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WHO IS MUMIA ABU-JAMAL?                WHY MUMIA MATTERS 

ABOUT EMAJ

Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal (EMAJ) is a network of teachers.

We work at all levels and in various institutions, advocating and organizing for Mumia Abu-Jamal since 1995, within a broader commitment to resisting state violence and the state’s “right to kill.” Its members have organized in various modes for Abu-Jamal – with fund drives, campus teach-ins, press conferences in labor union halls and legislative corridors, and through educational events and other protest actions. EMAJ works with the many other organizations and movements that find Abu-Jamal’s conviction and sentence unjust for many reasons. EMAJ thus works with countless others who demand release of Abu-Jamal. EMAJ thinks and acts with numerous movements in the campaign to “Bring Mumia Home.”

EMAJ positions itself at the crossroads of education and incarceration.

U.S. policy-makers have generally dispossessed our nation of resources needed for education, especially in communities of the black, brown and poor. At the same time, funding of prisons, jails, immigrant detention centers, and policing has far surpassed what the nation spends on education. It is not unusual in many states to see budgets for incarceration six times larger than those for education. This is a travesty, when one considers the well-established links between lack of education and crime, and between a life with dignity after prison and opportunities for education. EMAJ calls continually for supporting education over incarceration, teaching and learning over policing and imprisoning.

EMAJ affirms its solidarity with political prisoners.

This solidarity is both a revolutionary practice and an intellectual project. Solidarity is necessary for sustaining any real democracy worthy of the name. Many of the best writers, teachers and educators on politics and justice, about society and nation, have come from ranks of U.S. political prisoners, those locked down precisely because of their effective revolutionary work for justice in the U.S. – challenging its imperialism, its racism, its gender and sexual repression, its wars and capitalist exploitation. We strike common cause with the tradition of exemplary imprisoned intellectuals in the U.S. : Oscar Wilde, Antonio Gramsci, George Jackson, Angela Y. Davis, Susan Rosenberg, Leonard Peltier, Standing Deer, Russell Maroon Shoatz, Marilyn Buck, and internationally such other figures as Jacobo Timmerman, Shirin Abadi, Wei Jinsheng, and countless unnamed others. EMAJ joins with all these in forging a “revolutionary politics,” in the sense defined by Joy James, who writes: “Revolution encompasses and surpasses radicalism and rebellion to pursue a greater objective: freedoms safeguarded by institutions. Rather than merely revolt against repressive hierarchies or disobey unjust laws and customs [as do "radicals" and "insurrectionists"], revolutionary politics seeks to build new structures and norms” (James, Imprisoned Intellectuals, 2003)

EMAJ and renewing university 'liberal arts' commitments.

In fact, we propose that recovery of the radical and seasoned voices of U.S. political prisoners is a necessary condition for the renewal of the “liberal arts tradition,” often alleged to be a value in higher education. EMAJ holds that there can be no “liberal arts” in our educational institutions without the horizons of practice and theory set by the radical voices of U.S. political prisoners. A commitment to productive material struggle for the most repressed and excluded is the touchstone of any radically inclusive and liberating knowledge and politics. The voices of political prisoners are necessary to any curriculum aiming at truth and justice.

Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal (EMAJ) is a network of teachers.

We work at all levels and in various institutions, advocating and organizing for Mumia Abu-Jamal since 1995, within a broader commitment to resisting state violence and the state’s “right to kill.” Its members have organized in various modes for Abu-Jamal – with fund drives, campus teach-ins, press conferences in labor union halls and legislative corridors, and through educational events and other protest actions. EMAJ works with the many other organizations and movements that find Abu-Jamal’s conviction and sentence unjust for many reasons. EMAJ thus works with countless others who demand release of Abu-Jamal. EMAJ thinks and acts with numerous movements in the campaign to “Bring Mumia Home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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