imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

What Mumia Abu-Jamal Never Learned

by Carolina Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at 5:05 AM

On the eve of the United States premiere of In Prison My Whole Life at the Sundance Festival on January 20-25, the battle for the life and freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal heats up in the news media and the streets of far-flung cities while he awaits a crucial appellate court ruling and prepares to publish his sixth book from death row. Media activists present photographic evidence disproving the case against him.

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s life on death row, still seen as a threat by the State that intends to kill him, poses a challenge to the movement seeking his freedom. Right now a critical court decision is awaited in the case of this political prisoner unjustly found guilty and sentenced to death for killing police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.

26 years behind bars and almost 25 on death row! 26 years of not being able to hold his loved ones! 26 years defying attempts to punish, intimidate, isolate, and humiliate him! 26 years! A lifetime for many of the young people who support him today. Thus, the title of the new documentary In Prison My Whole Life, in which William Francome, born on the night Faulkner was killed and Mumia jailed, speaks with Ramona África, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Pam Africa, Robert Bryan, Amy Goodman, Mos Def, Snoop Dog, Steve Earle, and others about their support for Mumia Abu-Jamal and their opposition to the death penalty. After its premier in London and Rome in October, the film will be shown for the first time in the United States at the Sundance Festival on January 20-25.

PHOTO: Philadelphia-- Photographer, Joe Piette

This is one of three new documentaries and six new books (some favorable, others hostile) mentioned by journalist and journalism professor Linn Washington in a recent article published on Counterpunch. Banners demanding Mumia’s freedom are seen at marches, meetings, and cultural events in different parts of the world, while media activists pressure the major news media to cover photos that destroy the prosecution’s case against him.

PHOTO: Bern, December 12, '07

In the cold of winter in 1981, the policemen who arrested and framed the African-American journalist for murder were the same cops who had kept him under surveillance since the 1960s when he was a young Black Panther and the same ones he had criticized during the 70s for their violence against the Black community and, particularly, the MOVE organization. The district attorneys and judges responsible for framing and condemning Mumia to death, always working with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), have built their political careers on this case. The honest words of Mumia Abu-Jamal expose crimes of power in the city of Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania, and the United States as a whole. (For more information about his case, see the sites of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), the San Francisco based Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Abu-Jamal News and, in Spanish, Kaosenlared, Libertad Mumia Abu-Jamal of Barcelona and Auditorio Che Guevara, Regeneración Radio, Radio Zapote, and Centro de Medios Libres of México.)

In his essay Christmas Cage, published in the Community Newspaper of Philadelphia in February of 1982, Mumia wrote: “I ponder my first Christmas in the Hospital Wing of the Detention Center. Christmas in a Cage.... It is nightmarish that my brother and I should be in this foul predicament, particularly since my main accusers, the police, were my attackers as well. My true crime seems to have been my survival of their assaults, for we were the victims that night... My cell is reasonably close to the place where Pedro Serrano was severely beaten and strangled to death.... I covered a press conference called by the Puerto Rican Alliance and members of the Serrano family. I saw photographs of Pedro Serrano, his face swollen even in death. I saw a body riddled with swellings, bruises, and welts. "Mr. Serrano was not beaten by any member of my staff", [prison superintendent] Owens would later proclaim to my radio listeners....My jailers, the men who decide whether I am to leave my cell for food, for phone calls, for pain medication, for a visit for a loved one, are the very same men who are accused [by the prisoners] of murdering Pedro Serrano!....I have been shackled like a slave, hands and feet, for daring to live.”


Mumia Abu-Jamal was found guilty and sentenced to death in a farce called a trial presided over by the “hanging judge” Albert Sabo, a lifetime member of the FOP, who had sentenced 32 people to death, more than any other judge in the country, only two of whom were white. According to a declaration signed by the court stenographer Terri Maurer-Carter, the judge told two of his colleagues that he was “going to help them fry the nigger.”

