Saturday, December 08, 2007

Audio from the December 4 press conference

The audio from the December 4 press conference is now online. The video will be available soon at

Veronica Jones Letter to the Today Show

Below is a link to a letter written by Veronica Jones, a witness in Mumia's case, to the Today Show. This letter was written last week to encourage them to show both sides of the story. It is a very moving letter that gives insight into the injustice that Veronica faced in trying to speak the truth. Jones Letter to the Today Show 12-07.pdf

Was Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner really "Murdered By Mumia"?

--Journalists and activists present evidence of innocence and an unfair trial in the death-penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The news conference organized by Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal featured an exclusive slide-show presentation of newly discovered crime scene photos, as well as presentations by local journalists David A. Love and Dave Lindorff, and Pam Africa of The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

INVITATION: This week marks the 26th anniversary of the December 9, 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner and the arrest of radical journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. December 6 will mark the release of a new book titled "Murdered By Mumia," written by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish. The Philadelphia Inquirer has already begun a three-part series that features excerpts from "Murdered By Mumia." The media-attention will continue this week with "Murdered By Mumia" scheduled to be featured on such news programs as The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and many more.

In light of this significant week, the news conference was organized to present "the other side of the story," to the media so that it can be fairly balanced alongside the story presented by Faulkner, Smerconish, and others who argue that Mumia does not deserve a new trial and should be executed. Come and hear from activists and award-winning journalists who have thoroughly researched the case and concluded that Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial was blatantly unfair, and that there is considerable evidence suggesting that Abu-Jamal is innocent, as he has always maintained.

For the national media, and others unable to make it to the news conference, audio and video documentation has been made available via the internet.

CONTACT US: For more information, email:

This news conference featured:


Philadelphia journalist Hans Bennett presented a slideshow displaying the crime scene photos recently discovered by German linguist, Michael Schiffmann (University of Heidelberg). Dr. Schiffmann has disclosed his discovery of 26 photographs (never seen by the 1982 jury), taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff, which suggest more evidence that basic investigative protocol was violated by police from the earliest moments of the killing. Schiffmann and Bennett's website,, displays four of the photos to make these key points about the new evidence:

1. Mishandling the Guns - Officer James Forbes holds both Abu-Jamal's and Faulkner's guns, his bare hand touching the metal parts, suggesting perjury when he testified to properly preserving the guns' ballistics evidence.

2. The Moving Hat - Faulkner's hat is moved from the roof of Billy Cook's VW and placed on the sidewalk, where it remained for the official police photo.

3. The Missing Taxi - Robert Chobert testified to parking directly behind Faulkner's car, but the space is empty.

4. The Missing Divots – On the sidewalk, where Faulkner was found, there are no large bullet divots, or destroyed chunks of cement, which should be visible in the pavement if the prosecution scenario was accurate, according to which Abu-Jamal shot down at Faulkner – and allegedly missed several times – while Faulkner was on his back. Dr. Michael Schiffmann writes: "It is thus no question any more whether the scenario presented by the prosecution at Abu-Jamal's trial is true. It is clearly not, because it is physically and ballistically impossible."


In October, 2007, Philadelphia-based lawyer and journalist, David A. Love, wrote about the new crime scene photos for The Black Commentator news website. Love's article titled "Photos Bolster Claims of Mumia’s Innocence and Unfair Trial" was featured in the national Black newspaper, The SF Bay View, where one of the photos was published for the very first time in the US. Love spoke at the news conference about why the new crime scene photos are an important and worthy story for the media to cover. (see above)


Dave Lindorff is the author of "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal" (Common Courage Press, 2003), an independent examination of this important capital case. In his December 2, 2007 article titled "Maureen Faulkner and Mumia: Vengeance Isn't Sweet," Lindorff responds to the first in a three-part series in The Philadelphia Inquirer, that features experts from Maureen Faulkner's new book, written with Michael Smerconish, titled "Murdered By Mumia." He writes that Faulkner "is entitled to her anger and her grief," but "we are all diminished when justice is so willingly cast aside in the wrongheaded name of vengeance, as has clearly happened in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. No amount of sympathy for Faulkner's widow should be permitted to sway society or the courts from a commitment to justice, and there has been no justice in this case."

At the press-conference, Lindorff addressed the summary of evidence against Abu-Jamal, presented at the "Murdered By Mumia" website, that "Mumia Abu-Jamal was unanimously convicted of the crime by a racially mixed jury based on: the testimony of several eyewitnesses, his ownership of the murder weapon, matching ballistics, and Abu-Jamal's own confession."

--Award-winning investigative reporter Dave Lindorff has been working as a journalist for 34 years. A regular columnist for CounterPunch, he also writes frequently for Extra! and Salon magazine, as well as for Businessweek, The Nation, and Treasury & Risk Magazine. Over the years he has written for such publications as Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Forbes, The London Observer and the Australian National Times.


Pam Africa is the head of The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ). Africa will provide an update on the current media-activist campaign to "ensure fairness" for Abu-Jamal on the December 6 NBC Today Show, which spotlighted the release of the book "Murdered By Mumia." Africa and ICFFMAJ are asking that the The Today Show fairly show both sides of the Abu-Jamal / Faulkner story, and give equal time to an expert sympathetic to Abu-Jamal's case for a new trial.

--Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal ( was co-founded in May, 2007 by Philadelphia journalist Hans Bennett and German linguist Dr. Michael Schiffmann (University of Heidelberg), who is the author of the new German book about Abu-Jamal's case, "Race Against Death." For more information, please email:

You can download the 50 page PRESS PACK at the link below:

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Evidence of Innocence and an Unfair Trial

[The following are remarks made at a December 4, 2007 press conference held in Philadelphia by The International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ), and Journalists for Mumia. The purpose of the press conference was to discuss newly discovered crime scene photos in the Mumia Abu-Jamal death penalty case, which were not seen by the jury, yet point to his innocence and the need for a new trial. Abu-Jamal, journalist, former Black Panther and death row inmate, was convicted of the 1981 murder of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Participants in the press conference included Hans Bennett of Journalists for Mumia, Philadelphia journalists Linn Washington, Dave Lindorff, Pam Africa of ICFFMAJ, and David A. Love of Black Commentator. In its October 18, 2007 cover story, titled Photos Bolster Claims of Mumia’s Innocence and Unfair Trial, Black Commentator broke the story regarding the photos.]

My name is David A. Love, editorial board member of, a weekly online magazine covering issues affecting the Black community, with a monthly readership of 300,000. My Color of Law column appears weekly. I wrote an article in the October 18, 2007 edition of the Black Commentator entitled “ Photos Bolster Claims of Mumia’s Innocence and Unfair Trial.” The piece re-printed for the Independent Media Center, and the San Francisco Bay View, a national Black newspaper, which published the photos. In the article, I discussed these new photos of the crime scene where Officer Faulkner was killed, but also analyzed the larger implications for the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the problem of racism in the criminal justice system, and the disturbing application of the death penalty in the United States.

To be sure, these photos are important because they suggest that someone, presumably the police, tampered with evidence at the crime scene, removed evidence and switched evidence around, perhaps out of incompetence, perhaps in order to subvert justice and bring about a particular desired outcome. We can only speculate. But we would be misled if we were to believe that these photos are the only evidence pointing to a setup, pointing to Mumia’s innocence and the need for a new trial. The photos, when viewed in combination with the other problems with the case, bolster an already convincing argument that official misconduct took place. For example:

The prosecutor had a history of excluding African American jurors, and struck 10 of 14 Black potential jurors, but only 5 of 25 whites.

In a sworn statement, a court stenographer said she overheard the trial judge, Albert Sabo, saying he would help the prosecution "fry the nigger."

For twelve years, prosecutors withheld evidence that the driver's license of a third man was found in Faulkner's pocket at the crime scene.

Defense witnesses who testified that someone other than Abu-Jamal killed Faulkner were intimidated.

Five of the seven members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which denied his appeal, received campaign contributions from the Fraternal Order of Police, the primary group that has advocated for the execution of Mumia, whom they regard as an unrepentant cop killer.

It should also be noted that in 1981, the year Mumia was arrested, five men were framed by the Philadelphia Police Department for murder and exonerated years later. Two of the innocent men spent as much as 20 years in prison before their release, and one man spent 1,375 days on death row before he became a free man. A legacy of police corruption, brutality and intimidation of poor people, communities of color and political activists haunts the city to this day, at a time when better police-community relations are needed to stem a tide of gun homicides.

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal sheds light on the racial inequities in the law. Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is unfair and unequal. An Associated Press investigation in 2000 revealed that Blacks in Pennsylvania are more likely to receive prison sentences, or longer ones, than white defendants accused of the same crimes. Further, the black incarceration rate is 14 times that of whites, the greatest racial disparity in the nation. African Americans, 10 percent of Pennsylvania's population, are 56 percent of the inmates, with most of them coming from the city of Philadelphia.

