Workers Demand Justice for Mumia -
by Dennis O'Neil
The just-concluded 2000 National Convention of the American Postal
Workers Union adopted a resolution calling for a new trial for
Mumia Abu-Jamal and committing the union to filing a friend of
the court brief in Mumia's case. The resolution was put before
the convention by the New York Metro local.
Metro members active in Morgan for Mumia, an ad-hoc group at a
very large postal facility in Manhattan, had proposed and argued
for Metro taking this stance at a union meeting earlier this spring.
Although the resolution mysteriously did not appear in the resolution
books distributed to delegates, protests to convention organizers
ennsured that it came before the body.
case for the resolution was put by Flo Summergrad of New York
Metro and supporting statements were made by David Yao of the
Greater Seattle Local and Dennis O'Neil of NY Metro. Ajamu Dillahunt
of the Raleigh, NC local was at the mike to speak when the question
was called for. The motion won by a vote of over 1000 to 800.
forces had not done a good job of organizing either in advance
of the convention or during its first two days, so the victory
came as something of a surprise. Three factors aided us.
First, in contrast to the reasoned statements of resolution supporters,
the two opposing speakers called on were ranting middle-aged white
guys pretty much demanding Mumia's immediate execution.
internal APWU politics doubtless pushed some delegations and officials
to try and get on the good side of the powerful and newly independent
NY Metro local.
and most important, we found that at least a dozen locals had
held discussions of Mumia's case, that other locals had seen petitions
circulated during meetings and many indvidual members knew of
the case and voted their conscience.
hope our victory will inspire other labor activists to take the
case of Mumia Abu-Jamal before their upcoming conventions. Let's
build the momentum!