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Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks with CUNY Students at Free Palestine Encampment

by Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks With CUNY Students at Free Palestine Encampment (April 26th 9:41 PM)
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Brothers, sisters, comrades, friends. I greet you from the American system of mass incarceration. What we are involved in right now, I think, is something called mass education, and City College and Columbia and Emory and USC are all part of that process right now. That education is about the repression that Gaza is suffering under.

It is a wonderful thing that you have decided not to be silent and decided to speak out against the repression that you see with your own eyes. So, you are part of something massive. And you are part of something that is on the right side of history.

You are against a colonial settler regime that steals the land from the people who are indigenous to that area. And you are saying that this is wrong. I urge you to speak out against the terrorism that is afflicting Gaza with all of your might, all of your will and all of your strength. Do not bow to those who want you to be silent.

It is time right now, this day, this hour, this moment, to be heard. And to shake the earth so that the people of Gaza, the people of Rafah, the people of the West Bank, the people of Palestine can feel your solidarity with them. (Cheers from the crowd.)

I am a student of the late, great Frantz Fanon. And I read him every day and think about his ideas. And when I see what is happening in Gaza right now, I know that right now the people of Gaza are “the wretched of the earth”. And they are fighting to be free from generations of occupation. So it is not enough, brothers and sisters, students, it is not enough to demand a ceasefire. How about this: Make your demand Cease Occupation! Cease Occupation! Cease Occupation! [Cheers. Students chant “Cease Occupation! Cease Occupation! Cease Occupation! Cease Occupation!”).

Let that be your battle cry because that is the call of history, of which all of you are a part. You are part of something magnanimous, magnificent, and soul changing, life changing, history changing. Do not let go of this moment. Make it bigger. Make it more massive. Make it more powerful. Make it echo up into the stars. I am thrilled by your work. I love you. I admire you. On the Move!

(“Cheers. On the Move! Thank you, Mumia! Cheers. Thank you, Mumia! Brick by brick, wall by wall, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal … Mumia! Brick by brick, wall by wall, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Mumia! Brick by brick, wall by wall, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal”)

Johanna Fernandez: Mumia! Hold on! Do we have a little more time?

Students: Yes, yes!

Johanna: I have a question for you, Mumia. How is the liberation of Palestine tied to the liberation of all of us and the human race? It starts with Palestine, but it grows bigger, to the whole system globally.”

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Think about this. This is a moment that was made possible because of the technology that exists in the pockets of millions of people, billions of people, all around the world. Your phones. Think about this. Think about what happened with a brother named George Floyd was being asphyxiated with a knee on his neck just a few years ago. It sparked an international movement that has not been seen in generations. What you are seeing now on your phones, not on your TVs, but on your phones, is a kind of unseen repression against an essentially powerless people, a people who’ve been behind the walls of Palestine for generations, who suffered 75 years of occupation. People who do not have the freedom to turn on their water or to repel air attacks by F18 (jet fighters). So, when you see that kind of repression, it magnifies what is happening and it moves you. Because if you do not have a heart, you would not be moved, but you have a heart. You are looking at that and it is moving you. It is moving your soul. So that is what connects us. Right? As human beings: oppression. The Koran says: “Oppression is worse than death” because oppression destroys the soul, the spirit, the hope of being human. So, keep on, keep it on!

[Cheers.]

Johanna: Thank you.

Mumia, Thank you Thank you all.

Johanna: I feel like we have a little more time. Does anyone have a question?

Johanna: What are you going to do when you get out?

Mumia: I am going to walk on my street in France.

Crowd: Beautiful

Crowd: So, I wanted to ask, looking at this crisis of journalism, you, Mumia as one of our most liberatory experts on journalism experts and practitioners, and revolutionaries, what do you have to say to the independent journalists of the University, the People’s University of Palestine.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: This is the moment for independent journalism because corporate journalism is falling short. You know, corporate journalism is kind of propaganda, right? It is a message for the powerful. Okay. It. not a message for the poor and the oppressed. Corporate journalists are selling soap. Independent journalists are speaking out because they are free. If I were a corporate journalist, I could not say anything, or if I did say what I was saying, I would be fired in a heartbeat. And that happened in the old days. I got fired from every station I ever worked at (laughs), because I refused to shut up and not say the thing, they did not want me to say.

Crowd: Thank you. We love you! We love you.

Mumia: Thank you brother.

Johanna: What do you say to those who framed you?

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Framing me has not stopped me. The beat goes on to quote Fred Hampton.

Crowd: What would you say to the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, Mumia?

Mumia Abu-Jamal: That I am with you. That we are with you. And that all Palestinian political prisoners should be free. Most important: Palestine must be free.

(Cheers)


https://www.prisonradio.org/commentary/mumia-free-palestine-columbia-speech/
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