Cooper on Mumia

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Jan 7 14:50:13 PST 2000

I tend to agree with a lot of Chuck's criticisms below. What I am waiting to see is how he would make all of these corrections in this movement , and similar ones in other movements, and not get accused of being authoritarian when does make those corrections or generally discipline the movements in the ways he proposes.


>>> Chuck0 <chuck at> 01/07/00 05:29PM >>>> What foolish decisions are you talking about, Chuck?

* Concentrating the decision-making process in the hands of a few people * Moving the campaign from a decntralized grassroots movement to one that relies on Leftist organizations to do the shitwork. In other words, "contracting out" movement work to party leftists who are very good at alienating average people (i.e. "Hey, please buy our copy of Revolutionary Wanker. This is the 24th consecutive issue that we've put Mumia on the cover in order to recruit new members, preferably people of color) * Treating every attack by the mainstream media as a crucial blow to the movement (i.e. "Clark Kissinger Refutes ____'s Attack on Mumia") * A constant hostile attitude to the mainstream media. We know they suck, but you got be savvy, right? * Misleading supporters about the current legal situation. This is evidenced by rhetoric like "Mumia's case is at a critical stage." It may be now, since it is in the Federal courts, but it hasn't been constantly for the last 4 years. This burns out activists who spend money travelling to "emergency demonstrations" in Philadelphia. * An over-reliance on celebrities to increase name recognition of Mumia's case. Who cares what Ed Asner thinks about Mumia? What about the shitworkers who have spent hundreds of hours on support work? * The failure to make Mumia's case part of a larger, unified campaign against the death penalty. The inability of Mumia supporters to lift a finger to help other folks on death row. * The inability to move beyond standard Leftist protest tactics, such as rallies and marches. In this area, things have improved a bit in the last year, notably in the occupation on July 3rd of the Liberty Bell. * Believing that the popularity of bands such as Rage Against the Machine will lead to a large influx of youth into support work. RATM has raised awareness about Mumia's case and folks have joined up, but how many of RATM's fans are still ignorant of Mumia's case? * A stupid ongoing tet a tet with the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police. Sure, the FOP sucks, but the goal of this campaign is not to piss them off.

I'm sure others have more criticisms.

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