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The late, great and revered human rights activist, Malcolm X ( El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) once warned of the essential similarity between the American Democrat and his Southern 'cuzzin', the Dixiecrat.

Malcolm explained that although one (the Democrat) acted like the friend of Black folks, and the other (the Dixiecrat) acted like a hated enemy, both really only cared about themselves, and the maintenance of white political supremacy and power.

"The chicken", as Malcolm predicted, "have come home to roost," for truly do we live in an age where Black folks can hardly tell friend from foe.

As political winds shift, so too does political alliances, and as politicians shovel to the lowest common denominator, the interests of Black so-called "citizens" get jettisoned as they curry to the frenzied fears and insecurities of white constituencies, who increasingly clamor against the perennial Black "other."

Black interests, like Black prospective Justice Dept. appointee Prof. Lani Guinier, get shuttled to the edges, and seen, in this new formula of political economy, as inherently "divisive", as if this nation has not, m form its very inception, divided its African population from the very definition of human.

The election, and subsequent reelection of Bill "Bubba" Clinton has marked the re-ascension and political victory of an old strain of American politics.

It is the Dixiecrat reborn, more sophisticated, with an almost urbane 'crackerism'.

This new Dixiecrat doesn't need to yell "nigger", as did his daddy. He uses code words, and speaks in measured tones. He visits Black churches where both politician and congregation can worship a white Jesus while the low- intensity warfare against Black life rages on.

He can bomb black babies (as Clinton did in Waco) or unleash his dogs of war on third world countries while being serenaded by the latest Black Singer.

He can piss on the poor (as Clinton did with the welfare bill) while the new Black middle class swears a tenuous allegiance to a class their parents never knew, and the wealthy class applauds his savage "discipline."

This new Dixiecrat is one who may be around Blacks personally, yet espouses a neo-liberalism that attacks Black collective interests. Neo-liberalism is Dixieism with better manners.

It is the politics of white supremacy that may even utilize Black faces in high places, for it never forgets its pale roots.

Black folks, it is reported, voted in relatively smaller numbers in the last US Presidential Election (in fact, of all eligible voters, less than 49% voted), a reflection not so much of Black apathy, as it is of Black cleverness, as in "What the hell is there to vote for?"

"What's the diff?"

One candidate all but snarled at Black voters, while the other all but ignored them.

Who is there to vote for?

We are watching the consolidation of white political power, from the "Left" and the "Right" to the detriment of Black collective interests.

We are witnessing the rise of the Neo-Dixiecrat.


Mumia Abu-Jamal ©1997

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"Extreme law is often extreme injustice"

Terence, Roman Dramatist (c. 190 - 159 BC)

As of this writing, the embassy hostage situation continues in Lima, Peru, with day to day changes.
Perhaps by the time you see this, it will have ended.
Time will tell.

Most of us will have read reams about the Peruvian drama, and for many, the name of the group which initiated the action, the Tupac Amaru Movement, is unfamiliar, or at best, reminds one of the talented, late, African-American rapper and actor, Tupac Shakur, who was named after the Indian anti-colonial rebel of that name.
We are assured, by the Daily Blab, that the rebels who took hostages are "terrorists" who are fighting against "rightful government authority."
And that is presently what they want you to think.

What have you read from the group itself?
Very little, I'd wager.

In an interview with the German periodical, "junge Welt" (young World), a representative of that group, known as MRTA for its Spanish acronym (Movemiento Revolucionario de Tupac Amaru - Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement), Norma Velazco, gave the real reasons for the action
(translated by the Canadian radical journal, Arm The Spirit):

"Q: What are the goals of your embassy occupation?

A: In a situation of violence and increased repression, being exerted by the Peruvian authorities against political prisoners, the military action of the MRTA has two goals:
1. The release of MRTA prisoners, as well as those prisoners falsely accused by the government of being MRTA militants.
2. To carry out an action against neo-liberalism, which the Peruvian regime is practicing.

Q: Why did the MRTA, by taking foreign diplomats hostage, seek an international confrontation?

A: The MRTA does not wish a confrontation with the international community and it respects the integrity of its representatives. But we did not release these diplomats so that we could avoid unnecessary bloodshed and thereby reach a political solution. The MRTA, in the fall of 1995, planned to occupy the Peruvian Parliament building in Lima. This action could not be carried out because the commando was discovered beforehand.

