Sunday, June 1, 2014
CAMPAIGN to Bring Mumia Abu Jamal Home
The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
(released, May 31, 2014 by The Campaign to Bring Mumia Home)
In 2011, the international movement to free Mumia scored a major victory. After having stopped Mumia’s execution in the 1990s, it assembled the legal team and mounted the political pressure that forced the courts to declare Mumia’s death sentence unconstitutional. Mumia was transferred to general population in early 2012.He is now serving a life sentence. The appellate process in his case has been exhausted.
In order to bring Mumia home, we need to popularize the fact of Mumia’s innocence and create a political crisis in the streets over the injustice of his continued incarceration. Our movement continues to link the fight for Mumia’s freedom with the fight to free all political prisoners and end mass incarceration.
Political Climate: The Recent Attacks on Mumia
For 32-years, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and allied politicians have sustained an uninterrupted demonization and political conspiracy against Mumia that has influenced the judicial process and kept the facts of Mumia’s innocence from surfacing.
Recently, the FOP mounted a campaign of persecution against Mumia in order to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. The FOP cited Adegbile’s previous defense of Mumia as grounds for his disqualification and steamrolled over the right to counselby smearing Adegbile with the crime for which Mumia was wrongfully convicted in 1981.
The FOP demonized Mumia with racially coded language like “thug” and “cop killer,” and lied about the facts of his case. In the end, seven Democratic senators from predominantly white states voted against Adegbile to avoid being associated with Mumia’s case in the upcoming elections.
The ideological campaign of the FOP is proof of how the conservative right has used racist law-and-order policies and the criminalization of former Black Panthers like Mumia to energize a rightwing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement (voting rights, fair housing, affirmative action and more).
The FOP’s campaign of lies, racism and hysteria against Mumia and Adegbile was also a desperate attempt to bury the possibility of any future investigation of police conspiracy in Mumia’s case and of police abuse in Philadelphia and across the country. Unfortunately, through all this,Mumia’s lawyers at the Legal Defense Fund/NAACP failed to defend him vigorously, in the mediachallenging neither the factual lies nor the demonization of their client.
Campaign to Bring Mumia Home Activities
In light of these events, the Campaign encourages activists to participate in two major areas of work:
1. Popularize the fact of Mumia’s innocence through a series of grassroots actions and the development of a media campaign.
The FOP depicted the case as open and shut sweeping aside the record of violations and innocence. One third of the 35 officersinvolved in Mumia’s case were subsequently jailed for extortion and evidence tampering. Four witnesses identified a fourth person at the crime scene as the shooter, and though police and prosecutors themselves knew there was a fourth person, Mumia’s trial prosecutor suppressed this evidence at trial.
Mumia was convicted in the absence of material evidence. In addition, the photos of Pedro Polakoff, the freelance journalist who took the first photographs of the crime scene, corroborate the eye witnesses’ testimony of the presence of a fourth person, show police tampering with evidence, and disprove the key points of the prosecution’s case.
2. Challenge DA Seth Williams to reopen Mumia's case. His newly-created Conviction Review Unit is well-suited to review the weight of evidence supporting Mumia's innocence and to expose the dangerous political power of the FOP and its allies.
The reopening of Mumia’s case is overdue. During the 1995 Philadelphia police corruption scandal, former Philadelphia DA Lynne Abraham told the Legal Intelligencer that she would discard “any cases where evidence surfaces that even one officer involved in an investigation lied in court or in written reports.” Documentation of police violations, lying and evidence tampering by not one, but several officers and prosecutors, exists in this case.
To divert attention from this, the FOP mounted a campaign of lies. As “the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers," it wields lobbying influence over Congress and the judiciary comparable to the NRA.
For more information or to join either of these projects email the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-745-6963