Migrant Children’s Plight

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The House Judiciary Committee’s June 25 hearing was supposed to be about the recent surge in the numbers of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America who are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Had this really been the subject of the hearing, the topic of escalating gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador would have been front and center—as would the issue of how best to help children who have been seriously traumatized by both their journeys and conditions in their home countries. Yet, thanks to some who sit on the committee and those seated at the witness table, getting at the heart of these matters was like pulling teeth.

It was also telling that, behind the witness table, only one person—Rev. Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso—returned the discussion to the point where it should have been all along. He talked about the violence and terror fomented in Central American cities by gangs. He described how parents make an agonizing decision to place their children in the hands of a smuggler, and subject them to a possibly fatal journey northward, because that is the best choice among terrible alternatives. He said that unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border should be placed in child-friendly shelters as quickly as possible, and should be appointed both legal counsel and case workers.
* ARTICLE SOURCE: http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/06/26/congress-needs-reminding-of-unaccompanied-migrant-childrens-plight/

Listen to Mumia Abu Jamal’s commentary on this issue:
http://uprisingradio.org/home/2014/07/15/mumia-abu-jamal-when-children-are-the-enemy/

Nearly 60,000 children mostly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have arrived in the US since last October. Many of them are being held in facilities as President Obama and the governors of border states struggle to find a politically acceptable solution.

A close look into the reason why these children take this long and dangerous journey is written in the book “Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario, based on a series of prize winning reports she wrote for the LA Times. Enrique’s Journey has been published in eight languages and has been adopted by 54 universities and scores of high schools nationwide.

The people of Murrieta, Ca and other places, white America – are fighting to keep these children and their parents out of this country in the only way they know how to – through racism. It is quite pitiful to see that these descendants of Europe who’s ancestor’s were the true terrorists of this land and others beyond, think this is their land… Go back to your homeland white man I say to those who know not how to live amongst the natives of this country.

SEE DEMOCRACY NOW: U.S. Turns Back on Child Migrants After Its Policies in Guatemala, Honduras Sowed Seeds of Crisis @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wRdj9nj1lw

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Mumia – Long Distance Revolutionary the movie

Mumia - Long Distance Revolutionary the movie

STILL IN THEATERS
Newark, NJ (Essex County College)
October 24, 2013

New York, NY (Quad Cinemas)
October 25-31, 2013

Boston, MA (Hibernian Hall)
November 1, 2013

Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)
November 8, 2013

By Chris Hedges

I am sitting in the visiting area of the SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pa., on a rainy, cold Friday morning with Mumia Abu-Jamal, America’s most famous political prisoner and one of its few authentic revolutionaries. He is hunched forward on the gray plastic table, his dreadlocks cascading down the sides of his face, in a room that looks like a high school cafeteria. He is talking intently about the nature of empire, which he is currently reading voraciously about, and effective forms of resistance to tyranny throughout history. Small children, visiting their fathers or brothers, race around the floor, wail or clamber on the plastic chairs. Abu-Jamal, like the other prisoners in the room, is wearing a brown jumpsuit bearing the letters DOC—for Department of Corrections.

Abu-Jamal was transferred in January to the general prison population after nearly 30 years in solitary confinement on death row and was permitted physical contact with his wife, children and other visitors for the first time in three decades. He had been sentenced to death in 1982 for the Dec. 9, 1981, killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His sentence was recently amended to life without parole. The misconduct of the judge, flagrant irregularities in his trial and tainted evidence have been criticized by numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Abu-Jamal, who was a young activist in the Black Panthers and later one of the most important radical journalists in Philadelphia, a city that a few decades earlier produced I.F. Stone, has long been the bête noire of the state. The FBI opened a file on him when he was 15, when he started working with the local chapter of the Black Panthers. He was suspended from his Philadelphia high school when he campaigned to rename the school for Malcolm X and distributed “black revolutionary student power” literature.

