Mumia Abu-Jamal : “I am an outlaw journalist”

first_img June 3, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on United States Organisation Being the “Voice of the Voiceless” played a significant role. And this expression actually comes from the title of a Philadephia Inquirer headline after I was arrested in 1981. As a teenager, I was a radical journalist working on the staff of the Black Panthers national newspaper. The FBI was actually monitoring my writings since I was 14. My first job was being a reporter. Because of my writings, I am far better known that any inmate in America. If it were not the case, I think there would have been less pressure for the Court to create a special law to affect my conviction. Most of the men and women on death row are not well known. Because I continue to write, this is an element that would have affected the thinking of the judges and made them change the ruling for not giving me a new trial. I think they were thinking “You’re a big mouth, you won’t get a new trial”. You expect a little more from a federal Court. Because of my case, a dozen of other cases can be affected.What do you think of the media coverage of your case ? For further information and to offer support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, contact: Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan 2088 Union Street, Suite 4, San Francisco, CA 94123-4117 http://www.MumiaLegalDefense.orgPetition also available from our website 9/11 changed a lot of things in the US. People challenging or opposing the government would not be supported anymore. The press also changed. Things that were “allowable” became unacceptable after 9/11. I think 9/11 changed the way people thought and it changed the tolerance of the media. For example, even though 9/11 happened in Manhattan and Washington DC, the jail was closed for an entire day, here in Pennsylvania, and we were locked down. On August 29th, 2010, Reporters Without Borders Washington DC representative, Clothilde Le Coz, visited Mumia Abu-Jamal, prisoner on death row for nearly three decades. Ms. Le Coz was accompanied by Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, and his legal assistant, Nicole Bryan. The meeting took place in room 17 of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Waynesburg, Greene county, Pennsylvania.Reporters Without Borders: As a journalist who continues to work in prison, what are your latest reports focused on?Mumia Abu-Jamal: The prison population in the United States is the highest in the world. Over the past year, for the first time in 38 years, the prison population declined.Some states, like California or Michigan, are taking fewer prisoners because of overcrowding. State budgets are restrained and some prisoners are released because of the economic situation.Prisons in America are vast and the number of prisoners is immense. It’s impressive to see how much money is spent by the US government and how invisible we are. No one knows. Most people don’t care. Some journalists report when there is a drama in prison and think they know about it. But this is not real : it is sensationalist. You can find some good writings. But they are unrealistic. My reporting is what I have seen with my eyes and what people told me. It is real. My reporting has to do with my reality. They mostly have been focusing on death row and prison. I wish it were not so. There is a spate of suicides on death row in the last year and a half. But this is invisible. I broke stories about suicide because it happened on my block.I need to write. There are millions of stories and some wonderful people here. Among these stories, the ones I chose to write are important, moving, fragile. I decide to write them but part of the calculation is to know whether it’s helpful or not. I have to think about that. As a reporter, you have a responsability when you publish those kind of stories. Hopefully, it will change their lives for the better.Do you think the fact you were a reporter affected your case ? Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says September 3, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Mumia Abu-Jamal : “I am an outlaw journalist” I have written on History, one of my passions. I would love to write about other things. My latest works are about war, but I also write about culture and music. I have an internal beat that I try to keep through poetry and drums. Very few things have matched the pleasure that I get from learning music. It’s like learning another language. And to write, that’s a challenge ! A music teacher comes every week and teaches me. A whole new world is opening to me and I get a better grasp of it now. Music is one of the best thing mankind has done. The best of our lives. Once, I read that I was no longer on death row. I was sitting here when I read it. I haven’t stopped sitting here for one second.Because I was coming from the craft, a lot of reporters did not want to cover my case because they feared they would be attached. They had to face criticisms for being partial and sometimes they were told by their editors they could not cover it. Since the beginning of the case, people who could cover me best were not allowed to. Most of reporters I worked with are no longer working. They retired and nobody took the work over.But the press should have a role to play here. Millions of people saw what was done in Abu Ghraib. Its leader, smiling on the pictures that have been published, worked here before going to Abu Ghraib. In death row, you have people without a high school degree who can decide whether someone lives or dies. For whatever reason, they have the power to make you not eat if they don’t want to. And none of that power is checked by anyone. There are informal rules. These people can make someone’s life a living hell on a wink. When I chose which stories I want to write about, I am never short on material. From a writing perspective, this field is rich.No matter what my detractors are saying about me, I am a reporter. This country would be a whole lot worse without journalists. But to many of them, I am an outlaw reporter. Prior to prison, in my work for various radio stations, I met people from all around the world and despite my conflicts with some editors, I had the greatest job.The support you receive in Europe compared to the support you receive here in the United States, is very different. How do you explain the difference and do you still believe international mobilization will be helpful ?Of course it will. The European mobilization might be pressuring the US regarding the death penalty.Foreign countries, like European ones, went through a specific history of repression. There was an in-their-bones-knowledge of what it is to be in prison. They know about prison, death row and concentration camps. In the US, very few people had that experience. That speaks to how cultures look at things in the world. In Europe, the very ideal of death penalty is an anathema. If the Supreme Court agrees on a new trial, only your sentence will be reviewed. Not your conviction. How do you feel about staying in prison for life, if you are not executed ?In Pennsylvania, life sentence is a slow death row. And under the state law, there are 3 degrees of murders. The first degree is punished by life sentence or death. The second and the third ones are punished by life sentence. People do not get out. The highest juvenile rate of life sentences is here in Pennsylvania.But here is my point, in Philadelphia, there were two other cases around my time were people killed a cop. The first one got aquittal. The second once, caught on a surveillance camera, did not get a death sentence.How do you manage to “escape” death row ?center_img to go further United StatesAmericas June 7, 2021 Find out more News United StatesAmericas News April 28, 2021 Find out more RSF_en To motivate more people around your cause, it might be helpful to get an up to date picture of you, today, on death row. Does the fact that we don’t have any updated picture of you affect your situation and the ability of more people to mobilize around your cause ? WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Having a public image is partly helpful. The essence of an image is propaganda. Pictures are therefore not that important. The human image is the true one. There, I try to do my best. In 1986, prison authorities took recorders from reporters and you were only allowed a pen and a paper. Now that there is only the meaning of one article left, one can make monsters and models from his article. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Newslast_img read more

