Fighters for Mumia Under AttackKissinger, Goldin Hit with Vengeful Penalties
Revolutionary Worker #1059, June 18, 2000
We want to call our readers' attention to a serious political persecution of RW correspondent Clark Kissinger and Frances Goldin, literary agent for Mumia Abu-Jamal, by the U.S. government. What began as arrests in a civil disobedience action at the Liberty Bell—carrying a charge less than a traffic ticket—has now turned into a political persecution intruding into the financial records of these activists, preventing them from travelling, preventing them from association with Mumia, subjecting them to probation conditions for a year, and subjecting them to political police intrusion into their work and their lives. The following open letter of protest tells the story.
This letter is currently circulating for signatures. Those wishing to add their names to the signatories should send permission to add their name to Michael Tarif Warren at 580 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 or phone (718) 230-9790 or FAX (718) 230-5145. Contributions to the cost of appeal can be sent to Frances Goldin, 305 E. 11th St., #26, New York, NY 10003.
We are writing to protest a serious attempt by the federal government to cripple the work of some of the staunchest supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Clark Kissinger, organizer of the national leadership conferences for Mumia, Frances Goldin, Mumia's literary agent, and several others have been sentenced by a federal magistrate to a fine and one year supervised probation.
Ms. Goldin and Mr. Kissinger are forbidden to associate with felons (i.e. Mumia) and cannot leave their federal court district in New York City without the permission of a probation officer for one year. In addition, they are required to be employed at a regular job (i.e. no full-time volunteer work for Mumia), they have to surrender their passports, submit to visits to their homes and offices by probation officers, list all persons they are in contact with who have been convicted of a crime, and turn in detailed financial records every month on where their money comes from and how they spend it. These Orwellian restrictions were imposed as the result of a peaceful protest and civil disobedience action last year at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Ninety-six people were issued summonses by Park Rangers for ``failing to obey a lawful order.'' This infraction is not even a misdemeanor. It is classified as a ``petty offense'' and is equivalent to a traffic ticket. Yet everyone who refused to return the summons pleading guilty and paying the fixed fine—and who had the temerity to ask for a trial—was given one-year supervised probation in addition to the fine.
In addition, Mr. Kissinger's wife has been served with a subpoena to produce all her financial records for the last ten years and to testify before a federal grand jury. This is a giant fishing expedition by federal agents, that further exposes the role of the federal government in attempting to execute Mumia and silence the movement in his defense. There are two principles worth fighting for here. The first is the right to have a trial. Mr. Kissinger, Ms. Goldin, and the others were given the one-year probation as punishment for asking for a trial. The second is that the government has no right to restrict key organizers and pry into their private associations and finances.
These judicial actions are an outrage and are clearly aimed at ``shutting down'' anyone who works effectively for Mumia. The progressive forces in this country cannot surrender the right to a trial, nor can we tolerate the attempt of the government to ``ground'' those working for Mumia.
The imposition of these judicial restrictions and subpoenas on leading activists and their families serves no purpose other than to chill the first amendment rights of those who have been most effective in bringing Mumia's case before the public. We demand that they be stayed at once, and overturned by the appeals court.
Hundreds of people have already signed this statement. As we go to press, signatories include:
Pam Africa, International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Michael Albert, Z Magazine
Asians for Mumia
Andrew Boyd, United for a Fair Economy, author
Safiya Bukhari, Esq.
Kathleen Cleaver, Esq.
Loren E. Clive, Control Units & Prison Industrial Complex Watch
Ron Daniels, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Walter E. Davis, Kent State University
Debbie Duguay, Office Manager, The Career Group, Ltd, Cambridge, MA
Prof. Jill Soffiyah Elijah, Harvard Law School
Herman Ferguson, Jericho Movement
Sara Flounders, co-director of International Action Center
Jennifer Flynn, Executive Director, NYC AIDS Housing Network
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC
William Goodman, Legal Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Mary Lou Greenberg, Revolutionary Communist Party
Patty Heffley, Coalition for a Democratic Pacifica-NY
Sam Jordan, Washington D.C.
Aron Pieman Kay
Arthur Kinoy, Esq.
Doret Kollerer, editor NorthCoast Xpress
Ron Kuby, Esq.
Michael Letwin, Esq., President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, NYC
Jeff Mackler, Mobilization to Free Mumia
Bob Mandel, Executive Board, Oakland CA Education Association
William M. Mandel, author, scholar, broadcaster
Ronald B. McGuire, Esq., Legal Director, CUNY Emergency Legal Defense Project
Arnold Mesches, artist and educator
Monica Moorehead, Millions for Mumia/International Action Center
Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine
MOVE, Philadelphia, PA
National Lawyers Guild, and its Executive Director, Heidi Boghosian
Peter Neufeld, Esq.
New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
"Nuova Unita'' magazine
Frances Fox Piven
Marcus Rediker, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh
Robert Rockwell, M.D., National Secretary, Refuse & Resist!
Charles H. Sumner, Co-chair, Monroe Coalition for Democracy
Prof. Mark Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary
Twin Cities Coalition to Defend Mumia Abu-Jamal, Minneapolis, MN
Vermont Coalition to Save the Life of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Michael Warren, Esq.
Al Weinrub, Chairperson, National Writers Union
Steve Wiser, Bruderhof Community
Rev. S. Michael Yasutake, Executive Secretary, Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project, IL
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