Wednesday, May 09, 2001 9:43 PM
Free Speech Victory for Mumia Encampment
International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, #206, NYC, NY 10011
212-633-6646 fax: 212-633-2889
For Immediate Release
Contact: Deirdre Sinnott, Larry Holmes, Monica Moorehead, Brian Becker
1) Press release for Free Speech Victory
2) Information for encampment
International Action Center and Camp Free Mumia
win major victory in Federal Court in Philadelphia
Federal Court orders a permit to hold a
48 vigil/encampment for Friday, May 11 to 13
Organizers for the upcoming Free Mumia Encampment declared a major victory today when a Federal Judge in Philadelphia declared that he was preparing an order for the City to provide the International Action Center (IAC)with a permit to hold a 48 hour vigil/encampment.
The pending court order follows a federal lawsuit filed by the Washington, DC based Partnership for Civil Justice and the Philadelphia ACLU. Philadelphia authorities had denied a permit for a 48 hour protest by Mumia supporters in Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall-exactly the same location that they granted a ten-day long permit to the Republican National Convention last August.
The court order clears the way of all obstacles for the thousands of people who are planning to come to Philadelphia on the weekend of May 11 through 13 for this dramatic demonstration to stop the execution of renowned journalist and death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The Encampment is also commemorating the 16th anniversary of the killing of women, men, and children in the MOVE bombing of May 13, 1985 by Philadelphia authorities.
The Encampment will begin on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. with an exciting Hip Hop concert. Organizers were concerned that one of the reasons police were denying a demonstration permit was a pretext to “clear the area” in the hours following the concert.
“It is a significant victory that the Federal court order will include a protection for youth under the age of 17 who are planning to attend the Hip Hop concert and who are the subject of a city-wide midnight curfew,” stated Larry Holmes the Co-Director of the IAC. “The court order will explicitly state that there will be no enforcement of the youth curfew for those young people who want to remain with us in the Mumia Encampment or who want to stay a part of the evening without fear of harassment or arrest while returning home.”
“The IAC successfully challenged the illegal and unconstitutional tactic of the city of Philadelphia in the City’s ongoing efforts to suppress the free speech rights of demonstrators,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, lead council in today’s law suit and a member of Partnership for Civil Justice. To see the Memorandum of Law and Supporting Authority filed in the Federal lawsuit go to www.iacenter.org.
Commenting on today’s legal victory Stefan Presser, legal director of the Philadelphia ACLU stated, “This was another example of Philadelphia’s intransigence in refusing to uphold Free Speech rights absent a court order.”
For information on the Free Mumia Encampment call 212-633-6646 or visit our web site at http://www.iacenter.org.
2) We want to open up
Mumia University: Night School; so bring your favorite column by Mumia or from any one of his books. Please bring banners and plenty of signs. Bring musical instruments as well.
Notice if you can volunteer for assignments, security, food and water tables please go to the volunteer table. Also all medics please check in at the volunteer table. This is going to be a great weekend! See you all in Philadelphia!
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