Sunday, January 07, 2007

Non-Journalist Hans Bennett Wrong Again On Mumia



(Pic of bloated non-journalist Hans Bennett)

If one were to be keeping track of the litany of errors and general imprecision of Hans Bennett since he has taken his cause of freeing Jamal to the blogosphere, the idea that he has come from the FBI special delivery might jump to the paranoid mind.

And while I personally don’t hold this view, I do think that he is either incompetent or is deliberately deceitful. It is hard to be sure, but what is clear is that he has been shown to be demonstrably wrong in many of the things that he writes and his latest article claiming that the NAACP has declared Jamal’s trial racist is no exception.

For some reason Bennett thought it necessary to bring up the fact that a "friend of the court brief" was filed on behalf of Jamal back in June of this past year.

What that has to do with anything presently, I have no idea.

There is nothing new or novel in this "amicus" brief filed on behalf of Jamal and neither is the fact that many an organization has lined up to file them throughout the years, but in this instance Bennett is claiming that the brief was submitted by the NAACP. It is a claim he makes a number of times throughout the article, but it is simply not true.

The June legal brief was supplied by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The NLDF is not affiliated with the NAACP, the largest civil rights organization in the United States. The NLDF has not been a part of the NAACP since 1957 and has remained independent of it.

Now, it is true that a few years back that the NAACP did pass a resolution that in part did call for a new trial for Mumia, but it did not state the Jamal's trial was racist.

How this came about was chronicled by pro-Mumia "journalist" Dave Lindorff. Now, I and others have contended that Mumia’s devotees are bullies, but here is evidence from a source sympathetic to Jamal that helps to explain how these thug like tactics play out. Proving that the "Free Mumia" movement is not one of moral fortitude, but of annoyance and audacious bully tactics.

Lindorff writes back in 2004 that:

"Only when MOVE activist Pam Africa and some other MOVE supporters threatened to picket the convention and even attempt to crash the delegates assembly, holding a white flag, did the organization-the nation's oldest civil rights group--relent."

He goes on further by stating that:

"this episode is also evidence of how weakened Abu-Jamal's support organization has become. Only Pam Africa's tactical skill at holding NAACP leaders' feet to the fire by threatening them with an embarrassing incident on the day Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was speaking to the gathering managed to win the day and get the resolution to the floor."

And this all from a guy who supports Mumia! Finally, after all of the threats and temper tantrums the pro-Jamal forces got their watered down, nearly pointless resolution, but at what cost?

So, here we have another example of Hans Bennett’s lack of skill of a journalist or a reminder that he is a cynical propagandist. Again, I haven’t figured out which it is, but I can assure you that as long as he continues to lie or get things "wrong" that I will not let him off the hook. Not for what he does for un-repentant killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and not for what he did for MOVE in their campaign of personal and than physical destruction of John Gilbride


20 Comments:

At 10:29 PM , Blogger Walter Smith said...

I myself wrote what mumia said on kpfa go ahead and check it out leave a comment :D www.waltersmithrebel.blogspot.com

 
At 11:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people hate mumia. There was evidence that he did no commit the crime and the guy who did it admited it but it was to late. do you ever liston to him on kpfa? why dont you like him?

 
At 12:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you off the mark. There was and is NO evidence that someone else murdered Officer Faulkner If you are talking about the idiot admitting to the killing in his video (Beverly), Mumia's own attorneys refused to go forward with such bulls..t fabrication. Read the transcripts and open your eyes and mind.

Jon Pisano
johnnypeppers@hotmail.com

 
At 5:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

EXCUSE ME BUT DO YOU LISTEN TO KPFA? YEAH YOU DONT THATS WHAT I THOUGHT YOU ANTI MUMIA BULL CRAP CANT FOOL ME. LITTLE PIGLET AHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

FREE MUMIA!!!!!!!!

 
At 6:45 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

And Mumia supporters wonder why they get no respect and have the whole of the left turning their back on them

 
At 5:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's God's job to forgive Mumia...it's the job of Justice to arrange their meeting...one way or another"

So Mr uppercase..lets see some of your FACTS that would "prove" Mumia did not kill Officer Faulkner...remember now...REAL facts..no bulls..t if you can..or juvinile comments

Jon Pisano
johnnypeppers@hotmail.com

 
At 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

 
At 6:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

so people dont like mumia? what the other guy said was a little strange but i agree with him that if you liston to kpfa than you will understand mumia a little better than other news, I myself find mumia very interesting and i like his speeches on kpfa, if he killed the cop or not is not the case here its more of if you are for the death penalty or not and if you actualy liston to all sides and liston to different types of stations like democracy now and kpfa and read the paper etc. I myself am not for the death penalty . what does everyone els think.

 
At 8:22 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Really it is not so much about the death penalty. You are the victim of prodigious propaganda. If you listen to Pacifica and read the pronouncements of the "Free Mumia" zealots you are left thinking that Jamal is but seconds away from execution. This could not be further from the truth.

