainstream media claptrap led by Fox TV reaches and influences millions. They are trying to weave a fictional narrative and feed it to folks as if it is reality. News once had a veneer of professional practice, and noble goals. The last thirty years have brought a dramatic shift in what passes for mainstream journalism. Corporate capital has bought out and dumbed down what today passes itself off as broadcast news.

News today leads with pet stories and gore, and fast paced shrill video and sound bites that are emptied of content and serious analysis. Frankly, it is a perfect storm for the expansion of the police state. `Cop Killer' is like some red towel before the bull, two words that they throw out to divert attention from the real issues that are at the core of the repression that dominates this culture. They obfuscate, confuse, frighten, threaten, and tell us War is Peace. These are tactics and methods of the state and their hired enforcers: the police.


A3N: Noelle, as someone that has collaborated with Abu-Jamal since the early 1990's, what do you think the mainstream media has failed to accurately report on regarding his journalistic career and struggle for freedom?

NH: In 1981 Mumia was an award-winning mainstream journalist who was extremely well known in Philadelphia. Today, if you listen to mainstream reporters they would try and sell you a lie upon lie upon lie about Mumia. I have been stunned by the ignorance and duplicity of the writers and reporters who are determined to try and rewrite history.

20/20 actually distorted Mumia's voice (that I had recorded) because they wanted it to sound worse. Mumia was not allowed to conduct his own defense and was removed from the court room during his trial because he was having a positive impact on the jury. He was compelling and his voice is very authentic.

The police spent days in the studios of WUHY (now WHYY) where Mumia had worked, poring over his audio tapes trying to find something to play for the jury that would enflame the jurors. They listened to dozens of hours of tape, but everything that they came across that he produced would have had a positive effect on the jury. They eventually dug up something he had written in the Black Panther Party paper when he was sixteen, a quote actually from Mao Tse-tung: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" This is what the police had read to the jury to try and convince them that he was just waiting to kill a cop, to inflame them, to push the jury to vote for death. This jury had asked for reinstruction on manslaughter. Remember it was July 3, about to be the 4th of July weekend, when the jury was facing sequestration over the holiday weekend, and the judge and the DA pushed them to come back with death.

Our film counters the false mainstream narrative with facts. "He forces us to come to terms with the depths of the crisis of the American Empire and how do you create some awakening," notes Cornel West in the film.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LILTmj4xqfE/UGZ24LFaB4I/AAAAAAAAAVk/yIVbFq6N6XQ/s1600/Cornel+West.jpg (Cornel West in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: Stephen, while Noelle has been working with Abu-Jamal since the early 1990's, you have approached this project as an `outsider' of sorts. What was your impression of Abu-Jamal before starting the project? Did this impression change following the completion of the film?

SV: Actually, I worked with Mumia a few years before I started this project, when I was producing a documentary entitled Murder Incorporated: Empire, Genocide, and Manifest Destiny and Mumia recorded twenty-five remarkable short essays that defined the march of Empire over the last five hundred years – from Columbus setting foot on Hispaniola to George Bush's murder spree in the Middle East. So I had some history with Mumia as a contributor to my film and that was really the genesis of Long Distance Revolutionary.

As I approached this project, my impression of Mumia was this: a brilliant writer, a courageous voice battling the forces of tyranny, a tireless warrior, a fierce researcher completely dedicated to his craft, and ultimately a long distance revolutionary. After producing this film for three years, none of that changed because my impression was spot on and solidified.

But what I did learn that pleasantly surprised me was from a personal standpoint, because after thirty years in hell the man remains gentle, he remains loving, and for me, above all, funny. Mumia loves to have fun, loves to laugh. When we visit, sure, we talk about drone attacks, poverty, torture, mass incarceration, you name the horror and we talk about it. We even talk a lot about art and music. Mumia loves music. Most of the time we laugh and talk about the craziness masquerading as culture in this country.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-puFkN_bZuWM/UGZ3mWx30QI/AAAAAAAAAVs/LNiXczqRfHk/s1600/Angela+Davis.jpg (Angela Davis in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: Specifically, what do you think is most significant about Abu-Jamal's life and work?

