Freedom Socialist Letters to the Editor, June 2015

Share with your friends



Public pressure needed to save his life!

(Excerpts from an email from On Saturday, May 2, Pam Africa and Abdul Jon visited Mumia Abu-Jamal at SCI Mahanoy. He was weak, stable, alert and still in the infirmary.

Mumia’s attorney Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center submitted an expert medical recommendation letter to the Dept. of Corrections.

This letter outlined the need for Mumia to undergo immediate and thorough diagnostic tests in search for the cause of his persistent and life threatening conditions. Conditions which the prison has allowed to become nearly lethal.

Mumia remains seriously ill. Public pressure has been key every step of the way, and remains extremely important. Please keep up the calls [John Wetzel, Secretary of Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections (717) 728-4109 and Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Wol (717) 787-2500].

Demand that adequate diagnostic testing be done; that Mumia’s doctor is able to communicate freely with the prison infirmary physicians delivering Mumia’s medical care; that his doctor has regular phone access with Mumia; and allow Mumia’s doctor to conduct an onsite medical examination.

Noelle Hanrahan, P.I. Director, Prison Radio


Strengthen demand

I appreciate your work and the newspaper. Your support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lynne Stewart, and other political prisoners, as well as for incarcerated people in general, is particularly important. However, I would like to urge you to add a plank to your organization’s platform to express this support more clearly.

Around the world, Left groups and progressives include “Free All Political Prisoners” among their basic demands, reflecting an understanding of the way state governments use prisons to repress radical resistance. Yet rarely do U.S. Left organizations make support for these comrades an intrinsic part of their program.

I hope this will change as current movements confronting police violence against communities of color persist; of note, many of the young people involved in those movements are supportive of the political prisoners who fought similar battles years before. The Freedom Socialist Party could provide clear leadership for the Left as a whole by adding a demand to Free All Political Prisoners and for abolition of the prison system as it currently exists in the U.S. to your platform.

Laura Whitehorn, New York City


Not a vigilante

FSP support for Nestora Salgado, who led her indigenous community to fight against drug cartels and government complicity, illuminates Marxist feminism and aids a courageous political prisoner. In contrast, the Spartacist League (SL) doesn’t know left from right. I was LOL, and disgusted, to read that the SL calls Nestora “an adjunct to the capitalist state,” because the Mexican constitution allows indigenous people to form militias for self-defense. And, echoing the mainstream press, SL also deems her a “vigilante.” If militias are allowed, how is she a vigilante?

This sexist and rightwingish confusion is typical. SL calls Syrian rebels fighting dictator Assad “imperialist foot soldiers,” because they accepted U.S. arms. Rebels have every right to do this for their own defense — hopefully while rejecting U.S. control. While SL admits that ISIS is murderous and ultra-reactionary, it still supports ISIS militarily because it is supposedly “anti-imperialist.”

Woman-hating ISIS is not anti-imperialist but pro-power and wealth, for ISIS exclusively — see “Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State” at Der Spiegel online. ISIS uses murder, kidnapping and blackmail to attack rebels fighting repressive regimes. Maybe SL doesn’t think this extremely violent sexism and terrorism targeting Arabs is that crucial. I don’t agree. I never met a sexist who was a true revolutionary.

Adrienne Weller, Seattle

The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email

To listen to this and other articles from this issue, click here.

Share with your friends