Since the 1970's when the death penalty was reinstated in PA only three people have been executed. All of whom had given up their appeals.

This was never an issue of the death penalty, the death penalty specter is propaganda aimed at stirring up pro-Jamal sentiment in the anti-death penalty crowd.

Prove me wrong.

 
At 9:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are mis understanding and bringing in a different discussion though. where do you get your information or news at about most things? abc news or a Daniel Faulkner.com site that has red white and blue on it. this doesnt make sense and im not even talking about guilt or non guilt haha. I just like mumia's thoughts on things because i think hes a smart guy on alot of political stuff. im not going to argue with you haha because you just get mad and its just boring.

 
At 6:09 AM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Dear "Anonymous"

I am not sure who you are addressing, but I will respond concerning my feelings on the matter.

I get my information from a variety of sources. I am a fan of the notion of "independant media", but am afraid that there really isn't much of that in this country.

I have been censored more often and recieved more threats from those who claim to hold that they are the bastions of "free speech" than I ever did while being a Mumia/MOVE supporter.

And I do agree that Jamal is a "smart guy". He is smart enough to have fooled alot of people into believing that he is a caring, enlightened, and empathetic person.

He is not. He is a vocal proponent of the ultra-reactionary MOVE cult and an unrepentant murderer. And while the fact that he blew another man's brains out may not trouble you, it does people who are concerned with justice, suffered the pain of the loss of their loved one etc...

You are not going to argue because the facts are not on your side. And people do get mad. They get mad because for over a quarter a century Mumia has been fooling people like you into believing that he is some kind of hero, when instead he is a monster of a human being who will not take any responsibility for his crimes.

 
At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't let Bush's henchmen kill Mumia
Mumia is once again under threat of execution, please help the campaign to save him from execution in Philadelphia.

thanks,

Derek



YOUR SUPPORT IS URGENTLY NEEDED!!!

via icffmaj@aol.com

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal !

The State of Pennsylvania has recently filed its appeal seeking to reinstate the order to execute Mumia. If their appeal is upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has pledged to sign the third warrant for Mumia's execution. Barring the unlikely intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court, Mumia will have 90 days to live!

Pennsylvania authorities are dead set on winning. They, along with the Fraternal Order of Police, are campaigning to bring the matter to national attention.

The Fraternal Order of Police and their collaborators in the media and among politicians have been on the rampage since the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there were two issues Mumia could appeal on that might lead to a new trial. These forces insist that Mumia should have no right to appeal. They attack all those who support Mumia's innocence or even his right to a new trial.

The naming of a street after Mumia in Saint Denis, France has only fueled their rage. The new street, leading to the largest sports stadium in Europe, the Nelson Mandela Stadium, has been formally named Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Two U.S. Congresspeople from Pennsylvania are introducing federal legislation to demand that the city of St Denis reverse its decision to name a major street after Mumia. House Resolution 407, which embodies these demands, was supported unanimously by the City Council of Philadelphia.

The U.S. legislation, House Resolution 407, proposes to sanction St. Denis or call for a U.S. boycott of the city, should the St Denis Mayor and City Council refuse to reverse their vote. Both have refused to do so.

Philadelphia newspapers are joining the reactionary chorus damning the St Denis decision. See:
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/columnists/stu_bykofsky/14662075.htm

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local2/region/14614527.htm

Mumia's racist detractors know full well that a final decision is coming, one that could lead to Mumia's execution or to a new trial and his freedom.

To repond to the vicious attacks on Mumia in the Philly media (see above, etc.), write to the following:

The Philadelphia Inquirer
P.O. Box 8263
Philadelphia, Pa. 19101

Stu Bykofsky, Columnist
stubyko@phillynews.com
Readers' Editor Jodie Chester
jchester@phillynews.com
Editorial Copy Chief Oscar Miller
omiller@phillnews.com

Philadelphia Daily News
P.O. Box 7788
Philadelphia, PA 19101
City Editor Gar Joseph
josephg@phillynews.com
Assistant City Editor Barbara Laker
lakerb@phillynews.com
Frank Burgos
burgosf@phillynews.com


For more info, see:
http://www.mumia.org/freedom.now/
http://www.freemumia.org/
http://www.freemumia.com/

p.s.
In October 2003, Mumia Abu-Jamal was awarded the status of honorary citizen of Paris. The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, said in a press release that the award was meant to be a reminder of the continuing fight against the death penalty, which was abolished in France in 1981. Additionally, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the NAACP, the National Lawyers Guild, the Japanese Diet, the European Parliament, as well as several national U.S. trade union federations (ILWU, AFSCME, SEIU, the national postal union), the 1.8 million member California Labor Federation AFL-CIO, and the Episcopal Church of the United States of America all maintain that Mumia's original trial was not conducted in a fair and impartial manner, and demand either a new trial or Mumia's immediate release.

Free Mumia!
Free all Political Prisoners!
Ona MOVE!

http://another-green-world.blogspot.com/

- Derek Wall

 
At 4:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on man Free Mumia!

 
At 4:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FOP’s Misuse of a Widow
By Kevin Price

The mainstream media attempts to portray Maureen Faulkner, widow of the deceased police officer Daniel Faulkner, as almost single handedly leading the efforts to push for the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. This is quite a deliberate and deceptive misrepresentation. The recent
coverage regarding the 25th anniversary of 12/9/81 (when Faulkner was murdered and Mumia was shot and arrested) was thick with this projection. In article after article it appears that Maureen is a widow on a mission, almost a lone soldier. One woman taking on a massively powerful movement. It is as if her fight to have Mumia killed is a grassroots struggle and she is up against all odds to accomplish her goal.

However, reality is much different. The Fraternal Order of Police are truly running the campaign to lynch Mumia. The FOP have the support of the courts, the DA’s office and the politicians. And those they do not have the support of they will intimidate and terrorize into silence. When representatives of the FOP speak they have a much harder time covering their ignorance and racism. The FOP needs Maureen as a front person to appeal to people‘s sympathies. And this is not to say that a widow or family member of a murder victim does not deserve sympathy. This is to say that the FOP does not give a damn about Maureen Faulkner. They are misusing her out of their lust to kill Mumia.

The whole idea that Maureen is pushing this campaign on her own is quite absurd when you look at the events she sponsors. The December 8th, 2006 luncheon thrown for bloodthirsty DA Lynne Abraham is a prime example. These events are a virtual who’s who of upper class conservatives from every facet of society. DA’s, journalists, politicians and police lobbyists all coming together to ensure the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

At one time the FOP used its own representatives to publicly advocate for Mumia’s execution. The last time that I remember seeing a representative of the FOP do a public debate about Mumia’s case was on Fox’s “Good Day” on December 9th of 1999 (for a DVD copy email ICFFMAJ@aol.com). During a debate between the International Concerned family and friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal chairwoman Pam Africa and then FOP President Rich Costello, Costello was humiliated. He became repeatedly flustered and showed his anger in ways that were less than appealing to the television audience. At one point Costello, face bright red and composure lost, went on a rant about how the “Rage Against the Machine” song “Bullet in the Head” was hate music advocating the murder of police officers. Anyone who has heard the lyrics to this song can see that this is a ridiculous. A quick read of the lyrics explains that the song is about the dangers of mass consumerism. Watching this interview clarifies why the FOP keeps Maureen’s face public while they pull strings and intimidate people behind the scenes.

Keep in mind that fourteen Philadelphia police officers have been murdered with fire arms since December 9th of 1981. How many of their names do you know? Do you know any? How many of the widow’s names do you know? Of those unknown widows how many of them have been given book deals (as Maureen has, her book will be out shortly)? How many police officers in Philly have had a street named after them other than Faulkner….None! The point is that this in not about Daniel Faulkner. It is not about Maureen Faulkner. It is about these people wanting Mumia Abu-Jamal dead.

The 1998 “20/20” hit piece on Mumia is a perfect example of this imagery of Maureen Faulkner as a single woman on a crusade. This piece of snuff journalism has already been thoroughly discredited so I will not waste more space here (for more info on this go to http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jul1999/maj-j16.shtml). What is interesting is that Maureen Faulkner is mentioned and interviewed more than anyone else dealing with the campaign for Mumia‘s execution yet the FOP are not mentioned once in the segment. It is clear that from the start ABC set out to promote the FOP agenda. In a letter to the PA prison administration ABC stated, “We are currently working with Maureen Faulkner and the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of the Police.” The question begs to be asked, why did ABC intentionally omit the existence of the FOP and instead focus solely on Maureen Faulkner?

In almost all of the recent articles it was mentioned that Maureen has never remarried. That leads me to ask…What does that have to do with anything? Yes, it is quite unfortunate for her but what does it really have to do with the issue. They certainly have never mentioned that Mumia’s wife has never remarried. That his wife has not even been able to so much as touch him in 25 years. That no one has been able to even touch him in 25 years, except for prison guards.

I also think about the racial aspect of the situation. A white police officer named Daniel Faulkner is murdered. A black man named Mumia Abu-Jamal is convicted of his murder and sentenced to death. The officers blond haired, blue eyed wife is left to campaign for the execution of the man convicted of her husband’s murder. Now, if the police officer was a black man and the man convicted of his murder was white do you honestly think that the Fraternal Order of Police would be rallying full force behind a black widow? Think about it for a moment… honestly. Keep in mind that Peter Wirs, Chairman of Philadelphia's 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee and friend of the FOP, just stated that even if Judge Sabo did say “Yeah, and I’m gonna help em fry the nigger” that he does not have a problem with that (to hear or read the interview go to
http://insubordination.blogspot.com/2006/11/radio-interview-is-honoring-mumia_30.html). Do you think that these people would really be rallying so hard for the execution of a white man? I do not. The bottom line is that they want Mumia dead. The same hatred that is driving them now is the same hatred that led them to drop a bomb on MOVE in 1985 and fire automatic weapons at men, women and children trying to flee their burning home.

