Progressive Calendar 04.14.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 20:03:43 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.14.08

1. Metro CERTs       4.15 5pm
2. Rachleff/MN labor 4.15 7pm

3. Media/KFAI        4.16 11am
4. Womens rights     4.16 12noon StCloud MN
5. City/sustain      4.16 1pm
6. LWV/city govt     4.16 4pm
7. Cuba film series  4.16 6:30pmk
8. Vets for peace    4.16 6:30pm RedWing MN
9. Smith/Palestine   4.16 7pm
10. Soil & water     4.16

11. EPIC-MRA      - Nader polling at 8 - 10% in MI
12. Scott McLarty - Comparison of Green & Dem
13. Hans Bennett  - The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal / O'Connor
14. Susu Jeffrey  - War slave  (poem)

--------1 of 14--------

From: The Green Institute <dmckeown [at] greeninstitute.org>
Subject: Metro CERTs 4.15 5pm

Join Us for Our Kick-off Event!
Interested in localizing your energy?  Join community members, business
and non-profit leaders, elected officials, students, state agency staff,
adn congregations as we kick-off the new Metro CERTs (Clean Energy
Resource Teams) Network.  Come and network, see old friends, meet new
ones, enjoy local and organic refreshments and hear about exciting
community-based energy projects happening in the Twin Cities. There will
be a very short program at 6:30pm.  Get your taxes done early, so you can
attend!

April 15, 2008 5pm to 8pm
Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street, St. Paul
RSVP's and Questions?  Contact Diana McKeown at The Green
Institute 612-278-7125 or dmckeown [at] greeninstitute.org

Metro CERTs Network Resources
How can Metro CERTs help you?
The Metro CERTs Network was created to help connect, provide support for,
and increase the effectiveness of local efforts, to implement
community-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Go to www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org to find out how YOUR
community can become a Metro CERTs affiliate.


--------2 of 14--------

From: Peter Rachleff <rachleff [at] macalester.edu>
Subject: Rachleff/MN labor 4.15 7pm

Peter Rachleff, Macalester College labor historian, will present this
year's David Noble Lecture at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul on
Tuesday evening, April 15, at 7PM.  His topic is "The Making, Unmaking,
and Remaking of Minnesota's Labor Movement in the 20th and 21st
Centuries."  The lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's
American Studies Department, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the
Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.  The event is free and open to the
public.

-
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
7:00 PM
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd West, Saint Paul, MN

"Hard-Pressed in the Heartland: the Making, Unmaking and Remaking of
Minnesota's Labor Movement in the 20th and 21st Centuries"

From the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century working
women and men from Scandinavia, southern and eastern Europe, and the east
coast of the United States formed labor unions that struggled against some
of the world's most powerful corporations. They sought economic security,
acceptance as citizens, and social respect through these unions and their
participation in the political system. The economy that emerged in the
1980s and 1990s tore apart their world, but also brought new immigrants
from Latin America, Asia, and Africa to the North Star State. These new
immigrants are now struggling to reshape their Minnesota universe, and
their struggles change the balance of power and the prospects for other
Minnesotans. This lecture will tell the story not only of what happened,
but how to think about the future.

Please join us for this FREE event. Reception to follow.
For more information call (651) 259-3000, 1-800-657-3773 or TTY (651)
282-6073


--------3 of 14--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Media/KFAI 4.16 11am

ITıS KFAIıs 30TH ANNIVERSARY PLEDGE: HELP keep TTT coming every week!
PLEDGES: CALL 612-375-9030 or online at KFAI.ORG.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 11:00AM: MEDIA REFORM AND THE TWIN CITIES SCENE

Media luminaries (Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, Naomi Klein and
reform-minded FCC Commissioners) plus 5,000 activists descend on
Minneapolis June 6, 7 & 8 for the 4th National Conference on Media Reform
(NCMR), sponsored by FreePress.net ­ the Connecticut-based national media
watchdog and reform group. TTT will broadcast and telecast, live and
delayed, direct from the conference that week, but next Wednesday,
journalist, author and FreePress co-founder (with The Nationıs John
Nichols) Robert McChesney will join some Twin Citiesı own to talk about
the conference and other events, its reasons for being, and what we can
actually expect to do about the state of our media affairs.

