[News] Chokwe Lumumba Facing Disbarment

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Mon Nov 29 08:36:54 EST 2004


N'COBRA
NATIONAL COALITION OF BLACKS FOR REPARATIONS IN AMERICA
NATIONAL OFFICE

CO-CHAIRPERSON
Baba Hannibal T. Afrik

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Use: 11/22/04
Contact: Baba Hannibal Afrik
601.535.7551

"DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN: N'COBRA SUPPORTS ATTORNEY CHOKWE LUMUMBA"

Brother Chokwe Lumumba is known throughout the country as "The People's 
Lawyer' because of his valiant stand against racial, social and economic 
injustice for over three decades. With pride and skill, he has not only 
protected human rights on the street, but he has championed the same in the 
courts.

After graduating with honors from Wayne State University Law School in 
1975, Chokwe served as co-counsel and a plaintiff in a successful 
anti-racism lawsuit against Wayne State Law School in 1979. Over the years, 
he has consistently distinguished himself as a talented and proficient 
legal practitioner, even under the duress of defending controversial 
defendants including the 16 Pontiac Prison Brothers, Assata Shakur, Dr. 
Mutulu Shakur, Fulani Sunni Ali and Bilal Sunni Ali among many others.

As a Mississippi lawyer, Chokwe has represented African American workers in 
numerous race and sex discrimination cases throughout the state. He has 
organized and sponsored several youth programs which have inspired young 
people to become activists and leaders both in school and athletics. He is 
the founder and director of the renowned Jackson Panther Basketball 
Organization which has won medals and trophies in city, state, regional and 
national competitions.

Despite his courtroom accomplishments, efforts have been continuously made 
by racist lawyers and judges to silence his defense of his defendants by 
filing false charges of alleged "misconduct". On October 17, 2001, Judge 
Marcus Gordon of the Leake County Circuit Court in Carthage, MS held 
Brother Lumumba in contempt and jailed him for challenging the judge's 
vindictive and unfair handling of the case of 43-year old Henry Payton, 
charged with bank robbery, kidnapping and arson in May 1996, which was 
later overturned.

However, during the retrial, Gordon again demonstrated his animosity 
towards Payton and Lumumba. On several occasions, Gordon ruled against 
Atty. Lumumba who was protesting against the biased jury pool selection 
process because almost every juror admitted prior knowledge about the case. 
Eventually, Gordon tried the case vindictively and excessively sentenced 
Payton despite being presented with legal precedent which held that such a 
sentence was improper.

Consequently, Lumumba was held in contempt and jailed when he challenged 
Gordon for his unfair handling of this matter. The Mississippi Bar 
Association joined the judge in his attack on Lumumba by filing formal 
charges against him and charging that he is unfit to practice law in 
Mississippi.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Mississippi Bar has attacked 
Brother Chokwe for defending his client vigorously. In 1999, the Bar 
reprimanded Lumumba for challenging an infamous, ultra-conservative, 
right-wing Hinds County Circuit Court Judge, Swen Yerger. In fact, in 1990, 
officials of the Mississippi Bar Association unsuccessfully attempted to 
prevent Chokwe from receiving a license to practice law in Mississippi 
because of his political beliefs and his stellar reputation for fighting 
for the legal rights of his clients.

Yet, Attorney Lumumba has refused to be silent or submissive in the face of 
his career's major battle. The Mississippi Supreme Court will now conduct a 
final hearing on charges by the Mississippi Bar Association for legal 
disbarment on Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 9:00am at 450 High Street in 
Jackson, MS.

The community will hold a series of events to demonstrate our support of 
"The People's Lawyer".

Sunday, December 5, 2004, 5:00pm a mass rally will be held at Tougaloo 
College with national organizational representatives in attendance.

On the day of the hearing, December 7th, a public rally will be held in 
front of the Mississippi State Supreme Court Building beginning at 8:00am. 
These educational rallies will demonstrate the importance of standing up 
for a legal freedom fighter who has always stood up for our human rights.

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA) 
proudly stands with Attorney Chokwe Lumumba in his principled, courageous 
professional service against the horrors of modern-day lynching in the 
judicial system. On record, Frederick Douglass stated that "If there is no 
struggle, there can be no progress". We must mobilize in the neighborhoods, 
churches, professional organizations and demand that the Mississippi 
Supreme Court dismiss the unjust charges against Atty. Lumumba.

For further information:
Call: 601.353.4455 or
Email: Freelumumba at aol.com

Donations are needed and can be sent to:

P0 Box 31762,
Jackson, MS 39286.

Let us not forget:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Chokwe Lumumba has earned the respect and support of the entire community, 
We shall prevail!

N'COBRA
P.O. Box 90604
Washington, D.C. 20090-0604
202)291-8400
fax: (2O2)291-4600
<http://www.NCOBRA.org>http://www.NCOBRA.org

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522 Valencia Street
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(415) 863-9977
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