Thursday, March 18, 2004

OOooooooooh I'm having a crisis this evening. I hate when that happens.

As should be apparently obvious by now, my sympathies toward the travesty in Iraq do not lie (pun intended) with the Bush administration. March 20th marks the one year anniversary of the first pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign country by the United States in its 227 year history. Not surprisingly, significant protests are planned in major cities throughout America.

But Houston, I have a moral dilemma.

One of the primary organizations behind the mass protests is a group called ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism). It's a great name for a liberally oriented group. The acronym fairly shouts representation of some significant liberal ideals. So, why do I have a dilemma?

ANSWER, and other groups connected to it, tout a key supporter that I want to see hang from the gallows.

Mumia Abu-Jamal.

For those of you not familiar with Abu-Jamal, he was a journalist in the Philadelphia market. In 1981, police officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed by an assailant in Philadelphia during a routine traffic stop. Jamal was implicated, arrested, tried, convicted (on very damning evidence). Abu-Jamal now sits on death row in Pennsylvania, but has become a cause celeb over the past 10 years or so, as noted in this short excerpt from a 1999 Vanity Fair article on the Daniel Faulkner murder:
Whatever the motivation, the beat of Abu-Jamal goes on. And, there may be only one thing to mar it all: compelling evidence Abu-Jamal ran across Locust Street with a gun in his hand on that December night in 1981 and killed Daniel Faulkner.
I have no desire to publicize the Faulkner case (or that of his cold blooded murderer) any further. The purpose of this rant is to explain why I can't associate myself with what would be an otherwise worthwhile endeavor. I'm not doing anything this Saturday. I haven't participated in a good civil protest in many years. But I won't be associated with any action spearheaded by a group that publicly flaunts a cop killer as a spokesperson.

The only reason I'm posting this is so you know there's a big anti-war protest in a city near you if you want to attend. I'd love to be there, but I can't. And now you know why. End of story.

Oh, and that little "salute" thing you got goin' there in the picture above, Abu-Jamal? Right back atcha', bro, as Maureen Faulkner throws the switch.