And we cannot discuss Mumia without looking at the death penalty, given that he is the most well known death row inmate in America and the world, and his case demonstrates all that is wrong with the death penalty, a system that was not meant to be fixed because it was not meant to be fair and just. Executions are a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, whether they take the form of beheading, stoning, gas chamber, electric chair, lethal injection, what have you. Like lynching, the death penalty is barbaric, arbitrary and infected with racism, placing an emphasis on expediency over due process. In fact, capital punishment is lynching brought into the court system, in an effort to legitimize the practice.

It is no accident that 90 percent of executions take place in the South, where Jim Crow lynchings and racial violence were the norm. It should not be surprising that the most important factor that determines whether someone will get the death penalty is the race of the victim. Over the past 30 years, an overwhelming majority of people executed in the United States - more than 80 percent - were convicted of killing a white victim, according to Amnesty International. African-Americans, however, are about half of all murder victims. And one-third of America's death row is black. And according to a study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies in March 2004, a black person convicted of murdering a white victim is two and a half times as likely to be sentenced to death as a white person convicted of murdering a white victim.

And there are other inherent flaws in capital punishment. Each locality has its own standards, and each prosecutor decides whether to seek death. Only 2 percent of those who are eligible for a death sentence actually receive death. Codefendants may receive different sentences for the same crime, with one receiving death and the other receiving jail time.

Ninety-five percent of death row prisoners cannot afford an attorney and must take a court-appointed attorney, who often is overworked, underpaid, lacks experience in capital cases or, in extreme cases, falls asleep in court.

And since 1973, according to Amnesty International and the Death Penalty Information Center, 124 people in 25 states have been released from death row because they were wrongfully convicted. And we will never know how many innocent people have been sent to their deaths.

Moreover, the death penalty offends international human rights standards. Only six countries carry out 91 percent of the world’s executions: China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and the United States. Indeed, you are judged by the company you keep. And we should note that Amnesty International and many others in the international community condemn capital punishment, and have called for a new trial for Mumia, based on the mountain of evidence.

In conclusion, I think of the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” I believe that journalism is at its best when it seeks to get to the bottom of the matter, not regurgitate the official line and shut down the discussion. This is what is necessary for democracy and a free society. As we know in this country, accepting as fact everything that is told to us, and refusing to dig deeper, has cost lives, whether in a senseless war in Iraq or here at home. We are here to discuss the photos that demand a new trial for Mumia. But this is also bigger than Mumia, because Mumia’s case shines the light on official corruption and racism in America’s justice system, and the judicial form of lynching that is the death penalty.

Note: Below Mr. Love’s bio information you will find text taken from the information packet made available to the news media prior to and during the news conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. Editorial Board member David A. Love, JD is a lawyer and prisoners’ rights advocate based in Philadelphia, and a contributor to the Progressive Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune News Service and In These Times. He contributed to the book,
States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons
(St. Martin's Press, 2000). Love is a former Amnesty International UK spokesperson, organized the first national police brutality conference as a staff member with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and served as a law clerk to two Black federal judges. His blog is Click here to contact Mr. Love.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

UPDATES! Picket at the Today Show tomorrow morning!

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) calls on everyone who can join us on Thursday December 6th at 7:15 AM to please come to 48th Street and Rockefeller Plaza. We will be picketing the planned hit job on Mumia by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish in discussing their new book, MURDERED BY MUMIA, on NBC's TODAY SHOW. We have demanded "equal time" but as yet have gotten no agreement to that by the TODAY SHOW. Stand there with us in solidarity with Mumia!

DATE: Thursday Dec. 6th
TIME: 7:15 AM
PLACE: 48th Street and Rockefeller Plaza (between 5th and 6th Avenues)


For Immediate Release:
Contact: Suzanne Ross (917) 584-2135
Justin Lumumba (347) 267-8259

Picket to Be At NBC's Today Show, December 6, for Innocent Man on Death Row

The New York Post's typically inflammatory language promotes confrontation outside NBC's Today Show on December 6 with their fabricated story (12/3/07) that the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) is "threatening to storm the streets of Rockefeller Center." The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) has called for a picket across the street from NBC on December 6 as part of a campaign to demand equal time on the Today Show, which is scheduled to host Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish on that day to promote their new book, Murdered by Mumia.

In writing an article highlighting the scheduled picket at NBC, the Post never contacted the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition but, instead, provided yet another platform for Maureen Faulkner to express her desire for vengeance. Faulkner is the widow of Office Daniel Faulkner, who was killed on the night of December 9, 1981; his murder was a crime for which Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted in a highly controversial trial. Amnesty International (AI), in a 2000 report, stated that the trial "failed to meet minimum standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings" and that numerous factors "render the verdict and sentence fundamentally unsound." AI called for a new and fair trial. Michael Smerconish is a Philadelphia talk show host, long allied with the Fraternal Order of Police and its campaign for the execution of Jamal.

Pam Africa and Cortnee Anderson of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke last Friday with Jaclyn Levine, who is producing the December 6 program. They presented information dealing with the importance, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, of getting "equal time" on the Today Show. Levine promised to get back to them, but has yet to do so.

Press reviews of the book have already referred to Jamal, an author of five published books and a recipient of hundreds of honors and awards, including Honorary Citizenship of Paris in 2004, as a "thug." Given ABC's widely denounced 20-20 "hatchet job" of Jamal in 1998, Jamal supporters anticipate a similar presentation on the Today Show. Faulkner played a key role in the 20-20 program, as well, working closely with the Fraternal Order of Police, as the producer of that show acknowledged in writing. In several interviews in the past week, Faulkner has stated unequivocally that she wants to see Jamal dead, nothing short of that, and has given a hint of the distortions and lies that are to come by stating that he had "a jury of his own choosing." Racial bias on the part of the prosecutor in the selection of the jury is a critical issue being given serious consideration by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where Jamal's case is current being reviewed. If racial bias is judged by this federal court as present in the selection of the jury, Jamal would be granted a new trial.

Journalistic fairness and accuracy call for "equal time" for those who have information that refutes the view that will be aired when Faulkner and Smerconish are on the show.

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition will have a picket across the street from NBC in support of Jamal, in support of evidence that challenges what Faulkner and Smerconish regularly promulgate, and in support of fair media that allows the public to hear important information rather than only a very biased and distorted picture in a campaign for executing someone regardless of guilt or innocence.

For additional information see: or

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Pam Africa Update: December 6 Protests/New Petition, Flyer, Press Conference


MEDIA-ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN: Two weeks ago, Journalists for Mumia (in conjunction with The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia and Educators for Mumia) initiated a media-activist campaign to ensure fairness for Mumia on the Dec. 6 NBC Today Show, which is scheduled to feature Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner as they release their new book titled Murdered By Mumia.

UPDATE FROM PAM AFRICA: As a result of our campaign, The Today Show scheduled a telephone conference with Pam Africa (of the ICFFMAJ) for this past Friday. Following this conference, Pam Africa reported that she spoke with the show and provided them with our Press Pack of background information on Mumia's case. The Today Show did not make an official decision regarding our request, but said they would look at the information and contact Pam Africa this week with their official response to our desire to have equal representation on The Today Show.

PROTEST AT THE TODAY SHOW: As reported at, "The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) calls on everyone who can join us on Thursday December 6th at 7:15 AM to please come to 48th Street and Rockefeller Plaza.... We have demanded "equal time" but as yet have gotten no agreement to that by the TODAY SHOW. Stand there with us in solidarity with Mumia!"

NEW PETITION: As this campaign heats up, sending emails to The Today Show ( is more important than ever, so NBC knows that people around the word are demanding fairness, and paying close attention to the upcoming Dec. 6 show. Fortunately, a new petition assisting these efforts has just been created. Please sign onto it and share with others. Sign the petition here.

NEW FLYER: Journalists for Mumia has just completed a new flyer responding to Smerconish and Faulkner's new book. Download the flyer and spread the word!

PRESS CONFERENCE: The formal press-release announcement of Journalists for Mumia's press conference on Tuesday, November 4, in Philadelphia, at NOON, at The A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue (featuring a slide show presentation of the newly discovered crime scene photos, and journalists David Lindorff & David A. Love) will be released on Sunday.


In Solidarity,
Hans Bennett, Journalists for Mumia

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Journalists Decry Racism in Media Coverage of Mumia

On Thursday, November 29, Pacifica Radio/KPFK Los Angeles show Uprising Radio focused on NBC's plans to feature extremely biased coverage of Mumia's case on the December 6 edition of the Today Show. Uprising Radio highlighted the media justice campaign being organized with Educators for Mumia and The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (ICFFMAJ).

Listen to the program online.

This program comes at an important time in the campaign. Pam Africa of ICFFMAJ was scheduled to talk with The Today Show to push for equal coverage. People are urged to please take a minute and contact The Today Show to express as much support as possible for these efforts.

