An insightful documentary on Mumia Abu-Jamal


first_imgAn important film documentary about the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal premiered in New York City on Feb. 1. “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal” explores through prison interviews, archival footage and narrations, the life of a political prisoner known as “the voice of the voiceless.” It was written and directed by Stephen Vittoria and co-produced by Noelle Hanrahan from Prison Radio.It begins with Mumia’s childhood and family life, as told by his sister, Lydia Baranshango, who died two months after filming her interviews. This segment includes early photos and videos. The movie then progresses to his political life, before, during and after his long term of incarceration on death row. The film also touches upon the great Black Migration from the South to escape Jim Crow, rooted in U.S. slavery.Mumia is a Black radical journalist, activist and radio commentator, imprisoned in Pennsylvania by its criminal “injustice” system. For 30 years, he survived torturous solitary confinement on death row, with no human contact allowed. In December 2011, his death sentence was overturned and he was transferred to the general population at SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pa.In December 1981, Mumia was shot, severely beaten and arrested by Philadelphia police, and subsequently railroaded into an unjust conviction in 1982, charged and convicted of murdering a white police officer. The then police chief, Frank Rizzo, headed a brutal police force which was determined to destroy the Black Liberation Movement in the city. As shown and analyzed in the documentary, Philadelphia was (and still is) a city rife with racial tensions.The film reveals that Mumia had been profiled and targeted by the Philadelphia police department and the FBI from the time he was 14, when he joined the Black Panther Party. Because of his political activity and radical journalism, the racist judicial and law enforcement system skewed the facts of his 1982 case and denied him a fair trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to be executed before his death sentence was originally overturned in 2001.The state refused to entertain any notion of, or admit evidence of, his innocence; therefore, his appeals for a new trial were denied. The film also exposes lies that were promoted regarding Mumia’s political activities.The documentary highlights Mumia’s uncompromising commitment to speaking truth to power, voicing his resistance to all forms of repression, despite attempts to silence him. Mumia says, “The state would rather give me an Uzi than a microphone” and“I am a revolutionary because of the love.”The film is a powerful, passionate documentary that introduces the viewer to an important, historic and remarkable person. It does an excellent job of telling Mumia’s life story and that of the long history of U.S. racism and imperialism, class oppression and of the present-day domestic policy of mass incarceration, particularly of African Americans. Mumia’s humanity is captured and made evident throughout the film, as is his strength and courage.Featured in the film are notables such as Alice Walker, Cornel West, Ruby Dee, Dick Gregory, Giancarlo Esposito, Tariq Ali, Angela Davis, Ramona Africa, Pam Africa, Amy Goodman, Linn Washington, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and many others. The film includes video clips of an interview conducted by Workers World Party leaders, Monica Moorehead and Larry Holmes, with Mumia in 1996. Angela Davis describes Mumia as “the most eloquent and most powerful opponent of the death penalty in the world — the 21st century’s Frederick Douglass.”Mumia is currently serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. He continues, however, to share his brilliant and insightful commentaries, visions, critiques and observations. From his prison cell he has written seven books, numerous articles and aired thousands of radio commentaries. His weekly radio essays, via prisonradio.org, have educated, provoked and inspired many.Mumia’s life still remains in danger, and he continues to fight for his freedom. The Free Mumia Movement, an international coalition of dedicated supporters and advocates in several countries, has tirelessly worked for decades on Mumia’s behalf to obtain his release from prison. Last year, a street in Bobigny, France, near Paris, was renamed “Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal” in his honor.“Long Distance Revolutionary” was originally scheduled to be shown for a one-week run at the Cinema Village movie theatre in New York City. But due to the publicity, high attendance and a totally successful week at the box office, it has been held over until Feb. 14. After New York City, the film will be shown in several additional cities through the end of March. Go to www.mumia-themovie.com for city and theatre listings. Watch the trailer on YouTube and spread the word among theatre distributors and activists about this powerful documentary.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

US Congress urges Trump administration to get tougher on China’s Xinjiang crackdown


first_imgThe group also asked the administration to work with allies and partners to hold a Security Council meeting at the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur to look into the situation in Xinjiang province.The United States and China have been at loggerheads for months over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong. It is also ramping up pressure on China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps there. China has denied mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and help fight extremism.Last month, President Donald Trump signed a bill, which Congress passed with only one “no” vote, calling for sanctions over the repression of Uighurs. The legislation for the first time calls for sanctions on a member of China’s powerful Politburo, Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, as responsible for “gross human rights violations.”Topics : More than 75 US senators and House members on Thursday urged the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on China over its crackdown in that country’s Xinjiang province and make a formal determination whether its treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constitutes an atrocity, including genocide.”It is time for action,” members of the Senate and House of Representatives, led by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking them to sanction the Chinese officials responsible for the mistreatment of Uighurs.”These human rights abuses demand a response from the United States as well as the international community because evidence strongly indicates that the Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uyghur families, culture, and religious adherence and encouraging violence against women,” said the letter, seen by Reuters.last_img read more

Lakers to introduce Byron Scott as new head coach Tuesday morning


first_imgScott told Hill he is “excited to have the privilege of coaching” Kobe Bryant. Scott and Bryant were Laker teammates during the 1996-97 season, Bryant’s first in the NBA and Scott’s last as a player.“Kobe and I have a great relationship and we have been talking about this for almost the entire summer,” Scott told Hill. “I feel that he is going to be helping me as well because we see the game in a very similar way. We know that we have to get it done on the defensive end first and he knows right now, in the last stage of his career, that he is going to have to do some things differently.“I love the fact that people keep doubting that this man is going to come back and play great, because I know in my heart and knowing him the way I do that he loves those type of challenges. I am looking forward to having Kobe as a guy that I can turn to and say ‘Let’s get the ball to this guy and he can make things happen.”’Scott, a graduate of Morningside High School in Inglewood, was an analyst on Laker pregame and postgame shows this past season on Time Warner Cable SportsNet after coaching 13 seasons in the NBA with three teams. His career coaching record is 416-521, a .444 winning percentage.Scott guided the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals in 2002, losing to the Lakers, and 2003, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. He was selected as the NBA’s coach of the year for the 2007-2008 season when he was with the New Orleans Hornets.Scott’s most recent coaching position was with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he coached from 2010-13.Scott becomes the Lakers’ 25th coach and 21st since their move to Los Angeles. He is the seventh former Laker player to become the team’s coach. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward.”Scott succeeds Mike D’Antoni, who resigned in April after the team posted a 27-55 record in the 2013-14 season, its worst since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.Terms of the contract were not disclosed.In a weekend interview with CBS2/KCAL9 sports director Jim Hill, Scott said becoming the Lakers’ coach was “a dream come true.”“I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I go to coaching,” Scott told Hill. “It’s so unreal.”center_img EL SEGUNDO – Byron Scott will be introduced today as the Los Angeles Lakers new coach, returning to the team he played with for 11 seasons, including as the starting shooting guard on three NBA championship teams in the 1980s.“I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family,” Scott said on Monday, after Mitch Kupchak, the team’s general manager, announced that Scott had signed a multi- year contract.“I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves.”Kupchak said that Scott “has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience.”last_img read more