Dear activists for the freedom of Mumia Abu Jamal!
On December 9th, 2011 the Committee for the Freedom of Mumia Abu Jamal/Vienna organized a rally on the busy Mariahilfer Street. In the Christmas hurly-burly we announced our message that we are pleased with the repurchase of the death penalty on the one hand but we vehemently fight "against the creeping death" of Mumia Abu Jamal (Desmond Tutu) of life imprisonment" on the other hand. So we demanded again and again the freedom for Mumia Abu Jamal! 75 persons signed our petition for freedom for Mumia Abu Jamal. Three of them want to cooperate with our committee!
Please add our video report to your other reports on the international actions on December 9th, 2011:
Mexico City Activists and Musicians say "Bring Mumia Home"
From Amig@s de Mumia de México:
On December 9, 30 years after Mumia Abu-Jamal was kidnapped by the Philadelphia police gang and railroaded for the homicide of Daniel Faulkner, around 200 activists and musicians held an 8 hour event in his support outside the US Embassy in Mexico City. With love for a free spirit who has always had the courage to tell the truth even while spending all this time in the clutches of the enemy, we celebrated the setback suffered by the Philadelphia DA's office in their drive to murder Mumia under cover of law, and made it perfectly clear that we will not stand for his slow death in prison or any attempt on his life once he has been moved into general population.
Among us were people who have supported Mumia since the 90's and were arrested and beaten for marching for his freedom in December, 1999. Many more know who he his and what he stands for because they've read his writings in the independent news media, and dozens have only recently learned of his struggle and the high price he's paid for being true to his commitment to Black Liberation and worldwide revolutionary changes for all. In any case, we hope our rebellious, high-energy vibes have floated through to Mumia. And we also want authorities in the United States to know that there are people in far parts of the world who say ¡NO! to their crimes of State against Mumia and the political prisoners of MOVE, Leonard Peltier, Sundiata Acoli, Jalil Muntaqim, Herman Bell, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Sekou Odinga, Marshall Eddie Conway, Albert Woodfox, Herman Wallace, Veronza Bowers, David Gilbert, Oscar López Rivera, the Cuban 5, Daniel McGowan, Bradley Manning and dozens more.
The statement read by Amig@s de Mumia de México said, in part:
"On Wednesday, December 7, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office gave up on its 20 year campaign to murder Mumia Abu-Jamal through the court system. At a press conference, DA Seth Williams said that he will no longer seek a death sentence. We celebrate his defeat in this terrain… brought about by the pressure from a worldwide movement of which Mumia himself is very much a part… and hope it will be one step forward towards his freedom.
But this does not mean that Philadelphia officials no longer want Mumia's death. ICFFMAJ and the MOVE Organization have sounded the alert that his enemies have never stopped hating him and are furious about the international support he has. They suspect that authorities will try to kill him in prison, just as they murdered George Jackson and tried to use other prisoners to kill Leonard Peltier.
The tone of an anti-Mumia event held last night at the Keswick Theatre in Philadelphia was threatening…. Maureen Faulkner, who has functioned as a spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police for years, emphasized that she will tolerate no "special treatment" for Mumia once he is moved to general population and that she longs for the day when "Abu-Jamal stands before his ultimate judge", which now "doesn't seem so far off."
Seth Williams has said that Mumia will stay in prison for the rest of his life and would have us believe that this sentence is infallible. Yet we remember a constant theme in Mumia's writings ––that no empire lasts forever––, and we might say the same about court decisions. When there are enough organized people in the streets, Mumia will walk free. Let's bring him home."
Our joy over a possible advance in Mumia's case was tinged with the anger and pain we feel over the recent murders of Mexican activists Trinidad de la Cruz Crisóstomo just days ago, and Pedro Leyva two months before ––two courageous comrades with a total commitment to the recovery and defense of Nahua lands in Xayakalan, Ostula, Michoacán. We hold the United States government responsible for their deaths due to their financing and training of police, military, and paramilitary forces that operate with impunity in Mexico.