A major demonstration is being organized in Philadelphia for December 8. Please download the flier and spread the word).

Also, Journalists for Mumia is organizing a press conference next week (DATE AND LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON) which will feature a slide show of the newly discovered crime scene photos, Pam Africa, and several Philadelphia journalists who have covered the Abu-Jamal case.

-- Hans Bennett (

Protest Today Show's twisted coverage of Mumia's Case

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) calls on everyone who can join us on Thursday December 6th at 7:15 AM to please come to 48th Street and Rockefeller Plaza. We will be protesting the planned hit job on Mumia by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish in discussing their new book, MURDERED BY MUMIA, on NBC's TODAY SHOW. We have demanded "equal time" but as yet have gotten no agreement to that by the TODAY SHOW. Stand there with us in solidarity with Mumia!

DATE: Thursday Dec. 6th
TIME: 7:15 AM
PLACE: 48th Street and Rockefeller Plaza (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

For more info or to leave a message, call (212) 330-8029.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Framing An Execution Documentary Feat. Danny Glover Available For Online Viewing

Please visit the following link to view the documentary narrated by Danny Glover, Framing an Execution, which shows how the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes intentionally portrayed a dishonest and faulty version of Mumia's case.

NBC'S The Today Show is planning on carrying Mumia's story in this damaging light when they feature conservative talk show host Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner, wife of Officer Daniel Faulkner, on their show this December 6th.

To view Framing An Exexution on you tube, go to

For More videos on Mumia visit the Free Mumia Coalition (NY) video page at:

or the Journalists for Mumia youtube site at:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

ACTION ALERT: Ensure Fairness For Mumia Abu-Jamal on NBC's The Today Show!

On Dec. 6, NBC's The Today Show intends to air a show about Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner's new book "Murdered By Mumia." According to the announcement on Michael Smerconish's website, the show is planning to feature both Smerconish and Faulkner as guests.

The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (, Journalists for Mumia (, and Educators for Mumia ( have initiated a media-activist campaign urging people to write The Today Show at asking them to fairly present both sides of the Mumia Abu-Jamal / Daniel Faulkner case, by also featuring as guests, Linn Washington, Jr. (Philadelphia Tribune columnist and Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University) and Dr. Suzanne Ross (Clinical Psychologist and Co-Chair of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC).

A sample letter (, accompanied by an extensive informational press pack ( has been created to use for contacting The Today Show. Please take a minute and contact them to ensure fair media coverage of this controversial and important case.


The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal (
Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (
Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal (


Dear Today Show,

On December, 2007, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal will be entering the 27th year. In the course of those years, much of the media coverage has contained pure speculation and falsehoods. Media watchdogs like FAIR.ORG have sharply criticized this coverage as being biased against Abu-Jamal.

We understand that on Dec. 6, the Today Show intends to air a show about Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner's book "Murdered By Mumia." Interestingly, the scheduled interview regarding the new book focusing on Mrs. Faulkner comes at a time of many startling new developments in this historic case, generating international attention.

Reflecting the international interest in this case, in 2003, Abu-Jamal was named an honorary citizen of Paris, and in 2006, the city of St. Denis named a street after him. While this was largely motivated by opposition to the death penalty, they also cited strong evidence of both an unfair trial and Abu-Jamal's innocence.

One of these developments centers on extraordinary photos of the 1981 crime scene taken by Philadelphia-based press photographer Pedro Polakoff (viewable at that reveal manipulation of evidence, and completely contradict the prosecution's case, including Officer James Forbes' testimony that he properly handled both Abu-Jamal's and Faulkner's guns (the photos show Forbes holding both guns in his bare hand). Also the photos reveal that there were no large bullet divots or destroyed chunks of cement where Faulkner was found, which should be visible in the pavement if the prosecution's scenario was accurate, according to which Abu-Jamal shot down at Faulkner and allegedly missed several times while Faulkner was on his back. Of particular note, this photographer twice attempted to provide these photos to the District Attorney for both the 1982 trial and the 1995 PCRA hearings, and was ignored both times.

Since his incarceration, Abu-Jamal has published six books and countless articles, and has delivered hundreds of speeches, including keynote addresses for college graduations. As a prolific writer and tenacious journalist, he has earned the respect (and support) of such notable prize-winning authors as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, John Edgar Wideman, and Salman Rushdie. Just recently, he was accepted into the PEN American Center, one of the highest honors a writer can achieve. Additionally, at the time of his arrest, he was president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Black Journalists, and was awarded the PEN Oakland award for outstanding journalism after the publication of his first book, Live from Death Row. Since Live, he has garnered a following of dedicated readers around the world, including scholars, college educators, and journalists. His work is, in part, testament to the dignity he has demonstrated for the past 25 years he has been on death row.

The ethical interests in balance and fairness in presenting "news" regarding the Abu-Jamal case, arguably requires providing Today Show viewers with information evidencing Mr. Abu-Jamal's innocence and unfair trial. To represent this other side, and to provide perspectives addressing the informational needs of your viewers, I ask that you also feature experts Linn Washington, Jr. (Philadelphia Tribune columnist and Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University) and Dr. Suzanne Ross (Clinical Psychologist and Co-Chair of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC) as guests on your Dec. 6 show (they can be contacted via Journalists for Mumia:

While Mrs. Faulkner certainly has a "story" and is entitled to her opinions, your viewers should be privy to other facts, such as the prosecution withholding key evidence, witness coercion, racist jury selection, and evidence that Judge Albert Sabo boasted about his desire to help the prosecution "fry the nigger," as enclosed in the press packet provided here for you:

I also write to provide you with information (inclusive of material from Abu-Jamal's lawyer) in the interests of journalistic balance, fairness and integrity. The press packet includes 1) A recent Black Commentator article by Philadelphia lawyer/journalist David A. Love describing the significance of the Polakoff photos, 2) An Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal press release about the Polakoff photos, written by Princeton University Professor Mark L. Taylor, 3) Criticism of the 1998 ABC 20/20 program about Abu-Jamal, 4) Background on the case, focusing on both the 1982 trial and 1995-97 PCRA hearings, with a focus on Abu-Jamal's alleged "hospital confession," ballistics evidence, and the testimony of Veronica Jones, 5) Recent police intimidation of Abu-Jamal's supporters, including reported death threats against Sgt. DeLacy Davis, of Black Cops Against Police Brutality, and more.

Thank you for your consideration.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Esperanza Martell, Esculturas y Poesia

Puerto Rican Sister Esperanza Martell, longtime political prisoner activist, Cuba supporter, internationalist, deeply immersed in movement to free Mumia and Leonard Peltier, human rights fighter ... and so much more ... will be showing her beautiful and unique art on Friday November 23rd. We invite you all to join us.

Cemí Underground
1799 Lexington Avenue (112 St. el barrio)

Esperanza Martell, Esculturas y Poesia

Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7:00PM
Exhibition & Opening Reception
(Exhibition runs until December 11, 2007)

Esperanza Martell is a Human Rights / Peace activist, educator, mother, poet / artist, specializing in organizational / leadership development, team building, conflict resolution, diversity training, Popular Education, alternative healing, and transformative counseling. Her area of specialization in Art is Ceramics and Sculpture.

Art is an expression of her politics, culture, and spirituality, which informs her social justice work. Her African / Taino ancestors used art magically in healing and to give meaning to their existence. She does the same by creating ceramic sculpture from nothing, allowing total self-expression. She hand builds, using traditional African / Taino images and methods. Throughout all her work Taino pictographs and other healing symbols are use. Her Cemís, Amulets, Tiles, Bowls, Mask, and Figures reflect her love for her ancestral roots. Her women centered work opens individuals to their historical roots generating healing, inner power and transformation. She is inspired by the earth / ocean / stars and humanity.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Important Legal Update!

Dear Friends:

There are many developments on the legal and other fronts concerning my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal. We remain in active litigation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and also have issues pending in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Mumia has been honored by fellow writers through acceptance into a prestigious organization, a Nobel Prize winner recently visited him, an excellent new book was released in France, a leading British newspaper has published a major article on Mumia, and a superb film recently premiered in London and Rome. The following are the highlights.

PEN membership Mumia has been accepted into the membership of PEN, the worldwide human-rights organization of prominent writers. This is a great honor. He was thrilled upon learning that the application I filed on his behalf last spring was granted. In two decades of knowing each other, I have not seen Mumia so happy. The recognition from his peers is well deserved.

In a quarter of a century of being locked up in a small cell on Pennsylvania's death row, Mumia's literary output has been prodigious. He has written five outstanding books that are published in various languages, and also writes weekly commentaries that are published and broadcast internationally.

PEN was founded in 1921 to dispel national, ethnic, and racial hatred, to promote understanding among all countries, and defend the freedom to write. PEN American Center, into which Mumia has been accepted, is the largest of the 145 centers in 104 countries of International PEN. It exists to fight for freedom of expression, represent the conscience of world literature, and foster friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere. It is the world's oldest human rights organization and also the oldest international literary group.