At the demonstration this passed December 9th I overheard one Philadelphia cop say to another “If we would have killed them all in ‘85 we wouldn’t have to deal with this shit now.” That is the mentality we are dealing with and a PR campaign or a new book written by Maureen Faulkner cannot change that. These people are racist terrorists and that is the only way we should look at them. The FOP are the goons who are supplying a lot of pressure to keep Mumia in prison. We as a movement must expose them until they can no longer hide behind the sympathy invoking façade of Maureen Faulkner to carry out their hateful death wish.

http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/

 
At 4:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Allen is a disgruntled ex-Move member who now seeks to discredit anybody who defends Move or Mumia against capitlist state attack.

posted by Nicholas

 
At 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning Pennsylvania journalist who exposed police violence against minority communities. On death row since 1982, he was wrongfully sentenced for the shooting of a police officer. New evidence, including the recantation of a key eyewitness, new ballistic and forensic evidence and a confession from Arnold Beverly (one of the two killers of Officer Faulkner) points to his innocence! Mumia had no criminal record.

For the last 25 years, Abu-Jamal has been locked up 23 hours a day, denied contact visits with his family, had his confidential legal mail illegally opened by prison authorities, and put into punitive detention for writing his first of three books while in prison, Live From Death Row.

His case is currently on appeal before the Federal District Court in Philadelphia. Mumia's fight for a new trial has won the support of tens of thousands around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, The European Parliament, Alice Walker, Paul Newman, Maya Angelou, Sister Helen Prejean, Danny Glover, Rage Against The Machine, the Detroit and San Francisco City Councils, Amnesty International, and many others. Mumia Abu-Jamal's fate rests with all those people who believe in every person's right to justice and a fair trial.

"I remain innocent. A court cannot make an innocent man guilty. Any ruling founded on injustice is not justice. The righteous fight for life, liberty, and for justice can only continue." Mumia Abu-Jamal , Oct. 31, 1998

Facts about Mumia's 1982 trial:

* The policeman was killed with a 44 caliber gun. Abu-Jamal's gun which he was licensed to carry as a night-time taxi driver, was a 38 caliber.

* The police never tested Abu-Jamal's gun to see if it had been recently fired. They never tested his hands to see if he had fired a gun. They have never shown Abu-Jamal 's gun to be the fatal weapon.

* No police officers present at Abu-Jamal's arrest claimed to have heard Jamal's "confession" until two months after it allegedly occurred. This was right after Abu-Jamal had filed police brutality charges.

* Abu-Jamal's doctor said that Abu-Jamal, who was unconscious, said nothing. He reported that a nurse found police with loaded guns pointed at Mumia as he lay unconscious in his hospital bed.

* William Singletary, a Vietnam veteran and local businessman, saw the whole incident and has testified that Abu-Jamal was not the shooter. However, the police forced him to change his story and intimidated him into leaving Philadelphia.

* Other key witnesses, such as Veronica Jones -- who now testifies in support of Abu-Jamal, were harassed into giving false testimony. Two prosecution witnesses were given special favors, including exemption from criminal prosecution, for their testimony.

Elements in an unfair trial:

* The Judge, Albert Sabo, sentenced more people to death than any other sitting judge in the US.

* The public defender didn't interview a single witness in preparation for the trial, and didn't have funds for defending a capital case.

* The prosecutor removed 11 qualified African Americans from the jury. He also argued for the death penalty because of Mumia's membership in the Black Panther Party, a practice later condemned as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

* The racial bias of Philadelphia's courts has resulted in 120 people on death row, all but 13 non-white.

 
At 5:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This publication is an expanded version of the Partisan Defense Committee pamphlet Mumia Abu-Jamal Is an Innocent Man! originally published in September 2001. A prize-winning journalist, Black Panther Party spokesman in his youth, supporter of the MOVE organization and defiant opponent of racist state terror, Mumia was railroaded to death row in 1982 at the hands of Philadelphia’s notorious cop and court frame-up machine on false charges of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

This pamphlet includes the crucial affidavit of Arnold Beverly, who confesses that he, not Mumia, killed Faulkner, as well as the affidavits and declarations of Partisan Defense Committee counsel Rachel Wolkenstein, Mumia Abu-Jamal, his brother William Cook and others. In this edition, we are also including a presentation given by Wolkenstein as part of a series of day schools held between February and May by the Spartacist League and Labor Black Leagues on “The Fight to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal” in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland and by the Ligue Trotskyste de France in Paris. Wolkenstein’s Paris presentation coincided with her invitation to speak at the April 29 ceremony in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis to name a street in honor of Mumia.

