[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, Mumias 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 Mumias
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.
Mumias 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.
Mumias 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, Im 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
Mumias 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 Mumias 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 Mumias 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,
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews