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All out for Mumia Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia

W.A.T.E.R. 17 Special to the AmNews | 1/26/2012, 11:06 a.m.
For the 30th anniversary of the incarceration of Black Panther activist Mumia Abu-Jamal and on...
All out for Mumia Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia

For the 30th anniversary of the incarceration of Black Panther activist Mumia Abu-Jamal and on the eve of International Human Rights Day, his advocates have planned a mass demonstration at Philadelphia's Constitution Center from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 9.

On the heels of Abu-Jamal's most recent courtroom ruling this October, when the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Philadelphia prosecutors' appeal to reinstate the political prisoner's death penalty sentence, declaring it to be unconstitutional, his supporters are seeking another legal feat as they call for a new trial to prove his innocence. Their message is: "Life in prison with no parole is not an option."

Many people contend that Abu-Jamal is in his current predicament because of his political and social views, which he openly shared with the masses as a journalist via print media and over the airwaves, rather than any crime he is alleged to have committed. His efforts have led to him earning the moniker of the "voice of the voiceless."

"They don't just want my death, they want my silence," he concurred.

Despite the lack of irrefutable evidence, Abu-Jamal was convicted for the Dec. 9, 1981, killing of Philadelphia cop Daniel Faulkner after a trial his attorneys say was rigged with government informants, eyewitnesses' coerced confessions, conflicting testimonies, shoddy forensics and unreliable and non-matching ballistics.

Revelations of another possible suspect for the murder have also been suppressed by prosecutors and media.

Faulkner had pulled over Abu-Jamal's younger brother, William Cook, who was allegedly driving in the wrong direction. Local businessman William Singletary explained what he witnessed that night: "A guy was in the car, a passenger [Kenneth Freeman], he jumped out and hollered some obscenities. The police officer turned to say, 'Get back in the car,' and the guy pulled a handgun...I heard a popping sound, I ducked, I saw the cop turn around, then I saw the guy point the gun directly in the cop's face, then I saw the fire from the barrel hit the cop directly in the face, then he took off running."

Freeman was later found in Philly mysteriously murdered, bound with a syringe in his arm, on May 13, 1985, the same day the MOVE Organization's Osage Avenue home was bombed by the City of Brotherly Love.

Demands for a new trial have consistently been rejected and Abu-Jamal has exhausted his appeals, leaving him in limbo as he awaits being placed in general population now that his death sentence has been vacated and he is to be removed from death row.

"Numerous aspects of this case clearly failed to meet minimum international standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings, and we believe that the interest of justice would best be served by the granting of a new trial to Mumia Abu-Jamal." stated Amnesty International.

Expected to speak at the rally are Immortal Technique, a hip-hop activist; Johanna Fernandez, producer of "Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"; Pam Africa; Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow"); Ramona Africa; and Vijay Prashad, just to mention a few.

For more information, visit freemumia.com or call (212) 330-8029.