[4/3 UPDATE: Abu-Jamal has reportedly been moved by the Dept. of Prisons back to SCI-Mahoney’s infirmary, where there is no specialist on diabetes, despite his apparently still being in an acute health crisis. Sigificantly, his supporters note that this shift makes it even more difficult for family members, supporters and reporters to monitor his treatment and condition.To help Mumia immediate action must be taken. You can help by Calling Pennsylvanian Department of Correction Director of Health Care Services Richard Ellers at 717-728-5311 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and express your concern for Mumia’s medical treatment. You can also call SCI Mahoney Pennsylvanian Department of Correction Superintendent John Kereste at 570-773-2158, to express your concern. Take action now to help save Mumia’s life!]
Pennsylvania’s Prison System is Torturing Mumia Abu-Jamal and His Family Too
by DAVE LINDORFF, This Can’t Be Happening!, April 1, 2015
Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Philadelphia journalist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with prosecutorial misconduct, witness coaching and judicial prejudice back in 1981, spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement in the deliberately designed hell of Pennsylvania’s supermax SCI Green prison before a panel of federal Appeals Court judges eventually ruled that he’d been unconstitutionally sentenced to death.
He, of course, received no apology for the state’s making him illegally and improperly spend all those years in solitary waiting to be wrongfully executed. Instead, with that ruling (after a few years of legal stalling by the Philadelphia district attorney’s office), he was simply switched over to a sentence of life without possibility of parole and moved to the SCI-Mahoney prison in central Pennsylvania.
Now, it appears the state, which lost its chance to execute him, may be trying to kill him another way, as word comes that this world-renowned political prisoner had to be rushed to the hospital this week, unconscious from an undiagnosed case of severe diabetes.
October 7th, 2014 — World renowned revolutionary journalist and author Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent political prisoner known as the “voice of the voiceless,” was heard loud and clear Sunday at Goddard College, his alma mater. Though confined in a Pennsylvania state prison for life without parole for a crime he didn’t commit, Mumia’s recorded commencement address was heard because Goddard College students, having invited him to speak, defied the demands of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and right-wing politicians and media that his address be cancelled and he be silenced. Goddard’s Interim President, Robert Kenny backed up the students.
Mumia’s thought-provoking address was deeply moving, philosophical and generously considerate of the students he was addressing, as he urged them to work for progressive change. It was met with a standing ovation. As Noel Hanrahan, of Prison Radio, the organization that records and makes available Mumia’s commentaries, said in a report from Goddard:
“As I stood in the front of the packed Haybarn Theater, the electricity, tension, and courage was palpable. The students were graceful, celebratory, and committed. Faculty College Chair Dr. Herukhuti and College President Robert Kenny stood up to the death threats and pressure and defended their and Mumia’s right to free speech.” (see “Educate to Liberate,” at prisonradio.org)Continue reading →
The new documentary, “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal,” premieres today in New York City. We play an excerpt of the film and speak to writer, producer and director Steve Vittoria, as well as Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio, who has interviewed Abu-Jamal many times over the years. The features many supporters of Mumia, including actress Ruby Dee, writer Tariq Ali, and author Michelle Alexander.
In a rare live interview, Mumia Abu-Jamal calls into Democracy Now! as the new film, “Long Distance Revolutionary,” about his life premieres in New York City this weekend. After 29 years on death row, he is now being held in general population at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution – Mahanoy. “How free are we today, those who claim to be non-prisoners? Your computers are being read by others in government. Your letters, your phone calls are being intercepted,” says Mumia Abu-Jamal. “We live now in a national security state, where the United States is fast becoming one of the biggest open-air prisons on earth. We can speak about freedom, and the United States has a long and distinguished history of talking about freedom, but have we exampled freedom? And I think the answer should be very clear: We have not.” In 1982, Mumia was sentenced to die for killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. He has always maintained his innocence and is perhaps America’s most famous political prisoner. In 2011, an appeals court upheld his conviction, but also vacated his death sentence. It found jurors were given confusing instructions.
[In a letter to fellow former Panther Kiilu Nyasha on December 6, Mumia expressed these thoughts about the Egyptian movement and OccupyWall Street:
“I find the OWS movement as a truly impressive beginning — but not an end. It’s got a long way to go, in my view. It needs some color, some working class consciousness, and some soul. But it’s a damn good beginning. If they stay engaged, they will learn. When I look at them, I see/hear echoes from Tahir Square in Cairo; where the people said, “The army and the people are one!” For, at first, in Zuccoti Sq., N.Y., the demonstrators were yelling (and holding signs that saying), “The police are part of the 99%.” I think both groups have learned a new lesson from the University of Experience. I hope so.”
And here, Mumia’s Message to OWS as dictated while in Administrative Custody at SCI Manahoy (being transferred from Death Row to the general prison population) in Frackville, PA, Thursday, December 15, 2011. — Frontlines ed.]
My Friends of OWS,
My message will have to be brief. But let not this brevity take from it, its strength.
You are the central movement of the hour. You’re raising questions that are in the hearts of millions. Your motto, “We are the 99%,” has been heard, heeded, and responded to by millions. You can be certain that the 1% have heard you clearest of all.
Your work, however, is just beginning. You must deepen, strengthen, and further your work until it truly reaches the 99%, almost all of us: workers, black folk, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTs, immigrants, Asians, artists, all of us, for we are integral parts of the 99%. I salute you and hope fervently that you will grow beyond number.
Though I speak to you today by proxy, I’m confident that you will hear my voice soon.
New SCOTUS Decision In Abu-Jamal Case Is Good, But Not Enough
By Mary Shaw
12 October, 2011 Countercurrents.org
The drama continues in the case of America’s most famous living death row prisoner.
On October 11, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from the Philadelphia District Attorney to overturn a federal appeals court decision declaring Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence unconstitutional. Abu-Jamal had been convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
Now, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), “Mr. Abu-Jamal will be automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole unless the District Attorney elects to seek another death sentence from a new jury.”
It has taken a while to reach this conclusion, but upon reflection, it is inescapable.
Why, after over a ½ century of the vote and the election of more Black political leaders than at any time since Reconstruction, are the lives, fortunes, prospects and hopes of Black people so grim?
Education is a shambles, with a drop-out rate nearing 50% in most central cities; Black communities are being gentrified into oblivion; joblessness stalks families by the highest percentage since such figures were first recorded; and Black families face foreclosure (and its concomitant result–homelessness) at rates far exceeding any other demographic: a direct result of the mortgage scams that lined the pockets of Wall street.
In cities boasting Black mayors and Black police chiefs, police violence against Black so- called citizens continues unabated, and the prison-Industrial-complex traps generations in chains. Continue reading →