Monday, December 21, 2009

Que Viva German Solidarity!

Life Hanging by a Thread – actions for Mumia in Germany, December 2009

Around the sad and outrageous anniversary marking 28 years behind steelglass and concrete people all over Germany to the streets for Mumia. The encouraging news is that hundreds and thousands of people are showing up for Mumia's support now after years of a low activities.

Demonstrations with huge transparents took place in Stuttgart, Oldenburg, Kiel, Muenchen, Nuernberg, Hamburg, Heidelberg and Berlin.

During the weeks and months before new and old groups against the death penalty and for Mumia's freedom in many towns had organized evening events with speakers who know the case well, most of them with screeings of "In Prison My Whole Life" the 2007 documentary by British filmmaker Marc Evans. People discussed the planned actions for Mumia in case the death penalty should be re-installed. Three days after the announcement there will be a national day of action in many towns – mobilizing to a national demonstration in Berlin.

The action in Heidelberg on December 12th was a little different from all other demonstrations. We had planned to stage a scene for a photo with our town's most famous brands – the castle and the old bridge. Millions of tourists, most of them Americans, are visiting and photographing it every year.

The theme was „A Life Hanging by a Thread – Against the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal" – and so we covered the bridge towers and the handrail with crime scene tape, decorated a big part of the balustrade with our huge transparent, and hung a life size doll in an orange jumpsuit down the bridge – by a thread.

After a while we saved the death row candidate by pulling him up again – and then took the 20 meter long transparent to a spontaneous demontration through Europe's longes pedestrian mile, Heidelberg's main road, 2 kilometers long and full of shoppers and visitors.

Although just about 85 people we made it to a spectacular pic – not only for all tourists and other passengers on Saturday but into our daily paper on Monday!

We are especially proud of the fact that a lot of different groups took part in the action – from Amnesty Interntional Students to the Red Help.

We will keep working together, going for a city-council-statement in Heidelberg and for a big demonstration on January 30th.

Heidelberger Buendnis für Mumia

Also see: indymedia Germany:

Rally for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal outside the most hated embassy in México

Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 12:02 AM CST

Contributed by: elenemigocomun

by Amig@s de Mumia, México

To the sound of drums, a little over a hundred of us demanded freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal outside the United States Embassy in Mexico City on December 9, 2009, as well as for Leonard Peltier, the men and women of MOVE, the Angola 3, Sundiata Acoli, Los Cinco, Francisco Torres, Hugo Pinnell, Ruchell Magee, Marilyn Buck, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the Puerto Rican Independentistas, David Gilbert, Ramsey Muñiz, the environmental prisoners and all the social activists that this government intends to bury alive. We also demanded freedom for the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners resisting torture and imprisonment in Israeli jails.

We accuse the United States government of kidnapping Mumia Abu-Jamal and holding him in conditions of torture for 28 years and of making an ongoing attempt on his life. In spite of all the evidence of racial discrimination in his trial, the Supreme Court of the United States ––the highest court in the land–– has denied him justice and, in so doing, has become party to these crimes. Despite photographic evidence that completely destroys the ridiculous scenario put forward by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office of the shooting death of policemen Daniel Faulkner in 1981, the managers of the national security state are now redoubling their efforts to execute this revolutionary journalist. If they're not able to apply the death penalty, which is nothing but premeditated murder, they plan to hold him captive in silence for the rest of his life. We support the demand for a federal civil rights investigation and all actions necessary to win his freedom.

We also accuse the United States government of fostering political prison and the extermination of the social struggle here in Mexico by training and equipping military and police forces to repress the social movements. We demand freedom for Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez, and Héctor Galindo, now held with long vengeful sentences which amount to life in prison, and freedom for the prisoners in Molino de Flores, the recently arrested comrades Victor Herrera Govea and Emmanuel Hernández Hernández, and all political prisoners in Oaxaca, Campeche, Guerrero and the entire country. We say NO to Plan México and NO to the construction of more prisons.

Our moderator Armando spoke of Mumia Abu-Jamal as a comrade we've supported for a long time, condemned to death or life in prison for "being a critic of the highly racist society of the United States, whose own Declaration of Independence refers to indigenous people as `merciless Indian savages' and which is built on the slave labor of people brought there from Africa. The history of the United States has been one of slavery, imperialism, and the robbery of the wealth of other peoples, all of which we have experienced in Mexico. And since Mumia is a good critic, he brings out these things. That's why he's in prison".

After reading Mumia's essay on Oscar Grant, whose murder by a BART policeman sparked a rebellion in the streets of Oakland at the first of the year, one of our members, Hilda, commented that although Mumia Abu-Jamal is now officially condemned to life in prison, there is a big effort to execute him and that his life is in grave danger. She explained that this essay is one of many things he has written on different issues, including Atenco, Oaxaca, the war in Iraq, from his small cell on death row where he has no physical contact whatsoever with his family or friends. She mentioned that it's a paradox to speak of this situation on the eve of the celebration of International Human Rights Day, and she also denounced the numerous human rights violations in Mexico by the Army, a body that has no business patrolling the streets.

