Free the Class-War Prisoners!

Partisan Defense Committee Fundraisers:

Bay Area


Los Angeles

New York


Sun., 12/10

Sun., 12/10

Sat., 12/2

Sun., 12/17

Fri., 12/15

1 p.m.

3 p.m.

2 p.m.

5 p.m.

7 p.m.

This year’s Holiday Appeals mark the 21st year of the Partisan Defense Committee’s program of sending monthly stipends as an expression of solidarity to those imprisoned for standing up to racist capitalist repression. This program revived a tradition initiated by the International Labor Defense under James P. Cannon, its founder and first secretary (1925-28). The PDC sends stipends to 16 class-war prisoners.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther Party spokesman, a well-known supporter of the MOVE organization and an award-winning journalist known as “the voice of the voiceless.” The fight to free America’s foremost class-war prisoner has reached a crucial juncture. Mumia’s case is on a “fast track” before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. A decision could come in a matter of weeks.

December 9, 2006, marks the 25th anniversary of the day Mumia was arrested for a killing that the cops know he did not commit. Mumia was framed up for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death explicitly for his political views. More than five years ago, Mumia’s attorneys submitted to the courts the sworn confession of Arnold Beverly that he, not Mumia, shot and killed Faulkner, but to the racists in black robes a court of law is no place for evidence of the innocence of this fighter for the oppressed.

This past July, Mumia filed his legal brief in the federal appeals court—the last stage before the U.S. Supreme Court. The execution of Tookie Williams last December in the face of a massive public outcry was a real signal that the state intends to see Mumia dead. It was because he has always spoken for the oppressed, such as those left to die in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that Mumia faces the ultimate in capitalist repression: the racist death penalty. Workers, immigrants, minorities and all opponents of racist oppression must redouble their efforts to free Mumia now!

Leonard Peltier is an internationally revered class-war prisoner. His incarceration for more than three decades because of his activism in the American Indian Movement has come to symbolize this country’s racist repression of its native peoples, the survivors of centuries of genocidal oppression. Peltier’s frame-up trial for the deaths of two marauding FBI agents in what had become a war zone at the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation over 30 years ago shows what capitalist “justice” is all about. Although the lead government attorney has admitted: “We can’t prove who shot those agents,” and the courts have repeatedly acknowledged blatant prosecutorial misconduct, the 62-year-old Peltier is still locked away.

Jamal Hart, Mumia’s son, was sentenced in 1998 to 15 1/2 years on bogus firearms possession charges. Hart was targeted for his prominent activism in the campaign to free his father. Although Hart was initially charged under Pennsylvania laws, which would have meant a probationary sentence, Clinton’s Justice Department intervened to have him thrown into prison under federal laws. He is not eligible for parole. Hart is currently confined in Ray Brook, New York, hundreds of miles from family and supporters. He has been subjected to numerous provocations by abusive prison guards, thrown into solitary and denied transfer to a less restrictive facility.

Eight MOVE members, Chuck Africa, Michael Africa, Debbie Africa, Janet Africa, Janine Africa, Delbert Africa, Eddie Africa and Phil Africa, are in their 29th year of prison. They were sentenced to 30-100 years after the 8 August 1978 siege of their Philadelphia home by over 600 heavily armed cops. They were falsely convicted of killing a police officer who died in the cops’ own cross fire. In 1985 they watched in horror from their Pennsylvania prison cells as eleven of their MOVE family members, including five children, were massacred by Philly cops, many of them “veterans” of the 1978 assault.

Jaan Laaman and Thomas Manning are the remaining anti-imperialist activists known as the Ohio 7 still in prison. They were convicted for their roles in a radical group that took credit for bank “expropriations” and bombings in the late 1970s and ’80s against symbols of U.S. imperialism such as military and corporate offices. Before their arrests in 1984 and 1985, the Ohio 7 were targets of massive manhunts. Their children were kidnapped at gunpoint by the Feds and interrogated.

The politics of the Ohio 7 were once shared by thousands of radicals during the heyday of the Vietnam antiwar movement and by New Leftists who wrote off the possibility of winning the working class to a revolutionary program and saw themselves as an auxiliary of “Third World” liberation movements. But, like the Weathermen before them, the Ohio 7 were spurned by the “respectable” left. From a proletarian standpoint, the actions of these leftist activists against imperialism and racist injustice are not a crime. These courageous fighters should not have served even a day in prison.

Ed Poindexter and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa are former Black Panther supporters and leaders of the Omaha, Nebraska, National Committee to Combat Fascism. They were victims of the FBI COINTELPRO operation launched against the Communist Party and then deployed to “neutralize” radical organizations in the 1960s, particularly the Black Panther Party, whose members were framed up and imprisoned by the hundreds while 38 were killed. Poindexter and Mondo, railroaded to prison for a 1970 explosion which killed a cop, were sentenced to life and have now served more than 30 years in jail. They are currently attempting to exhume a crucial piece of evidence in their trial: a 911 audio tape which would prove testimony of the state’s key witness to be perjured.

Hugo Pinell is the last of the San Quentin 6 still in prison. He was a militant anti-racist leader of prison rights organizing along with his comrade and mentor, George Jackson, who was gunned down by prison guards in 1971. Up for a parole hearing in November, Pinell has repeatedly been denied parole despite hundreds of letters of support, many job offers and no disciplinary write-ups for over 25 years. Now in his 60s, Pinell continues to serve a life sentence at the notorious Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit in California.

Contribute now! All proceeds from the Holiday Appeals will go to the Class-War Prisoners Stipend Fund. This is not charity but an elementary act of solidarity with those imprisoned for their opposition to racist capitalism and imperialist depredations. Send your contributions to: PDC, P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013; (212) 406-4252.

October 2006

In 1986, the Partisan Defense Committee revived an International Labor Defense (ILD) tradition of sending monthly stipends to class-war prisoners as an expression of solidarity. In addition to its regular monthly support, the ILD raised extra funds during the holidays for the prisoners and their families. Help build our program of monthly stipends to these victims of racist capitalist injustice.