[Hpn] Fwd: (YNPN) Granma's version of Mumia

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Tue, 06 Jun 2000 20:17:50 -0700

>From:	crubill@aol.com [SMTP:crubill@aol.com]
>Sent:	Saturday, June 03, 2000 11:09 AM
>To:	ynpn-members@igc.topica.com
>Subject:	(YNPN) Granma's (Cuba's daily newspaper- not his Grandmother)
>version of Mumia s
>Below is a recent article(5/31/00) from Granma, Cuba's daily newspaper.
>"For 18 years Mumia Abu-Jamal awaits his execution in a prison cell. This
>U.S. journalist could pay with his life for his constant denunciations of
>the system's crimes."
>By Mario Jorge Munoz
>"A young woman falls into a diabetic coma, she's in her car and the police
>shoots her, because, they say, she threatened them." Tyesha Miller, of
>Riverside California, is added to the list of victims by official violence.
>Another youth is in his car in north Philadelphia and a squadron of armed
>police approach him. They shout at him from all sides:
>"Hands up!" But when he raises his hands, they gun him down, the police
>officer says he saw a pistol. Dontae Dawson becomes one more victim.
>"Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, Africa, comes to the U.S. and
>rents an apartment in the Bronx, New York. Four police come to the doorway
>of his building to investigate a violation (Diallo is not on the list of
>suspects.) They shoot 41 bullets; 19 hit the unarmed man. Amadou Diallo
>will never return to Africa again."
>Such denunciations were written from a cold cell on "death row" in
>Pennsylvania. For 18 years, the author is aware that at any moment they
>could carry out the sentence. For that reason he expounds as if each moment
>were his last: the word continues to be his main weapon giving cognizance
>to the inhuman conditions within U.S. prisons, the humiliating treatment
>that the prisoners receive. The word, each day ever sharper, continues to
>be his most powerful weapon in unmasking the countless injustices of the
>system and to show his support for the countless noble causes that are
>still fought on the planet.
>He has to pay the price for his beliefs
>There are many reasons to silence his voice. Mumia was a thorn in the side
>of the Philadelphia Police Department for his constant public criticism of
>the violence and open racism of the agents of "law and order."
>At 15 years old he was one of the founders, in his city, of the Black
>Panthers for Liberation, at 17, he was minister of information and reporter
>of the Black Panther newspaper.
>And from that time he became one of the targets of the FBI and its
>COINTELPRO against the Black movement. It has been revealed that more than
>800 pages of secret surveillance were gathered by the police on Mumia. They
>began to persecute him when he was barely 14 years old. They listened to
>his phone conversations, they planted spies, his friends and teachers were
>But Mumia continued his struggle. He was elected president of the
>Association of Black Journalists in Philadelphia, his pen continuing to
>denounce the savagery of the Police Department of his city, the brutal
>racism that his brothers and sisters suffered. In the streets they began to
>call him the "voice of the voiceless," while the police chief, Frank Rizzo,
>said that "one day, and I hope that it's during my command, he will have to
>pay for all that he's doing today."
>On December 9, 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal was driving his taxi through a main
>street of Philadelphia, when he saw a police beating his brother William
>Cook, with a metal flashlight. He jumped to help, there was a fight.
>Everything was cloudy: Mumia lay bleeding from a bullet wound in his chest
>a few yards from the corner of 13th and Locust; close by, police Daniel
>Faulkner lay mortally wounded.
>"It seems my real crime was that I survived their attack, but that night we
>were the victims," he wrote two months later. The punishment had just
>begun. That same night, a little later, at the scene of the incident, and
>with a lung and his diaphragm perforated, the police brutally beat him,
>ramming his head against a pole.
>Mumia awoke with a pain in his kidneys. He opened his eyes and found
>himself with stitches in his body, tubes connected to his nose, a "law and
>order" agent smiled while he had his foot on the urine drainage bag so that
>urine couldn't drain into the bag.
>Later they transferred him to a cold cell. They thought that in his
>delicate state of health, the "n." could contract pneumonia and die.  But
>Mumia lived. He had no idea that his torture had just begun.
>On June 1, 1982, the Judge Albert Sabo had before him a new opportunity to
>unleash his history of racial prejudices. The Black journalist must die for
>the death of a white cop, the Black youth would face the anger of this
>member of the Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP), an organization which
>contributed to [Sabo's] election campaign. Before the trial began, Sabo had
>already decided the sentence.
>"Justice is just an emotion, a sentiment," he had said. And his hatred of
>Blacks was on the list of his deepest sentiments. Sabo bears the record of
>the most cases sentenced to death in the United States: of 33 cases that he
>has sentenced to death, 95% were not white.
>During the selection of the jury he didn't permit Mumia to interview the
>candidates. He said that his appearance (beard and dreadlocks) intimated
>them. The "impartial" judge picked his own jury.
>Coincidentally, none of them was against the death penalty.
>Coincidentally only one was Black.
>The prosecutor interviewed more than 100 witnesses; but only presented
>those few who were willing to support his version. As to be expected, he
>didn't give the names of the others to the defense. Before the trial, four
>witnesses said that they had seen a man run from the scene of the crime.
>The prosecutor hid this from the jury. Years later, some witnesses declared
>that they had been threatened by the police.
>On July 3 the farce was concluded. Mumia summed up with his own words:
>"The pure truth is that for "n.", for the poor, the Puerto Ricans, and the
>Indigenous who remain after the genocide, justice is a cruel trick, a joke.
>I am innocent of the accusations that I have been charged with ...  to deny
>me my supposed "right" to represent myself, to deny me my right to my own
>advisor, the right to a jury of my peers, to question witnesses and to make
>statements at the beginning and end of the trial. I am innocent in spite of
>what you 12 may think, and freedom will free me! On December 9, 1981 the
>police tried to execute me in the street. This trial took place because
>they failed."
>On October 26 last year, federal judge William H. Yohn Jr., signed, once
>again, a stay of execution for Abu-Jamal, which will remain while he
>reviews the petition of habeas corpus that was presented by the Defense.
>The petition shows the irregularities of the judicial process, the racial
>prejudices and evidence of 29 constitutional violations.
>For 18 years, behind bars, the "voice of the voiceless" continues to be
>heard despite his total isolation, despite being denied physical contact
>with his family and friends, after hunger strikes, repression, death
>threats, and the continued deterioration of his health.  His pen (can't
>understand this phrase), although they keep him confined 23 hours a day,
>although they read his correspondence, although they deny journalists the
>right to interview him.
>Important humanitarian and progressive organizations all over the world
>have raised a strong campaign to win him the opportunity to a just trial.
>Time is running out. The order of execution could come at any time.
>In that case, the world would watch once again, another crime of the U.S.
>system without being able to stop it. Because as one of the many pages on
>the Internet dedicated to the international struggle for his freedom says,
>Mumia Abu-Jamal is not in prison for the murder of police Daniel Faulkner,
>he is sentenced to death for his opinions and political conduct.
>Orpheus S. L. Crutchfield
>President & Co-Founder
>Nonprofit Ventures, Inc. &
>Website:   www.diversitynetwork.com
>Toll-Free:   888-921-9344
>Email:       orpheus@diversitynetwork.com
>Mail:       2342 Shattuck Avenue, #335
>                 Berkeley, CA 94704
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