File this (via Instapundit) under “Shocked –shocked!-.”


The ad… was created by the group Not In Our Name, which has purchased similar ads in other papers around the country. A box at the bottom of the ad asks readers to send donations to an organization called the Bill of Rights Foundation. “We suggest a $200 contribution,” the ad says, “but all contributions large or small help to make the goal possible.” 

The Bill of Rights Foundation is a New York-based group that has for years devoted nearly all of its funds to the defense of Abu-Jamal, who shot and killed a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 . Abu-Jamal’s guilt has been upheld during decades of appeals, but his case has become a cause c?l?bre among some on the Left, who maintain that he was unfairly convicted.


It’s a cause that also bestows instant counter-cultural capital on just about any college campus across the nation. Around here for instance, a popular grafittied addition to city STOP signs is to add, below the “stop” letters (along with the usual spate of silly “driving” type messages) “Mumia’s execution.”

I was prodded into looking into the case from the constant calls for the man’s release, and I came away with the conclusion that anyone even remotely familiar with the facts of the Mumia case who says the man is innocent is either deeply dishonest or else so stupid that they shouldn’t be allowed to use grown-up scissors. And, just as a warning, don’t ever actually confront a Mumia supporter with concrete information. It’s only going to piss them off.

And again, I cannot adequately register my utter hair-turned-white shock that an anti-war ad is soliticing donations for a group devoted to getting an unrepetant, convicted cop-killer released from prison.

See fellas, this is exactly why any antiwar protest movement isn’t taken seriously about some corporate media conspiracy to squash dissent all she wants, but the fact remains that the anti-war movement can’t seem to divest itself from all kinds of idiotic, kooky causes that make them look (rightly) like a foolish conglomerate of reflexively anti-everything-including-Mom-and-apple-pie punks from the sheltered halls of Academia. But even putting it that way is too generous, because that scenario makes it sound as if there is a core of genuinely patriotic, well-meaning Americans who simply don’t think that war in Iraq is best and most just course of action, but who are weighed down by the fringe of extreme counter-cultural elements nipping at their heels. But that isn’t the case at all.

The sad fact is that those kooks of the “free-Mumia!” variety are the core of the movement, and their current anti-war stance is just another line item on their counter-cultural spreadsheet. Sure, there are some who join the anti-war marches who aren’t of this hard-left variety, but they’re the ones who should be considered the fringe of the movement, especially when the marches themselves are led and organized by groups like ANSWER.

And just to make sure we’ve beat this dead horse into the ground, let’s once again go over just who ANSWER is: they are a front group for the Wrokers’ World Party, a group that split with the Socialist Workers’ Party in 1956 because they were upset that the SWP didn’t support the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Since then, they’ve done a swell job of making sure their fervent orthodoxically revolutionary credentials never waned, when they, for instance, voiced support for the actions of the Chinese government which resulted in the massacre of student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

It’s not enough to not personally be a Stalinist dupe . If you want to have a credible anti-war stance, you must disassociate yourself completely from groups like this, or else you’ll be forever lumped in with the myriad “Free Mumia!” and “Cyclists for Biodiesel!” type of polyglot leftist causes, a collection of ideologes who make it clear at every anti-war march that the event isn’t so much to offer a principled stance against military action in Iraq, but to let everyone from the freakshow of people who never escaped from the 60’s wax nostalgic.

I was at the Jan 18 anti-war rally in San Francisco. And yes, the first picture that I posted from the event shows a bunch of people carrying a “Free Mumia” banner.

And right now, as I write this, I’m looking at a flier for the next big march in SF. This time, the top bill sponsor is Bay Area United Against War. Frankly, BAUAW seems to suffer from many of the same ugly associations that ANSWER does, as one quickly finds from their mission statement:


We oppose this war for the sake of all people in the Middle East, who will see their communities destabilized and threatened by further U.S. wars; and especially the Palestinian people, whose human rights are continually violated by Israel, with the support and funding of the U .S. government. 

It is intolerable for the United States to spend billions on weapons at any time, but especially while poverty, unemployment, and homelessness are rising. We advocate that society’s resources be allocated for jobs, education, health care, a clean environment, and social justice.


Yes, yes, what would an anti-war movement be without the obligatory statement defending the war waged against Israel by sick fanatics in “Palestine”? And as for “social justice”: well, I’m fairly certain that releasing Mumia and other such patently idiotic causes fall under that rubric. Indeed, a look at the Endorsers page spells it out in black and white, identifying as supporters of BAUAW “Jeff Mackler and Laura Herrera, Co-Chairs, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal,” and of course, that 800 pound gorilla of anti-war silliness, ANSWER, is listed as the second most prominent sponsor of the rally, right below BAUAW.

That’s right guys, keep putting all your rotten, diseased eggs into the same basket of stupidity. I’d like to see the omelet that comes out of this .

The next march is scheduled for Feb 16, follwoing the tried and true protest route of Embarcadero to the Civic Center. Sigh. I suppose I’ll be there as well. Showing these people for who they really are is just too important.

And one last thing about Mumia: The funniest goddamn thing that ever appeared in the Berkeley campus comedy magazine, the Heuristic Squelch, was a fake advertisement for MacDonalds with a picture of the aforementioned cop-killer and the lettering: “Free Mumia!… with any purchase of soft drink and fries.”

last update : 19-4-2018

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