It gave us great pleasure to have ex political prisoner Jacobo Silva Nogales with us at this rally. He and Gloria Arenas Agis, recently won their freedom after spending ten years in prison for guerrilla activity with Jacobo arguing their right to rebellion. He said: "And who is Mumia Abu-Jamal? The first time I heard that name I was in prison, and I learned that he was also in prison. I learned that he was a political prisoner, and I was also a political prisoner…. Mumia is a mirror that we're proud to look at because what we see is admired and respected; it's what the rest of us are, if only slightly and in exceptional moments. But he's also a mirror that's feared because it shows what can happen when self and duty become one and the same thing. The mirror admired and respected; that's Mumia ––an admirable struggle and a death sentence. So it also reflects those who have sentenced him. It reflects their fear of a better world for the many. That's why they want him dead; that's why we want him alive…. It may seem hard, at times, to win freedom when you're in a prison where they try to ban your very dreams, but it's possible to get out of there if the dreams from the outside come together with those on the inside…. I know this, because not long ago I was in a place like that, and I was able to get out, and so I'd like to tell him that I think he can get out, too ––that he can, that we can, win out over those bars that are blocking the freedom of his body, like he's been able to win out over those that block his freedom of spirit. By defending Mumia, we're defending our own selves!"

Also present were family members and comrades of Víctor Herrera Govea, recently arrested in the annual October 2nd march in commemoration of the Tlatelolco Massacre, simply for being young and protesting in the streets of Mexico City. His sisters invited everyone to participate in the activities in his support and read a letter that he sent to the rally, which says in part: "Today it's not only in México that we're experiencing the oppression of the prison system. This is also the case in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was once a reporter for the Black Panthers, has been in jail for 28 years, sentenced to death or life imprisonment….The way his trials have been conducted reflects the nature of the ghetto experienced in the United States, a country where 42% of the prison population is made up of African-Americans….Once again, we find ourselves under attack by the neoliberal prison system. As lovers of freedom and anarchists who defend life lived in collectivity, we are not exempt from government espionage and measures of repression and oppression….The only thing left to do is keep on struggling for our prisoners in Mexico and those outside the country like Mumia Abu-Jamal, who's been incriminated for a murder he did not commit….There's no evidence whatsoever against us, either….To Mumia, our heartfelt desire to see him free. To the government, the worst of all possible downfalls".

We read a letter recently published in La Jornada by political prisoner Felipe Álvarez of the Peoples' Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) of San Salvador Atenco: "Eight years after we launched a resistance struggle against an invasive, oppressive, murderous system, I ask you to keep on struggling. There's no torture that will ever make us give up our ideals; they can chain my body but never my consciousness. Neither can they chain the dignity and spirit of our peoples who are fighting for what belongs to them. The government still intends to dispossess us of what is ours and put it at the service of empire, taking our lands, water, oil, light, and the little wealth we have left….It's only those of us who struggle for land, natural resources and freedom who can gain the independence, sovereignty, and homeland that those who are looting our country talk so much about. Brothers and sisters, you live in my heart! Not one step backwards! Zapata lives! The Front continues!"

Doña Fili spoke: "Mumia, there are a lot of young people here who hadn't even been born when you went to jail. We, as mothers, see you as our son and demand your freedom. We will never tire of demanding your freedom. You live in a highly advanced country. Advanced, yes, but in death…You've resisted a country that has killed our peoples…In our countries, they impose tyrants, but we'll bring them down…You are part of our people, Mumia. You've marked our history. That's why we're here, Mumia. Your spirit lives in each one of us."

We appreciated the presence of the Federation of the Socialist Campesino Students of Mexico (FECSM), which has been in a struggle against government plans to convert rural teacher training schools into mere technical schools in places such as Tiripetío, Michoacán and Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Their representative Isaías sent his greetings to Mumia, and said: "Comrades, as a Federation, we've had prisoners; as a Federation, we've been beaten; as a Federation, we've been tortured by the federal government, so we lend our solidarity to all those who struggle from below….We've seen how the imperialists have increasingly taken over our freedom and our resources. We have the same enemy and we'll struggle with you against this common enemy."

Daniel, speaking for the collective Shouts of Street Rage (GRC), said: "28 years have gone by. Those numbers may be easy to say. 28 años. But I've reached the conclusion that my mother was a child when a person, a thinker, a journalist was taken prisoner. Why? Because, as we know, the State is afraid of people who, with their words, their gaze, their actions, generate actions that destroy the system we talked about. You mothers walking by in the street, I ask you: What if Mumia Abu-Jamal were your son? What if they had taken away his freedom and what if he were locked up on death row thinking, `Damn! They could shoot me up with drugs tomorrow and end my life!? This comrade, in spite of being behind bars, not being able to see the light of day, not being able to hug his family, has stayed active and is still present in the social processes ––from inside, yes, but he's part of things. Is it right to just stand by when we see a life in danger right before our eyes? When we see false evidence, a new trial denied, the death penalty, a life sentence, total injustice and impunity? And now the question is– what are we going to do?

From Chiapas, we received greetings from the poet Xmal Ton, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN: "This song is dedicated to all our comrade political prisoners in Abya Yala, which is America, in all the continents of the world. Thank you for your bravery and your force, which are the breath of life to us. Thank you for your spirit of struggle, which is the road we take every day. For the liberation of all of us who struggle for our great, sacred mother, which is the Earth." We read her poem "Four words," dedicated to all political prisoners and especially to the grandfather Leonard Peltier: "Four words fall from the sky. Do not be sad. Four words fall from the sky. They will heal you. Four words fall from the sky. The morning is ready for you. Four words fall from the sky. The fire will warm your heart. Four words fall from the sky. The air will pray for you…"

After reading the poem, our comrade Bisharú commented: "I feel very close to Mumia because of his words, because of the way he talks about the social movements. Sometimes I feel ashamed when I think that somebody in his conditions can be much freer than the rest of us. He has shown us that freedom is not only seen in actions, but also comes through in Mumia's words that have brought life and liberty to many of us."