SV: Clearly, it's been the consistency of his work and the consistency of his message. Of course he's matured as a writer but his belief structure has remained remarkably consistent. Professor Todd Steven Burroughs from Morgan State defines this well in the film, saying: "I was astounded at the fact that at 15 years old, he was essentially the same writer. The style was a little more dogmatic as a Panther. You know, because he's using all this Panther rhetoric, "Do Something, Nigger, Even If You Only Spit!" But, at core, it is the same black leftist analysis that he does at 56. And I was shocked at that."

I think Todd is right on and I think the film captures this reality. How many writers, how many activists, how many revolutionaries remain that consistent? Not many. I know I'm not. But Mumia has managed to stay true to his spirit. Maybe that has something to do with being right.

NH: Mumia has been consistently focused on exploring and honoring the humanity of those people in society who often remain unheard. His dedication to his craft and his commitment to speaking truth to power, regardless of the oppression and obstacles is truly epic. As a journalist myself, I could not imagine doing more important work than amplifying prisoner's voices and listening to their perspectives.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-klnea9co2E4/UGZ4FJv3OWI/AAAAAAAAAV0/Z5O7qWv9VEQ/s1600/Amy+Goodman.jpg (Amy Goodman in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: Along with video footage of Senator Bob Dole's infamous tirade against Abu-Jamal on the Senate floor in the mid-1990's, you also spotlight some more recent footage from the `discussion' of a Congressional Bill condemning the City of St. Denis, a suburb of Paris, France that named a street after Abu-Jamal. What do you think it was about this street-naming that so outraged US politicians? What do you think are the primary motives of the Philadelphia FOP-led campaign against Abu-Jamal? Do you think it would be accurate to describe this campaign as a modern-day lynch mob?

SV: The street-naming publicly outraged US politicians because the US Congress is so weak and ineffectual when it comes to representing the true needs of their constituency and actually affecting change that might actually move the society forward. Things like real health care, real education, and real financial reform are truly important, but instead they latch onto things that they can yell and scream about--pretending that they're actually doing something. And Mumia was the perfect patsy.

They create a demon, stir up the racism that runs through the US psyche like a main circuit cable, and then start lying. This formula has worked in the US since the founding fathers were counting their slaves. It's an old and insidious game, but it works because the sheep buy it every time.

Regarding the FOP and their ongoing campaign, is it accurate to call it a modern-day lynch mob? Of course it is. Lynching never stopped in this country. The props just changed: trees and rope were replaced by mass incarceration. Law professor and author of the bestselling book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, framed it this way in the film: "There are more African American adults under correctional control today, in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850 – a decade before the Civil War began."

NH: Anyone who questions the hegemony of the right wing is subject to their ire. They certainly protest a lot more than it seems appropriate. It makes one wonder, are these truths and their revelation, so damaging to the state that they have to use every conceivable tactic of intimidation to try and suppress it?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iKdF2QZLYXs/UGZ5loI4LVI/AAAAAAAAAV8/dsieutN6oW0/s1600/Alice+Walker.jpg (Alice Walker in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: Can you each please tell us about one notable interview featured in the film that viewers should be sure to watch for?

SV: Two interviews stand above all the rest. First is Lydia Barashango, Mumia's sister who passed away just before we finished the film. Her memories of growing up with Mumia were warm and wonderful and honest to the bone. When we interviewed Lydia she was already in the horrific throws of cancer and yet she represented her family's history with dignity, respect, and great honor. She was also, like her brother, very funny. Her memories captured Mumia's life with great love.

The second interview was filmed in 1995 by John Edginton for his film Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt? I love this interview for two reasons: one, it captured Mumia's intellect and rebellious nature, and two, Mumia looks great because the interview was shot on film and Mumia is extremely confident--it's like this moment of his life was captured forever. It's very iconic imagery.

