Mumia Abu Jamal: Long Distance Revolutionary

Long Distance Revolutionary

I went to see this documentary on Saturday. I learned about Mumia Abu Jamal via Democracy Now! but this was a much more in-depth expose into who he is as a man, and as a journalist. I encourage everyone to see this documentary.  If you don’t know about Mumia Abu Jamal it’s time to learn about this brilliant writer, journalist finally released from Death Row to life imprisonment. He spoke out against the corrupt, racist, police department and Frank Rizzo their fearless leader a thug of immense magnitude and he paid the ultimate price for speaking up and out.  He is a powerful force for good on the planet and our society either assassinates or incarcerates powerful black men. And Philadelphia was a police state under Frank Rizzo and is also one of the most racist cities in Americka. Well, let’s face it, as someone said, all of the U.S. is Mississippi. Go see it.

“I made the film because, you know, you wake up in a country, Amy, and you realize that the country is being run by mass murderers, economic rapists and general, run-of-the-mill psychopaths, so I started to look for some sanity. And for me, I found sanity in a dark, dank hall on death row in Pennsylvania. I had been a longtime reader of Mumia’s material, listening to the incredible broadcasts that you guys have broadcast. And my partner, Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio, has—a Herculean task—gotten his voice out all over the world. I wanted to offer some sanity. You know, John Pilger says that we have made the unthinkable normal in this world, and the normal unthinkable. I wanted to offer a ray of hope and some sanity, that Mumia, I think, offers all of us. You know, the people in this country have been offered war and violence and no healthcare and, you know, horrific contribution to the death of the planet. Mumia offers the opposite of that. And people ask me, they say, you know, “Well, how do you make a film about someone so radical?” I don’t think Mumia is radical at all. What I find radical are people that can lob cruise missiles into neighborhoods. So that’s what we’re trying to do: We’re trying to offer sanity.”  Stephen Vittoria, director “Long Distance Runner” from interview on Democracy Now!

Also Listen to DemocracyNow!’s 12-minute LIVE telephone interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal taped this morning and followed up with an on-air interview with LDR director/producer Steve Vittoria and LDR producer Noelle Hanrahan.

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: We live now in a national security state, where the United States is fast becoming one of the biggest open-air prisons on earth. I mean, we can speak about freedom, and the United States has a long and distinguished—

OPERATOR: You have 60 seconds remaining.

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: —long and distinguished history of talking about freedom, but have we exampled freedom? And I think the answer should be very clear: We have not. And we’re becoming a less free nation every day. And I think people should rise up, and I think they should organize. And I think, frankly, they should raise hell. You know, if you don’t want to join our movement, join some movement, but damn it, do something, because we are in an age that we may never be able to capture again.


About recoveringarmybrat

Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews Progressive Activists Voice & NationofChange. Her book, "Is It Fascism Yet?" is available on View all posts by recoveringarmybrat

9 responses to “Mumia Abu Jamal: Long Distance Revolutionary

  • Rob Vail

    If Ms. Dalton went to Nurenburg High School, then I attended with her and I’m also a brat,, if she is the same red headed brat I once knew.

    • recoveringarmybrat

      Rob, I did go to Nurenberg High School and was a cheerleader. I don’t remember having red hair. My hair’s brown hair but it could still be me. Nice to meet you again all these years latter. Hope all’s well. Best, Jill

      • Rob Vail

        Thanks for the response and kudos for your writing and passion. People don’t understand what we went through as brats and I went into the family business as well, but I’m long since retired with thirty of my own years. I saw your name and thought of you and Terry Morris. Be well and it’s nice reaching out into the ether.


  • recoveringarmybrat

    Wow. 30 years! Pretty amazing. And Terry Morris. I haven’t thought of her in years and years. I’m glad you contacted me. I’m currently writing a play, “Collateral Damage,” about the ramifications of being an army brat. It’s based on my family and what we went through because of Vietnam and how it destroyed our family. You’re right. People have no idea of the toll the military takes on its families. When I met Col. Ann Wright she told me, “War destroys families. That’s what war does.” Well, that was certainly the case in our family. We’re still recovering. Peace be with you. I hope you are well and thriving.

    • Rob Vail

      My wife and I were blessed with three girls–now grown women, so I never had to talk about the job and I did half my time in the Reserves which just confused them on where was dad. However, it took a toll on my older sister and she never recovered. I’ve been in my home for 28 years and its the 29th place I’ve lived–people don’t get that foot locker challenge. And peace be with you Jill Dalton. Amazing.

  • recoveringarmybrat

    Yes, all the moving can really take it’s toll. i have the feeling I don’t belong anywhere and had a very hard time making lasting relationships because I thought when you move you just leave and that’s that. And now that both my parents are gone the feeling of home is fleeting. I would have to say both my parents were from the south and I lived there for many, many years and so when I think of home that’s where my heart is. I just came back from Charleston/Murrell’s Inlet, SC for my brother’s SURPRISE 60th birthday party. I hadn’t seen him in almost 20 years. It was such a time of healing and there was so much love between the four siblings. It was wonderful. And I felt safe there for the first time in a very long time. Made me wonder if I ought to move back. I’ve been in NYC 33 years and it has never felt like my home although I’ve made it one. I guess it’s that feeling of not belonging anywhere. I’m glad you’re married. My marriage dissolved after 17 years. He was a navy brat. We didn’t have children, well, he was a child more or less, so I put him through law school and that was our downfall. Buy I learned a lot and am grateful for the experience. I’ve learned it’s not what happens to us that matters but our reaction to what happens to us. So I view things as a learning experience and I welcome them all as a chance to become a better person. A more evolved soul.

    • Rob Vail

      If you don’t mind I will send you a note once in a while. I didn’t stay in touch with any people from my youth since I moved so often and unfortunately I lost eight guys in my senior class alone(Army school in the U.S.) in Vietnam, so looking back has always been very difficult and irrelevant to so many others. I can tell you are trying to find a nice place to be and I’m doing the same, as all of us try. Be well today.


  • recoveringarmybrat

    Rob, I would like that. I’m glad you contacted me. I also just looked at my yearbook and realize I did put color on my hair so it probably did look red. I didn’t realize I was even doing that back then. Wishing you and your family all the best. Jill

  • Rob Vail

    I thought you would enjoy the fact that my middle daughter called from her trip to Nurenburg to tell us she is engaged…her beau is a consultant and she joined him on a trip. Life is a darn circle isn’t it. I hope you are doing well.


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