THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Organizing for Mumia: Pam Africa


Here's what we need to do now, folks. From Pam Africa:
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January 20, 2010
SF Bay View

Pam Africa, chairwoman of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, was a key organizer of the large demonstration outside the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals when Mumia’s case was heard there on May 17, 2007. Now the Supreme Court has ordered the case back to that court. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and granted the Philadelphia DA’s petition for a writ of certiorari. Basically, the Supreme Court went against the lower federal circuit court’s 2001 and 2008 rulings, which granted a new sentencing phase jury trial if the death penalty was to be reinstated in Jamal’s case. Now the case goes back down to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, who will decide whether they will re-impose the death penalty without the jury trial.

In a recent interview with the Block Report, Mumia spoke about the Spisak case, in which the death penalty has since been reinstated for the white supremacist murderer Frank Spisak. The question is how this will affect Mumia’s case since they both dealt with the Mills issue, which addresses confusing jury instructions.

We are now at the highest level of Code Red in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. The people must come to this tireless souljah’s defense.

I interviewed Pam Africa, the chairwoman of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, about the direction of the “Free Mumia” movement at this critical time …

M.O.I. JR: Now that we have this information on how the Supreme Court wants to move on Mumia’s case, how is the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal moving? And what do they need from the people?

Pam Africa: One thing that people need to understand is that this is a very crucial time. What we’re doing today, we’re having a press conference in front of the District Attorney’s Office here in Philadelphia.

This is the first Black DA in the city of Philadelphia. His name is Seth Williams, who ran on the platform that when he became district attorney, he would execute Mumia. That’s why we’re having the demonstration there, because it eventually will end up in the hands of the district attorney.

The district attorney are the ones that are applying for this death sentence on Mumia. I know that they are battling Mills (the case concerning jury instructions) and everything else, but people must stay focused. The time is very short in dealing with the case of Mumia.

People must organize around the world. There are two petitions that are happening: One is by a group of people over in Germany with Mumia’s attorney, Robert Bryan, calling on President Obama to get involved in the case and get Mumia a new case, because he never had a trial, really.

But we’re calling on the attorney general. When I say we, I’m saying there are several groups and organizations that is spearheaded by the New York (Free Mumia Abu-Jamal) Coalition that is calling on the attorney general, because what we’re pointing out is that Mumia cannot get any fairness whatsoever.

Brewing right here is another example of what it is we’re talking about. Mumia cannot get any fairness in this court system, so we’re calling on the U.S. attorney general to do a civil rights investigation into this case, because Mumia’s civil rights from the beginning to the end, and our civil rights as citizens of this United States who have pointed out the evidence very clearly (are threatened). That nobody can get around: Mumia is innocent. He is factually innocent.

And what we’re asking people to do is to sign both of the petitions on behalf of Mumia. The one that the attorney is putting out there, because when he petitions and all, Obama, Obama’s next move is that he has to go to the U.S. attorney general. And when he comes to the U.S. attorney general, he will fully know that our last person who signed the petition for the civil rights investigation was Skip Gates, who sat down and had a beer after he was beat up by the police, you know, at the White House. I’m saying, he signed the petition. We have people that are right in the ear of Obama and the attorney general.

And I want to point out very clearly, we have no hope whatsoever in the system. Our faith, Mumia’s faith, is in the people. Will the people rise up and do what is right? Shaka Sankofa is dead because the people didn’t consistently stay on top of these people when they did wrong.

Tookie Williams, when they executed him, when they murdered him in cold-blood when the movement was moving, it should’ve continued to move that way. There are magnificent things that are happening in California around the death penalty, but everybody must unite together and move as one up against this government for the sake of Brotha (Troy) Davis, for the sake of all the brothas that’s on death row right now.

Again there is Academics for Mumia, who are at Princeton University, who is having a meeting pulling academics together, and we’re asking the academics to sign both of these petitions while they educate people. I’m telling you people, we are not without the evidence. If you go to the website at Journalists for Mumia, if you go into the Bay View, you will find all of the evidence that you need to bring the system down to its knees.

Once again, do not be duped by time; time is running out. And I know that when this next step is made, as I understand, things might be like six months and then it will go to the DA. The time might be a little bit off, but we don’t have much time. It’s time for them people to get into them churches, make them ministers get up, make these politicians get up, you know, make the people rise up, as they did in 1999, when we did Millions for Mumia. The time is now for organizing, organizing with all of the strength that you have.

And I just want to thank people like the Partisan Defense Committee, Labor for Mumia, the Mobilization for Mumia, Millions for Mumia. These people have stayed steadfast, and if I haven’t mentioned the names of other people, there is a lot of individuals – JR and the Bay View – for keeping this issue up front in the people’s eye.

The time is now for organizing, organizing with all of the strength that you have. People must pull together to abolish the death penalty. Save this brotha who has been on the front lines, from deathrow, on every issue of social justice that there is.

And I will be down (in the Bay) on Feb. 18. I’ll be in California, from the 18th to the 23rd. I’m coming down there for the brotha of the San Francisco 8 (Francisco Torres’) hearing. I’m coming down there for Brotha JR’s hearing, and I wish I could be in LA when they bring this murderous cop (who murdered) Oscar Grant there, but I’m going to be pushing for people to get there – everybody who can.

This death sentence that was handed out to this brotha; we can’t allow it, people. And I’m saying y’all have been an example to all of the people around the world of resistance (of what can be done) when people be consistent at what they do. Y’all have had something done here when y’all had that murderous monster arrested. It must continue. This dude must sit on deathrow. That is where he needs to sit with all of the other people. And let people fight to get his behind off of deathrow.

You know, it can’t be enough said: People must pull together. You must abolish the death penalty because it is wrong, all the way across the board. We must support JR and all of the brothas and sistas that was arrested. This is what Mumia is pushing for; this is what we’re pushing for.

When we come to California, we’ll be having more information about Mumia. The movement is moving real fast, so please while you are organizing for everything, tell people that they must get into the streets in order to save this brotha who has been on the front lines, from deathrow, on every issue of social justice that there is.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at blockreportradio@gmail.com and visit www.blockreportradio.com .

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