[Ppnews] Mexico City activists use Obama's visit to fight for Mumia!

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Apr 18 23:54:07 EDT 2009


Yesterday we improvised a small action in support 
of Mumia that got a fair amount of mainstream 
radio coverage. Obama is here, visiting with 
Calderón, and we went to the National Auditorium, 
right by the gates of Campo Marte, the military 
camp where his helicopter landed, to deliver a 
letter urging him to take a stand for justice and 
freedom in the case of Mumia and other pps. Of 
course they didn't let us in to deliver the 
letter, and who knows if Obama will ever find out 
we were there, but we put it up on the 
independent media sites and did get an 
abbreviated version in the "letters to the 
editor" section of the mainstream, semi-leftist 
La Jornada newspaper. There's been so much hype 
in the press for the last week about all the 
heavy duty security measures that it was hard to 
figure out where we could be, or if were were 
going to be able to get through the police 
/military lines at all. And all the propaganda 
about 6,000 police and soldiers, sharpshooters, 
helicopters, searches of anyone in the zone, etc. 
definitely had a chilling effect on the turnout. 
There were only thirteen of us, but to our 
surprise, the access was pretty easy, and we got 
a kick out of it because the press never comes to 
our demonstrations, but today we got there early 
and they were hanging around waiting for Obama, 
so they all came over to talk to us. As we pretty 
much expected, the mainsteam tv stations and 
newspapers ended up doing official promo, but for 
a while some of our interviews were buzzing 
around on the radio stations. So we ended up 
feeling pretty good about it. Will send some pics 
as soon as I get them. OnaMOVE


Here goes the English version of the letter, followed by the Spanish.

Dear President Obama:

On your first visit to Mexico, today April 16, we are writing to urge
you to take a stand for justice and freedom in the case of political
prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. It’s shameful that this acclaimed journalist
and writer is still held in degrading, inhuman conditions on death row
27 years after his arrest on December 9, 1981! And it’s even more
shameful that the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of the
United States, just broke its own precedents in its zeal to deny him the
new trial he was seeking to establish his innocence in the killing of
police officer Daniel Faulkner!

We are among hundreds of thousands of people in the world who share
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s struggle for a better world. We greatly appreciate his
weekly columns and the six books he’s written during his time on death
row. We admire his dignity and steadfastness and want to see him free.

As of now, the Supreme Court has not responded to the District
Attorney’s petition to reinstate the death penalty, thrown out in 2001
by federal Judge William Yohn, who ruled that it would be necessary to
hold a sentencing hearing in the event that the DA moved to reinstate
the death penalty. His ruling was sustained by the Third Circuit Court
of Appeals in May of 2008. But now the Philadelphia D.A. intends to
kill him without even so much as a hearing, in collaboration with the
Fraternal Order of Police, and public officials who will only be
satisfied with his head. What do you think about the threat of a
modern-day lynching, President Obama?

President Obama, your victory was celebrated all over the world as a
great step against racism, but as of yet, you haven’t denounced the fact
that 41% of all the prisoners in the United States and 41.9% of those on
death row are African American, although they only represent 12.3% of
the total population. Of all the political prisoners held in your
country, over half are African American. In their political trials,
racism was a major factor. This was definitely true in the case of Mumia
Abu-Jamal, where D.A. Joseph McGill used 10 of his 15 peremptory
challenges to exclude black candidates from the jury, and where Judge
Albert Sabo was overheard commenting to his clerk, “I’m going to help
them fry the n_____”!

During your campaign, you promised to put an end 
to torture and civil rights violations. You also 
took a stand for the freedom of political 
prisoners in Burma, including that of political 
prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. But we haven’t heard 
you utter a single word of support for Mumia 
Abu-Jamal or more than a hundred other political 
prisoners who have spent decades of torture, 
isolation, and denigrating conditions in the 
dungeons of your own country, condemned for their 
political activism. There they are: Leonard 
Peltier, the MOVE 9, the San Francisco 8, the 
Angola 3, the Puerto Rican independence fighters, 
The Cuban Five “Los Cinco”, the 
anti-imperialists, the Chicano activists, the 
environmentalists, the animal rights defenders, 
and the opponents of the terrible School of the 
Americas, along with so many more. Neither have 
we heard you make a call for the freedom of more 
than 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners who 
endure constant torture in Israel’s extermination camps.

As a matter of fact, when the right wing columnist Michael Smerconish
asked you about Mumia Abu-Jamal during your campaign, you said you
didn’t know much about his case, but that anyone who kills a cop
deserves the death penalty or life in prison. (Philadelphia Inquirer,
October 10, 2008). Are we to believe that a defender of human rights
like yourself knows little or nothing about the case of one of the most
widely supported political prisoners in the world and is not aware of
all the violations of his constitutional rights during his trial, which
have been duly registered by a long list of human rights organizations,
including Amnesty International?

Please don’t tell us that you agree with the political motives of the
Fraternal Order of Police and politicians like Pennsylvania Governor
Edward G. Rendell, District Attorney Lynn Abraham, and Pennsylvania
Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille. These public officials
who incriminated Mumia Abu-Jamal of homicide are the very people who are
still in power and block every attempt to achieve justice and freedom in
his case. You couldn’t possible believe that his membership in the Black
Panther Party in the ‘60s and his sympathy with the MOVE organization
constitute a crime, could you?

