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


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