The jury was made up of 10 white and 2 Black jurors, when the population of Philadelphia was over 40% Black. As a matter of fact, the District Attorney’s office under Ron Castille produced a training video in 1987, in which Jack McMahon instructs young attorneys on how to eliminate potential Black and other undesirable jurors. He says: “Let's be honest. People who live in North Philadelphia have a different perspective on law enforcement and the government...” “The blacks from the low-income areas are less likely to convict...There's a resentment for authority...You don’t want those people on your jury.” “People from Mayfair are good, but people from 33rd & Diamond stink”. “The law” calls for a “competent, fair, and impartial jury. Well, that's ridiculous. You're not trying to get that.” At the end of the video McMahon says that the video contains “the wisdom of the ages,” in other words, long-time, accepted practices that would have been common when Mumia was on trial. (For further analysis of the training video by Journalists for Mumia, see Abu-Jamal-News.)

In some ways, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal is typical of those of 900,000 Black people held in United States prisons. According to The Sentencing Project, in 2007, more than 41% of the country’s 2.2 million prisoners and 42% of those on death row were Black, although they represent only 12.3% of the country’s total population. Moreover, in Pennsylvania, as the lawyer and editor of The Black Commentator David A. Love has pointed out, the black incarceration rate is 14 times that of whites. African Americans are 10% of the state’s population, but 56% of the prisoners. Of the death row prisoners from Philadelphia, 83% are Black. The overwhelming majority are poor, and 95% don’t have competent lawyers; that was the case with Mumia Abu-Jamal in his 1982 trial.

These disparities, along with the 500% increase in the prison population in the United States over the last 30 years, have been topics of several essays written by Mumia Abu-Jamal and of interviews with him, as well. In a conversation with JR of the POCC Block Report he tells him that he considers all Black people behind bars to be political prisoners because of their status in the country. He adds that it’s commonplace for a lawyer to tell a white client, no matter how poor he may be, “Well, at least you’re not black.”

Such issues will surely be dealt with in his forthcoming book (his sixth) on jailhouse lawyers. These (usually) self-educated legal experts have helped get many prisoners released from jail and are often the only recourse of those who lack money to hire a lawyer. Mumia himself has helped other prisoners prepare their appeals.

Throughout his own trial, Mumia argued with Judge Sabo over his right to represent himself with the assistance of John Africa, of the MOVE organization. As a correspondent for several different radio stations in the ‘70s, Mumia got to know this organization that considers all life sacred and the government as an unnatural imposition. (See the MOVE documentary narrated by Howard Zinn.) Although his coverage of government attacks against this organization cost him his job in at least one radio station, Mumia continued to make sure that MOVE voices were heard. He covered the police siege that lasted over a year and the attack by 500 policemen against MOVE’s collective home on August 8, 1978.

When nine of their members were sentenced to 30-100 years in prison for having fired one bullet that killed one policeman, Mumia asked Judge Malmed: “Who killed James Ramp?” The judge answered: “I don’t have the slightest idea. They were a family and I convicted them as a family.” At the time, Mumia was threatened by Mayor Frank Rizzo for asking too many embarrassing questions. (See Hans Bennett’s article Attention MOVE! This is America!.)

This coming August, the MOVE prisoners will have been held captive 30 years, and there is a campaign to demand their release. John África was burned alive along with 10 other MOVE members on May 13, 1985, when the Philadelphia police bombed and burned their house and the entire block, using C-4 explosives provided by the FBI. Although the judge never accepted him as a courtroom advisor, he continues to be a spiritual guide for Mumia.

District Attorney Joe McGill convinced the jury of Mumia’s guilt, presenting contradictory ballistic evidence that never proved that the killing bullet was fired from Mumia’s gun or that Mumia had fired the gun; a confession supposedly made by Mumia in the hospital the night of the killing but, incredibly, not reported until two months later; and witnesses who were threatened and bribed to give false testimony about the events.

According to the District Attorney’s office under Ed Rendell, Jamal shot Faulkner in the back at close range, and Faulkner shot Jamal as he fell; then Jamal stood over him and fired four times, hitting the officer once between the eyes. This version was discredited in Rachel Wolkenstein’s 2001 declaration, which speaks of the absence of divots (holes or chunks of concrete) on the sidewalk that would have existed according to this scenario, a finding that has been further explored by the German professor Michael Schiffman. (See Michael Schiffman’s website Against the Crime of Silence.)