We denounced the attacks against the Zapatista communities and read a recent letter from the Gómez Saragos brothers, of Bachajón, Chiapas, to all the national and international organizations, where they say: "…we belong to the organization of adherents to the other campaign of the EZLN, and we're here for defending our territory while the government wants the PRI party members to have it, but we…don't want them to take away our land because that's where we work to support our children. That's why we're prisoners. But we thank you for your valuable support and hope that you'll continue to support us in reaching our goals."

Yazmín of the Chanti Ollin spoke of the recent effort by the city government to take this occupied space away from us, and then she read the text written this past November 25 by Nzingha Shakur-Ali, daughter of political prisoner, Dr. Mutulu Shakur: "My dad goes before the parole board December 2nd. Thinking about my family and the families of other political prisoners and freedom fighters around the world… i am SO truly blessed to come from the family i do, from the Hearne clan, from the Shakur clan. It's a different way of life in many ways, being children of revolutionaries. Our parents fought, were imprisoned, were exiled, and died fighting for basic human equality; and all the while growing up in discipline and knowledge, love and respect for not only our people, but for all people. we think differently; we see the world differently…. now Mutulu is in Florence, Colorado, the #1 maximum security prison in the united states also known as the ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies, ADX houses the prisoners who are deemed the most dangerous and in need of the tightest control. It is the highest level security federal prison in the united states, and generally considered the most secure prison in the world. Individuals are kept for at least 23 hours each day in solitary confinement." That means he gets 1 hour, by himself, outside his cell in heavily guarded area. All of our visits are behind glass and he often handcuffed…. these things come to mind as his parole hearing draws near. They have and continue to do everything they possibly can to keep him in prison… i am humbled by those who, like mutulu, saw their difficult path before them and even still chose to stand and fight, rather than lay down and continue to be enslaved….i give thanks for the people who fought and are still fighting for freedom and equality…. My blood? is a million stories. FREE `EM ALL. Peace."

Victor of the Popular Kitchen of the Che Guevara Auditorium talked about the way prisons exemplify capitalism, commenting that for Mumia Abu-Jamal, "the American dream, for whites only, was just a prison and the Black Panther Party was his road to freedom." He quoted from Mumia's book, We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party: "I went to jail…. I was here for defending my people. I was here because I was a member of the Black Panther Party. Within a few weeks I was back, no worse for the wear. I was out of jail and back in the swing of things. I was working on the paper, selling them, and editing stuff…The days were long. The risks were substantial. The rewards were few. Yet the freedom was hypnotic. We could think freely, write freely, and act freely in the world. We knew that we were working for our people's freedom, and we loved it. It was the one place in the world that it seemed right to be." In speaking of Mumia Abu-Jamal's relationship to the MOVE organization, Victor said: "Mumia rediscovered people bent on freedom and an organization that was an alternative to the logic of the coercion and degradation of human beings by the panoptic prison. But the prison system still existed along with its forms of repression and sabotage. In the face of the genocidal attacks by the North American system against the MOVE movement, Mumia could not remain silent; he denounced the massacre." Victor concluded his presentation, citing Mumia's essay "Absence of Power": "The police are agents of white, ruling-class, capitalist will––period. Neither black managers nor black politicians can change that reality. The people themselves must organize for their own defense, or it won't get done."

Pachón of Mexico City Anarchist Black Cross read the following text: "Mumia's case is not isolated; it's part of a strategy of social control by governments to try to break the righteous social movements and silence people who make them uncomfortable. The United States is the country with the highest percentage of its population imprisoned, the majority of whom are Black or Latinos. More and more people in jail. That's what the goverments and private industry want so they can build more and more prisons….Mumia's example should give us the strength to redouble our efforts to win his freedom. IN conclusion, we want to call attention to the cases of other political prisoners in the United States and name some of them: Abdul Azeez, Abdul Majid, Alvaro Luna Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Avelino González Claudio, Bill Dunne, Byron Shane Chubbuck, Carlos Alberto Torres, Chuck Sims Africa, Daniel Mcgowan, David Gilbert, Debbie Sims Africa, Delbert Orr Africa, Ed Poindexter, Edward Goodman Africa, Erik Oseland, Eryn Trimmer, Francisco Torres, Fred "Muhammad" Burton, Garret Fitzgerald, Gerardo Hernandez, Hanif S. Bey (B. Gereau), Herman Bell, Jaan K. Laaman, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, Jalil Muntaqim, Janet Holloway Africa, Janine Phillips Africa, Jeffery "Free" Luers, Joseph "Joe-Joe" Bowen, Leonard Peltier, Luce Guillen-Givens, Luis Medina, Malik Smith, Maliki Latine, Marilyn Buck, Marshall Eddie Conway, Matthew Depalpma, Max Specktor, Michael Davis Africa, Mondo We Langa (D. Rice), Monica Bicking, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Nathanael Secor, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Rene Gonzalez, Robert Seth Hayes, Romaine Chip Fitzgerald, Ronald Reed, Ruben Campa, Russell Maroon Shoats, Sekou Kambui (W. Turk), Sekou Odinga, Sundiata Acoli (C. Squire), Thomas Manning, Tsutomu Shirosaki, Veronza Bowers Jr., William Phillips Africa, William `Lefty' Gilday, Zolo Agona Azania".

Despite sound problems, the comrades of The Other Culture closed the rally with their original song dedicated to Mumia as a gesture of solidarity, and also brought copies of their new CD highlighting the song. Several images of Mumia were left behind on the ground and the concrete barriers around the Embassy, along with the ashes of the stars and stripes.

Amig@s de Mumia, México

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
415 863-9977
Free All Political Prisoners!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

US Supreme Court will not Rule on Mumia before January 11

Michael Schiffman, a leading activist in Heidelberg, Germany, and also a member of Journalists for Mumia, generously translated a statement Mumia's attorney, Robert Bryan, gave at the International Defense Committee in Bremen on December 14, 2009.

Breaking News: No Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal before January 11, 2010

Dec. 15, 2009 (IVK, Bremen): The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that we feared would come even before the X-mas and New Year holidays has been deferred. The U.S. Supreme Court will resume its work not before Jan. 11, 2010. We are publishing here the breaking news from attorney Robert R. Bryan from Dec. 14, which reached us last night.

Statement by Robert R. Bryan, lead attorney of Mumia Abu-Jamal, San Francisco:

Today, on Dec. 14, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken its last decisions for this year, taking X-mas holidays till January 11, the day it will officially resume its work.

Surprisingly, in the case of my client Mumia Abu-Jamal the Supreme Court hasn't yet taken a decision whether he will live and get a new jury trial determing his sentence, or whether he will die under the hands of the executioner. Actually, we had won a partial victory last year before the U.S. Appeals Court since the federal judges with their March 27, 2008 decision held out the prospect of a conversion of the death verdict into a life sentence. All the same, Mumia is still on death row because the prosecution filed an appeal wit the Supreme Court in order to push through his execution. Mumia is now in the greatest danger to be executed since his arrest on December 9, 1981.

Robert R Bryan

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tribute to Veronica Jones

There will be a special tribute to Veronica Jones tomorrow night, December 9, at 7 PM at the American Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets in Philadelphia, as part of the December 9th commemoration activity.

The second trailer for Tigre Hill's new film

Go to site below to see the second trailer for Tigre Hill's new film, "The Barrel of a Gun", which promises to be a sensationalist version of Mumia as a cold-blooded cop killer. Maureen Faulkner is trotted out again as a tragic widow who needs to see Mumia executed to get any sense of peace, rather than as the carefully chosen ally and tool of the Fraternal Order of Police in its determinatin to murder and silence Mumia. She has made it clear again and again that she refuses to consider the possibility of Mumia not being the person who killed Officer Faulkner, and does not hesitate to express her bloodthirsty desire for Mumia's execution so that she can gain her "peace".

Monday, December 07, 2009

From Berlin, Germany for Mumia on December 9

And, from Germany, where such a strong message of solidarity was sent on November 12th when we went to the Justice Department. Now, an excerpt from a letter from the Berlin Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Long live international solidarity!!!

...On the day and the week surrounding the 28th anniversary of Mumia's unjust incarceration, many people in Germany will also take to the streets. They will demand his freedom and the abolition of the death penalty.

Rallies and demonstrations will be held in Berlin, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, Munich, Hamburg, Kiel, as well as several public info events in Mannheim, Rostock, Stuttgart, Greifswald, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin.

Let us join forces to FREE MUMIA and all other political prisoners!

Let us put an end to state sanctioned murder and the modern day slavery of the globally expanding prison-industrial-complex!

In solidarity,

Berlin Coaltion to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

December 9 protest activities, US, France, Mexico

International Commemorations of the 28th anniversary of the outrageous incarceration and ultimate conviction of our revolutionary hero, Mumia Abu-Jamal. 


On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, join International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Free Mumia Coalition NYC, as we gather to protest the 28-year conspiracy to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal for a crime that an enormous amount of evidence proves he did not commit. Lynne Abraham, the outgoing District Attorney, and Seth Williams, the newly elected black DA, want to bury the truth and silence Mumia forever.


There will be an indoor meeting following the protest at 7PM at the American Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street.

To reserve a seat on the bus, call 212 330-8029. For information on our work visit

In Paris, on Wednesday, December 9, thousands of petitions will be delivered at the US Embassy for President Barack Obama, demanding justice for Mumia.

In Mexico City a demonstration will also be held calling for justice for Mumia.

Linn Washington Video/Article on Mumia's Case


Watch a video of Linn Washington here:

Cracks in Mumia’s case
By Linn Washington Jr.

A clear case of open-and-shut guilt is how Philadelphia police and prosecutors describe the first-degree murder conviction that sent journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal to death row over a quarter century ago.
However, just a quick peek underneath the surface of this case reveals a litany of errors and wrongdoing by police, prosecutors and judges that implode all claims of Abu-Jamal’s absolute guilt.
The case against the world’s most famous death-row denizen arguably contains compelling aspects of apparent guilt, albeit circumstantial and lacking the conclusive forensic evidence normally expected in such a high-profile prosecution.

Yes, police did find Abu-Jamal at the crime scene, critically wounded by a bullet fired from the slain policeman’s gun.

Yes, eyewitnesses testified that Abu-Jamal shot Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Yes, two policemen claimed hearing Abu-Jamal confess to the crime.

