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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | U.S. | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Kaos en la Red in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal
A call for actions in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal
To the international community:
The Kaos en la Red collective demands the freedom of our colleague held political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Although we were glad to hear that public pressure has been able to stop his execution for the time being, we find it outrageous that the racist courts in the United States have reaffirmed his guilt and ordered him to be locked up for life.
It is clear to us that the African-American writer should never have set foot in jail. Thousands of people in the world realize that he was framed for the murder of the policeman Daniel Faulkner in 1981 and still has a death threat hanging over him due to his history of struggle with the Black Panthers, his affinity with the MOVE organization, and his combative journalism. In his weekly essays and the five books he has published from death row, he never stops attacking power.
Last week the federal Third Circuit Appeals Court denied the Philadelphia District Attorney’s demand to reinstate the death penalty revoked in 2001, but this is not the last word on the issue. The District Attorney’s Office can now appeal the decision; if it loses the appeal and still insists on restoring the death penalty, there will be a sentencing hearing in which there are only two options: execution or life in prison.
We want to point out that during his appeals, Mumia Abu-Jamal has never been removed from the isolation of his small cell on death row, and there’s no reason to believe that it will be any different now.
In last May’s appeal, he was asking for a new trial so that he could establish his innocence and go free. He presented undeniable arguments concerning the violation of his constitutional rights to a fair trial, due process of law, equal protection under the law, and protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
He argued that these rights were denied due to the racism of the court in the exclusion of African-Americans from the jury; the racism of Judge Albert Sabo, who commented during the appeals process that he was going to “help them fry the nigger”; and deceptive jury instructions given by the prosecution.
But even though this very court and even the Supreme Court of the United States have granted relief to other prisoners on the same grounds, the court denied Mumia Abu-Jamal a new trial, thereby endorsing all the racism, political prejudice, and double standards that have plagued the proceedings from the very beginning. Only one of the three judges on the panel who heard the case wrote a dissenting opinion, underscoring the racism in jury selection.
We can’t count on the courts. The only way we will ever get political prisoners out of prison is through the pressure exerted by strong social movements.
With very few exceptions, the mainstream news media have been accomplices in creating a lynch mob atmosphere in this case; in view of this, we believe that the alternative media must actively intervene to counteract all the disinformation and to publish Mumia’s own writings far and wide.
We send our solidarity greetings to the April 19 march in Philadelphia and call for international actions on that day to reject the court’s decision and demand the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Things you can do:
Write Mumia a letter (in any language). He may not get your letter and he can’t answer all the letters he does get, but it’s a good way to show support and let him know about struggles in different parts of the world.
His address is:
Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM 8333
173 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
You can write or call the following officials to demand freedom and justice for Mumia.
The Philadelphia District Attorney:
District Attorney Lynne Abraham
Three South Penn Square
Pennsylvania, PA 19107-3499
The Governor of the state of Pennsylvania
Gov. Ed Rendell
Harrisburg, PA 17120