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A bright future ahead: Orange Bakery, Watlington

first_imgCommunity support: Each of the oranges on the wall, painted by Kitty’s godmother, represent a crowdfunding donor who helped get the bakery up and running. Bread with personality: Loaves include a wholemeal sourdough, white sourdough and the famous Marmite ‘comfort loaf’. All are made from starters with names including Chad, Barry and Leslie.All in a name: “When I was in a bad place, I would only wear orange dungarees as they were the only things I felt comfortable in. That’s where the name comes from,” explains Kitty.Take it slow: These ‘slow jars’ are filled with homemade preserves, confit, sauerkraut and pickles, providing colourful decoration, as well as delicious bakery ingredients.Homemade: The bakery, in an extension to the Taits’ house, has three Rofco B40 ovens and other equipment, including a mixer and proving baskets donated by the baking community.A sweet life: Kitty’s cinnamon buns are in high demand, selling out on the day British Baker visits. “I make 50 a day,” she says. The rest of the menu is flexible. “We bake what we feel like.” It was an eventful day at Orange Bakery when British Baker visited. A queue of eager customers waited outside, the family terriers had escaped on their morning walk and, to top it all off, Environmental Health turned up for a spot inspection.But amid the chaos stood a smiling 15-year-old Kitty Tait in flour-dusted overalls, dishing out freshly made loaves and cinnamon buns to her regulars. For Kitty, the community is at the heart of the operation – both the local community in Watlington and the wider baking one.“We are really supported by the community and that has made a huge difference to us,” explains Alex Tait, Kitty’s dad, and owner of Orange Bakery.It’s evident in the interactions between customers and the Tait family. Despite only opening two months ago, they have a slew of regulars, who seem continually delighted by the treats available.A bricks-and-mortar bakery wasn’t always the end goal for the duo, who began baking bread for therapeutic reasons after Kitty had to drop out of school due to illness.“I was in a really bad place mentally,” explains Kitty. “My dad used to bake a loaf about once a month, although it was a bit like a breeze block, and asked if I wanted to help him make it. Baking gave my mind a break. It was an extremely therapeutic escape from all the pain.”After a bit of practice, word spread of the amazing loaves being produced by Alex and Kitty, and a subscription service was set up to cater for families in the town. Not long after, the opportunity to take over a shop on the high street presented itself and a crowdfunding campaign was launched to help kit it out. Established members of the baking community were among those to step up.A mixer was donated by London-based Pophams Bakery, proving baskets came from Hart’s Bakery in Bristol and Kitty gained work experience in a number of places, including The Dusty Knuckle Bakery in Dalston, London and Hamblin Bread in east Oxford.All of the equipment is located up the road from the shop in the Taits’ house, located in an extension that was briefly destined to be a dining area. Another kitchen space is on the horizon.“We have planning permission and a foundation for an extension outside in the garden, but as we don’t have a lot of money we want to build it out of scrap doors and old materials,” says Kitty.“One of our principles is we have to be able to do it on a low budget and in a compromised set-up – the kitchen is in our house,” Alex adds. “But if we can show to people that it can be done, and you can launch a subscription service, pop-up or bakery without having to look for a £50,000 investment, then there’s a future in that.”The benefit of this forward-planning, notes Alex, is it allows Kitty a number of avenues to explore, once her GCSEs are out of the way next year. Things are already taking off, with Kitty holding bakery classes for local children, appearing at Theatre of Food at 2019’s Latitude Festival and becoming an ambassador for the Real Bread Campaign.“I could focus on perfection in bread, but there is no perfection because it’s a wild beast,” she says.Orange Bakery, WatlingtonWho: Orange Bakery is run by father and daughter team Alex and 15-year-old Kitty Tait.What: A bakery renowned among the locals for its sourdough loaves and cinnamon buns, as well as its selection of sweet and savoury baked treats, such as cheese straws, croissants and cookies.When: Orange Bakery began life as a subscription service offering bread to families in the local area. Pop-ups followed and the duo opened a physical store in May 2019 after a successful crowdfunding campaign.Where: 10 High Street, Watlington, Oxfordshire, OX49 5PSWhy: “I want to make really good bread accessible to and good for everyone,” Kitty says. “A big part of that – and the bakery – was that we didn’t want to make it intimidating.”Photo credit: daisy-vcmlast_img read more

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Wednesday starts first day to file for candidacy in Franklin County

first_imgBrookville, IN—Neysa R. Raible, Franklin County Clerk, advises that Wednesday, January 8, 2020 is the first day an individual may file a declaration of candidacy for nomination as a major party candidate to a local office at the 2020 Primary Election. The Franklin County Clerk’s office is open from 8:30 am to Noon and 1 pm to 4 pm Monday through Friday.Friday, February 7, 2020 at NOON is the deadline to file a declaration of candidacy for the Primary Election.2020 Campaign Packets are available in room 104 at the Franklin County Courthouse to pick with all the information needed for candidates.If you have any questions, please call (765) 647-5111 ext. 3.last_img

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