The material presented here is a decisive refutation of the police frame-up. Wolkenstein’s talk and affidavit also detail the extensive efforts of the Partisan Defense Committee in publicizing Mumia’s case to a broad public internationally and initiating united-front protests in cities around the world. They describe our longtime role in assisting Mumia’s legal efforts, including as part of his defense team for several years. Particularly important was our pursuit of the proof of Mumia’s innocence. For over two years, Mumia’s then-lead attorney, Leonard Weinglass, and attorney Daniel Williams refused to present in court the Beverly affidavit and supporting evidence. Wolkenstein and Jonathan Piper, another attorney from the Partisan Defense Committee, resigned from the legal team in 1999, refusing to be complicit in suppressing the Beverly confession.

The fight to free Mumia Abu-Jamal reached a critical juncture in December 2005, when the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals put Mumia’s case on a “fast track” for decision. Both Mumia and the prosecutors are appealing decisions made in 2001 by U.S. District Court judge William Yohn, who overturned Mumia’s death sentence but upheld every aspect of his frame-up conviction. By the end of 2006 the court could decide what is next for Mumia: death, life in prison or more legal proceedings. This pamphlet provides a crucial tool for mobilizing urgently needed mass protests for Mumia’s freedom organized on the basis that he is an innocent man whose case lays bare the workings of the capitalist frame-up system. As Wolkenstein explained in her talk, “the Beverly evidence demonstrates the unity of purpose of the cops, prosecution and courts to uphold the capitalist rulers’ interests. It makes it clear that the injustice to Mumia was not the action of one rogue cop or prosecutor or judge, but the entire functioning of the capitalist system of injustice, which cannot be reformed.”

There Is No Justice in the Capitalist Courts!

The frame-up of Mumia Abu-Jamal has come to symbolize what the racist death penalty in the U.S. is all about. A legacy of chattel slavery, capital punishment is the lynch rope made legal.

Mumia is an innocent man. But innocence means nothing to the forces of “law and order,” represented by both the Democratic and Republican parties, who want to see Mumia dead because they see in him the spectre of black revolution, a voice of defiant opposition to the oppression of black people that is a cornerstone of American capitalism. The state’s quarter-century-long determination to carry out his foul murder is a warning to all who challenge vicious cop repression in the ghettos and barrios, to workers who stand up for their rights on the picket lines, to those who protest U.S. imperialist depredations in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

Mumia is up against the vast resources of the capitalist state and its mouthpieces in the bourgeois press who howl for his blood. Court after court has barred Arnold Beverly’s confession, as well as the mountains of additional evidence of Mumia’s innocence. With the execution in December 2005 of Stanley Tookie Williams, over substantial popular opposition, the bloody rulers sent a signal that they want Mumia next. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made this clear when, in denying clemency for Williams, he cited the fact that his book Life in Prison was dedicated to—among others—Mumia Abu-Jamal.

To give an idea of what Mumia is up against: many of the Third Circuit judges testified for the reactionary Samuel Alito during his January 2006 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Among the members of the Third Circuit is Marjorie Rendell, wife of Democratic Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who was the Philadelphia D.A. during Mumia’s frame-up trial and who has spent his political life dedicated to seeing Mumia executed.

It was worldwide protests, crucially involving trade unionists, that won a stay of execution for Mumia in August 1995. At the time, and over the next few years, Mumia’s name was a household word. Articles about Mumia and his own written commentaries were a regular feature of the U.S. black press. Mumia’s face was emblazoned on the T-shirts of student activists and ghetto youth; his name became a symbol in hip-hop for racist frame-up and also rolled off the lips of many union activists. Not today. A movement of millions was demobilized. This can be seen in the dwindling attendance at annual demonstrations on Mumia’s April 24 birthday. Time is running short. Mass protest must be rekindled now—nationally and internationally.

Mumia’s freedom will not be won through reliance on the rigged “justice” system or on capitalist politicians, whether Democratic, Republican or Green. The power that can turn the tide is the power of millions—working people, anti-racist youth, death penalty abolitionists—united in struggle to demand the freedom of this innocent man. Crucial to this perspective is the mobilization of the labor movement, which gave a taste of its social power in New York City in December 2005 when striking transit workers crippled the financial center of U.S. capitalism.

Lessons must be drawn as to how Mumia’s supporters were demobilized. The answer lies in the political program advanced by a host of liberal and reformist organizations—Workers World Party (WWP), Socialist Action (SA), the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), among others—that centered their protest actions around the call for a “new trial” for Mumia. That call represented a program of reliance on the racist capitalist courts which at every level have declared, as in the infamous Dred Scott case, that Mumia has no rights they are bound to respect. As Wolkenstein points out, “Here was the expression on the political plane of the suppression of the Beverly evidence on the legal front.”

 
At 5:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Mumia Abu-Jamal's habeas corpus appeal last month around the same time he was named an honorary citizen of Paris. We speak with Robert Bryan, Mumia’s new lead attorney and Suzanne Ross of the Free Mumia Coalition in New York City. [Includes transcript] Click here to read to full transcript

Citing the "untimeliness" of the evidence presented relating to Mumia's innocence, the court refused to consider the confession of Arnold Beverly that he, not Mumia, murdered police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.

