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!*'Our Contact Visit w/Mumia' by Prof. Johanna Fernandez  nattyreb
 Feb 04, 2012 15:54 PST 


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A very vivid and moving account!!
-------

Comrades, Brothers and Sisters:
=20
Heidi Boghosian and I just returned from a very moving visit with Mumia. =
We visited yesterday, Thursday, February 2. This was Mumia's second =
contact visit in over 30 years, since his transfer to General Population =
last Friday, Jan 27. His first contact visit was with his wife, Wadiya, =
on Monday, January 30.

Unlike our previous visits to Death Row at SCI Greene and to solitary =
confinement at SCI Mahanoy, our visit yesterday took place in a large =
visitor's area, amidst numerous circles of families and spouses who were =
visiting other inmates. Compared to the intense and focused =
conversations we had had with Mumia in a small, isolated visiting cell =
on Death Row, behind sterile plexiglass, this exchange was more relaxed =
and informal and more unpredictably interactive with the people around =
us...it was more human. There were so many scenes of affection around =
us, of children jumping on top of and pulling at their fathers, of =
entire families talking intimately around small tables, of couples =
sitting and quietly holding each other, and of girlfriends and wives =
stealing a forbidden kiss from the men they were there to visit (kisses =
are only allowed at the start and at the end of visits). These scenes =
were touching and beautiful, and markedly different from the images of =
prisoners presented to us by those in power. Our collective work could =
benefit greatly from these humane, intimate images.

When we entered, we immediately saw Mumia standing across the room. We =
walked toward each other and he hugged both of us simultaneously. We =
were both stunned that he would embrace us so warmly and share his =
personal space so generously after so many years in isolation.=20

He looked young, and we told him as much. He responded, "Black don't =
crack!" We laughed.

He talked to us about the newness of every step he has taken since his =
release to general population a week ago. So much of what we take for =
granted daily is new to him, from the microwave in the visiting room to =
the tremor he felt when, for the first time in 30 years, he kissed his =
wife. As he said in his own words, "the only thing more drastically =
different than what I'm experiencing now would be freedom." He also =
noted that everyone in the room was watching him.

The experience of breaking bread with our friend and comrade was =
emotional. It was wonderful to be able to talk and share grilled cheese =
sandwiches, apple danishes, cookies and hot chocolate from the visiting =
room vending machines.

One of the highlights of the visit came with the opportunity to take a =
photo. This was one of the first such opportunities for Mumia in =
decades, and we had a ball! Primping the hair, making sure that we =
didn't have food in our teeth, and nervously getting ready for the big =
photo moment was such a laugh! And Mumia was openly tickled by every =
second of it.=20

When the time came to leave, we all hugged and were promptly instructed =
to line up against the wall and walk out with the other visitors. As we =
were exiting the prison, one sister pulled us aside and told us that she =
couldn't stop singing Kelly Clarkson's line "some people wait a lifetime =
for a moment like this." She shared that she and her parents had =
followed Mumia's case since 1981 and that she was overjoyed that Mumia =
was alive and in general population despite Pennsylvania's bloodthirsty =
pursuit of his execution. We told her that on April 24 we were going to =
launch the fight that would win Mumia's release: that on that day we =
were going to Occupy the Justice Department in Washington DC. She told =
us that because she recently survived cancer she now believed in =
possibility, and that since Mumia was now in general population she =
could see how we could win. She sent us off with the line from Laverne =
and Shirley's theme song - "never heard the word impossible!"- gave us =
her number, and asked us to sign her up for the fight.=20

We're still taking it all in. The journey has been humbling and =
humanizing, and we are re-energized and re-inspired!!

