The following important new statement was issued by Mumia on the 6th of September 1999:
"When one considers the recent actions of labor in support of this fight for justice and freedom, one can only be deeply and profoundly impressed. The Teach-Ins, the Brazilian Teachers 2-hour work stoppage, the unprecedented Coast-wide ILWU shutdown of the ports on 24th April last, the international workers' actions in support of the Neptune Jade defendants in relation to dockers in Liverpool; we are witnessing something remarkable; the internationalization of support and struggle for fellow workers. I thank and applaud the Labor Action Committee for your principled support! I see this battle as only growing in strength, as it broadens and deepens its reach; and as it challenges capital's lust for death; and as it supports the cause of life, of freedom, and of justice. I salute you! As a recent member of the National Writers Union (affiliated with the UAW, and through them, the AFL-CIO) I join you as we broaden this fight, as we labor on behalf of a better world, and a better life! For workers solidarity, Ona Move! LLJA!--Mumia Abu-Jamal"
In the San Francisco Bay Area the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is calling on all unions to join the Union Week of Action for Mumia, September 19 to 25 by holding an educational event or action aimed at increasing awareness of Jamal's case.
Activities by Bay Area unions will include the following:
The ILWU Local 10 exec board is holding a forum, co-sponsored by the Labor Action Committee, in its San Francisco union hall, on September 24th. The California Federation of Teachers is contacting social studies teachers statewide, asking them to teach about Mumia and the death penalty during Awareness Week. Oakland teachers are supporting this effort locally. Letter Carriers Local 214 in San Francisco will hold a special meeting with a guest speaker to discuss the case. Auto worker militants in the East Bay are planning for leaflet distributions and an article in the union newsletter. Activists in other unions are planning special lunch-time meetings and leaflet distributions.
In a recent communication, the Labor Action Committee wrote:
Millions have heard a bogus new "confession" story from Vanity Fair magazine and ABC's 20/20, which claims that Jamal allegedly admitted to Philip Bloch in 1992 that he killed Officer Faulkner. Few have heard the reply--that this story is a lie, just like the earlier "confession" tale, which the police failed to "remember" until weeks after the fact. It is proven so by a letter Bloch himself sent to Jamal in 1993, stating he was confident that Jamal would receive a new trial where his innocence would be proven! Evidence also shows that Bloch could not have visited Jamal at the time of this so-called confession, since contrary to his claims, he had been fired by the Prison Society for which he worked when the interview with Mumia supposedly took place!
The Vanity Fair and ABC stories trotted out the numerous lies, distortions and half-truths that have long been refuted by either the trial transcripts or the new evidence found in the case. The sensational new "confession" story was the only "new evidence" they chose to emphasize in their execution campaign. In fact, Mumia's trial was a mockery of justice from beginning to end:
* Evidence that would have exonerated him was suppressed. Several witnesses, all of whom saw another man run from the scene, were not called. Ballistics "evidence" was concocted.
* The key prosecution witnesses were given special treatment in exchange for false testimony; one of them, Veronica Jones, now admits she lied under the threat of loss of her children.
* Black jurors were systematically removed from the jury.
* Mumia was not allowed to defend himself, and was forced to use an admittedly unprepared lawyer; he was even removed from the courtroom for much of the trial!
* The judge, Albert Sabo--a former member of Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)--was known as a "prosecutor in robes." He sent more people to death row than any other sitting U.S. judge. He was blatantly biased against the defense in both the original trial and the recent hearing on a petition for a new trial.
Recent visitors report that Mumia's spirits are still strong, and his resolve is all the greater in the face of the recent false "confession" stories. Harassment by the vindictive Pennsylvania prison system continues, however. Mumia is allowed only one phone call per week, and letters from family and supporters are often held up indefinitely by the Department of Corrections.
The police and FBI were out to get Mumia long before his arrest; they targeted him at age 15 for his anti-police brutality and anti-racist activism. The trial was typical of frame-ups conducted by Philadelphia police--over 300 cases were thrown out in 1995. Now the major media, and the Fraternal Order of Police, are determined to silence forever the Voice of the Voiceless--Mumia. We have to stop them.
The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal can be reached at PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610; (510) 763-2347 or (415) 282-1908; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org