NH: Wow that is hard. Everyone has something to say that is very poignant, interesting and in many cases, profound. We will be releasing longer versions of many of these interviews, so folks should tune in as we post them at www.mumia-themovie.com. We will be editing and posting more from Dick Gregory, Cornel West, and Michelle Alexander. We also have a DVD of extras that is available now from www.prisonradio.org.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-amu85mpB-hU/UGZ6StEYiSI/AAAAAAAAAWE/mNFZyhWhJBE/s1600/Linn+Washington.jpg (Linn Washington Jr. in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: How do we get to see your movie? Are there upcoming film screenings besides the Mill Valley Film Festival? When will the DVD will be released?

SV: Visit www.mumia-themovie.com to see the updated screening list. After the Mill Valley Festival, the film enjoys a great fall festival run. We begin at the Starz/Denver Film Festival on November 3 and 4, CPH:DOX Copenhagen on November 7, and then the great New York City doc festival DOC NYC on November 10. The film will then open theatrically in New York and Los Angeles early in 2013 followed by other cities, special engagements, and an extensive college tour.

Video on Demand and Home Video will be released shortly after the theatrical opening. In fact, the DVD will have some amazing extras including extended interviews with our historic cast.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZWz4MJCJN8M/UGZ7BmgLGXI/AAAAAAAAAWM/xPELrzrWgwk/s1600/Ramona+Africa.jpg (Ramona Africa in Long Distance Revolutionary.)

A3N: Anything else to add?

SV: Earlier, I mentioned a project entitled Murder Incorporated: Empire, Genocide, and Manifest Destiny. I decided to shelve the film but not the project. Mumia and I have decided to write this story as a non-fiction book and we are now well into the process. In the long shadow of Howard Zinn, we hope this 500-year story will shed some needed light on the myth and reality of American history.

NH: Just to take a bit of a risk and be a bit vulnerable, as it has been twenty years that I have been on this journey, let me share with you a note I wrote to Mumia:

Someone asked me why I connect with you. Well, actually they said `why do I love' you? I hesitated then answered:

I, with every molecule of my soul, want the world to be more beautiful, more generous, and more caring. I dream about that. Helping the world hear your voice is like participating in a wonderful and deeply moving jazz quartet, or with all the folks that make this possible, even a symphony. It is that beauty, when your voice joins with ours, and the voices of all people of color are honored with our listening. And we inspire and move together to a deeper understanding of the present and our history. Now that, I believe is transformative. That spirit of possibility will change the world.

I believe you will be free. This work--radio from prison--is truly your work. You continue, you struggle, no matter what the hurdles. Amazing. And we are there with you with every breath and every step you take toward freedom.

--Angola 3 News is an official project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is www.angola3news.com, where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. Additionally we are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more. Our articles and videos have been published by Alternet, Truthout, Black Commentator, SF Bay View Newspaper, Counterpunch, Monthly Review, Z Magazine, Indymedia, and many others.

--Mumia is Innocent! Stop the Frame Up! Free Mumia!--

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pentagon puts rules on Osama bin Laden book

Earlier this month, we reported how the tell-all book "No Easy Day" had the Pentagon furious over how it described the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The book was written by a former Navy Seal and allegedly revealed classified information regarding the Bin Laden raid and the author breached a non-disclosure agreement regarding the incident. Liz Wahl has more on how the Pentagon is allow employees to buy the book, but under certain conditions.

Judges to Review Constitutionality of NDAA Military Detention Legislation

Chris Hedges: We filed our lawsuit because this legislation threatens basic democratic rights allowing for indefinite military detention to repress domestic protest

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Assange to UN: US is trying to build a 'regime of secrecy'

On Wednesday night, Julian Assange, the creator of Wikileaks, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in an event called "Strengthening Human Rights" from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has been trapped for several months. The event that was hosted by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and gave Assange a platform to draw attention to his case and he emphasized the importance of revealing the truth. Here is that speech.

Preserving the Gullah-Geechee Culture - A Coastal Tax Fight

The Times's Kim Severson travels to Sapelo Island to visit Hog Hammock, population 50. The Gullah-Geechee residents have lived there since slavery, but may have to sell off their land over taxes.

Cyber insecurity: Iranian hackers attack US?

