Kent Student Anti-racist Action Press Release


April 3, 2000


Kent State University Students ask Mumia Abu-Jamal to speak at the historic 30th Commemoration of the May 4th, 1970 shootings of four Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard

Pennsylvania Death Row Inmate, Mumia Abu-Jamal, asked to speak at another Ohio University

Kent State University

Kent State University students, like Antioch students have invited America's most controversial death row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, to deliver a taped speech.

At this years May 4th Commemoration, an event looking back at the shooting of four Kent State students in 1970 by the Ohio National Guard, will include a speech by the political journalist and one time Black Panther.

Jamal was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Since that time, however, thousands have come to regard the original trial has unjust and biased against Jamal.

Groups calling for a new trial include Amnesty International, the Congressional Black Caucus, Martin Luther King, IIII, and many more.

Recently, the students of Antioch College nominated Jamal to deliver a speech at their graduation ceremony on April 29th. While thousands applaud the student's decision, the entire College has come under attack by groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police,The National Association for the Advancement of White People, and the District Attorney's office of Philadelphia. The DA's office has even go so far as to question the intelligence and "impressionability" of the Antioch students.

Kent Student Anti-Racist Action and the May 4th Task Force asked Mumia Abu-Jamal to speak at the historic 30th Commemoration of the May 4th, 1970 shootings of four Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard for precisely the same reason those with tremendous political power are outraged that he will be speaking at Antioch College.

Justin Hons of Anti-Racist Action explained the reasoning behind this. "Mumia's commentary and analysis has shed new light on the nature of the world we live in to a generation many write off as apathetic. Mumia's searing critiques of police brutality, racism, and poverty have inspired a whole new generation to stand up and fight back.

The forces hell-bent on his execution want to do the same thing as the forces who killed the four Kent State students in 1970-silence strong voices of political dissent." Jamal will be joining the speaker's podium with the likes of Noam Chomsky, Ramona Africa, Vernon Bellecourt, and many more.

Thousands are expected to attend this historic 30th Commemoration. He will be speaking on the connection between his own impending political execution and the political shooting of the four Kent State students in 1970 at an anti-Vietnam War protest by the Ohio National Guard.


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