break-in at Mumia office
the night of June 8, International Concerned Family & Friends
of Mumia Abu-Jamal reported, its Philadelphia office was subject
to a “COINTELPRO-style burglary … when an unknown person or persons
made off with important files.” The stolen files contain financial
records and the names of high-profile contacts.
believe this was a government plan to disrupt our work,” said
Pam Africa, the coordinator of Concerned Family & Friends.
theft of financial records is especially significant because Concerned
Family & Friends is struggling to obtain full tax-exempt non-profit
status for Abu-Jamal’s legal defense fund.
year a witch hunt by state and local government forced the Black
United Fund to withdraw as the defense fund’s sponsor.
said the office’s one entrance is kept locked, so the burglars
must have used a lock pick or a key to the office. No office equipment
or other items of value were taken.
cautioned groups working on Abu-Jamal’s case to be prepared in
case they are targeted for similar burglaries.
death-row activist Abu-Jamal has played a big part in galvanizing
the movement to abolish the racist death penalty and save Texas
prisoner Gary Graham/Shaka Sankofa.
a result, proponents of legal lynching are zeroing in on his supporters
break-in came just weeks after Abu-Jamal’s literary agent Frances
Goldin, Clark Kissinger of Refuse & Resist, and six other Free
Mumia activists were sentenced to supervised probation for their
participation in a civil-disobedience action at Philadelphia’s
Liberty Bell last July 3.
probation” means the activists can’t travel without permission
from their parole officers. They must present detailed records
of their activities and finances. They are not allowed to visit
Abu-Jamal or associate with anyone who has a criminal record.
a June 6 news conference at the Brooklyn, N.Y., probation office,
Kissinger said he would “draw a line” and refuse to hand over
required paperwork. Goldin, Kissinger and 25 others held an impromptu
demonstration inside the probation office.
invited everyone to come back and protest on July 11, when he
is required to appear again.
writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka visited Abu-Jamal on death
row June 9. The next day he spoke with death-penalty foes in Pittsburgh,
where he called for a new trial for the former Black Panther.
said he was “still waiting for a reply” to the letter he and South
African Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote last year to Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Ridge, asking for a review of Abu-Jamal’s case.
supporters are gearing up for a summer of resistance. After June
22, Federal Judge William Yohn is expected to announce a hearing
in Philadelphia to consider whether he will hear new evidence
of Abu-Jamal’s innocence.
opponents plan to pack the courtroom and demonstrate outside in
support of a new trial.
demonstrations will take place at the Republican convention in
Philadelphia July 29-Aug. 5 and at the Democratic Convention in
Los Angeles Aug. 13-17.
more information, readers can visit the Web site www.mumia2000.org
or call Millions for Mumia at (212) 633-6646 in New York or (415)
821-6545 in San Francisco.