Wednesday marked the second day of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn't shy away from criticizing America's role in world conflicts, but he also revealed a plan to limit the use of Internet in his country due to cyber insecurity. The first company to go would be Google and Iran plans on having its own domestic Internet network. Tim Karr, senior director of strategy at Free Press, joins us to give us a prospective on why Iran would implement this strategy.

Aiyana Jones was a innocent 7 year old girl from Detroit that was brutally killed by the police

Aiyana Jones was a innocent 7 year old girl from Detroit that was brutally killed by the police who then engaged in a coverup... WE HAVE A CALL IN CAMPAIGN TO THE JUDGE THAT IS PRESIDING OVER THE AIYANA JONES CASE. Please Call because Aiyanas court hearing will be in the coming months and your voice can make a difference... When you call the office of Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway you should say: "I am calling today because i want Justice for Aiyana Jones. I am calling for the immediate arrest of officer Joseph Weekley for the killing and coverup of 7 year old Aiyana Jones." ------------------------------------- Please call between 10am-4pm Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway tele: (313) 224-2120 
@ Pastor Omar Wilks

Is the scale of corruption in Africa a myth?

An impression has been created in the West that Africa is the most corrupt continent in the world but the root causes are ignored. These causes start from the West who put most African leaders in power and force them to bend corners to accommodate their foreign interests.

Most companies and natural resources are owned by westerners and influence African governments to keep control of their businesses. This results in back hand payments which in the end influences corruption.

About %40 African GDP is unmonitored and unaccounted for which makes it easy for corrupt practices to thrive.

In this edition of Africa Today we will be looking at a few examples such as Shell's claims in the Wikileaks report that it has its own people within the Nigerian government and the support for leaders like Abacha and others who stashed billions into Western banks.

Watch this video on our website: http://www.presstv.com/Program/263659.html

death of derek williams mpd video

In the most horrific video you will ever view...Derek Williams begs the police to open the windows to the squad car, and pleads that he cannot breathe...the watch him die in the backseat as he fights for his life...graffic video

Occupy Milwaukee's photo.

UK's Poorest Families hit Hardest by Recession and Austerity

A leading British charity warns that 3.5 million children in the United Kingdom are growing up below the poverty line, while the divide between rich and poor continues to accelerate faster than anywhere else in the developed world.

Proof US Government & Military Experimenting On Citizens With Chemtrails


John Edward Smith was imprisoned 19 years for a murder he didn't commit.


  • This innocent man was in prison for 19 yrs due to a false statement. Thats beyond f'ed up. But this case reminds me of two others:

  • Curtis Jones case, where the real killer has recanted his false statement and has confessed to the murder th
    at has had this brother in an Indiana prison nearly 20 yrs. He is fighting for freedom now.

  • Davontae Standford case, where the real killer has come forward and confessed to the murders that got Davontae sent to prison at 15 years old. Police coerced a false confession for the, then, younger Davontae, who is still but a 19 year old in a Michigan prison now. He too, fights for his freedom.

    OVERSTAND: False statements are the 2nd most contributing factor to all wrongful convictions. So dont believe none of what you hear and half of what you see, because the system's corrupt.

    -lee bently 448

RIOT POLICE & PROTESTERS in BRUTAL CLASHES outside parliment in Madrid [...

Madrid riot police have cleared Plaza de Neptune of protesters, with about 200 officers securing the surrounding blocks. At least 60 people have been injured and 26 arrested as police used batons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

­Local emergency services have confirmed that at least 60 people, including eight policemen, were injured in clashes between police and protesters, El Pais reports. One of the wounded is believed to be in critical condition, while one of the injured policemen suffered a severe concussion.

Riot police dispersed the protesters, dragging some who had tried to get through police lines by their arms and legs. An uneasy order was restored and reinforcements were brought in to try and disperse the crowd.

Thirteen of those arrested have been detained after a group of protesters tried to break through the police barrier for the first time. Further arrests were carried out during the following clashes, bringing the total number of arrests to some 60, El Pais reported.

Authorities estimate that about 6,000 people took part in Tuesday's protest. Over 1,300 riot police officers were deployed in the capital, which is more than a half the country's riot police force.