President Obama, you have a great opportunity to act on behalf of
justice and freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal and all the political prisoners
in your country. What do you intend to do?

Amig at s de Mumia, México


Estimado presidente Obama:

Aprovechamos su visita a México el 16 de abril, para instarle a
pronunciarse por la justicia y libertad en el caso del preso político
Mumia Abu-Jamal. Es vergonzoso que este aclamado periodista y escritor
sigue en el corredor de la muerte 27 años después de su detención el 9
de diciembre de 1981, bajo condiciones inhumanas y denigrantes, y aún
más vergonzoso que la corte más alta de la nación, la Suprema Corte de
Estados Unidos, acaba de romper su propios precedentes en su afán de
negarle un nuevo juicio para comprobar su inocencia en el asesinato del
policía Daniel Faulkner.

Somos cientos de miles de personas en el mundo que compartimos la lucha
de Mumia Abu-Jamal para un mundo mejor. Apreciamos sus columnas
semanales y los seis libros que él ha escrito desde el corredor de la
muerte. Apreciamos su dignidad y congruencia, y queremos verlo libre.

Hasta la fecha, la Corte Suprema no ha respondido a la petición de la
fiscalía para reimponer la pena de muerte, rechazada por el juez federal
William Yohn en el 2001, quien había dictado que sería necesario
celebrar una audiencia para determinar su sentencia en el evento de que
la fiscalía quisiera reimponer la pena de muerte. Su dictamen fue
avalado por el Tribunal Federal de Apelaciones del Tercer Circuito en
mayo del 2008. Pero ahora la fiscalía de Filadelfia pretende ejecutarlo
sin audiencia alguna con el respaldo del sindicato de policías y de las
autoridades públicas que piden su cabeza. ¿Qué opina de la amenaza de
un linchamiento moderno, presidente Obama?

Presidente Obama, su victoria fue celebrada en todas partes del mundo
como un gran avance contra el racismo, pero hasta ahora usted no ha
denunciado la situación de que 41% de todos los presos en Estados Unidos
y 41.9% de los condenados a la muerte son africano-americanos aunque
representan sólo 12.3% de la población total del país. De los presos
políticos, más de la mitad son de la población afro-americana. En
sus juicios políticos, el racismo fue un gran factor. Éste también fue
el caso en el juicio de Mumia Abu-Jamal, en el cual el fiscal Joseph
McGill usó 10 de sus 15 vetos perentorios para excluir a los candidatos
negros del jurado y el juez Albert Sabo dijo: “Les voy a ayudar a freír
el nigger”.

Durante su campaña electoral, usted se pronunció por un fin a los abusos
de las libertades civiles y al régimen de tortura. También se pronunció
por la libertad de los presos políticos de Burma, inclusive la presa
política Aung San Suu Kyi. Pero no escuchamos una sola palabra suya en
apoyo a Mumia Abu-Jamal o más de cien otros presos y presas políticos
que han pasado décadas de tortura, aislamiento y condiciones
denigrantes en las mazmorras de Estados Unidos, condenados por su
activismo político. Ahí están Leonard Peltier, “los 9 de MOVE”, “los 8
de San Francisco”, “los 3 de Angola”, los independentistas
puertorriqueños, “los 5 cubanos”, los anti-imperialistas, los activistas
chicanos, los ecologistas, los defensores de animales, los opositores al
terrible Escuela de las Américas, y tantos otros. Tampoco escuchamos un
llamado suyo por la libertad de más de 10,000 presos políticos
palestinos que aguantan las torturas en los campos de exterminación de
Israel.

De hecho, cuando el columnista derechista Michael Smerconish le preguntó
sobre Mumia Abu-Jamal durante su campaña, usted dijo que no sabía mucho
sobre el caso, pero que “si alguien mata a un policía, él merece la
pena de muerte o cadena perpetua” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 de octubre,
2008). ¿Debemos creer que un defensor de los derechos humanos no conozca
el caso de uno de los presos políticos con mayor apoyo popular en el
mundo y que no conozca las múltiples violaciones de derechos
constitucionales en su proceso, señaladas por una larga lista de grupos
de derechos humanos, inclusive Amnistía Internacional?

¿Usted está de acuerdo con los motivos políticos de la Organización
Fraternal de Policía y de oficiales como el gobernador de Pennsylvania,
Edward G. Rendell, la fiscal Lynn Abraham, y el juez principal de la
Suprema Corte del estado de Pennsylvania, Ronald D. Castille para
incriminar a Mumia Abu-Jamal del homicidio? Ellos son los que siguen en
poder y obstaculizan cualquier esfuerzo para lograr justicia y libertad
en su caso. O ¿a caso cree usted que su militancia en los Panteras
Negras en los años ’60 y su simpatía con la organización MOVE
constituyen un crimen?

Presidente Obama, usted tiene la gran oportunidad de promover justicia y
libertad para Mumia Abu-Jamal y todos los presos políticos de su país.
¿Qué piensa hacer al respecto?

Amig at s de Mumia, México




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