NCMR REFORM PREVIEW with TTTıs Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen:
GUESTS:
 ROBERT MCCHESNEY, journalist and co-founder, FreePress.net; author Rich
Media, Poor Democracy, and Corporate Media & Threat to Democracy (plus
many other writings).
 JANIS LANE-EWART, Executive Director, KFAI RADIO, local NCMR cosponsor.
 JEREMY IGGERS, Executive Director of local NCMR cosponsor Twin Cities
Media Alliance and Twin Cities Daily Planet (and pretty decent restaurant
reviewer, too).
 OTHERS TBD


--------4 of 14--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Womens rights 4.16 12noon StCloud MN

April 16: Women's Center St. Cloud State University. Women on Wednesday -
Still Fighting for Our Rights 30 Years Later presents Status Report:
Women Growing Older with Dr. Phyllis Greenberg, Gerontology Graduate
Coordinator & Dr. Rona Karasik, Ph.D., Director SCSU Gerontology Program.
Noon-1 PM. Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center.


--------5 of 14--------

From: Kevin Chavis <kevinchavis [at] gmail.com>
Subject: City/sustain 4.16 1pm

A workshop for local government staff, elected officials and citizen
leaders
Using Model Sustainability Ordinances to Implement your City's
Sustainability Goals
Wednesday, April  16, 2008 1pm to 4:30pm
Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center for Community in St. Paul,
179 Robie Street East, St. Paul, MN 55107-2360   www.neighb.org

Register for the April 16th Local Goverment Sustainability
Workshop<http://www.afs.nonprofitoffice.com/index.asp?Type=DYNAFORM&SEC=%7BA0EAE6D4-4ED1-43F9-89E1-A6AA339E9383%7D>


--------6 of 14--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: LWV/city govt 4.16 4pm

April 16: LOTT (Leaders of Today & Tomorrow). Primer on City Government.
Evening includes a meet & greet with Elln Biales (Legislative Aide to
Council President Kathy Lantry) & Council President Kathy Lantry, a city
hall tour & a live public hearing. LOTT is a project of the League of
Women Voters of Minnesota's Education Fund. 4 PM in St. Paul's City Hall,
Room 300. RSVP.


--------7 of 14--------

From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Cuba film series 4.16 6:30pmk

In April, the Minnesota Cuba Committee will show three films about the Cuban
revolution. The showings will take place at 6:30 on Wednesday nights at the
University of Minnesota West Bank, Anderson Hall, Room 250 (see map below),
and will be free and open to the public. A brief discussion will follow each
film.

6:30, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16 - 638 WAYS TO KILL CASTRO

BBC documentary broadcast in November 2006. Based on a book by Fabian
Escalante, former head of Cuban intelligence, the film documents the
hundreds of ways the CIA and Cuban exiles have tried to assassinate Fidel
Castro. Ranging from exploding cigars to bombs that have killed innocent
people, the movie is also a comment on the so-called war on terror. It is
notable that whereas accused and even acknowledged terrorists who have
made common cause with the CIA in the past live happily in the United
States, individuals with often sketchy connections with latter-day
terrorism have ended up incarcerated without trial in the prison at
Guantanamo Bay. 75 minutes.


--------8 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Vets for peace 4.16 6:30pm RedWing MN

Wednesday, 4/16, 6:30 pm, Red Wing Vets for Peace meet at home of John and
Marybess Goeppinger to plan July 12 Pigstock retreat and August 31 RNC
march, 1008 W 3rd St, Red Wing.  tuvecino [at] redwing.net


--------9 of 14--------

From: "Smith, David W." <DWSMITH [at] stthomas.edu>
Subject: Smith/Palestine 4.16 7pm

Recognizing Israel, Recognizing Palestine:
three months with a peace team in the occupied territories of Palestine

Fr. David W. Smith
Professor Emeritus, University of St. Thomas and founder of the Justice
and Peace Program at UST

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
7:00-9:00 PM
Room 126, John Roach Center
University of St. Thomas
Summit and Cleveland Avenues
St. Paul, Minnesota 55105
Free and open to the public

For more information contact  <mailto:ljdimond [at] stthomas.edu>
ljdimond [at] stthomas.edu or 651-962-5300

This will be a PowerPoint presentation of Fr. Smith's three months, from
12 October 2007 to 8 January 2008, with the Michigan Peace Team in the
Palestinian Occupied Territories. (See their reports at
www.michiganpeaceteam.org.)

Centered in Beit Sahour, on the edge of Bethlehem, the team traveled
* to the South Hebron Hills to protect shepherds from militant settlers in
At Tuwani (in cooperation with Christian Peacemaker Teams), Tuba, and
Susiya;
* to Bil'in west of Ramallah to join weekly protests against the
"separation barrier" that the Israeli High Court has agreed is illegally
confiscating village land (but the wall has not been moved);
* to Umm Salomona to protest a new Israeli-only bypass road that cuts
villagers off from olive groves;
* and to several areas to protect Palestinian farmers while they harvest
their olives.

The Michigan Peace team spent five days in Gaza during the blockade,
shortly before Hamas demolished the wall between Gaza and Egypt.

They slept with shepherds in their tents or caves which replaced the homes
which the Israeli army had destroyed, and they dodged teargas in
confrontation with the Israeli army in Bil'in. Palestinians were eager for
their presence, since there was consistently less violence when
international observers were present.

The team interacted with Christian Peacemaker Teams, the Ecumenical
Accompaniment Project Palestine-Israel of the World Council of Churches,
the International Solidarity Movement, Ta'ayush, Combatants for Peace,
Jewish Voice for Peace, Siraj, the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement
between People, the International Middle East Media Center, and the United
Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


--------10 of 14--------

From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Soil & water 4.16

April 16: Larson and Allmaras Emerging Issues in Soil and Water (Lecture)
http://www.environment.umn.edu/events/view_event.php?type=event&id=233


--------11 of 14--------

Nader polling at 8 - 10% in MI
EPIC-MRA

_WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8: Grand Rapids news, weather, sports and video
...[excerpt]
The poll by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA shows 43 percent of the 600 likely
voters polled statewide backed Obama, while 41 percent backed McCain.
Eight percent say they'd vote for independent candidate Ralph Nader, while
8 percent were undecided.

McCain leads Clinton 46 percent to 37 percent. Ten percent say they'd vote
for Nader and 7 percent were undecided. [end excerpt]


--------12 of 14--------

From: Scott McLarty <scottmclarty [at] yahoo.com>   national Green Party
Subject: Comparison of Green & Dem (suggestion, rough draft)

Here's something that I think might help our presidential candidates (and
other GP candidates, too): a prominently placed web page that compares
Green & Democratic candidates on important issues, and a news release
announcing the page, with a few examples (major issues of concern: e.g.,
Iraq, global warming, health care).

We could add Republicans too, but I think a comparison with Dems is more
urgent, especially given Obama's prominence -- a lot progressives are
likely to vote for Obama, under the illusion that he's the populist
antiwar candidate.  Also, there remains a mistaken impression among many
voters & members of the media that Green isn't very different from Dem, or
that Green is the same as Dem but more environmental.

The list of positions should be as concise & specific as possible, and
should be accurate too.

I drew up a really rough, incomplete list of positions, with a lot of
topics missing.  See below, send corrections, edits, additions, &
suggestions.  Let me know if you have ideas about format, too.  The page
should be as clear & easy to use as possible.

Scott  [GP-PCSC]

*  *  *  *  *

Green and Democrat: What's the Difference?

The Green Party & Green candidates compared to Democratic leadership &
Democratic candidates on important issues

Green Presidential Candidates: Jesse Johnson, Cynthia McKinney, Kent
Mesplay, Kat Swift Democratic Presidential Candidates: Hillary Clinton,
Barack Obama

                               The Iraq War

Green Party & Green candidates
-- opposed the invasion and occupation from the beginning
-- favor immediate withdrawal of all US troops and contracted personnel
from Iraq
-- call for Congress to cut off funding for the war
-- seek to hold the Bush Administration responsible for deceiving the
public with false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, posed a
threat to the US and to Iraq's own neighbors, had conspired with al Qaeda,
and played a role in the 9/11 attacks
-- oppose 'benchmarks' that would allow US and UK corporations to take
control over most Iraqi oil resources

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- supported the Iraq War from the beginning and believed Bush
Administration lies; voted with Republicans to surrender Congress's war
power to the White House (Obama was not in Congress yet and initially
opposed the war, but softened his opposition after election to the US
Senate)
-- continued to give President Bush funding for the occupation after
gaining control of Congress: both Clinton and Obama voted for funding
bills
-- offer delayed and vague timetables for troop withdrawal, and would
leave some troops in Iraq
-- support 'benchmarks' giving US and UK corporations control over Iraqi
oil, which would require continued US troop presence in Iraq to protect
corporate interests

                               Foreign Policy

Green Party & Green candidates
-- strongly oppose President Bush's threat to attack Iran
-- support an end to the US occupation of Afghanistan, opposed invasion
-- support cutoff of military aid to Israel, demand US pressure on Israel
to end the brutal occupation of Palestine and suppression of Palestinian
and Israeli Arab human rights, in accord with international law and UN
directives
-- seek an end to the US embargo of Cuba
-- favor nonviolent solutions to international conflict

