Title: Mumia is innocent!
Subtitle: Free Mumia now!
Date: 19 July 2008
Source: http://anarkismo.net/article/9460

Journalist and black liberation militant Mumia Abu-Jamal is still threatened with capital punishment by the US Government for a crime he didn't commit. In March 2008 the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against a new trial and he now faces a sentence of either execution or life imprisonment. Mumia has been on death row since 1982, after the state failed to assassinate him on the streets. As an outspoken, articulate Philadelphia journalist, prior to his imprisonment Mumia spoke out about the racist practices of the Mayor's office. He spoke about police brutality in black communities and the capitalist-racial oppression of poor African and Hispanic Americans. At the age of 15 Mumia joined the black panthers and later became a prominent supporter of the back-to-nature group MOVE. Because of Mumia's personal history and profile as a militant political agitator in black communities, the US capitalist rulers want him dead and silent. In Philadelphia in the early hours of December 9th 1981, Mumia was driving his taxi when he saw his brother Billy being bashed by a police officer, Daniel Faulkner. Mumia was shot in the stomach when he approached the scene. He was found bleeding on the kerb, from where he was arrested and brought to Jefferson University Hospital. Faulkner was dead. Failing to kill Mumia on the streets, the police, the prosecution and the court orchestrated a frame up of Mumia, accusing him of killing a cop. In July 1982, Mumia was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. During the trial the Judge Albert Sabo (a.k.a. "Judge Death", who has sent more defendants to death row than any other judge in the U.S.) said he would help "fry the n----r". The whole trial was a corrupt sham.

  • Witnesses including Cynthia White and Robert Chobert were pressured into giving falsely incriminating evidence.

  • Mumia's confession was fabricated. Police officer Gary Wakshul, who stayed with Mumia from the time of his arrest though to his treatment at hospital reported that Mumia made no statements. Judge Sabo did not allow the defence to call on Wakshul.

  • Jury rigging, biased rulings from Judge Sabo and prosecutorial misconduct violated established legal procedure on many counts, any one of which is normally enough to get a conviction overturned. Mumia was prohibited from representing himself in court, instead being appointed an incompetent and inexperienced lawyer.

Mumia's conviction was not an aberration, the product of a single "rotten apple". Instead, in the years since the trial, the courts have rejected every attempt to reverse the original injustice. They have dismissed arguments around due process. They have refused to hear the evidence about coerced witnesses, concocted ballistics, and police perjury. They have even refused to hear the confession of another man. Every leg of the prosecution's case has been discredited. If the courts were inclined to give justice to Mumia they would have done so years ago. The state exists to maintain orderly relations within a class society (i.e. the maintenance of the power of the ruling class takes precedence over the established norms in the event of conflict between labour and capital). It is thus a mechanism for the suppression of one class by another. The police, the courts, the prisons and the military exist for this purpose and anything else they do takes second place to it. Since their prime purpose is to maintain a fundamental injustice, it's a mistake to expect justice when their power is threatened in any degree at all. The police judged Mumia a sufficient threat to silence through irregular means and the courts have backed them rather than have the credibility of the enforcement arm of capital undermined. Freeing him now would involve discrediting so many police, prosecutors and judges that the credibility of the entire legal and law enforcement system would be brought into question. And so the courts refuse him justice. The persecution of Mumia is thus an attempt by the state to silence and dispose of our working class militants and is intended by the capitalist rulers to be a lesson for any who dare to speak out against the injustices and inequities of capitalist society. To free Mumia will take more than using the avenues of the capitalist courts. It will take class struggle, for only the working class has the power to change the cynical calculus that allows the state to sacrifice a black man to save its own face. By mobilising in the workplace, we can present the ruling class with an ultimatum. Free Mumia, or watch your flow of profits dry up. Free Mumia, or feed the movement against capital itself. To fight for Mumia's freedom is to fight for black liberation and for an end to all racial oppression. It is equally a class issue as the racial divisions in the North American working class must be replaced by unity before capital can be challenged in the belly of the beast.

Fight for working class liberation!

Free Mumia now