Art to Resist the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal: “What does it mean?”

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What does it mean to me,
A Chinese American woman.
To have Mumia sitting on Death Row
For over 17 years?

What does it mean to me,
A retired worker, a poet
To have “The Voice of the Voiceless”
writing us from his prison cell?

What does it mean to you and me,
Working people, radicals, socialists, anarchists,
That this capitalist system
Killed Sacco and Vanzetti, Bombed MOVE in Philadelphia?

What does it mean to the sisters and brothers,
Puerto Rican revolutionaries,
That Clinton offers clemency
With restrictions attached?

What does it mean to people of the First Nations,
Cherokee. Mohawk, Menominee, Lakota.
That the Indian wars are still on,
Killed Jacinta Eagle Deer, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash?

What does it mean to be imprisoned
Our sisters and brothers in Dublin, Lompoc,
That freedom is beyond the padlocked bars,
That nothing is free in this land of the free?

What does it mean to Leonard Peltier, Marilyn Buck,
The women on welfare with children to feed,
That the lives of women and people of color
are disposable trash in the eyes of the oppressor?

Let’s let brother Mumia know what we mean
Let’s let brother Ruchell Magee know what we mean
Let’s tell them we, the people, understand
That until there are no 60 richest families
Running havoc on our lives
That until there are no more IMFs, GATTs, WTOs
That until the workers control industry
That until the First Nations get their land back
That until Affirmative Action is a natural process
That until there are not more sexual slaves in Russia, Korea, America
That until violence ceases against lesbians, gays, bi’s, transgenders
That until there is no more HIV, brown lung disease, cancer
That until Mumia and all other political prisoners walk free
That until we have socialism which means
A planned economy and everyone gets their needs met.

That we mean business, not waging war in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Indonesia
That we mean the guys in suits cannot buy us off
Put us in highrise buildings giving us perks
Here’s a nice office for you
Here’s a bonus for you
Here’s a chocolate bar for you
So we don’t make a noise
So we sleep in front of the TV
So we think we’re free
Passive, compliant, obedient
So they think they crushed us
When our resistance must threaten the powers
of domination, incarceration, disintegration
Abomination, militarization, gentrification

Cause what it means is Revolution
revolution of our minds, our bodies and souls
revolution for the working class, by the working class
the poor, disabled, youth, elders, the unprotected

Cause what it means is Revolution
revolution for the homeless, the evicted
revolution for single moms, gay parents
revolution for runaway teens, locked out children

Cause what it means is Revolution
revolution without borders
revolution for all races and sexes
revolution for you and me

Cause we’re gonna take the power
our women power, our men power
our children power, our workers power

Cause we run the factories, the minefields
the assembly lines, the strawberry fields
the railroad line, airlines and cyberspace

Let’s tell Mumia
He’s gonna be free
That the spirit of Malcolm is with us
That it doesn’t matter if I’m Chinese
She’s Jewish and he’s Nicaraguan
Our children are Cuban, Jamaican, Korean

Cause we know what it means
to fight back and win
Cause we know what it means
why Mumia’s been on Death Row
these past 17 years

Cause Mumia stands against police brutality
against racism and brutalization of women
against invasion of Third World countries
against violence against our youth

Cause Mumia gives us hope
his words, his courage, his very life

That’s what it means
It means Revolution
On our terms, in our time

Spell it out, spell it!
Sing it out, sing it!
Carry it out, carry it!

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