July 30, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
The San Francisco 8 — No More!
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
[col. writ. 7/15/09]
It’s been 2 1/2 years since the San Francisco 8 — eight former members of the Black Panther Party — were cast into California jails and threatened with life sentences stemming from the 1971 shooting of a cop.
Perhaps the State figured the post – 9//11 paranoia and mania would make this an easy case.Â Perhaps the government thought that because many of the accused were men of advancing age, decades away from their prime organizing and activist days, it would be a cake walk.
The 8 men fought with dignity, principle and unity — and several days ago — charges for 4 of them were dismissed altogether: Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones and Harold Taylor.
New York’s Jalil Muntaqim pled no contest to conspiracy — and got time served in San Francisco County Jail — almost 2 1/2 years — with 3 years probation.
Herman Bell — another New York former Panther –Â took a similar deal earlier in July.
One ex-Panther, Francisco Torres, faces a hearing next month, where most observers expect all charges to be dropped.Â Another, John bowman, died before trial. The last, Richard O’Neal, was cleared pre-trial.
From the very beginning, back in the ’70′s — several of the men were brutally tortured by police in Louisiana to elicit false confessions (thus we see that Abu Ghraib really was nothing new).
The cases were dismissed decades ago — on that basis alone.
That the prosecutions were reinstated at all is due more to the politicized Justice Department under John Ashcroft and George Bush — where torture was a tool of state –than anything else.Â Also implicated?Â The political ambitions of California Attorney General Jerry Brown, seeking the governorship.
No charges should’ve been brought in the first place — or if contemplated, dismissed under double jeopardy principles.
As it is — even the state admits — dismissal is valid due to insufficient evidence.
These results are due, in large part, to the solidarity of the men themselves, and some excellent, aggressive lawyering by assorted defense counsel, among them J. Soffiyah Elijah of Harvard Law School.
Several years ago, in a statement calling for support for the San Francisco 8, I implored supporters to fight for them now — before they fell into the clutches of the state containment system — instead of after.
Many took up that fight — leading to many of the most recent results.
– (c) ’09 maj
July 27, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
Today’s video of the day comes from Geraldo, where Governor Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter, and I discussed Henry Louis Gates, Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama.
July 23, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
Today’s video of the day comes from The O’Reilly Factor, where we discussed President Obama’s press conference on health care.
July 21, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
Today’s video of the day shows Chris Brown’s official apology. Is it too late? Is it sincere? Why the hell is he wearing that shirt?
July 16, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
Everything you love
is from a different world.
you turn your nose up
at my peas and rice.
I coulda told you,
in the old days,
in the park,
or skating down some hill
what it was all about.
I coulda sat next to you
on some stairway
and gave you half my bubblegum,
and, in between the bubbles
and the giggles,
I coulda told you.
But we are grown up now.
And it is all so complicated
when you dig somebody.
Now, when i open up my crackerjacks,
I find no heart-shaped ring.
Only a puzzle
that i donâ€™t wanna solve.
I believe in living. I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine
in windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And I believe that seeds grow into sprouts,
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And I have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen the bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if I know anything at all,
itâ€™s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And I believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home
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