Mumia: New Resolutions of Support

Revolutionary Worker #902, April 13, 1997

There have been a number of new and positive developments in the movement to demand a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.


Renowned writer Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, has been very active in the battle to free Mumia. On March 23, Walker visited with Mumia at SCI Greene maximum security prison in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She was in nearby Pittsburgh as the guest speaker at the Carnegie Library and Museum's Three Rivers Lecture Series. Walker, whose latest book Anything We Love Can Be Saved is about activism, dedicated her lecture to three people: Mumia, Judi Bari and Charlotte Hunt. Bari and Hunt recently died of cancer. Bari, a leading activist in the organization Earth First!, fought uncompromisingly against corporate plunder of the environment. Hunt assisted Walker in locating the grave of Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston and bringing attention to her work. Walker told the audience at the packed lecture hall that Mumia "is innocent," stated her opposition to the death penalty, and said that everything possible must be done to save Mumia's life.

A CBS camera crew filmed Walker on her way to the prison, as part of coverage for a special on CBS Sunday Morning. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette ran a prominent article which began with a discussion of her visit to the prison and talk with Mumia.

Walker is scheduled to return to Pittsburgh on May 28 to visit Mumia again and speak at a free public event sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Committee to Free Mumia. The funds raised at the event will go to benefit Mumia's legal defense fund.

Walker also did one of the public service announcements accompanying a series of commentaries by Mumia that aired on the Pacifica radio network in February. She said in her PSA: "Take a moment to listen to this rare and courageous voice, speaking from a place we all fear to know. Everyone interested in justice should hear the words of this eloquent man." Her words also appeared on the back cover of Mumia's 1995 book Live From Death Row.


On March 25, the Santa Cruz City Council became the first government body in the U.S. to pass a resolution demanding a new trial for Mumia. Following is the text of the resolution:

"WHEREAS, Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently on death row in Pennsylvania in a case which has brought international attention to the serious possibility that the State of Pennsylvania may be killing a man who is innocent of the charges against him; and

"WHEREAS, there is widespread support for a new trial in this case, particularly because of the witnesses for the prosecution who now recant their earlier testimony which was used to convict Mumia in his first trial; and

"WHEREAS, there is widespread evidence that the police agency involved in the original case and the criminal justice system which heard the original case were involved in illegal suppression of evidence and pressure on witnesses to falsely testify as to what they observed at the scene of the crime; and

"WHEREAS, there is now a new witness, a police informer, who is prepared to testify that other witnesses were pressured to give false testimony; and

"WHEREAS, the taking of a person's life by the state is something that should only be done, if ever, with solid, incontrovertible, and certain evidence that demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that a capital crime has been committed; and

"WHEREAS, that is hardly the situation in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal; and

"WHEREAS, local citizens and organizations in the Santa Cruz community have requested that our City join the international outcry for a new trial in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal;

"NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz that the City of Santa Cruz does hereby formally request the State of Pennsylvania and its criminal justice system grant the request of Mumia Abu-Jamal for a new trial, and that he be given a stay of execution until and unless a new trial can be scheduled and completed."


As we go to press, rallies, marches, cultural programs and other actions for Mumia were taking place in a number of cities across the U.S. and overseas. These actions are part of the April 4-5 Days of Remembrance, Rededication and Resistance called by the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Refuse & Resist!, Afrikan Frontline Network, the Bruderhof communities, Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (NY), People Against Racist Terror, Mark Taylor (coordinator of Academics for Mumia Abu-Jamal), and Workers World Party. The RW will report on these actions in a future issue.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.) 3