And, yes, courts from Philadelphia’s Common Pleas up to the U.S. Supreme Court have upheld Abu-Jamal’s conviction.

Yet, arguably compelling aspects cannot quell serious questions arising from the mound of documented misconduct by authorities in Abu-Jamal’s case that make a mockery of America’s constitutionally enshrined rights to a fair trial.

While fair trial rights require an impartial judge, the judge presiding at Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial declared on the eve of that proceeding that he would help prosecutors “fry the n----r” — a declaration graphically displaying unfair bias.

Five of the seven Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices who unanimously upheld Abu-Jamal’s conviction in 1998 received critical political and other assistance from Philadelphia’s police union — the main group pushing for Abu-Jamal’s execution.

That entanglement undermined the appearance of impartiality required of jurists by Pennsylvania’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

One of those five justices in 1998 — Ronald D. Castille, a former district attorney of Philadelphia who fought to execute Abu-Jamal — rejected recusal requests that cited code provisions barring participation of a judge who had “served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy …”

The “overt hostility of the trial judge and the appearance of judicial bias during appellate review” render Abu-Jamal’s “verdict and sentence fundamentally unsound,” Amnesty International noted in its seminal February 2000 study of this contentious case that recommended a new trial for Abu-Jamal.

Facts Don’t Fit

Consider the fact that the two policemen who claimed hearing Abu-Jamal confess hours after Faulkner’s fatal shooting waited several weeks to report this key evidence to detectives.

One of those two policemen claiming to hear Abu-Jamal’s confession had even filed an official report hours after the fatal shooting saying Abu-Jamal made “no comments.”

Exactly 64 days after that officer filed his no-comment report, he told detectives his delay in revealing the confession resulted from him not realizing the confession “had any importance until today.”
Evidence of perceived injustice underlying Abu-Jamal’s conviction literally hides in plain sight.

One glaring example is photos of the Dec. 9, 1981, crime scene taken by police investigators that don’t show two central elements of the prosecution’s case against Abu-Jamal.

A main pillar of the prosecution’s case against Abu-Jamal was eyewitness testimony from a cab driver named Robert Chobert.

Prosecutors proclaimed Chobert sat in his cab when watching Abu-Jamal murder the police officer. But police crime scene photographs don’t show Chobert’s cab behind Officer Faulkner’s patrol car where prosecutors say it was parked.

The trailer for a forthcoming film about Faulkner’s slaying features four police photos showing different angles of the crime scene. Chobert’s cab is not shown in any of those photographs.

There are only two possible scenarios for the missing cab in those official crime scene photos: either police tampered with the crime scene by removing the cab or the cab was never there. Either scenario is a major legal violation that should warrant a new trial.

Also missing from official police crime scene photographs are bullet marks in the sidewalk around the fallen body of Faulkner fired from Abu-Jamal’s gun.

Prosecutors claimed Abu-Jamal executed Faulkner by firing four times at the fallen officer’s body at point blank range, hitting Faulkner once in the face and missing three times.

Yet, a sophisticated computer examination of crime scene photos conducted a few years ago by a NASA scientist who analyzes deep space photographs revealed no bullet marks in that section of sidewalk that should be clearly visible if Abu-Jamal acted as prosecutors claim.

It is impossible ballistically for three specialized high-velocity bullets to strike a sidewalk at point blank range without leaving any marks.

The prosecution’s other prime eyewitness was Cynthia White, a prostitute with a long arrest record and pending criminal charges at the time of Abu-Jamal’s June 1982 trial.

During Abu-Jamal’s trial, the prosecutor told the jury that White hadn’t received any offer of leniency or other considerations in exchange for her testimony.

Yet immediately after Abu-Jamal’s conviction, Philly prosecutors dropped those charges pending against White.

Examples of Injustice

Remember that Philadelphia police and prosecutors applied that “open-and-shut guilt” assertion to four other men arrested for three separate murders in 1981 — the year of Abu-Jamal’s arrest.

One of those four men spent 1,375-days on Pennsylvania’s death row before evidence documented that police detectives framed him. Two of those four men spent 20 years in prison before evidence revealed they were innocent. The fourth man — accused of a killing a cop — won an acquittal from a jury in 1982 when the only witness against him crumbled in court.

Seventeen of the policemen involved in the arrest or investigation of Abu-Jamal “were disciplined, indicted for crimes, found guilty of committing acts of corruption or brutality or resigned from the department under a cloud of suspicion,” stated investigative reporter Dave Lindorff in his 2003 book on the Abu-Jamal case. Lindorff’s book “Killing Time” is the first non-partisan book published on this miscarriage of justice.

What, many in Philadelphia’s Black community would ask, is the likelihood of corrupt cops not cutting corners to secure the conviction of a person accused of killing a fellow policeman?
The same Philadelphia and Pennsylvania courts that found major flaws in 86 Philadelphia death penalty convictions between Abu-Jamal’s December 1981 arrest and last October declare that not a single error exists anywhere in the Abu-Jamal case — the murder conviction sparking the most controversy worldwide.

Pennsylvania courts, for example, find no fault in prosecutors improperly excluding Blacks from Abu-Jamal’s trial jury, or allegations of manipulating evidence and making secret deals with alleged eyewitnesses — all fundamental fair trial violations producing favorable actions by those courts for defendants in numerous other cases.