Protests organizers have decided to repeat the protest and block the Parliament once again on Wednesday.

Thousands of activists have congregated in Madrid's Plaza de Neptune, 100 meters from the Congress building, to protest Spanish austerity measures.

The demonstrators pledged to march around the building, and called for new elections. Metal barriers have been placed around the building to block access from every possible direction.

Demonstrators waved banners with the slogan 'No' written on them, in reference to the austerity policies of the Spanish government.

Protesters said that today is a key day to level criticism against politicians and the Spanish government. The city stationed armored police vehicles bumper-to-bumper around the parliament building, and announced that around 1,300 police would be deployed to counter the protesters.

The organizers of the protest dubbed their movement 'Surround Congress,' and expressed hopes that thousands would turn out. The protestors called themselves 'indignants' and claimed that their democracy had been 'kidnapped,' calling for new elections and rallies against the austerity measures enacted by Mariano Rajoy's government.

Some 200 demonstrators gathered near the city's main railway station chanting "Rescue democracy," and "This is not a crisis, it's a swindle."

Another 100 protesters were scattered across the city's main square, the Plaza de Espana.

"This is not a real democracy. This is a democracy kidnapped by the parties in collaboration with the economic powers and the people have no say in it," said Romula Barnares, a 40-year-old artist wearing sunglasses with a dollar sign on one lens and a euro sign on another.

Austerity has hit every Spanish family and caused people who had been core supporters of the public sphere out of the country, says Carlos Delclos, a sociologist at Pompeu Fabra University.

"Austerity right now is at the level where it's affecting people's daily lives. It is affecting whether or not people can get medical attention, whether or not people can advance socially through education and social progress," Delclos told RT. "What you are seeing is a country where an entire generation is being relegated to a class of emigrants. People who have been investing into public money are now going to move out and generate wealth in other countries. That's not a project for our country."

But Miguel-anxo Murado, a journalist and writer, told RT that he thought their demands are too vague and that they would not be successful, "it seems that they are back with the same very vague and ambitious platform and in-fact they have been over shadowed by a different constitutional challenge, which is for the independence movement in Catalonia, which is more likely to change the constitution, although in a different way, so I'm afraid they will probably not have a huge success today."

Spain is in the middle of its second recession in two years, and faces a 25 percent unemployment rate.

Madrid introduced the controversial austerity measures in a gesture meant to show that it intends to fix its debt and budgetary shortfalls. The European Central Bank granted Spain a 100 billion euro rescue loan for its banks, but the country has not decided whether to seek another bailout.

Europe's financial leaders are pleading for Spain to reduce volatility in its markets by deciding whether or not to request the second loan.

During a September 15 protest, waves of some 50,000 anti-austerity demonstrators converged in downtown Madrid, blowing whistles and hoisting banners that read, "They are destroying the country, we must stop them." Representatives from over 230 civic and professional organizations also turned out amid cries of "lies," and "enough."

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

COINTELPRO 101 (Part 1)

Malcolm X on Community Protection from Police Brutality

40 years after the civil rights and Black power movements, the problem of police brutality is still here and worse than ever. While it primarily affects Black and Brown communities, it is also increasingly affecting others as well.

Obama: US won't block anti-Islam film

The attack in Damascus comes amid a major international gathering in New York, where the ongoing crisis in Syria is among the main topics being tackled. RT's Marina Portnaya is following the UN General Assembly meeting