The support provided by Alice Walker, E.L. Doctorow, Bell Chevigny and other members of the PEN American Center, New York, was invaluable. I am especially grateful to the kindness of Salman Rushdie, former President of PEN. Throughout the application process, I was impressed by the paramount concern of the PEN membership for human rights and protecting the independence of writers.

Bishop Desmond Tutu On October 23, 2007, Bishop Desmond Tutu met with Mumia. It is was a moving experience. Later that afternoon Mumia expressed to me how touched and humbled he was by meeting with this wonderful person, who received the Nobel Peace Price in 1984 and the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986. Mumia is particularly grateful to Martha Conley, Esq., of Pittsburgh, who initiated and arranged the visit, drove Bishop Tutu and his assistant to the prison, and joined them in the visit on death row. Last week Bishop Tutu issued the following statement concerning Mumia and capital punishment:

"I oppose the death penalty on principle in every case and I support the plea for a retrial for Mumia Abu-Jamal."

The Most Reverend Desmond M. Tutu, O.M.S.G., D.D., F.K.C.
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus
Cape Town, South Africa
5 November 2007

Legal developments Last month the prosecution submitted a Notice of Supplemental Authority with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia, arguing that a recent ruling and related decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court affects the pending issues pertaining to the death penalty and racism in jury selection. Consequently on November 1, 2007, we filed a Reply To Notice of Supplemental Authority, explaining with legal analysis that the contentions of opposing counsel should be rejected because they are without merit and do not alter the major constitutional violations that occurred in this case.

I remain in contact with the court. It is not known exactly when there will be a federal decision. If the court follows the law and the U.S. Constitution, we will win. In my experience of successfully litigating well over a hundred capital murder cases at trial and on appeal, I know that courts are not always just. They can make terribly tragic mistakes. Nevertheless, I have not seen a case more riddled with such significant constitutional violations, racism, fraud, and unfairness. My goal remains to achieve a reversal of the conviction, and at a new jury trial win a jury acquittal so that Mumia can go home to his family -- a free person.

In Prison My Whole Life, British film on Mumia On October 25, 2007, the new documentary film In Prison My Whole Life premiered simultaneously at the London Film Festival and Rome Film Festival. It is a superb movie which does much to expose the many wrongs including racism and politics that have infected the case from the outset, the American legal system, and our society. Amnesty International is officially supporting the film. The picture is hard hitting and reveals the death penalty for what it is: legalized murder. Mumia and I are indebted to Colin and Livia Giuggioli Firth, along with Marc Evans, William Francome, Nick Goodwin Self, Katie Green, and the others who had the courage to make this film and tell the truth.

New French book on Mumia In September an excellent book on Mumia was published on September 15, 2007, in France. It is Mumia Abu-Jamal un homme libre dans le couloir de la mort, by Claude Guillaumaud-Pujol, with a foreword by Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Founder, Rosenberg Fund for Children. Claude is deeply involved in the Collectif, a group of over 80 French organizations that aggressively support our campaign for a new and fair trial for Mumia and his freedom. She knows Mumia well, and last visited with him on November 11. Claude has donated her book to help in the struggle for Mumia's freedom. Mumia says "the book is beautiful." It can be purchased though various booksellers in France.

Guardian (England) article: "I Spend My Days Preparing for Life, Not for Death" Recently there was an excellent article in the Guardian newspaper. It concerns a fascinating death row interview with Mumia, and can be found at:,,2198415,00.html

Tax-Deductible Donations to Mumia's Legal Defense My office continues to receive extensive e-mail from people confused as to how and where they may send donations for Mumia's legal defense. With Mumia's authorization, a process exists which guarantees that all donations in the U.S. go only to the legal defense. The contributions are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation (indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left), and mailed to:

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012

Your interest is appreciated.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

NOTE: To support the organizing efforts, send contributions to:
International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143

Make these checks payable to National Black United Fund.
Indicate Mumia/Organizing in the memo field of the check.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Videos from Journalists for Mumia

First is of Tom Morello (aka The Night Watchman), lead guitarist of Rage Against The Machine, who was recently in Philadelphia, where he showed support for Mumia in this short video, where he is holding up the Journalists for Mumia poster that displays four of the newly discovered crime scene photos.

Second, is an excerpt from an official 1986 Philadelphia District Attorney training video for new prosecutors (which publicly surfaced in 1997), where veteran DA prosecutor Jack McMahon lectured in support of removing Blacks from jury panels. Explicitly recognizing this practice's illegality, McMahon explained that "the law" calls for a "'competent, fair, and impartial jury.' Well, that's ridiculous. You're not trying to get that."

For More Videos Visit The Journalists For Mumia YouTube Page At:

Elombe Brath

The letter below is being circulated by Black groups and individuals to support our Brother Elombe. We do not need to elaborate on who Elombe has been to the African struggle, to the movement in this country, to Mumia, and to all of us. Please help if you can so that Elombe can fully recover.

Please read the letter below and send a check to help Elombe and Nomsa with Elombe's medical expenses brought on by a stroke.

The family needs at least $10,000 to do all that is necessary.

CEMOTAP, BCAP, WISOMM, NBPP, Dr. Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron have already stepped foward. Please join them by sending a check made payable to: Elombe Brath

Mail donations to :
Elombe Brath
1845 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, Apt 6C
New York, NY 10026

Please be as generous with your dollars as Elombe has been to our community with not only his information and work but his time and his energy.

James McIntosh and Betty Dopson
Co-Chairs of CEMOTAP

Letter from Nomsa Brath

Dear friends and fellow activists,

I am challenged to announce to those of you, who know and love him, that Elombe has had a stroke. I suspect that before the visible effects of the stroke, which occurred in September, at least two minor ones might have went unnoticed. That is the sad news, but the good news and more powerful news is that I believe he has the courage to regain his former posture and continue the work he has championed, for the past 50 years, the liberation of African people.

He is presently under the doctor's care as well as receiving physical therapy bi-weekly, to strengthen his left side and improve his gait. Cognitively, there is a difference, but not a drastic one. He can hold his own most of the time so long as he does not become fatigued.

Elombe retired from ABC nine years ago so that he could focus on his life's work exclusively. He receives medical coverage as a PPO which is 20% paid by him and 80% by his insurance for all accepted medical procedures and programs as well as Medicare. Consequently, preventive and holistic medical practices and procedures are not acceptable and will not be covered by this plan. He has no dental coverage and I know that has impacted his health adversely.

There are several alternative modalities that I am trying to add to his treatment plan, which include purchasing equipment to use at home on a regular basis as well as added nutritional supplementation to that which has already been prescribed, oxygen therapy, massage, dental surgery, etc. He will probably be getting chelation therapy but not until further blood work is done because his creatine is not exactly where the doctor would like it to be and we don't want any kidney problems to complicate things. His blood pressure is good but he has not learned to relax and he is stressing himself about his present physical dilemma.

It is usually the first year of a stroke that is most crucial for stroke victims and an indicator of the level of recovery that can be expected depending on the severity of damage.

For the next three months he will be observed and then re-evaluated. If at that time he has not improved as expected he will be taken to Cuba for further assessment and treatment.

His life has been a marathon of causes here and around the world on behalf of our brothers and sisters who needed their struggles to be voiced and recognized, whether in South Africa, Namibia, Congo, Ethiopia, Grenada, Burkina Faso or in the United States. With your help we can keep him moving forward in better health and strength for many years to come.

Yours in Love and Struggle

Nomsa Brath

Monday, November 05, 2007

November 9 Free Mumia Fundraiser Dance Postponed

The Free Mumia Fundraiser Dance scheduled for November 9 in Harlem has been postponed until further notice due to a scheduling conflict out of the control of organizers. Please visit for updates.

Archbiship Desmond Tutu visits Mumia

On Tuesday October 23, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited Mumia Abu-Jamal. In what was a short meeting, the Archbishop expressed his support as he met in person with Mumia.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. Tutu was elected and ordained the first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa). He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, and the Magubela prize for liberty in 1986. He is committed to stopping global AIDS and has served as the honorary chairman for the Global AIDS Alliance. In February 2007 he was awarded Gandhi Peace Prize by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, president of India.

Guinness Sets Record for the Most Lies in One List: MOVE's Battle with Guinness

by Kevin Price

If you look close enough you can see history altered before your eyes. Pick up the latest Guinness Book of World Records (Guinness World Records 2008), flip to page 123 and you will see what I mean. Under the section "Cults, Fans and Followers:  the police bombing of the MOVE Organization in 1985 is listed as the sixth most deadly mass suicide in recent history.) Yes, you did read that correctly. A deliberate massacre, in which police dropped a bomb on a house, intentionally allowed the fire to burn and fired automatic weapons at those that dared attempt an escape, was labeled as mass suicide.