Photos taken by Pedro Polakoff 12 minutes after the incident, recently discovered by Schiffman and published in his new book Race against Death are physical evidence of the absence of divots on the sidewalk. Given that three State witnesses ––Cynthia White, Robert Chobert, and Michael Scanlon–– followed the prosecution’s scenario in their testimony, the photos are also evidence that they lied. Furthermore, the photos reveal the absence of Robert Chobert’s taxi behind the police car, the point from which he saw the shooting, in part, according to his sworn testimony.

The Polakoff photos also show officer James Forbes, one of the first policemen to arrive at the scene, carrying both Faulkner’s and Mumia’s guns in his bare hand, thereby affecting the ballistic evidence and revealing that he did not preserve the crime scene, contrary to his court testimony. This evidence corroborates the report given by Linn Washington, who said that the scene was totally unprotected when he arrived at 8:30 a.m., suggesting that the police had no intention of conducting an investigation to find out who killed Faulkner because they’d already made the decision to frame Mumia.

Crime scene photo, courtesy of Abu-Jamal-News

The photos have been on the Abu-Jamal-News site since May of 2007 and are the subject of an extensive press conference moderated by Hans Bennett on December 4 and a slide show presented on December 8. The first newspaper in the United States to publish these photos was the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, along with an article written by David A. Love. As mentioned in the Bay View article, the official police photo also shows that there are no divots on the sidewalk.

Official police photo

The thoroughly discredited prosecution scenario is repeated in two recent books. In Mumia Abu-Jamal. The Patron Saint of American Cop Killers, the criminal lawyer John Hayden alleges that Mumia received a fair trial before a racially mixed jury and that it is obvious that he killed Faulkner because the police found his pistol that had been fired five times at his side; because five witnesses said he did it, and because he confessed in the hospital.

The same lies are repeated in the book Murdered by Mumia, written by the widow Maureen Faulkner and the ultra-right talk show host Michael Smerconish. The central point of this book, widely promoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer and other major news media, is the widow’s suffering and her personal need to see Mumia executed. She says that she will have no closure as long as the “cold-blooded killer” is alive. The widow also feels a sacred obligation to protect all the honorable policemen who protect and serve the public (and as everyone knows, they are all honorable and protect and serve the public). It should be noted that for all these years the two authors have worked closely with the FOP and the corporate news media to eliminate Mumia.

Little is known about the documentary 13th and Locust now being made by Tigre Hill.

In the 1982 trial, McGill utilized Mumia Abu-Jamal’s political ideas and activities to convince the jury that he deserved the death penalty, asking if he remembered saying things like “all power to the people” and “political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” Mumia replied: “That was a quotation from Mao-Tse-Tung of the Peoples Republic of China. It's very clear that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun or else America wouldn't be here today. It is America who has seized political power from the Indian race, not by god, not by Christianity not by goodness but by the barrel of a gun.”

McGill was also hostile towards the poet Sonia Sánchez, who stated that Mumia “has always been viewed by the black community as a creative, articulate, peaceful, genial man.” The prosecutor used a foreword that she had written for the autobiography of former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur [who escaped from prison in 1979 and lives in exile in Cuba] and the poet’s support for three other revolutionary political prisoners ––Albert “Nuh” Washington, Jalil Muntaquim and Herman Bell–– to persuade the jury that she was biased in favor of alleged “police killers.” He also asked her if it was her purpose to criticize the police in her writings. Sonia Sánchez responded: “I have written about many facets of America. I have written about the oppression in a place called America. I also teach at Graterford Prison. I teach young men in prison and have also talked to the guards there. You cannot talk about America without talking about oppression and the Police Department and the courts. (The complete trial transcripts can be read at the Daniel Faulkner website.)

Far from distancing himself from the Black Panther Party, Mumia Abu-Jamal has written essays in support of former members including Jalil Muntaquim and Herman Bell, who are still targets of the United States injustice system and are now among those charged in the case of the the San Francisco 8.

