Emergency protests:
‘Free Mumia!’

By Monica Moorehead

Emergency protests took place in a number of cities March 28, the day after a 2 to 1 court ruling March 27 made by the 3rd Circuit of Appeals that upheld the guilty verdict in the case of death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and called for a resentencing hearing due to flawed jury instructions in the original trial.

In New York, hundreds of Mumia supporters marched following a rally from the Harlem State Office Building to St. Mary’s Church for an organizing meeting that called for an April 19 mobilization in Philadelphia to demand freedom for Mumia. Delegations from the MOVE organization, December 12 Movement, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Harlem Tenants Council, Latinos for Mumia, International Action Center, FIST, ANSWER, New Black Panther Party, SDS and others came out in support of the protest called by the New York Free Mumia Coalition.

In San Francisco, activists rallied outside the federal courthouse downtown to demand freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Kiilu Nyasha, a longtime activist in support of U.S. political prisoners, compared the injustice against Mumia with the local case of the San Francisco 8, a group of former Black Panther Party members unfairly rounded up and charged with conspiracy and murder of a San Francisco policeman. Nyasha noted that two of the SF8, Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaquin, like Mumia are serving life sentences for their participation in the Black liberation movement. The protest was organized by the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Members of the San Diego Mumia Coalition gathered at a busy central city intersection at Friday evening rush hour to draw community attention to the 3rd Circuit Court’s decision and to Mumia’s continuing struggle for justice.

In Houston, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement called an emergency protest in front of Harris County Courthouse. Harris County has sent more people to death row than any county in the U.S. and has executed more than 100 people. Activists from National Black United Front, the Harris County Green Party and the Anarchist Black Cross organized and spoke at a rally.

Contributors to this article are Judy Greenspan, Bob McCubbin, Anne Pruden and Gloria Rubac.

Left to right: Amina Baraka, Iyaluua Ferguson,
Suzanne Ross, Larry Holmes, Amiri Baraka &
Herman Ferguson in Harlem, N.Y., March 28.

WW photo: Anne Pruden