September 25, 2012
For immediate release
Contact: Lewis Webb 212 598-0965
Gwen Debrow 718 849-6886
WHEN? WED, SEPT 26, 12 NOON – 1 PM
WHERE? 633 Third Avenue (corner 41st Street )
Following on what organizers describe as a hugely successful community gathering of at least 2100 people at Riverside Church , a coalition of sponsoring groups has asked to meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his New York office on September 26 to discuss shutting down the nationally and internationally notorious Attica Correctional Facility.
The coalition also plans to deliver thousands of petitions at noon that day asking the Governor to "take a principled stance against one of our country's most enduring symbols of brutality and racism", and mass incarceration, by closing the prison.
The petition goes on to say that "closing Attica would not resolve larger systemic problems, but would be a first step on the part of New York State to address the widespread violations of basic human rights that exist throughout the prison system".
Attica was the scene of a four-day protest by the men incarcerated there in 1971 who demanded that their basic human and civil rights be respected. The protest ended in a massacre by the New York State Police and the National Guard which left 39 people dead, including ten guards, after then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller, refused to negotiate with the protestors.
Last year the Correctional Association of New York (CANY) issued a report which said that many of the severe problems that date back to 1971, still exist. The report particularly highlighted the rampant guard violence, brutality, and lack of accountability on the part of the guards for their abuse of the incarcerated men. According to the Correctional Association Report, people incarcerated at Attica who completed the Association's survey described "staff mistreatment that was far worse than almost all other CA-visited prisons in nearly every category of abuse".
The September 14th petition mentions that while Governor Cuomo has closed some prisons, he has not shuttered any
maximum security facilities, where most of the brutality and violence occur. It ends by saying that "four decades after the uprising, Attica does not only stand as a symbol for a legacy of racism and culture of brutality, but many of the actual conditions remain as they were in 1971". Attica is both an example and a major site of the abusive conditions that prevail in New York 's maximum security prisons.
The September14th Coalition declares that it joins the New York State Correctional Association in calling for the closing of Attica once and for all. It concludes that "if we are committed to humanity, respecting the lives of those lost in 1971, and the many brutalized today, we must close Attica ".

--Mumia is Innocent! Stop the Frame Up! Free Mumia!--

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC

Monday, 24 September 2012

On This Tragic Day in Recent American History.....

11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
(September 23, 2012)
Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
Today marks the second anniversary of U.S. District Judge Richard Berman's unconscionable act of condemning Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years of imprisonment following an embarrassing "legal" proceeding that masqueraded as a trial.
It was a trial in which all of the evidence - both material and circumstantial - was in Aafia's favor; it was a trial in which the government's star witnesses contradicted themselves repeatedly; it was a trial in which Aafia Siddiqui (a political prisoner in a very high-profile political trial) was ill-served by her high paid team of private attorneys; and it was a trial in which many of the "leaders" of her own faith community (who knew of her plight) were afraid, or too indifferent, to mobilize communal support for her to the degree they were capable!
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui now sits in solitary confinement in a notorious prison hospital known as FMC Carswell, on a military base in Ft. Worth, Texas. While we would have liked to have organized a public demonstration in New York (where she was sentenced) or Texas (where she is currently imprisoned) we unfortunately did not have the resource on hand to do so. I am pleased to note, however, that a demonstration is taking place today at the U.S. Embassy in London - organized by the Justice For Aafia Coalition (JFAC) - and, no doubt, at a number of other locations in the international community.
With that said, WE MUST STEP IT UP IN AMERICA where this innocent Muslimah is being held!
What follows is a message from a non-Muslim brother in this struggle who has known Aafia and her family for many years, and the statement of ours that will be read at the demonstration in London today, insha'Allah.
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

September 23

This day in 2010 Richard Berman Condemned Aafia to 86 Years of Isolation

On Sep 28, 2010 approximately half a million people poured into the streets of Karachi to peacefully express their support for Aafia Siddiqui following the actions of Richard Berman on Sept 23, 2010. This has to date been the largest public rally in recent Pakistani history and one that stayed true to Aafia's request that no violence be done in her name.