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- have signed on to President Bush's threat to attack Iran (both Clinton
and Obama have said that an attack on Iran is not off the table)
-- support continued US occupation and war on Afghanistan
-- do not criticize Israel, dismiss international law and UN directives on
Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinian lands
-- favor continued embargo of Cuba
-- have supported most Bush foreign policy agenda: invasion and threats of
invasion; broken international treaties; contemptuous treatment of US
allies

                Global Warming, Energy, & the Environment

Green Party & Green candidates
-- call for far-reaching short-term and long-term cuts in greenhouse gas
emissions
-- favor major conservation programs to cut US energy consumption
-- seek widespread economic reorganization and miillions of new jobs in
conservation and conversion to safe, clean energy sources
-- oppose nuclear energy, which creates huge amounts of toxic waste and
multiple security risks
-- oppose widespread conversion to biofuels that require agricultural land
needed for food production
-- seek restrictions and oversight on genetically modified organisms,
especially food

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- favor modest long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
-- don't talk about conservation and cuts in consumption
-- support nuclear energy and biofuel production (Obama receives major
campaign contributions from nuclear and ethanol industries and supports
their goals)
-- support or are silent on genetically modified organisms and food

          Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

Green Party & Green candidates
-- endorse impeachment of Bush and Cheney for high crimes and
misdemeanors: deception and manipulation of intelligence to justify the
invasion of Iraq; cover-ups of information about impending 9/11 attacks;
use of torture; denial of habeas corpus and due process; warrantless
surveillance of US citizens; hundreds of 'signing statements' to exempt
the President from executing over 1,000 federal laws; censoring and
tampering with scientific research to conceal the seriousness of global
warming; responsibility for the deaths of as many as one million Iraqi
civilians and over 4,000 US servicemembers

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- oppose and block motions for impeachment, despite Bush Administration's
numerous crimes and abuses of power

                            Health Care Reform

Green Party & Green candidates
-- support Single-Payer National Health Care (Medicare For All), which
would provide all Americans with quality health care regardless of ability
to pay, employment, age, or prior medical condition: Single-Payer will
remove corporate HMOs and insurance firms from control over health care,
give Americans choice of health care provider, provide no-cost or low-cost
prescriptions based on need, and ease the burden on physicians and other
health care providers

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- oppose Single-Payer
-- favor health care reform plans that leave profit-making HMOs and
insurance firms in control over health care
-- take hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate HMOs, insurance
firms, and pharmaceutical manufacturers

                    War on Drugs & the Justice System

Green Party & Green candidates
-- oppose the War on Drugs, calling it a war on African American, Latino,
poor, and young people
-- favor decriminalization (especially for marijuana), medical treatment
for drug abuse instead of prosecution
-- oppose privatization of prisons, which require increasing numbers of
inmates for corporate profits: the US has the highest incarceration rate
in the world
-- call for abolition of the death penalty

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- support the War on Drugs
-- either support or are silent on privatization of prisons
-- support the death penalty

                        Labor & Economic Justice

Green Party & Green candidates
-- oppose 'free trade' agreements and unelected international trade
authorities (NAFTA, FTAA, WTO, GATT, etc.) that give corporate power and
profit priority over labor rights and environmental protections
-- call for repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act (restricting union organizing),
support democratic workplaces
-- favor a strong safety net for middle- and low-income working people,
support for small businesses and local economies
-- support human rights protection for undocumented immigrants: Greens
call the flood of new immigrants a result of economic policies and
agreements (e.g., NAFTA) that impoverish people and drive them across
borders

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- have supported and voted for 'free trade' agreements and unelected
international trade authorities
-- are silent on Taft-Hartley, don't deliver for working people despite
Election Year endorsements from unions
-- support economic policies that favor the wealthy, major corporations,
and Wall Street, with limited aid for poor and middle-income Americans
(Clinton and Obama support the 1996 Welfare Reform Act signed by Bill
Clinton, which severely hurt millions of Americans, especially women,
during the recent economic downturn)
-- favor policies that scapegoat immigrants for economic problems

                       Democracy and Fair Elections

Green Party & Green candidates
-- take no money from corporate contributors
-- led effort to expose Republican obstruction of Ohio voters and
manipulation of votes in 2004: Green presidential nominee David Cobb (with
Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik) initiated the Ohio recount campaign
and raised money for legal fees
-- seek public financing of elections, free time on public airwaves for
all candidates, repeal of ballot access laws restricting third party and
independent candidates
-- support instant runoff voting, proportional representation, and other
reforms to ensure democracy in US elections
-- support statehood for the District of Columbia, with self-government
and full representation in Congress equal to other states

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- take hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate contributors
-- had minimal response to election irregularities in Ohio, minimal
reaction to the Conyers Commission's evidence that the 2004 election may
have been stolen: only one Democratic Senator (Barbara Boxer) stood up to
support African American Congressmembers' protest at Senate's confirmation
of Bush reelection in January 2005
-- are silent on many needed election reforms: Democrats and Republicans
together worked to pass laws limiting third party and independent
participation in elections
-- favor a single voting seat in the US House for DC (statehood for DC was
removed from the Democratic Party platform in 2004)

                      Human Rights & Social Justice

Green Party & Green candidates
-- oppose the USA Patriot Act and favor repeal
-- support full and equal recognition for same-sex marriage
-- support reparations for the descendents of African American slaves in
the US

Democratic leadership, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
-- support the USA Patriot Act: Clinton voted for passage; Clinton and
Obama voted for reauthorization
-- favor limited and unequal recognition for same-sex marriage
-- oppose or have no position on reparations for the descendents of slaves


--------13 of 14--------

The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal
An interview with author J. Patrick O'Connor
by Hans Bennett / April 14th, 2008
Dissident Voice

On March 27, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against granting
a new guilt-phase trial to world-famous journalist and death row prisoner
Mumia Abu-Jamal. While ruling against the three issues that could have led
to a new guilt-phase trial, the court affirmed US District Court Judge
Yohn's 2001 decision overturning the death sentence. If the District
Attorney wants to re-instate the death sentence, the DA must call for a
new penalty-phase jury trial that would be limited to the question of life
in prison without a chance of parole or a re-instatement of the death
sentence.

Outraged by this decision, Abu-Jamal's supporters around the world held
"day after" protests, and are now organizing a mass demonstration in
Philadelphia on April 19, just days before the PA Presidential Primary
Election. Simultaneously, Abu-Jamal is appealing the court ruling "en
banc" to the entire Third Circuit, and if unsuccessful there, he will
appeal to the US Supreme Court, in an effort to be granted a new
guilt-phase trial.

At this critical juncture in Abu-Jamal's case, an explosive new book is
set for release in May, titled The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, by J.
Patrick O'Connor, and published by Lawrence Hill Books. O'Connor explains
that he "was an associate editor for TV Guide at its headquarters in
nearby Radnor, Pennsylvania during the time Officer Faulkner was killed
and Abu-Jamal was put on trial and convicted of murdering him. Sometime in
the mid-1990s I began hearing and seeing the 'Free Mumia' slogan. In 1996,
when HBO premiered the one-hour documentary Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for
Reasonable Doubt?, I developed some questions about the verdict and
certainly the fairness of his trial". Soon, O'Connor had "read all the
trial transcripts as well as all of the transcripts from Abu-Jamal's Post.
Conviction Relief Act hearings that were held in 1995, and continued in
1996 and 1997. I also read all the contemporaneous newspaper articles from
the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, as well as all the
books published about the case".

In his new book, O'Connor argues that Abu-Jamal was clearly framed by
police, and that the actual shooter was a man named Kenneth Freeman.
O'Connor criticizes the local media, who, he says "bought into the
prosecution's story line early on and has never been able to see this case
for what it is: a framing of an innocent and peace loving man".

In his review of the recent book Murdered by Mumia, O'Connor writes that
"there's a great deal to admire about Maureen Faulkner, the widow of
Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner," but concludes that her
"obsessive hate for Abu-Jamal has blinded her to the prosecutorial
misconduct and judicial bias that plagued his trial and justifiably fueled
his rise to a world stage. The real villains in her life were the police
and prosecutors who framed Abu-Jamal for Officer Faulkner's killing. They
are the ones, not the long drawn out appellate process, that have kept
Abu-Jamal alive, who have denied her the closure she was due more than
twenty-five years ago".

For more background on The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal and J. Patrick
O'Connor, Abu-Jamal-News.com is featuring an excerpt from the new book, a
previous interview with the author, and O'Connor's review of Murdered By
Mumia. This new interview was conducted on April 11, 2008, and will be
featured in the Journalists for Mumia newspaper, to be released days
before the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia.

Hans Bennett: Advocates of Abu-Jamal's conviction and execution always say
that a police frame-up of Abu-Jamal is a lunatic, far-fetched "conspiracy
theory" that should be dismissed by any sane observer. What do you mean
when you say he was "framed"? How was this done?