Additional evidence of judicial impropriety against Abu-Jamal is evident in Pennsylvania State and federal courts voiding 22 death sentences because of failures by defense lawyers to present any mitigating evidence for their clients during the death penalty phase hearing following guilty verdicts in capital cases.

Voiding convictions for this reason is called procedural fairness where courts accept the guilty verdict but seek to ensure that all procedures are properly followed.

Suspiciously, despite voiding those 22 death sentences, state and federal courts found no fault in the failure of Abu-Jamal’s trial lawyer to present any mitigating evidence during the penalty phase hearing.

The judge for Abu-Jamal’s trial, the infamous Albert Sabo, holds the national record for presiding over the most death penalty trials.

While courts have overturned two-thirds of those capital convictions in Sabo’s court, including citing mistakes or misconduct by Sabo himself, Pennsylvania state courts claim Sabo made no errors in Abu-Jamal’s case.

Federal courts have voided Abu-Jamal’s death sentence citing errors by Sabo when providing death penalty phase instructions to the jury.

However, Abu-Jamal remains on death row because Philadelphia prosecutors are seeking to reinstate his death sentence. Because of harsh death row isolation restrictions, Abu-Jamal has not hugged his wife and children for over 20 years.

Injudicious Judges

Courts — state and federal — have repeatedly altered and/or abrogated established law to block Abu-Jamal receiving fair trial relief granted to other defendants raising the same legal challenges.
Precedent, or following established law, is supposedly the foundation of U.S. jurisprudence. Another foundation of U.S. law is requiring a fair trial to establish guilt or innocence.

A prime example of the alter-the-law-to-undermine-Abu-Jamal dynamic is the 2008 ruling by a federal 3rd Circuit Appeals Court panel that created a new legal standard for persons challenging racist jury selection practices by prosecutors.

The prosecutor during Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial used 10 of 15 preemptory challenges to purge potential Black jurors — more than twice the exclusion rate expected statistically with race-neutral procedures.
That newly created legal standard advanced by two 3rd Circuit judges to reject voluminous evidence documenting racist jury selection practices by Abu-Jamal’s trial prosecutor erected procedures far in excess of those then required by existing 3rd Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

The third member of that three-judge 3rd Circuit panel issued a stinging 41-page dissent that repeatedly criticized his panel colleagues for radically changing jury discrimination standards applied by their circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Incredibly, the ruling by that panel’s two-judge majority — later backed by the full 3rd Circuit — faults Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial attorney for not strictly following procedures the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t adopt until 1986 … four years after Abu-Jamal’s trial.

Curiously, just days before that March 2008 3rd Circuit ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a Louisiana death row inmate a new hearing after finding race tainted jury selection practices during that inmate’s trial.

That U.S. Supreme Court ruling employed preemptory challenge standards less stringent than those the 3rd Circuit created in its Abu-Jamal ruling.

The author of that 2008 Supreme Court ruling, Justice Samuel Alito, formerly served on the 3rd Circuit where he participated in rulings granting relief to inmates victimized by prosecutorial jury selection improprieties less onerous than those in the Abu-Jamal case.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Abu-Jamal’s appeal of the 3rd Circuit ruling.

American law is an “instrument of the powerful,” Abu-Jamal stated in his latest book released earlier this year, his sixth book written from death row. “For the weak, the powerless, the oppressed, the law is more often a hindrance than a help.”

Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and supporter of Philadelphia’s MOVE organization, is a harsh critic of America’s racially inequitable society, a posture enraging many powerful people.

Fundamental Issue

In 1959, when Abu-Jamal was 4-years-old, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling that goes to the heart of the most important yet frequently downplayed aspect of Abu-Jamal’s conviction — a fair trial.

Pennsylvania’s highest court proclaimed that defendants are entitled “to all the safeguards of a fair trial … even if the evidence of guilt piles as high as Mt. Everest.”

Defendants retain fair trial safeguards irrespective of whether judges or prosecutors are convinced of the defendant’s guilt before trial.

That 1959 ruling prohibiting judges and prosecutors from failing to follow fair trial procedures came in a Philadelphia murder case where the defendant pleaded guilty.

Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence.

Evidence shows that politics and prejudice drives the determination to punish Abu-Jamal, not irrefutable proof of his guilt.

Because of that, Abu-Jamal deserves a new trial — a trial that is fair.

Linn Washington Jr. is columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune and a professor of journalism at Temple University. He has been covering the Abu-Jamal case since 1981. This article first appeared in the Philadelphia Tribue on December 5, 2009:

Veronica Jones has joined the ancestors

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Veronica Jones, the heroic sister who stood up to Judge Albert Sabo in 1996, and testified that she had been coerced by the police to lie about Mumia back in 1981. With tears streaming down her face while testifying on the stand, she refused to back down as Sabo tried to intimidate her once again by threatening to charge her with perjury. The sheriff then came in to arrest her for a 10 year old traffic ticket. Herman Ferguson once described Veronica as a real working class heroine. She was a reminder of what people can rise to when provided with any support or encouragement. We loved Veronica, and will never forget her. There will be a tribute to Veronica organized by the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Suzanne Ross, for the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition

Saturday, December 05, 2009

PROTEST IN PHILLY: Wednesday, December 9 at at 4pm

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, join International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Free Mumia Coalition NYC, as we gather to protest the 28-year conspiracy to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal for a crime that an enormous amount of evidence proves he did not commit.

Lynne Abraham, the outgoing District Attorney, and Seth Williams, the newly elected black DA, want to bury the truth and silence Mumia forever.


