[Marxism] FWD: Mumia Abu-Jamal on Ward Churchill

kersplebedeb info at kersplebedeb.com
Wed Mar 9 09:14:35 MST 2005


 IN DEFENSE OF WARD CHURCHILL - HISTORIAN!

[Col. Writ. 2/10/05]
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 In every society, more or less coercive measures are applied by ruling 
groups to organize and control mass opinion. This method seems worse 
than some because it constitutes an abuse of reason. -- Edward H. Carr, 
*What is History?* (1961)
 
 As rabid right-wing talkbirds cackle for the firing of University of 
Colorado-based historian, Ward Churchill, the very controversy echoes an 
earlier, meaner age; that of the Cold War period of the '50s, when the 
state, through the FBI and various other government agencies, ran riot 
over the rights, livelihoods, families and lives of tens of thousands of 
people, simply because of their differing political opinions, or because 
they were suspected of being 'communists.'

 Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at UC, knows a little something 
about that era. He was co-author (with Jim Vander Wall) of the 
now-classic and authoritative studies of the now-infamous COINTELPRO, or 
*CO*unter*INTEL*ligence *PRO*gram of the FBI against radical movements: 
*Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther 
Party and the American Indian Movement* (Cambridge, Ma.: South End 
Press, 1988 [2002]); and *The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the 
FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States* (Cambridge, Ma.: 
South End Press, 1990 [2002]). Both works, together over 900 pages, are 
exhaustively footnoted and documented, and provide chilling insights 
into how the State used illegal, unconstitutional, and outright criminal 
tactics to "neutralize, disrupt", and indeed destroy social and 
political movements for decades!

 Churchill is now under fire for an essay penned shortly after the 
events of Sept. 11, 2001, where he reasons that, to anyone knowledgeable 
about U.S. foreign affairs, the attack could hardly have been 
surprising. As knowledgeable as he is about U.S. domestic affairs, he is 
equally knowledgeable about foreign affairs. And he knows, all too well, 
that many people in foreign lands have grievances against the U.S.

 In his 2002 essay, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting 
Chickens", Churchill recalls the famous comment by Malcolm X, after the 
assassination of President John F. Kennedy: it was but a case of 
"chickens coming home to roost."

 Both Malcolm and Churchill knew something about U.S. actions abroad, 
its export of violence abroad, and its demonstrated hatred of dark 
peoples the world over. He recounts how American armies and agents have 
wreaked brutal havoc all around the world, killing almost countless 
"innocent civilians", in their efforts to insure continued imperial 
rule. For example, he mentions the CIA's Operation Phoenix, where the 
U.S. government, the Navy Seals, Army Special Forces, south Vietnamese 
Rangers, and Australian SAS, "neutralized" people named by CIA snitches 
as Vietnamese "guerrillas."

 Churchill writes:

 Upwards of 40,000 people -- mostly bystanders, as it turns out -- were 
murdered by Phoenix hit teams before the guerrillas, stronger than ever, 
ran the US and its collaborators out of their country altogether. And 
these are the guys who are gonna save the day, if unleashed to do their 
thing in North America? [p. 6]

 Ward Churchill is bitingly critical of the politicians, the military, 
and other government agencies who have unleashed a wave of terror upon 
people around the world. He does not mindlessly genuflect to the dead 
from the World Trade Center attacks. He explains, as best he can, that 
such unbridled violence abroad, led to violence here.

 Churchill is not a 'safe', or 'guild', historian. He does not speak 
obliquely of 'the vanishing Indian', or the glories of Manifest Destiny. 
He teaches of the madness of Empire, and from the position of the people 
on the periphery, the outskirts of Empire.

 It is not enough for us to merely, dumbly intone that Churchill has the 
right to write what he does. No -- we must do more.

 We must insist that Churchill *is right*. And no one, not some rabid 
talkshow parrots, nor a political whore like Gov. Bill Owens, has a 
right to demand what is wrong. The Cold War is over (even in Colorado).

 Churchill is right!

 Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 [Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black 
Panther Party*, from South End Press (www.southendpress.org); Ph. 
#1-800-533-8478.]

===============================

 "When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, 
yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die. And I have 
never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice." - 
Mumia Abu-Jamal

 MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE 
PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

 The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to 
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as you 
possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and **especially 
off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run them *unedited*, 
with every word including copyright information intact, and send a copy 
of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ. THANK YOU!!!
 Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!! at www.mumia.org and its links.

========================================

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www.fsrn.org

==============================================>

 The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

 PLEASE CONTACT: International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ P.O. 
Box 19709 Philadelphia, PA 19143 Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 
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SCI-Greene 175 Progress Drive Waynesburg, PA 15370

 WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

 Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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