Two Messages from Jalil Muntaqim

Urgent Message

On March 4, 2011, I was moved from a single cell to a double bunk cell on
the orders of Attica’s Deputy Supt. of Security P. Chappius. This placement
in double bunk is against double bunk policy, as I was transferred here
administratively via Albany. It was neither a disciplinary transfer nor a
requested transfer and I did not sign a waiver to go into double bunk.

In 1996, they alleged that I organized a strike here against double bunking.
I was put in the box for 9 months. It is well known that Supt. Mark L. Bradt
does not want me in his facility. Therefore, this was probably done
anticipating I would refuse and they could then put me back in the SHU.

I’m asking people to call Commissioner Brian Fischer in Albany at
518-457-8134 and tell him that my placement in a double bunk cell is against
policy and procedure. Request that I be placed in a single cell and that I
start my program as an E block porter.

Jalil

The Egyptian Youth Uprising:
By Jalil A. Muntaqim

The Youth movement in Egypt has been defined as a revolution, but to me it
resembles more of an uprising against tyranny. This historical uprising in
many respects reminds me of the type of Black youth uprising that occurred
in the United States against the tyranny of Jim Crow segregation. Although
the civil rights movement is often referred to as a Black bourgeois
revolution challenging segregation laws and policy, it was not until Kwame
Toure (formerly Stokely Carmicheal) of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), announced that the struggle is for “Black Power”, that the
civil rights movement evolved into a Black liberation struggle for young
people. As a result of the growing militancy of Black youth, the federal
government under the auspices of the FBI-Counterintelligence Program
(COINTELPRO) began to violently suppress the growing militant youth
movement. That movement was mostly represented by the Black Panther Party,
which became the principle target of the FBI Cointelpro activities, actions
that included framing members for imprisonment, running them into exile and
assassination.

The Black Panther movement evolved out of the political struggles of the
civil rights movement to further demand control of the socio-economic and
political institutions controlling the oppressed Black community in the
United States.

To date, the youth uprising in Egypt resembles more the democratic demands
of the civil rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin L. King,
Jr., and the united front operations of the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, Urban League, Congress for Racial Equality, National Association
for the Advancement of Colored Peoples, and Student Non-violent Coordinating
Committee, each of which had specific responsibilities in coordinating the
civil rights movement. The Egyptian youth movement has yet to evolve into a
coordinated leadership of a united front, and because of this weakness the
uprising is being defined and motivated as no more than a struggle for
regime change.

The ideals of demanding democratic freedoms are laudable, but whether
prospects of true democracy will manifest depends on more than simply open
elections. This is especially true when the U.S. government continues to
sponsor the government, especially the military, which now controls the
government. Therefore, any electoral process will result in the selection of
a neo-colonial representative of U.S. interests in the region. Hence, the
Egyptian youth uprising will result in regime change, cosmetic change in
government operations and a nominal redistribution of some of the wealth to
address the most pressing issues of poverty to appease unemployed youth. In
other words, the face of the regime might change but fundamentally
oppressive structures will remain intact.

Very similarly, the civil rights movement in the United States initially
created conditions for a more representative government, that has led to the
election of the first Black president. Obviously, the U.S. civil rights
movement failed to change the fundamental conditions of oppressed peoples of
color in the United States. This is especially significant when considering
the economic disparity between blacks and whites. The disparities that
existed between blacks and whites during the civil rights movement have been
exacerbated by the realignment of wealth continuing to be accumulated by 1%
of the American population. The rich are getting richer and the poor are
growing in numbers. Ultimately, this means there needs to be a fundamental
change in the capitalist system, a system that is being emulated in Egypt
especially through the military’s control of the major industries in Egypt,
a military that the U.S. government supports with over a billion dollars in
subsidies and payments. The ouster of Hosni Mubarak will not end the
military’s control of the wealth of the nation nor ensure a clear severance
of this insidious relationship between the U.S. and the Egyptian military,
the true rulers of the nation.

Given this reality, a good look at what is happening in Egypt can be
characterized as a bourgeois democratic movement inspired by Egypt’s youth.
Although the middle class, as unrepresentative as they may be of the
Egyptian population, is supportive of the youth seeking regime change, there
is no call for ending the military control over industries, a radical
redistribution of wealth or a change in the geo-political allegiance towards
the United States and Israel. Hence, what is happening in Egypt cannot be
characterized as a revolution.

What is the potential for revolution? Indeed, if the youth uprising post
Mubarak’s ouster decides to align itself with those who want to end the U.S.
neo-colonial relationship with the Egyptian government, to control the means
of production, and strengthen support for the independence of Palestine,
forging a united front similar to what existed in the United States during
the civil rights movement, revolution is possible. Naturally, just as
happened in the United States, such a development will expect to confront
the full force of the government police and military to suppress the
movement as was done in the United States. Therefore, it can only be hoped
that the youth uprising in Egypt, builds a popular mass movement that will
not be satisfied with regime change. Just as disenfranchised youth in the US
cannot be satisfied merely with the election of a Black president.

In closing, permit me to say I am inspired by the youth of Egypt, Tunisia,
Palestine, the struggle is hard and arduous, but from generation to
generation our victory is certain. Rise-up young people, the future is
calling you!

2 Responses

  1. Very valuable messages given . thanks for sharing with us ..

  2. […] The Black Panther movement evolved out of the political struggles of the civil rights movement to further demand control of the socio-economic and political institutions controlling the oppressed Black community in the United States. Read more » […]

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