A Reflection from British Author and Commentator, Andy Worthington:
I’m sorry to report that it’s two years since the Pakistani neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui received an 86-year sentence in a court in New York...
The trial of Aafia Siddiqui, which culminated in her sentence, and which I described at the time as “barbaric,” appeared to be a cover for a much grimmer story — one of the darkest in the whole of the torture-filled “war on terror” — in which, on the basis of alleged connections with terrorism that have never been proved, she had disappeared with her children in Pakistan in March 2003 and was then held in a “black site” until her engineered reappearance in Ghazni in 2008.
According to the US authorities, after being captured in a bewildered state, she allegedly tried and failed to shoot the Americans guarding her, which provided an excuse to render her to the US to be put on trial — an unusual move given that most people accused of anti-American activities in Afghanistan did not end up in the US — and for her to be silenced as a result of the 86-year sentence handed down after a trial that critics called “a grave miscarriage of justice,” and to be held in isolation in a psychiatric prison/hospital for women in Carswell, Texas, notoriously referred to as the “hospital of horrors”, where her health continues to deteriorate, and where she is denied meaningful contact with her family...
As time passes ...several significant figures have very publicly expressed their disgust at Aafia’s plight, and the severity of her sentence. Recently, for example, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark visited Pakistan and stated, “Justice demands that Aafia Siddiqui should immediately be released. I haven’t witnessed such bare injustice in my entire career.” In addition, Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan’s foreign minister under Pervez Musharraf, the President at the time of Aafia’s disappearance, has stated, “I’m so sorry for handing over the innocent Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to the Americans. It was my biggest mistake ever.”
Furthermore, just this week US Senator Mike Gravel, accompanied by the attorney Tina Foster of the International Justice Network, also visited Pakistan, where, as the Express Tribune described it, they “said that the Musharraf regime had illegally kidnapped Dr. Aafia along with her three children from Karachi in March 2003, and handed her over to the US government for illegal interrogation and secret detention based on completely false information.” The Express Tribune added that Sen. Gravel “maintained that Dr Aafia’s trial in the United States was illegal,” and “added that the US government had no moral or legal justification for their actions.”
Both he and Tina Foster stressed, however, that the Pakistani government “would have to take serious action if it wanted Dr. Siddiqui to be repatriated.” Foster said, “We have received no cooperation from the Government of Pakistan in securing Dr Siddiqui’s repatriation to Pakistan. There’s been a lot of talk, but no concrete steps have been taken despite numerous requests for assistance.” She added, “I’ve come on a humanitarian mission to ask Pakistani leadership for its assistance in returning Dr. Siddiqui to Pakistan. It’s obvious that the will of the Pakistani people is being ignored by their leadership.”...
Mr. Worthington's full posting can be viewed here
The Name of The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
Solidarity Statement with the International Campaign
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
On the occasion of the second anniversary of the wrongful conviction and sentencing of a committed Muslimah by the name of Aafia Siddiqui - a political prisoner and prisoner of war being held under conditions that violate the U.S. Constitution’s theoretical guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, and Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which theoretically guarantees “Freedom from torture and degrading treatment” – we salute the men and women of conscience who gather at the U.S. Embassy in London (and other venues in the global community) to raise their voices on behalf of the voiceless.
Sheikh Ibn Taymeeyah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) correctly noted many generations ago:
“Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating; therefore it is said, ALLAH aids the Just State even if it is non-Muslim; yet withholds His Help from the Oppressive State, even if it is Muslim.” With this in mind, it is self-evident that the action you are taking for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is an action you are taking for us all. May ALLAH bless you for it!
Of particular note, I wish to thank The Justice For Aafia Coalition (JFAC) for the phenomenal work they have been doing, on a consistent basis, to help lead the global campaign for our sister’s release and repatriation; and I pray that they receive consistent communal support commensurate with their noble efforts.
For those in England (and beyond) who are still fence-sitting on this extremely important issue of international precedent-setting consequence, I end with the memorable words of white South African Alan Paton in Cry the Beloved Country:
“I shall no longer ask myself if this or that is expedient; only if it is right. I do it not because I am noble or unselfish; but because life slips away, and I need for the rest of my journey a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie. I do it because I can no longer aspire to the highest with one part of myself, yet deny it with the other.”
Standing UP for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is the right thing to do! May ALLAH bless your noble efforts on the occasion of this dark anniversary, and may it be an elevating inspiration for us all.