Stephen Vittoria’s new film documentary about Abu-Jamal, “Long Distance Revolutionary,” rather than revisit the case, chronicles his importance and life as an American journalist, radical and intellectual under the harsh realities of Pennsylvania’s death row. Abu-Jamal has published seven books in prison, including his searing and best-selling “Live From Death Row.” The film features the voices of Cornel West, James Cone, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Alice Walker and others. It opens in theaters Feb. 1, starting in New York City. In the film Gregory says that Abu-Jamal has single-handedly brought “dignity to the whole death row.”

The late historian Manning Marable says in the film: “The voice of black journalism in the struggle for the liberation of African-American people has always proved to be decisive throughout black history. When you listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal you hear the echoes of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and the sisters and brothers who kept the faith with struggle, who kept the faith with resistance.”

The authorities, as they did before he was convicted, have attempted to silence him in prison. Pennsylvania banned all recorded interviews with Abu-Jamal after 1996. In response to protests over the singling out of one inmate in the Pennsylvania correction system, the state simply banned recorded access to all its inmates. The ban is nicknamed “the Mumia rule.”

“I was punished for communicating,” Abu-Jamal says.

Cornel West says in the film: “The state is very clever in terms of keeping track, especially [of] the courageous and visionary ones, the ones that are long-distance runners. You can keep track of them, absorb ’em, dilute ’em, or outright kill ’em—you don’t have to worry about opposition to ’em.”

“If you tell them the truth about the operation of our power this is what happens to you,” he goes on. “Like Jesus on the cross. This is what happens to you.”

During my four-and-a-half-hour conversation with Abu-Jamal I was not permitted a pencil or paper. I wrote down his quotes after I left the prison. My time with him mirrors the wider pattern of a society where the poor and the destitute are rendered invisible and voiceless.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_unsilenced_voice_of_a_long-distance_revolutionary_20121209

http://www.mumia-themovie.com

Video

“Long Distance Revolutionary”: Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Journey From Black Panther to Prison Journalist

Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently serving a life sentence for the alleged murder of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. Considered by many to be a “political prisoner,” Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death; his case was appealed in 2011 and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He continues his efforts to get a new trial, arguing that his original trial was rife with judicial and prosecutorial error and misconduct.

In December of 1981, Abu-Jamal was working as a radio journalist during the day and driving a cab at night. On the night of December 9, he witnessed Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in an altercation with a Black motorist. Abu-Jamal recognized the motorist as his own brother and left his cab to intervene. What happened next has been disputed for the last 30 years.

The prosecution argues that Mumia Abu-Jamal, armed with a hatred of police since his days as a member of the Black Panther Party, shot Officer Faulkner several times, killing him. Before he died, according to the prosecutor, Faulkner was able to shoot Mumia once in the stomach.

Mumia maintains that not only did he not shoot Faulkner, but that the Philadelphia police department decided to frame him for the murder as payback for his years of reporting on their brutality against Blacks in the city. No gunshot residue was found on Mumia’s hand; no search was undertaken to find the motorist (Mumia’s brother) who was involved in the altercation with Faulkner; and several witnesses who originally testified that they had seen Mumia shoot Faulkner later recanted their testimony, saying that they had been pressured by Philadelphia police to implicate Mumia.

Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal is not the first film on Abu-Jamal however, this one is different; this film does not examine his case but rather, it looks at his life as a writer and revolutionary – from joining the Black Panther Party for Self Defense as a teenager through becoming a celebrated author of eight books while on Pennsylvania’s death row.

The film, written and directed by Stephen Vittoria of Los Angeles-based Street Legal Cinema, features Cornel West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Rubin Hurricane Carter, Dick Gregory, Peter Coyote, Ruby Dee, M-1 from the Hip Hop group Dead Prez, and a host of others.

Angelo & SoCal residents –– come out THIS WEEKEND to see Long Distance Revolutionary. Playing March 1-7, four showings a day: 12:30 / 4:00 / 7:00 / 10:00

TICKETS: http://www.laemmle.com/viewtheatre.php?date=03012013&thid=4

http://www.prisonradio.org/