J. Patrick O'Connor: Mumia's early association with the Philadelphia
branch of the Black Panther Party marked him as a subversive to George
Fencl, the chief inspector of the Philadelphia Police Department's Civil
Defense Bureau. His subsequent sympathetic coverage of MOVE while
reporting for the local public radio station made him an avowed enemy of
Mayor Frank Rizzo. Minutes after Officer Faulkner was shot at 3:55 a.m.,
Inspector Alfonzo Giordano - who reported directly to Fencl - took command
of the crime scene and personally set in motion the framing of Abu-Jamal.
It would be Giordano who claimed that Mumia told him in the paddy wagon
that he dropped his gun after he shot Faulkner; it would be Giordano who
arranged for prostitute Cynthia White and felon Robert Chobert to identify
Abu-Jamal as the shooter. Giordano and White would be the D.A. Office's
only witnesses at the preliminary hearing to hold Abu-Jamal over for trial
where Giordano repeated this "confession".

Giordano is as corrupt a police officer as one can imagine. For years he
had been extorting kickbacks - personally averaging $3,000 per month -
from Center City prostitutes, pimps and bar owners, which explains his
early arrival at the crime scene. He knew Cynthia White and her pimp. He
coerced her at the scene to identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter. She would
be the only witness the D.A. had to claim to see Abu-Jamal holding a gun
over Faulkner. In her original statement to the police - given within an
hour of the shooting - she had Abu-Jamal running from the parking lot and
from as far away as 10-yards firing off "four or five shots" at Faulkner
before the officer fell. In her third interview with police detectives,
given on December 17, she fine-tuned her statement to comport with the
actual evidence in the case that Faulkner was shot at close range. (In one
of the most sinister aspects of Abu-Jamal's case, the police department
waited until the Monday after Abu-Jamal's conviction to "relieve" Giordano
of his duties on what would prove to be well-founded "suspicions of
corruption". Four years after Abu-Jamal's trial, Giordano pled guilty to
tax evasion in connection with those payouts and was sent to prison.)

Incredibly, the police arriving at the crime scene would later claim not
to have conducted any tests to determine if Abu-Jamal had recently fired a
gun by checking for powder residue on his hands or clothing, nor did they
claim to even feel or smell his gun to determine if it had been recently
fired. Tests such as these are so routine at murder scenes that it is
almost inconceivable the police did not run them. It is more likely that
they did not like the results of the tests.

>From the outset, the investigation into the shooting death of Officer
Faulkner was conducted with one goal in mind: to hang the crime on Mumia
Abu-Jamal. There was no search for the truth, no attempt at providing the
slain officer with the justice he deserved. Giordano handed Abu-Jamal to
the D.A.'s Office with his own lie about Abu-Jamal confessing to him and
packing off Cynthia White in a squad car to tell her concocted account of
the shooting. When the D.A.'s Office was forced to back away from the
corrupt Giordano, Assistant D.A. Joseph McGill elicited a new "confession"
to replace Giordano's in February when security guard Priscilla Durham and
Officer Garry Bell, Faulkner's best friend on the police force, responded
to his promptings by saying they heard Abu-Jamal blurt out at the
hospital, "I shot the mother-fucker and I hope the mother-fucker dies".
Not one of the dozens of other officers present at the hospital would make
such a claim. In fact, the two officers who accompanied Abu-Jamal from the
time he was placed in the paddy wagon until he went into surgery, reported
that he made no comments in signed statements given to detectives assigned
to the case that morning.

The prosecution knew that its new "confession" could be skewered if
Abu-Jamal's defense attorney, Anthony Jackson, called the two officers who
accompanied Abu-Jamal to the stand, so all the prosecution really had was
Cynthia White. With White saying she saw it all from beginning to end, and
willing to testify that she saw Abu-Jamal blow the helpless Faulkner's
brains out in ruthless cold blood, McGill had his case made, providing
White's credibility could survive Jackson's cross-examination. McGill bet
the entire case that it could, and despite the utter web of lies she told
the jury, was right.

HB: Why do you think that Kenneth Freeman was the actual shooter of Police
Officer Daniel Faulkner?

JPO: Kenneth Freeman was Billy Cook's street vendor partner and was riding
with him in the VW when Faulkner pulled the VW over. Freeman got out of
the VW and subsequently handed Faulkner a phony driver's license
application bearing the name of Arnold Howard, which Howard had recently
loaned to him. Howard's papers were found in Faulkner's shirt pocket.
Police rounded up both Howard and Freeman in the early morning hours of
December 9 and brought them in for questioning. At the Post-Conviction
Relief Act hearing in 1995, Howard testified that on several occasions,
Cynthia White picked Freeman out of a lineup.

