On the day Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge set a new execution date for death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Black writer resolutely declared: “This is just the next stage of the fight. We will continue the fight and we will win.” Each day counts toward achieving that goal.
For now, a temporary stay of execution is in effect while Abu-Jamal’s case goes through the federal appeals process. The first phase takes place before Judge William H. Yohn, Jr in the U.S. District Court. Defence lawyers have filed a 160-page brief that cites 26 violations of Mumia’s constitutional rights and asks for an evidentiary hearing that would allow for new evidence and witnesses to be introduced.
Such a hearing, if granted, offers the last opportunity for Abu-Jamal to testify about how he was framed for killing a cop. It will be his last chance to present new information that could win him another trial. That is why massive public pressure on the courts to obtain the evidentiary hearing is crucial right now.
North, south, east and west… The international movement to free Mumia has risen to a new level of activity. The union movement in Canada has embraced his cause. On November 29, 1999 delegates to the Bi-Annual Convention of the Ontario Federation of Labour unanimously passed a resolution calling for the unconditional release of Abu-Jamal. A week later, the Canadian Auto-Workers Union backed the campaign, complementing earlier descisions by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers.
On 12 January 2000 an International Delegation to Washington DC demanded freedom for Mumia. The delegation, coordinated by the Paris-based International Committee to Save the Life of Mumia Abu-Jamal, was supported by activists in over 70 countries.
French activists reported they had mobilised 53,432 people to endorse a letter to Clinton. Support is strong among French unions. In India, the major unions have united in support of Mumia and set themselves a goal of gathering a million signatures demanding his freedom.
Women on the Waterfront in Liverpool, England have joined the campaign to free Mumia. And the Media Workers Associations of South Africa elected him as their honourary president.
Students from Togo to Sri Lanka are mobilising in support of Mumia.
Join the new wave of activism. Mumia is a revolutionary whose cause belongs to us all. Get involved in local organising to win his freedom.