Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

You were taught that you control nature. Remember how water seems pent it and trapped till the dam breaks and crumbles and dies like its maker. To blockade life’s plan is cruel, fatal, blind, deadly to those that in prison, the force to be free, unquote. From John Africa, the “Judge’s Letter.”

Summer 1993 is an awesome spectacle of the raw power of Mother Nature. An earthquake near the northern Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu kills hundreds while devastating property over a wide region. Heavy rains swell the Mighty Mississippi River until it burst its banks, flooding seven Midwestern states, virtually inundating one state. While floods ravaged the Midwest, southern states experienced drought. A heatwave of at least 100 degree temperatures melts the East Coast, leaving hundreds dead and/or debilitated.

In Philadelphia alone, almost 100 people died in one week from baking temperatures. Hurricane Andrew hammers western Mexico. The Midwestern floods leave tens of thousands of people homeless, jobless, and ironically, in the midst of tons of water, without drinking water. Earthquakes, floods, heat waves.

We are taught daily that man has harnessed the forces of nature to power global economies and fuel technologies. Few powers to bend nature’s will seem beyond human reach, with the construction of quake-resistant buildings, manmade levees, and chilling air conditioning.

Then, a week in summer 1993 demonstrates how puny humans are when confronting the fundamental forces of nature. Earthquakes snap steel girders like children snapping popsicle sticks. Floods overrun levees and swallow whole cities. Heat waves drain power reserves causing brownouts and blackouts as the demand for power outstrips available storage generated.

The summer events seem to demand solutions that work in tandem with rather than domination of nature. Most major cities owe their existence to rivers; Paris, New York, Cairo, London, Philadelphia, etc. all live on the banks of great rivers. The raging Mississippi reveals how, in a matter of days, life can be drastically altered by something we take for granted: rain. Until humankind opts for harmony with nature over domination, oneness over otherness, the seasons of death and destruction will only escalate.

From death row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.