Hasan: 'Our struggles are the same'
Published Nov 21, 2007 10:47 AM
Below is the third and final portion of an interview with political
prisoner Siddique Abdullah Hasan conducted by mail by Martha Grevatt of Workers
World Party and the Cleveland Lucasville 5 Defense Committee. The first two
portions of the interview were published in the March 29 and Nov. 11 issues of
Siddique Abdullah Hasan
MG: How does the struggle behind the walls tie in with
the overall struggle of the anti-war, anti-racist, women’s, labor, gay
rights and general progressive movement?
Hasan: That depends on the mindset of the people behind
the walls. Understandably, many prisoners are concerned only with their own
release, and will forget about solidarity and the struggle against oppression,
persecution and exploitation the moment they are free. Others—like Mumia,
Kunta Kenyatta, Ali Khalid Abdullah and Isa Abdur-Rasheed, aka Dennis S.
Boatwright—have a broader view. They view both struggles as inseparable
because the same capitalistic and racist government that is exploiting
prisoners is also guilty of exploiting those outside the walls. The sooner
those on the outside realize this, the sooner they will be inclined to
establish bonds with those of us behind the walls. Let no one fool you, our
struggles are the same!
MG: Is it part of the struggle against capitalism?
Hasan: Absolutely yes. Historically, a society that
places private profit ahead of all other goals has been an important source of
violence against poor persons. In 18th-century England, a child could be
executed for stealing a pocket handkerchief. In the United States, slaves and
free Blacks have historically been beaten and killed for similar trivial
offenses, such as dropping a dish while served at the “master’s
table” or whistling at a young white woman, as in the case of Emmett
MG: What is the current status of your case?
Hasan: My case is in the federal district court before
Magistrate Judge (MJ) Michael Merz. The MJ had made recommendations to Judge
Susan Dlott that my request for discovery and an evidentiary hearing be denied.
However, after a friend of the court brief was filed by Attorney Staughton Lynd
and Jeffrey Gamso, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of
Ohio, convincingly outlining my actual innocence, and after my federal
attorneys, Laurence E. Komp and Alan M. Freedman, filed an excellent motion
opposing the recommendations, the MJ tried to recommit the case back to
himself. But we opposed it because he had already lost jurisdiction once he
made his critical recommendations. In sum, we did not wish to render him
another opportunity to critique our work. He had already denied our motions for
discovery and an evidentiary hearing on four separate occasions.
Seeing that there were eye-raising and possibly meritorious issues in my
case, Judge Dlott remanded it. Thereafter, the MJ granted us ample time to file
an additional briefing, which we completed on Feb. 15. The attorney
general’s office is now due to submit its filing opposing ours. We
eagerly await their filing.
MG: What can activists do to help?
Hasan: Those truly wanting to help can purchase a copy of
Lynd’s book, “Lucasville: the Untold Story of a Prison
Uprising,” at Leftbooks.com.
They can also contact the following groups for contact names, phone numbers and
e-mails of people who can provide more information and/or speak to the
Campaign to End the Death Penalty—Toledo Chapter, Free Siddique Abdullah
Hasan Coalition, P.O. Box 20011, Toledo, OH 43610, 419-514-7634,
Cleveland Lucasville 5 Defense Committee, P.O. Box 5963, Cleveland, OH 44101,
216-481-6671, [email protected]
To find out about forming a Lucasville 5 defense committee in your city, call
the Cleveland number.
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