Mumia also wrote his fifth book about this organization—We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party, recently translated into Spanish in Cuba, in which he places the Party in the context of numerous rebellions of African slaves that took place for over 300 years. He says that two centuries after the American Revolution, fought to see “who would hold Africans in bondage,” and in the midst of urban rebellions in all the major cities in the United States between 1964-1968, the party was born ––with books. Mumia says that party founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale and other Panthers read Robert Williams, W.E.B. du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Lenin, Dostoievski, Ché Guevara, Bakunin, Nietzsche, James Baldwin, Camus, Mao, but above all Frantz Fanon and Malcolm X. They combined the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist perspective of Fanon with the black nationalism of Malcolm X, or in other words, with the struggle of the African American people for independence and freedom.

For J. Edgar Hoover, FBI tsar for half a century, the Panthers were the “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and the target of an extermination program called COINTELPRO. In his book, Mumia analyzes the revolutionary party that set up and ran community survival programs in more than 40 cities, practiced self-defense against police violence, and showed their solidarity with national liberation struggles in the world. He tells about his own experiences as a young Panther and underscores the tremendously important contributions of women in the Party, such as Safiya Bukhari, Rosemary Mealy, Kiilu Nyasha, Kathleen Cleaver, Ericka Huggins, Joan Gibbs, and many others.

PHOTO: Philadelphia

The movement in support of Mumia is the theme of a documentary now being made by Ted Passon. The main base of support has always been the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ) in Philadelphia, founded by John Africa and headed up by Pam Africa. With an open attitude to people with different points of view, a broad movement was built of thousands of leftists, Black Liberation activists, death penalty opponents, celebrities, anti-corporate globalization activists, abolitionists, workers, unemployed people, feminists, lesbians and gays, students, media activists, musicians, poets, writers, and political prisoner defense groups, who mobilized to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1995 and again in 1999, when then Governor Tom Ridge (later named the head of Homeland Security by Bush) had signed death warrants.

PHOTO: Brazil, '99

The breadth of the international movement is seen in a document released by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security of the State Department of the United States, falsely titled Political Violence Against Americans, 1999, with an entire section at the end on the movement in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal containing brief descriptions of mainly peaceful actions in Montreal, Río de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Mexico City, Paris, Oslo, Athens, Berlin, Vienna, Frankfurt, Dublin, Stockholm, Madrid, Bath, Prague, Rennes, Zurich, Barcelona, Lyón, Leipzig, Bern, Copenhaguen, Johannesburg, and Calcutta. The document reports 98 arrests at the march and rally of December 11, 1999 in Mexico City during the student strike.

Messages of support for Mumia have also come from Subcomandante Marcos and Lieutenant Colonel Moisés of the EZLN, as well as many other Zapatistas, whose communities are once again under attack by paramilitary groups trying to take away their lands recovered in 1994.

In a series of appeals hearings between 1995 and 2003, the courts rejected much new evidence favorable to Mumia Abu-Jamal, including the confession of Arnold Beverly in 2001, in which he says that he and another person were hired by the mafia to kill Faulkner because he stood in the way of illicit dealings. In 2001, Judge William Yohn, revoked the death penalty but upheld the guilty verdict.

PHOTO: Ankara

Although the movement declined in 2001, Mumia Abu-Jamal continued to attract support with his own writings and his spirit of struggle. With a sharp intellect and a strong social commitment, he knows how to put an event in a broader historical context in just a few words. His weekly essays, circulated by Fatirah and recorded by Noelle Hanrahan for Prison Radio, are read or heard in far corners of the world. Whatever the topic may be ––a particular prisoner’s story, the Acteal massacre, the war in Irak, the government’s scorn for Black people during Katrina, torture at Guantánamo and in United States prisons, the rebellion in Oaxaca, a victory of Venus Williams, the white tree in Jena, youth without a future in the United States, the case of Leonard Peltier, jazz, or the disaster iin Kenya–– his words attack the system of the powerful, provide clarity regarding social conditions, and reveal our strengths. He always insists on the need to build strong social movements. He expresses a deep love for the African American people while he struggles for a world that is free and just for everyone.

