Another April 24th (1:52) by Mumia Abu-Jamal

4/23/13

Another April 24th

[col. writ. 4/14/13] © ’13 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not big on my birthday.

Many years, I forget it entirely.

So, don’t expect a big birthday speech.

 

But, every so often, I think of a birthday that is hard to forget.

 

It’s April 24th, 1996, when the President of the United States signed into law an act known as the AEDPA (or Anti-terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act), which transformed habeas corpus from its previous 700 years of Anglo-American history.

 

The law severely limited, restricted and denied federal habeas corpus to people who would’ve been entitled to it before the act.

 

I remember my lawyers mentioning it, but frankly, I couldn’t believe it.

 

Wait a minute. The government’s changing a law? Habeas corpus? For me?

 

“Y’all trippin’ “, I said.

 

But they weren’t. In a way, I was.

Is that just coincidence?

 

At a press conference, my name came up, and (former) PA Governor Edward G. Rendell said as much.

 

On tape.

 

But why should I be surprised? Hadn’t every court ignored its own precedents in my case?

 

The law, it seems, is only politics by other means.

 

We must build a movement that frees us all from such a system.

 

I won’t say, ‘Happy Birthday’--.

 

I’ll only say, Ona Move!

 

Freedom for All!

 

--© ’13 maj