Partisan Defense Committee Press Release
16 April 2008
Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013
Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252
Fascist Threat Against Demonstrators
for Mumia Abu-Jamalís Freedom
Fascists of the Keystone State Skinheads and Maryland Skinheads are reportedly planning a provocation against the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia for death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The demonstration is protesting the federal appeals court decision that reaffirmed Mumia's frame-up murder conviction. This fascist threat underscores the need to mobilize labor contingents for the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia demanding Mumiaís immediate freedom. For more information: www.partisandefense.org
The neo-Nazis’ plans to counter the April 19 Philadelphia demonstration were reported by Philadelphia Anti-Racist Action (www.oppforum.com/images/mumiarallyflyer.pdf), who noted that the skinheads have in the past targeted a number of rallies in defense of Mumia. Last December, these fascist skinheads showed up at Geno’s restaurant to support Maureen Faulkner as she signed copies of her book, Murdered by Mumia, a compendium of lies promoting the legal lynching of Mumia. In response to the fascist threat, Gene Herson, Labor Coordinator of the Partisan Defense Committee, declared: “The fight to free death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is a defining cause for all opponents of the racist American ‘justice’ system. The fascists are deadly enemies of labor, blacks and all the oppressed. It is no accident that they threaten to come forward as the stormtroopers for those who seek Mumia’s legal lynching. This makes clear that the fight to free Mumia is labor's fight. Trade-union contingents must be mobilized for the April 19 demonstration in Philadelphia. The legal lynchers and their fascist supporters must be answered by mobilizing the social power of the working class.”
Faryce B. Moore, Vice President of Grievances, Social Service Employees Union (SSEU) Local 371, New York City, stated: "It's time for the labor movement to start standing up for all sorts of political prisoners, and standing up for all people who have the goal of justice. I don't think we should be intimidated by any skinhead groups or fascist groups. Labor brings the numbers and the power to the table to stand up for the rights of people like Mumia Abu-Jamal and people similarly situated." Donald Afflick, president of the New York City chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, told the PDC: "There is no more expression, no other expression, that a labor person has than to withhold their labor." He added, "This has been going on for a while with Mumia, but we need to keep the pressure on, like you guys are doing."
Labor unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers internationally have joined the call to free Mumia, an innocent man framed up because of his political views; and Mumia has long spoken out on behalf of labor. In December 2005, when New York City transit workers in Transport Workers Union Local 100 struck in defiance of New York State’s Taylor Law, crippling the city for three days, Mumia wrote of the parallel between the laws that “demanded that Blacks take the back of the bus” and the law that “outlaws the right of those who labor to withhold their labor, to better their condition.” During a lockout of 2,500 unionized ABC technicians in 1998, Mumia refused an interview by reporters from the 20/20 TV news show, stating that he would rather die than cross the picket line.
Labor struggle and black struggle must march forward together. All out on April 19! The PDC and Labor Black League for Social Defense are mobilizing a class-struggle contingent for the demonstration in Philadelphia around 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!"
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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.