PHILADELPHIA – Human rights and community activists from throughout the world have been organizing online and in-person events to mark the last month’s 40-year anniversary of the unjust arrest of Mumia Abu-Jamal, award-winning Philadelphia journalist, radio personality and former Black Panther.
Abu-Jamal was arrested, convicted and unjustly imprisoned as the result of judicial, police and prosecutorial misconduct for allegedly killing a Philadelphia policeman — a crime he didn’t commit. Supporters worldwide assert that Abu-Jamal was framed, is innocent and continue to fight for his release, even after four decades.
An online forum entitled, “Free Mumia now!” (https://t.co/1eqT4x2F80) recently featured Temple University Professor Linn Washington, Jr., former political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim, Warrior Woman Mama Pam Africa, retired International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 10 Secretary Treasurer Clarence Thomas, longtime international supporters Julia Wright and Jacky Hortaut from France, Michael Shiffman from Germany and poet/author Ewuare Osayande. Special panels featured international and youth activists for Mumia.
On December 11, community activists gathered at the Octavius V. Catto Statue on the south side of Philadelphia City Hall for a “March for Mumia” through Center City featuring speakers.
Similar events were held in Houston, TX, France, Mexico, Vienna, Austria and Germany. Many of the judicial, police and prosecutorial misconducts that resulted in Abu-Jamal’s conviction were the same illegal practices that led the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to exonerate 23 innocent men.
Abu-Jamal’s health has deteriorated significantly over the years. He recently underwent open heart surgery, has had cataract surgery, and suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and a severe skin ailment. Independent doctors maintain he must be given a healthy, fresh diet and a regular exercise regimen, which would support his cardiac rehabilitation and speed his recovery.
Now 67, Abu-Jamal is one of 6,000 aged and ill incarcerated people who have spent decades in prison, who pose no risk to society and should be released. Prison officials have refused to do this.