In the words of City Lights editor, Greg Ruggiero:"

"Long Term Goal: End Mass Incarceration.=20

Short Term Goal: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"

--Johanna Fernandez


Facebook Link to Photo
http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Lawyers-Guild/338038119888

-------------------
DREAD TIMES - Dedicated to the free flow of information - =
http://www.dreadtimes.com=20




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<html><body style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"font-size: 13px;">A very vivid and moving =
account!!<br>-------<br><br></span><div><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"font-size: 13px;">Comrades, Brothers and =
Sisters:<br> <br>Heidi Boghosian and I just returned from a very =
moving visit with Mumia. We visited yesterday, Thursday, February 2. =
This was Mumia's second contact visit in over 30 years, since his =
transfer to General Population last Friday, Jan 27. His first =
contact visit was with his wife, Wadiya, on Monday, January =
30.<br><br>Unlike our previous visits to Death Row at SCI Greene and to =
solitary confinement at SCI Mahanoy, our visit yesterday took place in a =
large visitor's area, amidst numerous circles of families and spouses =
who were visiting other inmates.  Compared to the intense and =
focused conversations we had had with Mumia in a small, isolated =
visiting cell on Death Row, behind sterile plexiglass, this exchange was =
more relaxed and informal and more unpredictably interactive with =
the people around us...it was more human.  There were so many =
scenes of affection around us, of children jumping on top of and pulling =
at their fathers, of entire families talking intimately around =
small tables, of couples sitting and quietly holding each other, and of =
girlfriends and wives stealing a forbidden kiss from the men they were =
there to visit (kisses are only allowed at the start and at the end =
of visits). These scenes were touching and beautiful, and markedly =
different from the images of prisoners presented to us by those in =
power. Our collective work could benefit greatly from these humane, =
intimate images.<br><br>When we entered, we immediately saw Mumia =
standing across the room. We walked toward each other and he hugged both =
of us simultaneously. We were both stunned that he would embrace us so =
warmly and share his personal space so generously after so many =
years in isolation. <br><br>He looked young, and we told him as =
much. He responded, "Black don't crack!"  We laughed.<br><br>He =
talked to us about the newness of every step he has taken since his =
release to general population a week ago. So much of what we take for =
granted daily is new to him, from the microwave in the visiting room =
to the tremor he felt when, for the first time in 30 years, he =
kissed his wife.  As he said in his own words, "the only thing more =
drastically different than what I'm experiencing now would be freedom." =
He also noted that everyone in the room was watching =
him.<br><br>The experience of breaking bread with our friend and comrade =
was emotional. It was wonderful to be able to talk and share grilled =
cheese sandwiches, apple danishes, cookies and hot chocolate from the =
visiting room vending machines.<br><br>One of the highlights of the =
visit came with the opportunity to take a photo. This was one of the =
first such opportunities for Mumia in decades, and we had a ball! =
Primping the hair, making sure that we didn't have food in our =
teeth, and nervously getting ready for the big photo moment was such a =
laugh! And Mumia was openly tickled by every second of =
it. <br><br>When the time came to leave, we all hugged and were =
promptly instructed to line up against the wall and walk out with the =
other visitors. As we were exiting the prison, one sister pulled us =
aside and told us that she couldn't stop singing Kelly Clarkson's =
line "some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this." She shared =
that she and her parents had followed Mumia's case since 1981 and that =
she was overjoyed that Mumia was alive and in general population =
despite Pennsylvania's bloodthirsty pursuit of his execution.  We =
told her that on April 24 we were going to launch the fight that would =
win Mumia's release: that on that day we were going to Occupy the =
Justice Department in Washington DC. She told us that because she =
recently survived cancer she now believed in possibility, and that since =
Mumia was now in general population she could see how we could win. =
She sent us off with the line from Laverne and Shirley's theme song - =
"never heard the word impossible!"- gave us her number, and asked us to =
sign her up for the fight. <br><br>We're still taking it all in. =
The journey has been humbling and humanizing, and we are re-energized =
and re-inspired!!<br><br>In the words of City Lights editor, Greg =
Ruggiero:"<br><br>"Long Term Goal: End Mass =
Incarceration. <br><br>Short Term Goal: Free Mumia =
Abu-Jamal!"<br><br>--Johanna Fernandez<br><br><br>Facebook Link to =
Photo<br><a =
href=3D"http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Lawyers-Guild/338038119888"=
 http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Lawyers-Guild/338038119888</a><br>=
<br>-------------------<br>DREAD TIMES - Dedicated to the free flow of =
information - =
http://www.dreadtimes.com ;<br><br><br></span></div><br></body></html>=

--Apple-Mail-44-52627710--
	
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