This would seem to be very sloppy research for a fundamental resource such as Guinness, but MOVE doesn't believe that it is as simple as that. MOVE and its support network have been expecting increased attacks and misinformation about the organization. After 29 long years that MOVE prisoners Mike, Chuck, Janet, Janine, Debbie, Phil, Del and Eddie have spent in maximum security prisons, they will finally be coming up for parole in 2008. The MOVE 9 (Merle Africa died in prison under suspicious conditions March 13, 1998) have been in prison since 1978 for the wrongful conviction of police officer James Ramp. They are serving 30-100 year sentences and MOVE knows that the battle for parole is going to be uphill.

As history is re-written those in power tell the tale with MOVE framed as unrepentant, cop killing cultists who in 1978 shot at police and firemen, murdering James Ramp and then in 1985 remaining members committed suicide. This is exactly how those that are opposed to MOVE would prefer that the history be told. After all what parole board would ever release those people and what public would join a movement in their support?

If you do a little research into their list it becomes clear that the whole thing is bullshit…no other word is fitting. It seems as though not only do they have the facts on MOVE all wrong, almost every item on the list is questionable. The first group listed, with the highest death toll (924), is “the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God”. This Cult was located in Uganda and the deaths occurred in 2000. Five hundred and thirty of the deceased died in a church which was intentionally set aflame. Many believe that these 530 were unwilling to participate and where murdered by other members and leaders of the cult. This suspicion is strengthened by the fact that the windows and doors of the church were nailed from the outside (

Next listed is the Peoples Temple, known as Jonestown, with a death toll of 913 in Guyana in 1978. Again, in this situation many group members unmistakably committed suicide. However, there was evidence of murder of many by other members and leaders of the cult (

Other than the police bombing of MOVE the other two situations that were most inappropriately and irresponsibly labeled mass suicides are the stand off with the Branch Davidians in 1993 and the police murder of members of the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. In both situations the deaths were the direct result of careless handling of sensitive situations by government officials or deliberate murder by police. The labeling of these events as mass suicide is even sloppier given that a thorough scan of mainstream media written during the time of these incidents gleaned no mention of either as mass suicide. The same goes for the bombing of MOVE in 1985. In the case of the Branch Davidians in Waco, the event started as a firefight between the Branch Davidians and the ATF. To this day it is unknown who fired the first shot that led to that 51 day standoff. The details of all that led to the deaths of 82 members are still quite unclear. It is undisputed that some members of the group did commit suicide but many died from FBI bullets. To label it a mass suicide takes all responsibility from the Federal government who should bear the weight of these deaths.

In 1974 when six members of the SLA were killed the police used fire as a tactical weapon in a similar fashion as the Philadelphia police in 1985. Police intentionally set fire to the apartment where SLA members were confined and when the first two members ran from the doors they were shot in the head by police. The police claim that the SLA members ran from the building with weapons drawn "trying to kill cops" but other witness testimony tells a different story. Only one SLA member is said to have killed himself rather that surrender. The other 5 deaths were a direct result of police bullets, smoke and flames.

The strategy used in 1974 by the police with the SLA and in 1985 with MOVE brings to mind the methods of mass murder employed by the Puritans in Massachusetts after failing to destroy the Pequot Indians in the 1600’s. After failing to defeat the Pequots in legitimate battle the Puritans began setting fire to their wigwams in the middle of the night. When the Pequots fled from their burning homes they were slaughtered, decapitated at the hands and swords of the English (Pg. 15, People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn). Historically, fire, or "smoking them out" has been a "tactical weapon" of the US government. How can this be misconstrued as suicide?

The bottom line is that the Guinness list is flawed from end to end. It seems that the folks at Guinness feel that if you resist against this government your death is imminent, justified and therefore suicidal. Now I am not saying that I am in support of the actions or beliefs of all of the groups that I have mentioned. I am a strong supporter of MOVE but I have very deep disagreements with most other groups on the list. That does not mean that I will not fight against the lies and misinformation spread in their blood. Even in the situations in which mass suicide did take place it is a disservice to the dead and their families to lump those that have been murdered in with the rest. It also seems so wrong to list such tragic events with so little explanation and feeling, to list such horror on the same page as the largest assembly of Elvis impersonators is horrible.

In the interest of protecting the real stories of the past to build a brighter future this misinformation must be fought. This is a very large issue with broad consequence. Join MOVE in pressuring the Guinness Book of World Records to correct this serious problem. Don't forget that there are eight people who have been in prison for 29 years due to such campaigns. Hell, there are so many political prisoners and prisoners in general serving life based on such deliberate revisions in history. Free the MOVE 9 and all political prisoners! No one wins unless we all win!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In Prison My Whole Life - a film about Mumia

In Prison My Whole Life: An interview with William Francome
by William Francome and Hans Bennett; October 26, 2007

The trailer for the new British documentary about US death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, titled "In Prison My Whole Life," begins with the film's central character, William Francome, explaining that he's "been aware of Mumia for as long as I can remember. That’s because he was arrested on the night I was born, for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. As my mom would often remind me, every birthday I had, has been another year that Mumia has spent in prison.... I am going on a journey to find out about the man who has been in prison my whole life."

The 90-minute film premieres on October 25 at both The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival and Rome's International Film Festival. With the acclaimed British actor Colin Firth as an executive producer, "In Prison My Whole Life" is directed by Marc Evans and produced by Livia Firth and Nick Goodwin Self. The film has interviews with such figures as Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Ramona Africa, and musicians Mos Def, Snoop Dogg and Steve Earle. Amnesty International, who concluded in a previous report that Abu-Jamal's original 1982 trial was unfair, is supporting "In Prison" as part as part of its international campaign to abolish the death penalty. Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen says: "It's shocking that the US justice system has repeatedly failed to address the appalling violation of Mumia Abu-Jamal's fundamental fair trial rights."

In this exclusive interview on the eve of the film's premiere, Francome discloses for the very first time, one of the movies biggest surprises: The film will prominently feature the startling Dec. 9, 1981 crime scene photos that were recently discovered by German author Michael Schiffmann, and are published in his new book. Never presented to the 1982 jury, these new photos (taken by press-photographer Pedro Polakoff) "bolster claims of Mumia's innocence and unfair trial," according to Black Commentator columnist David A. Love.

Polakoff's photos have been shown on the Journalists for Mumia website since Dr. Schiffmann unveiled the photos in May, the same week that The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments regarding the fairness of Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial (listen to courtroom audio). While waiting for this important court ruling (expected any week), Abu-Jamal's international support network has initiated a media-activist campaign demanding that the major media outlets acknowledge the new crime scene photos. One of Polakoff's photos will be published for the first time in the US, in this week's issue of The San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, which has previously reported on Abu-Jamal's case.

Francome cannot reveal any more of the film's big surprises, but he does say that "the film interviews people who have never told their story of the events of that night for the first time ever and offers new insight and theories as to what happened on Locust Street in 1981. To learn more about this, people ought to go and watch the film."

Hans Bennett: What can you tell us about the new crime scene photos discovered by German author Michael Schiffmann, and how they appear in your film?

William Francome: The photos of press photographer Pedro Polakoff feature in the film as well as an interview with him and Michael Schiffmann, the German author who found them.

We had been in contact with Michael from the beginning of this project as he is one of the most knowledgeable people on the case. He had been working on his book 'Race Against Death' when he found a photo online that he realized was not taken by the police at the scene. Somehow (Michael is an amazing investigator) he found Pedro who was a press photographer at the time of the shootings in December of 1981. Pedro had arrived on the scene within minutes and captured much of the initial chaos of the scene.

They are quite amazing photographs as they show the complete lack of professionalism by the police who were faced with the task of preserving the crime scene and any forensic evidence that might be inherent within it. There are pictures of a police officer holding both of the weapons at the scene in one hand without gloves, which would therefore completely contaminate any fingerprints or gun powder residue. They also show the police walking in and out of the scene and show that Officer Faulkner’s hat was moved from photo to photo. I may just be a layman in terms of crime scene maintenance but it seems to me that these are grave and almost criminally negligent mistakes to make. There is also the issue of bullet holes or the lack thereof in the pavement. The photos should show where bullet fragments would have been found in the surrounding cement according to the prosecution witnesses’ account, but this is not the case.

Whether or not these acts were made on purpose remains to be seen, but the photos could have helped clear this case up from the very beginning. Now we are 25 years down the line and we are still asking basic questions of the initial evidence that should not have been left for so long unanswered. Meanwhile, a man is on death row who claims he's innocent and it's been a quarter of a century since a policeman was killed and many feel the killing hasn't been sufficiently solved.

What makes the issue of the photos even more important is that they were purposefully ignored by the prosecution and the District Attorney's Office. Pedro says that he rang them and told them of his photographs and offered them for use in the trial, but that the office never got back to him. It is obvious that the prosecution knew that the photographs of the crime scene could have done their case some damage in court and therefore outright ignored them.