We felt honored by the presence of two relatives of political prisoner Alberto Patishtán, who has been locked up for eleven years for struggling for a decent life for the indigenous peoples of Chiapas and for organizing La Voz del Amate and other prisoner groups inside the prisons of his state. His cousin Beatriz detailed the numerous transfers of Alberto from one prison to another to block his educational, social and organizing efforts, including his most recent transfer to the Guasave prison in the state of Sinaloa, 1,200 miles from home. We are happy to join in the struggle to make sure this comrade with an unbreakable commitment to his people walks free in his own lands once again.
We also felt stronger due to the presence of a contingent from the Peoples' Front in Defense of the Land of San Salvador Atenco, who came to the event with a message of solidarity for Mumia: "Freedom knows no color, respects no borders, and has no limits. It angers us to know that yet another comrade is being held prisoner because he wants to change the future. We are with him all the way. We deeply appreciate his solidarity with us and today we are here in solidarity with him…"
We will never forget that the Mexican government planned to subject Felipe Álvarez and Nacho del Valle to slow death in prison with sentences of 67 ½ and 112 ½ years respectively, but they couldn't do it, and they couldn't break down their spirit of struggle either. Last Friday, Felipe Álvarez said that "as members of the Peoples' Front, we keep on struggling after we were set free by the support of national and international organizations and so many people, so many activists, including compañero Mumia, who is still held in captivity. We send our brotherly greetings to this freedom fighter and want him to know that we will keep on fighting for his freedom. ¡Zapata vive. La lucha sigue!"
Nacho del Valle said: "Mumia is an example of dignity, an example of integrity. Today he's been in prison for 30 years. How long did it take me to say 30 years? Three seconds. Two seconds. Thirty years of indomitable consciousness! When we were in prison, we heard that he was supporting us. Somebody told me, "This man is struggling for you from a long way away". That tells us that he is not bound by prison walls even though he is locked up in a stinking dungeon. His freedom lies in his consciousness, in his love for others….Comrades, we know what repression is…It's true we may feel fear because fear is part of our existence. But that kind of fear is different than the kind that makes a person subservient, that makes one a slave of the powerful…Here in our Mexico we are living through some of the most perverse atrocities ever wreaked by human hands, and the figures don't even begin to tell the story. More than 50,000 deaths in recent years. That's more deaths than in many wars fought by armies! How is such a thing possible? But, well, we know that's what's happening. But even though it may seem like our numbers are small, we have here today the best this country has to offer, people with the consciousness it takes to produce hopes and expectations. And from this very spot, we must construct hopes and expectations of the freedom we want for our brothers and sisters who are struggling behind bars…We know that repression is mainly and selectively aimed at people struggling for freedom and justice, at those who dare to say enough is enough! But that shouldn't intimidate us. There are thousands of us. There are millions of hearts and souls, millions of people of conscience demanding freedom for this man who is a living example of integrity, freedom, and above all, dignity. We know they have not beaten him down in 30 years and that we have a struggle ahead…¡Mumia vive! ¡La lucha sigue! Free all political prisoners!"
The Other Culture presented a performance that brought out the history of Mumia with the Black Panthers and fashioned several installations, including one to the memory of baby Life Africa who was trampled to death by the Filadelfia police in 1976; his parents are Janine and Phil África of the MOVE 9 who have been held behind bars for 33 years for defending life in all its forms.
Rappers, sonideros, reggae bands and acoustic musicians made beautiful music straight from the heart. Thanks to the Mexikan Sound System, ARH Al Intifadah, Jorge Salinas, MC Xozulu, La Otra Acústica, Youalli, Van-T, Nehualyome Dub, Lírika Podrida, el Indio Sin Dios, Sangre Maíz, Luna Negra, Ollin Roots, y los Dub Riders de Reggae AmbulanT Sonidero Cultural Sin Fronteras, our event had a lively beat and songs of struggle, ranging from "Corrido de Gabino Barrera" to "No voto y no me callo", "Alta Resistencia", "Sata Massagana" "Libertad a Mumia Abu-Jamal" and "Wirikuta", among many others.
