No Justice, No Peace!
As we chanted "The People United Will Never Be Defeated" as loudly as we could, it was clear to anyone listening that the battle for Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom will not be denied, despite a disappointing decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. People from varying backgrounds and political stripes were united behind one issue: the liberation of an innocent Black man on Pennsylvania's death row. By a two-to-one majority, the court ruled that Mumia was not entitled to a new trial because it wasn't clear what the racial makeup in the jury pool was – therefore, how can you definitively prove that Mumia's rights were violated by a biased jury.
Our "Day After" rally in Harlem was a targeted strategy to inform the community about the cold-blooded nature of the criminal injustice system – something Harlem residents and the rest of Black and Brown residents and progressive whites already know too well. The court, in its infinite wisdom, thought all Mumia Abu-Jamal deserved, after spending 26 years on death row in solitary confinement, was the possibility of a resentencing hearing that would leave him with either life in prison or execution by lethal injection. One thing is clear: this ruling will not stand, and the judicial system will have to deal with the public that is none too happy about this ruling. As Mumia always says, "There is no power like the power of the people."
Over 200 people came out to express their outrage over this decision. Three weeks following the Harlem rally, on April 19, there will be thousands more who will take it to the streets of Philadelphia and make it clear to the powers that be – that they had better rethink their position or the whole world will know about their dirty little secret. People will not stand by and let them murder the "voice of the voiceless" — or keep an innocent man behind bars for the rest of his life. While the mainstream media is focusing on the horserace that's being played out by "tweedle dee and tweedle dum "—excuse me, the Democratic Primaries and who's leading in the polls – it's about time we give them something else to write about that is a little more relevant to the times we're living in. The criminal injustice system is raining hard in Black and Brown urban centers of America, and it's time we make them own up to it.
Both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama endorse capital punishment, even though they know the system is imperfect and it doesn't deter violent crime. Let's see where they stand on Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has not had a violent past; in fact, it's quite the opposite, as you already know. It's not too late to force them to do right by Mumia and all the other political prisoners rotting in prison, where they shouldn't have been in the first place. Further, if we give up, how will we ever demand from our children what we can't do for ourselves.
Make it your business to join us in Philly on Saturday, April 19, 11 AM, in front of the Federal Court House, 6th and Market Streets. Buses leave New York City at 8:00 AM in front of the General Post Office, 33rd and 8th Avenue, across from Madison Square Garden. Roundtrip tickets are $21. If you're not able to make it, send someone in your place or make a contribution that would allow someone to come who cannot afford to pay. This is a grassroots movement, so if you have a little extra cash, we could surely use it right about now. Make out your check or money order to FMAJ/IFCO and send it to Free Mumia Coalition NYC, P.O. Box 16, College Station, New York, NY 10030. Our website is www.freemumia.com and it's updated frequently.
-The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)