HB: Where does the movie go from here? When can people in the US view it?

WF: The film is about to premiere at the London and Rome film festivals and I'm very happy to say that it's sold out all of its screenings. We are still at the early stages and we have to wait and see if and when it gets taken on by a distributor, what happens next. I'm sure at some point in the near future we'll be screening the film in the US. The film was shot in America and mostly deals with American issues so I look forward to seeing the reaction it gets there. I myself am half American, and spent my teenage years in New York, so I have enjoyed making a film about the country I grew up in as well as having been able to look at it as an outsider.

HB: Why is Mumia's case still so important after 25 years?

WF: I think the fact that Mumia's case is still being debated after twenty five years is an issue in itself. It seems unbelievable to me that you could keep someone in solitary confinement for a quarter of a century as well as having a death sentence hanging over him that whole time. The starting point of this film is that it's been my whole life, and considering all the things that I have done and all the memories I have really helps to put the whole thing in perspective. Try thinking back to what you were doing in 1981 and it might have the same effect. In that time, there have been hundreds of people executed and there are still over 3,000 currently sitting on death row in America. However, despite evidence that people innocent of the crimes they were convicted for have been executed and over 100 people who have been exonerated and released from death row because of new evidence, the death penalty system in America still grinds forward.

After 25 years, the questions of race, cost and inadequate legal representation have yet to be fully and honestly addressed and the issues that caused it to be declared unconstitutional in the 70's persist. In short, as long as there is a death penalty in the United States, Mumia's case and the case of all death row inmates will remain vital and important. People should see this movie because they too seek for answers and honesty from the criminal justice system, and they too, want to gain a greater understanding of the inherent flaws in the death penalty system in the U.S.

Even if people can't relate to the story of Mumia Abu-Jamal or are not affected by it, they might still be able to relate to my story. I think for many people, the journey that I'm going on is enough on its own. This is the story of two lives coming together in a sense, and hopefully it will allow many who have previously been uninterested in the issues surrounding the case to sit up, take notice and find out more on their own. In a ninety minute film, it is hard to comprehensively look into any subject, but you hope that it gives the audience enough to go away and delve further.

Hans Bennett is an independent journalist and co-founder (with German author Michael Schiffmann) of Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (

Guardian Article on Mumia

'I spend my days preparing for life, not for death

'The former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent 25 years on death row in the United States - despite strong evidence that he is innocent. In his first British interview, he talks to Laura Smith about life in solitary, how he has remained politically active, and why the Panthers are still relevant today

Laura Smith
Thursday October 25, 2007

SCI Greene County Prison on the outskirts of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, sits low in the rural landscape so that it's easy from the restaurants and petrol stations on the main road to miss the barbed wire coiled in endless circles. Inside, the plush leather chairs that squat on shiny floors make it feel more like a private hospital than a maximum security institution. But the black men in prison jumpsuits cleaning the floor, eyes downcast, dispel any such illusions. Signs spell out the rules: no hoods, no unauthorised persons, only $20 in cash allowed.Death row - or at least the visiting area - is a curiously ordinary place. A central waiting room where a guard watches the goings-on. Institutional doors opening on to small boxes, each furnished with a table and chair. But then, inside the visiting room, there is the shock of a grown man in an orange jumpsuit, his hands cuffed, the space small enough for him to reach out and touch both walls. And between us a layer of thick, reinforced glass.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has lived at SCI Greene since January 1995. Convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of a police officer in his home town, Philadelphia, he spends his days in solitary confinement, in a room he has described as smaller than most people's bathroom. When I arrive, he puts his fist to the glass in greeting. He is a tall, broad man with dreadlocked hair, still dark, and a beard slightly greying at the edges. He has lively eyes.

It is hard to know how to begin a conversation with Abu-Jamal, revered for his activism around the world as much as he is reviled as a cop killer by some in his home country. He is careful about who he agrees to see and rarely talks to the mainstream media - this is the first time he has granted an interview to a British newspaper. We start with the basics - the everyday restrictions of prison life. Visits: one a week - though it is difficult for his family to make the 660-mile, 11-hour round-trip from Philadelphia. Money: a stipend of less than $20 (£10) per month. Phone calls: three a week lasting 15 minutes each - but a quarter of an hour to Philadelphia costs $5.69 (£2.77).

This being Abu-Jamal, a campaigning journalist who has written five books about injustice while in prison, it is not long before we are on to the bigger questions: why SCI Greene, which takes most of its 1,700 inmates from Philadelphia, was built "the farthest you can be from Philly and still be in the state of Pennsylvania". "I believe it is intentional," he says. "I could count the times on my hand when I have seen this whole visiting area full." And why Global Tel Net, the firm that provides the prison phone calls, is allowed to charge so much of people who have so little. His conclusion is characteristically pithy: "The poorest pay the most."

Abu-Jamal has eight children, the eldest of whom is 38, and several grandchildren. How does he keep in touch? "Some grandchildren I have not seen. That's difficult. You try to keep contact through the phone, you write. I send cards that I draw and paint. To let them know the old man still loves them." Abu-Jamal's father William died when he was nine; his mother Edith died in February 1990 - eight years after he was imprisoned. He goes very quiet telling me this, and there doesn't seem much point asking how it felt not to be able to sit with her at the end.

Abu-Jamal has been locked up since he was 27. He is now 53. The story of how he ended up here has been told often. As a teenager he had been active in the Black Panther party but by 1981, with most of the party's leaders either dead or in jail, he had become a well-respected radio reporter and president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Black Journalists. Radio journalism was not well paid, however, and Abu-Jamal supplemented his income by driving a taxi at night.

In the early hours of December 9 1981, he was out in his cab when he saw his brother, Billy Cook, being stopped by a police officer, Daniel Faulkner. A struggle ensued, during which Cook says Faulkner assaulted him. Abu-Jamal got out of his cab. Minutes later, Faulkner had been shot dead and Abu-Jamal was slumped nearby with a bullet wound to the chest, his own gun not far away.

At his trial in 1982 it appeared an open and shut case. A former Black Panther with a history of antipathy towards the police (although no criminal record). A white police officer dead. A succession of eye-witnesses who testified that Abu-Jamal was the killer. And the icing on the cake: a confession made by Abu-Jamal himself at the hospital where he was taken for treatment.

But some inconvenient facts were obscured: Abu-Jamal's gun was never tested to see whether it had been fired; his hands were never swabbed to establish whether he had fired it; and his gun's bullets were never solidly linked to those that killed Faulkner. The crime scene was never secured.

Of the three witnesses, one has since admitted to lying under police pressure, another has disappeared amid evidence that she too was under duress, and the third initially told police that he had seen the killer run away, but changed his story. Evidence from others who said they saw a third man running away was played down.

Evidence of Abu-Jamal's confession was equally shaky. Although two witnesses testified to hearing him shout, "I shot the motherfucker and I hope the motherfucker dies", the doctors who treated him insist that his medical condition made such a thing impossible. Neither of the two police officers who claimed to have heard the confession reported it until more than two months after the shooting - after Abu-Jamal had made allegations of being abused by police during his arrest. On the contrary, one noted in his log at the time that "the negro male made no comment" in hospital.

The trial judge, Albert Sabo, was a former member of the powerful police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, known to favour prosecutors. He overturned permission Abu-Jamal had obtained to represent himself, excluded him from much of his own trial, and presided over jury selection in which the majority of black candidates were removed. A court stenographer overheard Sabo telling a colleague: "I'm going to help them fry the nigger."

There were other irregularities, so many that Amnesty International concluded in 2000 that the trial was "in violation of minimum international standards", adding, "the interests of justice would best be served by the granting of a new trial to Mumia Abu-Jamal".

In the 25 years since, Abu-Jamal has appealed against his conviction many times, and many times has had his pleas rejected. He has had two dates set for his execution, only for them to be overturned by legal pressure. He is now awaiting the outcome of his latest appeal; this time by the second highest court in the US. His lead lawyer, Robert R Bryan, describes it as "the first time in 25 years that Mumia has had a chance at a free and fair trial". Abu-Jamal is more circumspect. "I have learned not to do predictions," he says. "It's not helpful, psychologically. I don't sit and fret about things."

Instead, he spends his days writing about prison life and social struggles around the world. He takes reams of notes from books sent in by supporters, so that he can refer to them when they are taken away (he is allowed only seven in his cell). "I confess, I am a nerd," he says, laughing. He uses his weekly phone calls to record radio commentaries that are broadcast around the world.

Then there are the speeches he records - he spoke at the World Congress Against the Death Penalty this year and the Million Man March in 1995 - the cards he paints for his family, and his drawing. He is currently working on his sixth book, Jailhouse Lawyers, about those prisoners who, like himself, help prepare legal cases with other inmates. He uses a beaten-up typewriter; he has never seen a computer. Asked about the work of which he is proudest, he cites his 2004 book, We Want Freedom, a history of the Black Panther party.