Q: In general, guerrilla struggle in Latin America has ended. Does the MRTA also seek to end its armed struggle?

A: We respect the decisions of the guerrilla in El Salvador and Guatemala to end the armed struggle, although we are critical of their decisions, we think they know the situation in their countries best. The militants of the MRTA, however, categorically reject peace talks with the government. That is the view of the base elements of the MRTA as well as the leadership. It is still necessary to wage a revolutionary struggle for social change.

Q: Why is it necessary?

A: Following the decline of the popular movement over the past few years, our present task is to create a revolutionary consciousness.
The re-organization of the popular organizations will be advanced by armed organizations, which are like needle points in the side of the government.
The government must realize that the MRTA sill exists and has not, like the government propaganda says, been destroyed.
The MRTA has dealt more losses to the Peruvian army in war than the government of Ecuador. In the past 3 years, 2 military barracks and 4 army helicopters were destroyed.
But the media and the government of Peru never acknowledged these military actions. But they can't ignore our present action.

Q: The political prisoners are a major focus of this latest action. What is their situation in Peru like at the present time?

A: After the Fujimori-Putsch of 1992, a civil-military dictatorship was put into place in Peru. Special laws aimed at leftist organizations were passed which gave the police, the army, and the courts all possible means of repression.
There are thousands of political prisoners in Peru.
They are members of farmers groups, students, women, union members, and so on.
The majority of these prisoners, both men and women, have refused offers of amnesty.
They are subjected to special forms of physical and psychological torture.
There are 12 high-security prisons in Peru. One of them is a marine base. Our comrade Maria Cumpa is in total isolation there, and because her family has distanced themselves from her, she is not allowed any visits. According to the anti-terror laws, only family members may visit political prisoners.
Another prison is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters in the Andes Mountains. The climate there makes life very hard for the prisoners. The wind blows through the bars and it is always cold. Many prisoners suffer from respiratory illness and stomach pains.
People who are arrested (under anti-terror laws) are sentenced within 24 hours, with no chance of a defense.
The prisoners must then live in total isolation for a whole year. Afterwards they can receive one 30-minute visit every month, but only from immediate family members.
They are confined to their small cells for all but half and hour each day. They have no radio or TV.
They are denied medical treatment.
The food is very bad. Oftentimes, the food is rotten and the guards mix in glass, rats, or cockroaches with the food.
Prison conditions are the same for women and men. But the women must in addition endure sexual assaults and intimidation.
There is also a lack of water in the prisons. All prisoners receive only two liters (or 2.114 liquid quarts) per day for bathing, washing, and drinking."

Now, why haven't you read this in the "Daily Blab"? If you examine it you'll see why the action in Peru took place.

30th December 1996

Mumia Abu Jamal

(With appreciation to "junge Welt") and: Arm The Spirit P.O. Box 6326, Stn. A Toronto, Ontario M5W 1P7 Canada

Copyright 1997 Mumia Abu- Jamal

Articolato pubblicato in: "MRTA solidarity page" all'indirizzo
Altri materiali in italiano sono reperibili sulla "M.R.T.A. homepage di TM Crew" all'indirizzo

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A leading American journalist and Black Panther activist, who is currently on death row in Pennsylvania, has sent a message of support to the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday.

Mumia Abu-Jamel - a past president of the Philadelphia of Black Journalists - used to broadcast on National Public Radio before he was sentenced to death for killing a policeman in 1981.

He has always protested his innocence of the charge and believes his Black Panther background led to his prosecution.

In his letter to Bloody Sunday relatives, he states: "We send warm greetings to those seeking justice in Ireland.

"We salute you on this occasion of the 25th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Your struggle is our struggle. You are not alone in confronting a system that oppresses an indigenous people.
In unity with communities of resistance throughout the world, we demand respect and dignity for all, not just the few.
As you continue your difficult struggle for justice and democracy against a colonial power, you have our support and solidarity."

Other US groups and citizens to send messages include: the National Lawyers Guild, The Irish Unity Committee, Sissy Farenthold (recent Democratic Party candidate for Texas governor), and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

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