Press Release Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 1:01 PM

May 7
Mobilization
for Mumia
at Madison Sq. Garden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Larry Holmes,
Greg Butterfield
(212) 633-6646

Attention: Assignment Editor
April 11, 2000

May 7 Organizers Condemn
Plan
for Police Counter-Demonstration

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal vow to 'Fill 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.

The 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.

"Police 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.

One 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."

A 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."

Moorehead 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.

"Whenever 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."

The 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.

"It 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 Leslie Feinberg.

"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.

"We're trying to break out Mumia's case to a broader audience. That's what he needs now," Moorehead explained.

The 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.

Tickets for the May 7 event are selling out quickly. Organizers in many cities are filling buses and vans to join the New York event.

General 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.

May 7 Mobilization for Mumia at Madison Sq. Garden
39 W. 14 St., Suite 206, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 633-6646
Fax: (212) 633-2889
Email: iacenter@iacenter.org

 

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