At Billy Cook's March 29 trial for assaulting Officer Faulkner, with
McGill as the prosecutor, White told McGill in direct testimony that the
passenger in the VW "had got out". McGill said, "He got of the car"? White
responded, "Yes". (At Abu-Jamal's trial, McGill got White to testify that
only Abu-Jamal, Cook, and Faulkner were at the scene.)

Various witnesses said they saw a black man running from the scene right
after the shooting. Some of the eyewitnesses said this man had an Afro and
wore a green army jacket. Freeman did have an Afro and he perpetually wore
a green army jacket. Freeman was tall and burly, weighing about 225 pounds
at the time.

Cab driver Robert Harkins was driving right by the parked police car and
the VW when he saw a police officer grab a man. The man "then spun around
and the officer went to the ground," falling face down backwards, landing
on his hands and knees. The assailant shot the officer in the back,
causing him to roll over on his back, and then executed him with a shot to
his forehead.

Harkins described the shooter as a little taller and heavier than the
6-foot, 200-pound Faulkner. Robert Chobert told police in his first
statement that the shooter had an Afro and weighed about 225 pounds.
(Abu-Jamal, also about 6-foot, wore in his hair in dreadlocks and weighed
170 pounds at the time.)

In Billy Cook's April 29, 2001, affidavit he declared that Freeman was
with him the night of the shooting, was armed, and fled the scene after
Faulkner was shot. Cook said he did not see who shot Faulkner.

Freeman would meet an ignominious death hours after Philadelphia police
firebombed the MOVE house on Osage Avenue in 1985, killing 11 MOVE
members, including John Africa, whose corpse had been beheaded. Freeman's
dead body was found bound, gagged and naked in a vacant lot. There would
be no police investigation into this obvious murder. The coroner listed
his cause of death as a heart attack. The timing and modus operandi of the
abduction and killing alone suggest an extreme act of police vengeance.

HB: In your book, you were very optimistic about the Third Circuit
granting Abu-Jamal a new guilt-phase trial. Were you surprised by the
March 27 ruling? If so, how do you account for such a surprising ruling?

JPO: I was incredulous. I thought the oral arguments on May 17 had gone
extremely well for Abu-Jamal and that he would get a new trial. The 2-1
majority ruling demonstrated anew just how politicized this case always
has been from the beginning and continues to be still. The two Republican-
appointed judges on the panel formed the majority and the lone
Democrat-appointed judge dissented. I hate to make it sound that simple,
but the U.S. Supreme Court itself is not above making decisions based on
party or ideological lines and all too frequently does.

In its ruling, the majority stated it believed Abu-Jamal had "forfeited
his Batson claim by failing to make a timely objection. But even assuming
Abu-Jamal's failure to object is not fatal to his claim, Abu-Jamal has
failed to meet his burden in providing a prima facie case". The majority
stated that he failed because his attorneys at his PCRA evidentiary
hearing neglected to elicit the prosecutor's reasons for removing 10
otherwise qualified blacks by means of peremptory strikes during jury
selection.

"Abu-Jamal had the opportunity to develop this evidence at the PCRA
evidentiary hearing, but failed to do so. There may be instances where a
prima facie case can be made without evidence of the strike rate and
exclusion rate. But in this case, we cannot find the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court's ruling [denying Abu-Jamal's Batson claim] unreasonable based on
this incomplete record, "the majority wrote. In a nutshell, the majority
denied Abu-Jamal's Batson claim on a technicality of its own invention,
not on its merits.

Judge Ambro's dissent was sharp: "I do not agree with them [the majority]
that Mumia Abu-Jamal fails to meet the low bar for making a prima facie
case under Batson. In holding otherwise, they raise the standard necessary
to make out a prima facie case beyond what Batson calls for".

In other words, the majority, in this case alone, has upped the ante
required for making a Batson claim beyond what the United States Supreme
Court stipulated. When ruling in Batson in 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court
imposed no timeliness restrictions as to when a Batson claim may be
raised, nor has the court done so in the intervening 22 years. Neither did
it require that the racial composition of the entire jury pool be known
before a Batson claim could be raised. (In fact, the Supreme Court
recently added heft to its Batson ruling, ruling in Synder that the
purging of only one black juror on the basis of racial discrimination was
grounds for a new trial.) In addition, the Supreme Court ruled in 1986
that to establish a prima facie case for a Batson claim, the defendant
must show only "an inference" of prosecutorial discrimination in purging
even one black from a jury. Even the Third Circuit has never previously
allowed the timing of a Batson claim to be material, nor had it ever ruled
previously that not knowing the racial composition of the entire jury pool
was a fatal flaw in lodging a Batson claim.

