Partisan Defense Committee Press Release
14 April 2008
Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013
Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252
United-Front Protests Demand
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Immediate Freedom
All out for united-front mobilizations called by the Partisan Defense Committee under the slogans: “Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent! Free Mumia Now! Abolish the Racist Death Penalty!” Oakland, Toronto and London on April 19; Sydney on April 23; Mexico City on April 24; Chicago and Los Angeles on April 26. For more information: www.partisandefense.org
Against the March 27 decision by the Third Circuit of Appeals, which upheld Mumia Abu-Jamal’s frame-up conviction and ordered a new sentencing hearing that would either entomb him for life in prison or reimpose the death sentence, the Partisan Defense Committee has launched an international campaign to demand Mumia’s freedom. Protests in the U.S. have been initiated by the PDC and the Labor Black Leagues, while the PDC’s fraternal defense organizations have called the international demonstrations. Mumia’s daughter, Goldii, will be speaking at the L.A. protest.
In its 11 April call for the international united-front protests, the PDC stated: “Mumia was framed up because of his lifelong struggle against racist oppression and police terror—first as a Black Panther Party spokesman, then as a MOVE supporter and an outspoken journalist renowned as the ‘voice of the voiceless.’ The cops, prosecutors and courts—with the support of capitalist politicians, Democrats and Republicans—see in Mumia the spectre of black revolt, a voice of defiant opposition to the oppression of black people that is a cornerstone of American capitalism…. It is all the more urgent today to revitalize mass protest to free Mumia on the basis that he is innocent, the victim of a racist and political frame-up, and to link his fight to the struggle to abolish the racist death penalty.”
Responding to those who viewed the decision as a victory, Mumia underlined in an April 7 radio interview on Berkeley’s KPFA that the courts have created “a new rule” to keep him behind bars. He said, “When a court has to make up new rules and make up new law to uphold something that was unjust before, that’s not a victory. It’s not a victory. But we struggle on.” Speaking of the racist rulers’ drive to silence him, Mumia stated, “For many people, especially for those in the establishment, I represent, in many ways, their greatest nightmare,” adding, “what they fear is the black revolution reigniting.” Mumia underlined: “Remember what the elder, Frederick Douglass, taught us: that power concedes nothing without a demand.” The interview can be heard at: http://www.partisandefense.org/media/Mumia-Flashpoints.mp3.
Over the last two weeks, more than 300 organizations and individuals have endorsed the united-front demonstrations. These include trade unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers, such as the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1422, Charleston, SC; Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 241 and 308 in Chicago; the Victorian Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia; the Aberdeen Trades Union Council in Scotland; SUD Rail Workers Union of Paris Left Bank; the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Western Cape, which issued a statement declaring, “We will stand with the millions of people across the world that are calling for justice to be done and will join the protest against this travesty of justice.” Other endorsers include the Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre in London, writer Gilles Perrault in France, Cornel West, Cynthia McKinney and Professor Dr. Heinrich Fink, Chairman of the Association of the Victims of the Nazi Regime—Coalition of Anti-fascists, in Berlin. In Mexico, Senator Rosario Ibarra, the head of the ¡Eureka! defense committee and an endorser of the protests, declared: “Tyranny imposes a duty upon us—to fight it. Mumia fulfills that duty.” For endorsers of the various united-front protests, go to: www.partisandefense.org/events/index.html#endorsers.
The PDC and LBL in the U.S. and the Committee for Social Defense in France are also building Class-Struggle contingents that will march in the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia initiated by the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the protest in Paris on the same day. The contingents will march under the slogans: “Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent! Free Mumia Now! Abolish the Racist Death Penalty! There Is No Justice in the Capitalist Courts! Mobilize Labor’s Power—For Mass Protest!” On April 12, a Class-Struggle contingent of some 80 people built by the Committee for Social Defense in Germany marched in a demonstration for Mumia in Berlin of about 300 people.
PDC counsel Rachel Wolkenstein, who served on Mumia’s legal defense from 1995 to 1999, stated: “The fight for Mumia’s freedom is at a critical juncture. The recent court decision illuminates for any who continued to have illusions in the ‘fairness’ of capitalist justice that there is no justice in the capitalist courts. Every possible legal avenue must be vigorously pursued to challenge the Court of Appeals’ decision. But we cannot afford to have any illusions. The pressure that can make the courts yield is that of mass international protest, crucially based on the power of labor. Working people around the world and all opponents of racist oppression must be mobilized in the fight to free Mumia now!”
United-front protests will take place on the following dates:
Saturday, April 19:
Oakland: 14th and Broadway at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call the PDC: (510) 839-0852 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto: Across the street from the U.S. Consulate, 360 University Avenue, between Dundas (St. Patrick Station) and Queen (Osgoode Station), at 1 p.m. For more information: (416) 593-4138 or e-mail: email@example.com
London: U.S. Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London W1A, at 1 p.m. For more information: 020 7281 5504 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 23:
Sydney, Australia: Outside U.S. Consulate, corner Martin Place and Castlereagh St., at 5:30 p.m. For more information: Sydney (02) 9281 2181 • Melbourne (03) 9654 4315 or e-mail: email@example.com
Thursday, April 24:
Mexico City: Fac. de Filosofía y Letras (main entrance), C.U., UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), at 5 p.m. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, April 26:
Chicago: Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn) at 12 Noon. For more information call the PDC: (312) 563-0442 or e-mail: email@example.com
Los Angeles: Westwood Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., at 1 p.m. For more information call the PDC: (213) 380-8897 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and round-trip transportation from New York City to the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia, call the PDC: (212) 406-4252 or e-mail: email@example.com
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The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which champions cases and causes in the interest of the whole of the working people. This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League.