There will be an indoor meeting following the protest
at 7PM at
the American Friends Center,
1515 Cherry Street.

To reserve a seat on the bus, call 212 330-8029.
For information on our work visit

Mumia Supporters Petition Justice Department

By ‘littleRed’

They came in droves.

Despite the chilly November wind and the callous indifference of a steady rain, and inspite of incredible distances many had come, they came in droves. In a rainbowed wave of humanity, they came to protest the persisting persecution of an incredible human being facing an incredibly inhumane ordeal in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

They came to Washington, DC, the seat of American governmental power and authority, to demand justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the irrepressible ‘Voice of the Voiceless,’ now in his 27th year on death row in Pennsylvania, now with all of his appeals virtually exhausted.

This is not the first time that they have come to Washington, to the Justice Department, for Mumia. They came in the height of the glory days of Bill Clinton’s presidency. They were told by then Attorney General Janet Reno that they had come much too early, that they were too many avenues to pursue within the courts before they, meaning the Justice Department, could give it serious consideration.

Since then, all of those options were pursued with a vengeance, armed with new exculpatory evidence, armed with clear evidence of the blatant racial and political animosity and bias making a fair trial absolutely impossible, and yet still, at every turn, even the U.S. federal court of appeals pathetically overruled their own precedents and turned their backs on Mumia’s bid for freedom and justice.

Most recently, the nation’s top court said that all the new evidence was either too late or too insignificant to make a difference in a trial. They have in fact said that they would even entertain renewed calls for the reinstatement of Mumia’s death sentence.

Just weeks ago, Mumia’s attorney Robert Bryan put it this way to a Dutch audience. “Mumia is now a global symbol against the death penalty. This is the most dangerous time for Mumia since his 1981 arrest.”

So now is indeed the time for the Justice Department to do what a Justice Department is supposed to do.

To drive that home, demonstrators delivered at least 25,000 letters and petitions calling for a civil rights investigation in this incredible case.

While many were from all parts of the United States, a considerable number were from abroad, from places like Japan, Spain, Mexico, Greece, France, Germany and South Africa.

In a press conference before the demonstration and delivery of the letters, Fignole St.Cyr, a trade union leader from Haiti who came to personally deliver nearly a thousand letters, said that “the world should observe American justice because the U.S. is supposed to stand for democracy. Justice should not be twofaced. Justice for Black people and for white people should be equal.”

On the positive side, this enormous demonstration comes on the heels of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization now in its centennial year, passing a resolution at their national convention stating their new interest and commitment.

They were best represented by Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatam of the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP, the biggest chapter to not only come out for Mumia, put to also come out for other political prisoners. Under Cheatam, the Baltimore chapter has been steadfast in its call for justice for Marshall Eddie Conway, the Baltimore panther now imprisoned on account of a COINTELPRO driven prosecution since 1969.

           Internationally, the demonstration also comes on the heels of the City Council of Munich, Germany, one of Europe’s largest, coming out for Mumia.

           Dangerously, it comes on the heels of the Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham pursuing to have Mumia’s death sentence reinstated. Philadelphia also just elected its first African-American district attorney, Seth Williams, who vowed to pursue the reinstatement of Mumia’s death sentence.

           Serious legal observers believe that the Supreme Court may even use the case of a neo-nazi, Frank Spisak, who is on death row in Ohio with a similar fact pattern, to reinstate his death sentence by ruling against Spivak, and then reinstating  Mumia’s death  sentence, without even hearing the case directly.

           The tireless Pam Africa bottomlined the status of the case in this way.

           “Mumia is innocent.They are about to commit out and out murder,” she said emphatically.

           Zayid Muhammad, a national official of the New Black Panther Party, joined the New York delegation and personally delivered his organization’s letter and pleaded with Attorney General Holder to not let “political convention” get in the way of delivering justice to Mumia.

           “The affirmation of slavery and the property holding rights of slavemasters was once the political convention of the day,” his letter read.

“Jim Crow segregation and the practice of lynch mob terror to enforce that order was also once the political convention of the day. However, on this date, at this incredible hour, in this enormous historical moment, with the eyes of the world upon us all, we, not just as in we, the international human rights community, but we, as in ‘we the people,’ simply can not allow this to happen!”

           The most poignant point in the demonstration came at the end, at the actual point of the delivery of the letters and the petitions. The Justice Department sent out a phalanx of African-American officers at the Department’s entrance to prevent the demonstrators entry with the petitions and sent out a Latino representative, Alejandro Mijar, to actually receive them. As they were being delivered, Orie Ross, of Brooklyn, asked them if they were familiar with the case. When they admitted that they were not, Ross, in a straightforward matter of fact manner very reminiscent of Rev. CT Vivian’s confrontation with Bull Connor many years ago on the right to vote, laid out the background to Mumia’s ordeal, especially when detailing the new evidence and the extreme racial bias of the late presiding trial judge Albert Sabo’s “I’m gonna help them fry the nigger,” compelling Mijar to blush with embarrassment.


PO BOX 25332, NEWARK, NJ 07101

FinalCall, Amsterdam News articles on Mumia rally at Justice Department

Pam Africa, leader of the International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, leading the march to the U.S. Justice Department Nov. 12. Photo: Askia Muhammad

Supporters of death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal rally at Justice Dept.

