MIA: History: ETOL: Newspapers & Periodicals: International Socialist Review: Issue 19

International Socialist Review, July–August 2001

Mumia Abu Jamal

Carlo’s way


From International Socialist Review, Issue 19, July–August 2001.
Downloaded with thanks from the ISR Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.


Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently on death row in Pennsylvania. He writes frequently on politics and the death penalty and is the author of several books, including All Things Censored (Seven Stories Press), a collection of his writings.

THE RECENT police shooting of 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani in the riotous streets of Genoa has sent shock waves around the globe.

Giuliani, son of a Rome labor leader, was one of tens of thousands of antiglobalist demonstrators who fell on the latest place where politicians and corporate representatives gathered to ensure their continued dominance of the world’s economy. Carlo was part of a growing movement, uniting the youth of many so-called First World countries with the aspirations of many in the so-called Third World. It was this movement that shook Seattle and made the acronym “WTO” known throughout the earth.

For opposing the rule of capital, for opposing the Empire of Wealth, Carlo Giuliani was shot by the hit men of capital, and, as if this were not enough, a police vehicle rolled over his prone, wounded body.

With the brutal state slaughter of Carlo Giuliani, the message goes forth that antiglobalism is a capital crime. This is but the latest escalation by the armed forces of capital, which has utilized increasing levels of state violence to intimidate the swelling hordes of antiglobalists.

The blood on the asphalt of Genoa did not begin when a cop pointed his semi-automatic into the face of a masked Roman anarchist. The blood of Genoa flows from the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, when the European Union was holding its summit meeting. There, police fired live rounds at protesters, wounding three, one seriously.

Now, an anarchist, antiglobalist lies dead.

As soon as the news hit the wire came the words of the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, who once quipped, “Anarchism is a game at which the police can beat you.” Shaw, an ardent socialist, would perhaps amend his comments in light of recent events (if he could).

What is most telling is how the representatives of the state and their propaganda arm, the media, have reacted to this vicious tragedy.

While politicians uniformly spoke with forked tongues about the “tragedy,” not a single syllable was uttered in criticism of the police, was it?

For the media, however, a different game was played. In virtually every report, the coverage told of violent protesters – and suggested that they were uninformed, or simply stupid for daring to care about the poor in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. Examine their biased, corporate-centered coverage and ask yourself one, simple question:

What would they have written if a Genoese cop had been shot and run over with a Land Rover driven by anarchists? Every corporate outlet would’ve blared about how “vicious” and “violent” the antiglobalist “terrorists” were. Of this there is no question!

Instead, a muted silence.

Silence, when the terrorists are the cops.

Silence, when the killers are the cops.

Silence, when the hit men for the corporations act out.

You hear the fractured lectures of politicians talking about “assaults on the democratic process,” and the like.

Yet, how democratic is the G8 (Group of Eight)?

This group, which is self-selected, is seven of the wealthiest nations on earth (plus Russia).

If there are about 193 nations in the world, what’s “democratic” about 4 percent of that number making all of the rules governing the rest of the world’s economy?

Look at it another way: The G8 consists of representatives for Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States – and Russia. If you were to count all of the people in each nation and add them up, you’d come up with around 824 million people. That’s a lot of folks.

But there are 6,000,000,000+ people on earth!

How can 14 percent of the world’s population set down the rules for 86 percent of the rest of the people of the world?

Carlo Giuliani wasn’t “assaulting the democratic process.” He was protesting a profoundly antidemocratic process.

He was fighting on behalf of most of the people in the world.

© Mumia Abu-Jamal. Reprinted with permission.

Last updated on 28 July 2021