Support rallies were conducted Friday, March 12, in Philadelphia and San Francisco, as well as at several locations in between, demanding that the Philadelphia district attorney approve the release of political prisoner-of-war, Mumia Abu-Jamal amid his failing health. They contend that the Pennsylvania officials have been attempting to kill him via medical neglect.
“In addition to his COVID and congestive heart failure, Mumia is suffering from a severe flare up of his skin disease, which stems from the negligent medical treatment of the Dept of Corrections medical staff when Mumia contracted Hep C over five years ago. In this past week, Mumia has returned to the prison infirmary after being in the hospital for four days, where he was chained to his bed, causing cuts on his wrists and ankles, further aggravating his already blistering and delicate skin. Bottom line is this: Mumia is not safe until he’s free,” reads a statement by his supporters.
On Friday, in front of Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner’s office at 3 Penn Square, supporters made their case for his release in a virtual ‘stream meeting’ which streamed live over various social media platforms.
“Do what’s right, is the call to all elected officials,” expressed Philly activist Gabriel Bryant, also a Mobilization 4 Mumia meeting moderator.
Mumia, who turns 66 April 24, was rushed to a local hospital Feb. 27, and soon diagnosed with congestive heart disease. Then during a March 3 news conference, outside Krasner’s office, Abu-Jamal called informing supporters that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“He struggles for the breath for freedom,” said one panelist.
New health concerns contribute to preexisting ones. In 2014, he was diagnosed with critically low blood sugars, and later with hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. Additionally, Mumia has lost about 30lbs since contracting COVID-19.
“The rotten-ass reform system is again trying to silence the “Voice of the voiceless––Mumia Abu-Jamal!” maintains MOVE activist Orie Lumumba. “We all must come together and do what is necessary to stop this plot of government-sanctioned murder!”
He exhorted supporters to “expose this treacherous plot,” and that the powers that be are using “COVID 19 to camouflage their murderous tactics to silence our freedom fighters.”
A virtual “Global Street Meeting for Mumia Abu-Jamal” took place Saturday via Facebook and YouTube.
“We want to show in solidarity the global support of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” he said. “Let’s bring Mumia home, release him now.”
“The only appropriate treatment is freedom,” expressed Dr. Johanna Fernandez, Baruch College professor and longtime Mumia supporter. “The call must be to release Mumia. Release Mumia now.”
Pam Africa said that “Mumia’s health challenges are a direct effect of being wrongfully imprisoned for 39 years and not having proper care and medical treatment.”
On Monday, Abu-Jamal appeared to be recovering from COVID-19 and no longer receiving intravenous fluids while laying isolated in the infirmary at Mahanoy State Correctional Institution in Frackville.
“It’s a horror show,” Fernández said about Abu-Jamal’s condition, adding that infirmary staff haven’t been giving him daily medical baths to treat his skin condition, per a prison doctor’s recommendation. She reiterated her calls and those of Abu-Jamal’s supporters that he should be released from prison and receive medical treatment at a hospital.