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From: R.B. Wilk Date Added: 2/13/2013 3:55:18 PM

I thank Elba Matos for her positive comments regarding “Long Distance Revolutionary” and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Like Ms. Matos, I was moved to tears by the scene in the film showing the suffering of Mumia’s daughter due to the physical separation imposed by the prison. However, I would appreciate clarification from Ms. Matos regarding her dedication of “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart” to Mumia. Does this dedication refer to Mumia’s love for humanity, Ms. Matos’ love for Mumia, or both?

As for the post by “Randy Bone” dedicating “I Shot the Sheriff” to Mumia, this is baffling, to say the least. If it is intended as a derisive retort to Ms. Matos and/or an assertion of Mumia’s guilt, it falls very far short of the mark and only shows Mr. Bone’s ignorance. In fact, “I Shot the Sheriff” was written, originally recorded and originally performed by Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley – the greatest reggae singer, songwriter and musician who ever lived, and one of the greatest singers, songwriters and musicians who ever lived – and the lyrics tell the story of a farmer who was repeatedly harassed by a sheriff and ultimately shoots the sheriff IN SELF-DEFENSE because THE SHERIFF IS SHOOTING AND TRYING TO KILL THE FARMER. Far from being a confession to murder, therefore, the lyrical narrative of “I Shot the Sheriff” is actually an assertion of justifiable homicide. In any event, this song is most likely irrelevant to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was probably successfully defended by his brother’s friend, Kenneth Freeman.

Interestingly, however, Mumia Abu-Jamal did one of the best interviews with Bob Marley for WUHY in 1979, focusing on Marley’s messages of African unity and resistance to oppression, and tracing the roots of the Rastafarian movement in Marcus Garvey’s back-to-Africa movement and the culture of the Jamaican Maroons, escaped slaves who established an independent society in the mountains. I would like to dedicate – or as Rastafarians say, LIVicate – another Marley song, “Exodus,” to Mumia:

“Jah come to break down downpression, rule I-quality,
“Wipe away transgression, SET THE CAPTIVES FREE!”

As Bob Marley said in his interview with Mumia, “When you unite, that is the power of God.” May the unity of the people have the power to FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL NOW!

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