Behind Bars

Messages of Solidarity to the People of Japan on the Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Kevin Cooper and Lynne Stewart

The following are messages of solidarity for the people of Japan by three U.S. prisoners, two of whom, are on Death Row. The messages were written, translated into Japanese, and sent to anti-nuclear and political prisoner supporters in Japan to be distributed in Hiroshima and throughout Japan on the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6th), and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945).

Against Japan’s Nuclear Dangers

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Innocent Political Prisoner on Death Row in State Correctional Institution Greene, in Pennsylvania

Brothers and Sisters of Japan: Health and strength and survival for the people of Fukushima and surrounding regions.

As we survey the long and terrible history of nuclear disasters afflicting Japan, we note that none of these were natural, and all of these were intentional.

One was acts of war as seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the U.S. dropped A-bombs on Japan. The other, of course, was the installation, construction, and faulty maintenance of nuclear power plants in a region known to be prone to earthquakes. In a sense, these defective nuclear power plants were a kind of capitalism-bomb of Fukushima, for these structures are often built by government grants for private profits and then, when they fail, they destroy everything within miles, even at a molecular level.

We should recognize that shortly after the disaster at Fukushima, Germany announced it would shutter its own nuclear power plants—all of them. What does that tell you? Until that happens globally, we will see many more Fukushimas.

Down with nuclear poison.

—Recorded by

What is it They Don’t Understand about the Word ‘NO?’

By Kevin Cooper, Innocent Prisoner on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison, in California

What is it about the word “NO” that the powers-that-be do not understand? We, who are the working class, the poor people of this world, are told that the people who are in control of damn near everything are the smartest and most well-educated of all. Yet they somehow don’t hear us, and won’t acknowledge us, when we say “NO” to nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, nuclear submarines, or any other destructive power that can come from them, such as radiation! We, as a people, must save Mother Earth for all her worth, because she is the only earth we have! The best way to do that and save mankind from itself is to say in one loud and powerful united voice: “No nukes! Not today, not tomorrow, not ever again!”

In solidarity, Kevin Cooper

The Imperial Excess

By Lynne Stewart, Innocent Political Prisoner in Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Texas

Certainly the remembrance of August 6 of Hiroshima is of dual bitterness this year. Bitter for the same reasons as years past—the arrogance of the United States in the taking of human life, wholesale—a massacre; (no accident that the Japanese were the WWII enemy of color); and the aftermath of destroyed genetics—babies deformed, the elderly wasting away for years and years.

And people did fight back then and some are still imprisoned for that resistance. I send greetings and respect to my brother, and yours—Hoshino Fumiaki.

This year it was all exacerbated by the natural causes that revealed that Japan is modeling itself on the post-war ideal of rapacious U.S. capitalism, and has exhibited the same disregard for human life by unleashing the same inhumane nuclear nightmare in Fukushima, the disaster cousin of Hiroshima.

People worldwide have a right to have their governments protect them from ultra-venal individual self-interest, whether in Chernobyl, Bhopal, West Virginia or Japan. We must fight back for the sake of Mother Nature and the generations yet unborn—the innocents. Onward!!


Lynne Stewart, Prisoner