Some people may have been wondering about my ability to continue working on 4sm, after the death of my son last October. Without any doubt, the death of Rick was and continues to be the hardest reality in my life. This was not the reason for the delay in issue 21. We have had medical and personal problems with key outside people. A valued precious sister (Sara), who does so much to make 4sm a reality, seriously broke her arm in a bicycle accident earlier this year.
Some material in this issue covers events from earlier in the year, but all of it remains important and pertinent. Regular readers know that 4sm always runs a section on Black August in our summer issue. Because 21 is coming out so late this summer, there is no usual Black August section. We are running some significant insight and analysis, by Mumia Abu Jamal, George Jackson and his nephew Jonathan Jackson Jr., about the events of August 7, 1970 (the Marin Courthouse Raid and the deaths of Jonathan Jackson and others on that day).
Also, because of the late arrival of this issue, we are not helping to announce and organize this year’s Running Down the Walls, which takes place on September 2. We do want people who participated in RDTW, both inside prisons and out in cities across the country, to send us words and photos of your run. We will use some of this material in the next issue.
There are many other important and informative articles in this issue. Definitely check out the reports on Occupy. Also check out the lengthy section on prisons. Finally take time to read David Gilbert’s letter, calling for discussion and action around the issue of sexist and male chauvinist attitudes and behavior in activist and radical communities. This is a serious and ongoing problem and 4sm hopes many readers will respond and begin a discussion on this.
We welcome our readers’ thoughts and responses to everything in 4sm. Send us your thoughts and best writing. Issue 22 will be out in the winter. And yes, there is another election coming up in the United States in November. The Republicans seem to be more reactionary and backwards than ever. Certainly Mitt Romney is a shameless member and advocate for the corporate imperialist 1% elite. He also would be a horror for prisoners. I was in Walpole state prison in Massachusetts when he was Governor, and I can tell you from personal experience, the Mass DOC got even worse under his rule. As for Obama and the Democrats, more war, more secrecy, more drone attacks and little real help for all the rest of us – unemployed, underemployed, still losing homes, mounting college loans and other bills, and well over 2 million people in prison. One thing is for sure, no Washington politician will secure a better future for the vast majority of the people. Both imperialist parties – Republicans and Democrats – have no plan or intention to change the inherently unequal, unjust, racist and warlike USA capitalist imperialist system. It is time for more activism on all levels – more unity and more direct action and participation of the people. Some time tested slogans seem appropriate and called for now:
Black and white, unite and fight…Less talk, more action…
All Power to the People!
On that thought, we’ll see you in issue 22.
Jaan Laaman, editor
Jaan Karl Laaman
P.O. Box 24550