Support For Mumia's Case
Mumia Abu-Jamal, a journalist and political activist, was sentenced to death for his alleged December 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer. Since the sentencing Mumia and his supporters have been trying to free him charging a host of irregularities in his trial. The case has also drawn the support of Amnesty International.
People concerned about the plight of convicted African American journalist Mumia Abu Jamal recently packed the American Friends Service Center in Philadelphia despite alleged threats from members of the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
The business hosting the gathering â€“ Clef Club of Jazz - reported receiving threats from individuals they identified as members of the FOP, who warned them to cancel the event or suffer retaliation.
Abu-Jamal, a journalist and political activist, was sentenced to death for his alleged December 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer. Since the sentencing Mumia and his supporters have been trying to free him charging a host of irregularities in his trial. The case has also drawn the support of Amnesty International.
In addition, Sgt. De Lacy Davis, founder of Black Cops Against Police Brutality in East Orange, NJ, also indicated his life had been threatened and was warned not to participate in the recent event. Even though the venue was changed, roughly 20 off-duty police officers showed up in motorcycle club colors in an apparent bid to intimidate Mumia supporters.
Those supporters watched a documentary on the case narrated by activist-actor Danny Glover. Glover also took part in a panel discussion which included Temple University journalism professor Linn Washington who covered the case for 25 years and Harold Wilson who spent 17 years on Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Death Row before being cleared of all charges.
The 60-year-old Glover said he participated despite threats because, â€œItâ€™s about justice and a fair trial. Injustice to anyone is injustice that affronts all of us. Iâ€™m not intimidated.â€?
The support rally was in preparation for May 17 oral arguments when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider four issues that have been certified for appeal in the quest for a new trial for Abu Jamal. The hearing is expected to go forward despite a motion by the Philadelphia district attorney to have the court recuse itself from hearing the case. Supporters believe the motion was an attempt to get the case heard by a more conservative circuit court. The motion has been denied by the court.
Meanwhile, Pam Africa, spokesperson for International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, has asked concerned people to come to Philadelphia on May 17: â€œWe need public pressure to ensure the courtâ€™s fairness,â€? she said.Â â€œMumia can still be executed. Further, since the [U.S.] Supreme Court is unlikely to hear Mumiaâ€™s case, this is realistically his last chance to get a new trial. His case represents all that is wrong with this system. We must take action before itâ€™s too late.â€?
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For more information on the facts of the case, go to the new website www.Abu-Jamal-News.com .
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