Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Whenever I see the name Waco pop up in the news, I sense something big is coming.

Years ago when a small church community fell into bitter conflict with federal and local government officials, it would blossom into the nightshade of death. We remember it as Branch Davidian, when men, women and children perished in a maelstrom of fire.

It reminded me of the MOVE Massacre of May 13, 1985, just marking its 30 year anniversary.

And it also reminds me of the recent busts of over 170 bikers involved in the crazy violence at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant.

When bond was set at one million dollars for each defendant, or a 170 million dollars total, I felt it even more. Branch Davidian, MOVE, and now these bikers had something in common. All had been demonized. If 170 armed bikers were equally involved in the violence, there would have been more, far more, than nine people dead.

But it is a big case, and careers are made and grown. Already Waco officials are salivating for the death penalty, but Mclennan County, Texas ain’t Manhattan. Trial costs will undoubtedly skyrocket and that aint even county defense counsel for 170 men, many of whom will have antagonistic defenses, or bikers flipping on other bikers.

Soon when the fires cool, when passions die down, when some officials begin looking at county budgets, perhaps sanity will prevail.

They may be banditos but they ain’t demons.