Abu-Jamal spends 22 hours a day alone in his cell - except at weekends, when it's 24. For two hours between 7am and 9am every weekday he has the option of going out into the yard - or "cage", as he prefers to call it. It is 60ft square and fenced on all sides, including overhead. Because "air is precious", he rarely refuses, but not everyone takes up the offer. "People have different ways," he says. "I know some guys who play chess for hours and hours, shouting the moves between cells. Some guys argue with other guys. Some guys used to enjoy smut books, but they've stopped those now. A lot of guys don't come out. I think it's depression. You get tired of seeing the same old faces. The role of television is the illusion of company, noise. I call it the fifth wall and the second window: the window of illusion."

Many of the younger prisoners call him "papa" or "old head" and it is clear that he is touched. "When you are out in the yard, it's dudes joshing," he says. "Guys being guys, playing ball. You have this machismo." One of the things that seems to keep him going are these relationships with other guys in "the hole". Many of them have inspired me and taught me ... about how things are on the street now, how young people are talking and walking."

I ask how prison has changed him. "In ways I could not have imagined," he says. "It has made me immensely patient. I was not before. It has given me an introspection that I hadn't had before, and even a kind of compassion I hadn't had before."

In Abu-Jamal's company, it is easy to forget that you are inside prison walls. As he talks, one is pulled into a world of urgent work that needs doing, of debates to be thrashed out, of injustices to be tackled. With characteristic eloquence, he calls Hurricane Katrina "a rude awakening from an illusion", watching television "a profoundly ignorising experience" and observes that much commercial hip-hop contains "no distinction, except in beat and tone, to a Chrysler advert". "If the message is, I am cool because I am rich, and if you get rich, you can be cool like me, that's a pretty fucked-up message." On American politics, he is damning. "You would think that a country that goes to war allegedly to spread democracy would practice it in its own country."

Born Wesley Cook in the Philadelphia projects, he adopted the name Mumia as a 14-year-old (later adding Abu-Jamal - "father of Jamal" in Arabic - when his first son was born). The following year, aged just 15, he helped found the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther party after being handed a copy of their newspaper in the street. "I was like, whoah," he says. "It just thrilled me. I was like, this is heaven. This is great. Everything. It was the truth. Uncut, unalloyed. It was everything. It fit me."

He spent long days helping with party activities, which included free children's breakfast programmes and the monitoring of police, whose corruption at that time has since become notorious (at least a third of the officers involved in Abu-Jamal's investigations have since been found to have engaged in corrupt activities, including the fabrication of evidence to frame suspects).

Mostly, as the party's lieutenant of information, he wrote, gathering stories for The Black Panther, the party's newsletter. "It was great fun," he remembers now. "You worked six and seven days a week and 18 hours a day for no pay ... When I tell young people that now they are like, what was that last part? Are you crazy, man? But because we were socialists we didn't want pay. We wanted to serve our people, free our people, stop the homicide and make revolution. We thought about the party morning, noon and night. It was a very busy but fulfilling life for thousands of people across the country. We were serving our people and what could be better than that?"

Subject to relentless disruption by the FBI's Counter Intelligence Programme, which targeted radical and progressive organisations, and riven by internal disagreements, the Black Panthers imploded in the early 1970s. For Abu-Jamal it was a personal tragedy. "Despair," he says when asked how it felt. "A profound despair."

He is adamant that the party's message is still relevant today. "Millions of black people are more isolated in economic, social and political terms than they were 30 years ago," he says. "I remember a photograph of an elderly black woman (after Katrina) who had wrapped herself in the American flag and I remember looking at it and being so struck by it. Maybe she wasn't thinking visually, she was probably very cold and hungry, but I couldn't help thinking, what does citizenship mean? Are you a citizen if in the wealthiest country on earth you are left to starve, to sink or swim, to drown at the time of the flood?"

If Abu-Jamal's latest appeal is successful he could be a granted a retrial or have the death penalty overturned. If it is not, his execution could quickly follow. He does not sound afraid. "I spend my days preparing for life, not preparing for death," he says. "They haven't stopped me from doing what I want every day. I believe in life, I believe in freedom, so my mind is not consumed with death. It's with love, life and those things. In many ways, on many days, only my body is here, because I am thinking about what's happening around the world."

As we leave, people emerge from other visiting rooms into the central area. There's a family with teenage children; a young mother whose little daughter has spent much of our interview peeking through the door - to Abu-Jamal's delight; a grandfather being pushed in a wheelchair. A mother says to her children with a forced cheeriness: "That was a nice visit, wasn't it? I'm sure glad we came."

We step outside into a perfect summer day. All I can think of is my last view after saying goodbye to Abu-Jamal: a row of men, all black, standing behind glass. Their hands cuffed, their faces smiling goodbye to their families, their voices shouting greetings to each other. In a couple of minutes, each man will trek back to a cell no bigger than your bathroom, with no company but their own. But for now, just for now, there is the sight of life. And they're drinking it in.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Dance Party with a Purpose

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition Presents
A Dance Party with a Purpose, For the Grown and Sexy

Any day now, we expect to get a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Mumia's Abu-Jamal legal rights to a new and fair trial. As we all know, his original 1981 trial was completely biased and racially tarnished by the prosecutor's incorrect summary remarks and Judge Sabo's infamous statement during the trial.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was and continues to be a very vocal critic of the United States governmental terrorism within and beyond our borders. Since his former membership in the Black Panther Party, our government has kept a close watch on him, and now that they have him in their clutches – the courts have bent over backwards to keep him, where he remains – on death row. It's up to us to force their hand.

Be in the streets the Day After the ruling is made public. Check out our website regularly for updates or call 212 330-8029

Come to our party in order to raise money, so we have a nest egg to pay for transportation costs to Philadelphia, at a moments notice. They actually believe they have won the battle – we must show them how we intend to win the war, at home for our own self determination.

Where: St Mary's Episcopal Church (in the basement)

521 West 126th Street
(btw. Old Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.)
1 train to 125

When: Friday November 9, 2007 – 7-12pm

Suggested donation $10, food, beverages, and Mumia gear on sale

DJ Mellow G will be spinning Old School R&B, House Music, Salsa Meringue, Blue Eyed Soul, Classic Hip Hop and Reggae with video streaming for your visual pleasure. Special guest performance by Nana Soul of Black Wax Productions.

If you can't make it and would like to make a donation send it to:

Free Mumia Coalition NYC
P.O. Box 16 College Station
New York, NY 10030

Make checks out to Free Mumia Coalition/IFCO

Photos Bolster Claims of Mumia's Innocence and Unfair Trial

By David A. Love
Published by The Black Commentator
October 18, 2007 - Cover Story

A group of journalists is determined to seek a fair retrial of death row prisoner, noted journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, and they point to evidence they say provides further proof of his innocence: photos from the crime scene that the jury never had the chance to see.The group, Journalists for Mumia, was founded by Hans Bennett, a Philadelphia journalist, and Dr. Michael Schiffmann, German linguist at the University of Heidelberg, to challenge what they characterize as "the long history of media bias against Abu-Jamal's case for a new trial." Abu-Jamal, formerly known as Wesley Cook, was arrested and convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. He has been on Pennsylvania's death row since then, although a federal judge affirmed his conviction but vacated his death sentence in 2001. A three-judge, federal appeals court panel is reconsidering the case for his retrial, and heard oral arguments on May 17, 2007.

Faulkner was killed on the corner of Locust and 13th Streets in Philadelphia, on the morning of December 9, 1981. Abu-Jamal and his brother, Billy Cook, were found lying on the sidewalk when police arrived at the scene to find Faulkner dead. In addition, Abu-Jamal, who also had been shot, was beaten by police when they came to the scene. And he was arraigned at his hospital bed while recovering from life-threatening injuries.This case has been one of the most contentious, most widely observed and most thoroughly critiqued cases of our times, as it has put a spotlight on the contagion of police brutality, racism and corruption in the criminal justice system, and the capricious application of the death penalty. Amnesty International has called for a new trial for Abu-Jamal. "It's shocking that the US justice system has repeatedly failed to address the appalling violation of Mumia Abu-Jamal's fundamental fair trial rights," said Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen.

Through prodigious research, Schiffmann has located a number of photos taken by press photographer Pedro Polakoff. Polakoff, who arrived on the scene 12 minutes after Faulkner's killing, produced at least 26 photos before the arrival of the Philadelphia Police Department's Mobile Crime Unit. Some of the photos are highlighted in Schiffmann's new book, Race Against Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Black Revolutionary in White America. The book — an expansion of Schiffmann's doctoral dissertation — was recently released in Germany, and has yet to be published in the United States.

