Saluting Davis And Abu-Jamal

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(Angela Davis….Aluta continua!)
For the many people who lived through the tumultuous 1960s and 70s, and for those who later learned of Angela Davis in classrooms on university campuses and libraries, she is a living icon of the civil rights era.

Professor Davis’ political activism began in Birmingham Alabama and continued through her high school years in New York. Angela’s parents enrolled their daughter in the progressive, ahead-of-its-time Little Red School House in Greenwich Village, which exposed her to revolutionary ideologies. Angela’s early travel as a young college student instilled in her an appreciation of the global struggle for human rights. It was not until 1969, that she came to national attention. Her flight from authorities while on the FBI’s most wanted list, infamous trial and subsequent acquittal by an all-white jury became international news. 

Ten years after Angela Davis’ acquittal, Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death row because his political action and personal stance against racism and police brutality, placed him, like Angela Davis, in the line of fire. Internationally, a global community has called for a new trial for Mumia. His battle has become a unifying theme for many social justice groups. Socially conscious celebrities such as Danny Glover, Ossie Davis, and Susan Sarandon, world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Danielle Mitterand—former First Lady of France—and Fidel Castro, members of the British Parliament, and the European Parliament have all called on the U.S. to hold a new trial. Millions of people throughout the world have taken to the streets to protest this travesty of justice and perversion of democracy.

Due to her own personal experience as "state property", Angela Davis has become a voice for those who are so often voiceless. Davis remains active in the campaign to free the noted Philadelphia journalist and political prisoner. At the time of his arrest, Mumia Abu Jamal’s reporting called attention to what he saw happening to MOVE, a revolutionary organization, which was later the target of a deadly attack orchestrated by Philadelphia city government.

From a cell on death row, Mumia continues to speak out for those whose oppression stem from the rise of prison populations, police brutality, the death penalty, persecution of political dissent, and the continuation of white supremacy and globalization. He has published four books, and his weekly columns are distributed throughout the world. 

Angela Davis has made the abolition of the death penalty, the release of political prisoners, and the destruction of the prison industrial complex the primary focus of her prison reform campaign. According to French newspaper Dokumente, On October 4th, 2003 Davis said on the occasion of accepting the medal of honorary citizenship of the city of Paris on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal: "This is my small contribution to the movement. I consider that a priority in my life. And I know that had people thirty years ago not made my case a priority in their lives I would still be in prison today."

Angela Davis will arrive in Pittsburgh on Friday November 10, 2006 at 7:00PM to accept the Thomas Merton Award. The dinner will be held at the Sheraton at Station Square. Efforts to have Mumia Abu Jamal introduce and congratulate Professor Davis, via video recording, are in the works. 

The event will be held at the Sheridan at Station Square on the Southside of Pittsburgh. The social hour will start at 6pm and dinner will begin promtly at 7pm. Entertainment will be provided by local spoken word poet, Nathan James and special musical guests. Raffle prizes  include a one-week getaway at a cabin in scenic Allegheny Mountains, a package of tickets to local entertainment and cultural events and a refurbished bike from Free Ride, Pittsburgh's only recycled bike program. The raffle winners will be drawn and announced at the event so make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time! Raffle tickets are $5.00 a piece. Dinner reservations are $35.00 Space is limited so call the TMC at 412-361-3022.
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