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The Need to Continue Our Support for Mumia Abu-Jamal

facebook2 December 9th marks a historic day in the case of one of the most well-known political prisoners in the world. On that day in 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal was critically wounded in an incident with Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who was killed. Mumia has continually proclaimed his innocence in the officer’s death. At the time of his arrest he was a well-known entity in Philadelphia as a journalist, organizer with the Move 9 and former Black Panther Party member.

Mumia was arrested and first tried by city and state authorities through scare tactics, which made his actual trial a foregone conclusion when he was found guilty and given the death penalty. In the past 34 years, evidence through different appeals and investigations have revealed that Mumia’s trial was a farce.

Supporters of Mumia’s release range from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Amnesty International, who released a report stating that Mumia’s trial was “in violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty.” However, Mumia is currently serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Now, he is under further attack from the Pennsylvania State legislature – which has introduced Senate Bill 508 in response to Mumia’s Goddard College Commencement Address in October of 2014. SB508 would ban prisoners from making public statements under the pretense of their journalism causing “mental anguish.” The bill comes as another clear violation of Mumia’s and other incarcerated peoples’ constitutional, civil and human rights.

In the face of this political repression, Mumia has continued to advocate for comprehensive social justice. He has authored nine books, penned numerous articles, and continued his investigative journalistic work on www.prisonradio.org.

His political imprisonment has led to world leaders and well known figures calling for his release. Archbishop Desmond Tutu states: “Based on even a minimal following of international human rights standards, Mumia should be released. I ask District Attorney Seth Williams to rise to the challenge of reconciliation, human rights and justice. Allow Mumia Abu-Jamal to be released immediately.”

As a non-world leader and not well known figure I join the cry. Please go to defend free speech to contribute to Mumia’s defense campaign and learn more about his case.

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About Kamau Franklin (80 Articles)
Kamau has been a dedicated community activist and organizer for over twenty years, first in New York City and now based in the south. He has been a leading member of several grassroots organizations dedicated to the ideas of Malcolm X on self-determination. He has organized on various issues including youth organizing and development, police misconduct, and creating sustainable urban communities. Kamau has led and developed community cop-watch programs, freedom school programs for youth, large scale community gardens and alternatives to incarceration. He can be followed on twitter @kamaufranklin.

1 Comment on The Need to Continue Our Support for Mumia Abu-Jamal

  1. Philadelphia in the 1980’s was extremely corrupt. One of the few officer’s back them know for integrity Officer Daniel Faulkner died before he could testify on police corruption. The number one exposer of Philadelphia police corruption supposedly killed him. Several of the officer’s who testified in the Mumia trial were later indited for corruption. Strangely the Philadelphia Inquirer articles from the 80’s are missing from the Temple University urban archives, http://library.temple.edu/scrc/urban-archives
    and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania library, http://hsp.org/
    Also strangely I can’t find the article on-line in the Inquirer about the up close bullet to Daniel Faulkner’s head was ruled too mangled to tell what gun it came from.

    The articles by Mumia need to be retrieved. I back then was much impressed on how he exposed the way Move was being turned into pin cushions by the police and prison guards. One article in the Philadelphia Tribune by Mumia on the Move members and spectators being thrown out court poetically ended with bits of skin, dreadlocks and blood on a cold courtroom floor as if he witnessed it after everyone was thrown out. I think it was in the Daily News not Inquirer was of the police storming Mumia’s mothers high-rise public-housing aparting and in front of her neighbors demanding that she stop her son from constantly criticizing the police.

    The corrupt and brutal police department in 1980 started to feel intense federal scrutiny. Move the back to nature sect used to be extremely uncooperative, refusing to walk to the paddy wagon, stand when the judge entered or line up in prison lunch lines. Their, back then, comments on civilization being a perversion of nature was often considered cursing.

    The most skilled and determined and prolific critic of Mumia abu Jamal is Michael Smerconish of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
    http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/michael_smerconish/20141207_The_Pulse__Close_read_shows_Ferguson_grand_jury_got_it_right.html
    He also writes in support of brutal police, a police officer never did anything wrong if you Google his archives. He also mostly wrote the book he coauthored with Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the officer Mumia supposed killed.

    One of the reasons F’urgusen happened was Smerconish’s skilled successful efforts to prevent a civil right’s attorney Debo Adegbile from being confirmed and cracking down on police brutality. Once upon a time Bill Crosby was too important for many to dare criticize. I predict that eventually Michael Smerconish will be know as part of the cover up of the killing of an honest cop by his corrupt buddies.

    http://www.fantompowa.org/mumia_arnold_statement.htm
    http://articles.philly.com/1995-08-23/news/25710780_1_police-corruption-police-corruption-maier
    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/07/30/six-philadelphia-police-officers-arrested-in-federal-corruption-probe/
    http://articles.philly.com/2014-08-07/news/52519337_1_john-speiser-thomas-liciardello-bail
    https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%20Busted%20%3A%20a%20tale%20of%20corruption%20and%20betrayal%20in%20the%20city%20of%20brotherly%20love

    I knew Mumia personally when he also volunteered at Philadelphia’s “Community Underground Newspaper”. And one would expect me to be an integral part of the Support Mumia Coalition. But I and some of his other friends and acquaintances didn’t like it when a formally extremely soft spoken reporter and commentator began to grow dreadlocks and engage in harsh speech. I don’t like it that he is extremely prolific with words about every subject except what happened December 9, 1981. Billy Cooks Mumia’s brother’s testimony that he was looking for papers mentions no up close bullet to Officer Faulkner’s head. To put it bluntly Mumia doesn’t want to say anything about what had happened and his brother seems to be lying. There needs to be a change in direction instead of trying to prove Mumia didn’t kill anyone, instead investigate who did assassinate a corruption resisting police officer.

    With all the young people now speaking up and even formally quiet athletes change seems to be in the wind but it happened before with the occupy movement. Mumia was a handy prop to stop a justice department official from being confirmed to change things. But it could be turned around and be a vehicle to highlight the police officers who do a good job like Daniel Faulkner and get surreptitiously punished or in other ways harmed because of it.

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