Ever since she got out of prison, Edith Rosales, ex Atenco prisoner and plaintiff against the impunity for sexual torture that she and others experienced on May 4, 2006, has been present at each and every event in support of Mumia. In her message she reminded us that "Political prisoners never shut up…Mumia keeps on denouncing government crimes from his cell. It's part of his struggle. And it's really admirable, compañeros, because you can't imagine how hard it is to write when you're locked up, how hard it is to coordinate your thoughts. We must keep on struggling for him. All political prisoners must be freed from those dungeons."
Jaime spoke for Anarchist Black Cross: "Once again we're here in front of this embassy that represents an empire that massacres and murders people all over the world. Once again we're here to demand freedom for the revolutionary activist Mumia Abu-Jamal. Now they've been forced to back down on the death penalty due to international solidarity. And it's a beautiful thing to see the energy here today and know that solidarity is being stepped up to get him out of prison. We have to free all the political prisoners in Mexico, too, like Alberto Patishtán and the prisoners of the Voz del Amate who were on hunger strike in Chiapas for more than a month. From his small cell, Mumia never has stopped denouncing the U.S. prison system, a control mechanism of one class over another charged with hatred and racism, a mechanism used to publish all who rebel… We're with Mumia and all the prisoners in this country and in the world. Prisoners to the streets!
Hilda spoke about the need to oppose the militarization of the country and to demand the live appearance of the thousands of disappeared people in the country. She also spoke of the threat that autonomous indigenous communities pose for capitalism and invited everyone to participate in a march in solidarity with the Trique people displaced from the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, from Huajuapan de León to the Zócalo of the City of Oaxaca next December 19.
A preliminary analysis begun by Tania and Miguel of the privatization of prisons in Mexico was read. It brings out that the large majority of people in Mexican prisoners are "poor youth, who in most cases are there for stealing less than five thousand pesos, or are effectively kidnapped because they can't pay the ransom called "bail"… The privatization of prisons should put us on alert that corporations profit from people who are deprived of their freedom and turn justice into big business… Once this is done, it's necessary to keep the prisons full, which necessarily implies a constant inflow of captives…"
A message from Nodo Solidale was read, which says in part, "One of the tasks we have as a social movement is to never forget our prisoners, not a single one. And much less those who continue to speak out and set an example, like Mumia Abu Jamal on death row in the United States or Alberto Patishtán Gómez in Mexico… Let's keep on weaving organization, constructing alliances, looking for new freedom roads in the name of Mumia, Alberto, the Mapuches locked up in Chile, the 5,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, the anarchists pursued by every State, the insubordinate Arabs in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and women like Rosa Díaz López in Chiapas, who from their jail cells, denounce the injustices they experience and witness. We must grow stronger in the name of a world where there will be no prisons because there will no longer be rich people getting richer and poor people punished."
This December 9, there were also marches, rallies and events in other parts of the world, including a big event in the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, with music, dance, theatre, and speeches, as the para-police motorcycle gang Centurions shouted slogans of hate outside. Among many other messages, arguments were made that Seth Williams has the obligation to free Mumia Abu-Jamal now. The question was raised: If the Supreme Court declared the death sentence unconstitutional, why is there reason to believe that the same judge, the same DA and the same jury didn't violate Mumia's constitutional rights when they found him guilty of murder? And it was further argued that for 30 years Mumia Abu-Jama has been subjected to the cruel and unusual punishment of isolation, now recognized by many psychologists and human rights defenders as torture, and for this reason must be immediately released from prison with credit for time served.
In one place after another, the struggle continues, now with fresh energy, to bring Mumia Abu-Jamal home.
See more photos and audios of portions of the event by Multimedios Cronopios: