22 June 2007

The following letter was sent today to the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. We think this will be self-explanatory.

- The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu Jamal

To the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal:
Dear Comrades,

We learned with dismay of the motions passed at the 02 June 2007 Mobe meeting, which were, as we understand it:

  1. To reaffirm the previous motions that any and all organizations and individuals who are permitted to speak at Mobe organized events must agree ahead of time to refrain from any and all criticism of anyone in the Mumia defense movement; and
  2. Based upon their past behaviour neither the PDC nor the Spartacists would be permitted to speak at Mobe organized events in the future.

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC) protests both motions in the strongest terms. Such a loyalty oath--and blanket exclusion of a group which has consistently defended Mumia--is unacceptable. The LAC cannot accept gag orders such as these. We will continue to attend all public events to free Mumia, under our own slogans, and without acceptance of these motions.

We note that at the Mobilization-initiated rally in San Francisco on May 17th, the SL/PDC was allowed to speak, despite an apparent initial intention to bar them. An LAC representative supported their demand to be allowed to speak. They were allowed to do so, they did, and while both the Mobe and the LACwere criticized, ... the sky did not fall! We had hoped that this would set a precedent for the coming period, but apparently that is not to be for the Mobe.

We hope Mobe will rescind these counterproductive motions.

A united front depends on each group supporting the common action being able to express its own views. The Mumia defense movement has many different tendencies, and much as many of us regret, little unity among them. Most of us can come together on occasion around freeing Mumia, and this is a good thing.

Yet how can any one tendency dictate to the others what they can or cannot say at such events?

At the LAC-initiated rally in Oakland on 15 September 2006, all the sponsoring organizations had the right to speak their minds. The SL/PDC criticized both the Mobe and the LAC, and both responded. Are we to say then that the Mobe broke its own rule on that occasion? Debate on the left cannot be artificially suppressed at united-front actions. The attempt to crush such debate signals only weakness, and defeat. We prefer to find our way to victory in a conscious, well-informed state.

In struggle to Free Mumia,
Chris Kinder, for the LAC

Posted: 27 June 2007