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Correspondent- | Last updated: Dec 1, 2009

WASHINGTON ( - Hundreds of supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal—the political prisoner who has been held on Pennsylvania's death-row for 28 years, accused of murdering a Philadelphia police officer—marched to the U.S. Department of Justice to deliver thousands of petitions to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding a civil rights investigation of his case. Speakers at a rally prior to the Nov. 12 march represented Amnesty International's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign; the NAACP; and the Coalition to Free Mumia Abu Jamal.

"We are not coming to the Department of Justice looking for justice," said Pam Africa, chair of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. "We are bringing justice to the Department of Justice."

Since the trial and conviction of the former journalist, Black Panther Party member, and supporter of Philadelphia's naturalist MOVE organization, Mr. Abu Jamal and his supporters have steadfastly maintained his innocence. Despite several legal setbacks, more and more evidence is discovered and made public supporting that claim.

Dr. Suzanne Ross of the Free Mumia Abu Jamal Coalition chaired the press conference and rally. She said that for 13 years Mr. Abu Jamal's prosecutors withheld evidence that a driver's license belonging to a passenger in the car driven by his brother, William Cook, was found in the pocket of slain police officer Daniel Faulkner the night of the 1981 shooting.

The petition and letter-writing campaign by Mr. Abu Jamal's supporters took on worldwide momentum earlier this year after Attorney General Holder called for the dismissal of charges against Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska on the basis that prosecutors in that case withheld evidence favorable to the defense.

The letters to Mr. Holder on Mr. Abu Jamal's behalf point out that in addition to a similar pattern of evidence being withheld in his case, courts on local, state and federal levels have all violated their own rules to keep him on death row.

Despite a December 2001 ruling by Federal District Court Judge William Yohn that converted the death sentence in Mr. Abu Jamal's case to life in prison, he remains on death row and his life in jeopardy because of efforts by the Philadelphia district attorney's office to appeal Judge Yohn's decision. Mr. Abu Jamal has exhausted his federal appeals seeking a new trial.

"At this critical moment in Mumia's case, a civil rights investigation could mean the difference between life and death for Mumia," said Dr. Ross."It could also open the door for his release."

Heightened demands for a civil rights investigation came in April, after the U.S. Supreme Court accepted another court's motion that blocked the doors for a new trial for Mr. Abu Jamal, but at the same time, the court is still considering the Philadelphia District Attorney Office's appeal to reinstate his death sentence.

"I was at the NAACP convention this summer," Marvin "Doc" Cheatham, president the group's Baltimore Chapter told The Final Call. "I was on the resolution committee and I looked at all the resolutions, and created an amendment. What it basically said was that Mumia Abu Jamal, Reggie Clemons, Troy Davis, and Marshall Eddie Conway, all of their cases would be requested by the NAACP to be reviewed by the Attorney General Holder.

"It's imperative that Attorney General Holder look at this as civil rights violations," Mr. Cheatham continued, "look at each one of the cases, especially Mumia's case, and actually do a thorough review of the case, and allow those parties that have been organized for all four of the names that we put in the resolution to allow different groups to provide information that may not in fact have been introduced in the court trials.

"We're optimistic that once they really look at all the data that's presented in these specific four cases then all four cases would have to be thrown out. We think there were so many injustices, civil rights violations, that took place in these four cases, that those cases would have to be thrown out and those individuals released," Mr. Cheatham said.

International organizations and legal bodies such as Amnesty International, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the European Parliament, and city councils and national governments around the world have maintained that Mr. Abu Jamal was wrongfully convicted in a widely denounced trial and appeals process. Among the claims of wrongdoing are suppressed evidence, witness perjury, witness intimidation and an openly biased judge.

Attorney Thomas Ruffin told the rally of photos taken by freelance news photographer Pedro Polakoff, who arrived at the scene of the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting before the police forensics team. His pictures contradict the testimony of key prosecution witnesses during the trial. The prosecution, which had access to the pictures, did not reveal their existence to the defense.

Mr. Ruffin said that there was no proof that Mr. Abu Jamal had a gun in his hand when he arrived on the scene, or that he had fired it. The prosecution never presented paraffin tests for gunshot residue. The press conference and protest expressed open solidarity with victims of the state's Cointelpro-like campaign that has targeted more than 400 Muslims and recently resulted in FBI agents gunning down Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah just outside of Detroit on Oct. 28.

"We were here to show our support for the most recognizable political prisoner in the world—Mumia Abu Jamal," Mauri Salakhan, founder and director of the Peace and Justice Foundation told The Final Call. "And we wanted to create a marriage, between this individual who is the most recognizable political figure as a prisoner, and a community (Muslims) that has become the most impacted community in the world in terms of political imprisonment, both here and abroad.

"It gave us an opportunity to show our support for Mumia, and also to take this opportunity to help those veterans that have been a part of Mumia's movement to become more knowledgeable, more aware of how political imprisonment has been impacting the Muslim community, and the importance of us working together around this issue. More and more, increasingly we're coming to find that this is something that has to concern us all, because it is affecting us all."

Mr. Salakhan organized the attendance at the rally of several family members and supporters of the "Fort Dix Five" from N.J.; two family members of another Muslim prisoner, Shifa, who came from Atlanta; and organizers with Project Salaam, an organization that works to draw attention to these and other cases from Albany, N.Y.


Letter from Zayid Muhammad

Charles Barron

(To see first page of the entire article, visit:

Dec. 3 article

Page 1

Page 2