Philly Turns Up the Heat for Mumia Abu-Jamal

from It’s Going Down

The following press release about continued action in support of Black Liberation prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was sent to It’s Going Down, which we reprint below.

A community delegation delivered thousands of petitions to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on January 7th, asking him to not stand in the way of justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal and to not appeal a December 27, 2018 court decision by Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker.

Wayne Alexander Cook (nephew of Mumia Abu-Jamal) handed the 4,227 signed petitions to Krasner’s assistant as they entered the DA’s lobby. The thick manila envelope also contained letters from Tadashi Seto (Doro-Chiba, Japanese rail workers’ union), Edwin R Ferris (International Secretary-Treasurer of International Longshore & Warehouse Union) and other labor statements in support of Abu-Jamal’s quest for freedom after 37 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The DA refused to talk with the group that included Michael Africa, Jr (MOVE Organization), Sandy Joy (Rowen University professor) and other members of the umbrella group Mobilization4Mumia. The DA’s Director of Communications Ben Waxman did meet soon after, but revealed no new information when asked whether or not Krasner will appeal. “That’s above my paygrade,” he said.

The online petitions were gathered in ten days from thousands of people in the US and from around the world by Roots Action and Mobilization4Mumia.

The petitions are part of an effort to persuade Philadelphia DA Krasner to refuse an appeal of Tucker’s ruling. Such an appeal would lead to years of court proceedings and further postpone Abu-Jamal’s chance to prove his innocence. After almost four decades in prison and suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and related ailments, years of court delays will be nothing less than a death sentence and a denial of justice.

On January 5th, 2019 almost 200 people marched in the rain with signs and banners in front of the DA’s office with demands of: “Justice Now! Krasner: Don’t Appeal! Free Mumia! ”

Mumia Abu-Jamal won the significant victory before Judge Leon Tucker in a decision granting Abu-Jamal new rights to re-open appeals. The ruling could impact other prisoners whose appeals were similarly denied by biased judges.

Tucker ruled that former PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille denied Abu-Jamal fair and impartial hearings by not recusing himself from the defendant’s appeals between 1998 and 2012.  The ruling referenced Castille’s public statements of being a “law and order” prosecutor, responsible for 45 men on death row, the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, and new evidence supporting the claim that Castille singled out men convicted as “police killers.” Tucker cited all the above because they created the appearance of bias and impropriety in the appeal process.

Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence in the fatal shooting of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Judge Tucker’s ruling means that Abu-Jamal’s appeals of his 1982 convictions are restored. Abu-Jamal has argued through his past appeals that he was framed by police and that the prosecution manufactured evidence of guilt and suppressed the proof of his innocence, in addition to other violations of his due process rights.

After decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Abu-Jamal’s supporters are demanding that the charges should be dismissed and he should be freed.

Pretty Vandalism

Submission

These photos were taken by me, friends, or stolen from the internet. They are of graffiti, stickers, and window smashings around town. To my knowledge none of these acts were claimed with communiques. I do not know the intentions of whoever carried them out but they lift my mood, and bring some joy to my day. I share them here to remind myself and anyone reading what is possible, to generate inspiration, and to help spread the disorder of the city to those who might not have the good fortune to stroll by it as they go about their day.

The broken windows are at Swirl Cafe in West Philly (attacked twice!) and OCF Realty in South Philly.

All these photos are from the last few months. Each photo (with the exception of those taken from the internet) have been cropped and all of them had their metadata removed to avoid identifying the cameras they were taken with.



Contact the DA’s Office and Pack the Court for Mumia!

from Philadelphia ABC

[In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia’s freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney’s office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille. The hearing will take place Jan. 17.
Castille was a Philadelphia DA. Later as a PA Supreme Court judge, he refused to disqualify himself when Mumia’s case came before the court despite having been the DA during Mumia’s prior appeals. The US Supreme Court has ruled such conduct unconstitutional.
The people’s movement forced the courts to take Abu-Jamal off death row in 2011 but his freedom was not won. Despite his innocence he was re-sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
The people fought for and won hep C treatment for Mumia but he now suffers from pain and severe itching from a skin ailment. Life without parole is still a death sentence for thousands of prisoners, especially when decent health care is routinely denied for people behind bars.
Mum has been unjustly imprisoned for 36 years. He should be released now.

CONTACT THE DA’S OFFICE: TELL THEM TO RELEASE ALL MUMIA’S FILES TO THE PUBLIC: (215) 686-8000; justice@phila.gov]

Upcoming Parole pushes for Herman Bell & 3 of the Move 9: convo with Orie Lumumba

from The Final Straw

This week’s show features a conversation with Orie Lumumba. Orie is involved in the Move organization and the International Concerned Fmaily and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. We speak about the upcoming push to parole Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Halloway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa, the three remaining women of the Move 9. The Move 9 were 9 members of the Move organization whose house was raided in Philadelphia in 1978 after escalating conflicts with the Philadelphia police department and then-Mayor Frank Rizzo. The 9 were convicted of the death of Officer James Ramp during the raid, which the supporters and members of the Move 9 argue the 9 had no part in, that the shot was actually fired by the police department mistakenly. This was one of the many instances that the Move organization was repressed in Philadelphia during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Move organization is a religious, vegan Black Liberation organization focused around social justice issues and bases it’s philosophy on the teachings of John Africa.

In February at the Malcolm X & Bettie Shabazz Educational Center there will be a rally around this parole push in New York City. There is also an online petition to push for the parole of these 3 members of the Move 9. More info on the struggle can be found at http://onamove.org and more on the parole push can be found at http://move9parole.blogspot.com

Updates and Reports of Local Prisoners

from It’s Going Down

Mumia Abu Jamal’s support folks held a press conference to further pressure the prison to provide appropriate HEP C treatment to Mumia. Hepatitis C has an incredibly high rate of infection in the U.S. prison system. Recently there have been significant improvements in treatment of the disease with 95% rate of fully eradicating the virus. Prison officials (otherwise known as horrendous pieces of shit) are denying not only Mumia the right to such medical care, but all prisoners. This is beyond bullshit. You can find out more about the call to action for Mumia as well as the full press release over here. You can also watch the stream of the press conference over here.

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If you haven’t already checked out NYC ABC’s dope bi-monthly Political Prisoner & Prisoner of War Update newsletter, do it already. These updates are sent out to pp/pow’s across the U.S. and are, for many of them, the only means they have of regular news with comrades. This last update from 10/13/15 has some great writing from Russell Maroon Shoates. Check out the description and then hop on over and read the full essay at NYC ABC’s site:

Maroon recently penned a brief essay reflection on some of the latest literature he’s had an opportunity to read. He explores the current political realities in the Rojava region of Syria, celebrating the civil and political organizations that have led to an anti-state and anti-capitalist experiment valuing feminism, direct democracy, ecological stewardship, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious pluralism in the midst of ongoing military threat, as explored in the book A Small Key Can Open A Large Door, published by the Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness collective. He then touches on the dystopia of Octavia Butler’s Parable Of The Sower, assessing the extent to which the current crises of climate change, late capitalism, and “sci-fi biotech” have made the landscape of Butler’s novel far more factual than fictitious.

You can learn more about Maroon at his site and send him a letter to:

Russell Shoats #AF-3855

SCI-Graterford

P.O. Box 246 Route 29

Graterford, PA 19426 – 0246