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Mos Def Acts, Protests U.S. Government

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Mos Def will

star along side Isaiah Washington and Wood Harris in the feature, "From

The Outside Looking In." According to Billboard, the movie is a coming

of age story of a young man who chronicles the past twenty years of his life

growing up with his four best friends in Brooklyn, New York. The movie starts

production in August.

Mos has put his rap career on hold due to contractual

disputes with Rawkus/MCA. "All I can say is slavery is over and has been

for a long time," he recently said. That hasn’t stopped him from pursuing

acting, in a serious way. Topdog/Underdog in which he stars, was nominated for

two Tony’s and Mos recently joined the cast of "The Italian Job,"

which is a remake of the 1969 movie of the same name. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg

as the head of a group of robbers who are attempting to steal a safe filled

with gold. Mos Def plays a character named "Half Ear," named so because

he wears a hearing aid.

Mos recently joined the "Not In Our Name"

anti-war campaign. He joins such people as Ossie Davis, Ed Asner, Russell Banks,

Martin Luther King III and Rabbi Michael Lerner, in signing a statement criticizing

the United States policies since September 11th. The artists, like millions

of people around the country feel the administration is promoting their own

agenda in the name of a "war on terror."

"We believe that peoples and nations have

the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great

powers," the group said in a statement. "We believe that all persons

detained or prosecuted by the United States government should have the same

rights of due process. We believe that questioning, criticism, and dissent must

be valued and protected. We understand that such rights and values are always

contested and must be fought for. "

"In our name, the Bush administration, with

near unanimity from Congress, not only attacked Afghanistan but arrogated to

itself and its allies the right to rain down military force anywhere and anytime.

The brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines to Palestine, where

Israeli tanks and bulldozers have left a terrible trail of death and destruction.

The government now openly prepares to wage all-out war on Iraq — a country

which has no connection to the horror of September 11. What kind of world will

this become if the U.S. government has a blank check to drop commandos, assassins,

and bombs wherever it wants?"

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