C. Clark Kissinger Threatened with Jail
for Political Speech

Court Hearing on Dec. 6

Revolutionary Worker #1081, December 3, 2000, posted at http://rwor.org

C. Clark Kissinger is a leading organizer in the fight to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and a contributing writer for the RW. He has been ordered to appear in federal court in Philadelphia on December 6 to answer charges of probation violation--charges that could result in jail time--for the crime of giving a political speech during the Republican National Convention. (see RW #1072)

Since his sentence in April to one year federal probation, along with six others, including Mumia's literary agent Frances Goldin, Clark has resisted the unjust probation terms. According to his probation, Clark is required to turn over lists of his financial transactions and political contacts. He has refused to do this. He has also refused to stop corresponding with Mumia and has not stopped building the movement to save Mumia's life.

Clark's probation was designed to silence him and limit his political activity, and it prohibits him from leaving the eastern district of New York for political events. In violation of this, Clark spoke at a rally against the death penalty and in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal in downtown Philadelphia on August 1. It was where Clark belonged that day, and he had every right to be there.

For making this speech, Judge Arnold Rapoport has ordered Clark to appear before him on Wednesday, December 6. At this hearing, Clark could be sentenced to up to six months in federal lock-up. Originally, Clark was denied a jury trial because the government said it was not asking for jail time. Ron Kuby, Clark's attorney, said, "I've never seen anything like this before. There is no basis in any body of law since the revolution that justifies incarcerating someone for giving a lawful speech. It is singularly and uniquely outrageous."

As a statement of support for Clark signed by hundreds of people points out: "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." And we cannot tolerate the jailing of revolutionaries for political speech.

As part of the December 4-11 Mumia Awareness Week, Pam Africa of International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal has designated December 6th as a Day to Support Resisters. All those who have been attacked by the government for supporting Mumia this year, including more than 600 arrested at the April 16th IMF protests in Washington, DC, those arrested at both the RNC and the DNC, the MOVE organization, and ICFFMAJ, will be honored and supported that day.

A call has gone out for people to join Clark Kissinger in the courtroom at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6. Supporters will gather at 12:00 p.m. at the Federal District Courthouse, 6th & Market, Philadelphia. Speakers will include others arrested on August 1 while protesting the death penalty, the execution of Mumia and the imprisonment of two million in the United States.

For more information, contact Refuse & Resist! Philadelphia at 215-552-8548. For bus tickets from NYC, call Refuse & Resist! at 212-713-5657.

Messages demanding "no jail time" for Clark should be sent to Judge Arnold Rapoport, U.S. District Court Suite 3401, U.S. Courthouse 504 West Hamilton Street Allentown, PA 18101. And people can still sign on to the statement of support for Clark Kissinger at www.j4mumia.org.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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