[Ppnews] TODAY Emergency demonstrations to free Mumia as case reaches pivotal point

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 17 11:14:06 EDT 2007

Emergency demonstrations to free Mumia as case reaches pivotal point
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
By: Crystal Kim

Free Mumia! Free all political prisoners!


On May 17, there will be mass demonstrations in 
Philadelphia and San Francisco demanding freedom 
for political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. On the 
same day, Mumia’s lawyers will present oral 
arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
Third Circuit in Philadelphia for a new trial. 
Ultimately, the court will make one of three 
decisions: grant the new trial, reaffirm Mumia’s 
life sentence or reinstate his death penalty sentence.

Framed for being a revolutionary

Mumia has been imprisoned for the last 26 years 
after being convicted for the murder of a 
Philadelphia police officer. The truth is that he 
is a political prisoner framed for his activism 
as a Black Panther and then as a revolutionary journalist.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 1981, Mumia 
was driving a cab on the streets of Philadelphia 
when he came upon cops beating his brother. When 
he stopped to intervene, he was shot and wounded. 
A cop was also shot and killed.

Mumia’s fingerprints were never found on the gun 
that killed the cop. Witnesses saw the shooter 
running away from the scene. Mumia himself has 
always maintained his innocence.

Mumia’s trial was drenched with racism. 
African-Americans were systematically excluded 
from the jury panel. The judge, Albert Sabo, was 
overheard by a court stenographer stating about 
the case, “I’m going to help ‘em fry the nigger.”

In July 1982, an overwhelmingly white jury 
convicted Mumia. During the sentencing phase, 
prosecutors argued that his past membership in 
the Black Panther party was evidence of 
premeditation. Mumia was sentenced to death.

At the age of 14, Mumia joined the Black Panther 
Party and, a year later, was serving as 
lieutenant of information of the Philadelphia branch.

At the time of his arrest, he was the president 
of the Philadelphia Association of Black 
Journalists. In 1978, Mumia covered the first 
police attack on the MOVE organization­a 
primarily Black communal activist group in West 
Philadelphia. Nine MOVE members were arrested and 
given long jail terms in that attack. The MOVE 
organization was attacked again in 1985, when 
Philadelphia police launched an all-out assault 
that included the dropping of a bomb on the MOVE 
house and the firing of 10,000 rounds of 
ammunition. Eleven MOVE family members­six adults 
and five children­were killed in the police attack.

 From inside prison walls, Mumia has continued 
his revolutionary journalism. Through books, 
radio broadcasts, and especially essays, he 
provides powerful political commentary that lays 
bare the machinations and hypocrisy of the U.S. 
government. His eloquent statements have earned 
him the title “Voice of the Voiceless.”

Struggle to free Mumia

Ceaseless mobilizations and protests have made 
Mumia an international symbol of resistance to 
the racist and repressive U.S. state.

In 2001, after months and years of protests led 
by Pam Africa of MOVE and the International 
Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia, federal 
district court judge William Yohn overturned 
Mumia’s death sentence. The district attorney 
immediately appealed the decision and the matter 
is now before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. 
Mumia remains on death row in the State 
Correctional Institution at Greene, Pa.

On May 17, as Mumia’s attorneys argue for a new 
trial at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third 
Circuit in Philadelphia, a demonstration 
demanding freedom for Mumia will take place in 
front of the courthouse. A solidarity 
demonstration will be held in San Francisco.

All progressives and revolutionaries must 
continue to struggle for Mumia’s freedom. Mumia 
represents more than himself. He represents tens 
of thousands of others behind bars­predominantly 
from Black and Latino oppressed communities­who 
have been snatched off the street, and wrongfully 
convicted by the so-called “justice” system.

Free Mumia! Free all U.S. political prisoners!

For information on the emergency demonstrations 
in support of Mumia, 

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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