Abu-Jamal marks 59th physical day
W.A.T.E.R. 17 Special to the AmNews | 5/2/2013, 11:42 p.m.
"Brick by brick, wall by wall, we will free Mumia Abu-Jamal!" repeatedly chanted the mass contingent of international supporters who had converged in front of the district attorney's office in the downtown area of the City of Brotherly Love to acknowledge the world's most prominent political prisoner for his 59th physical day, April 24. The annual event was followed by an organizing planning meeting at Philly's Church of the Advocate, which kicked off the next leg of his liberation campaign.
"There is new interest in this case since he's been released from death row into general population," stated Johanna Fernandez, writer and producer of the documentary movie, "Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal."
"It appears that people see this transfer of Mumia as an incredible victory that has raised the expectations of people around the world that he could potentially be released," she said.
After it was announced on Dec. 7, 2011, that his death sentence had been commuted to a life term without parole, Abu-Jamal was transferred to the general prison population the following month. Once there, he was able to make human contact--for the first time in more than 30 years--with someone other than the Pennsylvania state corrections personnel during his one hour out of his 23-hour lockdown in a cell.
"Life in prison without parole is not acceptable," declared Ramona Africa, minister of communication for the MOVE Organization. "We will not be pacified by that, and that message needs to be loud and clear! Mumia's life is not in the hands of any district attorney or judge ... it's the people that truly have the power to gain Mumia's release! So it's up to us ... how committed we, the people, are!"
Since his transfer to a state correctional institution, Abu-Jamal's supporters have upped the ante on having his murder conviction overturned, thus aiming to gain his release from behind bars altogether.
"Our resolve is truly to bring Mumia home," Fernandez optimistically projected. "We're about to launch a million-signatures petition to [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder's office, calling on him to recommend that the governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, release Mumia Abu-Jamal."
Those in attendance--over a thousand--chanted "Happy birthday" Stevie Wonder-style as they were greeted by the afternoon's warm spring weather. Ending capital punishment, mass incarceration and solitary confinement were just a handful of the topics discussed.
Fernandez added, "If he wasn't executed by the state, as the state wanted and insisted in the '90s, and we won this victory to get Mumia off death row, maybe we can, in fact, dream a larger dream and bring him home!"
Africa concluded, "We've had victory after victory; we beat back the death penalty a number of times, we got him off of death row--and that should be a clear indication that we can also bring him home!"
Listen to Abu-Jamal's live on-air broadcasts at www.prisonradio.org/media/audio/Mumia.
To write: Mumia Abu-Jamal, #AM8335, SCI Mahanoy. 301 Morea Rd., Frackville, PA, 17932. For more information, visit www.freemumia.com or call 212-330-8029.