Today we hear from Pennsylvania's most famous death row inmate, Mumia Abu Jamal.

Abu Jamal has been on death row for 20 years after being convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. A journalist, Black Panther, MOVE member, and outspoken critic of police brutality, racism and the death penalty, Mumia Abu Jamal has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.

Last month, Mumia was named an honorary citizen of Paris by Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. Mumia is the first American to receive the honor and only the second to be named in more than 30 years.

Over the last two decades, Abu Jamal has written regular commentaries on local, national and world affairs.

* Mumia Abu Jamal, commentary was recorded by the Prison Radio Project.
* Robert Bryan, lead attorney for Mumia Abu Jamal.
* Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia Coalition in New York City.

TRANSCRIPT [tape]

MUMIA ABU JAMAL: So everybody knows after the mass protest that were held in cities around the earth over a half year ago is that the forces of the U.S. government could care less about the popular protests that shook the planet. They could care less because they do not serve the interests of the people, but the privileged. They do not serve the many, they serve the few. They serve Wall Street, Petroleum Row, Harken Oil and Halliburton. In their heart of hearts, democracy is just a dirty word. They don't care about the latest rounds of protests against the war. They have their hands on the levers of power and they don't want to let go.

Those who dared to lie to the American people to start a needless war could care less that there are millions of people who oppose it. That's why they chose the vehicle of fear and specter of terrorism to justify the Iraq attack, when every school child knows that the Baghdad government had nothing to do with the events of 9-11. But the Bush regime has used that fear, that anxiety, that sense of being under attack to stoke the fires of war, and now the U.S. is involved in building and protecting a colony in the heart of the Middle East. That's why it isn't enough to simply say bring the troops home, as some have said, for to do so only means bring them home today, to unleash them on some other unsuspecting people tomorrow. That is a recipe for postponing war, not ending it. War is indeed big business. But it is nor than that. It is a social a tool by which governments have always mobilized larger social forces for their political ends. The ends of government is what it has always been. Power. Why do you think the Bushites have unleashed the somber Ashcroft upon the American people? A man who lost a senate election to a dead man is now the ultimate arbiter of who may exercise civil rights in this new era. Students are being thrown out of school because politicians don't like their t-shirts. Thousands are locked in dark gulags in Guantanamo bay, Cuba. They're denied lawyers, are being held incommunicado and face torture. When some have dared to file suit, they're told because the site is in Cuba, the U.S. suddenly lacks jurisdiction. What legalized drivel. If the U.S. doesn't jurisdiction then who does? Cuba, the U.N.? Clearly the solution to the egregious human rights violations will not be found in courts just as a solution to these wars for empire will not be found in anti-war marches.

This is but a beginning, not an end. To be truly anti-imperialist means to oppose the soft imperialism of the Democrats, and the hard imperialism of the Republicans. Both imperialisms are fundamentally wrong for they begin with the false premise that Americans know best how other people should live their lives and organize their societies. One cannot believe in self-determination and imperialism. Those two views are incompatible. To be truly anti-imperialist means organizing not demonstrations, but mass movements that pose an alternative to the deadly status quo. It means believing and fighting for the idea that another world is possible, it means thinking of the peoples of this world as the same as us, not them. It means the renunciation of white supremacy. It means the foreign policy truly based upon simple humility, instead of domination. It means a real transformation of the way things are done here. That means change. Revolution. It means this or it means nothing. For if these steps are not taken generations will be plunged into bloody and needless wars. Wars fought for wealthy elites based on lies and fear and greed. It means the surrender of your children and grandchildren to wars of ignorance. It means in fact, endless war. From death row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

AMY GOODMAN: Marvin Gay, here on Democracy Now!, the war and peace report, as we look at the latest developments in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal with his new attorney, Robert Bryan and Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia coalition in New York City. Welcome both to Democracy Now! Let's begin with Robert Bryan in understanding where Mumia Abu Jamal's case stands today.

ROBERT BRYAN: Good morning, Amy. On October 8, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the ninth --

AMY GOODMAN: Can I ask if you are on a speakerphone, if you would --

ROBERT BRYAN: I'm not.

AMY GOODMAN: You're not on a speakerphone.

ROBERT BRYAN: I’m not.

AMY GOODMAN: go ahead.

ROBERT BRYAN: The Supreme Court denied relief --

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Brown, we're going to have to call you back. We are -- we'll have to get you on another line, but in the meantime, Suzanne Ross, welcome to Democracy Now! why don't we start with you about Mumia Abu Jamal being named an honorary citizen of Paris. You were there.