In the never-ending struggle for peace thru justice,
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation
United States of America
Dhul Qidah 1433 A.H. (Sept 23, 2012)
This would be a fitting occasion to revisit the September 2, 2012, statement of Imam Abdullah Faaruuq; another good man, and principled leader, who knew Aafia well from her years of positive activism in Boston, MA.
In the Name of Allah: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Who Is She?
By Imam Abdullah Faaruuq & Sister Sufia Hassan
If we are going to give support to this woman Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Who is she and what did she do?’ We know the answer is going to vary depending upon whom we ask. If we ask those who know her -- her friends, associates, family, those who lived, studied or worked with her - they would attest to her good character, concern for others, and truthfulness. However, if we ask those who never knew her, but only heard through the media via government officials, they would say she is an evil woman, an attempted murderer bent on destroying America—a terrorist. We are told in Islam to ask those who know—I am one who knew her personally.
By virtue of her behavior and speech, nothing could be further from the truth than those lies used to turn public opinion against her. I can tell you how she spent her time. I witnessed her raising money for clothing and food for the displaced Bosnians fleeing from Serbian oppression. I worked with her as she raised money to purchase and distribute Islamic literature. Those efforts reached the forgotten inmates seeking knowledge of the truth about Islam, while incarcerated in so-called correctional institutions. Her resources also made their way to university students in MSAs providing them literature to promote their spiritual growth, while they continued to pursue their secular endeavors. But her efforts did not stop there, she sent much needed Qurans and other literature to various Mosques to help promote Islam as a complete way of life.
I listened to her deliver inspiring speeches that motivated both men and women to get involved with issues that concerned humanity as a whole and Muslims in particular. Such speeches were given during the Bosnian War. After hearing this young dynamic woman speak, no one could continue to be a by-stander in good conscience. Reading about our Muslim Brothers being killed and Muslim Sisters being raped, while the world looked on was not an option. She encouraged doctors to go and donate their services, and sisters to give money to support that effort. Money for food and clothing was collected to help the Bosnian refugees. She also gave speeches that encouraged Muslim women to not be afraid to cover as Allah commanded, or practice their religion openly in this land of the free and home of the brave. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s speeches always motivated people towards noble and righteous causes that any sound minded American would support.
I witnessed her as a mother truly concerned for her children. They were well groomed and cared for. I ate delicious food cooked with her own hands and enjoyed her company and wit. She was a Muslim woman who was not afraid to champion the cause of oppressed people, her people who happened to be Muslims. This is the Aafia Siddiqui that I know.
If we listen to those who never knew her and have political agendas, we would be lead to believe that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui must have committed some heinous crime for authorities to abduct her in her own homeland, transport her across the border, have her missing for five years, release and re-arrest her, shoot and wound her, then charge her with unsubstantiated accusations of assaulting an FBI agent with his own weapon in an attempt to kill him. We would also be lead to believe that while she and her children were missing for five years, that she ran away and actively participated in some Al Qaeda operations which never manifested and for which she was never charged. If the US government is unable to charge her with any crimes of terrorism, than why did they chase her around the world and subject her to all forms of torture.
We would be lead to believe that this graduate of MIT and Brandeis University would be willing to sacrifice her life and the lives of her children for an impractical cause. We would have to ignore the fact that there was no forensic evidence that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui ever touched an assault weapon (none of her finger prints were on any of the weapons). We would have to ignore the evidence presented in court that not one bullet from the automatic weapon authorities claimed that she fired was found among the barrage of bullets in the space in which she was contained. We would also have to ignore the fact that she was the only one shot and nearly killed.
For me Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a political prisoner being held unjustly in a maximum security prison for showing concern for Muslims here and abroad. The question still remains, who is Dr Aafia Siddiqui to you?
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq
Mosque for The Praising of Allah
(T) 617-442-2805 (F) 617-445-2345
724 Shawmut Ave.
Roxbury MA 02119
Insha'Allah, El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan will be the guest khatib for jumuah (in which the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will figure prominently in the khutbah) at The Grand Mosque in Parma, Ohio, on Friday, October 19, 2012. A community forum will also follow (the details of which are still being worked out).
A Special Community Forum is also being planned for Saturday, December 1st, at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ) in Monmouth, NJ.


Free All Political Prisoners!