National Writers Union member,
colleague and union member, the award-winning Black journalist
Mumia Abu-Jamal, has urgent need of the help of every NWU member.
an outspoken journalistic critic of police brutality and racism
in Philadelphia and advocate for the poor, was convicted of having
shot and killed a police officer in 1981.
lawyers and supporters cite a litany of acts of police, prosecutorial,
and judicial bias and misconduct in the trial that clearly violated
his Constitutional rights. Yet
Abu-Jamal has been consistently denied the opportunity to present
exonerating evidence in the Pennsylvania courts.
must be a new trial," said NWU Advisory Board member Gloria Steinem.
"If not,this case will join those that undermine public faith
in the justice system, and live on in history as a divisive force."
makes Abu-Jamal's case particularly compelling for writers is
that his writings are at the heart of efforts to execute him.
His writings were used in arguing for the death penalty at his
trial, and since Abu-Jamal's incarceration, every effort has been
made to censor his work.
Abu-Jamal himself has said, "They don't just want my death, they
want my silence."
can read about the case on the NWU web site, at www.nwu.org
a death warrant has been signed, Abu-Jamal currently has a stay
of execution. But unless Federal District Court Judge William
H. Yohn grants him a new trial, or at least an evidentiary hearing,
he will be put to death very soon.
must not let Abu-Jamal be censored by execution. The NWU has officially
called for a new trial. But public pressure is our only hope for
therefore urge every NWU member to write individually to Judge
William H. Yohn, Jr., imploring him to grant Abu-Jamal a new trial
and an evidentiary hearing.
lawyers are calling for 100,000 such letters.
WRITE to: Judge William H. Yohn, Jr., c/o Leonard Weinglass, Esq.,
6 West 20th Street, Ste. 10A, New York, New York 10011. (Weinglass
is Abu-Jamal's lead attorney.) Also, please send a copy to Al
Weinrub, NWU Local 3, 337 17th St., Oakland, CA 94612 or email
him at email@example.com.
Thank you, Jonathan Tasini, President, National Writers Union
See two addenda, below
#1: information to help you formulate your letter.
Friday, October 15, 1999, Abu-Jamal's attorneys filed a writ of
habeas corpus. In over 160 pages they cite 29 violations of Abu-Jamal's
Constitutional rights, including:
Use by the State of all of its 11 peremptory challenges to strike
Black people from the jury
of Abu-Jamal from representing himself
Failure to provide effective defense counsel in Abu-Jamal's
Prohibition of Abu-Jamal from being present in the courtroom
at his own trial
Suppression of evidence by police and prosecutors
Fabrication of a confession story
Suppression of documents about police surveillance of Abu-Jamal
Use of Abu-Jamal's youthful writings and involvement with the
Black Panther Party to argue that he should be punished with
habeas corpus petition to the Federal Court requests an evidentiary
hearing so that Abu-Jamal may finally bring in the witnesses and
evidence that he has heretofore been denied in the Pennsylvania
courts. Obtaining this hearing is crucial. If Abu-Jamal is denied
this hearing, all future appeals will be based solely on the tainted
"evidence" and decisions of the original judge, and Abu-Jamal
will undoubtedly be executed. Act now to save his life! The NWU
web site www.nwu.org contains
additional background information and statements by prominent
#2: January 10
NWU Statement on the occasion of an international delegation to
U.S. Justice Department to ask its intervention in Abu-Jamal case:
President of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, I want
to make it known that we vigorously support the efforts of award-winning
Black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal to obtain a new trial.
case of this dedicated and outspoken journalistic critic of police
brutality and racism and advocate for poor and working people
has attracted support from all over the world.
voicing our support for a new trial for Abu-Jamal, we join the
European Parliament, Amnesty International, Nelson Mandela, Jacques
Chirac, Mme Danielle Mitterand, the Congressional Black Caucus,
the National Lawyers Guild, the International Longshore and Warehouse
Union (ILWU), and many other labor and civic organizations.
also join hundreds of writers in this country who oppose efforts
to silence Abu-Jamal's dissenting voice. We deplore the police,
prosecutorial, and judicial bias that has repeatedly resulted
in violations of Abu-Jamal's most basic Constitutional rights,
and request that Federal District Court Judge William H. Yohn
grant Abu-Jamal a new trial, or at least the opportunity to present
evidence of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct in his 1981
writers, we are appalled not only at the gross injustice which
has been done to our respected colleague, but at the threat which
this case of "censorship by execution" represents to the freedom
of speech of every American writer, and to justice and democracy
information on Abu-Jamal's case and the National Writers Union
position can be found on the NWU web site: www.nwu.org
Writers Union UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO
firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.nwu.org
National Office West 337 - 17th Street, Suite 101
Oakland, CA 94612-3351 Phone (510) 839-0110 Fax (510) 839-6097
National Office East 113 University Place, 6th Floor New
York, NY 10003-4527 Phone (212) 254-0279 Fax (212) 254-0673
Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal P.O. Box 19709 -
Philadelphia, PA 19143 Ph: 215-476-8812 / Fax: 215-476-7551 Web:
www.mumia.org / E-mail: email@example.com
MUMIA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! ABOLISH THE RACIST, CLASSIST