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Free Mumia! Los Angeles Rejects High Court's Ruling

by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LOS ANGELES - Despite heavy rain, a group of about 30 people attended a demonstration for the freedom of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The last-minute action was organized by anti-racist activists who were reacting to the overturning of a judgment that favored the condemned journalist. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned Abu-Jamal's death sentence, finding that the judge in the case had failed to properly instruct members of the jury to consider possible mitigating circumstances during sentencing. However, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision, opening up the possibility that Abu-Jamal, who has always maintained his innocence, could return to death row.

Free Mumia! Los Ange...
free_mumia_20jan2010_054.jpgzgqt9k.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x489

In front of the federal building in Downtown Los Angeles, the congregants carried signs demanding freedom for the former Black Panther and shouted chants such as "He was framed! You know it! Fuck that shit! He didn't kill that pig!" and "Brick by brick, wall by wall, we're gonna free Mumia Abu-Jamal!" They even spontaneously improvised on an old spiritual tune, singing:

Free Mumia, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Free Mumia, We need the brother by our side.

After several rounds of the song, the building's security agents came out and ask, "Who's the initiator of this?" "We're all initiators," one youngster challenged. He explained that those who had taken shelter from the rain beneath the eaves of the building were not permitted to be on the property and that they had to step onto the sidewalk.

The crowd, which included Nativo López of the Hermandad Mexicana, Michael Novick of Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles, as well as members of the Busrider's Union, the Brown Berets, the Sparticist League, and numerous anarchists and independent activists, formed a picket line and continued their chants.

Some of those present began to discuss the case. One man in particular criticized the efforts of activists who seek to liberate Abu-Jamal through legal means and through political pressure on Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder. "They are reformists, and reformism is another enemy in our struggle!"

One comrade opined, "It's obvious that it's beyond just Mumia. It's the whole prison complex we've built into our society. It's completely sickening. So I'm for tearing down all the prisons! All of them!"

Another speculated, "There's only two ways to liberate Mumia. Either Obama and Holder are gonna have to intervene, or we're gonna have to liberate him ourselves. And neither seems likely right now."

Suddenly, members of the collective Food Not Bombs, an organization that uses direct action against hunger and in favor of peace, arrived. They feed the hungry, whether they are homeless or activists in the struggle. They brought a pot of hot rice and beans and a pitcher of green tea. Everyone ate and began conversing. The arrival of these women and their distributing of food opened a space to talk with old friends and meet other members of the movement, something that would likely not have taken place had they not arrived.

Currently, there are more than 100 political prisoners, according to the website Additionally, there are more than 3,000 prisoners on death row nationally, and according to the Death Penalty Information Center, between 2000 and 2007, a yearly average of five death row prisoners have been exonerated pf their supposed crimes, which sends a sharp signal that the death penalty is poorly implemented.

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

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"Rally for Mumia January 20"

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_048.jpgyackpf.jpg, image/jpeg, 609x656

"You touch one hair on Mumia's head and WE WILL RIOT!"

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_051.jpguhm02u.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Nativo López, Brown Berets

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_052.jpg324qia.jpg, image/jpeg, 592x422

Activists, members of the Bus Rider's Union

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_053.jpgsysprv.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x960

"Your government kills all my heroes"

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_055.jpgvcxx5f.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

"Justice for Mumia! No Death Penalty!"

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by Rockero Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

free_mumia_20jan2010_056.jpgret5ks.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Food Not Bombs

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