Thursday, September 21, 2006

Activists Demand Philly City Council Rescind Resolution

Mumia supporters are travelling to Philadelphia today to demand that the City Council Rescind its May 25 Resolution.

On May 25, 2006 the City Council of Philadelphia unanimously passed a resolution supporting US HouseCongressional Resolution 407 which denounced the naming of a street in Mumia's honor in Saint-Denis, France, called for rescinding the name, and demanded that the French Government force Saint-Denis to withdraw the name rue Mumia Abu-Jamal if it refused to do so on its own.

Additionally, the Philadelphia resolution presented several lies without any challenge, fully prejudicing the public's view of Mumia's, presenting him as a cold-blooded murderer who has exhausted all his constitutional rights to appeal, and is now legally supposed to be executed.

-- the scenario the House Resolution presents of how Mumia shot Officer Faulkner in the back four times with his gun has never before been presented and is a newly concocted version meant to create a vicious image of Mumia.

-- the House Resolution states that Mumia was convicted and sentenced by a jury of his peers, a statement that contradicts Amnesty International's view (and the view of many other human rights and legal organizations) that Mumia was denied the right to have proportional representation of African-Americans on his jury by systematic and illegal exclusion of Black jurors, a practice that has been ruled by the US Supreme Court a basis for a new trial (the Batson ruling). In fact, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, on December 5, 2006 granted Mumia the right to appeal the issue of racial bias in jury selection, and that issue is now the center of Mumia's appeal.

-- the Philadelphia City Council's assertion that Mumia has "exhausted all legal appeals" flies in the face of the reality that the case is currently being appealed before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and three issues have been granted by that court for appeal.

Neither ignorance nor prejudice justifies the outrageous falsehoods asserted in a a resolution, that though ridiculous in challenging another government's sovereignty, does harm to public support for Mumia's right to have a new and fair trial. The House of Representatives, the City Council of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Senate Resolution all contain serious distortions of the reality of Mumia Abu-Jamal's case and embody reckless language and practice by elected legislators. They are meant to deny internationally honored political prisoner and death row inmate, Mumia Abu-Jamal, his right, based on well-documented denial of his rights by US Constitution and International Law, to a new and fair trial.

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