SUZANNE ROSS: It was a phenomenal experience to be standing very close to the mayor of Paris, and to see at a champagne reception with Angela Davis accepting the award on behalf of Mumia, and see the kind of international support for Mumia and the love for him among the French people and many other people from other countries in Europe that showed up for this event and to remember that in this country, they're still trying to execute him, and that's what I was feeling up there at this joyous occasion. It was -- I mean, you think about it, the contrast between the whole world recognizing him as a person that it they want to see alive, as a person who represents so much of the best aspirations of humanity, and here in this country, in a period of obviously of serious repression, as we just heard about the recent -- yesterday's attack on critical resistance, that in this period, the United States is trying even harder to execute him, and the recent news that Robert Bryan was just about to talk about, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's decision, which turned down all appeals to introduce new evidence into the record. Let me just finish that it's new evidence that points to Mumia's innocence.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Bryan is back with us. Can you talk about the evidence?

ROBERT BRYAN: There is a person who made a confession and the courts have refused to allow any type of hearing to determine the validity of it, how strong it is how much credibility it should be given. I might point out that the other evidence of somebody else who also may have committed this homicide, bottom line is that the overwhelming evidence is that Mumia is innocent, and he's a victim of a campaign by the police to kill him, to shut up his voice, what we have just heard. The government very much is focused on trying to kill him. But I might point out there's another aspect of the Supreme Court decision, this denial on October 8 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that is of substantial significance. That is that during the trial of Mumia in 1982, a -- an award winning court reporter overheard the judge talking to some other people, the trial judge, say -- "and I’m going to help fry the nigger". He was talking about Mumia. This is -- this is of enormous significance because the case from the beginning when Mumia was arrested was riddled with racism. Mumia, as most people know was an award winning and is an award winning journalist, and he was targeted from the beginning because they wanted to get him.

AMY GOODMAN: When you say court reporter, you mean the person who is the stenographer in the courtroom?

ROBERT BRYAN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what happens with information like that?

ROBERT BRYAN: Well, we're going to be going into federal court, but might I also point out that in the very near future, I'm about to initiate a new petition at the trial level in Philadelphia regarding an additional witness, who was in jail with the key witness against Mumia, and she says without any question -- and there's also other evidence corroborating this-- that the witness who testified against Mumia and says he shot the officer was not even there at the time of the shooting, and that the police pressured this woman into lying. In other words, this is just more evidence of enormous consequence of this whole case being manufactured against Mumia.

AMY GOODMAN: Where do you go with this evidence? And what does it mean to say that all of the appeals have been denied?

ROBERT BRYAN: That's not at all true. The issues were denied by the state supreme court which puts us in a posture of going back in at the federal level, the United States district court on a petition of writ of habeas corpus, which I will be doing. First I'm going back in with the new piece of evidence, more evidence of innocence and also there's another witness that's been discovered. The witness also bears in the same area of the case. I might point out that what this case really is about, and I don't think the listeners are interested in hearing a lot of details about various aspects of the case in a short amount of time that we have, but what it's about is to stifle the voice of somebody who's very outspoken and has been for decades against police corruption, misconduct by government, and racism, which is really I think, racism and police fraud is what this case is all about.

AMY GOODMAN: Judge Jan had ruled I believe a year or two years ago that Mumia Abu Jamal had either to be re-sentenced within 30 days, or he would be taken off of death row. He is still on death row. Where does that ruling stand?

ROBERT BRYAN: The state appealed that decision to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. It was stayed. It's on hold. He languishes on death row as we speak this morning.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Robert Bryan, the lead attorney for Mumia Abu Jamal, and Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia coalition in New York. Suzanne --

SUZANNE ROSS: But even that decision to overturn the death sentence and make it a life imprisonment is now being challenged in the courts. The Banks case is the one, the Texas case, where the death penalty was overturned because of legal questions that I won't go into now. But now that decision, which was allowed -- which judge Jan cited as the basis for giving Mumia life in prison is now being challenged. Even that's being taken away. That adds to the climate of a dangerous period for Mumia, perhaps the most dangerous in his case to date. As the case comes closer and closer to running through the appeals, we know that the options become more limited.

AMY GOODMAN: What effect does it have that Tom Ridge, the secretary of Homeland Security, former governor of Pennsylvania, signed the death warrant twice for Mumia Abu Jamal, does it have any significance in his case where Ridge is today?

ROBERT BRYAN: I think there's no question about it that the -- that the federal government -- of course, Ridge is now at the federal level. John Ashcroft and the federal government just as the state of Pennsylvania very much want to shut down Mumia's voice. They have locked him up thinking that would stop him. It did not. They have not imprisoned his soul, his voice, his pen -- and his voice as we have eloquently heard, and the government wants to stop Mumia, and the only way they can do it is to kill him. And so -- I think the -- there's no question but that the federal government, Ridge, is very much active behind the scenes to stop him. I might point this out that I was first contacted about Mumia in 1985. That's a long time ago, and he and I have been in contact through the years. I was asked in 1991 to represent him. I had to turn it down because I was just overextended at that point with other death penalty cases, but I have been very involved in this case through the years. It's always been the voice of the voiceless, Mumia Abu Jamal against the machinery of the government which is trying to shut up that voice. You know, we will not stop until he is free. I mean, that's the bottom line. It's not just getting the death penalty off of him, getting him out of that death row cell, but to free him. He has committed no crime other than if it's a crime to criticize the government, I think he would plead guilty to that one, because he is very critical of wrongs committed by the government.

