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Justice for Mumia Abu Jamal!

by Fight Back! Editors |
April 2, 1999
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A critical moment has arrived in the battle to stop the murder of a freedom fighter, Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia sits on death row in Pennsylvania, convicted of a crime he never committed. The government wants to kill him, to silence a voice that thunders against injustice and speaks the language of liberation. Every effort must be made to build and attend the Millions for Mumia demonstration in Philadel-phia on April 24. Now is the time to stay the hand of the executioner and bring a new trial for Mumia Abu Jamal.

Revolutionary journalist, and former member of the Black Panther Party, Mumia Abu Jamal is unjustly imprisoned for the killing of a police officer in Philadelphia. Overwhelming new evidence shows that Abu Jamal was denied a fair trial.

In 1981, Abu Jamal was driving a cab and working as a writer for local and national newspapers. Early one morning, he came upon a scene in North Philly. A police officer was struggling with a man, who Abu Jamal found out to be his brother. In the incident, Abu Jamal was shot, as was the cop. Witnesses not allowed to testify at the trial, describe seeing a third person fleeing from the scene. When the police arrived on the scene, Abu Jamal was beaten severely, then brought to the hospital. The officer died on the way to the hospital.

The Police claim that Abu Jamal the shooter, yet the gun registered to him was .38 caliber and the gun that killed the officer was .44 caliber. The prosecution was unable to connect Abu Jamal's gun to the murder. The prosecution could not confirm that Abu Jamal had even fired a gun that evening, which is standard procedure in a murder case. In later trials, none of this evidence was presented, because of lack of resources in his defense.

Prosecution witnesses have come forward and said the police intimidated them, to tell their (police) story. Some were actually told that pending charges against them would be dropped if they named Abu Jamal as the killer.

Judge Sabo presided over Abu Jamal's original case and the appeals to this date. Widely referred to as "the Hanging Judge," Sabo has sentenced more people to death than any other judge in US history. All but two have been African American. Sabo has seen the new evidence, but ruled that it is not admissible for a new trial. To have a fair trial, Abu Jamal's case must be presided over by another judge.

Abu Jamal's life long commitment to the fight for justice was used in his trial as means to convict him in front of an all white jury. One issue, that he was a member of the Black Panther Party, was brought up over and over.

The stakes are high. Mumia's life is on the line. He is a Black man and working person who speaks out and tells the plain truth about America today, our country is in the hands of a small group of exploiters who will do anything to keep things the way they are. The rich and powerful hope that by jailing a liberator, they can jail liberation. And that by killing a revolutionary, they can kill the struggle for a world free of oppression.

The trial, conviction, and attempt to execute Mumia is motivated by politics, the kind of politics that says that the privileged have a right to privilege and this is how it has to be.

Anyone and everyone who stands for justice must demand another trial for Mumia. We must do this everyday and in every way. We must reach out to people that we work with, our neighbors, and those in our religious communities. We have to build a movement of millions to free this political prisoner, a brother who has done nothing wrong and everything right. All out to defend Mumia Abu Jamal!

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