Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

From the January-February 2017 issue of News & Letters

Mumia Abu-Jamal in May of 2015. Photo: freepoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com

Oakland, Calif.—On Dec. 9, as part of a National Day of Action to Free Mumia Now and Free Hep-C Meds for All Prisoners, several hundred people gathered in downtown Oakland. Previous international protests had gotten Mumia Abu-Jamal off death row so that his voice for liberation and against the racist justice system couldn’t be silenced. In fact, he gained a worldwide audience.

Two issues prompted new activity around Mumia’s case: the justice system’s recent attempt to kill him through medical abuse, and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Williams vs. Pennsylvania, which ruled that a prosecutor cannot later sit as a judge over the same defendant’s appeal. This is what happened to every appeal in Mumia’s case. This Jan. 4, a Federal judge ruled that Pennsylvania must provide Mumia, who is now very ill, with the latest life-saving hepatitis C medications. After 35 years in prison, mostly on death row and in solitary confinement, Mumia will not be forgotten, because the drive to free him is also about transforming the whole criminal injustice system.

—Ron Kelch

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