Polakoff told Schiffmann that the crime scene was poorly managed and unsecured, "the most messed up crime scene I have ever seen." Polakoff attempted to hand his photos to the D.A.'s office on two occasions — before the trial in 1982 and in 1995 during Mumia's post-conviction relief hearing — but to no avail. Apparently, they weren't interested in what he had to show them. (And Schiffmann and Bennett say that Polakoff, who until very recently assumed Mumia was guilty, and that Mumia was the passenger in his brother's car, had no interest in contacting Mumia's lawyers regarding the photos.)

Perhaps this was because his photos presented some damning truths. In his book, Schiffmann makes a number of important arguments:

The police manipulated the evidence that was provided to the trial court. For example, Polakoff's photo shows Faulkner's cap resting on the roof of Billy Cook's Volkswagen. Yet, in a police photo taken 10 minutes later, the cap is on the sidewalk in front of 1234 Locust.

Police officer, James Forbes, testified at trial that he had secured Faulkner's and Abu-Jamal's weapons, and did not touch the metal parts in order to preserve the fingerprints. Yet, Polakoff's photos show that Forbes had touched the metal parts of the weapons, destroying valuable evidence in the process.

• Polakoff told Schiffmann that officers at the crime scene said they believed the shooter was sitting in the passenger seat of Billy Cook's Volkswagen, supporting the argument that a third person was at the crime scene.

• One of the prosecution's key witnesses, a cab driver names Robert Chobert, claimed he was sitting in his cab behind Faulkner's police car during the shooting. Yet, there is no taxicab in Polakoff's crime scene photos.

• The prosecution asserted that Mumia killed Faulkner by standing over the already wounded officer and unloading several shots from a .38 revolver.However, the Polakoff photos show a clean trickle of blood on the pavement, not the splatter of blood or cement damage that one would expect from the firing of such a weapon.

Journalists for Mumia are providing a valuable public service in the honored tradition of the First Amendment. Linn Washington, Jr., veteran journalist who worked for the Philadelphia Tribune at the time of Mumia's arrest, was on the case at a time when most of the Philadelphia press corps were asleep on the issues of race and criminal justice. Washington recently reflected on the role of the press in the U.S. Constitution: "One of the reasons why we have this First Amendment is [the framers] said, they knew that power corrupts absolutely. So they had this check and balance, you know, where the executive had a check on the legislative, and the legislative and a check on the courts, and the courts had a check on both of them. But who is going to check the checkers? Well that was supposed to be the press. So, the press had a watchdog role to look at what government is doing, and more specifically, look at what the government is doing wrong to who? We the people."

And the Philadelphia of 1981, on the heels of the brutal reign of police-chief-turned-mayor Frank Rizzo, was a time of rampant official corruption and misconduct, racism, and police brutality. Washington noted that during the year of Mumia's arrest, five men were framed by the Philadelphia police for murder and exonerated years later. Two of the innocent men spent as much as 20 years in prison before their release, and one man spent 1,375 days on death row before he became a free man. This legacy of police corruption haunts the city to this day, at a time when better police-community relations are needed to stem a
tide of gun homicides.

There is much in Mumia's case that is troubling, and points to a dysfunctional system in dire need of repair.

• The prosecutor had a history of excluding African American jurors, and struck 10 of 14 Black potential jurors, but only 5 of 25 whites.

• In a sworn statement, a court stenographer said she overheard the trial judge, Albert Sabo, saying he would help the prosecution "fry the nigger."

• For twelve years, prosecutors withheld evidence that the driver's license of a third man was found in Faulkner's pocket at the crime scene.

• Defense witnesses who testified that someone other than Abu-Jamal killed Faulkner were intimidated.

• Five of the seven members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which denied his appeal, received campaign contributions from the Fraternal Order of Police, the primary group that has advocated for the execution of Mumia, who they regard as an unrepentant cop killer.

All of this is about Mumia, yet far more than just Mumia, for Mumia's case marks a part of the continuum that represents the tortured, tragically consistent narrative of people of color in America's justice system. Decades before Abu-Jamal, there were the Scottsboro boys. In 1931, nine black teenagers in Scottsboro, Alabama — ranging in age from thirteen to nineteen — were accused of raping two white women. Tried without adequate representation, they were sentenced to death by all-white juries, despite a lack of evidence. And one of the women later recanted.

In more recent years, there were the Central Park Five, the five Black and Latino men convicted of raping and beating a female jogger in Central Park, N.Y., in 1989, and later found to be railroaded. Donald
Trump had spent $85,000 on full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the five youths, who were characterized as a wolf pack. And of course, today we have the Jena Six, arrested and prosecuted in a Louisiana town for fighting against nooses dangling under their high school's "White tree," while the White students who planted the nooses and committed other acts of violence were given a pass.

We will never know how many innocent people in this country — those who could not afford to buy justice — were sent to their deaths or forced to languish in prison for the rest of their lives, all on a lack of
evidence or doctored and cooked-up evidence, served up by police officers who wanted to make a name for themselves, and prosecutors who aspired to higher office on a tough-on-crime stance.

Society cannot help those who were victimized by kangaroo justice, but no longer live among us and are now but a fleeting memory. But we can still help Mumia Abu-Jamal, and in doing so we begin to repair this
system of "justice" and save ourselves in the process.

Copyright © 2007 by David A. Love

The new crime scene photos can be viewed at the Journalists for Mumia

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mumia Abu-Jamal: crucial decision on the way

from Freedom Socialist • Vol. 28, No. 5 • October-November 2007

Wall mural in Lisbon, Portugal, demands freedom for Abu-Jamal.
Photo: Anne-Marie Algemo

Supporters of imprisoned African American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former member of the Black Panther Party, continue to wait hopefully for an imminent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Abu-Jamal has spent 25 years on death row after being framed for the killing of a Philadelphia policeman in 1981. His case has won international attention for its revelations of racism, fraud and bias in the legal system. It has brought to the foreground the right to a fair trial, the inhumanity of the death penalty, and the system’s particular vindictiveness toward Black radicals.

After numerous thwarted attempts to appeal his verdict and sentencing and to bring new evidence before the courts, a three-judge appeals court panel heard arguments on the case in May 2007. As we go to press, a decision is expected at any moment.

Fateful decision. As described by Abu-Jamal’s attorney Robert Bryan, the possible rulings by the panel are these:

• An entirely new jury trial on the question of Abu-Jamal’s guilt;

• A new jury trial to consider the issue of life imprisonment or the death penalty;

• A return to the lower U.S. District Court for further proceedings; or

• Denial of all relief.

Whichever side loses can be expected to seek a rehearing and to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for an appeal. But, as neither of these legal recourses is likely if the panel rules against Mumia, a great deal rides on its decision.

Days of action. If the panel does rule negatively, Mumia’s hope for keeping avenues of appeal open lies with strong public protest. The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia and other support organizations are calling for immediate protests in the streets if the panel’s ruling is unfavorable. “Day after” activities are planned in several cities. Among them:

In Philadelphia, there will be a march from the scene of the 1981 confrontation at 13th and Locust to the Federal Building. In San Francisco, the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal has announced a demonstration at the Federal Building.

Two separate rallies are planned in New York City. The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition and the Harlem Campaign to Name a Street in Honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal will congregate at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building from 5:00-8:00 p.m. (1-4 p.m. if the day after is a Saturday). The Partisan Defense Committee has called for a rally at the Federal Building in Lower Manhattan from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (1-4 p.m. if a Saturday).

In Seattle, the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women are calling on people to attend a next-day demo at 4:00 p.m. at the downtown Federal Courthouse. In Portland, Oregon, RW and FSP are organizing a gathering from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Terry Schrunk Plaza across from the Federal Building. Come prepared to speak at an open microphone if you have something to say, and bring picket signs and banners!

And a national demonstration in Philadelphia is being called for the third Saturday after the decision.

A voice that will not be silenced. While all wait on tenterhooks, Mumia himself continues his masterful and galvanizing commentaries on political happenings in the U.S. and the world. His deeply insightful commentaries on issues such as U.S. atrocities in Iraq, defense of the Cuban Five, racism in sports, and the commutation of Kenneth Foster’s death sentence (see story on page at left), can be read at www.prisonradio. org. Mumia refuses to censor himself or tailor his message to accommodate notions of “respectable” dissent. Instead he courageously seeks to educate the public about the radical realities of class and race in the U.S.A.

For instance, in his commentary “The Politics of Promises” (Aug. 15, 2007), he says, “For millions of people, the hunger for an end to the Bush regime is gnawing at their innards.

“But are they hungry for a Democratic warmonger, in the place of a Republican one?

“Is that change — or the same old madness, in another wrapper?”

Meanwhile, a new documentary on Abu-Jamal, In Prison My Whole Life, will screen simultaneously at London and Rome film festivals in October. This powerful film is sure to rally thousands more to Mumia’s defense.

The world needs this man alive, free, and mobilizing for justice.

Watch for the latest case updates at the websites of New York City and San Francisco coalitions and

Write to Mumia at Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI Greene, 175 Progress Dr., Waynesburg, PA 15370.