It’s important to mention that Mumia has received strong support from many other political prisoners including the Move 9, the San Francisco 8, Marilyn Buck, Mutulu Shakur, and Daniel McGowan, as well as ex political prisoners Dhoruba Bin Wahad, Ashanti Alston, and Assata Shakur, whose beautiful voice can be heard on recordings of the Fire This Time, including the video I Love Tha Future along with the music of Michael Franti. (For further information about political prisoners in the United States, see the pages of The Jericho Movement, Anarchist Black Cross, and the Prison Activist Resource Center. A Spanish language radio interview with Ana María Lamb of the Jericho Movement can be heard on Radio La Primerísima from Managua.)

Neither is prisoner support for Mumia limited to the United States. Word gets around that there are many current and former Palestinian, Puerto Rican, South African, Chilean, Peruvian, Spanish, and Italian political prisoners who know about his struggle for justice and identify with him. In Mexico, for example, many of the 900 prisoners jailed for political reasons during the last seven years have expressed their desire to see their brother Mumia free. Some recent words of support on behalf of the Peoples Front for Defense of the Land and all their prisoners, three of whom are serving 67 year sentences, came from Atenco leader Trinidad Ramírez at a demonstration in front of the United States Embassy on December 10, 2007.

PHOTO: Mexico, December 10, 2007, courtesy of Belladonna Blackheart

On May 17, 2007, hundreds of activists from different cities in the United States, Europe, and Africa marched, sang, rapped, and shouted in the streets of Philadelphia. A lot of fresh, youthful energy comes through in the video of the demonstration, outside the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where a critical hearing was going on.

PHOTO: May 17 demonstration, Philadelphia

Prosecuting attorney Hugh Burns argued against the revocation of the death penalty, and the lawyers Robert Bryan, Judith Ritter, and Cristina Swarns presented arguments regarding the violation of Mumia’s constitutional rights to a fair trial due to: racism in jury selection (known as the Batson claim); the deceptive instructions given to the jury by prosecuting attorney Joseph McGill, when he told jurors to disregard questions of the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt because Mumia would have many appeals in case the jury gave an erroneous guilty verdict; the deception of the jury by Judge Sabo when he prohibited the jury from considering extenuating evidence (of good character, etc.) unless all the members of the jury agreed on a particular circumstance; and the racism of Judge Albert Sabo.

The three judges on the panel (Scirica and Cowan, appointed by Reagan, and Ambro, appointed by Clinton) have three main options: 1. to reinstate the death penalty; 2. to order a new trial only for the purpose of determining the sentence, in which case the best option would be a life sentence; or 3. to order a new trial to determine innocence or guilt. The third option is the one sought by Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lawyers in order to present all the evidence never heard by a jury and walk out free with a verdict of innocence. In an interview with Margaret Prescod last July 7, Mumia indicated that he plans to present evidence that has never been heard and to refute the false allegations made against him in Judge Sabo’s court. (Listen to the interview on Pacifica Radio.)

Meanwhile, outside the courtroom, people continue to fight for a new trial and Mumia’s freedom. Upon hearing the news that Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish would be on the Today Show to promote their new book on December 6, 2007, Journalists for Mumia, Educators for Mumia, and the ICFFMAJ were successful in pressuring NBC to question the guests about the crime scene photos and to present information regarding Mumia’s innocence. Although NBC didn’t agree to invite knowledgeable journalist Linn Washington and Dr. Suzanne Ross of the NYC Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition to appear on the program, as proposed, the actions represent an advance against the corporate power of the media and serve as an example that sometimes even something so simple as writing a letter can make a difference. If it hadn’t been for the media campaign and the spirited demonstration outside NBC at 7:00 a.m., this program, seen by millions of people, would only have presented one side of the story.

PHOTO: Rally outside NBC, photographer John Catalinotto

The Polakoff photos are really an addendum to the book written by Dr. Schiffman, who puts Mumia’s case in a socio-historic context, describing certain aspects of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Liberation Struggle after World War II and analyzing tendencies in the United States criminal justice system, especially in Philadelphia. He also analyzes the ballistic evidence in the case, including the trajectory of bullet fragments found at the scene, and comes to the conclusion that Mumia couldn’t have fired first and that it’s highly improbable that he drew his gun that night. He says that in the unlikely event of an act of self-defense, Mumia would only have fired after having been shot, but he thinks it is likely that a third person, Kenneth Freeman shot and killed Faulkner to protect himself and defend his friends after the policeman savagely beat Billy Cook and shot Mumia in the chest. (See interview with Michael Schiffman by Hans Bennett.)

