Civil Disobedience for Mumia,
Revolutionary Worker #1037, January 9, 2000
The following letter is being circulated by the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition:
December 20, 1999
The year 2000 will be the decisive year in the legal and political struggle for the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal. We are asking all people of conscience to join us in mass non-violent civil disobedience and a simultaneous legal rally on Monday, February 28, at the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, CA. This West Coast demonstration will coincide with mass civil disobedience at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
It is apparent to journalists, scholars, legal experts, and human rights activists around the globe that Mumia's case represents one of the most important political death penalty cases in U.S. history. On October 13, 1999, a second death warrant for Mumia was issued by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. Although a stay of execution was granted 14 days later, that stay is simply a temporary postponement. Within the next few months, crucial rulings will be made which will determine the outcome of Mumia's final appeal. It is time to act.
The East and West Coast actions will generate national and international attention through the participation of public figures and activists from around the country who will risk arrest. It will focus attention on the federal court, which may decide Mumia's fate sometime next year. The federal court is Mumia's last avenue to receive a new trial, yet the federal courts' powers to review death penalty convictions have recently been drastically curtailed. During 1996-97 appeal hearings, Pennsylvania judge Albert Sabo--the same notorious `hanging judge' who oversaw Mumia's original 1982 trial--wholehandedly rejected mountains of new evidence which showed that the case against Mumia was false. Under the 1996 Effective Death Penalty Act, the federal court may be bound by these biased rulings, essentially becoming a rubber stamp for the state court's decision sending Mumia to his death. Over the next few months, federal district judge William Yohn will be considering this key question of whether the federal courts will hear any evidence, or simply let Judge Sabo's factual record stand. Without a full and fair consideration of the evidence, Mumia's fate, and that of the 2,400 other death row inmates in the U.S., is grim.
The peaceful mass civil disobedience will expose our outrage at the Effective Death Penalty Act and this country's current rush to kill. We will demonstrate our support for Mumia as a political prisoner and the other some-100 political prisoners still held in U.S. prisons and jails.
Join us to show the world that there is no justice in America as long as Mumia remains in prison and on death row. Together we can and must free Mumia!
Black Radical Congress
Jericho Amnesty Movement
National People's Campaign
Refuse & Resist!
National Lawyers Guild
Lesbian and Gay Insurrection (LAGAI)
Bob Mandel, Oakland Teachers Association
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Bay Area Mobilization to Free Mumia
Kriss Worthington, Berkeley City Council
Maudelle Shirek, vice mayor, City of Berkeley
Joint Action for Mumia
P.O. Box 3585, Oakland, CA 94609
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