Message to May 12 Mobilizations in Philadelphia and San Fransico

From C. Clark Kissinger

Revolutionary Worker #1103, May 20, 2001, posted at

The following message by C. Clark Kissinger was delivered at the May 12 mobilization for Mumia Abu-Jamal in Philadelphia and sent to the mobilization in San Francisco.

We rally today amid new and quickly unfolding developments in the battle to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, to overturn his fraudulent conviction, and to free him.

For years, cops, prosecutors, and their hired media have been whining because both Mumia and his brother rightly refused to use Judge Sabo's kangaroo-courtroom to give their accounts of what happened on the night Mumia was shot and arrested.

Now, as we await Mumia's appearance in federal court, both have given detailed descriptions of that evening to the people. And these statements have now been filed with the federal court. So the FOP can just shut the fuck up.

But, as we saw with the execution of brother Shaka Sankofa by that serial killer George W. Bush, having right and justice on our side is not enough to deter these cold-blooded hyenas. To stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and win his freedom will require nothing less than an unprecedented movement that hits this heartless beast hard. But it is also a vulnerable beast because each new crime awakens new waves of resistance, as we have seen in Cincinnati.

Refuse & Resist! has long stated that the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has become a battleground in society precisely because it concentrates so much of the reactionary agenda riding high in this country: the criminalization of Black men, the suppression of dissent, the expansion of the death penalty, the gutting of defendants' rights, and a whole political atmosphere based on blame and punishment of the most oppressed.

On death row for 19 years from a trial that Amnesty International rightly calls a travesty of justice, against great odds and under unimaginable pressure, Mumia has transformed his prison cell into a platform from which he has exposed the many crimes against the people and upheld the people's right to resist. Most importantly, he has never backed down, never half-stepped, never begged for mercy, never claimed to be "reformed," and never turned his back on the people. Nor has he ever given this rotten system anything but the contempt and exposure that it so richly deserves.

This is why we love him, this is why the people love him, and this is why we join millions worldwide in saying that Mumia must not be executed. Mumia is a revolutionary who embodies the highest interests and aspirations of the people, and we will never accept the "right" of the state to take his life.

To this end, we pledge to continue our work, together with many, many other people and organizations, to develop our tens of thousands into millions, and to force the authorities not only to drop their plans to execute Mumia, but to free him once and for all. For ultimately the most decisive thing in this battle will be the united resistance, in many different forms, of the people themselves.

Whatever new twists and turns happen in this case--and I am sure there will be many more before this is over -- we must never lose sight of what Mumia and his case mean to the people. We must never lose sight of what Mumia stands for, versus what the rulers and the executioners stand for, nor what the outcome of this case will mean for all our futures.

I call on you to take out Mumia's words. To take out Terry Bisson's new book. To take out the HBO film. To take out the Amnesty International report. And to expose the sordid history of police frame-ups, brutality, and corruption in Philadelphia.

I call on you to raise the specter of determined resistance, that combines our rich social diversity with the audacity of the youth in a movement that will never step back from the challenge that is before us.

Stop the Execution!
Overturn the Conviction!
Free Mumia!

C. Clark Kissinger is a leading activist in the fight for Mumia, a member of the executive committee of Refuse & Resist! and a correspondent for the Revolutionary Worker.

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