Mumia's Lawyer Speaks

On Saturday 8 June 2002, over 200 people (including Rubin "Hurricane" Carter) attended a public talk at the University of Toronto (UofT) by Eliot Grossman, one of Mumia Abu-Jamal's lawyers. A day earlier Grossman spoke to 85 people at two meetings in Ottawa. People in both cities who attended the talks commented that they felt they had learned a lot about both the mechanism of the original frame-up of Mumia and the perfidious role subsequently played by Leonard Weinglass and Dan Williams (his previous attorneys) in sabotaging an effective defense.

Grossman explained how the prosecution's case was a pastiche of perjured "eyewitnesses," tampered ballistics "evidence" and a manufactured "confession." The audience watched a videotape of Arnold Beverly confessing to having been hired by organized crime to kill Officer Daniel Faulkner on behalf of crooked cops who feared that Faulkner was cooperating with FBI investigations into police corruption in Philadelphia. The defense team is currently attempting to have the Beverly confession admitted into evidence. One of the themes of the meeting was that there should be "no statute of limitations on innocence."

The Toronto meeting was initiated by the International Bolshevik Tendency (IBT) and organized on a united-front basis. The Ottawa talks occurred as a spin-off of the Toronto meeting, and were coordinated through the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Industrial Workers of the World. Participating groups in Toronto held three preliminary planning sessions to sort out logistics, postering, publicity, finances and security. The forum was introduced by Darashani of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and chaired by John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

In addition to the IBT, the Friends of MOVE were among the most active participants, along with Socialist Alternative (Committee for a Workers International) and members of the New Socialists. Union support included CUPW, the National Union of Public and General Employees, the Toronto District Council of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), CUPE Locals 1230 and 3903, the Canadian Autoworkers Local 199 Human Rights Committee and the St. Catharines & District Labour Council. Both the undergraduate Students' Administrative Council and the Graduate Students' Union at UofT sponsored the talk, as did the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. Other endorsers included the Angola 3 Support Committee, Anti-Racist Action, the Brock Socialists, the Freyheyt Collective (Platformist anarchists), International Socialists, Socialist Action (United Secretariat), the Trotskyist League (International Communist League) and the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing.

In his remarks, Grossman noted that:

"Even though there are a number of organizations that disagree with each other on many issues, we were able to work together toward a common goal and I think it is a wonderful model that we have here tonight.... "Thank you very much for overcoming your political differences and working together to put this event together. I think this is a lesson we can take back to the United States."

Contributions for Mumia's defense should be sent to:

Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs ("SEE") 20178 Rockport Way Malibu, CA 90265 USA

Make checks payable to "See Mumia Free"

Posted: 2 March 2003