A Call for Non-Violent Direct Action
AGAINST THE CRIMINAL INJUSTICE SYSTEM
at the Republican National Convention
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- Tues., August 1, 2000
A new movement is being born. In Seattle we shut down the WTO. In New York we rose up against police terror in communities of color. In Washington, DC we stood up to the IMF and World Bank. In California we fought the mass incarceration of our youth under Proposition 21. This summer we will again use our bodies and voices to confront the system. While US-dominated institutions like the WTO, IMF and World Bank wage war on the global poor, a parallel war is waged daily on the poor and people of color in the U.S. by a criminal justice system that enforces racial and economic injustice. It is time for the different currents in this movement to stand together against this system of criminal injustice and for real democracy. Democrats and Republicans alike have demonstrated their commitment to this state violence and repression. This August we are calling for direct action at the Republican National Convention to confront the U.S. criminal justice system, and we are supporting similar actions at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. The Republican and Democratic parties are both in the pockets of the corporate elite. The major corporations that profit from the policies of the WTO, IMF and World Bank are the same corporations that oppress and exploit poor and working class people of all colors in the U.S. They are the same corporations that dominate the political process in the U.S. The Democratic and Republican national conventions try to hide this reality of corporate control behind a mask of democratic participation. Behind this mask the reality is brutal. As giant corporations move production abroad, the poorest laborers in this country have become expendable. Just as the policies of the IMF are backed up by U.S. military power, the attack on poor people and people of color in the United States depends on state repression in the form of police terror and of the prison warehousing of a huge percentage of poor people, particularly youth of color. This easily exploited source of labor is transforming America's prisons into its worst sweatshops. Mandatory minimum sentences established under the guise of "the war on drugs" have turned prison construction into a growth industry while funding for schools is slashed year after year. The criminal justice system is a daily insult to democracy. Prisons silence thousands of voices from the most oppressed communities in the country. Dozens of political prisoners- like Native American leader Leonard Peltier and the Puerto Rican independentistas still behind bars- are locked up for the crime of standing up to injustice.
One political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a former Black Panther and an award winning journalist who exposed the racism and brutality of the Philadelphia Police department. Brutalized by the police and denied a fair trial, Mumia has spent 18 years on Pennsylvania's death row. His case is in its most critical phase and demands our presence in the streets of Philadelphia.
Like the thousands of other prisoners on death row who face execution under the racist death penalty, Mumia's case illustrates the barbarity of this system. Bill Clinton's signing of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and George W. Bush's presiding over a record number of executions indicate the responsibility of both the Democrats and Republicans for these policies.
This summer we have a historic opportunity to bring the energy that has been building for the past year to a collective fight, long overdue in this country, for democracy and human rights. We must build a powerful and sustainable alliance of all people devoted to global and domestic economic, racial, and environmental justice.
Come to the Republican National Convention to take a stand and say:
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Political Prisoners
Abolish the Prison Industrial Complex
Abolish the Death Penalty
Stop Police Violence
Power to Our Communities, End the Corporate War on the Poor