[Marxism] Michael Moore apologizes for claiming Mumia "killed that cop"
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Nov 15 08:46:35 MST 2004
The introductory remarks are by Walter Lippmann.
(Those of us who appreciate Michael Moore's talent and
skill at explaining many of the complex realities of
life in the United States through moving pictures and
well-chosen words were shocked, angered, saddened and
dismayed at his stupid and false statement in the book
"Dude, Where's My Country?" that Mumia "did indeed kill
the cop". Some people tried to read Michael Moore out
of the progressive movement because of his statement.
(By following through carefully and choosing effective
tactics, supporters of Mumia eventually succeeded in
turning Michael Moore's opinion and behavior around as
this excellent report by Jeff Mackler reflects. Moore
never was "the enemy", but was someone who had done
something stupid and wrong for whatever reason. I feel
this should be a useful lesson for others who likewise
would read others out of the progressive world because
of one or another area of disagreement, no matter how
strong or wrong we think that specific issue is.)
From: Litestar01 at aol.com [mailto:Litestar01 at aol.com]
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 4:32 AM
To: Litestar01 at aol.com; nattyreb at comcast.net
Subject: Michael Moore Apologizes for Mumia Remark
Pam Africa is truly a Lioness and Warrior in the cause of
freeing Mumia. She has pursued this lie that was spouted
out so cavalierly by Michael Moore and I hope that his
apology is spread as widely as his assertion against Mumia was.
We ought not forget that Moore was speaking at Temple
University's Liacorous Center. Liacorous was Temple
president responsible for, in 1993 or so, pulling the plug
on Pacifica Radio's widely-heard Democracy Now! program for
daring to schedule Mumia commentaries. Pacifica News was
also removed...as, later, were all community broadcast
parts of Temple's "public" radio station, WRTI.
Within about a week, Liacorous, then Gov. Ridge (MAJ death
warrant signer), and then Philly Mayor Rendell (DA at time
of Mumia frame-up) were in news photo laughing merrilly
Michael Moore Apologizes for Mumia Remark
by Jeff Mackler
Author/director Michael Moore stopped at Philadelphia's
Temple University in late October to address a crowd of
several thousand students while on tour, stumping for
"lesser-evil," pro-war John Kerry. Moore opened by inviting
to the stage and paying homage to the mother of the first
National Guardsman killed in a U.S. war since 1945. The
overwhelmingly antiwar crowd responded with applause as the
honoree graciously and proudly signaled her appreciation.
She was followed by a Marine who had recently returned from
Iraq. The disillusioned soldier reported on the horrors
perpetuated by the U.S. military on the Iraqi people. He
too was enthusiastically welcomed.
Soon after a final introductory speaker, the applause again
subsided and strong voice was heard from the crowd, "What
about Mumia Abu-Jamal?" The question was presented by a
young supporter of the International Concerned Family and
Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, (ICFFMAJ).
The reference was to Moore's statement in his 2003 book,
"Dude, Where's My Country?" On page 183 Moore falsely and
without substantiation asserts in a section entitled "How
to talk to your conservative brother-in-law" that Mumia
"did indeed kill the cop, " referring to the 1981 murder of
Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Mumia's frame-up for Faulkner's murder by corrupt
Philadelphia police and prosecutors has been repudiated by
organizations ranging from Amnesty International and U.S.
trade unions to the European Parliament and the presidents
of France and South Africa. Hundreds of thousands have
marched for his freedom around the world.
Moore has since apologized for what he now considers to be
a mistaken and errant remark. He did so several months ago,
mildly, on Amy Goodman's Pacific Radio talk show,
"Democracy Now!" He followed correctly by refraining from
repeating the lie in the paperback edition of his book.
However, supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the innocent
Pennsylvania death-row inmate, political prisoner, and
award-winning journalist, believe that, given Moore's
prominence, the damage done to Mumia's fight for his life
and freedom resulting from the false charge in his
best-selling book far outweigh the positive action he took
in his less publicized retraction.
The Mumia supporter who questioned Moore was followed by
other Mumia activists, who marched down the auditorium's
center aisle with a huge poster of Mumia. Moore immediately
responded with an open and frank apology. He told the
audience that he was mistaken and his remark was without
foundation. He said that Mumia had not received a fair
Moore challenged those present to respond by stating that
he was certain that they were in agreement. His request was
received from a rather surprised crowd with a strong round
of applause that drowned out the handful of catcallers, who
shouted that Mumia was a "cop killer".
The meeting was preceded by the wide distribution of a
leaflet authored by the ICFFMAJ, scoring Moore and
explaining the details of the case. The leaflet , signed by
several members of the newly-formed National Task Force to
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, requested that Moore meet with Mumia
and his attorney Robert R. Bryan at Waynesburg prison,
where Mumia has been incarcerated for the past 22 years.
The successful intervention was prepared by ICFFMAJ leader
Pam Africa, the central organizer of Mumia's national and
international defense effort. Africa was seated in the
front and center row of the meeting hall next to Moore's
honored guest, prepared to challenge Moore had he failed to
retract his false charge against Mumia.
The article above first appeared in the November 2004 issue
of Socialist Action newspaper.
For more on Mumia's case see:
Yet Another Witness Comes Forward and
Refutes The frame-Up Of Mumia Abu-Jamal!
More information about the Marxism