Published Apr 26, 2007, in Workers World
Following are excerpts from a N.Y. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition press release.
On April 23, a press conference was held on the steps of City Hall in New York denouncing the outrageous and illegal police tactics aimed at silencing support for internationally renowned journalist and writer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on Pennsylvania's death row for almost a quarter of a century.
From left to right, Gwen Dobrow,
Monica Moorehead, City Councilperson
Charles Barron, Orie Lumumba and
Suzanne Ross at City Hall press conference.
WW photo: Lal Roohk
A Hip Hop concert, organized by young supporters of Abu-Jamal, was scheduled to take place on April 15 at the Remote Lounge. For a week prior to the scheduled concert, the police pressured the club owner to cancel the event, but the owner stood firm. Then, two nights before the scheduled event, the police barged in on the club, issued 16 citations, involving thousands of dollars in fines, and escalated the threats against the owner. Fearing for his family and himself, the owner at this point cancelled the event. The event was promptly moved to Solidarity Center and was held with great enthusiasm, but with anger at the police action.
The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal will be heard on May 17 before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Mumia has his first real chance of winning a new trial in that court after being convicted of the murder of a policeman almost 25 years ago. The Fraternal Order of Police, the prosecution and their allies are doing everything possible to undermine that possibility.
It is in that context that the attack on the Remote Lounge must be responded to seriously, as it mirrors a long history of similar actions in Philadelphia. In that city, a scheduled event highlighting famed actor Danny Glover for April 24, Mumia's birthday, at the Clef Club, was just moved because of similar police tactics.
MUMIA CONCERT SHUT DOWN BY NYPD
by Leslie Ann Murray
Special to the AmNews
Originally posted 4/26/2007
Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal congregated on the steps of City Hall on Monday to condemn the NYPD for what they claim was intimidating and issuing illegal citations to the club owner of the Remote Lounge on Bowery.
On April 15th, the New York City Collation to Free Mumia (NYCCFM) organized a benefit hip-hop concert for Mumia's legal defense fund.
The police engaged in a conspiracy to close this event to prevent a worthy cause,â€ activist attorney Michael Tarif Warren said. Warren, who is the collation's legal representative, added, "We need a fair hearing to air the legal improprieties" of the NYPD.
After receiving 16 citations, thousands of dollars in fines and allegedly malicious threats, the night club owner canceled the concert, two days before the scheduled event.
In a mad rush for time, the NYCCFM was forced to relocate the concert to the International Action Center (IAC) in Midtown.
On the infamous NYPD Rant blog, a slew of comments were posted by police officers informing cops about their illegal actions to shut down the hip-hop event.
One post on the blog read, "This f--ker should be dead, we should ruin this event and make life miserable for every f-ing Hollywood liberal scum liker that shows up, fry Mumia."
Monica Morehead, coordinator for the Millions for Mumia Committee with the (IAC), suggested that the recent police repression of Mumia Abu-Jamal activists has been ignited because on May 17th, oral arguments for a new trial for Mumia will be heard in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Morehead said, "The movement to free Mumia will not be intimidated by any arms of this oppressive state, especially the police." She continued, "The police are trying to discourage the movement."