[floridaleft] Mumia Abu Jamal on the jailing of C.Clark Kissinger (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Thu Jan 11 16:04:08 MST 2001

forwarded by Michael Hoover

> Philadelphia : 1st Amendment Free Zone!
> Philadelphia : 1st Amendment Free Zone!
> #486 Column Written 12/21/2000
> Mumia Abu-Jamal, M.A.
> All Rights Reserved
> A mere mention of the place-name "Philadelphia" is sufficient to evoke a
> host of images upon the mind, a mix of myth and mayhem; the differences
> between what one is taught, and what one has learned from the lessons of
> life.
> To many, Philadelphia means the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the
> staging ground for what came to be called the American Revolution.  To
> others, Philadelphia means the MOVE bombing, unbridled police repression,
> the flames of Osage Avenue, marking signs of a Revolution to come.
> Philadelphia, in fact, was the first capital of the fledgling United
> States. It was also, in the eyes of those most deprived of freedom,
> ex-slaves like Frederick Douglass, a city remarkable for its racism, and a
> dangerous city, that spawned mobs who burned buildings which were centers
> of abolitionism. More recently, in 1999 and the year 2000, it has been the
> place where the New Abolitionists-opponents of the death penalty-have found
> the hard face of police and judicial oppression turned against
> them.  Demonstrators who have dared to exercise their alleged first
> amendment rights at the Liberty Bell have learned that such an exercise is
> a crime, punished by judicially-imposed silence, and banishment from the
> environs where the so-called "constitutional guarantee" was written! Those
> bold youth who dared to practice those alleged "constitutional guarantees"
> at the recent Republican National Convention in Philadelphia found
> Philadelphia's real face: the dungeons of Holmesburg Prison, the
> vomit-strewn holding tanks of the Roundhouse, and the malevolent repression
> of the DA's Office, which sought, and obtained, million dollar ransoms, for
> those who got the legal equivalent of traffic tickets.  Welcome to
> Philadelphia, y'all.
> Revolutionary journalist C. Clark Kissinger has been but the latest to
> taste the tender mercies of the local judiciary.  Banned from the city for
> daring to act as if the Liberty Bell represented liberty, Clark was
> recently hauled before a magistrate for - get this - speaking in
> Philadelphia during the Convention.  For speaking, without first getting
> judicial permission (that is, for practicing free speech!)  Clark was
> sentenced to 90 days in federal prison.
> What was Clark's "crime?"  The government claimed it was simply a violation
> of probation.  Sure.  But does anyone think he would be in stir, if he
> quietly came to Philly, because he wanted to see the Rocky statue, or The
> Thinker by Rodin, at the Art Museum?  What if he suddenly got religion, and
> wanted to pray at Bishop John Neumann's Shrine?  The prosecutor leaves
> little doubt about why Clark was there.  His words: George W. Bush is a
> smirking frat rat, son of a former head of the CIA, who went on to become a
> speculator oil man, and went on from there to be a blood-stained
> executioner, and now wants to be the Ruler of the world!  This was the
> State's Exhibit #1, and this was the magistrate's incredible justification
> for this violation hearing.  In Rappoport's words, "Past behavior shows
> that his speech ends in civil disobedience."  This is the same guy who
> claims that Clark's case has absolutely "nothing" to do with the First
> Amendment!  Is that not incredible?
> As Clark aptly put it when first faced with jail: If I were an executive of
> Firestone who killed people with defective tires, I wouldn't have to fear a
> single day in jail.  If I were one of the cops who fired 41 bullets at
> Amadou Diallo, I wouldn't have to worry about going to jail.  If I were an
> army officer instructing death squad leaders at the School of the Americas
> at Fort Benning, Georgia, I certainly wouldn't be threatened with any jail
> time.
> Welcome to Philadelphia, y'all.  Where the First Amendment doesn't matter.
> Where both the media and the government conspire to punish you for protest.
> Where you can be beaten, jailed, threatened, and insulted by a judge, and
> jailed again!  Philly-First Amendment Free Zone!
> (c)MAJ 2000
> On behalf of the
> National Office of Refuse & Resist!
> 305 Madison Ave., Suite 1166
> NY, NY 10165
> http://www.refuseandresist.org
> info at refuseandresist.org
> Tel:   212.713.5657

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