AMY GOODMAN: Suzanne Ross, this case has always been dealt with on several levels. One is in the courts, but the other is in the streets, and in organizing around the country and the world. Can you talk about what's happening now?

SUZANNE ROSS: Yes. We feel, first of all, that demand for this period is the evidence must be heard. In fact, on December 13, we're going to be in Philadelphia with that slogan. We're there every year to commemorate the anniversary of when this incident originally happened on December 9, 1981. So, that is the slogan. That's a slogan of this period. But also, and -- and we cannot accept the court's decision. We have to put all of the pressure we can at this point to make sure that the courts have to move in response to the people's pressure. It's one of these things in this period, we really are very concerned about people who are taking pot-shots or people who are gratuitously attacking Mumia or developing their theories on whatever aspects of the case that could hurt Mumia at a critical case. I'm specifically talking about Michael Moore, who made a gratuitous, at the same time saying, quote, ‘Mumia probably killed that guy,’ presented no evidence whatsoever. He did not offer an opportunity for debate, and an ignorant statement like that made by someone who is very smart and very funny and very appealing is dangerous to Mumia. We really make a call to Michael Moore to speak up and say, we are all human. We all make mistakes. To say this was a serious mistake and to offer some compensatory action of support for Mumia in response to that. Also, in addition to that kind of street action, Mumia, of course, everybody knows is a prolific writer. He has written a wonderful new book, it's called "The Faith of Our Fathers", it's an examination of the spiritual life of African-American and people. It's the role of alternative religions, traditional religions in the African and African-American community challenging white imperialist Christianity. Challenging the form of white Christianity that's been used in an imperialist way to dominate black people historically. There's going to be an event at Riverside church on December 5 with Ruby Dee, Reverend Forbes, Reverend Luis Barris.

AMY GOODMAN: This is the at the historic church in New York City.

SUZANNE ROSS: The peace church in Harlem. Everybody is welcome to come. The way to find out about tickets or other information about Mumia is to call the hotline in new York, which is 212-330-8029 or check our website at freemumia.com. Also for people closer to Philadelphia, which is the heart and soul of the struggle, international concerned family and friends of Mumia Abu Jamal is 215-476-8812. So, this is a period to talk about Mumia's contributions, his literary contributions, his ideas, his voice that's known to so many people. and to be out in the streets educating people, and protesting this outrageous injustice where evidence that points to a man's innocence is being ignored, not only ignored, but being totally excluded from the record. Once it's excluded from the record, when the case goes up to a higher level, that information is lacking. The whole record of Mumia's case is extremely biased by the fact that the judge Albert Sabo, who is the one who made that comment that racist -- not only a racist comment but a comment that showed his total lack of judicial neutrality. He was committed to convict Mumia and sentence him to death. Well, he is the one who controlled what was in the record and what continues to be in the record. If all appeals have failed to include additional material, judge Albert Sabo still rules on that case. As you pointed out earlier, Ridge and now governor Rendell, who campaigned for governor of Pennsylvania on wanting the death penalty to continue for Mumia.

AMY GOODMAN: And Rendell's role in the original case?

SUZANNE ROSS: Rendell was totally involved from the beginning in the case as D.A., later as mayor of Philadelphia, totally biased against Mumia, and recently, there was a review of the death penalty cases in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, and the decision that was made by community group was that the cases smack of racism. That racist bias was a very, very strong factor in the death penalty decisions of Pennsylvania. And yet Rendell is not moving. We were hoping that he would move. Obviously we want him to move in the same direction as the Illinois governor.

AMY GOODMAN: Right. I actually just returned from Illinois. I was speaking at Northeastern Illinois University this weekend on the 50th anniversary of the coups in Guatemala and Iran, both backed by the United States in 1953 and 1954. But being in the state where the former governor, George Ryan, had cleared the death row of state, and here he was the co-chair of the bush for president campaign in 2000, did that have any effect on Mumia's case?

SUZANNE ROSS: I think it does. The general atmosphere in the country on the death penalty has moved significantly. I think a lot more people understand that the death penalty is extreme -- even if they believe it in some abstract way, that the chances of making mistakes are so high, that more and more people are against it. The ethos in this country right now, I think is more anti-death penalty than it was before.

AMY GOODMAN: Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia coalition, and Robert Bryan, new lead attorney for Mumia Abu Jamal, thank you for being with us.

 
At 6:53 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

If you all think spamming my blog with junk will free mumia you just keep on going with it.

Meanwhile, the rest of us laugh at how desperate and pathetic you are.

 
At 3:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you racist scumbags really have nothing better to do with your time, do you? i hope they pop all the Klan Pigs ....

 

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