This theory is supported in another new book scheduled to come out in May, 2008, The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, written by J. Patrick O’Connor, who also examines the evidence and concludes that Faulkner shot Abu-Jamal while he was running to help his brother Billy Cook, and that Faulkner was shot by Kenneth Freeman, the passenger in Billy Cook’s car. O’Connor describes the Philadelphia power structure from the times of the notorious Frank Rizzo and argues that the Philadelphia police and District Attorney’s office framed Mumia for the murder.

The careers of three Philadelphia District Attorneys began during the Rizzo regime and were built on the repression of Mumia Abu-Jamal and MOVE--those of the ex Mayor and current Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille, and the current District Attorney Lynn Abraham. All work closely with the FOP. (See C. Clark Kissinger’s article, “Philly’s Killer Elite,” in Revoultionary Worker. For example, when the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court rejected Mumia Abu Jamal´s appeal and his petition for a new trial in 1998, five of the seven judges had received campaign contributions from the FOP. At the December 4, 2007 press conference, Linn Washington explained that this came out when the defense demanded that Ron Castille recuse himself because he had received money and support from the FOP. He defended himself saying: Well, I’m not the only one. Four other Supreme Court judges took money from them, too.

PHOTO: Mexico, courtesy of Belladonna Blackheart

These masters of repression fear that a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal would be an international forum for exposing their criminal acts, leading to the loss of what they value most: money and power. Moreover, they fear that a victory for Mumia would lead young rebellious people to get organized and fight the powers that be, especially in the Black communities. That’s why they stop at nothing to make sure this doesn’t happen. The FOP bribes senators, representatives, mayors, governors, and presidents of the United States (both Clinton and Bush) and threatens any group or individual that supports Mumia, whether it’s a politician who favors the idea of a new trial, like Chaka Fattah; the owners of the Clef Club and the Remote Lounge, who cancelled events after receiving threats last April; or the citizens of Saint Denis, France, who refused to back down in the face of threats they received after naming a street for Mumia in their town in April, 2006. On the contrary, last spring they celebrated the anniversary of the street naming.

PHOTO: Saint Denis

And Mumia? After spending 26 years in a cage, his rebellious spirit has never died down and his commitment to the total ttransformation of society is as strong as ever. After a recent visit with him, Fatirah reported: “He’s in good health and high spirits, and during the visit, many times he flashed that smile, and when someone said something funny, (often it was Mumia himself), the room echoed with his booming laughter.” In interviews, people have asked him: How do you do it? How do you keep your spirits up in these conditions? To Margaret Prescod, he replied: “I guess I can best be described as a busy person....I’ve always been the kind of person who feels like there are not enough hours in the day....I read, quite a bit, good, interesting books on political subjects, sometimes history books. I try to read several newspapers, and also try to keep my eye on what’s happening here, around me....” He’s always writing something, and commented to Sonali of Uprising Radio that he sees books as “flights of freedom and perhaps one of the last free media around.” He spoke with JR of the Block Report about the refusal of the United States government to recognize that it holds political prisoners and of the potential impact of hip hop in world resistance when artists speak what’s in their hearts and are conscious of their own power and influence. He says that the struggles going on in the world encourage him and that he’s thankful to everyone who is trying to win his freedom. He hopes these efforts will help other political prisoners, too. He once explained that, fortunately, he learned how to be a revolutionary journalist working for the Black Panther newspaper and that later on he learned to polish his work. In his 1999 essay, “Words from an Outcast of the Fourth Estate,” published in All Things Censored, he wrote: “I learned the craft quite well, except for one thing: I never learned how to kowtow to state power. I wrote and reported, not from the perspective of the privileged, not from the position of the established, but from the consciousness of oppression and the awareness of resistance.”

The title of a biography recently published by Dr. Claude Guillaumaud-Pujol describes Mumia well: Un homme libre dans le couloir de la mort (A Free Man on Death Row). Except for one thing. We want this man free in the streets.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy