for Mumia 'Letter to Janet Reno from U.S. Trade Unionists'
following Labor for Mumia 'Letter to Janet Reno from US Trade
Unionists' demanding justice for Mumia and a background piece
framing the case for union members is available at http://www.aspenlinx.com/labor
for download and/or as a hard copy.
of the letter have set an initial goal of having 10,000 signed
letters completed as soon as possible.
letter offers union activists a tremendous opportunity to reach
out to the rank and file with some literature that helps to
broaden awareness of Mumia's case as well as the broader questions
raised by the case. We appeal to every union member to consider
the possibility this offers to you to help your union do the
your union already supports the case, there should be no problem
including the letter and background piece in the next mailing
to the membership. There could be a report at the next union
meeting with an appeal for members to sign the letter and take
some back to those not attending. An article could be prepared
for the next issue of your union newsletter or local labor publication.
Where possible the letter could be reprinted in your union's
national newspaper and/or website.
Whether your union is 'on board' or if you're having trouble
getting 'official' support, this campaign offers an opportunity
to carry on this discussion among the rank and file. If sufficient
support can be gathered,a committee can be established to assist
in this process. Every situation will be different. We're more
than happy to dialog with you regarding the particular challenges
e-mail version of the letter is included below. We prefer that
you send in signed copies, but if that's not realistic, please
complete the info and e-mail back. Feel free to pass the letter
along via the 'e-mail trail.' Though we haven't set a time-frame
on the campaign, we request your input as soon as possible.
If you'd like us to mail hard copies, please let us know. Send
your request to 'Labor for Mumia' c/o San Francisco Labor Council,
1188 Franklin St., suite 203, San Francisco, CA 94109.
An Open Letter to Attorney General Janet Reno and the Department
of Justice From U.S. Trade Unionists
trade unionists demand justice for our union brother, award-winning
journalist and National Writers Union member (UAW Local 1981),
Abu-Jamal has been on death row for the last 18 years, convicted
of killing a Philadelphia police officer and sentenced to death
in a trial that can only be described as a travesty of justice:
Abu-Jamal was denied a competent defense, refused the right
to represent himself, and even barred from the courtroom during
much of the proceedings.
were systematically excluded from the jury.
Witnesses were intimidated and coerced by the police.
Vital evidence was falsified or suppressed.
trial was presided over by a judge who has sentenced 33 people
death (all but two of them people of color), more than any other
so-called "confession" didn't come to light until two months
the event, and even then, the "witness" (a police officer) was
conveniently "unavailable" for cross-examination during the
the sentencing phase, the prosecutor, in arguing for the death
penalty, cited Abu-Jamal's writings, in effect, condemning him
for the expression of his beliefs.
short, it is clear that Mumia Abu-Jamal was denied his basic Constitutional
rights. He was targeted for this treatment because, as a Philadelphia
journalist, he stood up for poor and working people.
was spied on and harassed as a part of the illegal government
COINTELPRO operation against Black and other anti-establishment
organizers, even though he had never been convicted of breaking
spite of new evidence indicating Abu-Jamal's innocence, including
witnesses recanting their original testimony, Abu-Jamal's right
to a fair trial has been consistently denied in the courts. This
is a situation all too common for people of color on death row,
a product of the racism and class bias in the criminal justice
his 18 years on death row, Abu-Jamal's writings have been repeatedly
censored, as he has sought to expose injustice. As Abu-Jamal himself
puts it, "They don't just want my death, they want my silence."
The injustice that has been done to Mumia Abu-Jamal - the denial
of his Constitutional rights- is an injustice and a threat to
General Janet Reno, justice demands that you intervene to guarantee
the rights of Mumia Abu-Jamal. We demand that you guarantee Abu-Jamal's
right to a new trial. We demand justice. Anything less would amount
to your complicity.
Please return completed form to: Labor for Mumia, c/o San Francisco
Labor Council, 1188 Franklin St., suite 203, San Francisco, CA
94109, or >return by email to: