Stop the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist, revolutionary activist and political
prisoner who has been on death row in the United States since 1982.
He was falsely convicted of killing a policeman in the city of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, in an unfair trial, at which he was denied the right
to act as his own attorney while police witnesses put him at the
scene of the crime. In actual fact Mumia was framed and sentenced
to death for his revolutionary convictions.
When still a youth Mumia became a key figure in the Philadelphia
branch of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary organisation
of Black people in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mumia later became
known as the "voice of the voiceless" for his revolutionary
reporting on the radio. In particular Mumia played a key role in
exposing the police persecution and murder of activists in MOVE,
a Philadelphia-based group. His exposure of racism and police brutality
and his revolutionary politics have earned him the hatred of the
US authorities, particularly the police. They first tried to kill
him at the time of his arrest and since then have actively organised
a campaign of lies to influence public opinion in favour of his
execution. What they hate about Mumia is what the people have come
to love and defend: a revolutionary brother who has stood firm in
the face of the enemy.
Mumia's lawyers have documented a whole series of irregularities
and lies at his original trial, including new evidence that at least
one police informant who testified against him has now exposed the
frame-up. Based on this, he appealed for a new trial - but in October
1998 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied his appeal, paving the
way for his execution. The increasing use of state executions is
an important spearhead of U.S. imperialism's reactionary program,
and it will take determined, massive opposition to force them to
back off from their murderous plans.
Around the world, broad movements to support Mumia and fight his
execution have sprung up over the past years, and the participating
parties and organisations of the Revolutionary Internationalist
Movement have helped take the campaign to countries it might not
have reached otherwise. This international campaign was undoubtedly
one of the factors that forced the state to temporarily back down
from executing him in August 1995. From cities across the US to
France, Germany, Holland, Italy, the UK and other places in Europe,
to South Africa, to India and Bangladesh in Asia, people have been
spreading information and holding actions to prevent the US ruling
class from carrying out their first state execution of a political
prisoner since the 1950s, when they killed Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
as part of their anti-communist campaign at that time. Many artists,
authors and other prominent people have stepped forward to defend
In April 1999, Mumia's lawyers filed a petition with the US Supreme
Court demanding that it examine important legal issues, including
his right to a fair trial. It is expected that the battle to stop
the execution will intensify in early autumn, with several events
already planned for September 1999. As one slogan raised in the
US points out, "Only the People Can Save Mumia Abu-Jamal!"
For more information, contact:
Refuse & Resist!
305 Madison Ave. Suite 1166, New York,
NY 10165, US.
Also: International Concerned Family & Friends of
PO Box 19709,
PA 19143, US.
Background articles and news about support actions devoted to Mumia
can be found on the Revolutionary Worker
web page: www.mcs.net/śrw