The fact that the prosecutor in Abu-Jamal's case used 10 of the 15
peremptory challenges to exclude blacks from the jury - a strike rate of
66 percent against potential black jurors - is in itself an inference of
discrimination. The result was that only three of the 12 jurors impaneled
were black.

The Third Circuit should have remanded the case back to Federal District
Court Judge Yohn - the judge who ruled on Abu-Jamal's habeas corpus
petition in 2001 - to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine the
prosecutors' reasons for excluding the 10 potential black jurors he
struck. If that hearing revealed racial discrimination on the part of the
prosecutor during jury selection, Judge Yohn would be compelled to order a
new trial for Abu-Jamal.

Abu-Jamal is left with only two remedies to correct the flawed Third
Circuit ruling. His first option is to request the Third Circuit to review
its decision en banc where the entire panel of judges sitting on the Third
Circuit would conduct oral arguments anew. There is some likelihood that
the Third Circuit might agree to meet en banc because the panel's decision
to deny Abu-Jamal's Batson claim went against that court's own
well-established precedents in granting similar Batson claims in the past.
However, the barrier to en banc deliberations is a high one: a majority of
the sitting judges must vote to reexamine the case. On the Third Circuit
Court, there are 12 judges eligible to vote, but four have already recused
themselves from this particular case, meaning five of the remaining eight
judges would be needed to go forward en banc. Abu-Jamal has most probably
had his one day before the Third Circuit.

Barring a reversal by the Third Circuit, Abu-Jamal's final option is to
appeal the Third Circuit's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has on
three previous occasions denied to take up his case. This time, though,
there is a remote possibility that the high court may take the case up
because the Third Circuit's ruling created new law by placing new
restrictions on a defendant's ability to file a Batson claim.

HB: With the media spotlight on the PA Primary Elections, and the major
demonstrations supporting Abu-Jamal on April 19, what would you like the
world to know about this famous death-row case? How far has the city of
Philadelphia come since the days of Police Commissioner and Mayor Frank
Rizzo, a notorious racist and public advocate of police brutality?

JPO: In a real sense, D.A. Lynn Abraham, just as Frank Rizzo before her,
embodies the worst of Philadelphia. Known as "the Queen of Death" for her
zeal in seeking the death penalty, she was depicted as the nation's
"deadliest D.A." in a New York Times Magazine article in 1995. Her
personal vendetta against Abu-Jamal equals that of Officer Faulkner's
widow. The day Federal District Court Judge Yohn overturned Abu-Jamal's
death sentence in 2001, Abraham put her antipathy for Abu-Jamal this way:
"Today, Mumia Abu-Jamal is what he has always been: a convicted,
remorseless, cold-blooded killer".

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents an enormous miscarriage of justice,
representing an extreme example of prosecutorial abuse and judicial bias.
What makes getting to the truth about this case so difficult for people,
particularly people in Philadelphia, is that the prosecution built its
case on perjured testimony with a calculated disregard for what the actual
evidence established. The local media bought into the prosecution's story
line early on and has never been able to see this case for what it is: a
framing of an innocent and peace loving man.

Two things account for the unprecedented national and international
interest in this case. First and foremost is the man himself. Despite more
than 25 years of the bleakest existence possible in isolation on death
row, Mumia Abu-Jamal remains what he has always been: an articulate,
compassionate righter of wrongs. The second thing that makes this case so
compelling to such a wide audience is that his trial represents such a
monumental abuse of government power to railroad one man that it really
says no citizen is truly free until this wrong has been undone.

Hans Bennett is a Philadelphia-based photo-journalist who has been
documenting the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political
prisoners for over five years. Read other articles by Hans, or visit
Hans's website.

This article was posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008 at 5:00 am and is
filed under Book Review, Interview, Justice. Send to a friend.


--------14 of 14--------

From: Susu Jeffrey <susujeffrey [at] msn.com>
Subject: Poem for April 15th

 War Slave

 I'm an American.
     I'm a war slave.
 I love this land
     but I'm a war slave-
 I work maybe 10
 hours a week
 to pay for the
 $3-billion a week
 wars.
 That makes me
 a war slave-
 a slave to war
 to never
  ending war.

            -Susu Jeffrey


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