[sixties-l] Moonies on mooning (Berkeley protest)

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 10/09/00

  • Next message: William M Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Evidence that "the times are a changing"?"

    October 4, 2000
    'Cop Killer' author says protesters strengthen his message
    By Robert Stacy McCain
    They screamed obscenities. They shouted "Nazi" and "fascist." One protester 
    at the University of California even dropped his pants and "mooned" Dan 
    Flynn during his speech at the Berkeley campus last week.
    Radical students and "community activists" at Berkeley were disrupting the 
    speech because Mr. Flynn believes that convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal 
    is not, as his defenders claim, a victim of racism and injustice, but 
    instead is guilty as charged.
    "Cop Killer: How Mumia Abu-Jamal Conned Millions Into Believing He Was 
    Framed," is the title of Mr. Flynn's booklet, published last year by 
    Accuracy in Academia, the Washington conservative organization where Mr. 
    Flynn is executive director.
    The tract details the evidence that convicted Abu-Jamal, a former Black 
    Panther, in the 1981 shooting of officer Daniel Faulkner of the 
    Philadelphia police. Sentenced to death, Abu-Jamal has become a celebrity 
    through his public-radio broadcasts and his popular 1995 book, "Live From 
    Death Row."
    Mr. Flynn expects more protests tonight when he takes his message to 
    Swarthmore College, an elite liberal arts school in the suburbs of 
    Philadelphia  just miles from where Mr. Faulkner died in a hail of gunfire.
    "I suspect when Abu-Jamal's followers have to fight it out through rational 
    debate, they always lose," Mr. Flynn said. "I think they might try to 
    censor me, because that's the only way they'll be able to perpetuate their 
    Mr. Flynn's speech tonight is sponsored by the Swarthmore Conservative 
    Foundation. According to a weekly campus paper, the Phoenix, there are "no 
    protests . . . planned for the event" at Swarthmore. In fact, Abu-Jamal's 
    supporters at the school say they welcome Mr. Flynn's appearance.
    "Anything that is going to bring attention to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal 
    is helpful," Sarah Drescher, a sophomore who is one of 20 members of Just 
    Cause, "a pro-Mumia group" on campus, told the Phoenix. "We certainly want 
    to encourage dialogue."
    There was little dialogue at Berkeley on Sept. 27, where activists shouted 
    epithets and chanted so loudly it was impossible for Mr. Flynn to be heard. 
    The event was described as "an inaudible shouting match," according to the 
    Daily Cal, a student newspaper.
    Before the event, Berkeley protesters already had torn down hundreds of 
    fliers and stole a banner announcing Mr.  Flynn's speech. After the event, 
    the activists seized all the copies of "Cop Killer" that had been made 
    available for the speech and burned them outside.
    This book-burning was ironic, Mr. Flynn notes, because the activists 
    displayed placards proclaiming, "Fight Racist Censorship."
    "Apparently, my message was so dangerous to them that they felt they needed 
    to silence me," Mr. Flynn said. "I think their disruptions did far more to 
    educate people about the nature of the campuses than anything I could have 
    said. It also was an admission of just how weak the case for Mumia 
    Abu-Jamal really is, that they would have to resort to book-burning and 
    shouting me down, to prevent the truth from getting out."
    Death-penalty opponents and other activists remain convinced of Abu-Jamal's 
    innocence despite the evidence against him  police found him at the scene 
    next to his .38-caliber pistol, from which five bullets had been fired; and 
    Abu-Jamal had been wounded by a .44-caliber bullet from the weapon of the 
    policeman, who was slain by five .38-caliber bullets.
    "For those on campus who are enamored with a life of perpetual protest, 
    there haven't been the type of figures like Sacco and Vanzetti, Alger Hiss 
    or Angela Davis in recent years," Mr. Flynn says. "So when Mumia Abu-Jamal 
    burst on the scene about a decade ago, these people jumped at the chance of 
    rallying to his cause.
    "It mattered little to them that the mountain of evidence against their 
    hero made the O.J. Simpson case look like a Sherlock Holmes mystery by 
    Abu-Jamal remains on death row in a state prison near Waynesburg, Pa., 
    pending a federal appeal of his execution.
    [See also: <http://www.academia.org/mumiac-censorship.html>]

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