Release Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 1:01 PM
at Madison Sq. Garden
April 11, 2000
May 7 Organizers Condemn
Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal vow to
Madison Sq Garden to Overflowing'
Police groups in New York and Philadelphia have announced a counter-demonstration
at the May 7 rally for Mumia Abu-Jamal at Madison Square Garden.
May 7 Mobilization for Mumia condemned the plan. "Threats from
these fascist-type elements won't stop us," asserted Monica Moorehead,
a coordinator of the May 7 Mobilization.
threats will only cause us to redouble our efforts to fill Madison
Square Garden to overflowing" to demand a new trial for Abu-Jamal,
an award-winning African American journalist on death row in Pennsylvania.
sponsor of the counter-protest is a web site called "41shots.com"
that backs the four New York cops who gunned down Amadou Diallo.
The site features racist diatribes against anti-police-brutality
activist the Rev. Al Sharpton. On another site, misnamed "Mumia.com,"
Philadelphia cops are invited to ride free to the counter-protest
"thanks to the generous donation of the charter bus by Yellowbird
Bus Company Inc."
statement issued by two cop-groups says, "There are a number of
reasons why Mumia.com and NYFinest.com are teaming up for this
event. Mumia.com will be there to protest a concert [sic] to benefit
a convicted cop killer. NYFinest.com will be there to show support
for the NYPD. This is also a much better way for us to show our
support for the NYPD then [sic] just getting together at City
Hall or 1 Police Plaza."
Monica Moorehead commented, "After all the trauma this city has
suffered because of police brutality under Giuliani, it's amazing
that the police would have the nerve to organize what is, in effect,
a 'pro-police-brutality' demonstration."
called it "a futile effort to discourage and intimidate Mumia's
long-time supporters, and especially new supporters and ordinary
people who want to know the truth about Mumia's case.
the cops go ballistic over a Mumia-friendly event, it always ends
up helping Mumia's cause," Moorehead said. "It's an especially
foolish move for them here in New York, where the whole city is
enraged over the brutal police killing of Patrick Dorismond and
the acquittal of the racist cops who killed Amadou Diallo."
pro-Mumia rally is scheduled for Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m., in
the Theater at Madison Square Garden, 7th Avenue and 32nd Street,
Manhattan. Its demands include "A new trial for Mumia," "End the
racist death penalty," and "Fight back against police terror."
Those sponsoring the counter-demonstration deny affiliation with
the Fraternal Order of Police or New York Patrolmen's Benevolent
Association. May 7 organizers explained that this is a lie.
is the official policy of the Fraternal Order of Police to harass
and threaten anyone who speaks out for a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal,"
Moorehead said. She pointed to the FOP's web site, which includes
a "hit list" of celebrities, organizations and public officials
targeted for harassment.
"The FOP is behind the nationwide smear campaign against students
at Antioch College in Ohio. The graduating class there has courageously
invited Mumia Abu-Jamal to be a commencement speaker, along with
lesbian trans activist and Rainbow Flags for Mumia co-founder
"The FOP and PBA know Mumia is innocent," Moorehead charged. "They
don't want him to have a new trial because all the suppressed
evidence and police coercion would come to light. That's why they
always use sordid phrases like 'cop-killer' to describe Mumia.
It's all for public consumption. They want to continue to try
to isolate Mumia from the public.
trying to break out Mumia's case to a broader audience. That's
what he needs now," Moorehead explained.
May 7 Invitations Committee includes Ossie Davis, Susan Sarandon,
former Mayor David Dinkins, Rage Against the Machine, Alice Walker,
Angela Davis, Edward Asner, Gloria Steinem, Dick Gregory, Mike
Farrell, State Senator Tom Duane, the Indigo Girls, Monica Moorehead,
Johnnie Cochran, Pam Africa, the Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. John
Conyers, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Leslie Feinberg,
Leonard Weinglass and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton.
for the May 7 event are selling out quickly. Organizers in many
cities are filling buses and vans to join the New York event.
admission tickets are still available for $15. Groups of 10 or
more can purchase tickets at $10 each. Tickets may be purchased
on the Internet at www.leftbooks.com,
by visiting the May 7 Mobilization office, or by sending a check
or money order to the May 7 Mobilization for Mumia, 39 West 14th
Street, Suite 206, New York, NY 10011.
7 Mobilization for Mumia at Madison Sq. Garden
39 W. 14 St., Suite 206, New York, NY 10011