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PRUNING THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE...6-29-95, C. Denney
RADIO SKIT....MUMIA RALLY 6-29-95
CROWD: "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, stop the state killing!
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, stop the state killing!
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, stop the state killing!"
(repeat and fade)
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "Good evening, this is Dennis Bernstein reporting for KPFA at the corner of Powell and Market where what seems to be a spontaneous demonstration is occurring...uh, excuse me, could you tell us what this is all about?"
DEMONSTRATOR 1: "Where you been, Dennis? The governor of Pennsylvania just signed the death warrant for a black journalist who was framed for the death of a police officer, and we're here to protest."
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "Oh, I see. Well, you certainly have quite a number of people here! How did you all hear about this, this, what did you say his name was?"
DEMONSTRATOR 1: "Mumia Abu-Jamal...uh, I'd like to fill you in, Dennis, but we're heading for the Mission. Check it out on Free Radio Berkeley and San Francisco Liberation Radio!" (fading off mike) "104.1 and 93.7 on your FM dial...check out Santa Cruz, too!"
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: (calling back) "Okay, thanks!" (to himself) "Wow, a lot of people must be listening to Free Radio...I'll have to check that out....well, I'm following a crowd of about seven or eight hundred people down the road who are protesting the death penalty and the specific case of a black journalist...whoa, the police are surrounding the demonstrators and, uh, it's a little hard to see......uh, excuse me? excuse me? I'm with the press, could I get through here? Excuse me, officer, I'm Dennis Bernstein with KPFA..."
OFFICER: "Oh, you're with the press, are you?"....(wait for Dennis to speak and then...).("take that!"...adlib a little while beating Dennis)
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "Yes, I'm Dennis Bernstein with KPFA and I'd just like to auggh! help! you can't push me around! I'm with the press! Oooowh, Jesus Christ, uh, I mean, wow, that was outrageous! I mean, I showed him my press badge and everything!"
DEMONSTRATOR 2: "Wake up and smell the OC spray, Dennis! Cops don't care if you're press! Look over there; they're arresting the legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild, and there! They're arresting Michael Parenti! They don't care if you're Dennis Bernstein from KPFA!"
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "I--I guess you're right....they're handcuffing Michael Parenti, alright, and they're really shoving people around...tell me, is this because Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing a police officer? Is that why they're being so brutal?"
DEMONSTRATOR 2: "No, no, heh heh, you don't get out much, do you, Dennis? They did the same thing at People's Park in 1991, the same thing with the Rodney King demonstrators, this has been the cops' M.O. for years. Jail the demonstrators on trumped up charges, get them off the streets, then drop charges and pay a coupla hundred for civil rights violations. Happens all the time."
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "So you're saying they routinely jail all political demonstrators? That this has nothing to do with Mumia Abu-Jamal being convicted of killing a police officer?"
DEMONSTRATOR 2: "Heh heh, you sure need to get out of that studio more, Dennis. Try handing somebody a bagel in Civic Center Plaza sometime."
DEMONSTRATOR 3: "Or a attending rally at Peoples Park!"
DEMONSTRATOR 4: "Or handing out a leaflet at the Federal Building!"
DENNIS BERNSTEIN: "Well, thanks, I--I will. That's our report from the Mumia Abu-Jamal demonstration in the Mission...and now, back to you in the studio."....(a little off-mike) "Hey, uh, could you tell me that Free Radio Berkeley frequency again? And the San Francisco Liberation thing, too, what was it? 104-something?...oh, 104.1, okay, well hey, thanks a lot and hey, be careful out there..."